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Topic: it's starting to become a bit of a joke

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Subject: it's starting to become a bit of a joke
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2008
Posts: 14
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a few months ago i posted a suggestion for a 3 strikes and you are out policy and was
bombarded with replies stating that this was just wayyy toooo harsh.

imagine that, instituting a rule to ensure member responsibility...
suspending those with a track record of repeated transgressions? that's just crazy

well, the streak continues. of the last 10 books requested I've only received 3

this isn't whining. this is stating that there is a problem.



Last Edited on: 9/30/08 10:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Amy
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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Well, why haven't you received the books? Did the member not mark them mailed? Did they get lost in the mail? Or did the member cancel the request?

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2008
Posts: 2,527
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Were the books never accepted, mailed or lost in the mail?

I've had a few books go lost in the mail lately too, and a few more about to go lost. I was wandering if it doesn't have something to do with the hurricanes. Before the past couple months I'd never really had a problem with this.

ETA:: I had a member from Texas tell me that they didn't have any postal services going on for a while during and after the hurricane.



Last Edited on: 9/30/08 10:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Welll....let me ask you, why do you think the problem is occuring?  I have sent over 150 books and received about that many and never have I had one not turn up either from me or to me.  So, I wonder if your post office is the problem?  Also, of those 7 you haven't received, have they all officially gone past the "lost" date?  As I am sure you know, media mail can be stupidly slow sometimes.

Sorry you are having this issue, but I am willing to lay money on the problem residing somewhere other than bad members based on my experience and the experiences of countless others I have talked to.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2008
Posts: 14
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in almost all cases the member accepted the order but didn't follow through and send the book. in this discussion board, i also see another issue of members not acknowledging receipt of a book days after usps has confirmed delivery.

obviously, not everyone is experiencing these problem. a 3 strikes policy would not impact upon responsible members. nor would it supersede illness and other valid reasons. i think we can give the keepers of this website credit to use good judgment as necessary.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I never had books going lost or taking a long time in the mail until recently.  I've had a DVD and a book coming to me go lost.  And several that I received literally hours before they were supposed to go lost.  All were mailed right away too so it's the PO that's taking longer. 

I've always thought that if someone has a transaction go unanswered be it a WL offer, a book request or a book not marked mailed-that their account should be put on hold.  If it's a normally active person who just had computer problems or forgot ot put their account on vacation-no big deal-they just unhold he account when they can.  They have less books to repost and re-add to their WL.  If it's someone who just doesn't care about PBS then they're out of the system. 

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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I think the tough thing about three strikes and you are out is that there are valid reasons that someone may not be able to send a book, as you mentioned.  It would be very easy for anyone to make up a valid reason as well, so how do the site's owners know who is being truthful and not?

You should know that people with a pattern of problems in their account do have their accounts suspended or cancelled.  I am not sure how many "strikes" it takes for that to occur, probably more than three, but there is some oversight into these issues.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Actually, I, too, have found this to be happening a lot lately, but I think it started before Hurricane Ike.  I guess I can't be sure about that, though.  Anyway,  books, in my case, get marked mailed but "go lost" and I never get them.  Sure, I get my credit back, but, I mean, I really wanted the books., of course.  

I do understand your frustration, Jim.

That said, a 3 strikes law is impractical, at the very least, since how do you prove the books *didn't* just go lost?  I do at least get my credits back and if the sender really mailed, they are out their books and their credit. 

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2008
Posts: 14
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It's been a few months but if I recall correctly, a member must notify the system once they've posted the book. No notification = a member didn't mail the book. As for 3, it's a pretty fair number and it allows for those valid reasons. It's not like your account is frozen after one or two instances. Three is starting to indicate a pattern.

Last Edited on: 9/30/08 12:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I think 3 strikes and you're suspended until the matter is resolved would be a good idea.   However, I don't think that is where is site owners want to put their time, energy and money.   It would mean that every time there was a "3 strike" they would have to look, negotiate and then decide if the member could become active again.    That would take some time and time is money.

I've never had a problem with any book I've sent or received.  But, I can see why Jim and others are so frustrated.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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I do like the "if you ignore a request your account gets put on vacation".  No interaction from the owners required, since vacation hold can be removed.

I haven't had any problems, but the vast majority of books I request are WL books so they were just posted.   So the person was at least active recently.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I already give the keepers of this website credit to use good judgment as necessary, and I'm sure that they do.  Whatever system they already have in place for determining which members do have a pattern of problems and which ones do not is perfectly satisfactory to me.  If it wasn't, I probably wouldn't remain a member here.  As a responsible member, my part in that is to report problems when I'm supposed to and trust them to keep track of those problems and do the rest.  If you see a repeated pattern of system abuse from a specific member, you can contact PBS and report it.  We're not thrashing out PBS rules here anyway.  Those are already in place, and if we have suggestions for changes to them, we can use the Contact Us tab at the bottom of each page and make them.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2008
Posts: 1,051
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Mail is slowing down also because we have the Christmas season coming up. They get 5x the normal mail around then.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 11/8/08 7:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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my problem of late has been people not accepting or declining book offers.  A good example, a book I ordered on 9/21 is still waiting to be accepted.  I think if you only have 48 hrs to accept a WL book, then you should only have 48 hrs to accept a FIFO request.  Seriously I am really miffed here, I ordered three books on the same day, books #2, 3 & 4 of a series I started.  Books 3&4 were accepted and came in a timely fashion, book two is hanging around still waiting for the second person to accept or decline. 

I checked both the previous person and this one are not located in Hurricane Ike's wake, nor are their shelves on hold so what the heck?  If you don't have postage or can't find the book or what ever than for the love of god please decline.  Seriously.

 

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 2:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2006
Posts: 2,303
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[reply rescinded]



Last Edited on: 9/30/08 2:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 7/13/10 3:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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Well, I certainly don't expect anyone to sit on the computer 24/7 waiting for my or anyone's order.  On the flip side, joining a site like this implies some level of participation, even if it is only to have email notification on for incoming orders.  I don't think it's asking too much to remember to put a shelf on hold if you're going on vacation, you're going to have to turn off any subscriptions or make arrangements for email downloads if gone for an extended period or your isp will take issue for your overflowing inbox.  And I don't mean unplanned emergencies or family tragedies, no one expects a person to log in during those times.

That being said, considering the membership numbers, I am guessing few can blame Ike for not processing orders.  Certainly not someone in SC, or ILL, or MN.  I live in Florida, and during hurricanes I most certainly have lost power for weeks at a time, but hey guess what public libraries and a lot of retail business offer FREE wi fi, the library will let you use their computers free of charge if you don't have access to a laptop.  All the Hospitals in our area, and lets be honest they are usually up and running with electricity pretty quick, offer free internet computer access in their cafeterias.  So unless you're in a very rural area, you can find computer access.

Ike was no Katrina, Hugo or Andrew, and I have nothing but sympathy for those who might still 2 1/2 weeks later are suffering from Ike's effects.  Very few hurricanes cause the devestation those three did, everytime there is a hurricane, it can't be used as a blanket excuse for slacking on membership responsiblity.

Amy
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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Ike was no Katrina, Hugo or Andrew

This is a very arrogant statement and I take much offense to it. You have no idea how much devastation Ike caused. It may not have got the media attention that Katrina did, but it was a terrible storm nonetheless and the people of Galveston and surrounding areas like the Boliver Peninsula and Clear Lake are still recovering from it effects and will continue to do so for the rest of this year.

I agree that it can't be used a blanket excuse, but I feel that you are being very harsh in this instance.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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I didn't mean to offend, and I don't intend to be arrogant.  But frankly it wasn't.  If you had seen the aftermath of either Hugo or Andrew (I did...) Nothing standing not a leaf or blade of grass for miles.  People living on daily red cross donations for not days, not weeks, but the better part of the year because it was that or starve.  St. Croix was with out power for upwards 6 months, a year in many portions of the island.  Katrina victims still haven't recovered.   I have also lived through my share of hurricanes, from David to our recent battle with the 4 in a row hurricanes, I've been living through and dealing with the aftermath's of hurricanes from catagory 1-5 for the better part of my life both in the islands and on the mainland, so this might be a subject I know just a bit about.

Not to minimize the damage Ike caused, but it definitely wasn't as severe



Last Edited on: 9/30/08 5:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Amy
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 6:07 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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I disagree, but to each his/her own.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2006
Posts: 2,303
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I'm guessing I didn't get my sarcastic post removed before you saw it and I apologize. 

I do agree with you that "joining a site like this implies some level of participation". I know it took me a while after joining this site to become addicted. It took me a while even to figure out how it worked. Back then, getting online and finding I had let a book request expire wasn't a big deal to me at all. It was more like "oops. Oh well, I guess they'll get it from someone else." Even now, when I sometimes spend hours a day here, there are other times when life is so busy and involved or overwhelming that PBS isn't even on my priority radar-- to the point where I don't even think of it enough for it to occur to me to put my shelf on hold. I don't go more than a week without logging on, but sometimes I am so exhausted and overwhelmed when I DO get that book request that it is easy to say, "I am not going to worry about that right now. I'll check for that book tomorrow". (I do not accept a book request until I have verified I can find the book and it is "okay" to send.)

There is a small percentage of PBS members who live here. For those of us who enjoy socializing online and for whom it has become normal to be online for hours a day, we sometimes forget that our normal is not necessarily the norm for whomever got our FIFO order. As incredible as it seems to me, my sister can go months without getting online--or even thinking of it. (Now she would not join PBS, because she doesn't want to have to think to check her email every 3 days.)

I don't mean to be belittling your frustration. I do know what it is like to be waiting a whole series of books until one of the first books arrive. I just personally don't find it worth getting "seriously miffed" about--and if I do, I usually find another way to get the book. As a sender, I try to reply promptly and mail as soon as convenient, but it has never occurred to me that maybe the requestor has already sat through 2-3 roll-overs on the FIFO list and is stewing whether that book is EVER going to come. Being one of the "always online" club, I personally would probably actually appreciate a polite PM saying "I noticed my book request has gone to you. I am quite eager to receive this book and would appreciate a quick response--even if you need to cancel so the request can move to the next person. Thanks." (At the same time I can realize that some members would be annoyed by such perceived impatience.)

Sorry again for over-reacting to your expression of frustration.



Last Edited on: 1/23/09 9:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Actually, I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it firsthand, but Ike caused some pretty major damage here in Louisville, Ky. of all places.  I got caught out in my car with my son when the windstorm hit here, and it took us an hour to make a trip that normally takes about 15 mins & we were dodging downed trees and power lines the whole way.  We had massive power outages and schools were closed the entire following week.  It was like the aftermath of a city-wide tornado.  And that's in Kentucky - not exactly what I'd call near the gulf coast:P No, I guess it wasn't as severe as getting hit head on by a major hurricane, but it seemed bad enough at the time.  I don't know if they had power & internet outages in MN or not, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that they did.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,945
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The current PBS rule is that a sender has 5 days to respond to a book request.  If even one sender waits that long, or doesn't respond at all and then the request goes on to another sender, it does take  time.  I'm sorry that you are frustrated, and I appreciate that.  If you wish, you are always free to voice your opinion about this length of time to the PBS team.  Click on the grey Help Center tab, choose the lower right hand box that says "Contact Us", and a fom will appear so you can send them some feedback.  You can choose "suggestion" as a category if you wish.  You will hear back from someone within 24-48 hours.

One thing I have learned in my 52 years on this earth, (at least I have learned one thing!)  :)  is that unless you are currently living in someone else's shoes, it is best not to make sweeping statements about how they may be, or should be, feeling about something that has affected them, be it illness, personal tragedies or hurricanes.  Granted, in one's opinion you could conclude that one storm is worse than another.  But if you are the one standing there looking at your house that is totally gone, or have been told that you have cancer, it doesn't help you feel much better to think "Oh well, I'm sure someone else is worse off than me."  That thought is not generally the first one to come to mind. To give an example, I am an RN.  It was quite easy for me for years to make judgements about how a patient should feel about what they were going through.  When I started having medical problems myself, I quickly learned that there is indeed another side to the story.  This fact has served to make me a much better and compassionate nurse.  Just some thoughts.... 

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 9:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
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Are you jumping the gun? Sometimes media mail takes forever. California residents say it took up to 3 weeks to get a book from me even though I mail within a day or two. And the same holds true for books I request from Cali residents. Either that or you just hit a major streak of ill luck that is virtually unheard of on PBS.

I hope things improve for you

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