Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: A What if question

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: A What if question
Date Posted: 3/15/2010 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
Back To Top

I am on the paranoid side at times, especially when I am dealing with a person I don't know (had too many bad experiences).  So, I end up what lots of what ifs.  Here is mine, not only for now, but in the future (hoping it never happens, knock on wood).

A book was marked lost by PBS, contacted the sender, says she sent (I am not saying she is lying okay) but I still haven't received.

I called PO an they say without any transaction code, they can not trace the book. No returned mail delivered at wrong address for me either.

The ball is now in her court, she has to see if she can find it from her side.

Here is the what if?  What if she still states she mailed the book, and that I had to have received it, yet I did NOT receive it?  Do I mark it somewhere as transaction not resolved with PBS and let it go or what? 

I am figuring in this situation we will just count our selves as lost from both direction, she is out a credit and I am out a book.  She seems a nice person and I really think she mailed the book, it just went to the great void in the mailing universe. 

If it shows up a month or so from now, can I mark it received, or do I do something else?


Date Posted: 3/15/2010 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
Back To Top

Now that the book has been marked lost by the system, there's really nothing for you to do at this point - you should have gotten your credit back.  If the book does come at some point (and sometimes they do!), you can mark it received from your Transaction Archive.

M.E. (ryenke) -
Date Posted: 3/15/2010 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2009
Posts: 625
Back To Top

If the book does not arrive within 26 days of it being marked mailed, the system will return your credit to you and the book will be reordered (or put back on your wish list as the case may be). 

Good Luck!  

(And the PBS help docs go into more detail: )

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 #1 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.
Date Posted: 3/15/2010 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
Back To Top

When a book is marked lost, regardless of whether it was "really mailed" or not, the receiver is without a book, but gets her credit back. It will show up in her transaction archive as lost. There will be a button to click "received" in the transaction archive if the book is received at a later date after being declared lost. Then the receiver's credit goes back to the original sender. Hope this answers your question.

Date Posted: 3/15/2010 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
Back To Top

When a book goes lost in the mail, the receiver is not out anything except time.

The sender has presumably lost both the book, and the credit for which it was exchanged (unless they used PBS DC.)

There is no way for the receiver to be "scammed" in this way. They lose nothing. If there is potentially a scam, it would be in the use of PBS postage, where the postage could be purchased and the credit immediately given the the sender, before they actually mail, and even IF THEY NEVER mail. Although hopefully PBS would catch them before too long.

Last Edited on: 3/15/10 11:06 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/15/2010 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
Back To Top

Thanks for the info.

I understood the first part, that PBS marks it lost, the credit is given back to me, I don't lose the credit. I read the help docs, library and search forums before I ask a question. 

My worry, wonder was how it was handled  if  a sender wanted to argue that the book was sent and she/he should be given back the credit.  Not that she IS but the what if aspect.  This is not specifically on her, just mainly for future references. 

I guess my brain was in slow mode, because now as I read responses, I realize it doesn't matter what they (as in a sender, any sender) says, I still have my credit returned and they are thus out a book and a credit.

I truly don't think the sender was trying to scam me, nor am I trying to scam her, I guess I am always to curious of the "what if" (my son and I do that a lot in discussions we have about various topics) and so wondered, what if a (general) sender, reacted in a negative manner.  Do I think the one in my situation will do this, no I don't;  she has been out of town, so she is just now learning the book went missing.  And I have not been given any indication that she will be rude in any manner, or toss a fit. 

And I know that technically I am not out anything, but I still FEEL as if I lost a book.  I know I can reorder it (it isn't a WL, just from my reminder list); it is just that I was thinking of it as my book.  I truly don't believe she will throw a fit;  It isn't her fault, she mailed it out it was just taken in the void.  Is it possible she kept the book? Yes   Likely  --   highly, highly doubtful; but that is the reason for my question. 

I believe that the HUGE majority of us here are honest -- we send our books out when requested; we mark the books received when receive one.  We make sure the book is in good condition, fitting the guidelines and we try to be considerate of others in RCs both in creating them and following them. It is that tiny, microscopic group that ruins the faith in people. I'm the dumb one that still believes in the end that there are more honest people than dishonest in the world. 

What I have learned in life is, plan for the worst and hope for the best.


Date Posted: 3/15/2010 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
Back To Top

My worry, wonder was how it was handled  if  a sender wanted to argue that the book was sent and she/he should be given back the credit.  Not that she IS but the what if aspect.  This is not specifically on her, just mainly for future references. 

You don't have to do anything.  Sometimes books are lost in the mail.  If the sender wants to protect himself against this possibility, he needs to use PBS DC or printable postage.  Otherwise, it's a lost book, which happens, and the sender is out both the book and the credit.

Date Posted: 3/15/2010 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
Back To Top

 If the sender wants to protect himself against this possibility, he needs to use PBS DC or printable postage.

Exactly. It's up to the sender to protect themselves. If the sender is protected then they keep their credit if the book goes lost. The receive will get their credit back. As far as PBS is concerned, the sender has no gripe if PBS DC wasn't used.  

In three years on here I have found no reason to feel I've been scammed or to be suspicious of the system, or anyone in particular. I've had a couple books go lost to me that I'm pretty sure were never mailed. I've had a book I sent that I'm  pretty sure was received but not marked received but I chalked it up to those "little" things that just happen. And I'm not one of those people who think everyone is honest. I think I have a sensible dose of suspicion, follow my spidey senses. That keeps me relatively safe in my PBS life, and keeps it uncomplicated and unworrisome.  

ETA: Edited so many times  because I can't spell or form sentences this morning.

Last Edited on: 3/15/10 2:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 3/15/2010 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
Back To Top

"My worry, wonder was how it was handled  if  a sender wanted to argue that the book was sent and she/he should be given back the credit."

This will never happen. They have no recourse to do such a thing. There is nothing in PBS that allows them to demand that they be given their credit by you, if they insist they mailed it. As the others have said, if they want to guarantee that they get their credit in the event that the book goes lost, they should buy PBS DC whereby PBS will give them the credit, not you, with the moneys earned from selling PBS DC for an extra fee. That is why it costs more than getting it from someplace like PayPal, where you can get DC but that DC won't guarantee your credit like buying it here will.

Date Posted: 3/15/2010 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
Back To Top

Additionally, were a situation like this to arise, you might be able to placate them by pointing them to the directions in the help documents about how to submit a lost mail form with the post office. Both the sender and person who were supposed to receive the lost item can fill out one of these forms, so you could offer to do so if you wanted. This is not required, but if for some reason they felt like you actually received the book and weren't marking it received, offering to do so may convince them otherwise.