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Topic: Marking mailed too late?

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Subject: Marking mailed too late?
Date Posted: 4/21/2011 1:39 AM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2009
Posts: 13
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I live on the West Coast of the US so I'm on Pacific time.  I work in the afternoons to early evening and will mail a book on my way to work, then mark it mailed that night.  This last weekend I had a book request on Saturday (which is my Sabbath so I don't do PBS transactions then).  I marked that I would mail later (deadline for tonight).  I ended up so busy Sunday through Tuesday that I had no time to work on it, so I prepared it Tuesday night late, took it out the door with me today and mailed it . . . and got home tonight after the "mail by" deadline, since that's set for 11:00 p.m. EST and I didn't get home till after that.

Am I going to be penalized for being a half hour late for the deadline?  (I marked it mailed when I could, and didn't see anything about that, but I'd like to be sure.)  Is there some way that the deadline can be 11:00 p.m. for the time zone I'm actually in so I have time to mark it in the evening before it's too late?  I don't want to mark something mailed until I actually have done so, but I don't usually have access to a computer at work with any free time to do my own things on it, so I can't mark it mailed there.  Normally I try to do it a bit ahead of time but this weekend was just crazy.

Date Posted: 4/21/2011 1:50 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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No Destiny, if the 'mailed' button was still available then you should be good to go.  IIRC PBS has a 48 hour window for mailing. 

If the 'mailed' button has disappeared but the book has been recently mailed, you would quickly pm the receiver and let them know the situation as they would then place the book on hold so they do not receive two copies.  Your book can then be marked received from their transaction archive.

Date Posted: 4/21/2011 2:51 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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The deadline is 11:00, but the system usually rolls over around 3:00 EST, which is about midnight for us west coasters.  As Denise said, as long as you could still click that you mailed it, you are totally fine. 

Date Posted: 4/21/2011 4:31 AM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2008
Posts: 694
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Even thought you don't normally mark mailed before it is mailed, in a situation like this one you might want to consider doing that.  PBS says if you think you might have trouble getting on to mark mailed that you can mark mailed ahead. I don't usually like to do that but have if I feel it's necessary. 

Date Posted: 4/21/2011 7:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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As others have said, as long as you could still click the "book has been mailed" button it wasn't too late. If you WERE too late, the transaction would have been cancelled and you wouldn't have been able to mark it as mailed...then you would need to PM the requestor to let them know what happened and hope that it was not a wishlisted book that had already been offered again to the person. It can be a bit of a mess.

This is why I always mark mailed BEFORE leaving the house. I have a 10-minute commute to work and drop my books in a blue box in front of work, so it's less than an hour after I mark them mailed that they are in the mailbox, and that way I don' t forget later.


Date Posted: 4/21/2011 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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Yeah, if you're mailing within 48 hours of marking it mailed, you are still okay. 

From the Help Center:

A book must be mailed within 48 hours of marking it mailed

  • It is okay to mark your book mailed before you have mailed it if:

    • The deadline date falls on a postal holiday
    • Your computer/Internet access is unreliable
    • You plan to mail the book on your way out of town
  • It is not okay to mark your book mailed and delay mailing it for longer than 48 hours
Date Posted: 4/21/2011 12:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,090
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I mark books mailed when I wrap them (the night before I go to the post office).

It causes WAY less problems to mark a book mailed and then forget to mail it then it does to mail a book and not be able to mark it mailed.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 4/21/2011 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Sara, members that mark a book as Mailed and then forget to mail it (or for some reason find they cannot mail it) cause JUST AS MANY PROBLEMS as mailing a book without marking it as Mailed.  Frequently delayed mailings (postmarked more than two days after the date marked as Mailed) can jeopardize membership as much as frequently mailing books without marking as mailed (missing the transaction deadline).

Best to mark the book as mailed just after it has been mailed, or being unable to do that, mark it as mailed only after you have it packaged and ready to go (and you are certain you will be able to mail within two days).  Marking a book as mailed too early is just as bad as neglecting to mark it mailed and as a Tour Guide, I've seen some really messed up transactions and angry members when they have been told the book was mailed on a certain date, and it turns out the book wasn't actually in the mail until much later.

Members should try to mentally give themselves a little extra wiggle room whenever possible, and try to mail out their books BEFORE it gets down to the wire and they only have a short window of time left before the deadline (whenever possible, at least a day before the deadline date) .  I know this isn't possible in all cases, but it really helps one's peace of mind when it -can- be done.


Date Posted: 4/21/2011 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,090
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When someone marks a book mailed and forgets to mail it:

1. the system automatically fixes all the issues. The book automatically gets marked lost in the mail, the person who ordered the book gets their credit back, and the orderer gets put right back on the Wish List (if it was a WL book) all automatically. So, the only hting lost is time. Yes, it could be annoying ... but nobody has actually lost anything and they did not need to intervene or ask PBS for any help sinc ethe system does everything to fix this issue all by itself.

When someone mails a book and forgets to (or misses the timeline for)  mark it mailed:

1. The system automatically reorders the book for the orderer. So, right away the orderer of the book is in danger of getting two copies. Unless they figure out what happened and stop the second order. And that's if the sender lets them know in a timely manner. So, rigfht away in this situation, both the sender and the receiver have to start sending messages back and forth and hope that they can manually intervene in the system in time to stop extra books being mailed and whatnot. If they can't stop the second copy, then the sender in this situation has hurt themselves because they don't get a credit for the book they mailed. Or if the receiver decides to give them the credit anyway, then they are paying 2 credits for the same book. But either way, someone suffers a penalty. (And this is not to mention all the confusion that ensues if the first copy of the book arrives as a RWAP, too. Then you have an innocent third person with a RWAP against them, a book receiver who may or may not know that they are working with 2 orders of the books, etc ....)

My point is that in one case the system fixes every single issue automatically, and nobody suffers anything except waiting longer for their book ... and in the second case, unless the 2 people can commmunicate in time, then someone suffers a penalty. Not to mention, usually at least one person is confused about what happened and why they have 2 copies of the book.

Anyway, I remember at least two days where PBS was not available to be logged into ... when I was ready to print wrappers/mark books mailed. They do not give any notice whatsoever about having scheduled site changes that force them to go offline. And, they have been down as long as half a day, in my experience. Since I cannot count on being able to log into PBS whenever I need to, I have decided that it is best to mark books mailed when I print the wrapper, since I have to be logged in to proint the wrapper anyway. I don't print the wrapper until the night before I go to the post office. Then I print and mark mailed at the same time. Then I mail the next day. This is completely within the rules, and I avoid any situations where I am unable to mark a book mailed and then have to madly try to PM people and hope they log in frequently enough to fix the problems that a mailed-but-not-marked-mailed order causes.

Last Edited on: 4/21/11 5:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/21/2011 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,213
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From your timeline Destiny you had no worries and did exactly as you should have. You select your mail-by date and then you have 2 days after that to get it marked mailed in the system. They've allowed time for situations just like you ran into, where you were mailing towards the end of the deadline, but can't get to marking it as mailed until later.  The system is set up for you to mark the book once it has been mailed so they allot 2 full days after the mail-by date to give you room to come back and let the system know you did it. As long as you still have that Book Has Been Mailed button you are perfectly fine.