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Topic: Any way to guarantee my credits in this case?

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Subject: Any way to guarantee my credits in this case?
Date Posted: 8/31/2010 6:16 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I got a request for 5 books off my shelf. These are heavy books and what would be considered gift books. The person who requested has a RC that states that for some reason the PBS system doesn't accept their current address (I think the person has moved) and to please send to the current address which is not the one that will come up for the label. With an order that large (and considering the weight, etc) of the books, I want to guarantee my credits as far as using DC and getting the quick credits. However, I can't figure out a way to do it. Is there any way I can do it and get the quick credits when I send the books instead of waiting for the person to mark the books received?

UPDATE: All a moot point now because the order was cancelled on the other end. But thanks for explaining everything and the possible scenarios.



Last Edited on: 8/31/10 4:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/31/2010 7:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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You could ask them to buddy you the credits before you mail the books.

Date Posted: 8/31/2010 8:18 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2009
Posts: 5,738
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Last Edited on: 5/27/11 5:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 8/31/2010 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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I think you should refuse the requests. PBS requires that all addresses appear in the USPS online database for a reason, and she shouldn't be asking you to send to a different address through RCs.

You could try entering the address at www.usps.com and see if you can figure out the reason why the system won't take it. Maybe she just has the apartment number in the c/o space instead of after the street name or something obvious like that. Or it could be some kind of fraud.

Date Posted: 8/31/2010 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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I'm with Cathy -- I would not accept this request, particularly given that it involves both multiple, valuable books and an odd address request.  Even if the member has moved, there are legitimate ways to change your mailing address on PBS.  Asking folks not to use the address printed on the label does seem very fishy to me. 

I would also notify the PBS team about this unusual request, in case the member is trying to scam the system (for example, by making a new account with a fake address to get their 2 free credits again, or trying to create a new account if they've previously been banned from PBS for policy violations).  Use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of any PBS page to tell them what's going on.

Date Posted: 8/31/2010 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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I am in the don't do it camp. There should be no reason this person cannot have a valid address being printed on the label. Until they can do that I wouldn't send the books because there is no way the site will guarantee credits if you are going around the site's safety features for validating addresses. I would ask them to get the correct address into PBS or cancel the request until they can do so.

Date Posted: 8/31/2010 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
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"PBS requires that all addresses appear in the USPS online database for a reason"

 

I mail a lot of stuff for my business, and I have occasionally had customers whose addresses were not recognized by USPS so I couldn't do online postage. I contacted them, and they swore up and down that it would still get there via USPS... and they did. 

The USPS database is not perfect, and it is possible that the requestor has a legit problem. However, I do agree that they need to resolve it with PBS. 

 

Or maybe they just need to "Get Jesse": http://www.nwcn.com/news/consumer/Mail-sent-to-the-wrong-address-93740099.html

Date Posted: 8/31/2010 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2005
Posts: 3,003
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RED FLAGS!  RED FLAGS! Cancel the order. 

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 8/31/2010 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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I mail a lot of stuff for my business, and I have occasionally had customers whose addresses were not recognized by USPS so I couldn't do online postage. I contacted them, and they swore up and down that it would still get there via USPS... and they did. 

The USPS database is not perfect, and it is possible that the requestor has a legit problem. However, I do agree that they need to resolve it with PBS.

Yes, it's true that the USPS database is not perfect, but there are ways to get it fixed -- i.e. go talk to your local Postmaster. It usually takes about 4 weeks to get the database updated if your address is in there without a 9-digit ZIP. It takes longer for new construction because your local city clerk has to submit the offical address to the USPS.

I wrote a web app that's used to run grass roots advocacy campaigns, and we use the USPS database to standardize addresses and figure out who the elected representatives are for each person who registers, so I have a lot of experience with people complaining that we won't accept their addresses. At least 98% of the time, this is user error, not USPS error. It's amazing how many people have no clue how to write their own street address. They will put "So." instead of S when they mean South. They will put 101B Main St instead of 101 Main St Apt B. Or they put C/O Apt B, 101 Main St. The really amazing thing to me is that the mail carriers are actually able to figure this out and get most of the mail delivered.

Date Posted: 8/31/2010 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Nope. If it were just one little paperback I would chance it, but it's not worth the risk IMHO.

Date Posted: 8/31/2010 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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I agree--that's why the 'mail to a different address' is there. I had a request like that once from someone who wintered in Arizona but her address was still listed as somewhere in the north. I only use PBS DC because my work hours only allow me to get to the PO one day a week and it's a hassle to do so. So it's a convenience issue, I'm not normally concerned about 'credit assurance.' But If I were mailing five heavy, super-nice books, there is no way in hell I would mail them without PBS postage on them.

Cheryl