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Topic: VENT (BOOK NOT MAILED)

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Subject: VENT (BOOK NOT MAILED)
Date Posted: 4/25/2008 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I've been waiting for a particular book for three weeks and was getting reminder notices from PBS asking whether the book had been received.  I decided to pm the sender to check on the status of the book.  After 2 pm's she apologized saying that she had had a family emergency and the book was just being mailed today. 

Now, I understand that family emergencies can come up, but how can somebody mark a book mailed and then not send it out for 3 weeks?  The transaction history says the book was mailed 3 weeks ago!  I NEVER mark a book mailed unless it is going into the post that very day!

Well, at least she was honest with me and fessed up, but I personally think this is very bad PBS behavior that can spoil things for those of us who "play by the rules."  Maybe some of those books we think were lost in the mail were never actually mailed.  If I hadn't PM'd her, would she have mailed it at all? 

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 10:48 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Oh, I hate that sort of thing!!!  What you can do when you receive it is make sure to note the postmark date in the survey you fill out.  I did that once in a similar situtation and the person was actually given a mild reprimand by PBS (I know, because she contacted me to apologize).

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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Now, I understand that family emergencies can come up, but how can somebody mark a book mailed and then not send it out for 3 weeks?  The transaction history says the book was mailed 3 weeks ago!  I NEVER mark a book mailed unless it is going into the post that very day!

It's possible that she was on her way to the post office, or was going to mail it that afternoon when she was sidetracked by the family emergency.  There are a lot of people on this site who mark the book mailed before they actually do,  which according to the help center is OK - as long as marking books and mailing late does not become a habit.  As a TG I can't tell you how many PM's I get from people who mark their books mailed only to find out they don't even have them! 

 

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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As a TG I can't tell you how many PM's I get from people who mark their books mailed only to find out they don't even have them! 

I would be ok with someone marking it mailed if they were on their way to the post office or something, but to mark it mailed BEFORE checking to see if they have the book?  stupidity there!

I personally do not mark them mailed until they are at the post office (since I don't mail from home)

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,183
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I keep seeing people say it is OK to mark a book as mailed when it is not mailed, but find nothing there except where it tells you it OK if the mail date is about to pass and as the sender has agreed to it?  Could someone show me where it says marking a book mailed without having mailed it is OK?  I think it is wrong for the site to encourage that. Things happen, you could get run over on the way to the PO, lose or damamge the book, marking a book as mailed before it has been should be a rare occurance, not an acceptable common practice.

I would have been annoyed to Claudia. I understand family emergencies, but I would have either made arrangements to get the book mailed, and/or PMed the person long before 3 weeks passed.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I'm sorry to hear that she had a family emergency.  I have one that is sitting in the same situation - it's not here yet and I'm getting the emails from PBS.

However, I have to say, I don't mark my book as mailed until it has left my possession at the post office.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/26/2006
Posts: 221
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I had one I was waiting for that "went lost in the mail"--only to find out it had never been mailed--THEN it was a RWP --water damage--THEN the member would not respond to my PM's.
And this was NOT a new member.  C'mon ....rules are rules....if a person cannot abide by club rules...then get out of the club.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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but to mark it mailed BEFORE checking to see if they have the book?  stupidity there!

It takes a lot to word a PM Back to them w/ out calling calling them names :)

but I would have either made arrangements to get the book mailed, and/or PMed the person long before 3 weeks passed.

Yes, every effort should be made to get the book to the person or PM them, but this person might not have been able to. I'm sure that dealing with whatever emergency she was dealing with, that PBS was the last thing on her mind. She might not have also had access to let people know. If she had to leave town suddenly, etc.  I'm by no means making excuses here, I'm just trying to point out that there are reasons why she may not have been able to do any of the above.

Things happen, you could get run over on the way to the PO, lose or damamge the book, marking a book as mailed before it has been should be a rare occurance, not an acceptable common practice.

 That's exactly what I was paraphrasing from the help center (underlined below).

A book must be mailed within 48 hours of marking it mailed

  • It is okay to mark your book mailed before you have mailed it if:

    • The deadline date falls on a postal holiday
    • Your computer/Internet access is unreliable
    • You plan to mail the book on your way out of town
  • It is not okay to mark your book mailed and delay Mailing it for longer than 48 hours
    • We understand that sometimes circumstances interfere with prompt mailing!  But this should not be a habit.
    • If your mailing is delayed, you must inform the requestor as soon as possible, so that she doesn't think the book is lost in the mail if it was merely mailed late.
    • To contact the requestor from a book transaction: click or on the transaction, to send a Personal Message.
Date Posted: 4/25/2008 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Melanie, here is a section from the HC:

A book must be mailed within 48 hours of marking it mailed

  • It is okay to mark your book mailed before you have mailed it if:

    • The deadline date falls on a postal holiday
    • Your computer/Internet access is unreliable
    • You plan to mail the book on your way out of town
  • It is not okay to mark your book mailed and delay Mailing it for longer than 48 hours
    • We understand that sometimes circumstances interfere with prompt mailing!  But this should not be a habit.
    • If your mailing is delayed, you must inform the requestor as soon as possible, so that she doesn't think the book is lost in the mail if it was merely mailed late.
    • To contact the requestor from a book transaction: click or on the transaction, to send a Personal Message.
Date Posted: 4/25/2008 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 24,464
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I have marked a book as being mailed on a Sunday/Monday when it was the last day to mail even though there is no mail on Sunday and/or Monday was a holiday.  I did get the book in the mail on the next available day.

As Lori said, if she's been dealing with an emergency I'm sure that PBS is the last thing on her mind.  It's inconvenient for you, Claudia, and I can understand your frustration.

But I don't think people make a habit of it because if someone consistently mails late, I think they are flagged as problem mailers and addressed.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I firmly believe that books should not be marked "mailed" unless they are going into the mail that same day.  I do the pre-printed postage and put in my mailbox for collection. 

I have never seen anything from the help center that says you can mark mailed if the book hasn't been mailed and I would find it truly appalling if they allowed it. 

The problem with postmarks is that there usually isn't one (that's legible anyway).  When I encounter these types of individuals, I keep a record  of my pms and try to create a "do not order list" consisting of people who mailed me damaged books and failed to make it right or marked the book mailed without actually sending it. 

Regardless, It's an annoying problem. 

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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I'm by no means making excuses here, I'm just trying to point out that there are reasons why she may not have been able to do any of the above.

Exactly.  And, I can tell you from experience that this is what you'll be told if you send in feedback.  One of the first books I ever requested here was late and postmarked over 2 weeks from it being marked mailed.  I was new, annoyed and sent in feedback.  The response I got back was very polite and kind.  It also pointed out that you just *cannot know* what is going on in someone else's life.  Were they just inconsiderate?  Sure, maybe.  Did they have the death of a loved one?  Sure, maybe.  Laid up in the hospital due to a terrible accident? Sure, maybe. 

I am not trying to deny the frustration level, I've been there!  It's just we can't know what's going on with another person and it's really better all around to assume the best and not the worst. 

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2008
Posts: 1,658
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Same thing happened to me. I had a book go lost in the mail, so per the help center I Pm'd the sender.  She apologized, said she had moved or something of the sort and she would mail on Monday (this was a Saturday evening).  SO, cool....I'm glad I didn't order another one and get a double.  BUT that was a month ago, so now I still don't have the book and don't know what to do.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,183
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Thanks Beth. I was pretty sure that the help documents would be that way, pointing out specific, unusual circumstances in which it is OK to mark a book mailed before you actually do it. It seemed like some of the people saying help allowed it were saying it was generally OK as long as it was mailed within 48 hours; which is not how I read that help doc at all.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Melanie, I think it's one of those "fine line, gray areas" where not everyone is going to see it the same.  I absolutely see how you are reading it and don't even necessarily disagree.  However....

If you look at the HC section, this part: A book must be mailed within 48 hours of marking it mailed  is in, honestly, a pretty huge, dominating font.  I believe it does give the impression that, generally speaking, a 48 hour delay isn't the norm, but isn't a terrible thing.

It also goes on to point out that a delay of *longer than 48 hours* is not OK, to PM the requestor and let them know what's going on.   I mean, really, what it says should "not become a habit" is waiting *longer than* 48 hours to mail.

Just for the record, I don't mean to pick nits and I don't mark my books until the day I am mailing or they are already in the mail, ;-).  However, I can absolutely see why many people feel that, generally speaking..,..a 48 hour delay is in the realm of acceptable.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,183
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I agree with you that that is how people are reading it. Take the first sentence and don't go on. BUT the help doc does go on...to list the reasons you can mail late, it doesn't say and any other reason you (general you, not specific you) might deem reasonable. That is my problem, people are taking one sentence out of the help docs out of context. Its an area that usually no one will really notice or care, but circumstances like this show the problem. Life often interferes with good intentions.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I am one of those who NEVER marks a book mailed until I have actually, physically mailed it.  One time, I accidentally clicked the "mailed" button on a book that I did not  intend to mail until Monday (it was Saturday), and I felt compelled to put stamps on it and drive it down to the blue box at the PO right that minute, just so that I would not feel dishonest, lol.  I know not everyone is like me, and I don't expect that from everyone...but what I *should* be able to expect is some common courtesy from fellow PBS members, and I sometimes find that lacking.  I understand that life happens and sometimes you can't mail a book when you're supposed to.  If someone actually took the 1 minute it would take to PM me and tell me that, I would be very understanding about it.  But I had one recently that did not bother, and I just think that's tacky.  This book was taking forfrickingEVER to get here from one state away (and I know, I know, sometimes media mail is like that), to the point that I was getting those emails asking if I had received the book yet.  It FINALLY got here, and what do you know, it was postmarked 10 DAYS after the date that it had been marked mailed.  That's just ridiculous to me.  If you can get around to FINALLY mailing the darned book, I would think you could muster up the energy to send a PM to the person who is expecting the book.  I seriously considered leaving feedback indicating that the book was mailed late, however I figured that providing the date of the postmark  accomplished the same thing.  I wondered if people who do this get some kind of email reprimand for mailing so late, or if you actually have to write feedback for that to happen.  In any case, I never got any kind of PM from the sender, so I just made a note to not order from that person again.  I can respect a person who at least communicates about the problem, but not one who just leaves you hanging like that.  I think that was what Claudia's point was above- if SHE had never taken the time to PM the sender- would it ever even have been sent?  Arggggh.  I know it is inevitible to run across transactions like this, but it's sure frustrating for those of us who make a great effort to be good traders here, to have to be on the receiving end of something like that.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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I think that was what Claudia's point was above- if SHE had never taken the time to PM the sender- would it ever even have been sent?
 

 

Unfortuantely that is not something anyone will ever have the answer too. She could have been so engrossed in what was going on with her family that until she got that PM she completely forgot that she was supposed to mail the book. I'm sure many of us would have done the same thing. And while it's frustrating to not get the book when you think you will, the system they have in place makes it as easy as possible to get that book again. Once the book is declared lost you get your credit back. If the book was a WL book, you will be placed back on the WL in the #1 position. If the book was not a WL book, it will be placed on your RL so that you may order it again.



Last Edited on: 4/25/08 5:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/25/2008 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,412
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At least they got back to you about it.  I had a book declared lost a week ago.  I PMd the sender and have not heard a thing back from them.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 200
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Since my mailperson doesn't take any mail from my mailbox, I have to take my packages/letters to the PO.  When I get home I mark it mailed.  I usually pick the last day (when accepting order) to mail, although I'm prob going to mail the next day.

When a book goes lost, does the sender get to keep the credit? - or does PBS "take" it back?

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I don't know what's with the rash of late mailings.  I've gotten two in the last week that were mailed (date on APC or postage strip) a good 6 days after being marked mailed.  I'm well aware that emergencies happen, but they don't happen to everyone every day.

I had one accepted, then cancelled too. Not normally a big deal, but she wrote that she'd moved since posting the book and it had gotten lost.  She'd been a member all of two days when I ordered, so that didn't exactly have the ring of truth.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2006
Posts: 68
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As someone who recently had an emergency that delayed my mailing a book, I am willing to cut more slack than I used to do. I bought postage at work and took it home to apply it to my book. I got the book ready to go out the next day. That night, my water broke and I ended up in the hospital having a baby 4.5 weeks early. It was well over a week late before the book crossed my mind again. I also ended up cancelling several orders because I knew I wouldn't be getting to the PO any time soon.  The person I was sending to was very understanding, but I can easily see how when things happen PBS is NOT my first thought.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 10:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,183
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Jennifer  - the sender doesn't get the credit until the book is marked as received unless PBS DC has been used and scanned, or PBS postage was used. In those cases, yes the sender keeps the credit and PBS must return the credit to the requestor.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 211
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I think sometimes it depends on when and where you mail something.  For example, I had to go to campus early last Saturday for a couple of meetings, and I immediately dropped some books in the campus blue box.  Then, I used one of the computers in the library to mark them mailed.

I was told by a couple of classmates that the mailperson doesn't pick up mail on Saturdays at that location (I don't know how true this is, and I keep forgetting to check.  I'll have to remind myself to do it on Monday when I go back.).  If this is true, then the mailperson probably picked the books up on Sunday or Monday.  I'm not sure when the packages I sent got postmarked, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's not very late.


Edited again (GAH!) because I don't always express myself the way I want to. *headdesk*



Last Edited on: 4/26/08 12:07 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 4/25/2008 11:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 4,469
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Edited for testiness

 



Last Edited on: 4/25/08 11:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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