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Topic: Member using incorrect address

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Subject: Member using incorrect address
Date Posted: 2/4/2008 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,233
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OK, I am just venting here: I just got a book back that I mailed three weeks ago (thank goodness I used DC!) that the delivering post office marked as "no such number"...when I looked up the details of the order I noticed that since I sent it -- using the PBS wrapper -- the member has changed their zip code, everything else is the same, and this obviously is the reason it was returned to me undelivered.

But here's the thing...if I hadn't used DC, it would not have been returned to me and I would have lost the credit because it was "lost in the mail". Is it fair that I would have had a book declared "lost in the mail" because the requesting member didn't know their zip code? I would have lost the credit and Lord only knows how many other books this member ordered using the wrong zip code from other members -- who have lost credits because of the requesting member's error.

Aaaarrrrgggghhhhhh!

Date Posted: 2/4/2008 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/14/14 12:17 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/4/2008 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,414
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zip codes do change too, for a while the old zip code will still get the mail to the right place but eventually it doesn't.  The member may not have known about that.

Date Posted: 2/4/2008 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2006
Posts: 51
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I once had a wrapper print the wrong address out on it.  I was printing 2 wrappers for 2 different books.  Luckily I looked at the addresses on the wrappers and noticed that part of the addresses were the same.  I reprinted the second wrapper and everything came out just fine.  It could have been a system glitch. 

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 2:42 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2007
Posts: 181
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Why wouldn't the book have been returned to you if you hadn't used DC?

In the "settings" section, you're given a choice between using your own return address or the PBS return address.  It says:

"Which return address would you like to use for the book wrappers? Please keep in mind if you choose to use the PaperBackSwap address any books that get returned to us will become ineligible for credit."

Has something been changed?

 

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 8:25 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,440
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Mistakes happen. I doubt the person input their zipcode in wrong on purpose. Chances are they discovered it was in there wrong and fixed it. I'm sorry you're upset about this and luckily you did use DC but stuff happens and sometimes it can't be helped.

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 8:34 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,689
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The DC was not the reason your book was returned...your book would have been returned even with out it but, you would have had to pay for the returned postage but, you would have gotten your book back.

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2007
Posts: 181
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This is the first time I've heard of having to pay postage on something that's returned because it can't be delivered .  Are you sure about that?  I used to do bulk mailings in my job and I know that mail is just discarded unless the sender marks it as returnable (I forget the wording); back then it cost $.25 for each returned piece but we did it occasionaly to help clean up our mailing list), but I never heard of a fee for other mail.

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 12:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,689
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If you mail a book using Media Mail and it comes back yes, (Per the post office) you have to pay the return postage if you want the book back.

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/14/14 12:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/9/2008 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2007
Posts: 181
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H-m-m, that's an interesting little tidbit I've never seen mentioned anywhere before.  Not that it's a big issue for me since I don't expect it happens very often (and so far, in getting close to 200 transactions, it's never happened to me--sh-h-h, don't tell the postal gods or for sure the next time I send something out...), but, stiil, it would be nice to know.  I wanted to see exactly what the postal service had to say about it, but I couldn't find anything at their web site.  Of course, finding information about media mail in general at the UPSP site can be a little difficult.  I can remember the days (pre-PBS for me) when half the time the postal clerks didn't know about what was then called "book rate".  The computers that they now use to calculate postage are a big help. 

Date Posted: 2/10/2008 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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I found it for you, Mary Anne. It is at the end of the section where they discuss Ancillary service endorsements which are used to request an addressee's new address or provide the USPS with instructions on how to handle undeliverable-as-addressed pieces.

"No Endorsement:"

"Same as USPS action for "Forwarding Service Requested," except Bound Printed Matter disposed of by USPS. Parcel Post, Media Mail and Library Mail with no endorsement obligates the mailer to pay any applicable forwarding and return postage charges at the Package Services single-piece rate (507.1.5.4)."

Date Posted: 2/10/2008 7:04 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I wonder if the zip code was changed but even still, I'm more surprised it wasn't delivered with the wrong zip code. I've often gotten my mail despite the zip being wrong. Of course i live in a small city area not a big metropolitan one which might make a difference.

Date Posted: 2/10/2008 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Mary Anne, you could have asked your question in the USPS forum here at PBS.

Anything to do with postal regulations and questions... (from the Forum description under Discussion Forums)



Last Edited on: 2/10/08 8:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/18/2008 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2007
Posts: 181
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I wonder if the zip code was changed but even still, I'm more surprised it wasn't delivered with the wrong zip code.

Ha!  You're lucky your post office is so helpful.  Many big city ones--and I suspect, many smaller ones, too--aren't.  Some years ago I was en route from the U.S. to Africa.  I wrote a letter to someone in New York City on the plane and mailed it during my changeover in Paris.  Weeks later the letter came back to me in my small African town marked "no such address" or something to that effect.  I couldn't figure out what was wrong with the address, which was that of a close friend.  When I looked at it carefully, I discovered that I had used the wrong zip code, having substituted my old zip for my friend's.  The two were right next to each other.  Perhaps it was because of machine sorting or something (although I don't think that was as common then as it is now), but really, you would think--or at least I would think--that someone at the post office might have noticed what the problem was and successfully re-routed the letter rather than letting it travel all the way to Africa.



Last Edited on: 2/18/08 4:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/18/2008 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2007
Posts: 181
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Mary Anne, you could have asked your question in the USPS forum here at PBS.

Thanks for the suggestion but my question was entirely related to the conversation on this thread, not something that I occurred to me as an independent question.  The post office thread is a big help, though, and I've found it useful in other circumstances.

Date Posted: 2/18/2008 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2007
Posts: 181
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Thank you, Sherry.  I don't know why but I frequently have a lot of difficulty finding relevant information at the USPS site, although when I have the time and am determined enough I can usually get what I want eventually.  Perhaps I need some lessons from you on how to do good detective work at that site so I can find things more easily.

Mary Anne

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 1:10 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 2,024
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You don't always have to pay for returned Media Mail. I had a book that went lost way back in October. When the book finally got scanned in January the addressee had moved. It finally came back in the beginning of this month. I didn't have to pay for the returned book.

Last Edited on: 2/19/08 1:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/19/2008 2:33 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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That is true, Kirstin, just as some of the PO clerks don't know what Electronic DC is, and that you can include incidentals related to the media mail item, so does it happen that some don't know they are supposed to charge return postage when a media mail pkg comes back.

Unfortunately, for me, the one that brought one of mine back, the other didn't, so they only cost me half price! hahaha

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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I wish the training in the post office was better. When you get hired, they throw reams of paper and information at you. There is no way to absorb the many rules that need learned other than by doing the job over time. Then as time passes, you are just expected to know your job. A few things are taught over and over but most are just in the manual. I am constantly learning new things and remembering others after more than 10 years in the postal service. I am the goofy one that likes my job and reads the manuals!

More items are being returned to sender now without a human even getting a look at it. The automated equipment reads the address and if it is not in the database, back it goes. Other times, the address is so vague, or the street exists in several nearby zipcodes and we cannot guess where it goes without knowing the person.  Many post offices have newer employees that do not know where to send it or believe you should be notified of your error so you can send it right the next time. We cannot spend much time trying to fix an addressing error and still get the mail delivered.

Date Posted: 2/20/2008 12:48 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2007
Posts: 181
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Well, my addressing error happened about thirty-five years ago when humans still did things like look at mail and answer telephones.  I know nowadays it's a lot different.  My mother was a banker and she remembers the days when they would call somebody and tell them they didn't have enough in their checking account so the person could come in and make a deposit or whatever rather than bouncing a check .  How things change!

Training at the post office must be a huge challenge--so many rules and situations, many of which a postal clerk will see only once in a blue moon.  At least in our local post offices the new computers are a huge help as far as I can tell from the point of view of a customer.  And we have the nicest mail carrier, he's absolutely great.



Last Edited on: 2/20/08 12:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 1