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Topic: Should I PM them? Possible MIA book

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Subject: Should I PM them? Possible MIA book
Date Posted: 3/29/2010 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2010
Posts: 311
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I requested a WL book that was mark mailed on 3/8, it says I am not allowed to contact PBS until after 4/5 to report it lost.  I know media mail varies and it can take a long time, but I have recieved many books from farther away in the meantime.  Should I contact the sender about the book at this point? Or wait until after the PBS deadline of 4/5?  

Date Posted: 3/29/2010 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,693
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I'd wait until the "gone lost' time but, that is just me

Date Posted: 3/29/2010 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,540
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I usually wait until a day or two before it goes lost to contact the other member.  I'm PM them if I didn't get it in the mail on Saturday.

M.E. (ryenke) -
Date Posted: 3/29/2010 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2009
Posts: 625
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I have seen so many posts in which people say they get really annoyed with these types of PM's (especially those that are not very late in the alloted time period)  that I would wait until the last day or two as well.

A releated question.  For those of you who have sent such a PM - how do you word it so it doesn't sound rude or snarky? 

I will be in a position to need to send such an e-mail for the first time if a book doesn't arrive very soon, and I'm not at all good about wording things, so any advice would be welcomed. 

Date Posted: 3/29/2010 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,916
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Try this:

Hi, I see that the book I ordered from you "Book X" is about to be marked lost in the mail. I just wanted to let you know that I have not received this book yet. I will be sure to mark it received if it arrives after it gets marked lost. If you happen to remember any reason why it might be taking longer in the mail than usual, please let me know, I'd appreciate it.  Thanks!

M.E. (ryenke) -
Date Posted: 3/30/2010 12:35 AM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2009
Posts: 625
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I'll tweak it a bit, Sara  - my problem is it is a wish list book with over 100 wishers, but that helps me a whole lot!  Thanks!

Date Posted: 3/30/2010 12:45 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Well done Sara!

Date Posted: 3/30/2010 1:55 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 16
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Why would you pm the sender about this anyway? They system after so many days will return your credit to you. The sender marked it mailed. You should assume they were telling the truth. About a week after its lost, if it still doesn't arrive then maybe order another copy. I just personally don't get bothering the sender with this.

Date Posted: 3/30/2010 2:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,203
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I've  PMd a couple days before it goes lost and say something simple like: "Bummer. Looks like Book x could possibly go lost. I will let you know right away when/if I receive it." Then I let it go.

I think I've done that twice in the 3 years I've been here. The other couple of times things went lost were different circumstances.



Last Edited on: 3/30/10 2:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/30/2010 7:31 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,916
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Why would you pm the sender about this anyway?

Because it is a Wish List book and the OP doesn't want another copy ordered automatically by PBS if this one is really on its way. .... Even if a second copy gets ordered, if she receives the first copy and it was mailed within PBS's rules, she is required to mark it received, too, thus spending 2 credits on the book.

Sometimes you find out that someone forgot to mail the book, or the package came back to them, etc. and they just didn't let you know. Sometimes you get no additional information from the sender.

If the messages are polite, I don't see why it is a big deal.

Date Posted: 3/30/2010 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2010
Posts: 311
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Why would you pm the sender about this anyway? They system after so many days will return your credit to you. The sender marked it mailed. You should assume they were telling the truth. About a week after its lost, if it still doesn't arrive then maybe order another copy. I just personally don't get bothering the sender with this

 

It wasnt that i didnt think they had actually mailed the book.  This has not happened to me before and I was not sure how it was normally handled.  I would be upset to know a book a mailed never made it and that I would lose the credit for it. 

Date Posted: 3/30/2010 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,540
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You would PM the other member about it because the PBS Help Center tells you that you should contact them to find out if there was any delay in mailing the book.

What you should do if a book you requested is declared Lost in the Mail:

  • Contact the sender, to find out if mailing was delayed for some reason.
    • you can do this from your Transaction Archive, using the PM button on this Lost transaction in that list.
  • If the mailing was not delayed, the sender should call 800-ASK-USPS or go to http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MLNtRcvd.aspx (the Postal Inspection Service's website) and input the information online there . This will help USPS try to recover the book if it truly has been lost in the mail.
  • Don't re-request the book for at least 2 weeks, unless you are willing to run the risk of getting two copies (and paying a credit for both).
M.E. (ryenke) -
Date Posted: 3/30/2010 9:08 AM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2009
Posts: 625
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Oh, Sarah got there before I did. (thanks for finding that quote!) Why PM?  Because that's what PBS guidelines say to do.

I found that same thing in the rules when I started to look into it (because circustances make me suspect the trader never mailed this book).  I never knew the PBS guidelines said to PM before, but I'm going to follow the rules to the letter on this transaction. 

Date Posted: 3/30/2010 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,285
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Alyson-

I'm in FL too... and I just had one of my outgoing shipments go MIA for the first time (and it had 2 WL books in it too!!)  I have another one I sent out Media Mail to the FL Panhandle on March 11, and that one hasn't been marked received yet, either (and it didn't even need to leave the state!)

I'm starting to wonder if there's some kind of problem with the Media Mail in FL- I've never had this happen before, and I've sent out a LOT of books!  All the books I'm sending out First Class are being received with no problems.  This seems to have happened within the last month or so...

Anyone else noticing a problem?

Date Posted: 3/30/2010 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I usually PM a week before the book will "go lost".  I've never had anyone complain and in two instances this ended up in the books being mailed after my PM.  One person sent me a return PM apologizing for forgetting to mail it, the other just mailed it and didn't let me know.  I knew because I was watching the delivery confirmation.

Date Posted: 3/30/2010 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2010
Posts: 311
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Debbie - not sure where in Fl you are but I have noticed the batch of books I mailed out a few weeks ago have not gotten where they need to go yet, and before that my books that I sent out were being delievered quickly.  It seems from the sending end that things have slowed down.

Date Posted: 3/30/2010 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I've  PMd a couple days before it goes lost and say something simple like: "Bummer. Looks like Book x could possibly go lost. I will let you know right away when/if I receive it." Then I let it go.

I like this, and have sent something similar a few times.  I would personally appreciate getting such a PM concerning a book I sent, since I would want to know that it was MIA and not just that someone forgot to mark it. 

Date Posted: 3/30/2010 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If it's a book with DC then I don't PM unless it says it's delivered and I haven't seen the book (that happened once)

If it's not a WL book then I don't do anything.  If they are worried about it and PM then I'll say-didn't receive the book.  I might PM a week or two later before I reorder the book and ask if they really did mail the book.  (I have yet to get a response from anyone).

If it's a WL book, I will PM a day or two before and word it so that it sounds like I'm concerned that the book might have gone back to them for some reason and that I'm just trying not to end up with it back on my WL and 2 copies.  When really I'm wondering if they are going to PM and say "oops forgot to mail it out or I mailed it late".  But again-I've never gotten a response.

Date Posted: 3/30/2010 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,800
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I think the guidelines tell you what to do AFTER the book has been declared lost.    it does not say anythng about pming if you think its taking too long or if its about to go lost.

I woudl not pm someone before that time, if ever.  the system takes care of almost every situation.  I will get my credit back if it goes lost and I can re-request the book.  if it is a WL book I go back to the place I was before. 

Date Posted: 3/30/2010 10:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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What you should do if a book you requested is declared Lost in the Mail:

That says nothing about PMing before a book goes lost!!   I have 5 books in the mail.  I mailed them on March 15, 17, 22, 25 and 30.   And yet . . . the book I mailed the furthest I mailed on 25 also and it was marked received today.   You really can't go by when it's mailed because the service speed is so unreliable.   BTW - I don't think if the book is a wish list or not affects what you'd do at all.   ALL the guidelines apply to ALL the books, wishlisted or not.

Date Posted: 3/30/2010 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,800
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i am so glad someone else agrees with me.  i was beginning to think i read that all wrong!  lol

thx cozi

M.E. (ryenke) -
Date Posted: 3/30/2010 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2009
Posts: 625
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Yup, I read it wrong. 

Date Posted: 3/31/2010 1:24 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2008
Posts: 745
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I have mailed a book late before.  I got a PM that reminded me.  It was a book that was wrapped and addressed in the backseat of my car in a car accident .  After a week in the hospital, I was doing PT and seeing chiro for a week before I got a PM that sounded like the one sara wrote.  I was mortified.  I had totally forgotten about it and it was still in the backseat of the car at the insurance body shop.  I PMd the member back and apologized.  Offered to rewrap with another book from my shelf or cancel the order outright.  They were very understanding and told me to mail it anyway.  The book made it about 2 days before it was supposed to "go lost".  If they hadn't reminded me it would've been weeks before I would've even seen the book. 

I have also had a book returned to me with some unknown post office markings on it.  When I took it back to the post office they told me they weren't really sure why it was returned to me either since the postage and wrappping were fine on it.  I PMd the member in that case and remailed it.  Oddly it was a couple days later so the book must've taken some kind of a trip before making it back to my house.  I don't think the other person DIDN'T believe me...but I was glad that the postage meter thing stayed the same and the markings were still on the package so they could see I DID mail it when I said! 

Date Posted: 3/31/2010 7:38 AM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2009
Posts: 2,454
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A book was mailed to me on 3/5, but I never received it.  I got an auto-generated email from PBS today declaring the book Lost in the Mail.  It was suggested in the email that I notify the sender that the book was lost.

Date Posted: 3/31/2010 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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The PBS system is set up to handle just about every situation, and all this "PMing" back and forth, "what if this or that happens" drama before the PBS system deadlines take effect, just confuses some people. I realize that in some cases a book might  be left in the back seat, etc, but for the MOST part, the system works, books get mailed, and received within a reasonable amount of time.

I would be really annoyed if I got PMs prior to any deadlines.  That's just me. And I would not PM anyone else before a deadline unless there was something that they needed to know that was different or unusual about the transaction.

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