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Topic: What do you do when...new members...

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Subject: What do you do when...new members...
Date Posted: 10/11/2007 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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I had my first PBS package, out of 125 books rec'd, come postage due yesterday.  Not just a little bit of postage, mind you, a LOT - $5.44!  The package had two books, one very heavy.  The smaller book in the package had been auto-ordered off of my wish list.  Then I went to "order more from member" and ordered the second one.  Knowing that it would not show up as a bulk request (one thing that really bugs me is that system's issue), I immediately PM'ed the member after ordering the second book to make her aware there were two from me that could be sent together.

So the member (who is brand new, btw) printed off both labels.  The small book was marked First Class with whatever postage (couldn't see it).  That was the label the member used on the package.  She put the heavy book's label in the box.  It was marked Media Mail with $2.81 postage.  She put $2.81 in metered postage (from a business meter - not USPS) on the package.  That *may* have been fine, except the label she used was First Class and it hadn't been marked out.  Then, on top of THAT, there was a USPS Priority Sticker on top of the label.  I could tell it was not from re-use of the box.  It was over the PBS label and tape.

I didn't reject the package (in hindsight  I should have) because my son has been waiting for the wish listed book for a very long time.  When I marked the books as rec'd, I noticed the member was brand new and our two books were one of four she'd sent out (I believe the other two to the same person based on her map).  She has not rec'd any books.  In the note to member box of both books, I essentially wrote the same thing, told her of the problem, and what I wanted done to correct it ($5.44 in postage or 2 credits).  I told her I knew she was new, so I was trying to let her know more about how the system works.

She first fired off one nasty gram in response and said she would "research it".  So I replied with the PBS help section info on what to do if a book comes postage due.  She fired off another nasty gram, accusing me of being mean (I've re-read my msgs three times and I don't know where she got that - I was only stating facts and even said that I realized she was new), and refusing to talk to me about this until she investigated it.

I had also told her that I couldn't understand how a postal employee would allow everything the way it was.  I know that the package was metered, so I suppose it didn't have to be handed to a USPS employee - it could have been put in a drop box.  She said she metered it from work and sent a courier with it to the PO.

Anyway, so now what do I do?  Just sit and wait to see if she finally offers me my credits and/or money?  I've had minor issues with other new members and they always apologize for their mistakes and will learn from them.  I've never had anyone that I've swapped with be so downright mean.  She said I gave PBS a "bad name".  I was just stating the rules.  I really do believe a lot of "newbies" don't stop to read all the rules.  They post their books, and wait to see what happens.

In hindsight, had I known at the time the mailman showed at my door that she was going to be this way, I would have refused the book.  Oh well, I guess I may have to chalk it up to "there's always one in the bunch to spoil it".

JCC

Date Posted: 10/11/2007 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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JCC, if the person's messages are actually abusive to you, you might want to ask R&R for some assistance. If this person was actually that rude/abusive, you should report it right away. Other than that, I suppose you'll just need to wait for a reply. If she doesn't reply within a week to your request (make sure your request specified that you wanted an answer) then report the issue to R&R after the week has passed.

Have you marked it received? If not, be sure to state in the comments section the amount of postage you had to pay to get the book. (ETA: Just read again and saw that you'd done this... Good!)



Last Edited on: 10/11/07 9:59 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/11/2007 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2006
Posts: 156
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I would definitely tell R&R about the situation.  She doesn't seem willing to handle it reasonably.

I can understand new members being confused about postage, but if they're unsure they can always take it to the post office to have it weighed and proper postage applied there.

 



Last Edited on: 10/11/07 10:47 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/11/2007 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 877
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From the Help Center:

If you receive a book postage-due, and you have accepted the package from the mail carrier, you should contact the sender to discuss this.  Please be polite: this was probably a simple mistake.
  • You should mark the book received normally, and use the mini-survey portion of the "book received" page to make a note about the postage amount due.

  • The sender will get credit for sending the book automatically, but she or he should compensate you for the missing postage.

    • You can contact the sender during the process of marking the book received, or afterward using the PM button on the completed transaction for the book in your Transaction Archive
    • Be sure to note the postage-due on the "survey" portion of the Book Received page.
  • You can arrange any solution that you like (the sender can give the credit back, or send you postage, or another book for no credits...whatever you agree on).

If you receive a book postage-due but you have not accepted the package yet, you may refuse it.  It will be returned to sender.   You should contact the sender to let him or her know what happened.
  • In this case, you should not mark the book received.

     

    • This is the only time that it is appropriate not to mark a book received  (i you have refused it for postage-due, and are not in possession of the book.)
    • This is the only time that it is appropriate to refuse a package from PBS (if there is postage due)
  • When the book is declared "lost in the Mail" at PBS, you will get your credit back.

  • You should contact the sender in this case also, to ensure that he or she is aware of the proper cost of Mailing a book.
    • You can contact the sender using the PM button on the En Route Transaction for the book on your En Route to Me tab in My Account.
If the package has proper MediaMail postage on it,  you should ask the PO why extra postage is being charged.
  • This may happen if the sender does not mark the package MEDIA MAIL
  • This may happen if the package contained non-Media material and it was inspected
  • This may happen (rarely) if USPS makes an error and wants First Class postage for a package marked MEDIA MAIL.

 JC, you did nothing wrong.  Good luck getting it resolved.  You might want to send these quotes to the other member.

Date Posted: 10/11/2007 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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Marjorie - I did send the quotes to the member, and the link, too.  I told her I wasn't willing to do the option to receive one or two books from her shelf b/c there was nothing else there I wanted.  I only asked her for one of the two things listed in Help.

JCC

Date Posted: 10/11/2007 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/1/2005
Posts: 262
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Some people cant stand to have their errors pointed out to them; same get embarrassed or they just don't express themselves well via email or pm. So set aside her strange remarks for now. Maybe later today you can email her and ask if she has had the opportunity to research the issue. And then tell her how you would like to be compensated.... either a check for the amount or the amount in credit value. If she continues to be obstinate, you will need to turn this over to the team.

I recently had a pleasant postage due situation also. The lady was very nice and sent me a check for the amount -$2.00. Good luck, hopefully today will be a better day for her and she will show a different attitude.

Date Posted: 10/11/2007 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
Posts: 4,972
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 I really do believe a lot of "newbies" don't stop to read all the rules. 

It is not always just the newbies, though newbies often don't seem to understand what is or is not postable here, how certain things work,ect. . * SIGH*  I really, really  wish everyone would just read and follow the rules but alas, there are always people who either don't know the rules or just don't care about following the rules:(      It is frustrating!

 

 

 

Date Posted: 10/12/2007 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/8/2007
Posts: 92
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JCC,

As a new swapper I read alot of the problems stated by veteren Swappers. This topic helped me to pay close attention to bulk mailings and postage.

Thanks

 

Date Posted: 10/12/2007 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,192
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I'm going to be honest here - and I'm hope it's not brunt. But when one is consistently pointed out as "new" as if it's a bad thing ( like all problems seem to come around to being blamed on the new people) then it becomes a real drain and pain and puts any "new" person (read that as anyone who joined in 2007 from the standpoint of many) on the defensive right way. I think the combination of sending the same e-mail twice and citing the rules was overkill and probably came off as a bit condescending so she reacted negatively. 

I haven't been here too long but I've done a lot of swapping already (near to 100 each in both sending and receiving) and the BULK of those that I've run into that don't follow the rules are NOT the newbies. Most are pretty conscientious and want to follow the rules so now that you don't consider yourself a newbie you're quick to judge those who are new and could be - by the sounds of things - adopting the offensive practices that many new people don't particularly like. Some come off very poorly in this forum and in e-mails. Just an FYI.

She does have every right to research it so since she might work, give her a couple of days. I got the impression that you didn't care for that or care to do that. I wouldn't just willy-nilly send some one credits (which she probably doesn't have, btw!) or money without researching it either. Simply because she is new doesn't mean she should instantly believe you and shouldn't check to see what is going on.

She didn't react very adult-like but it could be that your e-mails put her instantly on the defensive.

Just my .02

 



Last Edited on: 10/12/07 1:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/12/2007 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2005
Posts: 3,005
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Whether-or-not the emails put her on the defensive, she should have realized the receiver wasn't bs-ing her.  If 5.44 is owed in postage, she made a big mistake and needs to own up to it.  I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for the person who abuses or ignores the rules and calls someone "mean" when it is pointed out to them. 

 

 

Date Posted: 10/12/2007 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,192
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Barbara - If your post is in reference to mine, I'm not looking for an arguement I was simply being honest to the OP's original post. I simply gave the OP another perspective. There wasn't any reason to disagree with ME, per se, since we're all going to have differing opinions and I'm not personally having the quandry.  There wasn't any reason to be snappish about it either.

Since I wasn't there I'm not about to ACCUSE the other person of abusing the system or ignoring a problem (researching it doesn't equal ignoring, does it?) and it's a shame that others feel the need to throw daggars at someone that might not deserve it. Her only crime might be being new and not understanding. You don't know how the other e-mails came across - unless you've read them. I haven't. Again, I was only pointing out another perspective.

Have a good day! :)

Date Posted: 10/12/2007 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,884
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You know, in this case, or in any case like this for that matter, I would send a peace-making PM to the sender.  I would apologize for anything I had done to upset her (even if you didn't do anything an apology costs nothing) and ask if you can go back to the starting line with her.  Ask her what her thoughts on the problem are, and just see if you can get back to a polite discourse on the problem.  If this gets you nowhere and she is still abusive about the situation, then you would need to report it to R&R.  As they say often, they can't intervene in everybody's transaction problems, but if you are continuing to be abused by this member and/or just can't get to a solution, you'll probably need to contact them.  The other way you could go, and probably this should be done first, is to go to Live Help and talk to either Diane, Tour Guide Coordinator (TGC), Amanda, or Leanne, Tour Guide Asst. Coordinators (TGAC) or one of the Team Leaders.  (TL)  The other thought is to contact your own Tour Guide.  They may have some other options to you.  If nothing helps, then you should contact R&R.

Susan, I hear what you are saying and you are right.  In this case I'm sure that J.,C.C. was probably trying to say that she understands that sometimes new members have not read the rules completely, although they should, I agree, but she was just trying to state the problem tactfully.  I know that at times it feels awkward to have to bring up a mistake someone makes, whether they have been here since the beginning, or yesterday.

 



Last Edited on: 10/12/07 3:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/12/2007 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,192
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Excellent idea Joy - perhaps they just got off on the wrong foot and a peace-giving e-mail would definitely ferret out whether or not the person is planning on checking on the problem and correcting  the problem if needs be.



Last Edited on: 10/12/07 3:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 10/12/2007 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Totally with Barbara here.  Anytime postage is due, it needs to be recified, pronto.

Sorry, I don't have the time nor patience to deal with bad swaps.  So I, in general, order my books from established traders I personally know.  I know their books are in good condition, I know they mail when they are supposed to and do so when they say they did, I know they  put the correct postage on the package, and I know I'll never have to mark anything "received with a problem" nor deal with any "nastygrams.  It's,  quite simply, my form of book insurance.

 



Last Edited on: 10/12/07 4:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/12/2007 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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The sender probably didn't "see" the First Class wording on the label.  But the post office sure does!!

I always write over that with black marker, since most of the time I am sending out multiple books on a deal anyway.

However, I don't  know if I would have noticed that on the first few books I sent out.  Hopefully, she will recognized that she made that mistake and give you the two credits without any more hassle.

Good luck!

Bast -
Date Posted: 10/12/2007 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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I think the first class label is cause of a lot of problems to people. I have got two sets of books recently that were shipped priority - because of that first class label. :(  I don't think people are realising they can mark that out, or change the weight of the books when they're printing labels.

Date Posted: 10/12/2007 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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Barbara S. - yes, to me the amount of postage due was a HUGE issue.  The overarching issue was that not one, but THREE mistakes were made.  I did my own research by taking the package to my PO, having them weigh it, and then telling me the different rate amounts - MM, 1st Class and Priority.  The $2.81 postage that was on there was fine for MM, but it came from the heavier book's PBS label.  She used the light book's label that was marked "first class".  That was the first issue - the designation wasn't blacked out/covered over.  Then there was the issue of the Priority Mail sticker being put on there.  Also, the book was not marked Media Mail, which I thought was mandatory - or a PO unit may think it's first class w/o enough postage.

Perhaps she's just really clueless as to how USPS works.  I do tend to forget I have a lot of experience with that - doing Media Mail and doing bulk mail (even before it was "simplified").  But I don't understand why a PO would have accepted it in that condition.  She said her courier hand delivered it to a USPS employee.  Mine *always* double check my postage and package markings.  I've been the recipient of MM inspection also.  Typically I leave the envelope/package open until I get there in case they want to check it.

JC



Last Edited on: 10/12/07 7:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 10/12/2007 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Personally I wouldn't trust a courier to deliver a package to the PO, but that's just me.  Who knows what happened!?

Date Posted: 10/12/2007 9:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2005
Posts: 3,005
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WriterOne

This post is directed to you.  The other post was my general opinion (to which I am as entitled as you)  on the subject matter. I am allowed to disagree with you or anyone else on this board.  Perhaps you felt I was snappish because you didn't like what I had to say.  Personally, I found your post directed at me to be rude.  But then again, that's probably because I didn't like what you had to say.

That's a chat board for you.

Date Posted: 10/13/2007 10:57 AM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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Wow, I don't even think it's so much the rules per se as common sense...did she really think she could mail two books, one being a heavy hardcover, for the price she paid?  Hello??  And how did the box not get sent back to her to add more postage?  I think you're owed a couple of credits.

Date Posted: 10/13/2007 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,496
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My guess would be the Priority Mail sticker was put on by the PO when they compared the weight of the package to the postage paid.  Priority Mail IS First Class mail (same class of mail), only difference is weight.

I'd give her a few days to "research" it.  She may not have done the meter postage herself or maybe she did a couple of meter strips at the same time and put the wrong one on your package or maybe she really didn't know what the heck she was doing.  Hopefully she does the right thing and refunds your postage or gives you a couple of credits.

Date Posted: 10/13/2007 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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Sarah K. - the postage that she metered (herself, at work) was $2.81 which is correct for Media Mail.

Why would USPS put a Priority sticker on the box (2 lbs 15 oz) that only had $2.81 on it???

The total postage with what she put on and my postage due was $8.25 total.

I haven't heard back from her yet.  Here's hoping.

JC

Date Posted: 10/13/2007 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Was it in recycled Priority Mail packaging? The USPS will charge priority postage for any of their free packing materials for priority, even if it's recycled.

Date Posted: 10/14/2007 8:10 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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The weight is what cause it to be bumped it into the Priority Mail class. If your package weighs more than 13 oz it can no longer be mailed at First Class. And since they don't know if the package can go slow-boat parcel, and for that matter, I believe any misclassed mail is always forwarded on at Priority Rate. I do know that if you have something invalid in a Media Mail it is forwarded at Priority, so it may be that any mis-classed First Class is forwarded on at Priority.