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Topic: So if I want to make sure I get my credits I better use PBS delivery confir

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Subject: So if I want to make sure I get my credits I better use PBS delivery confir
Date Posted: 3/27/2008 9:13 AM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2005
Posts: 113
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I sent out a book about four weeks back and it's been lost in the mail (no fault of mine or the sender). I just receieved a note from PBS that since I didn't use PBS delivery confirmation, I would not receive a credit until the book arrives. Well, that sucks! Does this mean the person expecting it gets their credit back? Now granted, in the three years that I've been here, I've only  had 3 or 4 books lost in the mail, but I think I still got my credit...am I incorrect? Did the policy change? What keeps one from saying they never got their books? I know that the person I sent the book to isn't ripping the system off, but I this is an additional charge of what to mail a book...do I need to start doing this for all of my books? I guess if I'm wanting to get my credit, I better.

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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that is correct, if a book goes lost and you didn't use DC you don't get the credit.  only exception is if the receiver is inactive or no longer a member and then you do get the credit.

the receiver does get their credit back so they can reorder the book.

I do not use DC and so far haven't had a book go lost yet.  The one time it did was because the other person was no longer a member, so he probably got the book but closed his account before marking it received

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2005
Posts: 113
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bummer, I was just on the USPS board and all the complaints regarding DC makes me leary about using it...well, I hope it eventually arrives and I get credit.


Date Posted: 3/27/2008 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 211
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I have been with PBS for over a year and mailed about 300 books. In that time, I have only had 2 go missing. I hope this helps :)
Date Posted: 3/27/2008 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,359
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Yah, my experience has been that it is cheaper to let a book or two go lost than by the DC.  But I get my books really cheap, so it's just postage I'm out.  If I was buying the books new I might revise that opinion. :)

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 10:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2008
Posts: 2
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I feel your pain, and I have to say I am COMPLETELY DISGUSTED with PBS at the moment. 

I mail stuff to APO addresses All. The. Time.  That includes the frequent use of media mail.  And somehow, the stuff I mail to places where there are not even post offices and there are people SHOOTING at the mail carrier manages to get there in a week, maybe 10 days tops.  Never lost a thing.

And yet, with PBS, out of 5 items mailed, one has been 'lost' and another magically 'just got here yesterday' when I pm-ed a memeber two days before the 'it went lost' date. 

At this point, since I am at the PO anyway to fill out the customs forms for the APO stuff, I am dropping a few extra cents for the DC.  At least that way, even if PBS does not give me the credit, I will know if it is the mail's fault, or if some folks around here feel like they don't have to play by the rules with us new folks.


Date Posted: 3/27/2008 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,204
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A.R.L.  - even a DC scan of delivered does not mean a book was delivered correctly.

I have had 2 or 3 books go lost in all my transactions coming and going, that's a 1-2% which is really low in my opinion. I usually use PBS DC but not always, mostly on WL books. 

There may be a few bad apples around here that don't mark books as rec'd, but with the tracking in place, I am confident that PBS shows most of them the door rather quickly.

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Lost mail is not PBS fault. PBS does moniter peoples accounts.  Someone who consistently has books going to them go "lost" will have their account suspended. I doubt many people join with the intention of getting as many "free" books as they can before they get booted out.  I'm really-it's not all that lucretive.  I think most people who abandon their accounts, just forget about them or don't realize how much work joining PBS can be.  If an account is abandoned, the system will mark the book received. They can tell if a member hasn't logged on in a while and most likely has forgotten about their PBS accout. 

I use the DC sometimes. I use the printed postage for books over 13oz so I don't have to go to the PO.  I use it on audio-cds because it's 2 credits and they are more expensive to purchase even when I buy most used.  But if I'm just sending out a paperback that I bought used and read once-I don't use DC.  I figure the $ I'm saving by not using DC will cover the cost of the occasional used book that might go missing. I've sent out around 250 books and not one has gone lost.  So I think for all the times I didn't use DC-I've covered the cost of several books going lost.  Hopefully it won't happen but you never know.

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2008
Posts: 2
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You are right, 2 or 3 books lost in the amount you have posted, 1-2%, is very very low.  Totally acceptable.  I have a 50% adverse event rate.  If you had lost those 2-3 books in the first FIVE transactions you had done here, the way I have, I think you might have a slightly less generous assessment of the situation. 

There is very good research out there, mostly in the economics field but also in the security field, that shows a small but fairly steady fraction of 'cheaters' in any honor system.  That research also shows there is usually a dividing line.  Say, 15% of folks will cheat in one situation, but if you make it a bit harder or more likely to be caught, the percentage drops to maybe 6%.  Here, it seems like that 'make it a bit harder' is DC.  So that is what I am doing now.  A couple extra cents per transaction seems worth it to prevent the involuntary two for one sale I seem to be holding now.

I bet dollars to doughnuts (10 points for obtuse reference recognition) that if you mined the data here at PBS, you would find:

     - A few regions of the country where things get lost more often (bad post office)

     - A few folks outside those regions who don't 'receive' a significant proportion of what they request

     - A few folks outside those regions who hit the send button, but the intended recipients in a significant proportion of their tranactions don't ever get the book.

And I bet those three groups would make up the lion's share of lost books.  But that is just a guess.  :)



Date Posted: 3/27/2008 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,204
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I am totally in agreement with you A. All of the books I had go lost did not have DC. One I am 99.9% certain the person got it. I am suspecting (and hoping) that you have had just a bad start and your averages will come down after time.

I agree with you on where the majority of books go lost come from. PBS will catch the people in the last 2, and if they smell a rat, they close their account.  They are very understanding of circumstances, but don't seem to tolerate people attempting to work their system.

But, I have seen from what seem like honest caring members, instances where the DC says a book was delivered and the book was not. Some have a neighbor show up with the book after while, some just never show up. So please don't assume that a DC scanned delivered on a book that goes lost in the system is a dishonest member. Most of the people around here are honest, great folks who want to share their books with others. If you stick it out, you will get lots of books showing up in great shape and have a TBR pile so big it threatens injury when you walk by.

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2008
Posts: 2,528
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If you buy DC @ the post office, is it proof enough to get your credit if the book goes missing???

Last Edited on: 3/27/08 1:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/27/2008 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 7,466
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I have done 337 transactions here on PBS and I have only had 3 books get lost in the mail.  One comming to me and two going out. 

I always use PBS DC.  It is just a comfort thing.  I feel better protected and I feel maybe the PO pays more attention to those. 

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2007
Posts: 326
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I started using DC on everything when I started using printable postage.  I love the feature where you can see where your books are in transit.  It's amazing to see how out-of-the-way some media mail packages will go!

I know that it costs a little more, but I like having that feature, and I really appreciate it when it's used on books being sent to me.  It's nice to see that the book actually is in route, that it actually was mailed (and not just marked mailed), and to know roughly when I can expect to see it in my mailbox.

Most of the books on my shelf right now were donated to my PBS bookshelf by family members cleaning out their own bookshelves at home, so I'm not really out any money in purchasing the books.  All I'm really paying for is postage, so a little extra for assurance doesn't bother me that much.

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,805
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If you buy DC @ the post office, is it proof enough to get your credit if the book goes missing???

from reading the help files, no.  you have to use PBS-DC (or PBS printable postage) to have your credit guaranteed.  with PBS-DC, your credit is received after the book is scanned, which might not be for a while.  (plus PBS-DC is $.43 [$.27 PBS money, and $.18 postage] vs $.75, so it's cheaper to do that one.)

i use PBS-DC, and take all of my books to the post office and stand in line to pay postage.  by doing that, they always scan it in order to charge me the right amount, and i get my credit by the next morning.  this isn't because i don't trust the other members or the post office, but because i'm impatient and am willing to pay a bit extra to get my credits immediately.   i'll skip it sometimes when i've got "enough" credits handy and the book doesn't have too far to go.

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 108
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I have had 3 orders go lost and they were books I really wanted . one was a 3 for 1 deal I ordered 2 and so she had 6 books go lost. I pm'd the member (twice), never heard back. She had been a member for a while and was active in the forums. don't know what happened . The 3 books were all only 1 in system so no chance of reordering them. Didn't loose my credits but they lost their books and I felt really bad for them. It happens... I use PBS - DC on most of my books for 2 reasons....  I don't want the hassle of "lost in mail" and ...Its my credit and I want it now...LOL..  met more easy to get along with people on here than disagreeable ones so far, IMO.

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2005
Posts: 379
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Yah, what Gremlin said. The PBS DC is cheaper than buying DC at the PO.

Printing postage at Paypal, you HAVE to buy DC for $0.18 but as correctly pointed out, it doesn't get your credit from PBS.

I usually print my postage at Paypal. Like Melanie, my lost book %age is somewhere very low so I don't really worry about DC - I look at it as the price for printing postage, really. Recently I sent out a book that seemed to be taking a really long time to get there - not past the allotted time, but usually my transactions don't even approach that if I'm sending to the continental US. Just to indulge my curiosity, I checked the DC thru Paypal and according to the USPS, it had been delivered a few weeks (yes, weeks) before.

I really do like to give folks the benefit of the doubt - I can imagine meaning to mark a book Received and getting distracted and not doing it - so I wrote a PM that said something like "If you got this, please mark it. My non-PBS DC says you got it, so if you didn't, please let me know". Got no response but the book was marked Received.

Was this a potential member of A's group of cheaters? I'd like to think not, but maybe that PM was just enough to make scamming the system not worth it.

Date Posted: 3/28/2008 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 9,453
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I always use the printed postage from here. Its so convienent, and so easy to have the postage and DC and everything all ready to go.  I don't have a box I can drop the packages into, but, I can either give them to my work mail room or drop them at the PO on my lunch, and they're all ready to go!

Date Posted: 3/28/2008 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2005
Posts: 356
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DC doesn't guarantee delivery to the right address, just that it got delivered somewhere.  I just had a book I was waiting to received sent by DC go lost, it does happen, not fair to presume the receiver is dishonest without any facts to go on.  For this particular book I want to the UPSP site and entered the DC number and it does not show delivered, just that they were electronically notified the package was being sent and no further info available.  Another book mailed without DC the same day or around that date by another member also in the same state was also never received and now marked lost.   So that leads me to believe it's possibly to do with the processing center for packages for that state having a problem - whether misplaced from a package inspection, left in a mail sack still in a pile somewhere, damaged and separated from envelope and not identifiable, etc., so many things can happen.

With such a large membership, I'm sure there are a few bad apples, but don't believe that applies to the majority.  I've had a few gone missing over the years, but that's in the minority, once I had two go missing and show up  in my mailbox almost 6 mos. later - probably found in one of those supposedly empty mail sacks that finally got used after being at the bottom of a storage pile.  Sometimes it seems to happen more at a busy mailing time, like Christmas.

The one advantage of DC, you get your credit regardless; but then it you mail out a lot, would be a lot cheaper to just take the loss of a couple that go missing when you factor in the extra cost.

Date Posted: 3/28/2008 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 1,932
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Unless I am trading with someone I have traded with before or if they are an active forum poster and I know they check the site regularly, I always use PBS DC. A good reason why it's better than an off-site source is what just happened to me last month:

A member sent me a book and did not use PBS DC, but did purchase DC from another source. As soon as she checked that the book was "delivered" she started PMing admonishing me to mark the book received so she'd get her credit. The problem was it wasn't received by ME. I have no idea where it went, but it didn't arrive here at my house. I have no reason to be dishonest, but I was sent PM after PM that the member was CERTAIN it had been delivered as she had the confirmation.

Finally I just sent her a buddy credit so she would leave me alone. I got a gift certificate for my birthday so went and bought the book, since I NEVER received it, regardless of her DC scan. If she had bought PBS DC she would have gotten her credit and wouldn't have had to badger me and that would have been nice....

Date Posted: 3/28/2008 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't think people get that they get scanned at the PO when they get to their final zip code.  But that it might still take a day or 2 to actually get delivered to the house. Like where I live: I live on an island.  We have a post office here but the main PO is on the mainland an hour+ away.  If I mail something to my neighbor it would take 2 days.  One day to go off the island and one day to come back. Because even inter island mail goes off the island to be sorted and then comes back.  So a book enroute to me could be scanned as being delivered to the main postal center here but still be a day away from me. Sometimes they don't get scanned at all.

Date Posted: 3/29/2008 7:48 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2005
Posts: 356
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Yes so many problems with the DC, misdelivery to wrong address just like other mail, not all PO's have scanners, some scan when dropped off, some don't..  I think some people are confused about what DC really is because of getting that credit from PBS if you get it from them, and then that time they showed tracking which was just an example not for real, but people thought it was and some probably still do. And of course, many are wrong thinking it confirms who really got it.  Too bad you had to give up a credit just to get her to stop bothering you, Marci.

Date Posted: 3/29/2008 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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Oh, great!  I have a book that will be going lost on April 1.  I just assumed I would get my credit at that time.  I don't use any of the fancy postage features, just old-fashioned go-to-the-PO-and-mail.  Hopefully he's no longer a member, huh?

Always credit poor Lisa.

Date Posted: 3/29/2008 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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I've been on both sides of this fence.  For a long time I only used DC if it was an expensive book, for me the lost of a $15 -$20 book that I only read once is too signifigant to risk, when for the low price of 18 cents I can insure my credit. 

Then they began the online postage which for me is so convenient for me, for one thing with my gas guzzling suburban having to go out of my way to the PO cost me more than the fee + the DC,and the fact that I get the credit the instant I mark it mailed, well that is just too good to pass up.  For the most part lately I've been sending WL books, mostly new bought at Barnes & Nobel at full price, so I feel I am protecting my investment.

Plus it's neat to watch the credit count go up as I hit the "this book has been mailed" button lol.

Would I ever send out books with out DC, sure, but why when it's cheaper than the PO and I get my credit right away?  I've only ever had one book go lost, but recently I have had to remind a couple of people to see if they've gotten the book and to mark it received.  Would they have gone lost if not for the DC?  I dunno, but why chance it.

Date Posted: 3/29/2008 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2007
Posts: 181
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Some years ago I worked for a company that ran a special promotion, and we started receiving several sacks of mail each day.  We only had a couple of people working on handling the promotion, so the sacks of mail gradually built up in a storage room.  We'd never done this before, and, unfortunately, no one was bright enough to realize that we probably should have been marking or placing the sacks so that we handled them in FIFO order.  At one point we opened a sack and discovered that it was full of mail from several weeks earlier that should have gone to a local bank.  I've often thought about all the people who insisted that, yes, they had mailed their payment during the weeks that their check was sitting in a mail sack on the floor of our storage room.

Date Posted: 3/29/2008 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 1,956
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I don't think people get that they get scanned at the PO when they get to their final zip code. 

That's not the case here. They scan it at delivery. I don't think scanning books at the Post Office would qualify as "delivery" confirmation. 

50% in a pretty high percentage.  I wonder what's going on.  In over 600 trades, I've never had a book I sent go missing & only had about 3 or 4 sent to me go lost.  I certainly don't blame PBS.

I know that packages get misdelivered all the time. I get so many books and packages that my mail carrier seems to think that if it's a package, it goes in my box. I've gotten two items in my box just this month that weren't mine.  I put them back in my box with a note. But,  I forgot to take one down to the mailbox the next day, so it was 2 days before it could havre possibly been redelivered, and it was probably 3 since I believe the address it was going to was before mine on the route.  So, I'd bet someone was emailing their ebay seller and getting the response that it was delivered & not their problem.  At least here, we're covered in this situation if we use DC.