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Topic: Missing Book after 18 days?

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Subject: Missing Book after 18 days?
Date Posted: 8/15/2016 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2014
Posts: 36
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So I ordered a book 7/21 which wasn't accepted until 7/24 and then supposed to be mailed 7/28 from a next store state - it still isn't received now 18 days later. PBS says not to contact them for another 9 days but the PO regs say if I book is 7 days beyond expected delivery to file a missing claim and if it is lost and sent to their recovery depot - that depot only holds them for 10 days before I guess they allow the workers to keep it or whatever they do with abandoned property. A couple days ago I wrote the sender asking for the tracker # which is something I usually give automatically to the requestor when I mail their book anyway. Instead of the info they said oh their PO is in a remote location so things take longer - but remote local or not - it is just the next state over from me & we're talking PA & NY not the wilds of Alaska. I'm starting to wonder if this book was even mailed. It was a WL but plenty of other copies in the system. Anything I can do other than wait another 9 days to ask for PBS for my credit back? I asked the sender to at least check with the post office to find out where it is supposed to be but only got that be patient response. At least I got a response I guess.

Date Posted: 8/15/2016 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2014
Posts: 36
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Of course 2 minutes after I posted that I got the mail and the book was there but the post mark on the postage stamp was 8/12 not 7/28 so I guess that explains it.

Date Posted: 8/15/2016 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,531
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LOL Dodie, isn't that always the way?  Hope the book is in good condition for you! 

Date Posted: 8/16/2016 12:46 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,045
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A couple of thoughts.

Many senders may not have a tracking number to give you if 1. they mail with stamps, and 2. drop it in a blue box. I usually pre-purchase stamps for $2.61 from the APC machines in the post office lobby and keep them in my purse, stick them on a book package and drop it in a box and away it goes ... with no tracking (that I would have anyway). I'm sure it has confused some poeople when they see the "postage date" on their package is 3 months before they ordered the book ... but hey, not my issue.

My post office, which is not particularly remote, has started a new thing where they do not even scan books as "Accepted" until 2 (TWO!) days after they are physically dropped in the lobby box. And, I'm talking books dropped off in the PO lobby, before the box pickup on, say a Wednesday, doesn't get even scanned as "Accepted" until Friday. Since they've been doing this for several months, I have to assume they are now allowed to let the Media Mail sit unporcessed for a certain amount of time. And, I'm in a city. Who knows what they are doing in remoter locations.

There is NO need to ask for your credit back on unreceived books. When the "lost date" gets here, the PBS system will automatically refund your credit for a book that was never received. That's why PBS likes people to wait ... most problems get solved before the "lost date" with no further work needed by an actual person at PBS.

It's not uncommon for books to take longer than 15 days to arrive. I've ordered tons from here, and while I would say that most arrive in the 2nd half of the 2nd week after mailing, there is a good percentage that arrive in that 3rd week (and even a decent amount that arrive in the first week, although I hardly count on that).

Last Edited on: 8/16/16 12:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/16/2016 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,889
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You had the option when you marked the book 'received' to RWAP using the  'mailed late' option. It flags the sender's account so that PBS will 'watch' for future issues involving that member.

Date Posted: 8/20/2016 2:00 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 24,449
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Sara - tracking numbers (Label 400) can be picked up at your local PO or ordered from USPS.com free of charge.  It comes with a seperate number so you will have a copy of the number without having to write down all those digits.

Media mail can take up to 3 days for processing at each processing center it goes thru.  However, I don't think that applies to a delivery station.  At least here, every piece of mail that either comes across our counter, or is dropped in a mail drop box or blue box MUST be sent to the main processing center (the plant) every day.  The only time it waits is if it is dropped off after the cut off times for the blue boxes or mail drop boxes.  It might be different in a more rural area, but since I haven't worked in a rural area, I can't be sure.

Date Posted: 9/9/2016 12:07 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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BTW: lost, misplaced, or unclaimed mail goes to a central 'lost mail' facility, which IIRC is in Atlanta, GA.  Individual locations nor employees may keep 'lost' mail.


Date Posted: 9/9/2016 12:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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Sarah P.:

Tracking is free now with USPS.

I don't understand why users here don't provide the tracking numbers to their receivers.  I always do (doesn't even require using PBS postage).  

If you mail at the PO, they put tracking on it and it is on your receipt.

If you mail from home w/stamps, you just order those books of sticky label tracking numbers from USPS and stick 'em on your package.  They are FREE. 

Gone are the days of wondering where packages are.....that is why USPS started doing it, to compete with UPS and Fed Ex. 

I sure do appreciate when somebody does it for me since it requires a 30 mile round trip drive to my PO Box and I don't like to drive there if I don't have a package.  (I get my regular mail at home).  


PS. I live in a remote area but my small PO is instructed that ALL mail received is scanned before it leaves the facility.   

If media mail is not going out on the same day mailed, then it won't be scanned until it leaves.  That doesn't happen where I live since it is small and there is never "too much mail" unless its around holidays.

Of course larger POs will have to set aside lesser mail like media mail if their trucks are full  So maybe they only mail a few times a week, etc. But anything in that "bin" needs to be scanned bfore it leaves.

Last Edited on: 9/9/16 12:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/10/2016 1:43 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2014
Posts: 889
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Because I often post WishListed and other books in spurts, I often have a whole lot of books to mail out at one time. (Over a recent 1 to 2 week period, I sent out about 45 books with most of them being one in a package.)  I don't use PBS postage.  I can't see myself taking the time to write and send that many PM's to receivers with the tracking numbers. (Most receivers have been marking their books as received within a week of receiving, so it's rare that I need to PM them about receipt and only do so when it's about to time out.)  If PBS gave the ability to copy and paste the tracking number when you click the mark as mailed button, I'd gladly do it that way.

However, upon reading more of your post (Wintertriangle), I can understand your concerns with you having a long drive to pick up mail from your p.o. box. I also have a p.o. box, and even though it's only a few miles from me, I don't go to check it everyday.  So, in the future, whenever I see that the receiver has a p.o. box address, I'll send them a PM with the tracking number.