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Topic: Where Does Returned Media Mail Go?

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Subject: Where Does Returned Media Mail Go?
Date Posted: 9/16/2008 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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Does anyone know what happens to media mail that is being returned to the sender? 

My story:  I mailed two WL books to a requester on this site.  Many days later, she PM me to say the address on her PBS account was incorrect and that she went to the incorrect apt. to ask if the books I sent were received.  The occupants of the apt. told her they received the books but returned them (to me) since it wasn't intended for them.  I never received the books back and of course I'm out the books, mailing cost, and I believe no PBS credit since the books were not received.  The requester wanted me to resend her the books when I received them back.  I told her that as far as I know, media mail does not provide for return mail items.  It's been weeks and I haven't seen any sign of the books.  Does anyone know what the USPS might have done with my package?  

Thanks!   

Date Posted: 9/16/2008 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Media mail can be returned to sender, but will arrive postage due. The postage paid to mail it only pays for a one-way trip. (So that means you be out the postage twice for one mailing.) Those books could still be working their way through the system on their way back to you.

Date Posted: 9/16/2008 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,786
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the usps is not required to return media mail.

media mail is usually sent to the 'dead letter' or 'undeliverable" bin.  have her check with her local PO, they might still have it.

Subject: Based upon the Post Office
Date Posted: 9/16/2008 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2008
Posts: 562
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They may send such items to a local charity or non profit organization, magazines sometimes go to a local school etc. The other option is the Atlanta recovery unit    AKA "The Dead Letter" office :)

Unfortunately if they do collect such items seperately I doubt it would be in it's original package so identifying it may be hard.

"the usps is not required to return media mail. media mail is usually sent to the 'dead letter' or 'undeliverable" bin.  have her check with her local PO, they might still have it."

Very good point, I have not looked in the help files but I would say that if the requester had an incorrect address they should be responsible for the postage or applicable credits for said postage and books.

All I could find was:

It is the requestor's responsibility to provide a correct, dependable address to senders.

  • If you make an error and provide the wrong address, you should correct this as soon as possible, using one of the methods above.
  • If the book you requested is returned to the sender because of an incorrect address, the sender is not obligated to re-send the book to you.
  • If a requestor uses a nonworking address to request too many books, or makes this mistake too many times, this can jeopardize PBS membership.

Kevin



Last Edited on: 9/16/08 6:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/17/2008 12:05 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 22,480
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Media Mail is considered to be a "Package Service" and IS returnable.  Bound Printed Matter is NOT returnable.  Media Mail SHOULD be returned postage due to the sender if it is not deliverable.

Date Posted: 9/18/2008 6:59 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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As Cindy and I both have said, media mail is returnable, but will arrive postage-due.

As to an 'undeliverable' bin--any item marked UAA (undeliverable as addressed) is processed through the system as a 'return to sender' item. The dead letter option is a last resort.

Date Posted: 9/18/2008 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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Thanks for the feedback and assistance.  I'm really not inclined to send it back to the original requester because it will cost me 3 times the postage (1 rountrip plus 1 new outgoing mailing) to get a credit for each book.  I'll PM PBS Customer Service to see if they will give me the credit because the address provided was incorrect and the requester acknowledged her neighbor, whose address she mistakenly used, did receive the package.