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Topic: Question on credits and lost books....

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Subject: Question on credits and lost books....
Date Posted: 11/25/2011 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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So, this may seem like a really dumb question but I honestly can't seem to reason this one out, so I figured it wouldn't hurt anything if I asked lol.

 

I sent a book that was wishlisted by a member, and I used PBS printed postage and mailed on 11/04.  So because I used the printed postage I got instant credit.  Now I have been watching the details on the book and it arrived at the location, was forwarded somewhere else, and now seems to be bouncing around from one place to the next place and back again.  I am not sure why it's not really making any progress except to go back and forth, but the estimated delivery date is 12/01 and I am doubting there will be much change before then.  What happens to that book if it's never received?  And what happens to that credit I got, if anything, if it's determined to be lost?   It's very odd and all the other books I've sent have never had this happen.

Thanks in advance for answering my silly questions!

Stef

Date Posted: 11/25/2011 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Stef--  There are no silly questions here, just silly reasons not to ask ;-)

Using PBS Postage provides you with a form of credit insurance, so even if your book vanishes into the postal ether, your credit is secure.

To see what is happening with the book, it would be helpful to look at the Delivery Confirmation details, the stuff that looks like this (town names changed to protect the innocent) ;-) :

 

  1. 10/15/2011 12:42 AM ET - - SOME TOWN, IA
  2. 10/15/2011 12:42 AM ET - Enroute - ANOTHER TOWN, IA
  3. 10/20/2011 6:04 AM ET - Arrival at Unit - CITYVILLE, VA
  4. 10/20/2011 10:00 AM ET - Unknown-PC - CITYVILLE, VA
  5. 10/20/2011 10:10 AM ET - Unknown-OF - CITYVILLE, VA
  6. 10/21/2011 12:10 AM ET - Unknown-DX - CITYVILLE, VA

If there are notations you can't decipher, the folks in the Postal section of the forums are usually really good at it.  Also, bear in mind we've had 2 mail holidays since you sent the book out (Thanksgiving and Veteran's Day), so that adds to the time it takes, and Media Mail is not generally speedy to begin with.

If the book does eventually go lost in the mail, you should contact the requestor and there's a form to fill out for lost/stolen mail from the post office.  Details in the Help Center under "A book I sent is lost in the mail!"

Date Posted: 11/25/2011 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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Basically, as you used PBS postage, you will get your credit, no matter what.   (Well, as long as you marked the book mailed in time.)

The receiver used a credit to order the book.  If the book goes "lost", they they will get their credit back.  Once the "lost" book arrives, they should mark it received in their transaction archive.  This will take a credit from their account.



Last Edited on: 11/25/11 6:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/25/2011 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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Because you used printed postage, if the book goes lost Credit Assurance will kick in and you will keep your credit while the site covers the credit returned to the receiver.  If the book should eventually show up and it gets marked received, the credit will transfer from their account back to the site to reimburse them for the credit they covered.

Date Posted: 11/26/2011 10:40 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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That all makes a lot of sense, thank you for the response.  It just seems a little bit odd to me as I look at the DC details.  For example just since Wednesday we have:

11/23/2011 Enroute-Bell Gardens,CA

11/24/2011 Enroute-Bell Gardens, CA

11/25/2011 Enroute - Richmond, CA

11/26/2011 Enroute - Bell Gardens, CA

 

Its been going back and forth between the two for a week, after going all the way to NY and then back....so I look at it and think what on earth are they doing with it, do they even know what they're doing with it.  Since its the post office, maybe that answers the question lol

I also just noticed that when it arrived at its destination in NY on 11/09 it was marked as forwarded, and that's when it got strange.  It is typical for forwarded items to bounce around a lot and seem to get nowhere?



Last Edited on: 11/26/11 10:44 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/26/2011 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,327
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Actually that makes perfect sense, but only because it's Bell Gardens.  Bell Gardens (formerly "Bell") is the black hole of postal sorting centers.  It sucks 'em in and no light escapes.... (key appropriate twilight zone music.)

I'm guessing that it will eventually arrive after a few more orbits.

Date Posted: 11/26/2011 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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lol they need to stop sending all my books to the black hole, I've noticed they all seem to pass through there when I send them.  So far the rest have made it through unscathed, but this poor bugger was not so lucky.  Thanks for your help, its good to know that this thing could be expected with this sorting facility.

Date Posted: 11/27/2011 5:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Regarding forwarded items ... for items sent Media Mail, forwarding isn't automatically included.  If the book gets forwarded on, it will arrive postage-due.  The requesting member may not be prepared for this, and may be unhappy, but it is their own responsibility for having the mail forwarded to another address -- you're not obligated to reimburse them for that.  Hopefully, all will be well -- just mentioning it in case you want to be ... mentally prepared.

And ... ditto on the "Ah ha!" as soon as you said it was in Bell Gardens ... it is to books what a hub airport is to travelers -- you have to go there even if it doesn't seem like it is on your logical travel path, and sometimes you end up stuck there longer than you'd like.  I don't know if books are also forced to occupy themselves with cold burgers and overpriced cocktails, as stuck travelers can be, but it does make for a nice mental image.  Perhaps there is a post office version of CNN for them to watch.devil

Date Posted: 11/27/2011 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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Ahh, I see thank you Elizabeth.  I will prepare myself just in case I get an unhappy receiver on my hands.  Obviously there is nothing I could have done about it and could not have realized it would need forwarding, but it's always good to be prepared to assuage an unhappy person just in case.

Date Posted: 12/19/2011 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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So I finally have an update on this and am nervous about how I handled it, I accidentally have given this receiver incorrect information before because I misread the help doc lol.  So I want to make sure this was correct.  I received the lost book today and it was marked returned.  I see other markings on the package that say the package was forwarded to a different address, but then there was a problem with the address and so it was returned to me.  I double checked the PBS postage just to make sure the address matched the one on the request, and it does...so it does not appear to be my error or a USPS error. 

 

I sent a PM to the receiver and asked if they still wanted the book, and to please double check the address they provided for the request since that appears to be the problem.  I told her that I am more than happy to remail it but since it was not my error or a USPS error (as far as I can tell anyway), I would request a credit to cover postage for remailing, and to please let me know the correct address to send it.  And I also asked that if she did not want the book any longer to let me know so I could repost it.

 

As far as I can tell from the help doc this was the correct way to handle it?  Now I wait to hear from her, or should I have not mentioned the credit for remailing?  I guess I just feel like a mooch asking for it lol.

Date Posted: 12/19/2011 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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You did just fine. You are within your rights to ask for another credit when the resending is the requester's fault. One thing I would recommend is that when you PM about something like that, give them a timeframe to respond so  you aren't waiting forever wondering if they are going to reply that they do want the book.

If you end up reposting the book, double check the member and the address before printing a label with postage. When this book went lost in the system, this member would receive her place back in line so you could end up reposting it to her. You don't want to send it back out to a bad address again. I would click the PM button before printing the wrapper to see if it is the same member before printing the wrapper if you repost it.

Date Posted: 12/19/2011 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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A lot of people don't realize that  media mail isn't forwarded.  You are lucky it didn't come back with postage due.  If it had, you would have been within your rights to ask for a credit to cover that plus one to mail it to them again.

Date Posted: 12/20/2011 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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That makes a lot more sense now Mary, I also had no idea they won't forward media mail.  But it makes sense because its the cheapest, so its not a big money maker, so why go the extra mile. 

And thanks for the tip Melanie.  I will give it few days and then send a follow up PM that if I don't hear back by the end of the week I will just assume she doesn't want it and repost.  And then keep a very close eye on who that WL person is, because it probably is still her since this was recorded as lost.

I feel a lot better now that I didn't misread anything or make a mistake here.  I've only sent a handful of books before and this was my first lost one.  So thank you so much for all the help!