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Topic: is it ok to decline due to an APO address?

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Subject: is it ok to decline due to an APO address?
Date Posted: 9/27/2015 7:38 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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I don't know why but they go lost. I lived in Germany over 20 years ago, had an APO address and the only time things took 30 days or better to arrive was nov and dec due to Christmas mail. I don't use pbs postage so I lose a credit every time this happens.
Date Posted: 9/27/2015 8:13 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,667
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it's okay with me. veteran here.

Date Posted: 9/27/2015 8:50 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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My husband is a veteran too. :-)
Date Posted: 9/27/2015 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 736
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Sending to  APO/FPO/DPO addresses requires a customs form and a trip to the PO (there can be other restrictions as well).  Senders may not wish to make the extra effort.  Because of this, requests that are to be sent to an APO/FPO/DPO address must have Requestor Conditions attached (the system attaches these automatically).

Requestor Conditions allow sending members to decline a request without penalty.

  • A sending member can click  
    • and that book will go back to the sending member's bookshelf in the same FIFO position as before
    • it will be the next copy of that ISBN to receive a request from the system
    • If the request is a Wish List offer, the sender can decline this way and the book will be offered to the next Wishing member, if there is one


We believe that most PBS members will want to support those who are serving our country abroad. However, that support may not include a willingness to complete customs forms and make trips to the Post office, if those are necessary.  This is a personal choice. We will not force any member to make the extra effort required to support our  APO/FPO/DPO members, and we will not penalize any member for declining to do so.

  • Customs forms for overseas addresses are brief and easy to fill out; they can be obtained from the PO
  • Packages being mailed to an APO/FPO/DPO address do need to be handed to a postal employee at the PO, for National Security reasons.
Date Posted: 9/27/2015 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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Mine has nothing to do with custom papers, i could care less about that.
Date Posted: 9/27/2015 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,239
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Sure you can decline APO/DPO, etc.,

I've never had a book go lost that went to an APO/DPO, Virgin Islands, etc.  Takes a long time to get there sometimes, but they usually do.  I know when we lived in Europe back in the Dark Ages, it took forever to get anything, even mail, as it all went by ship back then, so we looked forward to anything we got from the States and really appreciated it. Pat

Date Posted: 9/27/2015 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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Maybe they don't truly go lost. .they may not be marking it. I just know they go lost the very few times I sent and I lose the credit.
Date Posted: 9/27/2015 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 15,296
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I always mail to APO/DPO but then I use PBS postage.

The only thing that stops me from fulfilling a request is an RC I can't meet or an RC that's so subjective the Pope couldn't meet it. (And there are some of the latter.)

Date Posted: 9/27/2015 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 537
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Even if something is late and "times out", when it finally arrives the recipient should mark it received, and then you will get your point. Is that not happening for you? If so, I'd follow up with them and if they don't respond, PBS admin. Especially now that there's USPS tracking by default on media mail, you will know when it arrives, even if you don't spend the extra for PBS credit assurance.

I happily send to APO etc., as well as AK/HI/PR, and media mail is so much faster on average than it used to be years ago; I haven't had anything time out in a while, although most of my recent transactions happen to be within the 48.

Date Posted: 9/27/2015 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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Face it, there are folks who will never be able to accept an APO request. Too far from the post office. Small kids at home with a busy post office. Housebound. It happens. There should be no guilt at turning down any RC. 

I do try and honor the APO requests. But I can't always get to the counter. 

Date Posted: 9/28/2015 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,567
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We lived in Germany with an APO address the first year I joined PBS. Almost every dang book took longer than the 'expect delivery date' so were marked 'lost' in the system til I marked them received.  It was very frustrating on my end to have all these senders mad at me every time I ordered a book.  But I always got them and marked them received immediately.

I have had no problems sending to APOs, Guam, HI or AK so am happy to keep sending to our members overseas.

Date Posted: 9/28/2015 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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I guess the difference is that I never get the marked received. I have when I send to Hi, and PR. I too lived in Europe and sure stuff can take long..but I got my packages. Mine either aren't being received or they aren't being marked as received. It has nothing to do with not wanting to send to apo for anything other than I lose my credit. Also, I shouldn't have to spend extra money to get the credit.Again, maybe they really are lost and maybe they don't mark received, I don't know. The very few times this has happened to me, I get no PM response and the book never gets marked received.
Date Posted: 9/28/2015 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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Please do contact PBS if there is no PM response. PBS is pretty strict that there needs to be responses to problems. This could fit under that category.

I would expect at least a response that they know how to mark a Lost book as received and will do so as soon as it arrives. 

Date Posted: 9/28/2015 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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Ok, thanks Emily!
Date Posted: 9/28/2015 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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I think I've mailed to 2 APO addresses in the whole time I've been here.  Didn't have your unfortunate experience, but I may have used PBS postage when I did mail, so I got credit right away.  Personally, I don't have a problem the small additional expense of PBS postage on those few occasions.  (No judgment on those who choose otherwise, just speaking for myself.)  I feel badly for people living overseas who might not get books because they're serving our country.  sad

Date Posted: 9/29/2015 8:59 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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Depends on where you are but there are books to be bought in the px and now you can order books too. My family members use BAM that are stationed overseas. Before the internet ordering, I bought at the P/X..friends in England just bought in the b/x or on the economy. Even when my dh was in Iraq the second time and Afghanistan, they could get books. The selection isn't huge but it's there. I just don't want it put out there that soldiers don't have any books if someone from pbs doesn't give it to them. With having some selection, all the book donations, ability to order (and BAM will send to the p/x), etc soldiers have books. Stupid offhand thing, some soldiers, even male soldiers knit for stress relief..p/x's sell yarn..again not the huge selection but something. I lived on the economy over 20 years ago when my dh was stationed there..I bought books, shampoos, etc..all on post..my choices were limited but I had some..now there's more options.I was there from 1989-1994.
Date Posted: 9/29/2015 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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Michele, if you're responding to my comment, perhaps I stated it poorly.  I didn't mean to suggest that they didn't get any books... I would just hate to see them excluded from PBS selections because they're serving. 

Date Posted: 10/1/2015 12:19 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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What Emily said.  About the only time PBS members are required to respond to pm's is in the case of a 'problem' swap...such as lost (or potentially lost) books.  If the book is near or beyond the lost date, you pm and do not receive a reply in several days, then do forward the matter to PBS admin.  The other member does not have to agree with you (in the case of a RWAP) or mark the book received if it hasn't arrived...but they do have to respond.

ETA - Yes, you may decline any and all requests you choose...guilt free.



Last Edited on: 10/1/15 12:20 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/2/2015 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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I did write PBS because the book is still saying that it departed usps facility in NJ on 8/29. I pmed her shortly after the book was sent so she had the tracking. She responded to that..meanwhile she didn't respond to my pm asking if she received it yet, but did read it, and PBS told me she answered the first one so that's ok. Tracking of course means nothing and since it's lost she can mark it received from her transaction page. I lived in Germany 25 years ago and unless it was Christmas mail time, items weren't taking this long to get to us.