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Topic: Update:That little truck keeps on truckin'

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Subject: Update:That little truck keeps on truckin'
Date Posted: 5/6/2009 8:36 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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For about a week or two that little truck has said that a book was at its end point (I am assuming my home).  Now, the truck is back at its starting point.  I am somewhat relieved that there is life out there and its doing something that doesn't involve me.  I received a PBS email inquiry about its arrival so I started to feel like the ball was in my court. 

I have seen many postings about the truck taking adventures and side trips.  So normally I don't watch its progress.  However, this book has presented the longest wait.   I have been very fortunate with delivery times. :)

Any thoughts on what may be happening?  Just curious about how that truck works, its usefulness to the sender and receiver, etc.   I am not concerned about the book itself as I am in no rush to get it. 

Susan



Last Edited on: 5/8/09 2:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/6/2009 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 167
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Ahh, the little truck, if I understand the system (and others feel free to correct me)  once a sending member indicates the book was mailed the truck makes an educated  (a debatable point) guess about long the mail will take to get to the receiving member and begins creeping towards you. Alas, the post office has other plans. When the book gets scanned by any receiving post office the truck "realizes" its mistake and pops up at the last scanned point. Which can be almost anywhere. The truck then tries again to guess how long it will take for the book to travel from that post office to you and begins moving again. Repeat as necessary until the book reaches you.  That poor truck, its a hopeless, thankless job trying to predict what the post office will do.

I'm guessing the post office near the member is only now mailing out its media mail and when they scanned the book the little truck backtracked to that point.

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 376
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The truck is an estimate of the book's trip to you - if the post office scans it somewhere (and since it is technically "delivery" confirmation, they don't have to scan it until delivery) the truck pops to the scan's location on the map, otherwise it just slowly moves from point A to point B (you). I had one I sent that left Louisiana and went to Memphis - a lot of my books go there first so I figure it's a hub of some sort - on its way to Connecticut. But it left Memphis, and was scanned in 2 different cities in Mississippi! So the truck goes north, then south, then north again. I emailed the recipient to say I guess the book was doing a tour of antebellum homes before going up north. After a few days in Mississippi, it did end up in Connecticut.

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 9:30 AM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2009
Posts: 10,865
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When the DC is created, the truck starts moving down the line, but when the DC is scanned, it corrects itself to where it was scanned. So if the person printed the label and didn't mail for a couple days (or more), the truck might make it close to you, then when the DC is scanned in the sender's city, the truck goes back and starts the journey again.

If you click the Details button on the "Books Enroute to Me" page for that transaction, you can see where and when any the scans took place.   It seems to me that either sender mailed after when it was marked mailed or the package sat at the PO for a while without being scanned or shipped.

... or what they said. :)



Last Edited on: 5/6/09 9:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/6/2009 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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I get it now.  So, it was sitting at its end point for some time because the estimate had it arriving to me about two weeks ago.  So, on 5/4 is really when the first scan occured?  Thus it moving back in the route.

  • 4/17/2009 6:00 PM - Electronic Shipping Info Received - WILMINGTON,DE
  • 5/4/2009 6:26 PM - Enroute - PHILADELPHIA,PA

 

 

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 167
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Exactly. Hope your book makes up for lost time and arrives in a semi-timely fashion.

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 5/6/2009 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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Yeah, the truck's a fun toy, but in reality, parcel post mail doesn't behave like they model it.

In reality, it tends to sit in one place for a long time, then in one day makes a several-hundred-mile journey (once a space is open for it).

Parcel post is kind of like flying standby, I think.

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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<<5/4/2009 6:26 PM - Enroute - PHILADELPHIA,PA>>

My understanding, from a postal thread I can't find now, is that the "Enroute" scan means it is leaving Philadelphia, not on its way there.  Philadelphia has scanned it, hence the Enroute message.

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2006
Posts: 172
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I just sent out a package with dc that showed it scanned in Oakdale, CA (where I mail) on 5-4. I didn't mail it until yesterday, 5-5, at lunch. I had to go into the post office because my scale doesn't weight over 5 lbs. I printed it on 5-4, not 5-5. As of right now, it hasn't scanned anywhere yet.

 

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I hate to say it, but I think it was probably just mailed:P  The first entry: "4/17/2009 6:00 PM - Electronic Shipping Info Received - WILMINGTON,DE" is transmitted as soon as you buy the postage and the first scan after that is from the processing center -  in this case in Philadelphia.  Most of what your sender ships media mail probably goes straight to Philadelphia first.  Like I'm in Louisville, KY, so the first entry on my shipping details will say "Electronic Shipping Info Received - LOUISVILLE, KY" when I buy the label, then the next one is usually that Enroute scan from its 1st stop at the processing center in Cincinnati, OH.  I've never known that scan to show up any later than two days after I mail, and the people at my PO say that media mail goes straight to the processing centers by the next day.  That can vary, but 17 days?  10 days is supposed to be the maximum they'll hold media mail at any center, but this one has taken 17 days to get a departure scan from its 1st stop.  That sounds wacky to me.   Unless maybe it got lost in that processing center for 2 weeks:P  If you buy PBS postage & forget to mail the book, you can just buy a new postage sticker at the PO counter when you do finally mail, but I believe they will still use the same barcode label.

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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Electronic info is not an actual scan. It just shows the label was generated and the information was entered in the USPS database. If there is an acceptance scan, that is when you are mailing it at the post office and it is scanned in. It will also show acceptance if you mail if somewhere else and a clerk enters it in the system when it reaches the post office. Enroute is usually scanned by sorting machinery and means it is passing through the sorting facility. Arrival at unit normally means it is at your post office and is being sorted to your carrier for delivery.

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Exactly.  Sometimes I get an acceptance scan from Louisville, where I mail, and sometimes I don't, but the details Susan has posted:

  • 4/17/2009 6:00 PM - Electronic Shipping Info Received - WILMINGTON,DE
  • 5/4/2009 6:26 PM - Enroute - PHILADELPHIA,PA
looks like the sender purchased the label on 4/17, but probably didn't mail the package for a couple of weeks, because it didn't get scanned at the processing center in Philly until a couple of weeks later.  It could have gotten "lost" somewhere at the center or maybe at the PO where it was initially dropped off, I suppose, but 17 days is a pretty big lapse between when it was marked mailed and when it got scanned for the 1st time.

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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Kim,

Thanks.  I have to say that I have never waited this long for a book.  I have been lucky that I have received all the books I have requested within a week of the "its been mailed" notification.    So, Its felt like something was up with this one.   I was leaning towards lost.   Didn't want to go to the dark side with my thoughts but, it appears I may not have been off base.  Thanks for sleuthing with me. :)

 

 

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Yeah, I know.  You hate to say that, and I prefer to think that people don't actually wait as long as that to mail - especially something they've already bought a label for - but sometimes they do.  It could just be PBS DC & not PBS postage & DC.  I'm not sure if the details look identical on both, but it seems like they do.  Anyway, you almost never know why people mail late.  Unless they inbox you & tell you.  Which I think should happen 100% of the time, but often doesn't.  I think it's sort of like a kid breaking something & then trying to hide it myself - but that's neither here nor there right now:P  At any rate, the sender should  already have their credit, and whether it gets to you on time or not, they'll get to keep it with credit assurance, and you'll get your credit back if it goes lost, so this should be relatively hassle free other than the inconvenience of waiting for the book.  Hopefully it will get to you before the system declares it lost, and then you don't have the dilemma of whether or not to order another copy with this one floating out there in limbo.  Is it a WL book?  If not, I'd wait it out if it does get declared lost.  Chances are pretty good that it'll show up before long.

Date Posted: 5/6/2009 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I had a multi-book order once  that just sat at my PO.  I was not happy about it.  I think they set it somewhere (like a dark corner) and forgot about it.  I didn't get scanned for almost 2 weeks.  It got declared lost before it arrived and the requestor got some replscements.  She was very unhappy at receiving 2 sets of those books.  But I know it was mailed when I clicked on the "has been mailed" button.  I doubt that this happens often, though.  And I completely understood how she felt.  I learned from that to not re-order or to take the book off my WL for about 2 weeks just to make sure that I don't get the same thing.  Of course if it's heavily WL'd, I'd take the second set and repost them.

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/7/2009 1:25 AM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2008
Posts: 4,984
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I love the little truck guy on the map thingy! my boyfriend hates it, because I will sit there and click on it and it makes it honk and he thinks someone outside is honking. Gets him every time! I love making it honk! lol

Date Posted: 5/7/2009 8:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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Kim,

It is a waitlisted book.  Not a huge waitlist.  I think the last time I checked only one person was waiting for it. 

I really don't want two copies of this book.  PBS asks that we wait two weeks after a book goes lost before we order another.  That works for me yet, PBS will have me back on the waitlist in the position to deny requests that get offered to me.   I guess I will cross that bridge if it gets to that.

Susan

Edited to include an update on my books travels:

  • 4/17/2009 6:00 PM - Electronic Shipping Info Received - WILMINGTON,DE
  • 5/4/2009 6:26 PM - Enroute - PHILADELPHIA,PA
  • 5/6/2009 10:06 AM - Arrival at Unit - SOUTH WINDSOR,CT
  • 5/6/2009 10:13 AM - Undeliverable as Addressed - SOUTH WINDSOR,CT


Last Edited on: 5/7/09 9:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/7/2009 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Oh, good grief:P  It looks like it's gone back to the sender now.  I think your only recourse now is to wait until it gets declared lost.  Which could end up being a big pain, given some of the things I've seen happen with those situations.  You'll go back to the top of the WL, but if she sends it right back out without contacting you - which can & has happened - you're going to end up with two copies if you order it from someone else.  You shouldn't have to mark that one received if that happens though, which means you should be able to keep your credit.  Another thing that could happen is that your sender could repost it, and if you're still on the list at #1, guess who is going to get the WL offer on it?  Yep, you:P  Even so, it could end up being ok, because all of the delay & cross-country frolicking your book is doing could be because of an ink smear, water spot, or shoeprint obliterating your address:P  If your sender contacts you if & when she gets it back, there's still a chance that the two of you can get it sorted out.  Personally, I'd go ahead and shoot her an inbox now & see if she's aware of the situation.  She can't cancel it at this point, but as long as it's sitting out there under her "Books I've Mailed" tab, she can reprint that address and mail it again, and that's probably what you don't want her to do without the two of you discussing it first. 

Date Posted: 5/7/2009 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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Can I just delete the book once its on my waitlist?  Just to play it safe.  Seriously, my TBR pile is in good shape.  I am not going to pull my hair out if I don't get the book to read this instant.  The book has a small waitlist of one and is most likely not going to grow any time soon.

From a PBS standpoint, they will be able to see that I was not neglectful in marking it received.  The book is basically on record as going on a journey without my doing.  If I decide to call it a day (at least temporarily) am I a black mark book swapper?

Susan

Date Posted: 5/7/2009 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Yeah, you can do that.  No reason why you can't.  Just watch for this one to go lost in the system & then delete it when you get put back on the WL.  No harm, no foul..  I'd still contact your sender too though, because there is still some chance that it's going to get returned to her & she might just reprint & send it back out without contacting you.  People have been known to do that:P

Date Posted: 5/7/2009 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2009
Posts: 98
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  • 4/17/2009 6:00 PM - Electronic Shipping Info Received - WILMINGTON,DE
  • 5/4/2009 6:26 PM - Enroute - PHILADELPHIA,PA
  • 5/6/2009 10:06 AM - Arrival at Unit - SOUTH WINDSOR,CT
  • 5/6/2009 10:13 AM - Undeliverable as Addressed - SOUTH WINDSOR,CT

It's pretty clear the sender used the label and DC from PBS.
So how could it be "Undeliverable as Addressed"?.
Is your address precisely correct in the system?  Or do you just have a good carrier who usually knows when it's your mail?
For exmple: do you live in a duplex and your Apt #  is not in the system?



Last Edited on: 5/7/09 2:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/7/2009 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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I live in Massachusetts.  So, not sure what happened in Connecticut.  Perhaps the address label has been ruined?   The plot thickens...

Date Posted: 5/8/2009 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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The book arrived today.  So strange.  No problems with it at all.  It was mailed first class. 

Funny thing is...I ordered a book on 5/6 and it arrived today on 5/8 lickety-split.  Media mail. 

 

Date Posted: 5/8/2009 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 65
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Packages sometimes take wrong turns.  I just mailed a box to North Carolina, and the DC shows that it was missent to South Carolina before it got to the recipient.  It was not a PBS package, so I didn't have a little truck to watch. 

My guess is that in your case the PBS truck went back to the book's origin when it was marked undeliverable.  (And "undeliverable" in this case probably meant that it wasn't deliverable at that particular post office.) 

I understand why people don't spend the money for DC, but they don't know how much fun they are missing -- watching the little truck and speculating about why a book  is scanned somewhere it makes no sense to be!