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Topic: USPS scanning practices

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Subject: USPS scanning practices
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Since there have been a few posts on the USPS not scanning as much...I've been watching my books (5) that have gone out and the ones with PBS-DC coming in (2) and none have been scanned anywhere.   This is kind of sudden for me.  Mine usually get scanned in Richmond if not my main post office.  Not now.  Not anywhere.  They must not have been received at the destination PO either.  It's sort of like putting them into a black hole.   Freaky.  I don't see any point in the Quick Credit any more if this is going to be USPS standard policy now.

Ruth

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,201
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Ruth,

I wouldn't doubt that this is an attempt at cost saving by the USPS.  My last 8 or nine books have been the same way.  Most were scanned in 3 or 4 places.  Now I have the Electronic Notification and then MAYBE one location scan before the delivery.

 

Mary

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I never used to get a quick credit for using DC, because mine were rarely scanned before delivery.  However, there is still the Credit Guarantee with using PBS DC, so if the book goes lost (goes into one of those black holes and never comes out!) you will still get your credit...

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I just checked mine. I've got 4 books on the way outbound all with PBS postage/DC. All except the one I put in the blue box last evening have multiple scans on them. There is one package inbound to me with DC and that one has several scans too. I know there have been a lot of threads about the scanning becoming less regular, but I can't say I've noticed that much. I don't usually check frequently though, so maybe it is taking longer, I don't know.

That said, I can't see the point (and never could) of using PBS DC only for "quick credit" or for "credit assurance." Really, I've had so few books go lost that it's not cost effective. I use the PBS postage (for convenience!) so I do get "instant credit" but not because I need that--I've usually got 40-50 credits stacked up or more.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I'm with Spuddie on the usign the PBS DC just for quick credit or credit assurance.  I would have spent well over $100 if I used it on every book.  The printed postage is a nice option to have though if you don't have time to go to the post office.  I usually keep a credit buffer for WL books and when I go below it-I go on hold until I read some WL books I can post.

DC is delivery confirmation.The only time it has to be scanned is on delivery.  Any scans before that are just luck really.  It's very possible with the economy the way it is and budget cuts that they are scanning things less and less especially media mail.  With more and more people using UPS and other delivery places, people emailing instead of writing letters and paying bills online the post office is probably not making as much money as it used to make.  Heck you can even send your greeting cards via email now.

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,202
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Ruthy - What Richmond? I'm one of the ones that have posted about the lack of scans all of a sudden out of my main distribution center and my regular PO. My main distribution center for media mail is Richmond, CA. Is that yours too? For first class it's Oakland.

I totally get what you mean about the black hole!! It is freaky. I've sort of gotten used to it but I miss all those scans that used to show up!! :) I felt so special! lol The funny thing is, I've noticed delivery with media mail is a lot quicker lately. Related or not, I don't know. But things have been speedy for me lately - about 10 multiple book packages all made it to destinations in less than a week. But with only one scan!



Last Edited on: 7/30/09 1:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Posts: 112
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Hey everyone,

   I have posted several threads lately about the lack of scans.  Glad to know it's not just me experiencing this problem!  One of the books I posted about earlier did arrive, but I have another one just sitting there with electronic shipping info received and that's it.  Like someone said, it's like a black hole has swallowed it up.    In a way I wish people wouldn't even use DC, and then I wouldn't have to get all freaked out looking at the lack of scans! LOL!   I, myself, have only used it for one book.   I did like getting the instant credit, but am not going to make a habit of using it.   Hope everyone's books show up!

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 2,024
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Hm... our mailman rang the bell yesterday to ask if I'd still had a package he delivered the day before which he forgot to scan. It was a PBS book already marked received and I told him I'm sure it's still in the bin.

So I went inside and got it and he scanned it. Doing this he told me there is some sort of "punishment" for forgetting to scan and he mumbled somethng about his boss which I couldn't understand so well (dog was barking). Having said that, it was the delivery scan he forgot. Dunno about other scans on the way to me.

I believed him otherwise why would he ask ?



Last Edited on: 7/29/09 9:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 928
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I use DC only sometimes, after I had an audio book almost go lost.  I always go to the PO window and pay for the postage.  They scan the bar code for DC right there in front of me, and I ALWAYS get the quick credit that night!

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,202
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it was the delivery scan he forgot

Yes, it must be scanned on delivery. That's always been a fact.  It's all the other scans prior to that that are gratuitous. Some of us got used to it and now it seems the post office distribution centers aren't scanning along the way. But as always, it must be scanned on delivery.

I ALWAYS get the quick credit that night!

If you take it the post office counter then yes, it will still be scanned. It's enroute that it seems to have changed with some distribution centers. So if you do want the quick credit guaranteed to be "quick" you have to take it and pay for postage at the counter.



Last Edited on: 7/30/09 1:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,285
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I take all my books to the PO and whenever I've used  DC, it's always been scanned right then.  Don't know about scanning along the way though.  Pat

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 1:32 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Ruth lives up by me in Stafford county Virgina Susan, so the Richmond she's referring to is Richmond, VA.  :)

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 7:03 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Thanks, Bernhard.  I didn't come back until just now.  I'm relieved to find today (07-30-09) that finally all my books have been scanned in Richmond, VA. - one is 5 days from my mailing it.  The others were 3 and 4 days from mailing them.  I guess what slowed down was getting to Richmond in the first place.   I've found in the past that the USPS here was faster than that.  (Our PO is so bad I can't describe it - and it's public knowledge) I don't always have an idea of where my family members mail the books, though.  I've sort of used the DC to make sure the books were on their way and not stuck in one of the cars - that happened once!!  (Embarrassing!!)  So the DC has a dual use to me - sets my mind at ease that since I'm not the one doing the actual mailing, I can be sure it was mailed.  (Comes down to making sure that one of my sons isn't the one doing the mailing.  He's sweet, but very absent-minded - makes him unreliable on things like this.  He's always been this way.  Part of the ADD he has!)  So if the book at least makes it to Richmond the DC is worth it to me both for knowing it was mailed (or not) and having the recipient knowing that I did mail the book.  The instant credit is a nice side benefit.

Ruth

ETA - Richmond is only 60 mi. down the interstate from here!



Last Edited on: 7/30/09 7:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/30/2009 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 1,564
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Well, I'm in Richmond and it seems that very few of my books actually get scanned here before they go out.  Usually books going to the northeast get a scan in a nearby state, but anything going to CA or anywhere else out west, seem to be lost in space until it arrives there.  Most of my books are dropped in a box though and not picked up at home or taken in.

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,202
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Well, at least your Richmond is still scanning outgoing books. :) Even though it seems to be taking awhile. My Richmond, which is 20 miles down the road, has just stopped scanning outbound stuff all together. Very frustrating. I get no scans until the delivery state, which is actually how it's supposed to be but darn it all, I got used to all those gratuitous scans! :)

Below is just an example of what my "details" usually look like now:

 

  • 7/18/2009 7:00 PM - Electronic Shipping Info Received - FAIRFIELD,CA
  • 7/30/2009 1:36 AM - Enroute - ALLEN PARK,MI

    That left 12 days this time waiting for some scan to show up.



  • Last Edited on: 7/30/09 1:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
    Date Posted: 7/30/2009 4:02 PM ET
    Member Since: 6/13/2009
    Posts: 433
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    In the past, anything I sent with DC got scanned once it arrived by slow boat from HI across the Pacific at Richmond CA.  This could take 2-3 weeks.  Once it arrives on the mainland, the suggested media mail transit time of 9 days starts.  But recently, it has been erratic with few or none being scanned at Richmond, CA.

    Most of the books to/from me get close very close to their 'lost' date or do get 'lost' but usually show up eventually.  The books 'from' me usually have a longer transit time than those 'to' me.

    I didn't know you could just buy the PBS DC and then pay for postage at the PO.  Maybe, I'll try that. 

    Date Posted: 7/30/2009 8:10 PM ET
    Member Since: 12/9/2007
    Posts: 9,601
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    Well, now the crazy thing has happened...the latest scan which is today when I first found the Richmond scans...one book has been delivered - scan shows up in that destination PO.  Also the other one is scanned close to destination.  The same day as the outgoing scans in Richmond.  This is strange.  Must be some delay in getting info to PBS.

    Ruth

    Date Posted: 8/1/2009 1:02 AM ET
    Member Since: 7/8/2008
    Posts: 70
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    I also live in Stafford, VA and they have to be the WORST! They don't even scan things as delivered most of the time! Also, I received a notice from them today that a Box of books I mailed a couple weeks ago wasn't delivered (address wrong? I used PBS DC as always!), so it was returned to me and now I have to not only drive to the PO to get it, but pay another $4.13 to get my books back! WTH!?!? This is why everyone may have seen my posts about doing all of my mailing in another county!

    Date Posted: 8/1/2009 2:19 AM ET
    Member Since: 12/9/2007
    Posts: 9,601
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    Melanie, It's feels so good to be validated!!  I complain a lot about our PO and I often feel that people think I must be exaggerating.  I'm not.  thank you so much.

    Try to get in touch with the recipient and confirm the address.  Then go with a copy of that PM and show it to them that it was the right address.  See if they can at least resend it free since it is their mistake (if it is).  And don't just take the clerk at the desk's word on it - ask for the Postmaster.

    Ruth

    Date Posted: 8/1/2009 9:57 AM ET
    Member Since: 7/8/2008
    Posts: 70
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    Ruth - I have never gone into the PO for anything that took less than 1 1/2 hrs! You have this problem too?

     

    I'm not sure if I should start a new post for this, but since I already started here....... This member contacted me requesting a box of books on 7/6. I accepted on 7/7 - they accepted on 7/15. I mailed their books on 7/16 (with the PBS postage I already mentioned). I have a bad habit of clicking on the DC link to see if the books have been scanned along the way and these ones showed up as Undeliverable-incorrect address. I was surprised and contacted the member on 7/24 explaining what had happened and asked them to verify their mailing address so that I could make any corrections and get the package turned around and heading back to them when it was returned to me. I received a PM from the member with a totally different address on 7/25 (he PM the member sent me Just had their name and address - no hi - no thanks for letting me know - nothing) I just now checked the address - I wasn't really worried about it until the books were returned to me. So here's my dilemma - I already paid $4.13 to mail the books to the address the member had posted to PBS swap. Apparently this is not their correct address (not my fault). Now Stafford PO states that I owe another $4.13 for postage costs for returning the books to me since the address I sent them to was incorrect (I thought undeliverable mail was returned  to you free!). So, in order to resend the books - I need to pay a third $4.13 to ship to the correct address. Basically it will be costing me $12.39 (plus all the wait time in the PO) for this transaction and the other member has not even mailed my books yet. Would it be wrong of me to just cancel the whole thing and leave the books at the PO to whatever fate becomes them? Is there a way to back out of a Box of books after I have already mailed? What should I do?

    Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
    Date Posted: 8/1/2009 10:18 AM ET
    Member Since: 12/27/2005
    Posts: 4,139
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    Melanie --

    You do have to pay $4.13 to get the books back. Media Mail does not include return service. Alternatively, you can decide not to pay and the PO will get to keep the books (I think they sell unclaimed stuff at auction once in a while).

    It was the other member's responsibility to put a correct address on this package. If he still wants it, and you're still willing to ship it, then he should reimburse you for the extra expense he caused you. He owes you $8.26. He could pay this by sending you stamps, sending you money, giving you PBS credits, etc.

    At this point, I think I would ask him what he wants to do and give him the alternative of leaving the books at USPS or paying for the remailing expense. If he's obnoxious about owning up to his error and fixing it, or if he's non-responsive, then use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the screen and let the PBS Team know. You may not be the only person whose books got returned.

    Date Posted: 8/1/2009 4:06 PM ET
    Member Since: 12/9/2007
    Posts: 9,601
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    Yes, Melanie, I've had that happen.  I learned to figure out when it was most likely I could get in and out faster before long - but I had the time to do so and was still driving at that time.  But that PO is a long way from me so I don't go there any more if possible.  It is the WORST!

    As for the box of books returned - what Cathy has said is right.  Probably not worth it to you to do more than you already have.  I would report this other member though.  Totally irresponsible of them.  And on top of having to deal with that PO!!

    Ruth

    Date Posted: 8/1/2009 11:18 PM ET
    Member Since: 7/8/2008
    Posts: 70
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    Thanks. Anyone want to help me word a PM to him? I have been having a run of bad luck lately with nasty responses to PMs - maybe it is my wording? And as you can see above - I may end up writing a book to explain to him. Have any suggestions on how to word it and keep it short and to the point?

    Date Posted: 8/3/2009 6:12 PM ET
    Member Since: 2/23/2009
    Posts: 112
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    Hey everyone,

       I got my book today that I was worried about.  However, the details did not show delivered.  This is the first time I have received a book with DC that the details didn't show that it was delivered.  I hope this does not become the norm.  I like being able to track my books.  Anyway, I'm just relieved it's here!

    Date Posted: 8/3/2009 10:42 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/10/2005
    Posts: 4,601
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    Andrea, I think that's just happening because there is a time lag between the actual scan and when the USPS computers "sync up" to PBS. I used to bring my books to the PO and I would watch them scan the DC and put postage on, and often that scan would not show up at PBS for 12-24 hours later. I have had books with DC that I received and marked as such before there was ever a "delivered" scan, MANY times. I've also had the "delivered" scan appear several days before the mailman actually put it in my mailbox! No rhyme or reason!

    I try not to worry too much about it all. The fact is, most books sent get to where they're going just fine, even if no one is watching where they are. :)

    Cheryl

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