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Topic: PM'ing the recipient of a book

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Subject: PM'ing the recipient of a book
Date Posted: 7/25/2009 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2008
Posts: 169
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What is the appropriate action to take (if any) when the delivery confirmation shows that a book has been delivered, but the member has not marked the book received?


In my case, I waited 8 days after USPS DC said the book was delivered at their address before PM'ing the member to ask them to mark the book received. The member marked the book received within that same hour. I was a little irritated that the member did not mark the book received on the day they actually received the book, but at least I got my credit without any further hassle.

And I also realize the post office can sometimes do some crazy things... deliver the book to the wrong address and show that it's been delivered on DC. I sometimes get my neighbors mail, too.

Should I even be PM'ing them about this?

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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I have a similar problem at the moment.

The USPS DC says it was delivered on July 13th, I sent a friendly PM a week ago and the member came back saying she had been travelling and would collect her mail Tuesday (21st) and mark it recieved then.

So far nothing - I don't want to pester her with another PM but I would like to get the credit for having sent the book.  

Last Edited on: 7/25/09 2:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 7/25/2009 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I can only say that I had two books that showed they were delivered.  One to another town in New Jersey and one said account notified.  I use PBS/DC so I shouldn't have been concerned but I was.  I just get so antsy when someone doesn't get their book from me.

Turns out both people were on vacation and the PO was holding their mail.  I had PM'd one and the day I PM'd she marked it received because that was the day she got back from her vacation and picked up her mail!  The second person picked up her mail and marked it received without a PM.

Judith, maybe you should send another, PM.  Something like, sorry to bother you but you haven't marked the book received.  Is it acceptable?

What you really want to say is get off your duff and mark that book received so I can get my credit!!!  I wanna order more books fool!  Heh-heh

Good luck!


Date Posted: 7/25/2009 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If you used PBS DC then you got your credit and I don't think there's any need to keep PMing the recipient.  If they aren't active anymore then the system will mark it received instead of lost.  I have a book that DC says was delivered to me on Jan 8th and I have never seen this book.  I have another one where the DC was scanned an hour from on Monday and still no book. I would not be happy if these people were PMing me to ask why I have recieved the book.

I got a PM from someone like this recently. THey used DC so they had their credit. The DC was scanned on a Fri but did not show up in my mail box until late Monday afternoon (my mail comes around 4pm durng the week).  I got a PM Monday mornign asking why I haven't marked it received yet.

If you are buying DC from anywhere but PBS you are wasting your money because there is no credit guarantee.  I actually think buying DC on every book is a waste of money anywhere becuase the cost of DC quickly adds up to more than the cost of a lost book or credit. But that's just me.  I'd rather buy books with the DC money.

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I'm thinking of PM'ing the two recipients of WL books I mailed two weeks ago today. Earlier this year I had one book take forever to reach the requester, very nearly to "lost in the mail" so I know books can take a scenic route around the country.

 Now two books haven't been marked as received and I'm on a nail-biting binge. I've mailed books to California and they were marked received on the following Monday or Tuesday so I know the USPS is capable of great service. These last two books I mailed weren't going quite that far, went first class so delivery wouldn't take as long as Media Mail. The "don't contact us" date is 08/08/09 so there's like two more weeks before action can be taken - should I just hang in there? I know real life can get in the way and we can forget, or the computer goes wonky . . . . . .

And they are WL books which makes it worst - if someone has been waiting a long time for a book and it goes walkabout that can be such a disappointment.


Date Posted: 7/25/2009 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,816
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DONT PM THEM!!!!.  it has dc, you'll get your credit.

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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I certainly wouldn't PM after only two weeks.  The site generates automatic reminders to mark the book received when it gets close to the lost time.   You can never be certain either of media mail OR a person's situation.  

I wouldn't mind ONE PM if the DC said it was delivered and it hadn't been marked received after a few more days.   More than that - I'd feel was over the line.

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,353
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I would be upset if I got a message saying, "Why haven't you marked the book received, etc". .

I think if you use DC, you should leave the requester alone.  You've gotten your credit, and if the book goes lost, you still get your credit.  Especially at this time of year, people are on vacation and having their mail held. 

Fortunately, PBS has things in the system that take care of most of this stuff, and we really don't have to worry about it - unless we want to.  Pat

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I agree with Mary that it's a waste of money to buy DC unless it's PBS DC.  I only get it for the instant credit & credit assurance though.  I don't get it for information that could end up being incorrect:P

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Just because they weren't going far doesn't mean they will get there quickly. PMing after 2 wks would be very annoying to the sender.  There is a reason PBS gives books nearly a month to arrive before going lost. Someone sent me a book from PA nearly a month ago. They are only about 6hrs from me.  They used DC so I looked and the post office sent the book by truck to IOWA.  Then they sent it by truck to MD.  On Monday it was scanned at a PO about an hour from me and I still don't have this book. If this person was PMing me I would be really annoyed.  

I've sent books to France and had them arrive in 3 days and I've sent books one state over and had them take 3wks.  You just never know.

Last Edited on: 7/25/09 7:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/25/2009 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I don't do PBS postage (don't have a printer) and I don't usually get a DC when I mail from the post office so am operating on instinct alone.

I'l just be patient and wait to see what happens. I'd like to think my PMs aren't aggressive or confrontive - just a worried, concerned touching bases. I certainly wouldn't ask why they haven't marked the book as received. When the book, earlier this year, took weeks to get to the recipient she and I exchanged a number of e-mails. She ended up reassuring ME that she'd had books take forever to reach her so she wasn't too concerned. I've only had good experiences here at PBS, but I'd feel awful if the books got lost. I have a PO box so I've already checked there twice to see if the book(s) came back to me for whatever reason.

Thanks, everyone, for your input.

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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Geri, You're so right, that's exactly what I want to say.  And even more so as it is a WL book with few copies in the system. I'll give her the weekend before a gentle PM nudge again. 

Pioneervalleygirl, I agree with Cozette, and would not be too happy getting  PM after 2 weeks asking "Is it there yet?"

It takes as long as it takes Media mail for books to get to the recipient and there's a reason PBS allows 26 days before marking it lost.   You can check under Pulse of PBS to see how long it takes on average from/to any State combination.


Date Posted: 7/25/2009 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 547
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Let me share a story.  Many moons ago, on a Sunday morning, I received a PM from a receiver.  I can not remember the exact words but the PM basically said I need to know if/when you mailed my book.  "Most of my books arrive in 7 days".  Books that are not received in that amount of time are due to senders lying and not mailing on time.  I was concerned.  I didn't want a book to go lost.  So I checked my records.  I had mailed the book on Monday.  Along with 5 other books.  I specificly remembered the situation, because I had chatted with the PO worker while mailing stuff.  So I sent a polite PM stating that the book had been mailed on Monday with a pile of other books.  None of the other books had been marked received at this time and I'm sure the book will be in the mailbox tomorrow.   :)  Yes, I used the ":)" in my PM.  Well, I could see the foam coming out of his mouth in the next PM I received.  "I don't believe you", "I think you are lying" and "The postmark will prove me right" were just some of the pearls he dropped.  The next morning, all the other books were marked received.  His book, mysteriously, went lost, but was marked received within 24 hours of it going lost.  Hmmmm....

This Idiot (reported and is no longer  a member of PBS, though I don't think he was forced off) is why I'm 100% against PMing senders and receivers until the day before a book will be marked lost.  PBS has a great system where is constantly reminds you to mark your book mailed and received.  Most of us using the site are not idiots.  If you are using PBS DC, you got your credit, leave the poor receiver alone.  If you are using a different DC, don't punish the receiver.  Honestly, I've been home but extremely busy for the last week and I had 3 books that I need to mark received today.  Yes, I know the senders wanted their credits, but I have a sick DH celebrating his birthday today and I just haven't had a chance to mark those puppies received (though all the books were mail since Wednesday, so I doubt the senders have had enough time to worry about their credits on these books).

Patience.  That's what this site teaches best.


Date Posted: 7/25/2009 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,648
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I wouldn't PM anyone until the book's within a few days of going lost.  I don't use DC unless it's a book for a swap.  Even then, unless it's been over 3 weeks I don't check the DC number at all.

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 10:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
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You seem to have followed the steps spelled out in the Help Center. Even if people don't like the PMs that is what the site says to do, PM them a few days after the book is marked delivered. I usually wait a full week, maybe 2 if holidays are there and send a PM. I don't ask why they haven't marked it received, I say the DC has it scanned as delivered and I just want to see if they have in fact gotten the book so that I can have the PO start looking for it if they've mis-delivered it. Its not about the credit to me, its about the book getting to where it is supposed to. .

Last Edited on: 7/30/09 10:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Subject: Would you PM
Date Posted: 7/25/2009 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,442
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In a word, NO.....except for once. I generally will use PBS postage and mail the books and pretty much forget about it till I see that is was received and marked as so.  Not everyone has access to a computer every day. It would bug me to keep getting PM's. When I recieve the book, I'll mark it.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 11:51 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2008
Posts: 169
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I don't currently use PBS postage or DC. I should start doing that.

Date Posted: 7/27/2009 1:37 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Cozette, Sarah, Melanie. . .some great advice there :-) 

If the sender isn't using DC, I wouldn't pm for three weeks...shortly before it goes lost.  OK, there was an exception when I sent a book less than ten miles and eventually discovered that receiver had the book in hand 7 to 10 days before marking it received.  I only waited two weeks to pm that one; could have walked it there in an afternoon!  Receiver said she was 'busy' . . . well I was busy also, but didn't wait 10 days to wrap and mail her new book.  That's when I started using DC, more expensive but much less stressful :-)

If using PBS DC, I would also wait at least a week after it's scanned received.  My post offices scan DC's at the point of delivery (my mailbox), but others scan when received into the local post office - but may not be delivered for several days yet.  Since credit has already been transferred, the only point would be to offer assistance if the book actually hasn't been received.  Member to member courtesy, that I really care if the requestor received their book.

I've had one go missing in Warrendale, PA (one of those black holes of mail disappearances).  When it didn't show up leaving Warrendale (or delivered) after a reasonable time, the receiver and I exchanged pm's and did some searching.  This particular tale has a happy but mysterious ending, the book was anomously returned to me with a new label applied over my original shipping label and postage.  I was then able to successfully resend the book. 

Date Posted: 7/27/2009 2:09 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 262
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This particular tale has a happy but mysterious ending, the book was anomously returned to me with a new label applied over my original shipping label and postage.  I was then able to successfully resend the book.

That is really funny, Denise!  I honestly think some of the mail carriers are reading books on the sly!  There are a lot of books that go lost - and to where?  Someone's kitchen table, probably!   Afterf all, they know it's a book, right?

Recently, I kept wondering about a book that was coming and was really worried about it.  I know the sender was probably thinking I hadn't marked it received or something.  Well, it finally went LOST,  and then was delivered 2 days later!  So yes, patience is a huge asset here.  And believe me, you honestly can't believe that goofy little truck, either.  It's cute, but that is all....        :)      D.

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 129
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Bear in mind that DC stating delivered may not actually mean your recipient got it.  Case in point, in our mailbox just a few days ago was a package not addressed to either of the occupants here and not even this address!  It did not have DC, but if it had (hopefully the mail carrier would have noticed it didn't belong here) and was scanned, it would have shown as "Delivered" in the system while the recipient has yet never seen it.


In addition, in other locations on this forum are posts whereby some post offices mark (whether right or wrong) packages as "delivered" when received at the post office and not when actually delivered to the recipient.


If the book is close to being marked "Lost in the Mail" even though I always use DC and PBS postage, so I have my credit already, and if it is marked "Delivered" I may send a polite PM asking if they received the book as it has been indicated it was delivered on "X" date.  If they did not get it, they may wish to check with their mail carrier.  However, waiting this long may have draw backs.  If it was marked delivered weeks earlier, no mail carrier is going to remember a specific package from that far back among so many delivered since.


All that said, I did have one book earlier this year that was marked delivered in early Feb (approx 2-4th) but was not marked received by recipient until 22nd of Feb.  The story was her son had opened the package when it came in and shot out the door with it never telling her it had arrived, the condition, etc.  Just before it timed out, she marked it received.


So it can go either way.  I did not email that person when the book was marked delivered, perhaps it would have been marked sooner if I had.  It isn't about the credit, though, because I already got that, it is about ensuring the recipient gets what they requested and so far, I have not had any books vanish enroute, something I try hard to keep from happening.

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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Just today, I sent a PM for a book marked 'Delivered' a week ago. 

Within minutes I got a PM back apologising, and the book was marked 'received'. 

People generally act in good faith on PBS, others need a little nudge sometimes.

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2008
Posts: 166
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I wouldn't mind a PM if it had DC and was shown as delivered. I would like to know when I need to check into something with my delivery person/post office. On the other hand, I got a PM today about a book that doesn't have DC and was mailed about a week ago. It wasn't a problem but it was annoying to be asked why I hadn't marked it received yet, and reminded that they person wants to order other books and needs the credit. I'm sorry but I haven't gotten it yet, and honestly a week isn't all that bad. I have six books still on the way to me and most where mailed between 7-10 days ago. I feel like media mail is taking an awfully long time right now. :(

So, I'd say yes PM if the DC shows delivered and it's been a couple days. It might be something that needs to be looked into. If not, just be patient.

Date Posted: 7/31/2009 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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Just today, the book that had DC delivered on July 13th was marked as recieved ;)