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Topic: "Lost in the Mail"

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Subject: "Lost in the Mail"
Date Posted: 10/15/2008 8:45 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2006
Posts: 1
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I just had a second  book labeled "lost in the mail" within a week and I wonder whether people might be not declaring books received in order to not have to give up a credit. I use US Mail and always mail from the PO or from my office, so it seems odd I would have two "lost" within such a short period. Anyone else seeing this?

Date Posted: 10/15/2008 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,693
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nope...and just because you use US mail and mail from the PO or from your office doesn't reduce the chance the book can go lost...of these two books where both mailed from the actual post office or your office....that might be a good place to start checking.  Another question is what state was the destination of both books...that often times creates a delay.  There are a multitude of reasons a book can go lost and that doesn't always mean that they will not eventually show up at their destination....like perhaps the recipient is out of town and can't mark their books received.

But, to answer your question I haven't been seeing any increase in lost books and I doubt folks would not mark the book received just to keep their credit because for 1 this would jeopardize their membership here.

Date Posted: 10/15/2008 9:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I've had very few books go lost in either direction in my 3 years here. It does happen, though. Even books with delivery confirmation go lost--I've had one that was scanned when I mailed it and then never scanned again, and the receiver never got it. One time I ordered a book that went lost and showed up seven months later, in perfect shape, mailed just when the sender said it was mailed out--who knows where it went for all that time!

If people let books go lost without marking them received (even though they have gotten the book) in order to gain back a credit, they might get away with it a time or two, but if it happens a lot, their account is flagged and they may lose their membership if it happens too much. So that's a bit of a risky proposition over the long haul. If your books were well-packaged and mailed when indicated, chances are greater than 99% that they will eventually get there.

I've found that the majority of books that have gone lost are because people mailed the books later than they indicated. For example, they marked a book mailed, so PBS starts the countdown and then the person doesn't actually mail the book until 2 weeks later. Meanwhile the book goes lost but does actually arrive, just late.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 10/15/2008 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2008
Posts: 2,527
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I've had 3 books go lost in the mail this month while en route to me. I've never really had a problem until recently though. Must be something up with the Postal services. There is a lost form you can get from your PO and fill it out. It might help track down those lost packages.

Date Posted: 10/15/2008 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I think you also have to consider what problems any given geographical area is having at the time the books go out or are to be delivered.  2 books coming to me from TX ended up going "LOST" and I'm betting that it was because of the hurricane that went through the same area at that time.  Right now CA is having big problems with fires - so who's to say there won't be a delay from those areas?  And if they are going to or coming from Alaska, Hawaii, or and APO over seas - then they may not be lost - they just take a lot longer.   We just never know about these things.  Most of the books I've had be delayed or lost weren't sent with PBS postage or DC - so they weren't trackable and the sender didn't get a credit since the book never arrived.  Then there is the rare but definitely possible case where a book gets hopelessly mangled or seaparated from its wrapper and ends up in the dead letter office.  I've gotten a few books that it was a miracle it got here since its wrapper was just barely hanging on!  You just never know - be sure to wrap well!!  ;D

Ruth

Subject: Book lost
Date Posted: 10/15/2008 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2008
Posts: 405
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I've only had one book get lost coming to me and it turned out that because the sender put the PBS address as the return address there was a long delay. The wrapping was damaged at her PO in AL and was sent to PBS and then sent back to her. She then repackaged the book and sent it out to me. This took a while but was resolved in about a month. Keep watching your mailbox and don't be afraid to PM to the recipient to see if they have just forgotten to mark it received. Most people are very apologetic when this happens.

Subject: Lost in the mail
Date Posted: 10/15/2008 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
Posts: 49
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I have had this happen several times.  Right now I am awaiting a book that was shipped weeks ago (confirmation) but the details shows the book was accepted and has not moved.   The USPS is not what it used to be. :(   I have also received books that were mailed days after the date they were posted as being mailed, but this is not the norm. 

 

I am thrilled with PBS and the many great people who make it possible for me to get the books I want.

 

 

Subject: Lost Books
Date Posted: 10/15/2008 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,244
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I have never had a book go lost in the mail enroute to me until recently.  Now I have my second book about to go lost tomorrow.  I don't know if these are new members or if the USPS is falling down on the job.

Mary

Date Posted: 10/15/2008 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've had 2 (coming to me) go lost out of about 500 coming and going. The first time, the woman had given the books to her husband to mail.  He stuck them in his trunk where she found them 3 wks later.  The 2nd one shows DC being used but it's never been scanned other than the 1st time.  It's always just shown "electronic info received".  I don't know if this means she printed the DC but didn't mail it or if she mailed it and it got lost somewhere.  I haven't reordered it yet.  The book was coming from Louisianna right around the last big hurricane.  It might show up, it might not.  She didn't answer my PM but it shows her as still being a member.  She's got her credit so apparantly she's not concerned.

Date Posted: 10/15/2008 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2008
Posts: 2,527
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Mary,

You should've got your credit back when it went "lost in the mail". Even if she did use DC.

Date Posted: 10/16/2008 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 37
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Yes, I also had this problem, and possibly another one about to happen. I had one requester tell me in a PM that she did received it, but has made no effort to remedy the situation by marking it mailed or sending a credit. I also currently have a requester who did receive my item two weeks ago (according the DC and the details posted here on PBS) and still has not marked it "Received". So yes, I am starting to think that this is an easy way for people to get books and not lose a credit! I sympathize with you. Although another poster claims that this would "jeopardize their membership here" I don't see how that could happen. There is no way to report these dishonest people and PBS has no responsibility do anything about it, even if the tracking proves it was delivered. You lose your credit anyway.
Date Posted: 10/16/2008 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I know there are all kinds of people in the world and some of them don't mind cheating to get what they want.  I have found no eveidence of this on PBS  in my experience and I think that is phenomenal.  If there is a site this large that depends on the cooperation and honesty on the internet better than this one - I can't imagine what it is.  That being said - all you can do is keep track of people you suspect doing you wong and not deal with them again.  There is the old rule about what you put out there comes back to you at some point.  I hope this doesn't happen to you again.  And thank you, PBS members, for being so great!

Ruth

Date Posted: 10/16/2008 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Carla, if a person orders a book and it goes lost...once...or twice...that wouldn't be a problem. Stuff happens. So, like I said, maybe a person could get away with just not marking the book received a time or two to "save" a credit. But I can't see how anyone could really make out like a bandit doing that before PBS would kick them out. If they order a total of, say, 20 books, and 5 of them "go lost" (or don't get marked as received), that's a 25% lost rate. They expect up to about a 1% loss rate with normal USPS activity.  A 10% or 20% loss rate would definitely flag their account and get PBS' attention and their account activity would be watched. If they have too high of a percentage of books go lost on a consistent basis, they'll be warned and advised that maybe they should contact their local PO since they seem to have a lot of missing packages...and if it doesn't change, they become "no longer members."

I would think that if you got a PM from the person saying they did receive it, you could use the "contact us" information at the bottom of the page and let PBS know--they can look at PM exchanges and could send a warning to the person that if they did get the book they are supposed to mark it received. If they don't comply, or if they've done the same thing with other people, they would be suspended or have their account closed, I think. When I look back over the 3 years I've been here at the 5 or so orders I placed that ended up as "lost books" a great majority of them were "no longer members" not long afterwards--so while people might be able to scam for a short time, they don't last long.

Cheryl



Last Edited on: 10/16/08 6:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/16/2008 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 239
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I think I have only had 2 books get lost- one coming and one going.  I dropped off the one going that got lost at the PO right before Gustav, so I am pretty sure it just ended up in a depot somewhere and hope that if it ever does get to the reciever that she lets me know;not because I care about the credit, but it would be cool to find out what happened to it.

Date Posted: 10/16/2008 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2007
Posts: 65
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Date Posted: 10/16/2008 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2007
Posts: 65
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oops, hit "submit reply" by accident...

Mine ALWAYS go lost (like maybe 80-90% of the time) because I am stationed in Japan and media mail takes about 2 months to get here. I hate having an APO address. If I get my books before PBS declares them lost in the mail, I'm very surprised. But I always go back and mark them received from my transaction archive when they get to me and so far it hasn't been too much of a problem. I'm still waiting for one from 3 months ago... so you never know. If they go lost they will probably show up sooner or later.

 

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 12:51 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2005
Posts: 4,648
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I have had several requested books lost since August.  I don't know what's going on with USPS lately!  They were all going to an APO address, like Jennifer said, maybe it just takes longer with military mail...who knows!  I'll gladly give the sender credit when or if the books are received.

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 4:40 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2008
Posts: 79
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I've had a few go lost on their way here in the past few months. I just had one that had DC and was marked as "delivered" by the Post Office on 9/26. The problem? I never got the books. The local PO is looking into it for me, and I'm going to check back with them tomorrow. I live in a trailer court with 60 units, and my mailman doesn't always pay attention to what goes where. I get my next door neighbor's mail constantly. (We have a mailbox system in the middle of the court.)  So for all I know, all the books I ordered in the last few months that never arrived could be three houses down from me, or still at the PO, or...

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 4:40 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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It definitely takes longer.  If I'm expecting a book from an APO, Alaska, or Hawaii, i wait at least 3 extra weeks before thinking maybe it's lost for real.   Most make it fine.  It's the natural disaster areas that suffer.  I keep an eye out on the weather, etc., across the US.

Ruth

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 3/27/09 11:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 1