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Topic: received book with no wrapping

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Subject: received book with no wrapping
Date Posted: 12/17/2011 6:22 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2009
Posts: 49
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So I go to get my mail yesterday, and in the mailbox is a book I have ordered from the club with no wrapping whatsoever.  The only identifying info was a piece of paper stuck in the front cover with the standard info for mailer /info for receiver PBS thing.  Despite having no wrapping, the book is in fine shape.  So how do I mark it - RWAP but I don't want a credit back? 

Date Posted: 12/17/2011 6:43 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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Pat - If the book is in good condition, you shouldn't mark it RWAP. However, before marking anything, check the book thoroughly to make sure you won't have any surprises later.

Now look at the piece of paper stuck in the cover. Where does this person live? Does it have postage? It could be that the person lives in the same town as you and decided just to put the book in your mailbox with the piece of paper.

If you recognize the town or the paper doesn't have postage, mark the book received as usual. If the address is from another state and  includes postage, then assume it went through the mail stream.

Once you mark it received though, please do 2 things:

  • Send a message to the person telling them (as nice as you can) that they should wrap the books. They took a great risk in not doing so - the rules say that if bad wrapping contributes to damage in transit, the requestor can ask for their credit back.
  • Tell PBS this requestor sent the book without wrapping it. You can do this in the comments box that you can fill out everytime you mark a book received.

Last Edited on: 12/17/11 6:45 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/17/2011 8:27 AM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,583
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It could be that the person lives in the same town as you and decided just to put the book in your mailbox with the piece of paper.

If this is the case, you might want to let this person know that you are absolutely not allowed to place anything in someone else's mailbox unless you are an official letter carrier. Anything placed in mailboxes without postage and not by a letter carrier, can be removed from the mailboxes by the letter carrier and turned in to postal management. The violator may be billed for postage for the entire route where the package was found.

Date Posted: 12/17/2011 8:43 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2009
Posts: 49
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No, it wasn't from the same state.  But I would have thought that if the packaging got messed up by the PO, that they would have put it in an envelope and say damaged by po.  I'm wondering now if it was delivered to another house, opened by mistake, and then just stuffed in my mailbox.

Date Posted: 12/17/2011 9:08 AM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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That is probably what happened.  A neighbor probably opened it.  More than likely it was one of the neighbor's kids who opened it because I don't think an adult would be that snoopy to open someone else's mail.  It's against the law.  A child might not realize it's against the law to open someone else's mail.  They probably thought Santa had come early.


Date Posted: 12/17/2011 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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If you even suspect that it was opened by a neighbor in error, then you must give the sender the benefit of the doubt and just mark it received. No RWAP. Just mark it received and move on.

Last Edited on: 12/17/11 11:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/17/2011 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,488
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slight t/j

I had that happen to me. Got an envelope in the mail from our (or so I thought) insurance company with some documents we had been expecting. I was opening the mail while talking to my sister on the phone and wasn't really paying too much attention. I realized later as I was looking at the documents that they weren't ours. Turns out our neighbor had the same insurance company as we did. So, having already thrown away the original envelope, I put the docs into another one and took them over to our neighbor. She just laughed when I told her what I had done. Apparently, I can't talk and do something else at the same time. LOL


Date Posted: 12/17/2011 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2009
Posts: 49
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It will remain a mystery.  Our homes are far apart with long driveways in this neighborhood, so they wouldn't have knocked on my door.  I just pm'd the sender telling them what happened and marked it as received/good - it will be a heads up to them if they think they are wrapping poorly, otherwise no worries as the book is in great shape.

Date Posted: 12/17/2011 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Interesting discussion  cheeky

I agree with the suggestion to inspect the book carefully, if it is postable there's no grounds to RWAP.  Just mark it received and wonder if the mystery will ever be resolved.  I have one of those mystery transactions also.  A book I sent out (with DC) went missing in Warrendale sorting center.  About the time I realized it appeared to have a problem, the book came back to me in a new PBS wrapper with the PBS addy as return. We re-checked all the original mailing addresses and even my PO receipt/zip...all appeared kosher.   I remailed to the original requester and to this day I still have absolutely no idea who received the book and returned it to me. 

Date Posted: 12/19/2011 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Posts: 96
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OH yeah I have had that happen. Another PBS member lives not far from me, and her mail was stuck in my box by mistake. I had other PBS orders received at the same time and they were all mixed in together. I didn't realize that one of the packages wasn't even addressed to me and opened it in error. I was able to retape the package but I did put a note on it that I was also a PBS member and opened it by mistake. Things do happen. It would be nice if neighbors would at least make some kind of note to explain but that doesn't always happen here. If the wrapping had been damaged in transit, the USPS would have put it in a plastic envelope with a note that it was damaged.

Date Posted: 12/19/2011 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,730
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My Mom opens my mail and packages all the time.  She always says she wasn't paying attention to the name on the envelope or package.

Date Posted: 12/19/2011 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 589
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When your neighbors mail is put in your mailbox, it's easy to open it without noticing the name on the package.  That could be what happened.

A couple of years ago I was getting books from Time-Life.  They would arrive in cardboard packaging.  One night I came home and found one of the books on my doorstep...no cardboard, no plastic, no address.  Don't know what happened.  I only had one close neighbor and they were away on vacation.  Don't know if the post office had a problem and the packaging was removed.  Can't believe someone would wonder by and open the package, leave the book but take the empty cardboard.  Very strange.


Date Posted: 12/19/2011 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,687
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I don't think an adult would be that snoopy to open someone else's mail.

Based on my personal experience, I wouldn't place any bets on that premise.

Last Edited on: 12/19/11 9:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/19/2011 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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I don't think an adult would be that snoopy to open someone else's mail.

I've opened a neighbor's phone bill so many times I've lost count. I assume all the mail in my box belongs to me so I don't really look at the receiver's address that closely before opening the mail. There is a good chance that if I had books coming to me, I'd open a book addressed to someone else without looking at who it was sent to. I'd probably dig the packaging back out of the trash once I figured out it wasn't mine and deliver it all in a plastic baggy much like the PO though, but the neighor could have already disposed of it in a non-retrievable manner.


RWAP is only for when there is a problem. If the book is not damaged, there would be no "problem" option to select. But I would definitely FYI that the book showed up naked.