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Topic: Are there really that many dormant accounts? (wish list hold timeouts)

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Subject: Are there really that many dormant accounts? (wish list hold timeouts)
Date Posted: 5/16/2014 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 54
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Almost a week ago I posted a book that had 150+ people wishing for it. I had to turn down the first request because of their conditions (I have pets), and after that there have been four more holds, and no one has claimed it yet! (The fourth one just started, but the previous three all went the full 48-hour periods with no response.) I'm assuming these must be dormant accounts, but wouldn't they at least receive email about it and figure out they should take some kind of action? If they don't want the book, no problem, but I listed it because I want to mail it to someone, not wait in an endless loop of ignored wish list holds.

I guess this is more of a vent than anything else, but I am curious about why so many wish list offers simply go unanswered. Dormant accounts? Folks on vacation who didn't put holds on their accounts? People who just don't care? Being on the fifth hold in a row seems like a lot.

Date Posted: 5/16/2014 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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PBS was caught in Comcast's email spam filter last week, causing many folks to miss WL offers.

But basically, yes, that many dormant accounts.  PBS waits until several missed offers before culling them.  

(Please note that PBS is happy to put your account on a long term hold if you ask.  Plus the vacation hold option.)

Last Edited on: 5/16/14 3:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
zeke68 -
Date Posted: 5/16/2014 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2008
Posts: 2,810
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A few different reasons:

Dormant accounts, like you say.  One nice thing is that you may be helping to weed out those dormant accounts.

Inability to access internet in a 48 hour period.  People may only access the internet on the weekend or at work or maybe their internet is out.

People already received the book by other means and forgot to take it off the list.  This may not account for full 48 hour hold, unless people are just letting it time out on their own.

People not receiving the email notifying them.  A few weeks ago, there was a thread about someone not receiving the PBS emails.

Patience is required on a trading site, on both ends of the transaction sometimes.  I know it sucks, but if those accounts are dormant, you're helping them to get put on hold and not muck up the works for the next person.  So thanks!!  smiley

Date Posted: 5/16/2014 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,316
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Like it's been mentioned already, there are numerous reasons.

This is just a random issue I personally experienced once.

I am very active on PBS (I log in daily, am on the forums off & on all day long) so I am definitely not a "dormant" account member. However, I missed a WL offer once because I got the offer & had no credits (which this has been the only time I have had no credits since being on PBS!).  I was on the fence about the book & not sure if I still wanted it as it had been on my WL for a bit but I figured I could buy some credits before the offer expired if I decided I still wanted it.  However, I didn't get the credits purchased in time & the offer expired.  My loss, yes.  It was just a 1 time thing, but random weird things can happen at times, even to the active members like myself.

Now I have my WL on auto-request so unless I ever run out of credits again, I shouldn't have that issue happen again!

Date Posted: 5/16/2014 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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In the past, there have been big pushes to get new members. During those times, I think a lot of people signed up and posted their 10 books to get free credits. They posted, used their free credits, then didn't come back or only stayed for a short while and never removed their books from the shelves.

I think a lot of people just forgot they've ever been here, so didn't bother to clear their accounts.



Date Posted: 5/16/2014 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 533
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Another reason, I believe, is because more people are using electronic books. When I joined many years ago, there were many more active members than today. I think the number of active members will continue to decrease. Not good for those of us who prefer real books, but I fear that is the reality of the future.

PS. Hence, an increase in dormant accounts.


Last Edited on: 5/17/14 10:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 5/16/2014 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 54
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I like the thought that each one of these is a step toward clearing out dormant accounts. :)

Good points about this sometimes happening to active members as well, for whatever reason, and about the uptick in ebook usage and less physical book swapping. I'm reading ebooks a lot too, as well as making use of the library since I tend to read books only once. I still love to mail books to a new home, though! It's weirdly satisfying.

The book is back on my shelf and I'm just going to be patient... someone will want it eventually and I have plenty of credits.

Date Posted: 5/16/2014 8:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,443
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There are so many reasons.  Someone once failed to mark one of my books received in a timely manner, and when i inquired about it I found out they'd been in the hospital.  You just never know.  I'm usually here every day, but sometimes things just happen.  My phone line was out for a week at a time twice in one month, leaving me without internet.  If that had happened while my library was temporarily closed as it is now, I would have had no way to access the internet.

Date Posted: 5/16/2014 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think with long WL lines and heavily posted books that dormant accounts can sometimes accumulate at the top.  They lose interest in PBS for various reasons but don't close their account. Then they steadily work their way up FIFO collecting at the top as active members acquire the books elsewhere, change their minds, have it posted right to them by someone & skid the FIFO line, donate the book because they are tired of having it around etc...  Then one day some poor member who just wants to mail the book out has to wait for them to time out to get to an active member.

The longest I ever had one go through was 7 members but not all timed out.  A couple were on auto request but they cancelled and it moved to the next in line.

Date Posted: 5/17/2014 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 54
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Seven, that's a lot! My #5 is unresponsive so far so I await #6.

In a way this is encouraging because if we see a long wait list for a book we want, it may realistically be much shorter than it appears.

Date Posted: 5/21/2014 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2011
Posts: 708
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I missed one wishlist offer because of my phone...  I have a PBS folder in my email account. My iPhone stopped automatically updating the new email messages and I didn't know it-- which means I didn't see the PBS email about my wishlist book. I was so bummed! I try to check my PBS every day now.  And I manually update the email at LEAST once a day.  I don't want to miss out on another one!

Date Posted: 5/21/2014 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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I just enabled a number of folks to jump up on the WL, because I just deleted my entire WL (about 100 books).  I haven't ordered a book for myself in a couple of years. I haven't picked up a bound book in more than a year.  My Kindle takes care of everything, and with nearly 1,000 e-books I'm not going to run out of things to read.

I still send books out and am almost up to 30 credits. Got about 300 books still on the shelf, but I'll must likely put em out at an upcoming yard sale and then take the rest to the FOL sale or to the second-hand store.

I have enough WL books on my TBR list, that if I need credits I can get what I need by posting a few books.


Date Posted: 5/22/2014 12:31 AM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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Back when The Help was highly wishlisted, I waited through 14 PBSers before it was taken.  I figured by the time the wishlist got to them they probably had already seen the movie.

Date Posted: 5/22/2014 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2010
Posts: 3,047
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My mom was having trouble with her computer so she missed at least 1 offer despite having credits (or if not an actual credit, a super sweet daughter willing to loan her 1 at the time). I think it's happened a couple of times, so her account probably seems inactive when she's really still in the game...

Date Posted: 5/23/2014 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 4/1/2007
Posts: 5
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Another reason I can think of is that Gmail changed its layout fairly recently, and PBS emails were automatically sorted into an "Updates" tab that people might not be checking. I had to manually tell Gmail to put PBS emails into my main inbox tab so that I would see them regularly.

Also, I sometimes miss wish list offers because, though I am not technically on vacation, I am visiting my mother for the weekend (she doesn't currently have internet) or my internet connection is down due to weather issues (which happens frequently with Windstream, my internet provider).