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Topic: What happens when a book is returned to you??

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Subject: What happens when a book is returned to you??
Date Posted: 1/12/2012 5:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2011
Posts: 6
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I mailed a book a little over a week ago, and yesterday, it was returned to me by the post office (the "to" address got wet...which is odd since it hasn't rained for months!). 

 

So, what do I do now? Could this be marked an RWAP if I resend it because it'll be considered late??

mistie -
Date Posted: 1/12/2012 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,017
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Hopefully the book has not become water damaged. If hte book is still in postable constion , then I would send the requester a PM, explain the problem, and let them know you are resending the book.

I am unsure whether you will need to repay postage for this book - but, if you do, that would be at your expense.

Whenever I mail a book, I always take the precaution of putting a strip of clear packing tape over the address. I thought I was being over cautious - now I know I'm not.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/12/2012 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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1) Send a PM to notify the recipient about what happened.

2) Reprint the wrapper.

3) Take the wrapped book still in the damaged wrapper and the new wrapper and some tape and scissors to the Post Office. Show the clerk that you had valid postage but USPS got the wrapper wet and you need to resend the book. They should not charge you for this since it was their error that caused the address to become illegible!

4) Follow the clerk's instructions for applying the new label. In my case, I had used printable postage, so I was told to just tape the new wrapper on top of the old one and then the clerk issued a zero meter strip to update the postage date. They might do something different if you used stamps or if you had purchased postage at the counter.

Yes, it's possible that the recipient will mark the book received with a problem. If they do, you will still get the credit and you'll get an email telling you the postmark was late and giving some reasons when it's o.k. to ignore the email. Resending the book is one of the reasons they give.

Date Posted: 1/12/2012 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Did you you PBS DC?  Is there plastic under the shipping label?  Don't unwrap and don't cover anything yet.

I'd say re-print the wrapper and notify the receiver what happened (that USPS returned the book and you will resend immediately, you are still inside the time frame that you do not have to ask them for permission). 

Do not apply the wrapper yet, take the returned book and new wrapper to your post office and see if they will replace postage (which they should).  Then re-wrap the package and mail.  I'd be tempted to use DC.

I also cover the receiver addy with clear packing tape.  Like the OP, I've received books all smeary from being wet...no idea how USPS read enough of my addy to deliver, but the book did arrive and in pristine condition inside the plastic underwrap.

Date Posted: 1/12/2012 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Ha, Cathy beat me to it (and said it better too)!   BUT, FYI if the OP used PBS DC and there are already scans, the PO probably won't re-use that same DC number. 

Date Posted: 1/12/2012 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,714
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There is no way to RWAP a late book.

RWAP is for damaged books only. Or wrong books.

Your main danger is that the book requestor might order a seond copy if the book does not arive before it gets marked lost in the mail.

I would send a PM so that the requestor knows that the book is coming. Since it is only one week past the original mailing date, technically the receiver would be required to mark your book received EVEN if they ordered a second copy (if it gets marked lost before it arrives) ... but better to avoid the issue by letting them know that the book is really on the way.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/12/2012 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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Sara -- when they reworked the "mark book received" process a few months ago, they added "Late Postmark" as a choice in the RWAP list.

Date Posted: 1/12/2012 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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If the post office puts a zero strip on it to resend it, it could get marked as a Problem swap for late mailing. This doesn't become a problem unless you mail A LOT of books late and you get flagged as a frequent late mailer.  If the USPS doesn't put a zero strip on it and just resends with the PBS mailer, then there won't be a late post mark on it.

It would be nice to let the receiver know there is a delay and when you get the book sent back out.

Date Posted: 1/13/2012 12:06 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,714
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Sara -- when they reworked the "mark book received" process a few months ago, they added "Late Postmark" as a choice in the RWAP list.

Yup, they absolutely did. However, when you choose that, the book is not actually marked RWAP in the Transaction Archive. You just go on and enter the late postmark exactly like you did before they reworked the menu screens.

So ... not a RWAP.

This is the definition of what ahppens when you select 'Late Postmark" as a book issue (same as how it worked before):

 

Late Postmark

  • You will have a text box - the text you type in will be included in an email, and sent as a Personal Message, to the sender.
  • You will be able to choose the postmark date.
  • The sender will get an email reminding him or her to mail promptly - so if the late mailing was agreed upon, or the sender got the book back in the mail and had to re-mail (and alerted you to this), you should not choose this option.


Last Edited on: 1/13/12 1:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/13/2012 12:59 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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You have to be careful though. If you send it and it goes Lost In Mail and they see it has a late postmark, they do NOT have to mark it received. It's the only time that you do not have to mark it received.  I would PM the receiver and let them know what has happened and that it's on the way so that they don't reorder it and so that you aren't out the book, shipping and credit.

Here's the help center section.  If the postmark on the package 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). 

Date Posted: 1/13/2012 1:33 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,714
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If you send it and it goes Lost In Mail and they see it has a late postmark, they do NOT have to mark it received.

That is incorrect.

It is absolutely required to mark it received UNLESS you receive 2 copies AND it was mailed late, PBS defines "late postmark as  "the postmark on the package was from the week before the book was declared lost (or later!), " which means that it is not a late postmark unless you mail it roughly 2  weeks after you mark it mailed.

This is the help doc below (notice the word "and" between all the conditions):

If you requested a book from one sender, and then another copy from another sender, you must mark both copies received when you get them. *see the one exception to this below
 

*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.

 

 



Last Edited on: 1/13/12 1:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/13/2012 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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Yes, I agree that it won't show up in your Transaction Archive as a problem ... however, the email you get that tells you the book was received does indeed say there was a problem with the book you sent. In the body of the email it explains that the problem was a late postmark and gives you some explanations for how this might have happened even if you did mail on time.