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Topic: Very confused

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Subject: Very confused
Date Posted: 6/30/2012 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 916
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I just received in the mail a very battered, poorly taped but mostly empty envelope. Plus no one has marked any books sent although one was to have been sent the 25th. what do I do? And "received without contents" is stamped all over the envelope,
Date Posted: 6/30/2012 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2011
Posts: 634
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From the Help Documents

I received an empty wrapper--no book inside!


If this is a book you requested, you can choose "With a problem" and then "Empty wrapper received" from the problem options.  This will NOT mark the book received but it will send an email to the sender to let him or her know that the packaging arrived without the book in it.   The sender can then look into what happened to the mailing.

  • The sender should call 800-ASK-USPS or go to http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MLNtRcvd.aspx  and input the information online there. This will help USPS try to recover the book.

    • The form is titled "mail Theft"; this does not mean that you can use it only if you think the book was stolen.  "Received without contents" is an option on the page.
    • The choice to make under "Class" on the form if Media Mail was used is "Parcel Post".
  • If you think that the Wrapping method may have contributed to the loss of the book, please do give (gentle) feedback to the sender; you can refer to All Help documents about bookwrapping if you like. 

  • If you have marked the book received by mistake (or if the system marked the book received for you while you were absent from PBS), you can also discuss this with the sender, who got credit when that happened. See How do I contact another member? for instructions on how to contact a sender from the transaction in your Transaction Archive.

While the book is listed as "en route" to you, you will continue to get the usual auto-emails from PBS asking if the book has arrived; open and read them, and follow any instructions within. 

If the book hasn't arrived by the 26th day (the 35th day if the sender or requestor is outside the contiguous US) after it was marked mailed, then PBS will declare it lost in the Mail and you will get your credit back.  If the book does arrive after that, you should mark it received from your Transaction Archive.  

If the sender agrees to cancelling the request early (not waiting the full period for the book to be declared "lost"), then she or he can contact us and ask us to cancel the transaction for the book.  (A cancellation in this case will pass your request to a new sender if there is another copy of the book available in the system, or will put the book on your Wish List if there is not another available copy.  If the book was on your Wish LIst before, our cancellation will put you back on the Wish List for this book, in your previous place "in line".)

Date Posted: 6/30/2012 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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The envelope arrived empty before the sender marked the book mailed?  Yikes.  Can you check your Transaction Archive to see if the state/sender matches the return addy of any recent time-out activity? 

If so you could pm the sender, but don't mark the book received...because it wasn't.  But at least you would know what is missing JIC one of you wants to file a 'lost' report with USPS. 

Last Edited on: 6/30/12 9:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/1/2012 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,282
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When a package is stamped "received without contents" ... that is not normally a stamp from the FIRST post office. What actually happens as the packages move from place to place is that the contents fall out somewhere en route ... and then when the wrapper makes it to the final post office (or maybe one of the middle ones) ... THAT post office stamps it "received without contents".

So, it doesn't mean that the sender mailed it out empty. Just that one of the post offices in the middle of the journey or at the end received it empty.

I've seen that confused before in the forums.

In any case, people have already answered the what to do part of your question!

Date Posted: 7/1/2012 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 916
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Well, the book timed out today so I do not have access to PM the sender any longer. So I should have acted when I got the empty envelope.
Date Posted: 7/1/2012 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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The transaction would move to your Transaction Archive. You could PM from there just to let them know you got the envelope empty so they can maybe package better.

Date Posted: 7/1/2012 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 916
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  Thanks everybody.  I answered her from the transaction archive and I kept the envelope just in case!