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Topic: What is done with a credit "lost" from not mailing on time?

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Subject: What is done with a credit "lost" from not mailing on time?
Date Posted: 3/10/2010 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2009
Posts: 195
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I order a book, just before the deadline its marked mailed and does not arrive before the time out of the system. So it goes missing in action. Then some days later after I have given up hope it shoes up. I go to mark it as arrived and see the mail date was 3 days ago. ?! So they lied about having mailed it when it should have been mailed but to keep from losing the credit they say it has been. And of course don't ask or inform me. I could have moved on to swap with someone else.

To be fair two did apologize and I have never been snaky only grateful the book did arrive and was always a good copy.

BUT I ALWAYS mail by the time I specify. I feel it dishonest to say I have when in fact I have not and I don't want to loose a credit.


I have had this happening a LOT lately. It seems wrong to me. But I don't want to demand a credit back from someone that did eventually send the book. Ugg, is this normal?


Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 3/10/2010 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Please, always mark that these were mailed late in the comments section when you are marking them as received.  They will still get credit for sending the book, but it will generate an automated message to them about mailing their books out on time.  And, enough of these "delayed mailing" strikes against their account will get them sanctioned when the site administrators take action...

This, and marking books as RWAP, are the ways the site maintains quality control, and weeds out members who do not follow the site's rules (such as mailing books out in a timely manner)...

Date Posted: 3/10/2010 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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When you mark the book received in the system--and you fill out the form that asks for the mailed date, the system will automatically generate a letter to the sender letting them know that they need to mail books by the time they said they would.  It's my understanding that PBS also keeps track of this information and may take some sort of action if there seems to be a pattern of late mailing.

Date Posted: 3/10/2010 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2009
Posts: 195
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Ok, thats good.

But I still wonder, what happens to my credit if they DONT mark it mailed on time and the system times out? But they mail it a few days late then come back to find they are late marking it? Do I get it back or does PBS hold it hostage? Or am I expected to credit them personally?

Date Posted: 3/10/2010 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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Like Sianeka said, always record when they mail late. It's so frustrating, especially when it's so easy to send a PM and say "Hey, such-and-such happened and I mailed the book late. Sorry!" It wouldn't be so frustrating if they just took responsibility and did this. I wouldn't mind then. So I always make a note in the PBS comment section after marking the book received that the member is not mailing books on time or sending a PM as a heads up.

I had a couple month period a year or so ago where I ordered 4 or 5 books from different members and all but 1 was mailed on time. The rest were 1 to 3 weeks after the mail by date. So I totally understand your frustration!

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 3/10/2010 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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But I still wonder, what happens to my credit if they DONT mark it mailed on time and the system times out? But they mail it a few days late then come back to find they are late marking it? Do I get it back or does PBS hold it hostage? Or am I expected to credit them personally?

If a book is never marked mailed and the system times out, then one of two things happens:

1) If there are no other copies available, then you get your credit back and you are put on the wish list for the book.

2) If there are other copies, then you do not get your credit back. It gets attached to a new request for the book which is automatically generated. The new request is on your My Account page, and you can cancel it from there up until the wrapper is printed.

When a book is marked "lost in the mail" by the system, you get your credit back. When you mark a book received from your Transaction Archive, a credit is taken from you automatically and given to the sender.

If you wind up with two copies of a book because of the sender's negligence -- i.e. the sender mailed very late which caused the book to go lost, or the sender never marked it mailed; then you are not required to mark the negligent sender's book received.

If you end up with a single copy of the book, then you are required to mark it received, even if the sender mailed late. Also, if you wind up with two copies through no fault of the sender -- i.e. USPS just took an incredibly long time to deliver it -- then you are required to mark both copies received.

Date Posted: 3/10/2010 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2009
Posts: 195
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LOL, Ok Cathy that is very clear. Thankfully, so far I have not ended up with two copies. Yet. :)

Date Posted: 3/10/2010 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,384
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I found this in the Help documents:

Books that arrive with a late postmark need to be marked received normally, and the information about the postmark should be recorded in the survey portion of the Book Received page.

  • Providing the late postmark in the survey portion of the Book Received page will generate an auto-email to the sender of the book, reminding him or her that late mailing is not acceptable at PBS.
    • The email includes the information that the late postmark could have been entered in error
    • The email includes the information that sometimes postmarks are delayed a few days, even if the book was mailed on time
    • The email includes the information that if the late mailing was agreed to by the requestor, this is not a problem
  • You can contact the sender using the text box on the Book Received page:
    • Please be gentle!  You can't know what might have delayed this shipment
  • If the book was declared lost in the mail and you requested a second copy because you thought the first one was really lost:
    • If the postmark was from the week before the book was declared lost (or later!), and you got no notification from the sender that the book would be/was mailed late: you do not have to mark this book received (this is the ONE case in which you don't have to mark a received book received: if a very late mailer without notice caused you to reorder the book and end up with two copies).  
    • OR: You can mark it received to note the late postmark, and ask for your credit back in your Personal Message to the sender.  If you don't hear back/don't get the credit back within 3 days you should contact us using the Feedback link at the top of the Contact Us page.
    • You can also note this information about the late mailing in the Comments box at the bottom of the Book Received page, while marking the book received: this will go onto the sender's record.
  • A pattern of late mailing will cause account suspension and possibly termination of membership
    • Sometimes late mailing happens for very good reasons, but chronic late mailing will not be tolerated.
Date Posted: 3/10/2010 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 6,386
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Melissa and Cathy, your answer to the OP has raised another question for me - if the sender mails late, PMs me (very nicely) to apologize for not mailing the book, she just found it under a stack of papers and will mail it right away, and the book gets "lost in the mail" according to PBS, how long should I wait to reorder the book?  It is a book I want and want to read - the sender did contact me, so it looks like I would still be obliged to mark it "received" even if I order another copy of the book, but for how long is that the case?  And I did PM her a few days ago to confirm that she mailed to book, but haven't heard back yet.

Date Posted: 3/10/2010 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,384
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It would really be a judgement call.  Most books should take 2 weeks or less to get to you if both parties are in the continental US.  Did the sender provide a tracking number so you can look up the status?  If it were me, if this is a wishlist book, I would accept if another were offered.  If it were a common book, it would depend on how many copies are available as to if I would reorder right away (you can see how many are available by adding it to your reminder list).  10 or less, I'd probably order and just repost if a duplicate arrived.  More than 10, I'd *try* to be patient and hope the book arrived knowing that if it didn't I should be able to get another copy fairly easily.

If you reorder though, be careful in the marking of received to make sure you mark the correct book.  Make sure the sender name, city and state match.

Hope that helps :)

Date Posted: 3/10/2010 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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I am curious also on the book being late/lost and how long you wait and if I am getting it all right.  I had ordered two books and while I was offline due to the stupid virus (my fault) the email came in from PBS that the books were lost.  I PM both senders, one responded that she had though she mailed the book but hadn't. She would put it in the mail.  No problem, I am not in a big rush.

Other sender, no response. 

So, with the first one (it has been a week now, I think), I will give it till the end of the month and if it doesn't arrive I figure she didn't mail it and reorder it, if I still want it.  The second one the same; if I don't hear anything or receive the book by the end of the month, I will forget the book and either order it from someone else or order another book.  If either arrives, then I go into the archives and note the book received, and the date sent.   They will then get the credit for the book from me. 

Okay, do I have that right? 

Now, am I getting this right?  If a couple of months from now I receive either book, I don't have to report the book received and keep my credit and the book.  Shouldn't I report the book received?  Shouldn't I let the sender(s) and PBS know that the book(s) arrived?  Especially on the second book, which has shown as being mailed but I have not heard from the sender anything.  If they mailed the book and it went to Timbuktu, is it fair for them to lose the book and also the credit? 

The first sender, the one who responded, I would think that if it shows she mailed the book out on the 5th of this month (march) that it wouldn't be her fault it was late, I should give her the credit.   

Neither one were wishlist books, so they won't go back to next in line.  They are books that there are plenty of, so no problem in not being able to get the books. 

I think for those who would have the book WL, that could be a problem; they have to wait and let themselves go back to the top of the list, am I right in that?

Did what I write make sense?


Date Posted: 3/10/2010 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,041
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If they mailed the book and it went to Timbuktu, is it fair for them to lose the book and also the credit? 

If they mailed it on time, you need to mark it received no matter how long it takes to get to you. If they mailed the week before it went lost (or later), and they did not let you know about the late mailing, then you do not need to mark it received.

Date Posted: 3/10/2010 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 1,194
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Do you know for sure that it was mailed late? I mail all my books from the mail room at work. I mark them mailed when I drop them off. I have no way of knowing when or how long it will take for the books to make it to an actual post office. When I look at the DC I can tell that most go out by the next day but there have been cases that the DC wasn't scanned at the post office for several days. 

Last Edited on: 3/10/10 8:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/10/2010 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What Sara said, depends on when the book was actually mailed.  Late mailing requires a pm from sender, slow postal services does not.

During the bad weather, I ordered a book.  After several days, the sender pm'd and let me know the package was ready to go, but she was having weather/transportation issues.  I thought she should mark the books mailed, then follow through when it was safe to venture out.  The books arrived yesterday.  I really appreciated her pm.   Due to her communication, this was a much more positive transaction than it could have been.

Date Posted: 3/10/2010 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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not wanting to hijack the topic, but mine is a similar situation.  The books were ordered and marked mailed on time.  There was no DC so I could not follow the books.  They went late, marked lost and I received a notice from PBS.  I PM'd both senders to let them know I hadn't received the book.  My PM was polite, letting them know it wasn't a big deal, just wanted to touch base, as the books had been marked, by PBS as lost. 

Sender 1 sent back an message and said she found it under the seat of her car (happens, no big deal) and will mail it that day.  That has been a week, so far no sign of the book.  I am going to give it till the end of the month and if it doesn't show, I guess I go with either she forgot to mail it again or decided to not mail it and not let me know.  I will not PM her again.  She is the adult and so should remember to mail out the book. 

Sender 2, I have had no response from her from the PM I sent asking if she had mailed the book. 

I guess what I am wondering is, with the OP she received the books, so she was able to mark them received and the senders got their credit.  The senders marked them as mailed but by the date they hadn't been; they should have owned up to it.  They didn't and it is frustrating that they mark them as mailed but not and then fib about the date, in order to keep the credit.

In my case, what if they show up a month or two later?  With me, if Sender 1 has mailed it out as she said she would, it could be still on its way and just being slow due to it coming from CA.  If I understand it right, if the book takes that long to show up, I can keep the book and not have to give the credit.  But that seems to be unfair, she was remiss in sending it out first, but if she did mail it by around the 6th as stated she would, she should get the credit.

If,  however, the book is  six weeks or more before it shows up and the date shows it was mailed a week before I received it,  then what?   And for Sender 2, if the book shows up in this month, I should mark it received and they get the credit, right, if it shows it was mailed on time but was delayed?

What if I get the book in six weeks and it shows the book as mailed that week?  Then what?  They mark the book mailed, but don't, no responses to PM's and then mail the book late, so I would think they shouldn't get the credit, a learning lesson to not mark a book mailed and then not send it until a month or more late and not contact the requestor.

So far all of my transactions have been great, no problem from either end.  I was late in sending a book out, but that was because I missed the mail carrier and we had bad weather. 

I don't mark a book mailed until I drop it off at the post office or I see that the carrier has picked it up at my mailbox.  THEN   I mark it mailed. 

Learning as I go.


Date Posted: 3/10/2010 9:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2009
Posts: 195
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Diane H

I would say that in your case you are responsible for making sure that book gets to the post office. Your mail room is not responsible.   So I think it would fall under the system time out.

But this is my opinion, nothing more.

Date Posted: 3/10/2010 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,209
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Janette - the ruling factor is if you receive more than one copy of the book. If you do not get another copy, then you need to mark them received (and not RWAP) regardless of how late they were mailed.

If you receive 2 copies of the book, it will depend on if you requested the second copy or if you submitted one request and the system reordered when the 1st person failed to mark theirs mailed. If you reorder a lost book, it is considered a second request and you will need to give credits to both people unless they failed to follow the rules for late mailing (notice all the ands in the list of requirements to not give credit):

*There is an exception for late-mailed books:

  • If a book was mailed more than 2 weeks late without notice to you about late mailing before it was mailed and
  • was already declared Lost at PBS before it arrives, and
  • you re-requested the book after it was declared "lost in the mail"  and
  • you end up with 2 copies, THEN
  • you do not have to mark the late-mailed-without-notice copy received.
    • Note: the late mailing must be confirmed- either the sender has told you this or the postmark on the package confirms it.  Sometimes Media Mail takes a long time, so a late-arriving book cannot be presumed to have been mailed late.
  • The rules governing late-mailing are:
    • If a sender wants to mail a book that has been declared Lost at PBS already she needs to contact you with a Personal Message asking you to confirm that you still want the book from her, and
    • You would need to have confirmed that you still wanted her copy of the book in a Personal Message in reply to hers before she mailed it.
  • The bottom line: If a sender sends a book late without getting confirmation from you that you have not gotten or requested another copy in the meantime, and you end up with two copies of the book, the sender has made the mistake here.  In this case (and ONLY in this case) you are not obligated to mark the lost book received (nor are you obligated to return the extra copy). 

Last Edited on: 3/10/10 9:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/11/2010 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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okay, thanks for the info.

I received the copy of one of the books ordered, from the first sender, the one who responded to my PM about it being lost.  Since I ordered it from my Reminder List, I don't think it would have gone to another member to be sent to me.

For me, even I hadn't PM'd her (or she PM'd me) and I received the book, I would still send the credit (depending on how long it took, if it took two or three months or more, then I doubt I would send a credit), situations happen and books can not be mailed for a variety of reasons, but the sender thinks they were mailed.

For the second sender, still no reply to PM, and as the first one, I ordered it from my Reminder List, so I don't think it will go to another member.  I will give it a couple or more months before I reorder it. 

Thanks again for the help.