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Topic: Request Cancelled Issue

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Subject: Request Cancelled Issue
Date Posted: 10/14/2012 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2008
Posts: 1
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I've had an insanely busy week and it was all I could do to print my label and send my book off to the requestor. This morning I find that the request has been cancelled because I forgot to go back and "mark mailed." At first I was sort of kicking myself for not doing this, but when I went into the archives and saw that the tracking info is in the system and it's actually SHOWING that the book was received by my local PO and that it is in transit, I have to wonder why you can't fix your software to check that info??? Now I have to hope that the person I sent the book to will be nice enough to fix this issue on her end.

Overall, this seems like it adds a lot of unnecessary confusion when the labels have tracking info on them and you actually have that info in your system...wouldn't a simple "check Delivery Confirmation Events" BEFORE cancelling the transaction be a good solution?

Date Posted: 10/14/2012 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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If you actually want an answer, which I assume you do because you asked "why you can't fix your software to check that info???", you should use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page and ask the site admins. Other members can provide opinions but we may not fully understand the workings between the USPS tracking and the site. I know there are times that the USPS tracking is delayed hours sometimes even a day before it's publicly available.

If you want opinions, yes it's frustrating when you miss a date and maybe they could set up programming to do what you're suggesting. But the site currently provides a number of options if you find yourself too busy - vacation hold, cancelling the request, marking it mailed early if you know you're going to get it out in the next 48 hours, giving an extra couple of days to mark the book mailed and sending multiple reminders when the book isn't mailed on time.

Last Edited on: 10/14/12 10:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/14/2012 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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An interesting suggestion, you should send it to PBS Admin.  Unfortunately, USPS scans are becoming less common instead or more common.  Many packages now do not pick up any scans until the final 'Delivery' (unless the member buys counter postage).  TPTB have already increased the number of reminders to members (both to mail on time, and to mark received).

That said, have you contacted the receiver?  Let them know what happened, and hopefully they can stop their request from rolling over to another member.  If the requester ends up with two copies of the book, you may not receive a credit for your copy.

Last Edited on: 10/14/12 1:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/14/2012 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Probably because they expect us to be responsible for managing out own accounts and doing what you ask would be expensive to have programmed and implement. Especially since the scans are DC confirmation and none are required until it's delivered.  So members would probably get lax about being responsible thinking oh when it's scanned it'll get marked mailed.

I hope you PM'd tjhe requester to tell them what happened and if you didn't do it now.  If it's on their WL they can delete it or put the book on hold. If there's another transaction that hasn't been printed yet they can cancel it before they get a 2nd copy.

Some people thinks it's wrong to do this: but I mark books mailed as soon as they are wrapped and ready to go. I usually put stamps on them and mail them right after I wrap them anyway. But the rules say you can mark them mailed first as long as you mail within 48 hrs.  Now that you know you might forget, mark them mailed when you wrap them.

Last Edited on: 10/14/12 6:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/14/2012 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,045
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Some people thinks it's wrong to do this: but I mark books mailed as soon as they are wrapped and ready to go.

That's exactly what I do too.

The system actually works BETTER in the case where someone marks books mailed and then something happens and they don't actually get in the mail (because everything gets fixed eventually completely,  and automatically, with nobody out any credits at all ) .... then in the case where someone actually does mail the book and then forgets to mark it mailed (big mess that is not automatically fixed, wherein the sender potentially loses a credit and receiver potentially getting 2 copies of the book).

Date Posted: 10/15/2012 1:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,343
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From the help doc "My request was canceled but I already mailed the book!"

Q - I don't understand why you even have the Mark Mailed step.  Why is it necessary? Mailing is the important part!

A - We didn't start out having the step when we first launched in 2004.  But the need for it very quickly became apparent.  Without some idea of when the book was mailed, the system had no idea when to declare it "lost" and swaps were in chaos.  After we added the final, affirmative step of marking the book mailed to complete the sending process, everything started going much more smoothly.  If we didn't have to have that step we wouldn't.  But we know from experience that it is absolutely necessary for the sender to tell the system the book was mailed.

There are also instructions in the help doc on what to say when you contact the requestor.  The wording is important.  When your transaction was canceled, the server will have ordered another copy of the book for the requestor if one was available.  If the requestor can cancel the new transaction, then she can mark your book mailed from her transaction archive when it arrives.  But if she doesn't cancel the new transaction and gets two copies of the book, she's only obligated to mark the one received that was marked mailed before the deadline.