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Topic: Book lost in mail -- what do I do now?

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Subject: Book lost in mail -- what do I do now?
Date Posted: 10/11/2007 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2007
Posts: 27
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I ordered a book some time ago, and the shipper sent it promptly.  Last week, I received the envelope -- only it's empty!  The Post Office stamped "received without content" on the envelope somewhere along the way.

My questions for you wise and experience people are:

(1) Any chance of recovering the book from the USPS?  It probably doesn't have any information on either her address or mine, given that it was separated from the envelope.  If I wanted to try to recover it, how would I do so?

(2) If I can't get the book back, any chance of recovering my point?  In trying to report the problem to PBS, I accidentally clicked that the book had been received, so the sender got a point, and the book won't be reported as "lost", thanks to my screw-up.  I don't mind the sender *getting* a point, because she actually did send a book, but I'd rather not spend one of my few points for an empty envelope!




Date Posted: 10/11/2007 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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There is a lost mail form you can fill out with the USPS...but I honestly wouldn't hold my breath on getting it recovered.  I am not saying that based on any personal experience with the matter, but I can only imagine how much mail goes lost...a book is so small, it would be hard to recover, I think.

You can try to get your credit back by asking the sender to give it to you.  However, I would only do this if you think the sender was negligent in their wrapping.  Does it look like they didn't use enough tape?  If yes, you could send a PM just explaining what happened and asking for your credit.  From there, it's up to the sender to agree to give it to you or not.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 10/11/2007 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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Here is some info from the help center on receiving an empty wrapper.

If this is a book you requested, you should not mark the book received, since you did not get the book.  You should contact the sender to let him or her know what happened.  
  • The sender should call 800-ASK-USPS or go to www.usps.com/postalinspectors (the Postal Inspection Service's website) and input the information online there . This will help USPS try to recover the book.

  • 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 can refer 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.

If you have not marked the book received yet, do not do so.  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 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.  
Date Posted: 10/12/2007 9:08 AM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2007
Posts: 27
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Yeah, I read the paperbackswap help site after I'd already marked it 'received'.  Whoops.  :-D 

The shipper clearly isn't at fault; I don't want her to lose her point.    Too bad I can't charge the USPS a point or two!! 

Date Posted: 10/14/2007 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Was it send media mail?  They do random inspections of those sometimes.  Maybe it was inspected and not resealed properly.