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Topic: Why not provide tracking?

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Subject: Why not provide tracking?
Date Posted: 1/2/2019 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 895
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Just curious. USPS has provided tracking numbers for years now. Why not share that number with your requesters. I have done so since this information was available but have never received similar information when ordering a book. A one minute process, why is it not used - just curious.

Date Posted: 1/2/2019 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 4,595
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...but have never received similar information when ordering a book.

Obviously, you never requested a book from me.  I wonder how many people know they can plug the tracking number into a space on the USPS site to see where it is, and also request USPS to send them e-mail as it travels through various distribution centers on the way to them.

Date Posted: 1/2/2019 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 19,437
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I always PM the tracking info including the estimated date of delivery when I come home from the PO. Most requesters mark the book received fairly promptly although it still takes a few ages to do so.

Guess you haven't ordered a book from me, Mary.

Pat O. (PatinCO) - ,
Date Posted: 1/2/2019 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,735
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I don't because I send out 5-10 books a week, and most reach their destination within 7-10 days and as soon as I mail the book and return home I mark it mailed. If books took longer to reach their destination or if I found there was a problem with the books being delivered, then I might send information on the tracking number. Pat

Date Posted: 1/2/2019 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 11,150
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I pre-buy $2.66 stamps from the APC machine and stick that on the book. Then I can drop it in the mailbox whenever I want and I don;t need to only go to the PO when it's open. As a matter of fact, I go quite often at 8-9 PM to buy my stamps from the machine and/or mail.

So my books usually have no tracking. (or, at least, I don't have the number if the PO is sticking on tracking).

In the very rare case where I go to the counter (which I never do) then I have the tracking if I really need it but I've never needed it.

I;ve had PMs. where people have sent me tracking numbers which is nice, I guess, but I have never once used that to look up a book.

Date Posted: 1/3/2019 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 12,232
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Sending tracking number hasn't helped me at all with the recipients who delay marking books received.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/3/2019 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,208
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I expect that anyone who wants to get tracking numbers for their incoming books will sign up for USPS Informed Delivery. Since USPS already provides a free service that's much faster and more accurate than anything I could do, there's no reason for me to send duplicate information in a PM.

Pat O. (PatinCO) - ,
Date Posted: 1/3/2019 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,735
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Sara - my Postal Clerk gave me some tracking stickers one time. He said that if I did the APC thing or put stamps on, I could put that sticker on also and they would scan it and then it would have tracking. You'd have to write that # down though as you wouldn't otherwise have it to check. Pat

Date Posted: 1/3/2019 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 9,563
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Sara - my Postal Clerk gave me some tracking stickers one time. He said that if I did the APC thing or put stamps on, I could put that sticker on also and they would scan it and then it would have tracking.

You can also order free tracking stickers through the USPS website.  If anyone is interested, I can look up the item number; otherwise they are challenging to find on the site.

I send the USPS tracking number to everyone who requests a book from me.

Date Posted: 1/3/2019 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,820
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I use the stickers too whenever I don't use PBS postage. The stickers have a small portion that you keep which has the number on it so you don't have to write it down. They're 'Label 400' on the USPS website. 

ETA: I use the UPSP informed delivery and put the numbers into my list. Then I can track the package and get a notices when it is delivered.



Last Edited on: 1/4/19 2:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/3/2019 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,463
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I just threw away a whole book of those tracking stickers.  I got them a year or two ago and used about 5 of them before I gave up.  When I put the numbers in the USPS site to track them after sending a book, they always came up as invalid, no tracking available, or something similar.  I don't know if it was just my PO not scanning them in or what, but they were worthless to me so when I came across the ones I hadn't used, they got tossed.  I don't much care about tracking incoming books - a book is either going to arrive or it is not and I have no control over whichever way it turns out -  so when members do PM me a tracking number, I have never checked it.  

Date Posted: 1/3/2019 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 4,595
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I send tracking info to requestors so they know I know the tracking #.  This has significantly reduced the number of times I've had to pester someone to mark a book received.

Plus, I use the tracking information after a couple of weeks, if the book hasn't been marked received, to see where it is. If it was marked delivered, I then, usually 4-5 days after it was delivered, PM the member to tell them what day and time it was delivered. It is amazing to see how the book is then marked received, usually within a few hours.  It's a shame some members do this. But then not everyone is as diligent or as honest as we would like them to be. As a good example, just look at Congress.



Last Edited on: 1/3/19 10:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2019 12:10 AM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2009
Posts: 3,178
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I keep my receipt until the person mark the book(s) received.   I only PM the person the tracking number once when that person did not mark the book mailed and the time ran out.  I have thought about PM the person to give the tracking #. 

Date Posted: 1/5/2019 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 5,196
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"But then not everyone is as diligent or as honest as we would like them to be. As a good example, just look at Congress."

That's not a good example, that's a horrible warning!

Date Posted: 1/7/2019 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 11,150
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Sara - my Postal Clerk gave me some tracking stickers one time. He said that if I did the APC thing or put stamps on, I could put that sticker on also and they would scan it and then it would have tracking. You'd have to write that # down though as you wouldn't otherwise have it to check. Pat

Thanks! I actually already do that but only for game books, as they are required to have tracking. I got the big roll of tracking stickers from the PO. 

I don't bother for regular book packages as, honestly, I don't see the problems that some people seem to have, I haven't lost a credit on a book not marked received in YEARS.

Date Posted: 4/15/2019 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,427
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I keep the reciepts around, but no, I don't take the time to type in the numbers. I'd have to dig out the receipt, figure out which was which and then type it in.  Given it hasn't been a problem, that's more effort than I  see as benefit.  If there's a problem, I'll figure out the tracking number from the receipts, but I don't remember the last time I had to do that.

Date Posted: 4/16/2019 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 4,595
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I don't take the time to type in the numbers.

Unless the package includes two or more books, I use PalPal postage. It sends an e-mail about the postage when you purchase it. So I don't have to type the numbers, I just cut and past from the e-mail. The e-mail also includes a link to the USPS site to track the book.

 

Date Posted: 4/17/2019 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 9,563
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I don't take the time to type in the numbers.

I usually share the tracking number while on my smartphone and use the voice-to-text feature.  I just say the numbers aloud and they are transferred to written form.  One quick glance confirms the accuracy of the translation and it's done.

Date Posted: 4/18/2019 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2007
Posts: 345
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I use PBS shipping because of the convience for me to pack books and husband take to PO for me so mine are there already. But I have had people pm me with mine which is nice.

 

Date Posted: 4/19/2019 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2007
Posts: 1,216
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It's been my habit to PM the tracking number to the recipients thinking it was info they'd want. After reading your comments, perhaps members really don't care about it after all. Hmm. I wish, though, that all members got their credits as soon as the request was accepted rather than paying for PBS postage or waiting for the received confirmation.

Date Posted: 5/1/2019 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 4,595
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I mailed a book 5 April, and the same day told the requestor what the tracking # was.  It was delivered 11 April.   On 16 April, I PMed the member stating it was delivered 11 April and also gave the time. I requested they acknowledge the book so I could get the credit.  No reply.  On 26 April, I did the same again. Again, no reply.  But, according to PBS rules, I now had two different PMs to the member stating it was delivered.

On 1 May, I received a message from the PBS system stating the book was 'lost.'  So I contacted the member again, plus the PBS staff, stating what I did above. Within minutes I received a reply from the PBS staff saying they were sorry I had this problem, and would contact the member.

About 20 minutes later the member acknowledged receiving the book.

This isn't the first time this happened to me. I guess it's happened five or six times in my almost nine years of membership. Each time the PBS staff was there to back me up, as I followed their rules.

You have to wonder why some members do this. For God's sakes, it's just a credit, not their life savings or first-born.

Date Posted: 5/2/2019 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,820
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Another great thing about USPS informed delivery is that if you are signed up, any package with tracking on it and with an address matching your profile is automatically linked to your account. So you don’t need to get the tracking number from the sender. They send email updates & you can log in to see the progress on both packages coming as well as those sent. I don’t always pay attention, but once in a while a package on its way to me takes the scenic route or one I’m sending is delivered and, as Thomas notes happens, not marked received in a timely manner. In those cases it’s convenient to have all the tracking history available.

Date Posted: 5/2/2019 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2009
Posts: 3,178
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I started PM the requestor the tracking number that I sent out books to now.  So far a few have commented and appreciate me doing that.  I rarely have to PM a person to mark the book received.  The last time for me was last summer and the person respond back that they were out of town over a month. I personally who like the tracking number.  



Last Edited on: 5/2/19 1:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/3/2019 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 1,008
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I hang on to the receipt for proof of mailing until the book that I sent has been marked received. If somebody claims that they never received a book that I mailed, I have a receipt to prove that I took their book to the post office. I never thought about providing a tracking # to the person receiving a book from me, but I haven't had a problem with people not marking books recieved like Thomas has, either, and never had a book that I mailed go lost.



Last Edited on: 5/3/19 2:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/3/2019 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 12,232
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Like Terry, I keep all my receipts for PBS books I mail out right next to my computer so if there is an issue I have the tracking number at hand.  I only send the recipient the tracking number when I play in games or there is an issue around marking my book received.

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