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Topic: Sender used DC, but there have not been any scans

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Subject: Sender used DC, but there have not been any scans
Date Posted: 11/28/2011 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 389
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A book was mailed to me on 11/9 and the sender used DC but there have not been any scans at all yet. This was on my wish list (and still has 3 people waiting), so if the book goes lost and is put back on my WL, I could get another offer the day after it goes lost, right? I haven't contacted the sender yet, but if they confirm they put it in the mail on the 9th, I will want to wait a week or so before I request another copy. So, do I need to log in as soon as I can on 12/7 to put it on hold?

Secondly, would Wednesday be too soon to PM the sender to confirm the mailing date? That will be three weeks after the mail date and one week before the date it will be marked lost. Thanks!

Date Posted: 11/28/2011 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
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I think sending them a PM before the book goes lost would be a good idea, since it hasn't been scanned and was mailed quite a while ago. You can let the person know that you're contacting them because, if it has in fact been mailed, you want to give it a chance to arrive before it rolls over to the next person. Otherwise, the second sender would be the one you'd need to mark as "received." 

And yes, you'd have to put it on hold as soon as possible after it goes back to your WL. I'm still hoping that PBS will one day start putting WL roll-overs on hold automatically to help prevent people from getting duplicate books.



Last Edited on: 11/28/11 4:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/28/2011 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,727
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As far as logging in to put the WL book on hold .... if that is what you choose to do, then you should try to log in as soon as you can. There is also a new option where if a WL book is offered to you, you can select "Not Now" which moves the book to the next wisher but leaves you in your place in line (you can only use that option once per WL book, though, so you will want to put the book on hold if you think there might be more than one copy of the book offered to you in that short time period).

As far as Wed. goes, I think thats fine. It leaves you enough time to (hopefully) receive an answer from the other member so you can decide what to do, without being a message sent too far in advance which some find annoying.

Date Posted: 11/28/2011 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,727
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You can let the person know that you're contacting them because, if it has in fact been mailed, you want to give it a chance to arrive before it rolls over to the next person. Otherwise, the second sender would be the one you'd need to mark as "received." 

Not quite. If the first copy arrives late but was mailed on time (and for the purposes of this rule, the PBS rules say that unless the postmark is within the week before the book was marked lost in the mail (or after), it must be marked received) then you must pay a credit for it too. Even if you ordered another copy after it goes lost.

Date Posted: 11/28/2011 5:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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You can also put your account on vacation hold for a week, that way it will automatically go on hold for that time I'd put the date a day before it goes lost. (make sure the book is not on auto accept).

Date Posted: 11/28/2011 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 389
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I forgot about the cool new "Not Now" feature, so if I can't get it on hold in time, I will use that. Assuming they used Printable Postage, will there be any postmark? I don't recall seeing any postmarks on other PP packages, just the date that the postage was printed.

Date Posted: 11/28/2011 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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That's the problem. If the label and postage are computer generated, there won't be a stamp. You'd generally see a rubber-stamped postmark (good luck reading it) is if they used stamps or, if the postage was printed at the P.O. counter, there'd be a date on that. If there's no postmark, you can't tell when it was actually sent off.

Date Posted: 11/29/2011 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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Mailing date is not always the "elecronically received" thing.  All that means is that the person printed out the label.

But that varies from PO to PO.  I get the electronically notified msg. when I have simply printed a label.   My PO scans it when I hand it across the counter, so the scan will have 2 entries:  electrtonically notified and then, "acceptance".

If media mail is moving thru the system, seems like it would be scanned along the way somewhere?  OTOH, I believe sometimes it is "only" scanned again at deliverance.

I wish they would come up with a uniform way of scanning, and stick to it. 

Date Posted: 11/30/2011 8:45 AM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2009
Posts: 265
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Another scenario would be they printed the label with dc and marked it mailed in the system as not to loose the request. But not actually get it mailed to a later date. I am in this situation now. The label was printed and marked mailed 9 days prior to acceptance at the PO. Wish I would of know of the delay Normally my books arrive in 4-5 days, not 4 weeks! . It hardly seems fair when I actually mail my books when I say I do.  I've had this happen more than once. I pm'd the sender once and they admitted to not even mailing it yet!

Date Posted: 11/30/2011 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 22,885
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DC was not intended to be a "tracking" number at all.  It was simple a way to confirm that your package has been delivered.  The PO has been trying to convert it into an actual tracking number by adding the acceptance scans, the enroute scans, and the arrival at unit scans.  An enroute scan only happens at a sorting facility.  My understanding of the way it works is this:  The packages travel along a conveyor belt.  There are large scanners positioned over the conveyor belts.  IF your package is turned up and the bar code is visible (not partially obstructed by another package) then your package gets an enroute scan.  

That said - it has happened to me too - and I KNOW my packages get into the correct container when they leave my station!  I work at the window, so I always get the acceptance scan (I have another window clerk do them).  I just had a package that had no scans other than acceptance until it arrived at the delivery station 13 days later.  Definitely unusual - especially since the other 4 packages I mailed on the same day all received enroute scans within 2-3 days, and all were delivered within 1 week.  3 of those pacakges traveled a lot farther than the unscanned package.

Unfortunately, there is no way to be absolutely sure that another person has actually mailed an item just because they marked it mailed here.  It isn't fair when folks mark a book mailed then don't actually mail it for a couple of weeks - but it does happen.  Some people have personal or family emergencies come up that prevent them from being able to mail on the same day, others just don't consider it a big deal.  We can't change the minds of those folks, although it is extremely frustrating for those of us that are anxiously awaiting our "new" book to arrive.  

Date Posted: 11/30/2011 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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PBS DC should only get an 'acceptance' scan if the member purchased counter postage, just passing it over the counter probably will not get your package scanned...some of our postal employee members report those are considered gratutious scans and are actively discouraged (if your PO still provides this service, be sure to make them feel appreciated).  PBS printable postage users who blue box may or may not see enroute scans.  They used to be more common, but it seems each time USPS updates or makes changes we see fewer scans prior to 'arrival at unit'.  As Cindy posted, DC is Delivery Confirmation, tracking is a different service.

Counter postage is the most accurate method of determining the actual mail date, so you can't be sure until/unless you can inspect the mailing label.

If the book goes lost and ends up back on your wishlist, make sure it's not on auto request.  You can even place the book on hold for a week or two to make sure the book isn't just a victim of holiday mail delays (IIRC this is the official PBS recommendation).  If the book is offered to you and you choose to use the 'Not Now' option, the system will put the book on wishlist 'hold'  (trying to remember if the hold notation is different than if I placed the hold myself).



Last Edited on: 12/2/11 11:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/30/2011 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,399
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Last Edited on: 4/28/12 10:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/30/2011 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,980
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If the book is offered to you and you choose to use the 'Not Now' option, the system will put the book on wishlist 'hold'  (trying to remember if the hold notation is different than if I placed the hold myself).

I used the "Not Now" on a book yesterday, so I went to check it.  The notation is no different from any other book on hold.  It looks exactly the same. 

Date Posted: 11/30/2011 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 389
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I did check directly at usps and there are no scans there either. I just PM'd them to ask if they know what day it was mailed. I know there may not be any on-the-way scans, but today I got the second "Did this book arrive?" email from PBS. The last time I got two of those, the book went lost.

The problem is that this book was on my wish list and Auto-Requested. I can't change to 48-hour hold until it goes back on my wish list, and it has been getting posted a lot lately. I can only "Not Now" a book that is on 48 hour hold, right, not one that is on Auto? I guess my real question at this point is when the book will be put back on my list? I am in the Central time zone, so will it be there at 11:01 PM the night of the 6th? I'm usually still up at 11, so I will check if I remember.

Date Posted: 12/1/2011 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2007
Posts: 2,534
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I always use DC.  Last month I sent out a book that was never scanned and it went lost in the mail.  I mailed out several different books at the same time and they were all scanned and received normally (whatever normal is with the post office). 

Date Posted: 12/2/2011 6:36 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 65
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The last book that I mailed was not scanned anywhere en route; the only scan was the delivery scan. Previously, my books have always been scanned at the Federal Way, WA sorting facility, and usually at the recipient's post office, before the delivery scan; I much prefer the multiple scans.
Date Posted: 12/2/2011 6:36 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 65
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The last book that I mailed was not scanned anywhere en route; the only scan was the delivery scan. Previously, my books have always been scanned at the Federal Way, WA sorting facility, and usually at the recipient's post office, before the delivery scan; I much prefer the multiple scans.
Date Posted: 12/2/2011 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Sarah, I'm not very good at determining exactly when the system will mark a book lost.  There is some information at the very bottom of the transaction box.  This is from one I'm watching b/c earlier this week I received a PBS reminder about it: 

USPS estimates arrival before 12/14/2011
Date of system action: 12/15/2011 12:00 AM ET

It would seem to indicate the PBS system will mark the book lost at midnight (EST) on December 15th.  If not received by then and I wanted to put it on hold, I would probably start watching it closer around the 13th JIC.

Date Posted: 12/5/2011 8:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 389
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The system marked it lost this morning, even though it is 12/5 and the date of system action was 12/7. But, since I didn't get any reply to my PM, I am going to let it order another copy for me. Thanks for all the advice.

Date Posted: 12/5/2011 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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The system action date is always listed at 28 days and the lost date is at 26 days. Books should always be marked lost 2 days before system action date.

Keep in mind that if the book shows up and it does not bear a late postmark, and you have ordered another copy, you will need to give credit for both books. It is usually best to wait the 2 weeks so that any timely mailed, but slow moving book will show up. I would also PM the sender again now that the book has been marked lost and ask that they give you an affirmative that the book was mailed on the date in the system so that you can start a lost mail search with the USPS. (That always seems like a way to ask without accusing them of not mailing it) and tell them that if they do happen to find the book unmailed that they should not mail it without first contacting you to ensure another copy is not on the way. If they do not respond this time, let the Team know. That way you have done your due diligence if that book shows up later.

Date Posted: 12/6/2011 8:17 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 389
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Melanie, do you know why they put one date but then take action two days earlier? I did PM them again, but I am doubting the book was mailed if there have been zero scans and no response from the sender to my PM. If they used printable postage, there probably won't be a postmark. ETA: Both PMs are still unread, but I know they may have read them via email.



Last Edited on: 12/6/11 8:19 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/11/2011 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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Melanie,

I did not know books should be marked not received before the system action date.

Thanks for posting that.

Date Posted: 12/11/2011 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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"...books should be marked not received before the system action date" not sure what you are referring to Laura B.  FIFO does the marking, not members.

The FIFO system will automatically mark the book lost 2 days before the 'action date'.  Therefore, if a receiver is watching for an incoming book that is about to go lost, and wish to put the book on hold for 14 days (per PBS guidelines) so another copy is not automatically ordered, they  should watch their wishlist 2 days before the action date.



Last Edited on: 12/11/11 6:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/11/2011 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,327
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And the system cancels transactions, passes on requests, and does it's business starting at 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time -- a few hours after the deadline.

It would be a nice feature to be able to remove the "auto-request" from a wish list book about to go lost, or to check a box that would have it place on hold on our wish list.  There's a red sticky thread at the top of the Club Members' Thoughts forum for suggestions on improving the site.

Date Posted: 12/13/2011 7:11 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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Denise L----thanks for clearing me up. I get it now.   :)

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