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Topic: Lost Books

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Subject: Lost Books
Date Posted: 10/27/2014 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2013
Posts: 767
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Does anyone get a lot of "lost in the mail" notifications?  I've gotten two this week, and a lot in the past; but the books I send out seem to arrive at their destination.  I live in the city, not rural, and at the same address for over 16 years, so I don't understand why quite a few of the books I order get "lost."  (To be fair, some of the members eventually contact me and say the book came back to them, but it should have gotten here in the first place.)  As a result, I'm getting books really late and some not at all.  Just wondering..(I've been waiting over a month for one right now that supposedly went back to the member and they remailed.)

Date Posted: 10/27/2014 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 563
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You might want to check with your local post office, or have a chat with your delivery person, if you know them. There might be something wonky at the local level. If the senders have the correct address and correct postage, things should not be coming back to them instead of making it to you.

Date Posted: 10/27/2014 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2014
Posts: 63
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I havent been having any problems. Maybe the next time it happens ask the person if they can repackage including the lost notice, so that then the post office can see the return notice and see if there is something wrong there and you can see exactly what the lost notice says etc it would be easier to trace it if you have the orginal packaging. Are you having problems with your other regular mail ie letters?

Date Posted: 10/28/2014 12:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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PBS requires us to have the standardized addresses. (The postage provider demands it.) There should not be a problem. I recommend you contact your local post office.

That said, you can check your address to see if it is the correct format by using the zip code look up page on USPS.

Each area has it's own local format, but PBS postage requires us to use the approved listed format.

Date Posted: 10/29/2014 4:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,351
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From the Help center:

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.
Subject: Lost Books
Date Posted: 10/29/2014 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/9/2006
Posts: 18
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I have been a PBS member for at least seven years and have received and sent out hundreds of books.  This has never happened to me in either direction.  It has to be something wrong with either your address, your post office, or the large distribution center for your post office.  There are some notoriously bad distribution centers like Bell, CA and Federal Hill, WA.  But, even the bad ones usually get the mail to the correct post office eventually.


I would ask at your post office if you are using the approved U.S. Post Office address.  For example; I live on a road that has a route #.  My address used to be something like "00000 Route 2000".  Which is the name of the street I live on.  However, the post office changed the official name of the street to something like "00000 Blankety Blank Pike". 


If nothing like that happened it is possible that your post office has incompetent help.  If so, for the safety of all your mail, you might want to get a post office box at another post office.  Hopefully, you live in an area where that's possible. 


Good luck!

Date Posted: 10/29/2014 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,080
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My daughter lives in a new housing development in the boonies of MD not far from DC.  They have horrifying postal service for packages!  A valentine's day gift has never arrived and several birthday gifts took weeks to appear even though they had been mailed priority or first class.

So I think there are certain locations where postal service just isn't what it ought to be!

Date Posted: 10/29/2014 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2013
Posts: 767
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Thanks for all the suggestions.  I know my carrier pretty well, so I'm sure it's not her.  I live in Las Vegas, and we have over 2 million people, so it could be the post office.  But why would they just hold books?  And if it is the PO, I don't think getting a box would be the answer, although anything is worth a try.  But I'd have to send ALL my mail there, so my dh wouldn't do it. (Since all my other mail gets here, including catalogs, it can't be all the po's fault, and being near the holidays, I'm bombarded with them.).  If they can't get it to my house (I live in the city) they won't be able to get it into a box.  If it IS the po's fault, I don't think I should be penalized for it.  I get books from publishers (part of my job) on a regular basis - got three two days ago - and THEY manage to get here.  So I really don't know what's happening.  Can people say they're mailed so they won't get penalized and then send them later?  It's confusing.

Date Posted: 10/29/2014 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Please do check your address under Settings.

PBS requires us to mail within two days of clicking the mailed button. After 4 days, we are required to contact the other member.

I highly recommend that everyone mark books with late postmarks. (Unless you were contacted.) There is the small blank for the date on the receiving form. In addition, there is now an option under Received With A Problem. The book is marked as Received, no credit refund is offered. But it gets a little extra flag on the book. Enough flags mean an account will be reviewed by a human.

Date Posted: 11/3/2014 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yes, check your address format.  Otherwise you probably have a local problem...not necessarily your delivery person or even branch, could be your local or regional sorting center.  I've had problems with Warrendale, and that sorting center in California is infamous for loosing/damaging packages.