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Topic: Is it okay...

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Subject: Is it okay...
Date Posted: 10/22/2013 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2013
Posts: 6
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to PM a member and confirm their address before I ship something out.  I've been a member for less than 6 months and have gotten two incorrect addresses.  I haven't shipped that many books either and it's frustrating, to say the least. 

Thanks.

Angie F.

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
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You can.  But basically PBS will always side with the sender if the receiver failed to update their address.  (It is part of our terms of use.) 

If you try to do this, I recommend selecting the last possible mailing date.  As there will be members who fail to get back to you.

PBS asks us to contact the receiver about bad addresses, then report them.  They will put the account on Hold until they hear back from them.

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I have nothing to add to Emily's comments except to say that I'm sorry this has happened to you.   I've sent almost a thousand books in my years as a member, and I think I've only it returned to me for incorrect address once or twice.   So in my experience this is very unusual.  As Emily said, members are expected to update their addresses and there are penalties if they don't.

 



Last Edited on: 10/22/13 1:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/22/2013 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,337
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There's no rule against that kind of a PM, although I've never received or sent one.  You'd have to decide what you are going to do if you don't hear back from the member.  Most members would find it to be an unusual request -- transactions here are designed to flow without the need of a PM -- but if you explain that you're fairly new here and had two packages returned to you, and just need the reassurance, many members would understand that. 

All addresses have to be confirmed as being valid in the USPS database when they are entered here.  So if you are printing out the address label, the main reasons that an address would be wrong would be if the member moved and didn't change his address or if the Post Office made a delivery mistake (or the address became unreadable).  In the former case, the member would be responsible for covering your postage to send the book again.  In the latter case, the Post Office will send it again 'under cover' at no additional cost.  And of course if you are handwriting an address, an error in transcription is a possiblity.  So it does happen, but I'm so sorry you had to deal with this twice now!  If it happened recently, please look at this help doc for instructions:

I book I sent was returned to me!

 

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
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Patty is the wise experienced voice.  That said, I use an inkjet printer.  Any hint of moisture basically smears the address.  I make sure to put a piece of shipping tape over the address. 

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,951
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I've mailed more than 1000 and I've never had a bad address. I would have to believe that it's a pretty rare issue, although it's happened before, of course. You are printing the labels and not hand-writing them, right? (Just checking).

If you are hand-writing them ... make sure your handwriting is crystal clear. I'll just put it out there ... my DH, for one, has atrocious handwriting, and I try to never ever let him fill out any important forms (if I really want to receive the papers from whatever he is filling out). He believes, by the way, that his handwriting is just fine.

 I do put tape over the address when I tape the mailing label on.

I think you should also contact the members involved in the 2 books that you had with bad addresses and get your credit back from them, if possible. PBS does enforce that the mailing address MUST be correct and updated. If you don;t get any response from the other members involved in the transactions, try contacting PBS directly and see if they can help you get your credits back.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 10/22/2013 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,145
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Is it possible that the two bad addresses were actually label mix-ups? If you have multiple active transactions, it's easy to print the wrong label by mistake. You can avoid this by making sure to print only one wrapper at a time and always checking the book title that's printed on page 2 of the wrapper (or the bottom of the 1-page wrapper) to make sure it matches the book you're wrapping.

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2013
Posts: 6
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Even though I am a PBS newbie, I am not a shipping newbie.  :)  I have shipped lots and lots of stuff.  I carefully hand write each address.  I triple check it.  I tape over it.  I am a good shipper.  I have people who will vouch for me.

PBS did give me my credit back on the first.  I never heard from the first person, themselves, though.  The second is actually in progress right now.  PBS gave me the member's old address. PO marked it as delivered over a week ago.  We'll see if it returns here.   I have let PBS know.

Just a hassle and frustrating.  I'm not so worried about my credits.  I don't things getting lost on my watch.  :)

Thanks,

Angie F.

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2013
Posts: 6
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"I just don't like things getting lost on my watch."  I can't type.  :)

To answer someone else.  It was the only thing I mailed out at that time and the PO tracking confirms the destination city.

Thanks,

Angie F.

Date Posted: 10/23/2013 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,751
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Angie, it's not "PBS giving old address", it's the requestor who did not send PBS their new address. 

My first 16 months of membership here I moved three times (military family in transition for a year after hubby retired), PBS was always on top of things and immediately made my address changes as soon as I sent them out.

I can't believe the people here who have admitted, "oh, I forgot to send them my new address!"  WHAT????

Date Posted: 10/24/2013 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,272
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There unfortunately are many, many people out there who move and assume that the PO will forward all their mail but usually the PO will not forward media mail...I've had it returned to me, postage due. Also, more than once when a book I sent has "gone lost", it has turned out that the receiving member moved and did not update their address and when they've returned to their old address, there was the book. Frustrating no matter how you cut it! It does not happen that often, but if you are sending lots of books, like I do, it happens more often than it should.

Date Posted: 10/24/2013 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I got distracted with our moving preparations and didn't change my PBS address quite as soon as I should have.  This resulted in several books being forwarded to my new address at my own expense...besides having to hunt up the new PO and stand in line.  It's my understanding that Media Mail will be forwarded if there is a (current) forwarding address.  Could probably be returned if the receiver doesn't pick-up (and pay additional postage) within the alloted time before USPS has to return it?

There are other legitimate reasons for mail to be returned, such as severe weather, natural disasters, USPS error, etc.  I've also mailed over 1,000 books without an incorrect address, so hopefully you've used up your share of bad address karma!

Date Posted: 10/24/2013 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
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There is an option to select on the USPS address form, to state that you will pay for media mail to be forwarded. 

If it isn't noted, then it really is a local decision.  I think it can be returned, fowarded, or tossed.  Addition postage can be charged. 

(Part of this is also if the new address is within the same branch office or not.  Moving within a town is much more likely to be forwarded.)