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Topic: I Sent It. She Received It. DC Says So. But what if...

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Subject: I Sent It. She Received It. DC Says So. But what if...
Date Posted: 8/9/2009 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I sent a book to a requestor who received it on July 31. She has yet to mark it received.

What happens if she never marks it received?  Will it be marked lost even if there is DC?

I am just curious.

Date Posted: 8/9/2009 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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Oy.  This comes up about every day it seems! 

DC does not tell you that she received it.  It tells you that it's been scanned at the local post office.  There is no way to know that it has (or ever will) made it directly to her door.  The postman could misdeliver it.  It's also common for the media mail to sit around post offices for awhile.  We're not high priority. 

Or she might be out of town for a few days.  Or maybe she hasn't had access to the internet since she received it. 

If she never receives it then yes, the system will mark it lost.  But you've already got your credit, so no sweat. 

Wish there was a better explaination of this on the site because many people get the impression that you did, that this is an actual confirmation of delivery to their door.  Understand why you thought that- nothing wrong with sending a polite inquiry to her shortly before the lost date to check if she forgot if it comes to that. 

Happy trading- Sara



Last Edited on: 8/9/09 9:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/9/2009 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,086
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It will be marked lost like any other transaction and the requester will get his/her credit back.  Remember also that they could be on vacation.  Since it has been more than a week since delivery, I would send a nice PM jic they forgot to mark it received.

Date Posted: 8/9/2009 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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You've got your credit, I'd leave it alone...I mean PBS is sending her reminders to mark it received anyway...

Date Posted: 8/9/2009 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I recently learned that when the DC states received at unit - it doesn't mean the final destination it is referring to the postal unit.   So as long as it is deliverd to the PO it is delivered.   I had this last week, DC showed rec'd at unit in her city and day later it was marked rec'd her city.  4 days later she marekd it received.  I also noticed that there is not alot of scanning going on.  One book wasn't scanned until it reached it's final destination the PO. 

Date Posted: 8/9/2009 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Lemme get this straight. Delivery confirmation only confirms that it was delivered to the final post office? Am I getting this right?

Date Posted: 8/9/2009 11:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Yes, you got it right.  I have rec'd two delivery notices.  One to the unit - I am assuming if it is a large city it is a distribution unit and the second delivery notice notifies me that is was delivered at the PO and scanned.  Or you might just get one delivered and that will be scanned at the PO.  I thought the same thing a few week back.  From the books I sent recently - especially in FL it takes up to 2-4 days after the PO scans for the member to mark it received - so I am assuming it takes that long. 

Date Posted: 8/9/2009 11:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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Delivery confirmation only confirms that it was delivered to the final post office? Am I getting this right?

No, that is not right; but in some cases it could be what happens. The "Delivered" scan is only supposed to happen at the mailbox when it is delivered. The delivery to the Post office is supposed to be "Arrival at Unit." The post offices know they are not supposed to scan them as "Delivered" at the PO, but many do it anyway due to shortage of equipment, ignorance, laziness, who knows.

A correct "Delivered" scan also doesn't guarantee an accurate delivery, it just means they delivered it somewhere.

If you search the Help Center it will tell you what to do in this case.

Date Posted: 8/10/2009 12:20 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Melaine this is very interesting - I posted something similar and I was told that DC does not confirm delivery to the door but the PO.    I will be visiting the PO this Thursday and I am going to have a chat with them about how they are scanning and policy of scanning.  I really don't like being told in accuarte information nor do I like the fact that I carried that information on to a post.  Laura - if the info I posted is not correct - I do apologize - but that is what I was told in very crispy tones .  I will post back what I find.

 

Date Posted: 8/10/2009 12:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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Some people post that because that is what their POs do so they don't realize that even though it is done, it is an incorrect procedure. One of the PBS postal workers posted in the Postal Regs Forum that they were told something like 6 years ago that postal employees were supposed to stop scanning that way. I asked at the post office I mail from and they confirmed, but I think some of the smaller ones don't have the equipment or just do what they are used to doing, or scan that way to show it delivered faster than it really is. I know I see my delivery gal scanning at my box and almost always see both an Arrival at Unit and Delivery scan.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 8/10/2009 1:39 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I have two that look like this:

  • 7/28/2009 6:00 PM - Electronic Shipping Info Received - MACOMB,MI
  • 7/29/2009 7:53 PM - Enroute - PONTIAC,MI
  • 7/30/2009 11:50 PM - Enroute - ALLEN PARK,MI
  • 8/3/2009 10:05 AM - Arrival at Unit - BEVERLY,MA
  • 8/3/2009 12:34 PM - Delivered - BEVERLY,MA

Now, I haven't asked at the PO but thought that Arrival at Unit meant at the PO and Delivered meant delivered to a person's mailbox.  Not saying it's been delivered to the right person just that it's been delivered somewhere.

I've seen my mail lady scan a PBS package before she handed it to me.  That's why I thought delivered meant, well delivered to a person's mailbox. 

Right now I have five books that have been marked like the one above covering five days.  From August 3 to August 8.  All marked delivered, not Arrived at Unit - I have several of those too. 

To really answer your question, yes even though it has a DC and has been marked as delivered if the person doesn't mark it received it will be declared lost.  The nice thing is you keep your credit. 

I'm antsy and want to PM to find out if the books have been received by the person.  But, I'm going to follow the guidelines in the Help Docs and hold off because they could be on vacation.  I've had that happen twice so far this summer.  As others have said PBS is e-mailing for them to mark it received.  In fact I've had two of those myself this week.  I don't have the books so I'm not marking received.  No DC on them so I can't track 'em in any way...boo hoo. 



Last Edited on: 8/10/09 1:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/10/2009 2:17 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Nice visual Geri, thanks for sharing :-) 

Ideally, that's what should show on a properly delivered scan.  But as Melanie points out, some PO facilities apparently don't have the equipment to scan onsite and therefore scan at the PO and not the 'door'.  I've seen mine scan stuff with a handheld before handing it to me, when for some reason the carrier brings it to the house instead of leaving in my RR box.

Luckily Laura, because you used DC the credit is yours to keep. 

Date Posted: 8/10/2009 7:36 AM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2006
Posts: 1,402
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Actually, per the Help Center, you shouldn't just let it go. 

(The part below is cut & pasted is from the Help Center section about lost books.  Just go the the Help Center, click on Browse Help Docs and look on the right side, in the Quick Help box.  About 9 lines up from the bottom is a link that says "A Book I sent is lost in the mail!"  Click that and it will take you to the section I've posted.)

If you sent the book with Delivery Confirmation and it has been recorded as delivered by USPS but hasn't been marked received yet:

  • Remember that the book could have been scanned as "delivered" at the local PO, before it went to the requestor's mailbox--the actual delivery can be a few days later  Also, the book could have been misdelivered.
  • You should FIRST contact the requestor using the  "PM"button on the transaction on the Books I've Mailed tab in My Account when a few days have passed after delivery.
  • If the requestor does not respond to your PM within a week, and has not marked the book received by a week after the delivery scan, contact us.  We will look into it.
  • If you used DC purchased through PBS, or PBS Printed postage, you will already have gotten your credit for sending the book.

This is a copy of one of the PMs I have sent in this situation:

RE: Book "A"

Good Morning,

I'm PMing to check up on this book. The DC is showing it as delivered on TUE the **th. I understand that you may be away from home or had an emergency, but I'm concerned that it may have been misdelivered.  If it hasn't yet arrived, could you please let me know? If it has been misdelivered I'd like to file the mail theft/loss form right away so it will hopefully be found. I already have my credit, so that really isn't an issue for me, but this is not the easiest book to find and I'd hate for you to not get it.

Thanks,

Meghan/bookreadera

It's important that PBS be informed of these things.  While having a number of lost books will flag your account, a lost book flag isn't "rated" (for lack of a better term) the same as not replying to a PM about a book that is showing as delivered to you by USPS DC. 

eta - I'm not saying that you should start PMing the second DC shows it as delivered.  It's completely reasonable to allow time for vaction and emergencies.  Just don't ignore it indefinately simply b/c you've (generic you) rcd a credit.  If it shows as delivered and isn't marked rcd after a reasonable amount of time,  the Help Center procedures should be followed.  If the Team didn't care about this sort of thing, they wouldn't have put the procedure in the HC  :  )



Last Edited on: 8/10/09 7:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/10/2009 8:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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DC is supposed to be scanned when it is delivered, but that does not always happen. Also, it only confirms it is delivered SOMEWHERE, not necessarily to the person requesting the book. Since there isn't a signature required, there is no real "proof" that the person ordering it has the book in their hands. I've had books misdelivered to a neighbor before, and if that person wasn't honest, I'd have never received it even though the DC "says" I did.

Short answer, the book still can "go lost" but as long as you used PBS DC, you will not lose your credit. That's what the "credit assurance" fee pays for.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 8/10/2009 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 61
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I think there can be so much variation in what goes on with scanning, also in the interpretation by each office as to procedure.  We scan as arrived at unit when we open the sack each morning.  If the package can fit in the person's box, it is then scanned as delivered as we place it in their box, because then it is technically no longer our package, but theirs.  If it is a larger box and must be picked up over the counter, it is not scanned until we hand it to the person, since it is still in our "custody" until then.

Sometimes someone will come in first thing in the morning, before anything has been scanned at all.  So, we root through the packages for theirs, and it just gets scanned as delivered.

Once, our scanner died and it took a couple of days for the new one to arrive.  Consequently, nothing was scanned during those two days.

I'd like to offer a suggestion to those preparing packages with home-printed DC's:  Make sure your printer prints clearly and darkly.  A scanner probably won't be able to read smeared ink, too light printing, has wrinkles, or a label that hiccupped halfway through printing and has a jag in the lines.  ALSO, clear tape is ok, but make sure there aren't lots of wrinkles.  Also, please don't wrap the DC around the edge of the book.

All these things most likely will make the label unreadable by a scanner.  I have seen all these things come through our office.  We are small enough we can type the numbers in by hand, but I can guarantee that in larger offices and distribution centers(which scan as boxes go down a conveyor belt) there is not enough time or enough workers to enter all those numbers by hand.  A properly applied label has a good chance of getting scanned.

The postal service is between a rock and a hard place, mostly because of a steep drop in mail volume and some stupid congress-enacted legislation that is a huge factor.  I think we do our best to ensure customer satisfaction with short hours and short help.  Doing everything we can from the home-front as we prepare our own mail for mailing makes a huge difference.

Thanks for letting me rant!  People do like to complain, but for a measly .44 (still about the cheapest in the world) we can send a precious piece of mail across the country and be 99.999999 sure it will arrive safely in just a few days.

Date Posted: 8/10/2009 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 129
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I have heard that putting tape over the scan bar code may reflect back the light and the scanner will be unable to complete a scan.  I tape around the edges but not over the top of it.

 

Date Posted: 8/10/2009 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,140
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Keep in mind that just because DC says that it was delivered does not mean that it was delivered correctly.

I had an incoming book I was watching, DC said it was delivered (scanned at the time our mailperson deliveres) and I went down to the mailbox that evening and it wasn't there.  Stalked the mailbox for a few days, no book. 

Finally, I just PMed the sender and told her that despite the fact it was "delivered" it was not delivered into my mailbox.  I'd keep an eye on the box to see if someone got it by accident and drops it back into the slot and would let her know as soon as I had it.

It never appeared.  No idea where it truly went.  It was manga, so I suspect someone opened it and kept it.  Alternatively, it could have been stuck in an empty unit's mailbox and then cleaned out with the junk.

Date Posted: 8/10/2009 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Barbara wrote: I have heard that putting tape over the scan bar code may reflect back the light and the scanner will be unable to complete a scan.  I tape around the edges but not over the top of it.

I have been taping over my labels with clear packing tape ever since I've been using the DC, and have never had a label NOT be scanned successfully somewhere along the way. I would think it would be better for the clear tape to protect the label rather than have it end up soaked and wet and blurred, or smudged and dirty, which would surely impair scanning.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 8/10/2009 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Meghan--

That's a nicely worded letter; I might steal your format :-)

The "tape on the barcode" issue can vary.  At my local post office, their scanner won't work through the tape, and after getting dirty postal looks when they had to hand type 20 DC numbers (I was mailing a lot of books out), I now cover the numbers of the DC with tape, but not the barcode.  If the ink smears (which I've not seen happen in over 1,000 transactions), they can still read the numbers, but the tape won't interfere.

Sometimes "delivery" is to the member's home, sometimes it is to the member's local post office.

I think the biggest shock in using PBS DC and Printable Postage is to find that, despite being a unified government entity, the postal service practices really vary from office to office. 

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 8/10/2009 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Oy.  This comes up about every day it seems!

Oy, maybe so, but I am still glad I asked.

Oy, Oy, Oy, Och!

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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It will be marked lost like any other transaction and the requester will get his/her credit back.

So does this mean that the person who used DC and got an automatic credit will lose that credit?

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2006
Posts: 1,402
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So does this mean that the person who used DC and got an automatic credit will lose that credit?

No, if you used PBS DC you have "Credit Assurance"  and you keep your credit.  What it does mean is that when the system automatically returned that credit to the requestor, it took that credit from PBS.  Yet another reason to follow proper procedure and follow-up.  Those credits have to come from somewhere and it will end up costing all of us later if PBS has to charge a fee to cover costs.