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Topic: Marking the Books as "Mailed" & Not Sending For Weeks: What to Do?

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Subject: Marking the Books as "Mailed" & Not Sending For Weeks: What to Do?
Date Posted: 10/12/2007 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2007
Posts: 51
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During the past few days, I've received five or six books that I requested back in early September and which were marked as "mailed" by each sender by the specified date. HOWEVER, I have looked at the postmark dates and each of the books contain a postmark that shows they were mailed in early October, and definitely NOT by the date specified by PBS and/or a date even remotely close to it.

I was beginning to think that these books had been lost in the mail, but they finally appeared and with really late postmarks. I don't mind if someone marks the book as mailed by the due date and mails it a few days later, but to wait several weeks later is rather frustrating. Especially, when no contact is made to let me know that the book will be very late. By the way, each of the five or six books are from different senders--so this isn't just a problem with one sender "cheating" the system a bit, it's with a handful and all at the same time.

I've searched the help documents, but was unable to find anything pertaining to this topic. And although I've received over 200 books, I've never dealt with a situation of this magnitude before. Since I entered in the actual postmark dates when I marked the books as received, will the member be emailed a warning or notified to actually ship within a reasonable amount of time? Or is nothing done?

(Thank you for reading this long-winded post--and thank you in advance for the help!) :)

Bast -
Date Posted: 10/12/2007 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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By typing 'late postmark' into the help topic search box, I got this as the first result:

Books that arrive with a late postmark need to be marked received normally, and the information about the postmark should be recorded in the survey portion of the Book Received page.

  • Providing the late postmark in the survey portion of the Book Received page will generate an auto-email to the sender of the book, reminding him or her that late Mailing is not acceptable at PBS.
    • The email includes the information that the late postmark could have been entered in error
    • The email includes the information that sometimes postmarks are delayed a few days, even if the book was mailed on time
    • The email includes the information that if the late mailing was agreed to by the requestor, this is not a problem
  • You can contact the sender using the text box on the Book Received page:
    • Please be gentle!  You can't know what might have delayed this shipment
  • If the book was declared lost in the mail and you requested a second copy because you thought the first one was really lost:
    • You can ask for your credit back in your Personal Message
    • You can note this information in the Comments box at the bottom of the Book Received page: this will go onto the sender's record.
  • A pattern of late mailing will cause account suspension and possibly termination of membership
    • Sometimes late mailing happens for very good reasons, but chronic late mailing will not be tolerated

Hope it helps. I know it's annoying. I've had that happen to me once or twice.

 (edited to fix spacing - argh!)

Last Edited on: 10/12/07 8:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/12/2007 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2007
Posts: 51
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Thank you so much! I must be horrible at searching this site.

Date Posted: 10/12/2007 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I am still waiting on one person that supposedly mailed it 9/29 and then emailed me and said something happened and supposedly mailed it 10/5.  granted it could take awhile but it is coming from an adjoining state.  I have had people on other sites mark it mailed and then when I contacted them 2 weeks later they still hadn't mailed it.

I would rather someone cancel the order than mark it mailed if they aren't going to mail it. 

Date Posted: 10/12/2007 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 1,305
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A lot of people here say they will not mark it mailed until after it's in a box. That's how I do it, if something comes up I don't look stupid by emailing someone about a book I've already marked mailed to tell them I haven't mailed it.

Date Posted: 10/12/2007 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2005
Posts: 3,068
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I've twice had people tell me they mailed the book late.  Neither book ever showed up.

Date Posted: 10/12/2007 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 2,027
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I accidently marked a book mailed and didn't realize it for a few days.  I feel really horrible, but I did mail right away and the requestee was very nice about it after I sent them a PM.

Last Edited on: 10/12/07 10:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/12/2007 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2007
Posts: 7,751
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I am new here...so far I have mailed 6 books.  I click the mailed box AFTER I get back from the PO.

Date Posted: 10/12/2007 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I too mark it mailed AFTER it has been dropped off at the mailbox because anything could happen between here and there.

and with my current situation it is not a newbie that did this, but a member that has been around for over a year.  I'm wondering if she has mailed the books...I hope so because I really wanted them (but don't want to go into the FIFO system because they were 2 for 1's and while I want the books, would rather have them as part of a deal!)

Date Posted: 10/12/2007 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,234
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I joined in mid-Aug and noticed that there was a lot of people in that first month posting that their books  were being returned to them because of the 13oz rule (both members being confused and the USPS workers being confused) or some other issue. That is what I suspect is causing a lot of late mailed postmarks; its the second time they mailed it. It sucks if you are waiting for a book, but as long as the system hasn't requested a second copy and you get the book you are doing good. 

Date Posted: 10/13/2007 2:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I know my books don't get post marked the day I mail them.  I live on an island and even inter-island mail is sent to the main land for sorting and then sent back to the island for delivery.  When I just use DC it usually takes a few days for it to be scanned and recorded.  Of course that's only a few days not weeks. I have a book on order that's a couple days away from going "lost".  It was also a 2 for 1 deal. I can't remember the other book I wanted with it either.  I'll have to check the PM.  So I will be annoyed if it ends up going into FIFO.  But I have a lot of credits so it's not really a big deal to me.  It's just annoying to see other books that I requested last week already arriving (by MM) when this one was requested over a month ago.

Date Posted: 10/13/2007 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 11,062
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Yeah and a lot of people have been getting books returned since PBS postage started - which I think was to be expected while they work the glitches out, but still frustrating for the requesters...

And remember, postmarks on STAMPS aren't always a valid indication of mailing date. Only dates on metered mail are an exact indication of date mailed. I've had packages I've received from as far away as CA that haven't been postmarked until they got to MY post office - it's kind of odd to see your own zip code on a postmark when the return address is CA! And I won't put those postmark dates into the survey, either. It's not fair to the sender to get dinged because the post office didn't postmark the book earlier in its "journey."

Sharon C. (Mamu) - ,
Date Posted: 10/13/2007 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
Posts: 1,154
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I so seldom see a postmark date on any of mine; do you all see them that frequently?  I've probably had less than a dozen postmarks on the 150+ books I've received.

Like others have said, I mark it mailed once it is in the box and not before.

Date Posted: 10/13/2007 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2005
Posts: 462
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Yes, the post office cancels stamps if they reach their destination and haven't been cancelled before, to avoid re-use of the stamps. On the automated postage - be careful not to confuse "date of sale" with date of transaction.  That's happened before to people, too.

Who knew mailing of books could be so darn tricky?  :)

Date Posted: 10/13/2007 11:32 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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the PO doesn't always cancel them, I've had several arrive with no cancellation.

Date Posted: 10/13/2007 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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Leslie, I have also received numerous packages without having the stamps canceled.

Date Posted: 10/13/2007 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 1,305
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The two I recieved very late had metered postage from the post office with the date on it and then canceled so I knew it hadn't been mailed when marked for sure.

Date Posted: 10/14/2007 2:01 AM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2006
Posts: 351
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You know, I have been feeling really crummy about not getting abook mailed today,that was supposed to go out.Now, I don't feel so bad.I put stuff in the box,and it is prettymuch a cr@pshoot if it gets picked up.Oh well, PO on Monday!And while I agree that waiting more than a day or 2 without any explanation is really annoying,I would not know how to handle it.

Date Posted: 10/14/2007 3:09 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 922
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I was a few days late mailing a book once and I felt so bad about it that I ended up shipping it Priority Mail. It was a few bucks extra, but worth it to me because I know I wouldn't want to be the subject of a "They didn't mail my book in time!" Forum rant.

Although, it is completely understandable for you to be upset if it's a few WEEKS late...that is too much. I would have at least PM'ed the requestor and let them know.

Date Posted: 10/14/2007 3:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I have received several w/o a postmark on them.