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Topic: Lost Books

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Subject: Lost Books
Date Posted: 1/7/2010 12:18 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2008
Posts: 6
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Hi! I have been on PBS for over a year now, but never really posted in here. I was hoping that I could get some help with a concern I have about my account. Up until last month, I have sent and received probably 75 books or so, and never had a single book get lost until last month. When sending books, I always buy postage through PBS and usually have several credits sitting in my account waiing to be used. I think that the longest delay that I have experienced in requesting a book is about 10 days, and my sent books sometimes arrive within a day or two.

Then, in November, I had a book marked sent to me that never arrived. My credit was reissued, and since my daughter had become tired of waiting for the book and had tracked it down in the school library, we chose not to re-request it. Now, I have two more books in the same series that are nearly 30 days from mailing date and haven't arrived. I realize that the mails are slow during the holidays, but I am concerned. Is this sudden pattern going to make it look like I am being dishonest about books I never received? Do books really get lost this often and I just got lucky before?

I love using PBS, and it is especially good for my daughter, who likes to read teen series books and then grows out of them fast. This way we can spare some cost and help pass them around. I am just concerned about how PBS will react to a sudden loss of three books within a month.

Am I stressed over nothing or do I need to contact somebody about this?

Date Posted: 1/7/2010 1:04 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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Please don't be stressed out. Unfortunatially, books do get lost more during the holidays or can take much longer over the holidays. Media Mail items are shipped on a space available basis so they get stuck to the side and get misplaced or lost more often this time of year. PBS watches accounts for trends but they do know that the holidays have more lost books. Now that they are over, your future books should show up without problems.

Date Posted: 1/7/2010 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,040
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I've been here a year and have had no problems with receiving books (more than 300) until this month. I've had a few go lost and then arrive in the past week, I've had people PM me a couple of weeks after they marked books mailed to let me know they would be mailing them "soon", etc.

People just seem to have gotten lost in the Twilight Zone in Dec. I'm thinking January will go back to normal.

Date Posted: 1/7/2010 1:36 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Add the fact of so many cuts in the USPS system and the mergers of many of the distribution hubs to the holiday crush and you have a perfect storm for mail delivery.!


Date Posted: 1/7/2010 6:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Plus sometimes books do just go lost and never show up.  I've never had a book I've sent go lost. But I've had 3 or 4 go lost coming to me.  Only 1 showed up about a week after it went lost.  Sometimes they get misdelivered.  Sometimes they were never really mailed, somethings they end up in the Twilight Zone.

Date Posted: 1/7/2010 8:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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One thing I have found over the long haul (been here almost 4 1/2 years now) is that PBS seems to be "streaky." Everything will go along smooth as silk, and then 'something' happens, and it happens in bunches. For example, after months of not having a lost book, there will be 2 in one week. After months of having smooth transactions, suddenly there will be PMs from members who forgot to mark a book mailed, sent me a book meant for someone else, whatever. I'll go a whole month without getting a book request with an RC, and then suddenly every other request I get has RCs on it.

I personally have never had problems with slower delivery times or lost books during the holidays, but I do occasionally get "streaks" where that will happen--in March or maybe August. LOL

Long story short....I don't think you have anything to worry about.


Date Posted: 1/7/2010 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 1,898
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I had a similar thing happen in November. Had 3 books go lost in a short amount of time. PBS "held" my account, but all I had to do was log in and confirm that I'm still active and it was fine.

It happens. It's annoying, but it does happen.

Date Posted: 1/7/2010 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I have a box of nine books go lost to me once. Not a BOB trade, but a nine-credit order. After it went lost I got all nine credits back.

I also had a single book go lost around that time.

Never heard from the sender, who I think left about then, and never heard from PBS except for the regular "Don't forget to mark these books received if you receive them" emails.

I think the site realizes stuff happens, and it would take a lot of missing books to make them worry. If you notice yourself that there's a pattern you could always talk to your P.O. about it and let them know that things aren't arriving. I fill out the form at the "Mail Theft" USPS form, which also covers lost items. I fill it out whenever I have a book go lost.

I doubt it helps get the books back,  but hopefully if there's a pattern to missing items they'll at least notice it.


Date Posted: 1/7/2010 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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You don't know if the lost book might show up though. I had a book that was mailed to me in the early summer of 2008 and it arrived in January of 2009. Who knows where it was for those 7 or 8 months????

Date Posted: 1/8/2010 1:07 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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I just had a book arrive that was mailed in August.  It happens.  That is the down side of using media mail.   And mail that goes over water always seems to take longer.  So items from HI, PR, APOs, AK, and GU often go lost, just because they take so long by boat.

If DC was used on the books, you can contact the post office to have them search for it.  There also are the forms that Cindy mentioned.  It is always a good idea to fill out the forms as the post office keeps an audit of the reported problems.