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Topic: postmarked 2 weeks after marked mailed

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Subject: postmarked 2 weeks after marked mailed
Date Posted: 1/16/2013 10:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2007
Posts: 31
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Hi all;

Can someone explain why would a book be marked mailed, but not actually be sent until 2 weeks later?  Maybe the PBS tracking info can provide some insight, but I still don't get it:


Date Mailed: 12/28/2012 5:08 PM ET
Date Received: 1/16/2013 9:51 PM ET

Delivery Confirmation Events
1. 1/4/2013 1:10 PM ET - Electronic Shipping Info Received - NEW YORK, NY
2. 1/15/2013 4:36 PM ET - - NEW YORK, NY
3. 1/15/2013 5:51 PM ET - Enroute - NEW YORK, NY
4. 1/16/2013 3:06 AM ET - - NEW YORK, NY
5. 1/16/2013 10:06 AM ET - Arrival at Unit - STATEN ISLAND, NY
6. 1/16/2013 10:44 AM ET - Unknown-PC - STATEN ISLAND, NY
7. 1/16/2013 10:54 AM ET - Unknown-OF - STATEN ISLAND, NY
8. 1/16/2013 4:58 PM ET - Delivered - STATEN ISLAND, NY


The postmark is dated January 12, but it was marked mailed two weeks earlier (15 days to be specific).  Any thoughts would be appreciated.





Date Posted: 1/16/2013 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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They were naughty.  Or their post office was closed.  I know some in lower NYC were closed due to flooding.

This just means that the label was printed.  1/4/2013 1:10 PM ET - Electronic Shipping Info Received - NEW YORK, NY

Do feel free to mark it

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What Emily said yes  Could have been an unavoidable weather delay (in which case the rules require a pm to the receiver) or a personal problem. 

The scan log doesn't actually show an 'Acceptance' scan, so counter postage or a postmark will be the best way to determine an actual mail date.  You can RWAP if there's proof of late mailing (especially if you were not pm'd).

I had a member contact me just about a year ago.  I had requested a book routed to her through FIFO.  Due to severe weather conditions, she couldn't get out and the mailman wasn't making routes.  I reminded that PBS guidelines covered this situation and assured her I was in no hurry, that her safety came first.  The correct steps were: 1) Contact the receiver and make them aware of the problem and delayed mailing (which she had already done).  2) Mark the book mailed so it does not roll over and further complicate the transaction.  and 3) let me know when she could safely mail the book so I'd have some idea of when to expect delivery.  Several days later she pm'd the book had been mailed, and it arrived very quickly.  All handled properly, and everyone notified...easy, peasy.  No RWAP, no frustration.


Last Edited on: 1/17/13 10:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/17/2013 2:29 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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PBS policy is quite clear that you have to ask if it is okay if the book is mailed over 4 days past the mailing date. There is a chance that it was the Post Office, not the sender, based that it was coming from an area that had flooding. Either way, marking it as a late post mark will keep a record with PBS. If it is a one time issue, then not much will happen. If it is repeated, then they will be contacted, and may lose their option for instant credit.

Please note that Late Post mark is under the RWAP options, but it is not recorded as a RWAP in the archive.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 1/17/2013 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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I see that a lot. I've seen requests marked accepted, printed and mailed within 13 minutes. A lot of people admit they mark it mailed early. I think it's wrong, I don't mark mine until they are in the mailman's hand, but I don't think it's against the rules to mark them a little bit ahead. 2 weeks is pushing it though if they weren't closed down. 

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2007
Posts: 2,550
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I've seen similar in my sent books because they don't get scanned anywhere for a long time.  I don't know if they sit in a blue bin or what. 

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Just to be clear, by postmark do you mean a red stamp with a date, or the date on the postage sticker that's computer generated with a orange stripe on the top (i.e. counter postage)? 

It's my understanding that the red stamp can be placed placed anytime along the mailing process.  However, it's only going from Manhattan to Staten Island. Was there any additional flooding or is this a reference to effects of Sandy? 

"Electronic shipping information received" means the printing label was generated that day. So there was 7 days between when it was marked mailed and the label was printed. Theoretically this can still fall within the 5 day + 2 day grace period for mailing (although I am not sure one is supposed to click mark mailed and use all of the 5+2 days.)

It is unclear to me what happened between 4 and 12 Jan. It's possible the sender forgot to mail it, but it's also possible the sender mailed it and it was sitting in a blue collection box or some corner of a post office facility for all or part of that time. 

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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"It is unclear to me what happened between 4 and 12 Jan...."  Exactly Sophia.  Frequently we see an 'Acceptance' scan when the DC first arrives at a postal unit.  Those are a good indicator of when the package was mailed.  Mine typically look like this:

Delivery Confirmation Events

  1. 1/14/2013 1:00 AM ET - Electronic Shipping Info Received - MAPLE VALLEY, WA
  2. 1/14/2013 4:51 PM ET - Acceptance - MAPLE VALLEY, WA
  3. 1/14/2013 6:42 PM ET - - MAPLE VALLEY, WA
  4. 1/14/2013 11:26 PM ET - Enroute - SEATTLE, WA
  5. 1/14/2013 11:37 PM ET - Enroute - SEATTLE, WA
  6. 1/15/2013 9:02 AM ET - - SEATTLE, WA
  7. 1/15/2013 9:21 AM ET - Arrival at Unit - ONALASKA, WA
  8. 1/15/2013 10:41 AM ET - Delivered - CINEBAR, WA

Here's the Help Document titled Can I Send a Book Later?   Specifically:

"If you marked the book mailed but did not mail it and you want to mail it late (more than 4 days after the date you marked it as mailed),  you MUST contact the requestor using the PM button on the transaction, to be sure that the requestor still wants the book..."

So no, the 5  + 2 days does not apply once the book has been marked 'mailed'.  Members are supposed to mail within 48 hours of marking mailed, and as noted above...it becomes a problem after 4 days.

Not sure what you mean about red stamps Sophia, IIRC mine arrive with a round gray/black postmark stamp...usually so blurry the date cannot be read.  Technically, a postmark can be added anywhere enroute, but the majority are within a day or two of mailing (although I have watched staff hand cancel just before handing a package over the counter to a receiving customer). 

And yes, counter postage is the sticker (often with a red/pink band across the top) applied by USPS counter staff.  The dates are almost always correct, and an excellent gauge of mailing date.  APC looks similar, but a bit smaller, and not a great indictor b/c like a stamp they can be purchased ahead and applied when needed...but if APC dates are 'off' it's because they are older than the book request.


Last Edited on: 1/17/13 10:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 1/18/2013 12:05 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Thanks for the additional information, Denise.

Perhaps I am mistaken about the color of ink used for the postmark stamp. I seem to remember they are red. Maybe because I frequently get mail from other countries?