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Topic: Unexplained cancellation (after acceptance)

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Subject: Unexplained cancellation (after acceptance)
Date Posted: 3/24/2012 11:58 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,489
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I just had a wishlisted book that I got a "book is available, do you accept" notice for about a week ago. A day or two later it was accepted, and the person offering it said they would ship it by today. Today the request is cancelled by the one offereing it. I look for an explanation, and then there is none. WTF?

I have accepted requests, then wound up cancelling them because I couldn't find them. But for sure never for a book that I had only posted that very day. And when I cancelled the request, there was a box on the "cancellation form" labelled reason for cancellation that was not optional as far as filling it out went.

To paraphrase Hamlet only slightly, Something here smells rotten in the state of PBS.

Date Posted: 3/25/2012 12:18 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,315
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I had that happen to me once.  The person swore that they were trying to delete the book instead of posting it to me. I was thinking "what?!"  That didn't make sense to me. I guess some things on here aren't meant to make sense.

Date Posted: 3/25/2012 12:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,200
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I believe when you cancel a book from your Books To Mail tab, an explanation is not required, the only place it is required is on the denial of an RC.

Something could have come up for them and they had to cancel all their requests, they could have dumped a glass of pop on the stack of books they were wrapping, or they could have just decided they couldn't afford to mail anymore books. Might have been nice to have an explanation, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't change that they had to cancel.

Date Posted: 3/25/2012 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I wouldn't automatically assume something fishy is going on with it.  It's not like they got any benefit from posting it and then cancelling.  Life may have gotten in the way making mailing a book out not important to them or something happened to the book. It happens. Life goes on.

Date Posted: 3/25/2012 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 202
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I once had a book on my bookshelf for over 2 tears . It was a specialty book with a very limited audience. My wife and I were very happy when someone ordered it. She went to get it and check it out. When she said it was fine I turned and , instead of hitting PRINT, I hit DELETE. I even rather automatically hit  YES I'M SURE.

My wife was quite upset at me. I even PMed the requestor. She said Thank You but it already had passed to next person.

In other words anything can happen.

I still have the book.: Edwin Newman on language by Edwin Newman, the TV broadcaster.

Date Posted: 3/25/2012 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,489
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I admit I am suspicious about this one. REason one:  the person posted it. They had to have had the book in their hands to do this. (2) the book showed up on my acount page a a wishlist offer that I must respond to quite soon. (3) I did so, and within less than a day, it showed up as accepted on 19 March; will ship by 24 March. (4) the clock rolled on, right up until fewer than 5 hours before PBS would have taken action. (5) book showed up on transaction page as cancelled by sender.

And the other factor, not previously mentioned: This was a hardcover book, Oxford Guide To, or something like that..American History. Most likely requiring about $4.13 to ship. I have had that happen several times before. Why they post these books they never intend to ship beats me. I don't know how the high officials at PBS feel about those, but to me it is CHEATING and should be punished, as a permanent black mark against that account.

Date Posted: 3/25/2012 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I admit I am suspicious about this one. REason one:  the person posted it. They had to have had the book in their hands to do this.

No, they don't. You can just think you have the book and post it. People do just post by title or cover image, without caring about the ISBN number. Then they find out that it walked away, or got spilled or crayoned on, when they get around to digging it up.

Or they're sick and can't get out to mail, in the hospital, or have passed away and a family member is canceling everything.

Most likely requiring about $4.13 to ship. I have had that happen several times before. Why they post these books they never intend to ship beats me.

Because new people who haven't used the site don't tend to think about shipping costs until they get an order to start looking into it. Then they have second thoughts. Sometimes those second thoughs come before they ship the book, sometimes afterwards and they have to decide if they have anything else listed they don't want to pay the shipping for.

I don't know how the high officials at PBS feel about those, but to me it is CHEATING and should be punished, as a permanent black mark against that account.

People make mistakes, they misplace stuff, they change their minds and/or freak out when they realize how much it's going to cost. It happens.

I don't see it as that big of a deal. As long as they're the ones that canceled or let it time out, you get your place back in line and they haven't gotten anything for it. If they hadn't posted it, you'd still be waiting for one, just like you are now.

For all you know, they found it was damaged and you wouldn't have wanted it anyway. An explination would have been nice, but it's not required.

 

Date Posted: 3/25/2012 11:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,489
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I even had a person once, who outright admitted that he would not ship the book because it was heavy and would cost more than he was willing to spend mailing it. And due to the "heavy" nature of most of the books on my wishlist, they tend to get posted once every year or two.

However, I found a way to get in touch with this person, and they said they discovered water damage before they sent it. I am presently in contact with them and I told them unless it looked like it had been submerged in a pond for several days and was totally unusable, I would be glad to have it. I am hoping I can still get it.

And from South Dakota, where I have never received a book from out of almost 400.

Date Posted: 3/26/2012 4:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,337
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The member did the right thing when he discovered water damage and canceled.  If all members did that, we'd hardly ever need that old  "received with a problem" button! smiley

Glad it worked out for you.

Date Posted: 3/26/2012 8:24 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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They can also post the book without having it in their hands by posting it directly from their PBS TBR shelf or take the book off hold from their PBS bookshelf. Ideally yes, people would do everything as they're supposed to and all transactions would go smoothly, but life is rarely like that.

It's not necessarily suspicious that they cancelled last minute--as others said, something could have happened to the book, even after they wrapped it up. They gain absolutely no benefit from posting and cancelling--they don't get a credit or anything. I would imagine if they do that frequently, their account will be flagged and they'll get talked to. But it sounds to me like you're taking this way too personally!

Cheryl

Date Posted: 3/26/2012 9:20 AM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2010
Posts: 446
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Your angry that you did not get a book on your wishlist. I have had books lost in the mail, and I think I just got screwed on two audiobook mailings. PBS is great when you do not expect much from it and can be wonderful. I have read some wonderful books thanks to PBS.

Date Posted: 3/26/2012 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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I had someone cancel on me.  They had posted a book that very day and I accepted.  It turned out that the book posted, a nice coffee table type book, actually was owned by the sender's mother so he had to cancel. 

Date Posted: 3/26/2012 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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RL happens, unfortunately.  Members click the wrong button, a book has an accident and becomes unpostable, any number of legitimate events.

I once posted a book, then misplaced it somewhere in the house.  Finally had to cancel the request, and continued to hunt for days...the book finally appeared several months later in my linen closet  crying  hiding amongst the blankets lol.

Date Posted: 3/27/2012 1:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,337
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Oh Denise!  You're the one!  You told that story several years ago, and I just loved it.  When a member asks me what to do if they can't find a book, I give them instructions, and then I always tell them to check the linen closet, and tell your story. heart

Date Posted: 3/27/2012 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2010
Posts: 350
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I posted a book once that was requested right as I was leaving to spend Christmas with my in laws. We planned to be back in plenty of time to mail so I accepted and picked a later mail by date. Well - we got over a foot of snow the night before we were supposed to leave and got stuck at their house for an extra 3 days. I had to cancel because the book was in VA and I was stuck in PA!



Last Edited on: 3/27/12 10:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/27/2012 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,982
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Out of curiosity, was the "Will Mail By" date the 24th?  Or was it in that little pop up box saying "the sender has until 3/24 to mark this mailed to you"?  Because if the second, it might have timed out.  As far as I can tell from my own Transaction Archive, timed out books still say "canceled by sender" even though it's technically the system that does the cancelling.

Date Posted: 3/27/2012 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,337
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You're right about the "canceled by sender", Alisa.  If a transaction was canceled shortly after 3:00 a.m. eastern time, then it's a pretty good bet that the server canceled due to missing the mailing deadline.