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Topic: Not Marking (DC/with postage) books as received

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Subject: Not Marking (DC/with postage) books as received
Date Posted: 11/17/2010 11:32 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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Right now, the top three books on my tab for 'Books I've Mailed' haven't been marked as delivered. All three were sent with DC and postage. The details on one book has 'Notice Left', which occurred on Nov. 8th, nine days ago. The 2nd book was marked as delievered 4 days ago. Today, I received a thank you from the requestor for the third book, but she didn't mark it as received.

I know that I already received my credits for these books, so that is not the problem. Nor, will I lose my credits if the books get marked as lost, which isn't is all that far away on the first two books.

My question is: If they do go marked as lost (which they aren't, because they were delivered) will PBS have to give them their credits back even though they already have the books. That would not be fair to PBS. What can I do to make this right? It's also annoying to see these books on my tab every day, knowing the requestors already got them.

Are members not thinking it necessary to mark the books as received because we already got our credits or what?

Last Edited on: 11/17/10 11:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/17/2010 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Are members not thinking it necessary to mark the books as received because we already got our credits or what?

I don't think so.  It's probably just a run of recipients taking their time. I use paypal shipping (so it comes with DC) so I can keep track of when it says "delivered" versus when it's been marked "received." There's a group of people who mark it received the day of or after USPS claims it's delivered, and some who wait a week or more. I recently sent two books to people very close by (same large city) and one took two weeks after DC says delivered to mark it. (It was delivered in 2 days) I think the PBS reminder email worked in that case.  I'm waiting for another book to be marked received.

Of course,  "delivered" on DC doesn't mean it was delivered to the correct address.  I usually wait until it's about to go lost to send out a PM. I think that's the extent of what I can do to "make this right."

Date Posted: 11/17/2010 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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Remember for the one's mark delivered and not marked received you are Assuming that the correct person received them!  It is always possible they were misdelivered, mark delivered at the PO and not yet actually delivered to the person, the person may be out of town and not picked up their mail yet, they may be "delivered" to a PO box and not picked up by the person yet.  Just because a package is marked delivered does not mean it was delivered correctly...it just simply means it was delivered somewhere.

For the one that you sent you a thank you but has not marked it received I would probably send a polite reminder requesting it be marked received.

The recommendation is that you can send a PM checking to see if they actually received the package 7 days after it was marked delivered...under the thought that you need to contact the PO before the postal employee forgets where they delivered said package.

Last Edited on: 11/17/10 12:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/17/2010 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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For the one that you sent you a thank you but has not marked it received I would probably send a polite reminder requesting it be marked received.

I had two recently go 'lost' and I PM'd asking about them, so I could fill out the "Lost" form with the P.O. if they hadn't arrived. Both were then marked as received, one with a PM that it had been delivered to the neighbor, and another just marked received with no PM to me.

After they're lost it woudln't hurt to PM, nor to fill out the P.O. Theft/Lost form.

Mail Theft

(which isn't just for 'theft')

They may never find it, but if there's a blockage along the way, or a lot of stuff going missing, it might help them find the troublesome spots.

Date Posted: 11/17/2010 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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I also see that some people wait a few days or a week after it has been delivered to mark it received. I send most packages without DC, anyway, but on the ones that I do use it, I see that some people don't mark them received right away.

Then you have the people that will mark one book in the package received, but not both. (Took a few days for 2 different people who did this to me to get the second book marked received. Why? ... they must just have overlooked t somehow, I guess, Seems hard to do, to me, but there you go.)

I tend not to pay too much attention to it until the last week before they go lost, when I do my PMs.

The reason why I do not worry about this at all is because of this ... I wait until the last week before the books go lost to even start to look into these things. By then, the vast majority of books have been marked received. I've mailed out almost 800 books, and of those, I have only had to PM about MAYBE 5 or 6 of them ... and of those, all but one was marked received before the book went lost. I have had only one book out of all the books I have sent actually go lost.

I have found that waiting removes most of the work from this, because most people, even if they are delayed for some reason, end up marking the books received with no extra work on my part needed.

And, for those few that do need a PM reminder for some reason, I have had 5 out of 6 respond promptly by marking the book received.

I would definitely PM about the one that you received a thanks message for, though!

Date Posted: 11/17/2010 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Per the Help Center document "A book I sent is lost in the mail!" (I know, yours hasn't technically gone lost yet) :

If you sent the book with Delivery Confirmation and it has been recorded as delivered by USPS but hasn't been marked received yet:

  • Remember that the book could have been scanned as "delivered" at the local PO, before it went to the requestor's mailbox--the actual delivery can be a few days later  Also, the book could have been misdelivered.
  • You should FIRST contact the requestor using the PM button on the transaction on the Books I've Mailed tab in My Account when a few days have passed after delivery.
  • If the requestor does not respond to your PM within a week, and has not marked the book received by a week after the delivery scan, contact us.  We will look into it.
  • If you used DC purchased through PBS, or PBS Printed Postage, you will already have gotten your credit for sending the book.

Last Edited on: 11/17/10 1:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/17/2010 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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I would definitely PM the one that sent a thanks for the book but didn't mark it received. Perhaps she is new and doesn't realize that you do have to mark them as such, or maybe she forgot.

The others...well, you're making assumptions. I have had books scanned as 'delivered' to me, but it can be 3, 4 days, even a week before I actually HAVE the book delivered. No idea where they sit for that time, but it's not always like Sara suggests that 'people wait a few days or a week after it has been delivered to mark it received.' Perhaps, like me, they don't actually HAVE the book yet and are waiting until they actually get it to mark it received? Books also do get mis-delivered--I have been on both ends of that experience, too.

And yes, if the books aren't marked received, the system recognizes them as "lost" and the intended recipient does get their credit back. It is certainly okay to PM the person a week or so after the delivery scan to inquire if they've received the book--they could have been out of town, had a computer breakdown, or maybe just forgot.

But perhaps they truly haven't gotten the book--it happens. So PBS gives the credit back just like for any other lost book. Sure, there are probably some folks who abuse that and get a free credit or two--but I don't think PBS allows real abuse of the system. If people have a lot of books they don't mark received, their account is flagged and reviewed and they can be suspended if they can't or won't provide a reasonable explanation.

It's not something I worry about. 99% or more of the transactions I've done have gone smoothly whether I'm sending or receiving, and I can't see the point of continually clicking on the details to see what's happening with the scans. Got bettah things to do with my time!


Date Posted: 11/17/2010 10:54 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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Thanks everyone for your responses.

I pmed the first requestor a few minutes ago and he just pmed me. He was called in for a military exercise and will be back to mark the book as received when he returns before it goes lost. Solved (when he returns) !

I just pmed the 2nd requestor and just 2 minutes later, she pmed me back that she was sorry and marked it as received. Solved!

I have pmed the 3rd requestor two times now with no results. She hasn't read either one of my messages. This requestor has been a member since Feb. of 2008, so no she is not a new member.

I now have found out by these experiences that it is advantageous to pm requestors at a point to see if they did indeed receive the books. I wouldn't do it though until a few days after.

In the three years that I have been a member, I have never had a book go 'lost'. Knocking on wood here, lol. So, I think you all can understand my concerns that not only would I have one lost book, but three lost books on my record almost all at the same time. The worst part is that they all have been delivered and I would have this mark on my record with it not being my fault.

Last Edited on: 11/17/10 11:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 11/18/2010 12:10 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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In the 3rd instance, if you don't hear back in a week, use the "contact us" link in the info Elizabeth posted above.  So glad the other two member responded!

Date Posted: 11/18/2010 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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I have had books scanned as 'delivered' to me, but it can be 3, 4 days, even a week before I actually HAVE the book delivered.

My local PO is notorious for doing this. I send my PBS books to a PO Box (no danger of being left out in the elements) but soemtimes the packages seem to get "lost" in the back for a few days.  Even when I go to check that there's packages they can't find it.  But when I go in the next time lo and behold they have it and it had arrived two days before I checked the last time (they write the date it arrived on the package usually). 

Usually I end up getting reminders from PBS before the sender PMs me. 

Date Posted: 11/18/2010 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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That's odd, isn't it, Alisa.  Especially since it happens often.  The geek in me would be tempted to mail a book with a GPS tracking device in it to myself to see where the package goes during it's leave of absence. wink

Last Edited on: 11/18/10 6:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/18/2010 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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LOL Patty! 

I have a sneaking suspicion that the packages end up getting shoved in a stack somewhere and not looked at for a few days.  And sometimes I think they may shove them into a package locker and forget to leave me the key until a few of them have piled up there. 

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 11/18/2010 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Same thing happens frequently to me.  Especially on Fridays.  Books that have a DC delivery date of Friday don't get to me until Monday, when I then have a pile of books delivered.  I seriously think that sometimes the mailman waits until he has enough stuff accumulated to "make it worth his while" to climb up the steps to my apartment to deliver the packages... 

Also, related problem:  There is, apparently, a big central postal distribution center in Bell, CA and many of my packages end up in this "black hole" for very long periods of time.  My packages in or out get to Bell, and then are not seen and/or heard from again for an extended period after arrival there...

Date Posted: 11/18/2010 4:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,926
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I PMd a couple people this week re: delivery and both books were immediately marked, and both thanked me and said they'd "forgot." It's important to remember that a lot of the members here are not here as much as many of us :-) and that marking the random or very occasional book probably just is not as high of a priority for them and they really do forget. 

I also did laugh this week though, I received a book with pbs postage/dc on it. So the person got their credit ASAP. But...it was darned lucky I received the book. It was in a plastic bubble mailer, with the pbs label only affixed to the plastic by little pieces of scotch tape at each of the four corners! You never know what will (or won't) make it through the PO.

Last Edited on: 11/18/10 4:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1