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Topic: requesting books

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Subject: requesting books
Date Posted: 3/26/2014 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 57
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There's a book I want and have requested.  The person with the book never accepts and so I get impatient about day 4 and cancel.  The problem is when I go back to request again, it's from the same person.  Is there a way to jump over this person?  I've requested twice now and tried a third time and it's always the same person.

 

Date Posted: 3/26/2014 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,659
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If you request and the book is pending can you make another request for the same book? If the second one works you could go back and cancel the first one.

Date Posted: 3/26/2014 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 537
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If you wait until the request times out (5 days I think?) that person will automatically be put on vacation for not responding. Please do this instead of canceling, so other people will benefit from this person's account no longer being active for the time being. As you've found out, if you cancel and then re-request, you just get the same person again.

Date Posted: 3/26/2014 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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The first missed order will cause the book to be removed from that member's bookshelf.  It takes several missed orders for the account to be put on hold. 

But removing the book will roll your order over to the next person offering the book.  This usually happens in the middle of the night.  If an order is cancelled during the day, that signals that the member manually cancelled the order.

 

Swapping Deadlines

Here is a list of deadlines associated with the PBS swapping process:

  • A sender has 5 days* to respond to a request.
    • After accepting a request by clicking "I can mail in the next 2 days", a sender has 5 days to mark the book mailed. The deadline is at the end of the fifth day.
     
    • After accepting a request by clicking "I can mail later" and choosing an alternate mailing date, a sender has 2 days beyond the alternate mailing date to mark the book mailed. The deadline is at the end of the second day.
  • A requestor has 48 hours to respond to an offer of a book from her Wish List.
  • A book has 26 days from the "mailed" date to get to its destination within the contiguous US before it is declared "lost in the mail" at PBS.
  • A book sent from or to outside the contiguous US (AK, HI, GU, VI, PR, APO/FPO/DPO, etc)  has 35 days from the "mailed' date to get to its destination.

 *The PBS system works on calendar --not business-- days. Members need to keep postal holidays and their own schedules in mind when accepting a request and choosing the mail-by date.

Date Posted: 3/26/2014 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,709
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There's a book I want and have requested. The person with the book never accepts and so I get impatient about day 4 and cancel. The problem is when I go back to request again, it's from the same person. Is there a way to jump over this person? I've requested twice now and tried a third time and it's always the same person.

Yes, that is the exact way the system works. You understand it perfectly. If you stop cancelling the order, the system will AUTOMATICALLY cancel it and AUTOMATICALLY forward your request to the next person in line after 5 days. No need to do anything at all on your end.

Date Posted: 3/26/2014 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 57
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Thanks for the input.  I did cancel again and found it in a different version.  I can say that you cannot request the same book (at last in the same format).

Date Posted: 3/27/2014 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I just wanted to point out that lots of active members wait until the last day to accept a request and will mail the book out and it's perfectly within rules of PBS.  Repeatedly cancelling the request on the 4th day only prolonged your wait.
 

Date Posted: 3/28/2014 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Julie--As others have said--let the system do the cancelling for you.  Your request will automatically roll over to the next available book after four/five days and the copy that your first request was for will get removed from the system.  I know it can be frustrating waiting for the system when you come up against inactive members, but it really works best to be patient.  That way, you'll eventually (hopefully sooner rather than later) get a member that will send the book you want, and in the meantime, you're helping to weed out inactive members.