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Topic: not receiving ordered books!

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Subject: not receiving ordered books!
Date Posted: 1/9/2010 5:34 AM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2008
Posts: 839
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Can anyone suggest strategies for actually receiving  books I order?  One  book was supposed to have been sent but after  a month's wait it timed out.  By that time the other 2 copies that were in the system were gone.  When I started here a couple of years ago books that were ordered were actually sent.  Should I be ordering 2 or 3 and  just hope that one actually comes in?   Or should I immediately PM the prospective sender and ask if he/she actually intends to send out the  book?  I have already eliminated requestor conditions.   When books are ordered from me they  go out the next morning because I'd like to have credits available for my wish list.   Besides, the requestor wants the book!


What the heck is going on here?

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 6:31 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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Well, it could have legitimately been lost in the mail.  We just finished the super busy postal season of December, and your book, sent media mail, may still be sitting in a sorting center somewhere because media mail has the lowest priority.

How many books that you ordered have you not received recently?  Just the one?  You could PM the sender and say something like, "I can't believe how long it's taken for this book to reach me!  I just wanted to let you know that I'll mark it received as soon as it arrives" and see if you get a response.

And yes, sometimes media mail is just slow.  I received a book in November that had been mailed in July.  It probably just got misplaced somewhere.

Subject: I just checked
Date Posted: 1/9/2010 9:12 AM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2008
Posts: 839
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3 books have been ordered recently and not come in.  One timed out, one was marked sent but did not arrive, and in one case the posting was withdrawn. 

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2009
Posts: 10,212
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It must be an epidemic since 1st of Nov.  I've had numerous books marked mailed and never show,  several requests just vanish after Pming that seem to have positive attitudes.  I have gone back and  sent a very nice PM's about the books that went lost.  Did have one respond saying mailing problem BLah blah and would priority mail next day if I still wanted them.  I said great and I still wait.  But I am ever optomistic that they will get here soon.  But as frustrating as it can be I still have many more posiitive outcomes than negative so I still love PBS.

I solemnly swear to mail out my requested books within in five days or less usually less.  As I know how excited I get to receive I book I've requested and want to feed others joy as well.


Date Posted: 1/9/2010 9:42 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 6:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/9/2010 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It sounds you've just had a run of bad luck.  There are dead accounts out there, sometimes people post books and then notice damage afterwards, sometimes life happens and they have to cancel the request or forget about it.  This is really common this time of year when people get busy over the holidays, they lose power because of winter storms etc.., 

I personally would not want people PMing me to ask if I am actually going to send the book.  Plus I think the people who accept actually do intend to send the book but then something happens or PBS just isn't important to them and they forget. 

I think it's also unreasonable to expect everyone to mail the book the very next day because you do. 

PBS requires a lot of patience. 

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2007
Posts: 79
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I'm sorry you've had this experience,  but the books may still show up!  I ordered a book in May of 2008 and it didn't arrive before it timed out.  It was the only copy in the system so I couldn't get it from anyone else.  Do you know that book showed up in March 2009!  It looked like it had gotten stuck under the postal delivery person's car set or something.  Who knows where the book was all that time, but it eventually showed up! 
You never know!  Don't give up!

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 1/9/2010 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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i have only had 1 that didnt show up.  When it was about to go lost in system, i did pm saying that I had not rec'd it but that I would mark it as rec'd as soon as it arrived.  A few days later the person pm'd that they found that they did not put the book in the mail, but did that day.   The book showed up a few days after that pm.

A nice, not accusing pm may prompt someone if they forgot, but otherwise it is probably not worth it to pm.

Date Posted: 1/9/2010 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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If I don't receive a book within what I feel is a reasonable amount of time, I PM the sender and ask them to check and see if they really sent the book.  I tell them a story about the time I thought I had returned a library book and found it under the seat of my car after I had paid the library for the "lost" copy.  I word the e-mail very nicely and friendly.  I haven't had anyone get offended yet by my PM's. 

Knock on wood, but I haven't had any books go lost since I joined and get most books within a reasonable amount of time.

Now, if I could just get the books on my shelf moving, I'd be a happy camper.  But, since I am number 100+ in the lineup for most books on my shelf, I'm not holding my breath. 

Subject: Books marked "mailed" not mailed until a later date
Date Posted: 1/13/2010 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 19
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A pet peeve of mine.........someone marking a book as mailed before it is actually either dropped off at the post office or picked up from their mailbox.  I've had this happen a few times and never received an IM from the sender.  The book just arrives a few weeks after it was marked "mailed" and I then note the metered postage (which has the stamp purchase date) is dated at least a couple weeks after the book was marked as "mailed.  I'm not as nice about the situation as some others might be as I actually send an IM to the member asking that they not mark their book as mailed until the book has been accepted by the Post Office since the system notices are based on the date the member marks the books as "mailed" and not the several days (or weeks) later when they actually get it mailed.  I really don't care if they have a "sudden trip" that had to be taken and "forgot" to mail the books before leaving.  If the member does not have time to handle book requests then they should just cancel the request as it it easier to deal with having to request the book again than wondering for several weeks if the book was actually sent.  It's amazing that in every instance I received an excuse back as to why the book was mailed late rather than an aplogy for the book being falsely marked as "mailed".

I had a boxer get upset with me for giving them a poor rating as they marked the book as mailed (before it was mailed), then sent me an IM stating they were in the process of moving and would mail the books within a week (this was a week after the box was marked as mailed) then two weeks after the date they stated the box would be mailed I still had not received the box I then contacted the site support and was told the boxer's account was on hold for multiple non-shipments and no replies to requests for statuses.  A week after that date I finally did receive the box but at that point it was 5 weeks after the posted "mailed" date.  I received an "I don't appreciate your rating" IM  from the member where they stated they sent me an IM that they were moving and that their account had never been placed on hold.  I replied with the complete timelime of their actions and cut and pasted a copy of the response I received for the site support which stated that their account was on hold and why and I said if they felt the rating was not valid that it could be contested with the site support.  I never heard back from the member and the rating was never changed (got to love electronic records).

Date Posted: 1/13/2010 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,246
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PBS allows 48 hours for actually mailing a book after it has been marked mailed. This is within the rules.

To wait a week or two is excessive. As long as you are putting in the postage dates in the PBS survey, PBS will know about their late mailing.

Subject: 48 hours for mailing after marked
Date Posted: 1/14/2010 7:39 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 19
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I thought the rule was that you had up to 48 hours to mark the book as mailed after it had been mailed before the system cancelled the request.  Can you show me where in the site rules that it states you can mark the book as mailed before it is actually mailed (no matter what timeframe)?  I would like to see this information to make certain when I contact late mailers that I am referencing the correct information. 

I do put the date in the PBS survey but I have no idea what is actually being done with that information.  Is some action taken against the member if they consisently mail their books late?  It would be nice if some type of note was tagged to the members account that indicated they had a history of no response, no mailing or late mailing which would allow you to then decline acceptance of the book from the member and then rolled your request to the next member offering the book.  The Box-O-Books system allows member ratings so poor performance can be determined in advance of a box swap.


Date Posted: 1/14/2010 7:49 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2006
Posts: 423
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It is OK to mark mailed before mailing.  From Help docs:


A book must be mailed within 48 hours of marking it mailed

  • It is okay to mark your book mailed before you have mailed it if:

    • The deadline date falls on a postal holiday
    • Your computer/Internet access is unreliable
    • You plan to mail the book on your way out of town
Date Posted: 1/14/2010 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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PBS will send a warning to someone who is making a habit of mailing books late.  They will also suspend an account if there is a high rate of books going lost.

Personally I don't care when the book was mailed as long as I get it before it goes lost.  I realize that life gets in the way sometimes.  You don't preplan extended power outages, car accidents, family members getting sick, cars breaking down, computers crashing etc..., 

Date Posted: 1/14/2010 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Regarding mailing after marking mailed...many members overlook the part about it's allowed under certain conditions (thanks for posting the conditions Kimberly)...note the "if" in that sentence (It is okay to mark your book mailed before you have mailed it if:) followed by only three situations: postal holiday, unreliable internet, & prior to travel. 

Frankly, I don't really feel the need to micro-manage whether or not other PBS members mark their books as mailed (before or after) as long as they mail promptly (or make legit arrangements otherwise).  But real life can be trixy, and it just seems that members who mark books mailed too early leave a big window of opportunity for real life to mess with their mailing schedule....or is that just me??

Personally, I work better under a deadline, so using the 'mailed' button before I've actually been to the post office just takes the pressure off and allows me to procrastinate lol!

A couple other PBS guidelines that would decrease frustration if more members complied:

  • If you accepted a request and something comes up unexpectedly, contact the sender to let him or her know that mailing was delayed, as soon as you have mailed the book. Most requestors don't mind a little delay, as long as they are kept informed of the situation.

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...

Last Edited on: 1/14/10 1:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/14/2010 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 65
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There is no strategy (that I know of ) for avoiding the problem of senders who don't follow through.  With me, it happens in spurts.  Of the 105 books I've requested in the last year, the sender has not mailed the book 14 times - 5 in one six week period (February/March) and 7 in another (October/early November).  It just happened again today and it is frustrating, especially when it's a slow-moving WL book.  (Only one request has been "lost" in the mail; I never heard from the sender, so it may not have actually been mailed.) 

Those of us who are compulsive about promptly mailing out our books have a hard time understanding why others don't -- especially if the book was a WL book when it was posted and is obviously going to be requested fairly soon.  However, I learned through personal experience that the person who posted the book may have been able and willing to send it when they first posted it, but when it's not accepted by the first or second person on the WL, it might be several days before the label can be printed, and in the meantime things have happened (travel, illness, etc.)   

Fortunately, my TBR pile keeps growing, so even when a book goes back on my WL, I am not lacking for books! 

Subject: Thanks for the good information
Date Posted: 1/14/2010 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 19
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I agree.....how a member handles a book trade makes using the system either a good or bad experience.  I treat each exchange as a purchase as someone made some form of exchange to request a book from me.  Either they purchased a credit or obtained a book (either by direct purchase or trade) and then received a credit for trading the book on the system.  I use the APC at the post office to purchase several metered postage stickers for the media mail rate of $2.38 and a couple for $2.77 (for larger books or 2 book requests) and I am then able to just stick the single stamp on and put the book in my mailbox.  About 90% of the books requested from me are sent out within 24 hours of a member submitting a request.  Some members go to the other extreme where they treat the trades very informally and put the committment for the trade very low on their priority list.  The books are mailed when they have time and they basically disregard the system rules.

Date Posted: 1/14/2010 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,246
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Regarding mailing after marking mailed...many members overlook the part about it's allowed under certain conditions (thanks for posting the conditions Kimberly)...note the "if" in that sentence (It is okay to mark your book mailed before you have mailed it if:) followed by only three situations: postal holiday, unreliable internet, & prior to travel. 

Denise, PBS has clarified this before in response to someone else Contacting them directly several months ago. Basically, the PBS response was:

1.  that they cannot possibly list all the reasons why it might be OK to mail after it is marked mailed. Those reason are examples.

2. They expect people to treat others with courtesy and be reasonable.

Date Posted: 1/14/2010 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,246
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When I first joined I was mailing 40-50 books a month, I was going to the PO several times a week, and I just got tired of it, not to mention that I work full time, and have a family at home to care for. So, I don't have time to go to the PO all the time. And, I don't have a mailman who will pick up the packages, or any blue boxes in my neighborhood. (I would have to go halfway to the PO to go to a blue box ... at least 7 miles away)

I now mail once per week. That's it. I always pick Sunday as my mailing day. So, to some people I am a super fast mailer. To some people I am super slow. It totally depends on which day of the week they request a book on.

Statistics showing how many days I wait before mailing out a book would be totally meaningless to anyone else trying to gauge if they are going to get their book from me. I always mail out my books, and nothing I have mailed has ever gone lost. However, some people wait 6 days (or even 7 days, if they request a book late on Sunday) and some people have their book go out the same day. No one else would be able to figure out why my numbers are so random unless I told them, like I am explaining here. This is no doubt why PBS doesn't design a system that does this (figures out response times, etc and published the info). it would be meaningless for the most part.

I know other people plan their mailings around their paychecks. So, if they get paid twice a month, maybe they delay all book requests until it hits a paycheck date. Naturally, most people plan their mailings around their schedule. If i happen to need to go to the Post Office for an un-related to PBS reason, i will often wrap up whatever orders I have and mail them earlier than I was planning on. The people who live close to blue boxes are very lucky, they have a convenient way to mail all of the time. I know when I lived in a city, I had blue boxes everywhere, too. But now I live in a suburb, and they are few and far between. 

Also, either Friday night or Saturday night is when I do my wrapping. I print the label, wrap the book, mark it mailed, and then do the next one. When you have a list of 10 or 12 books to go out, this is how I prevent mixing up wrappers, printing the same wrapper twice, etc, .... and stuff like that.

Then the books sit until Sunday when I mail them at the PO, right on the very same day I said I would.

This is completely within the rules.

Last Edited on: 1/14/10 3:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 1/14/2010 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,246
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I also usually post Wish List books on Sunday. (Hoping to be able to mail them out the following Sunday). Usually 7 days is enough time to get cycled thru up to 4 people on the WL, if the 4th one accepts quickly.

When I first joined, I also posted WL books with the intention of mailing them out immediately ... until I figured out that even though I wanted to mail them out "right now" .... the potential receivers were obviously not glued to their computers waiting to accept my Wish List books.

So I calmed down, and now I post WL books with the feeling that hopefully I will be able to mail them out in my next regular Sunday mailing.

So, yes, this is one reason why you accept a Wish List book that was obviously just posted, and it doesn't get mailed out immediately.

Last Edited on: 1/14/10 3:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/14/2010 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I just waited almost 5 days to accept 2 book requests because I had WL books not being accepted.  Of course now-if the WL times out or is declined by more people-when it's finally accepted it might sit for a few before I accept it because I will have already made my postal run for the week. 

Subject: Another late mailing
Date Posted: 1/15/2010 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 19
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Here's another one for you that just happend with one of my recent transactions.  A book I requested was accepted by a member but she never marked the book as mailed so the request then rolled to the next member with the book.  The next day the member originally having the request IM'd me to aplogize stating she had mailed the book but had forgotten to mark it as mailed.  I was lucky that I was able to cancel the pending request as the second member had not accepted and I then responded that I would transfer a credit once the book arrived (as it was no longer being tracked in the system).  Three days later I receive another IM from the same member with the same message.......I pointed out to her that she should check her earlier IM message as we had already discussed the transaction.  She then IM'd me back aplogizing for the duplicate messages and then told me that she had actually forgotten to mail the book and would be sending it out.  It will be interesting to see if I actually get the book.

Regarding the 48 hour rule......the examples that were referenced in the posted rule regard situations where a member would have trouble accessing their PC to mark the book as mailed after it was mailed.  I don't see how the rule can be interpreted differently than how it was written as they actually provided examples of what situations would apply.  If it was the intent to state that everyone can mark their book as mailed up to 48 hours after actually mailing the book then there would be no need to provide any situational examples as the rule would apply no matter what the situation.

Last Edited on: 1/16/10 11:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 3