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Topic: The wrapper was empty

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Subject: The wrapper was empty
Date Posted: 5/30/2012 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2009
Posts: 248
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Hey fellow PBSers. I mailed 3 books to a user last week with wonderfully sweet communication. She let me know this morning that the packaging arrived empty and stamped with "received with no contents". I am unsure what the right thing is to do since I mailed all 3 books but the packaging somehow fell apart despite my wrapping it thoroughly. How do you advise we solve our problem?

Last Edited on: 5/30/12 12:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/30/2012 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I'm not sure there's anything you can do other than filing a loss claim with the post office. I don't know if that'll get you anywhere. I believe that the sender of the package has to file the claim.  They may want a receipt or some proof that you mailed the package.   If you used PBS DC and it was scanned enroute somewhere then you will still get your credits. The receiver will get hers back when the books go lost. Athough you could ask PBS to cancel the transaction sooner if there's still a lot of time left. Unfortunately PBS will be out the credits but this is why they charge the DC fee-to cover credit refunds.

Date Posted: 5/30/2012 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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1st, the receiver should not log the books in in any way.  Unless the books are somehow found and returned to her by USPS, she needs to let the transaction go 'lost'.

2nd, you should both consider contacting your individual PO's and submit whatever form you need so have postal employees search for the lost contents.  Once in a great while the contents will show up and be forwarded to the addressee (or something kinda similar lol).

And that's about it...it's kinda difficult to retreive lost contents when the Sampsonite Gorilla working in USPS sorting rooms has a bad day broken heart

Date Posted: 5/30/2012 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2009
Posts: 248
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I did not use PBS DC, but it did have tracking on it since I sent it through PayPal.
Date Posted: 5/30/2012 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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From the Help Center:


I received an empty wrapper--no book inside!

If this is a book you requested, you can choose "With a problem" and then "Empty wrapper received" from the problem options.  This will NOT mark the book received but it will send an email to the sender to let him or her know that the packaging arrived without the book in it.   The sender can then look into what happened to the mailing.

  • The sender should call 800-ASK-USPS or go to http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MLNtRcvd.aspx  and input the information online there. This will help USPS try to recover the book.

    • The form is titled "mail Theft"; this does not mean that you can use it only if you think the book was stolen.  "Received without contents" is an option on the page.
    • The choice to make under "Class" on the form if Media Mail was used is "Parcel Post".
  • If you think that the Wrapping method may have contributed to the loss of the book, please do give (gentle) feedback to the sender; you canrefer to All Help documents about bookwrapping if you like. 

  • If you have marked the book received by mistake (or if the system marked the book received for you while you were absent from PBS), you can also discuss this with the sender, who got credit when that happened. See How do I contact another member? for instructions on how to contact a sender from the transaction in your Transaction Archive.

While the book is listed as "en route" to you, you will continue to get the usual auto-emails from PBS asking if the book has arrived; open and read them, and follow any instructions within. 

If the book hasn't arrived by the 26th day (the 35th day if the sender or requestor is outside the contiguous US) after it was marked mailed, then PBS will declare it lost in the Mail and you will get your credit back.  If the book does arrive after that, you should mark it received from your Transaction Archive.  

If the sender agrees to cancelling the request early (not waiting the full period for the book to be declared "lost"), then she or he can contact us and ask us to cancel the transaction for the book.  (A cancellation in this case will pass your request to a new sender if there is another copy of the book available in the system, or will put the book on your Wish List if there is not another available copy.  If the book was on your Wish LIst before, our cancellation will put you back onthe Wish List for this book, in your previous place "in line".)