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Topic: Waiting on Member/Inactive Members -Placing Member on Vacation Hold

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Subject: Waiting on Member/Inactive Members -Placing Member on Vacation Hold
Date Posted: 3/7/2008 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 142
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There have been a few threads about people getting frustrated about "Waiting on Member" for the full five days only to have the request cancelled when it times out and having to move on to the next book in line.  I'm currently on the fifth day of waiting for a third person to respond to a book I requested.  I think the first two probably listed their books about a year ago and then either forgot about or lost interest in PBS.  The current (third request) member appears to be active since she's been a member for about a year, has lots of books on her shelf, and just posted new books in January.  She may still respond before the midnight deadline tonight!  However, in situations where the time elapses on a request, I think it would be really useful if the member were to be put on "Vacation Hold".  In the case of the first two people, who I strongly suspect are inactive members, their books would no longer show up in the system and cause delays for others unless they "unhold" their books.  In the case of the third person, maybe she really is on vacation and forgot to vacation hold her books herself.  Or maybe she has had a family emergency and is now losing out on her place in line on FIFO.  If an active member is momentarily unavailable for a week or two, it would be very easy  to disengage the vacation hold after they return.  It would be useful for active members like her to have a vacation hold placed if they don't respond to a request simply because she might end up losing her place in FIFO on other books on her shelf if more requests are made by other members when she's unable to respond.  I also think it would be useful for members shelves to go on vacation hold if they haven't logged on in, say, three months.  The member could get an e-mail reminding them to log on or they will be placed on hold and it would be a simple matter for the person to log on.  It would be a great way of weeding out active bookshelves from inactive.  What are your thoughts?

Date Posted: 3/7/2008 12:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2007
Posts: 2,524
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I think this is a great idea!  I think there are several members who signed up and then either "forgot" or lost interest in the site.  We need them out of here!

Date Posted: 3/7/2008 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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PBS will put an account on hold if book requests go unresponded to, so they can prevent more.  If the member turns out to be inactive then they close the account.  If it turns out to be a case of an emergency keeping them from the computer or forgetting to put your account on hold-then they reinstate it when they hear from the person. I'm not sure how many it takes to make them take notice though. 

Date Posted: 3/7/2008 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 142
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I think that's where putting a member on hold after three months of inactivity would also come in useful.  If you haven't logged on in three months, you would go on vacation hold unless you respond to an e-mail letting you know you need to log on or be placed on vacation hold.  It's so easy to take yourself off vacation hold (it's right there on your main account screen) that it seems like it would save everyone hassles all around.  I also don't know how many times a member can ignore book requests before they are placed on hold.  I noticed that the first person who timed out on me has six books listed on her shelf and they were all posted on 4/1/2007.  The second person who timed out has nine books left on her shelf and they were all posted on 4/5/07.  Both shelves still appear to be active even after having the book request timed out.

Date Posted: 3/7/2008 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Not having any recently posted books on their shelf isn't necessarily an indicator that they are inactive. They could post mostly WL books or books that are requested right away.  I don't think I have any recently posted books on mine.  My shelf is small and I go weeks sometimes months w/o posting anything but WL books or ones that get requested quickly.  I posted 2 last week that have a lot in the system. So they could work there way up on FIFO while I read them.  But normally it might look like I haven't posted a book in months.

Date Posted: 3/7/2008 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 142
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Mary, that's a really good point about posting books that are requested right away.  And it's possible that the first two members that ignored the request for the book consistently post books that are requested right away.  But, it seems more likely to me that since they have such small shelves (only 6-9 books) that were all posted almost a year ago and they didn't respond to a request for a book even by saying they could no longer send the book, that they are at the best, on a long vacation, or more likely, signed up a year ago and then forgot their password or just lost interest.  I could certainly be wrong, however.  Maybe I'll receive a note from them in a few days saying they are sorry they missed the request, but, lol, I'm not holding my breath.  :-)  I still think it would be best if their remaining books be placed on vacation hold so that someone else doesn't end up having to wait through one, two, or three members before having a book sent.

Date Posted: 3/7/2008 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Oh I agree in this instance, they are probably inactive. I just wanted to point out that, that isn't always the case.  I think I went several months w/o putting anything on my shelf that sat there w/o getting ordered. 

Date Posted: 3/8/2008 9:40 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,633
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I think I read somewhere that a member's account is put on hold if they don't log in at all for 3 months. I'm not sure how long it takes for them to actually delete an inactive account.

Date Posted: 3/8/2008 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 142
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I hope they don't delete accounts unless the member is abusing the system (i.e., not sending out promised books, declaring them "lost in mail", that sort of thing).  I just think a vacation hold placed on accounts not used for awhile or when members don't appear to be around to see that a request comes through would make passing on books go more smoothly.  You wouldn't end up wading through three or four members for 5-6 days each before someone finally accepts your book to send.  And members who are active but just have life events preventing them from getting to a computer to see that they have a request wouldn't have their book/s dropped from the FIFO lineup when they don't respond.  As soon as they get back, they can quickly push a button to unhold their books and be right back where they started, either one day, one month, or even one year later.  I'm now into day six of no response from the third member to whom this book was requested.  Luckily, there are over 200 copies, so I know I will get one eventually!  <grin>