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Topic: Requesting postage refund?

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Subject: Requesting postage refund?
Date Posted: 8/31/2013 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2006
Posts: 10
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I had a situation today where I printed a wrapper with postage on it but canceled the request after I printed but before I sent the book out because the there was a mistake in the type of book.  My book was a paperback and the requester wanted a hardback.  So now that I've printed the wrapper and the money has been deducted from my account, is there any way to get a refund?  I've checked the account transaction log and even though I canceled the transaction the postage money hasn't been refunded to my account.  Is it too late?

Date Posted: 8/31/2013 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2008
Posts: 170
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Yes, it's too late.  Once you've printed the wrapper and had the money deducted from your account, there is no way to get a refund.  How did this happen?  Was your book posted under the wrong binding?  It's happened to me when book clubs issue a paperback book using the hardback ISBN.

Date Posted: 8/31/2013 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,423
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Some post offices will refund the postage.  Basically, when you click that little button, the money is transferred to the post office.  PBS does not have it.  The post office does.  You get the wonderful joy of dealing with your local post office.

PBS does not refund the fee.  The fee covers PBS's contract with the middle man, the postage service.  A percentage covers the credit costs for lost books, making the credit guarantee.  PBS will still need to pay the service provider, even if you canceled the order.

Date Posted: 8/31/2013 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2006
Posts: 10
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Thanks for clearing that up for me.  I'm not sure how it happened.  The book has had multiple editions and I think the one edition that I have, PBS doesn't have a proper ISBN for, so I selected something closest option but for some reason when the request came through from the member, the cover of the book was completely different than what I have.  I know that I would never have picked a version that had a different cover that is hardback when I actually have the paperback copy.  I am very consciensious about trying to get as close as possible.  I feel bad for letting this member down.  Seems like she collects this series in hardback editions.

Date Posted: 8/31/2013 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,779
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Hi Laura, I'm a little confused by your last post. Books should always be posted by ISBN number, in all cases where the book has an ISBN. The title, author, and binding of your book must also match the PBS listing. The cover picture does not matter at all and does not need to match. So, in cases where the cover doesn't match, but the other 4points DO match, you should not be picking some other listing for your book. If your book does not have an ISBN at all, or if it does but your binding is different from what is in the listing, then you need to post your book without an ISBN. So, there are no cases where it is OK to just pick the closest listing, is what I'm trying to say. Good thing you caught it before you mailed it!
Date Posted: 8/31/2013 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2008
Posts: 170
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When do you need to Post a book using the Post Books Without an ISBN feature?

  • When your book has no ISBN
  • When your book has an ISBN, but the ISBN is unknown to the PBS database (has not yet been added by regular updates)
  • When your book has an ISBN, but when you type it in on the Post Books page, that ISBN "brings up" another booktype in the database
    • Such as the paperback if you have the hardcover, and vice versa
    • Such as Large Print when you have the regular-font version
    • This happens when the publisher assigns the same ISBN to multiple booktypes.

If your book does not match the listing information (title, author, booktype) in the database for the ISBN on the book, it must be Posted without an ISBN

To post your book without an ISBN:

  • First, make sure to look over your book really well
    • Sometimes ISBN numbers can be found in unexpected places like the spine
    • The back of the book and in the publishing information in the front of the book are the most common places to find an ISBN.
  • If your book has no ISBN (or the ISBN you have doesn't work in the system):
    • Go to the Post Books page
      • From My Account: click the Post Books tab
      • From anywhere on the site: place your cursor over My Account on the toolbar at the top of the site and click Post Books in the menu that drops down.
      • From your Bookshelf, click the link "Post Books" at the top of the page, in the yellow bar.
    • On the Post Books page:
      • Click the "Post a Book without an ISBN" link at the top of the page, in the yellow bar.
      • Enter the information about the book in the form that comes up:
        • Mandatory information includes: title, author, book dimensions, Subject (genre), booktype
        • Optional information includes: Large Print, Homeschool, Publisher, # pages, Back cover Description (synopsis of the book content), Book Cover image.
        • Your Book Cover Image needs to be less than 5 MB in size, and in .jpg format.

When you are done, your book will be listed in the database with a customized listing that has a "short ISBN" or "PBS ISBN", which is the 5 or 6 digit number that PBS assigns in place of the ISBN to keep track of the book in the system.

Date Posted: 9/1/2013 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,064
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I once accidently weighed the wrong book while printing postage.  I immediately send e-mail to the PBS staff and was able to get my postage refunded. Apparently, you have to do so almost immediately as PBS has a very short time frame in which it can stop the postage charge before the system sends it to the USPS. And, of course, the PBS staff has to read the message before then. If they are working on something else, they may not read your message in time. I was lucky.

Date Posted: 9/1/2013 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 696
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"Some post offices will refund the postage."

News to me.  All the directives I have seen tell us to direct the customer to contact their postage provider to arrange for a refund.

Date Posted: 9/1/2013 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2008
Posts: 1,225
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Laura - if the ISBN of your book isn't currently listed on PBS, try searching for it for a few days.  The PBS database doesn't have all ISBNs, but if you search for it sometimes it will appear.  It's worked for me a few times, and then you can post by ISBN.

Date Posted: 9/2/2013 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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Thanks for clearing that up for me.  I'm not sure how it happened.  The book has had multiple editions and I think the one edition that I have, PBS doesn't have a proper ISBN for, so I selected something closest option but for some reason when the request came through from the member, the cover of the book was completely different than what I have.  I know that I would never have picked a version that had a different cover that is hardback when I actually have the paperback copy.  I am very consciensious about trying to get as close as possible.

Please make sure you don't have any other books on your Bookshelf that are not posted by their ISBN. "Close as possible" is not good enough, on PBS you MUST have the ISBN printed on the book you have or you cannot post to that listing.  If PBS does not have your book, you need to use the Book Without and ISBN process referred to about. Sending books out that do not have the correct ISBN on them could cause a lot of problems and in the end cost you the book, credit, and postage money