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Topic: What happens when a book goes lost?

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Subject: What happens when a book goes lost?
Date Posted: 8/23/2010 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2010
Posts: 148
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On August 26 a book my husband ordered will officially be lost.  The book was mailed from NJ to KY.  A few days ago my husband sent a PM just to let the person know that he had not received the book and letting the sender know that he was watching for it.  The sender said he used DC and that the book was in Cincinnati.  I guess all of that detail does not matter because my question is if the book is never received, will the credit be refunded?  Thanks in advance for your input. 

Date Posted: 8/23/2010 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
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Here is what the Help Center says:

A book I requested is lost in the mail. What now?

If a book you requested does not arrive by the 26th day (the 35th day if the sender or requestor is outside the contiguous US) after it was marked mailed, it will be declared lost in the mail at PBS. The requestor does not mark the book Lost; the system does this. 

The requestor will get credit back, and the book will go onto the Wish List (if there are no available copies in the system) or the Reminder List (if there are other copies available to request).  If the book was a Wish List book when it was requested before, the requestor will go back to his or her previous place "in line" for the book.

  • However, this does not mean that the book is definitely lost.  Sometimes it is merely delayed en route.
  • If the book arrives after it has been declared Lost, the requestor must mark it received from the Transaction Archive.
    • At this time, the credit will be taken back and given to the sender for sending the book.

What you should do if a book you requested is declared Lost in the Mail:

  • Contact the sender, to find out if mailing was delayed for some reason.
    • you can do this from your Transaction Archive, using the PM button on this Lost transaction in that list.
  • If the mailing was not delayed, the sender should call 800-ASK-USPS or go to http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MLNtRcvd.aspx (the Postal Inspection Service's website) and input the information online there . This will help USPS try to recover the book if it truly has been lost in the mail.
  • Don't re-request the book for at least 2 weeks, unless you are willing to run the risk of getting two copies (and paying a credit for both).

If you are having a lot of books declared "Lost" en route to you:

  • You should investigate this.  Excessive unreceived books may jeopardize your membership.
    • Numerous books sent separately but not arriving at your address implies that something is wrong with your mail delivery.
    • Requestors are responsible for providing correct, dependable mailing information to senders.
  • Check your address in your Account Settings, to be sure that it is correct.
  • You can send a PM to the sender of any or all of the lost books, to ask if the book was mailed late, by any chance, as described above.
  • Talk to your PO and mail carrier to see if the book might have been misdelivered to a neighbor.
  • Consider using a PO box or alternate (ie, work) address until the matter is sorted out.


And if the book should show up after the lost date then you should follow the steps in this Help Center document: I received a book that was 'lost in the mail'

Last Edited on: 8/23/10 9:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/23/2010 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2010
Posts: 148
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Thanks, Melanie. 

Briana -
Date Posted: 8/24/2010 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 2,775
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I had once sent a book out in October and the person didn't get it till January! We were both shocked!