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Topic: Marking mailed before mailed

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Subject: Marking mailed before mailed
Date Posted: 11/9/2009 4:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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I orderd a book on October 22 it was accepted and printed on that same day.  However they chose the last day to mail then they marked it mailed on the 25th.  I recieved the book on november 5th only to find out that they really mailed it on November 2nd and not on October 25th like they said.  I was kind of upset to learn this though.  I'm guessing they didn't want it to time out and they still couldn't mail it but knew they would be able to mail it soon.  I added a comment in the part that says is there anything you would like PBS to know about this order, is there anything else you can do about things like this so I know in the futrue?

If it had been me doing the sending I would have pm'd the person who ordered the book telling them I marked it mailed but hadn't mailed it yet for what ever reason but that I could mail it soon.  I'm kind of more upset that they didn't give me the friendly pm to tell me that.  Its seems like they just didn't care if I knew.  If they hadn't been so close to me this book might have ended up becomming one of those books that you wait on then don't recieve so you eventually have to mark it lost then what do you know a week later its there.  The fact that they were only about 100 miles from me made it not turn into that big of a deal.   

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 7:00 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Personally if I get the book before it goes lost then I don't really care when it was mailed.  Sometimes life happens and little things like mailing books out have to wait.  If you filled out the postage date on the survey and they have a habit of mailing late then PBS will send them a reminder to mail on time.

Also if they used postage stamps then the date it was stamped isn't really indicative of when it was mailed.  They could stuck it in the blue box and it wasn't date stamped until further down the road. 

I would rather they had marked it mailed and mailed it a few days late then having let it time out and then mailed it anyway.  Then you'd end up with 2 copies.

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 7:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I agree with Mary.  Yes it would have been nice for them to give you a heads up, I would do so ... but as long as it arrives before it is mark lost, no harm done.  However, if she placed it in a blue box and it sat at the PO for awhile - that is out of their control.  You did the right thing by noting the information when marking the book received. 

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Just complete the survey and note the postmarked stamp on the book. If it happens too frequently, TPTB will be notified.

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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TPTB will be notified.

And I believe the sender will get an email from TPTB re the late-mailing.

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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They didn't put it in a blue box it was taken into the post office and mailed.  It had one of there stamp stickers on it, with the date on the sticker.  It had to have been marked mailed but then not mailed for one reason or another. 

I wasn't really even mad that this happened because I wasn't paying attention to how long it took.  I assumed it was in transit from the date marked mailed.  I was never concerned were the book was becuase it still hadn't been but  week or so.  I just think it was kind of rude to mark it mailed but not actually mail it, and not send a pm telling the me.

This was the first time I had this happen so I was just making sure that I did what I was supposed to do.  I was just making sure there wasn't something else I should have done.  

If this does happen alot then should I even worry about it in the future? 



Date Posted: 11/9/2009 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/16/2009
Posts: 18
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Not to belabor the point, but I know I buy a 10 $2.36 stamps at a time from the APC, then stamp books as needed and toss 'em in a blue box.

So the date of sale on the stamp is an indication of neither when nor from where I mailed something.

Still, 7 days seems like a long time for something to sit, absent a Federal holiday. I think you did the correct thing.

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 11/9/2009 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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I would actually rather not get an pm about it if the book is going to arrive within the alloted time before it goes missing by the system.  Not a big deal if somebody does send the pm, but I don't think it is necessary. 

I don't even look at the post mark dates on the books I recieve, just put them in my stack to read and mark them rec'd.  I do wish I didn't have to click thru 4 screens to mark a book rec'd, but also not a big deal. And maybe mark multiple books received at a time instead of each individually.......

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2009
Posts: 401
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If it's a few days when the book was actually mailed after the sender marked the mail date, then I really don't have a problem with it. But if it's a week or more them please send me a PM about the situation. Problems happen. But if it's a regular occurance, then it is going against the rules (not mailing the book when stated), and it is common curtesy to fellow PBS'ers to mail when marked. Someone might be really looking forward to getting that book. If one is constantly having to mail out later than marked date and constantly having problems, then put the account on hold until you can fulfill requests per PBS rules.

I had one sender mail out a book one month after the date marked! I PM'ed her and asked if it was actually mailed on marked date so I wouldn't have to order another copy. She apologized for mailing it out late and I'm glad she replied, but I wish she would have sent a PM to let me know. I start thinking about mail carrier theft when I don't receive a book after the normal time period for first class/media mail. After receiving and sending so many books, one has an idea of when the book will arrive, except for the rare trip accross the US and back to get from California to Arizona!

Sorry so wordy! But I guess this is a 'pet peeve' for me. Mail the book when you say you're going to or just decline the request if you can't. If it's going to be 2-3 days later, then send a PM.

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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You got the book. It arrived undamaged. Be happy and leave it alone - that's my motto.  I have plenty to read. If I don't get it, my credit will be returned. I don't even need a PM - unless it's going to go lost, which rarely happens.

And I have other things to worry about other than someone mailing a book late. . 

Last Edited on: 11/9/09 8:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/10/2009 1:10 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What Jane said.  Frustrating (personal peeve of mine also) but not much to be done about it ...so smile & be happy!

John, there's a difference between APC and PO counter postage.  APC can be used anytime so as you note the sticker date doesn't necessarily represent actual mailing date, but counter postage is mailing date for sure :D

ETA - IIRC PBS guidelines request senders pm if mailing is delayed...anybody seen it lately?

Last Edited on: 11/10/09 1:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/10/2009 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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This is what the everhelpful Help Center has to say:

Books that arrive with a late postmark need to be marked received normally, and the information about the postmark should be recorded in the survey portion of the Book Received page.

  • Providing the late postmark in the survey portion of the Book Received page will generate an auto-email to the sender of the book, reminding him or her that late mailing is not acceptable at PBS.
    • The email includes the information that the late postmark could have been entered in error
    • The email includes the information that sometimes postmarks are delayed a few days, even if the book was mailed on time
    • The email includes the information that if the late mailing was agreed to by the requestor, this is not a problem
  • You can contact the sender using the text box on the Book Received page:
    • Please be gentle!  You can't know what might have delayed this shipment
  • If the book was declared lost in the mail and you requested a second copy because you thought the first one was really lost:
    • If the postmark was from the week before the book was declared lost (or later!), and you got no notification from the sender that the book would be/was mailed late: you do not have to mark this book received (this is the ONE case in which you don't have to mark a received book received: if a very late mailer without notice caused you to reorder the book and end up with two copies).  
    • OR: You can mark it received to note the late postmark, and ask for your credit back in your Personal Message to the sender.  If you don't hear back/don't get the credit back within 3 days you should contact us using the Feedback link at the top of the Contact Us page.
    • You can also note this information about the late mailing in the Comments box at the bottom of the Book Received page, while marking the book received: this will go onto the sender's record.
  • A pattern of late mailing will cause account suspension and possibly termination of membership
    • Sometimes late mailing happens for very good reasons, but chronic late mailing will not be tolerated.

Last Edited on: 11/10/09 1:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/10/2009 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,348
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The Help Center also says that if you are mailing over 4 days late, you need to PM and get permission to still mail it:


If you marked the book mailed but did not mail it and you want to mail it late (more than 4 days after the date you marked it as mailed),  you MUST contact the requestor using the PM button on the transaction, to be sure that the requestor still wants the book.  (If the book has already been declared "lost", the PM button is on the "lost in mail" transaction in your Transaction Archive.)

  • If she replies that she does still want it you can mail it to her.  She can mark it received and you will get credit at that time.
    • If the book has already been declared "lost" she can mark it received from her Transaction Archive and you will get credit at that time.
  • If she replies that she does NOT want it (she may have gotten a copy from someone else in the meantime), you should NOT MAIL - you should ask us to cancel the "en route" transaction and you can repost the book for someone else to request.
  • If she does not respond to your PM, you should repost the book.  It will be offered to her automatically if she still wants a copy.
  • You should not mail a "lost" book to the original requestor unless she has confirmed that she still wants it in a Personal Message.  If you mail it and she has already gotten another copy, she will NOT be obligated to mark the book received, or to return it to you.
Date Posted: 11/10/2009 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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Late mailing is a peeve of mine too.  On a site like this where no public feedback is left, you essentially enter into a trust based relationship with a complete stranger every time you order via FIFO, and you have little or no recourse if they violate that trust.  Your credit can be tied up for a month or longer waiting on a book that may or may not get there - no matter how much you do or don't want it now.   And unless you use delivery confirmation (at extra cost) you have no guarantee that your book will be marked received so that you will get your credit for something that you have incurred expense to send.

When you order via FIFO, as I assume most of us do, every member is accorded the same level of trust and assumption of reliability as every other member, regardless of past behavior.  Late mailing erodes that trust, which is a bad thing on a site that's largely based on trusting your fellow members.

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Thanks Patty, that's the info I was remembering  :)

Well said Sharon, thanks for sharing.

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 3:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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I agree that its not really a big deal that it got mailed late because I realize things happen.  However the sticker that they had to have purchased from inside the postoffice said they mailed november 2nd so that would mean that they didn't mail it for 11 days after they marked it.  I looked it up after everyone here was saying that if wasn't a big deal and also found what Cozette and Patty found.  Which is very helpful info thanks guys for putting it on here.  So really she should have pm'd me cause it was more than 4 days.  But like I said I'm not mad that she mailed late its just nice to pm someone if your going to mail late.  

 I didn't know they would send the email to her saying it was mailed late, so I was just needing the info on that.  I still don't want to get anyone in trouble and had they pm'd me I probably wouldn't have even put the date mailed on the recieving page.  So its kinda not in your best interest to not pm a member.  It might make a difference to the amount of marks you get on your account. 

Also susan I just had 3 books this month go lost so it does happen.  And they seem to happen all in a row then level off for a while.  LOL. 

Last Edited on: 11/17/09 3:42 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/17/2009 6:33 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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Not to belabor the point, but I know I buy a 10 $2.36 stamps at a time from the APC, then stamp books as needed and toss 'em in a blue box.

Tom, I had never thought of doing that, and it seems like an excellent idea to save trips to the PO.  I'm wondering, though - how often (if ever) do you receive "You mailed the book late" emails?  I think those count as "black marks" on an account too.  Do you usually use the 10 stamps up within a week?

My book orders seem to come in "waves" where sometimes I could go several weeks without any order, and then get 4 or 5 orders in one day.  If I bought a bunch of APC stamps, it would more often look like the book was late.

One other question re APC stamps:  let's say you buy one $2.38 which is good for a paperback.  But mailing a hardcover over a pound would require additional postage.  Does the fact that there at least one APC stamp allow you to drop the book into a blue box?  Even if it's in combination with regulard postage stamps?

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If you buy a bunch of APC stamps at once then the books would look like they were mailed really early (like before the book was requested) not like they were mailed late. Because they would have the date of purchase on them.

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 8:45 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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d'oh!  You're right, Mary!  LOL, must've still been asleep when I asked that question 

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
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Yes, Debbie, the APC stamp gets you around the 13oz rule even if you add stamps.

I do that too and I've used some 6 months after I printed them. Never had a problem

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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Great to know - thanks Melanie!!

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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APC looks different than counter postage.  Occasionally I've noticed a date that seems off when logging in books, look again and *duh* it's APC :-)  No worries, it works out fine tho!