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Topic: Have Patience When Mailing to P. O. Boxes

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Subject: Have Patience When Mailing to P. O. Boxes
Date Posted: 9/25/2012 3:55 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 1,260
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Might I make a suggestion to anyone that mails to a P. O. box and feels they have to send out PMs to the receiving member because it takes a few days after the books show delivered to be marked received ... use the PBS Quick Credit so you don't have to worry when you'll get the credits.

I haven't been able to get to the post office since Thurs. due to one thing and another ... 2 different members PM'd asking me to mark books received because they showed as being delivered on Friday.  It's only been 10 days since one book was mailed -  6 days since the other. 

It's not always easy for those of us with boxes to quickly mark the books received - many times I get a notice in my box that the package is behind the counter waiting for me - but my post office closes 4 pm on Friday / no hours on Saturday or Sunday / and with work on Monday, I can't always get there before they close again.

Please have a little patience.  :)

Date Posted: 9/25/2012 8:25 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2011
Posts: 64
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I feel your pain! i live at an APO and we have a p.o box type set up. so not only do my books "get lost in the mail" but then have a slip put in my box that I have to arrange to pick up! I just politely tell PM's "sorry not yet!" or "I'm sure I'll be able to pick it up soon"!

 

Date Posted: 9/25/2012 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2011
Posts: 708
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Wow.  I can't believe people PM after such a short time.  I have a Regular mailbox at the end of my driveway and I *still* can't manage to check it everyday! LOL! If I had a PO Box, I would only check it a couple times a week! :)

Date Posted: 9/25/2012 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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Just explain your PO office hours and I am sure the people will be fine with it. The site Help Center does say to PM a few days after a Delivery scan.

It is the responsibility of a PO Box member to mark their books received in a timely fashion after delivery. Since you books were delivered just before a weekend, that makes the time frame seem long to the receiver, so they propably just need an explanation.

Date Posted: 9/25/2012 11:57 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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PBS guidelines recommend waiting a week before pm'ing (after the delivery scan):

If you sent the book with PBS-DC and it has been recorded as delivered by USPS:

  • If the requestor has not marked the book received by a week after the delivery scan, contact us.  We will look into it.
  • You will already have gotten your credit when the barcode was scanned by USPS

 

Personally, I probably wouldn't notice whether I mailed a package to a PO box or a street address.  But I don't get antsy unless I notice the book is still appearing on my 'mailed' tab 5 - 7 days after the delivery scan.  Then I might send a quick pm, JIC we need to initiate a PO search. 

PMing a mere 6 days after the book was mailed?...yesh no



Last Edited on: 9/25/12 11:59 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/25/2012 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 1,260
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To be honest, I don't think I should have to explain about my post office hours when it's been only 6 days since the books were sent. 

And I do mark the books as soon as I have them in my possession - but in this case, I didn't even know they were at the post office yet.  The sending members might be able to see that they are 'delivered,' but at my end, even now, the detail button only shows the day they were mailed  So as of Thursday afternoon, there was no slip in my box and for all I know, since the books are sent media mail, it could still be days before the books would arrive.    

Doesn't every one here always say PBS teaches us patience?  :)

This also brings a question to mind - how did the sending member know the books were delivered?  There's no 'check' in the box next to either set of books on my account page (the check means they used DC, right?) - so what's letting that member know the book has 'arrived?'

Date Posted: 9/25/2012 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,943
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This also brings a question to mind - how did the sending member know the books were delivered?  There's no 'check' in the box next to either set of books on my account page (the check means they used DC, right?) - so what's letting that member know the book has 'arrived?'

If they used DC, but didn't buy it from the site, they might see that it's been delivered. Some people use Paypal postage, etc.

I do think it's jumping the gun a little bit to PM right away about books being "received" .. I also like to send PMs but I wait until just before the book is going to be marked lost.  I find that I only very rarely need to send any PMs that way.

I had someone send me a PM once, right after they mailed the book to me, reminding me to mark it received when I got it.  I found that a little strange, to be honest, and I was hoping to myself that she wasn't sending a PM like that every time she mailed a book out. I just answered her "Yes, when it arrives, I will mark it received" or something like that ... but I must admit, the tempation to be way more snarky was there .....

Date Posted: 9/25/2012 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,337
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PBS guidelines recommend waiting a week before pm'ing (after the delivery scan):

The guidelines recommend waiting a week before contacting the PBS Admin Team after a scan.  Normally before doing that, you'd send a PM (a few days after the scan) to the requestor.

 

From

If a book you sent hasn't been marked received yet...

You should FIRST contact the requestor using the button on the transaction on the Books I've Mailed tab in My Account when a few days have passed after delivery.

  • If the requestor does not respond to your PM within a week, or has not marked the book received by a week after the delivery scan (whichever is the later date), contact us.  We will look into it.
Date Posted: 9/25/2012 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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PBS guidelines recommend waiting a week before pm'ing (after the delivery scan):

Actually, what you have quoted is the time to wait to contact the site, the recommendation to contact the other  member is a few days. This is to catch a misdelivered book is my guess. Waiting too long after a delivery scan on a misdelivered book increases the chance of people forgetting what happened to the book.

If you sent the book with Delivery Confirmation and it has been recorded as delivered by USPS but hasn't been marked received yet:

  • Remember that the book could have been scanned as "delivered" at the local PO, before it went to the requestor's mailbox--the actual delivery can be a few days later Also, the book could have been misdelivered.
    • The requestor should check with her mail carrier about this package.
    • The package could also be at her local PO being held for pickup; sometimes pickup notices left by the mail carrier go astray.
  • You should FIRST contact the requestor using the button on the transaction on the Books I've Mailed tab in My Account when a few days have passed after delivery.
    • If the requestor does not respond to your PM within a week, or has not marked the book received by a week after the delivery scan (whichever is the later date), contact us. We will look into it.
    •  

To be honest, I don't think I should have to explain about my post office hours when it's been only 6 days since the books were sent.

And the sender doesn't think they should have to wait for their credit while the book is delivered and waiting for you to get to the post office so its a check mate of politeness. They sent the book promptly, its your responsibility to mark the book received promptly. Since it is you who choses to use a post office box to have the books mailed to, then it is you who it falls to.  It really doesn't matter how long ago the book was mailed, the timelime for PMing after its marked delivered is the same. Personally, I follow the site guidelines (though I do account for weekends and give a few weekdays before PMing) and if the member refused to answer a week after the book was marked delivered per DC, I would contact the site. So just a polite note back to them letting them know that you hadn't had access to your box since they were delivered saves you both the headache.

Date Posted: 9/25/2012 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Another sub-topic on this subject.  How does the PO scan the packages when you have a POB?  If they leave a notification so you have to come in when the counter is open to pick up the packages, technically it should be scanned 'notice left' (which means the package isn't actually delivered yet).  If your box is big enough to hold books, then yes it is probably scanned 'delivered' immediately.   Not all PO's are up to speed on this, but IIRC that's how it's supposed to work.

Given the shorter than normal hours for your postal branch, you may just have to formulate a stock answer.  Something like, 'so sorry, my local PO keeps shorter than normal hours.  Will pick-up and log-in as soon as I can...yada, yada.'

As mentioned above...although I try, I don't always remember to pick up the mail from my RR box every single day either.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 9/25/2012 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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Since this just happened to me I want to echo what Melanie said. I had 2 books marked delivered to me but they weren't. They were scanned delivered on a Friday and I was able to ask my carrier on the following Tuesday and even after just a few days she didn't particularly remember my Friday's mail (and really I wouldn't expect her to) but she could remember the details of her day Friday and when she was in my area. We never did locate the books but at least we could prove she didn't deliver them to me. The longer you wait the less likely it is that someone is going to remember what happened if they are lost. 

And really, how hard is it to send a pm saying "I'm sorry, I haven't been able to get to my p.o. box yet and check"? This is a give and take site, communication is vital. Just tell someone when you're gonna get there and they will be fine. But yes, you are expected to do it in a timely manor just as they mailed the book in a timely manor. 

Date Posted: 9/25/2012 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,298
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When I see that a book is going to a PO Box, an apartment or APO/FPO, AK or HI, I always use DC.  DD has a PO Box and doesnt' get to the PO every day, and our postal people tell me that sometimes people have PO Boxes that they don't check often, and it will get to the point where the mail won't fit in the box.  Good luck. Pat

Date Posted: 9/25/2012 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 1,260
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Yes, I did send a polite PM letting them know I hadn't made it to the post office yet, and that I would mark the books received as soon as I had them in my possession and I nicely suggested that if they want their credit very quickly when mailing to a post office box they might consider using the PBS DC.  And both members responded back again just as nicely.

I probably wouldn't even have mentioned it here if only one member had PM'd, but to have 2 members contact me on the same day about packages that have only been waiting at the post office for 2 and a half days for me to pick them up, over a weekend, made me feel a bit ganged up on, I guess. 

RULE: You should FIRST contact the requestor using the button on the transaction on the Books I've Mailed tab in My Account when a few days have passed after delivery.

Maybe the rule should give a specific time frame (example: 5 days) - What is a few days 2? 3? 5? 

Maybe I'm in the minority thinking 2/3 days is a bit too quick to start contacting people.  I don't even think about contacting a member about a book I sent until it's abot 10 days before going lost.  One or two times the member had forgotten and they took care of it - the other few times, the book WAS lost.  Either way, I would have felt like I was being impatient if I contacted the member any sooner than that.

And believe me, I wouldn't have a P.O. box if I had a choice, but some of us living in a rural area don't have the option of getting our mail delivered to our residence - the USPS doens't provide that service.

From now on, I think I will put a notice on my Bookshelf and maybe an RC, pointing out that there might be a delay of 2 or 3 days between delivery conformation on their end and being marked 'Received' on mine.  That should cover all the bases.

Anyway, for anyone reading this, maybe just keep this in mind:
If a book you sent hasn't been marked yet, but shows it's been 'delivered' - go to your 'Account page/Books I've mailed' and look at the address you sent it to (you don't have to try and remember, the complete address is now provided there) - if it's a P. O. Box - be aware that there might be a few challenges like post office hours, distance to travel, weather conditions (I have a wash that during the rainy season can sometimes become impassable for a day) to get the package.  I'll bet anything it will get marked in just another day or so.

I do appreciate all the input - thanks for your responses. smiley

Date Posted: 9/26/2012 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2007
Posts: 108
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Ann Marie - I'm with you, I have a PO Box and while it's not a problem the majority of the time, occasionally you will get an inquiry from the sender. To me this is no different than the fact I'm out of town periodically for work - some books will take longer than others to be marked as received, and I feel like that's OK. If a sender is really desperate for a credit, and sends me a nice PM, I will go to the PO specially for her if possible - but that's only happened once. The rest of the time, y'all just chill and I will get there. Whether you're sending or receiving, a little patience and understanding go a long way.

One final note to shippers, it really helps when shipping to PO boxes if you minimize the package size. I have a larger than normal PO Box, but even so, if you package the book(s) in a box, it's probably not going to fit. Then it's 50/50 whether I'll get a locker or have it held behind the desk. If held behind the desk, then I have to wait until I have a free Saturday to pick up. Not really the shipper's fault - just FYI that it does speed things up to have as small of a package as possible.

b

Date Posted: 9/26/2012 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I never notice when I'm sending books where the book is going, whether to PO box, regular street address, apartment or whatever. I package all my books the same way. I do use the PBS postage for convenience sake--I can print and wrap and drop in the blue mailbox in front of my work and not have to deal with going to the PO at all, but I don't do it to get a quick credit or to be able to track delivery or anything, and I rarely look at the details of my transactions, whether it's a book coming to me or one I've sent. 

Of course this comes after seven years as a PBS member, so it's a nonchalance that's been developed over the years--there have been so few problems in either direction with the thousands of transactions that I've done that I have ceased worrying about it. I do, however, remember when I was a new member and each transaction was a major deal and I worried over every one of them! LOL

Cheryl