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Topic: Lost books

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Peggy - ,
Subject: Lost books
Date Posted: 1/2/2011 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2010
Posts: 13
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I am new to PBS, and I have a question regarding lost books. I've requested 14 books, and have received 10 of them. 2 are still in transit, 2 were lost in the mail. Is that number of lost books typical? I've lived at this same address for many years, and have received a good deal (dozens) of media mail, and nothing has ever been lost. I contacted both senders, but neither responded. Though, I noticed that the sender of the last lost book had the book posted back on her bookshelf the same day that the system declared it lost. So I wonder if the book might have been returned to her through the mail, provided it was even the same copy, of course.  I've talked to my mail carrier, and my neighbors, too. Nobody got the books by mistake. Also, I don't want the lost books to negatively affect my account. I can't think of any way  someone could benefit from declaring a book sent when it really wasn't, so I'm not suspecting anything dishonest on the senders parts. I'm just puzzled by it, and wondering if this is a common occurrence for others here.Thanks!

Date Posted: 1/2/2011 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,258
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I have been here nearly four years, requested about 2200 books and I've probably had less than 15 go lost. Some of those I suspect were never mailed, especially since on one of the books "lost" I was offered the same book by the same member several months later which coincidently also went lost. I have also had "lost in the mail" books show up weeks late with the postmark dates that the sender said they had mailed...they had obviously been languishing in the bottom of a mail bag somewhere. I've also had "lost in the mail" books show up after the lost date with a recent postmark date. And occasionally I have gotten an empty wrapper. Books do legitimately get lost in the mail, eaten by equipment, etc. But they also are languishing under member's car seats or in the member's husband's trunk when the members think that the book has been mailed.

Members are required to answer PMs within seven days, so the members who are not answering your PMs might not be active here anymore.

Usually you will not have any problems here -- sounds like you have just had a patch of bad luck, and remember that when a book goes lost you do get your credit back and if it is a wishlist book you go back to the head of the line. Good luck!

Peggy - ,
Date Posted: 1/2/2011 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2010
Posts: 13
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Thank you for replying! I did get the credits back, and overall I'm really happy with my exchanges. Even without those two books, I figure I'm still coming out way on top.  

Date Posted: 1/2/2011 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Welcome to PBS Peggy!  Lost books seem to come in waves or groups, depending on the time of year and your location (sorting center).  Several a year could be a normal number, especially over the holidays or other times members could be busy and forget (and thus marked lost).  If your number becomes too high (or you see a pattern) you can contact your local post office and report the problem.

Good news (as you've noticed) when the system marks the books lost, your credits return!  IIRC lost books are placed on your wishlist, or another copy ordered for you if there are more in the system.

Date Posted: 1/2/2011 10:03 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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The system tracks things like lost books.  So if too many of the books one person mails are lost, then PBS will contact them.  PBS will also help folks deal with troublesome post offices. 

Basically PBS is set up so that the computer looks for habits or issues (percentages are kept secret) and a person will review accounts and contact folks.  The fact that you tried to contact the senders (make sure you do it from the book transaction page so a record will be kept) can be seen by PBS.

Not responding to PMs about lost or damaged books is considered a very serious problem by PBS.

 

Subject: To Emily E. (EmilyKat) - Santa Cruz, CA
Date Posted: 1/2/2011 11:23 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2010
Posts: 33
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I am fairly new and still learning..... can you tell us (me) more on how to do what you sugested! How do you find the book transaction page. I have had two lost books recently have not properly recorded them with pbs.

Date Posted: 1/2/2011 11:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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I'm talking about the book page under your account.  When the swap is active, it will be under "En Route to Me". On that page there will be a button to PM the member sending the book.  After the book is declared lost by PBS, the transaction will be moved over to your transaction archive, a Tab under "My Account".  There is a PM button and an option for details.  The "Request Details" button also offers you a PM. 

The point is to PM the member from the book swap information page, not from their profile page.  If you click on their name, it will take you to their profile, with a PM option there.  Don't use that PM.  Use the one where you can see the info about the book and the swap.  That way your message goes into the book transaction archive, where PBS can find it. 

This is important because if the other person has a history of bad trades, PBS can clearly find it all at once.  Basically covering your arse.  As well as getting bad swappers kicked off.

You do not need to report it.  The system records it.  If they fail to respond to your PMs, then you can report it.  That basically puts a big red flag on their account for a person to review their account. 

 

From help:

A book I requested is lost in the mail. What now?

If a book you requested does not arrive by the 26th day (the 35th day if the sender or requestor is outside the contiguous US) after it was marked mailed, it will be declared lost in the mail at PBS. The requestor does not mark the book Lost; the system does this. 

The requestor will get credit back, and the book will go onto the Wish List (if there are no available copies in the system) or the Reminder List (if there are other copies available to request).  If the book was a Wish List book when it was requested before, the requestor will go back to his or her previous place "in line" for the book.

  • However, this does not mean that the book is definitely lost.  Sometimes it is merely delayed en route.
  • If the book arrives after it has been declared Lost, the requestor must mark it received from the Transaction Archive.
    • At this time, the credit will be taken back and given to the sender for sending the book.

What you should do if a book you requested is declared Lost in the Mail:

  • Contact the sender, to find out if mailing was delayed for some reason.
    • you can do this from your Transaction Archive, using the PM button on this Lost transaction in that list.
  • If the mailing was not delayed, the sender should call 800-ASK-USPS or go to http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MLNtRcvd.aspx (the Postal Inspection Service's website) and input the information online there . This will help USPS try to recover the book if it truly has been lost in the mail.
  • Don't re-request the book for at least 2 weeks, unless you are willing to run the risk of getting two copies (and paying a credit for both).

If you are having a lot of books declared "Lost" en route to you:

  • You should investigate this.  Excessive unreceived books may jeopardize your membership.
    • Numerous books sent separately but not arriving at your address implies that something is wrong with your mail delivery.
    • Requestors are responsible for providing correct, dependable mailing information to senders.
  • Check your address in your Account Settings, to be sure that it is correct.
  • You can send a PM to the sender of any or all of the lost books, to ask if the book was mailed late, by any chance, as described above.
  • Talk to your PO and mail carrier to see if the book might have been misdelivered to a neighbor.
  • Consider using a PO box or alternate (ie, work) address until the matter is sorted out.

 

Date Posted: 1/3/2011 1:09 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,325
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Once a book has been marked lost, the transaction is moved to your transactions archive, along with all completed and canceled transactions.  You can find your transactions archive on your My Account menu.  There's a PM button there.

A word of caution, though.  When you go into your transactions archive, don't say, "Oh dear, I remember receiving that book" and start marking canceled transactions "received" willy nilly.  There may be several canceled transactions for a book before your order reached the person who actually mailed the book to you.  The archive is indeed the place to mark a book received if it arrives after it's been marked "lost" by the system, but carefully compare the name on the return address on the package with the sender's name in the transactions archive before marking the book received.

Subject: Is there any way to flag a member so they don't trade with me again?
Date Posted: 1/3/2011 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/14/2010
Posts: 18
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I am pretty certain that this audio book was never sent.  She waited until the last possible moment to mark it mailed, and when I pm'd her to ask for a tracking number she didn't reply. (She didn't use PBS DC)  It is over a month now, and I'm sure I will get my credits back, but I would like to block her from future trades with me.  Can this be done?  It is very frustrating to wait and wait for a book you really want, and it never comes, and you can't order it from someone else until it finally gets marked as not received.

Date Posted: 1/3/2011 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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Sharon,

Members are NOT required to DC of any kind unless they want to. Many members do, but others do not want to spend the extra .19 (PBS DC) or .80 (from the PO) because it does add up after awhile. If they do not use PBS DC and the book then goes lost, they are out of luck. Using PBS DC guarantees the sender a credit if something should happen to the book while in transit.

If you look under the tab that says En Route To Me, you will see a notation under the book that says something to the effect of "system action on XX/XX/XX. That will let you know when the book will be marked by the system as lost, and you will get your credits returned to you after that date.

There is no way that you can block that member from future trades. You can keep the member's user name on a post-it next to your computer and then check your requests to see if they are from that same person. But because PBS works on FIFO, the likelihood of ever trading with that person again is pretty slim.

The key to PBS is to practice some patience. I know it's hard when there is a book you'd really like to read (or listen to, in your case), but it's really the only way to keep your sanity. PBS does deal with members who have a pattern of lost books, RWAPs, etc. so rest assured that after they've used up however many chances they're allowed that they will be talked to about their swap behavior.

If DC is a concern of yours, you can put up RCs that say that you will only accept books from members who use DC. 

Date Posted: 1/3/2011 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 510
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The only way to block another user would be to use a requestor condition - and that might not be ok (you aren't supposed to name names in the forums; naming names in your RCs is still somewhat public).  But there are also so many members that the odds of requesting another book from the same person by chance would be quite low.

I don't see much point in asking for tracking numbers; very few members will use them (if not using the system provided ones to receive quick credit).

Date Posted: 1/3/2011 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/14/2010
Posts: 18
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Thank you.  I'm just frustrated because  I wanted this for a Christmas gift, and of course, it never came.  I will report it as undelivered Friday. 

 

Sharon

Date Posted: 1/3/2011 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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Sharon,

I would not advise you to include the member's name in any RC's. Doing so could get you reported and your account will be suspended. 

You do not need to report anything regarding the lost book--again, the system will take care of it for you and your credits will be returned to you. If you send in feedback regarding this, the PBS Team will just tell you that you have to wait until the system marks it lost.

Date Posted: 1/3/2011 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/14/2010
Posts: 18
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I would never use an RC for such a thing.  I will be credited for it on the 9th.  I don't want to be vindictive about this.  I have had some bad experiences on other book swaps with people who traded, accepted my book, and then didn't send one back.  When one member has 9 books "lost in the mail" in less than 30 trades, one gets suspicious!  I am so thankful for PBS's policy to refund your credits if you don't get the book.  I always pay the extra postage to have my books trackable when I send them.  That way I know that the people received them, and if they didn't, I have proof it was sent.

 

Sharon

Date Posted: 1/3/2011 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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You can contact the member after the lost date happens and ask them about the books. If they don't respond to you after a few days, you can then contact the PBS Team and they will look into the matter. 

Date Posted: 1/4/2011 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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I just had a book go lost today.  I PMed the person asking them to respond within a week (I included the date that I wanted a response by).  After that, I'll just flip over to TPTB. 

This is the second LB I've had since joining last Summer.  The first one the person just forgot to mark it received, apologized and marked it.  We'll see what happens this time around.

-RD

Date Posted: 1/4/2011 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/14/2010
Posts: 18
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I had a book I sent that the post office showed as delivered but it was not marked received.  I pm'd the recipient several times, since it was an autographed first edition, and I really wanted her to have it.  Finally she pm'd me...there had been a family emergency and she had been out of town.  She loved the book, and we have become "book friends" as a result.