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Topic: Lost in the Mail

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Subject: Lost in the Mail
Date Posted: 2/14/2008 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2007
Posts: 1
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I seem to be having a lot of 'lost in the mail' books lately.  Since Jan 1 I have ordered 7 books and as of tomorrow 3 of those 7 will have been lost in the mail.  One of them has been on my wish list for almost a year so needless to say I am kind of disappointed.  Just wondering if anyone else is having the same problem.

I know it is awful to say but I keep having visions of some postal worker out there enjoying some very good reading.

Date Posted: 2/14/2008 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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well, blaming it on the postal service workers is not a long stretch...I had a book go lost in the mail and so I had contacted the sender.  She went to the post office where she had mailed it and come to find out they were found behind a shipping bin at the post office.

Kristin...it is a funny picture to think about some happy little postal worker hiding in the corner with a stack of paperback books. :-D

Date Posted: 2/15/2008 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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This portion of the Help  Center is for the senders, wonder if you cant get each of them to do this. But since all seems to be centralized to your area, it may not hurt for you to go visit the supervisor at your local PO:

If a book you sent is declared Lost in the Mail at PBS:

  • As the sender, you 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 your book if it truly has been lost in the mail.
    • This form at USPS is titled "Mail Theft"
    • This does  not mean only theft of mail.  USPS categorizes any mail that does not arrive or that is tampered with as "mail theft".
    • The choice that should be made under "Class" if Media Mail was used is "Parcel Post"
Date Posted: 2/15/2008 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,689
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I've had several books go 'lost". I've also filled out the stupid form to have them look for it, so to speak. Nothing has ever come of it. Total waste of time.

Date Posted: 2/15/2008 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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Have you PM'd the senders, telling them that you're still hoping the book will arrive?  Sometimes you'll get info that way.  Like, oh I'm so sorry--I asked my brother to mail it and I just found it in his car.

At least you'll be back in the #1 spot for your wishlisted book. 

I can't tell where you live, but if you are in Hawaii, Alaska, a U.S. territory, or have an A.P.O. address, it is normal for books to go lost first before they finally arrive. 

Got to be frustrating, especially when you get several at once like that!

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2005
Posts: 319
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Hey, me too!  I've had two books get lost in the mail on the way to me since the beginning of the year -- one from here and another from a friend!  I believe both these books were really mailed, too, so that's not it.   I've been hearing a lot about missing books lately -- what's going on at the PO? 

That sticky-fingered postal worker sure has a way of snagging the hot ticket books, too.  :P

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Have you double checked to make sure your address is correct in the PBS system?

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/13/2007
Posts: 6
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I requested a book that got lost even with delivery confirmation!  The Post Office said it was delivered but I had not received it and imagined that someone was having a fine time with my book!  Two and a half months later it was on my doorstep when I got home, with packaging intact!

Go figure!


Date Posted: 2/18/2008 6:42 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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I've only had one go lost and the sender checked with her local post office and they found a stack of about 6 packages (all her books) behind one of the postal bins.  Now it is looking like about 6 books are about to "Time Out" as Lost.  My address in PBS is correct, other books have been getting to me...3 are from Alaska and I've heard that it is not unusual for them to Time Out Lost, though I had one from Alaska get here faster than one sent at the same time just 300 miles from me.  The other three are from a lady in Indiana...so, it is at least only from 2 senders that the 6 are going Lost and not 6 senders...that certainly narrows down the problem.



Date Posted: 2/18/2008 7:10 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 547
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I've not had any go lost recently, but I'm finding more and more are coming close, even though they are mailed on time and only coming from the next state over.  I wondering if we are dealing with the post winter holiday slow down with the mail. 


Date Posted: 2/18/2008 7:54 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 47
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I've had a few go lost lately as well...i also belong to a few other book swap sites, and never had any books from either of them go lost.  A few of the books I've received a week or two later after being lost, and have noticed that the postmarks are WEEKS after they were supposedly sent...i feel like some of these are people who just want to make sure they don't lose the credit by clicking on "sent" before it actually is, but then let the book sit around their house for a few more weeks before they actually get around to sending it. 

Date Posted: 2/18/2008 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,830
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right now, i've got a two-book order from Alaska that is going to time out in 3 days if the package hasn't arrived.  it does have DC on it, but it's never been scanned since it was accepted at the Anchorage post office.  i'll wait a couple of weeks past that and hope it shows up.  i've also got another one coming from MN that's 3 weeks so far since it was mailed.  those are the first two i've had, but i've only been receiving books for about a month.

Date Posted: 2/18/2008 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 797
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I sent two books out (in one package) on MLK Day.  I paid postage by using the self serve machine in the PO and then mailed them in a drop box behind the PO.   I PM'd the received last week to see if she had received them and let her know when I mailed them (commenting about he weather slowing everything down).  She never responded, but I got the emails saying they were lost today.  How do I fill out the PO form without her address?  I didn't keep it and it isn't in my archive. 

Date Posted: 2/20/2008 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
Posts: 1,165
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I've had 3 go lost on me.

Date Posted: 2/20/2008 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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 How do I fill out the PO form without her address? 

Heather, that's a great question. I wonder if  it isn't a bad idea to print up an extra copy of a receiver's address when printing  the original and save in a file until no longer needed.

Also, if there is a PM link  in transactions, you can  always PM the member to ask for her address.

This may be a good question for the PBS questions forum.

Please come back here and let us know if you get any advice.

Last Edited on: 2/20/08 11:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/22/2008 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 530
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If we send to AK, HI or an APO and it goes lost (I currently have one on it's way to Okinawa, Japan (APO)), does the system automatically mark us as having a book go lost, just because it takes longer?  I'd hate to get a tick against me in a case like that.

Date Posted: 2/22/2008 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2005
Posts: 827
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The Help Center info "A book I sent is lost in the mail" says:

"You can get the information about the transaction from the Transaction Archive:

  • Click "Transaction Archive" in the menu under My Account in the toolbar at the top of the site
  • Click the Request Details link on the right of the "lost in mail" transaction
  • If you need more information (such as requestor address) you can ask the requestor in a Personal Message for that information.
    • We are unable to provide member address information outside of the duration of an active transaction, due to the PBS Privacy Policy.
    • You can use the PM button on the transaction to contact the requestor."


I have had books from HI and APO addresses lost in the mail and I just marked them received from my Transaction archive when I got them, and voila! no longer lost, sender got credit, all is well. It's just "lost" temporarily, until you get the book and mark it received.

Last Edited on: 2/22/08 7:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
patticom - ,
Date Posted: 2/23/2008 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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Yes it does, Kristen, however if your receiver is honest it will NOT be a "tick against you" because as soon as it does come s/he can look it up in the Transaction Archive and mark it received... thereby converting it to a successfully completed transaction, and earning your credit.  :) 

Right now if you have any books coming to/from Europe or the Middle East (APO AE), and probably the East coast of the United States too--it is probably delays due to weather!!  My mail almost completely stopped coming a little over a month ago, and we are told that the reason is the cancelled and delayed mail flights due to the weather.  :(  I've been trying to PM people when my books go lost to let them know it should go through eventually, but I'm sure not everyone thinks to do that.  :)