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Topic: There should be a 3 strikes and you're out policy

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Subject: There should be a 3 strikes and you're out policy
Date Posted: 6/11/2008 11:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2008
Posts: 14
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It's happened to me twice in a row and for the same book... a member accepts a book request but doesn't follow through. It's not only annoying, it's not fair to the other members of this website who do follow the rules. A 3 strikes and you're out policy might help cut down on problem members.
Date Posted: 6/11/2008 11:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Jim,

Although I can completely understand your frustration with this situation, this suggestion seems a bit harsh to me. Things happen to members that, through no fault of their own, could make it difficult to mail a used book. Family emergencies, work emergencies, even the weather has been a factor the last few weeks with flooding in the midwest and tornadoes knocking down whole neighborhoods. Something as simple as a dead computer may prevent someone from sending a book.

I helps me, when I become frustrated with a trade here at PBS, to remember that we are trading books here, that it is not as high on the list of priorities as sick children, crazy bosses, difficult financial times, or arguments with loved ones. I am not sure if you are a frequent visitor to the forums, but just this week a member posted that she had a house fire, and though she and her family and pets were all ok, she lost her home and contents and missed some mailing deadlines. Just something to think about.

Cheryl

Subject: and that's why a T H R E E Strikes and You're Out policy would be perfect.
Date Posted: 6/11/2008 11:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2008
Posts: 14
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It allows for a few of those instances -- which, as you pointed out, we all have. But when it becomes matter of course, it might be better to have paperbackswap make the decision for that member who was: - not too busy to request a book but too busy to confirm receipt, or, - not too busy to accept a request but too busy to send it.
Date Posted: 6/12/2008 12:11 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Jim,

We are trading books here, used books, and trust me the system already works to weed out members who do not want to be here. I have had hundreds of trades in the time I have been here, with about 2 that were unsatisfactory. The benefits far outweigh the bad. The key to enjoying PBS is patience. It is not like the book store. Instant gratification is not a big part of this. But once the books start rolling in, and trust me they will, you will have more books than you know what to do with.

Subject: Three strikes
Date Posted: 6/12/2008 12:13 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,428
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Relax Jim!!!

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 1:41 AM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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Remember, Jim, we're humans, not corporations. Deep breaths, Jim. They're just books.

(wow. Did I just say that? lol)

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 2:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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Jim - I feel your pain!   We all start off being a bit impatient about getting our books.  But as more and more books come our way - and they will your way too- it becomes a tad less important to get that book RIGHT NOW.    But I do remember feeling as you do - the first few months I was here.   Hang in there and I think you'll enjoy the fun of swapping here.

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 3:20 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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...But when it becomes matter of course, it might be better to have paperbackswap make the decision for that member who was: - not too busy to request a book but too busy to confirm receipt, or, - not too busy to accept a request but too busy to send it. - They do Jim. It may not be as fast as you'd like, but they really do check on problem members that are consistantly missing deadlines, cancelling transactions, not responding, etc. If someone misses too many orders, they will put the shelf on hold so that no more orders go there and then contact the member to find out what's going on. If a member is just a problem that cannot be fixed, they will close the account. We don't know the exact number of transactions it takes, but they do take care of it. You might hit a run a members that make it appear like transactions going bad are frequent occurances, but the bad traders are just a drop in the bucket compared to the good ones.

Subject: very surprised by the responses
Date Posted: 6/12/2008 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2008
Posts: 14
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Honestly, i can't see why you all thought that i was being excessive. It's not as if i had suggested throwing these people in jail, freezing their bank accounts and cutting off their toes after just one transgression.

It was a suggestion for dealing with people who repeatedly mess-up. This is a great website but it wouldn't work if people didn't adhere to the system.

I've only been a member for a month and a half and in that short period I've already had three non-deliveries. However, I see from Melanie's response, and others, that the problems don't happen very often and when they do, the administrators do deal with these members. That's really all that was required.

Last Edited on: 6/12/08 4:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 7

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2005
Posts: 827
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It's not as if i had suggested throwing these people in jail, freezing their bank accounts and cutting off their toes

LOL that's funny.  I'm with you, Jim, I think 3 strikes and you're out is a good policy.   I think there is something already in place for this, but I don't know the details (how many strikes, etc)...

 Edited to add: "and you're out" would mean suspended account--not permanent expulsion or amputation or anything. :)



Last Edited on: 6/12/08 4:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/12/2008 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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I don't know how many bad books you have to send or how many orders have to time out to get an account suspended, but I believe accounts are automatically suspended if you don't log in for at least 30 days...

Date Posted: 6/12/2008 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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My account was suspended once. 

I wound up in the hospital unexpectedly (and for a longish stay).  I had a pile of books, probably around ten of them, in the car waiting to be mailed.  I planned to mail them on my way home from the doctor but found out the hard way I was allergic to the shots he gave me.  

I certainly had more than three books go late from me.  And I also received many books during the time I was hospitalized and couldn't mark them received.

I just let TPTB know what had happened and they said OK, hope you feel better, here's your account back.

 

Date Posted: 6/13/2008 7:30 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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OP wrote:  That's really all that was required.

If you put it out there, it is our right to reply how we see fit. This is fighting a losing battle, but, in a public forum, all that is required is, um, nothing. I gave my opinion, you gave yours. We dont agree, oh well. But I am not required to reply in a way that will please anyone. My own personal requirement is that I reply honestly, or not at all.

Date Posted: 6/13/2008 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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Wow, Ange, that was quite an experience you had!  Watch out for those shots!

I'm actually waiting for a book to time out right now.  I'm tempted to PM, but I think I won't.  It'll time out on the 16th and I should get my credit then.  Some folks either forget to mark a book received, or maybe it really is lost in transit, or maybe they didn't find it as thrilling as they thought and think they can keep someone from getting a credit.  Who knows?   So I'm at the other end of this problem.  I followed through, but the receiver didn't.

I have to agree...patience is really necessary on this site or a person could develop blood pressure problems.  Sorry for your bad experiences, Jim.  Hope things get better!  =0)

Date Posted: 6/13/2008 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2006
Posts: 34
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I think the three strikes your out policy can be excessive.  I have over 600 transactions, so if 3 went non-delivered I would not think that was excessive.  Maybe you can amend your suggestion to a percentage of transactions, which is the way I think it works.

Date Posted: 6/13/2008 4:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Maybe there have been a lot of new members come in all at once and they don't really have a handle on things.  I "watched" the site and the forums for about a month or so before I ordered anything because I wanted to get the feel of the place.  And it's been a busy time since I started ordering and sending.  I do worry some about what would happen if I had a medical issue ome up like AngeC did.  In 2005 I had a bad fall in the middle of the night which broke the 2 bones in my lower right leg.  I have other medical issues which really complicated things and I ended up in the hopital for 2 months with no way to contact people on the internet with whom I had obligations.  From then on I have kept my husband and daughter informed as to how to deal with it should it happen again.  Lots of people use the internet because they can't get things due to medical issues or disability.  We've also had very bad weather and I've received a couple of wet books due to the fact that it's bad weather and the mail person doesn't close our mailbox door.  It's very annoying.  Life can get very annoying.  I'm sure it's seemed like those people were flaking out on you without penalty, but give everyone a little slack... you never know when it'll be your turn to be on that side of the stick.

Ruth

Date Posted: 6/13/2008 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2008
Posts: 14
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Gee, Ange, I hope everything is okay now.

Certainly I wasn't including extreme situations such as yours. The reason for my suggestion was to help weed out those on-going problematic members only. Also, it was only a starting point for a policy. The use of compassion and common sense was a given. A good track record would be proof enough for when something does happen. But again, it's a moot point since a system is already in place for this.

Ruth, I think you missed the part about 3-strikes. A member would not be suspended on the first or second slip-up. Nor if they had a good reason.

And Cheryl, I'm sorry, you are, indeed, correct. In a public forum anyone can utter whatever nonsense they want.

Last Edited on: 6/13/08 6:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1

Date Posted: 6/13/2008 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Jim, I know about the 3 strikes ou proposed.  I certainly see your side of the problem.  I'm only saying that in extreme circumstances we usually don't have access to let PBS, etc., know we are in extreme circumstances.  My own pet peeve has been that so many do not use plastic wrappers under the PBS wrapper and I've gotten several wet books even though the weather is all over the news these days.  I appreciate everyone who sends to me and who orders from me.  I've had several people accept and then not follow through.  It is hard to keep up with at times since you want to keep your place in line or get a book you've wanted for a long while.  I do think a watch should take place when maybe 3 items show up in a short period of time.  It's strnage that you had 3 flake on you in this short period of time, Jim.  I really think a lot of it has to do with PBS getting a lot of new member all at once...apparently the "word" is out about PBS on the internet.  I hope that you have a great run of good luck, now!  ;D

Date Posted: 6/14/2008 1:09 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2007
Posts: 8,074
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Welcome to PBS Jim!!  You are going to love it and become addicted like the rest of us!  :)  Sorry that you had so many bad transactions right off the bat!  That is soooo frustrating!  So far, I have been lucky.  And order from me anytime--I will mail in a timely fashion, unless I am in the hospital or something like that, of course!  (smile)

 

Date Posted: 6/14/2008 1:38 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2008
Posts: 7
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In Box of Books you can view a members feedback, just like at ebay. Would it make sense to have something similar for the regular swap?

Date Posted: 6/14/2008 1:57 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I hope feedback is not necessary.  I got very tired of it on eBay long ago even though I have good feedback.  It got to be such a game...and very nasty at times.  I'm hoping that everyone will play nice here.  I'm trying.

Subject: I have been here a couple months
Date Posted: 6/14/2008 6:39 AM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2008
Posts: 352
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and I had FIVE bad deals in one week and so far I have 3 books marked as mailed to me that as it turns out never were. As the deadline was approaching i emailed to see if the books had ever been mailed and twice was told OOOOPS no and one never even replied. I have had about 9 bad deals in a little over 2 months. Now I had marked something once as mailed and found out 4 days later it was still on the desk in the mail room at work because of holiday and an illness. I immediately explained and even sent back the credit just to keep feelings friendly and mailed the book back out first class. Chronic bad dealers need to be weeded out.. and sometimes I think things move a bit slow but hopefully eventually the bad ones are gone. Some of us have hit very bad luck...

deborah.

Subject: Three Strikes
Date Posted: 6/14/2008 10:46 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2007
Posts: 195
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jim M.

  I find when I take my books to the Post Office , put a sticker on the refrigerator or counter and mark to send PBS ,mailed out book  when I get home . works for me .

                             Dolores H.

Date Posted: 6/14/2008 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 142
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I feel your pain, too.  It's especially hard when you request a book from someone's shelf and it's the only book in the system (this just happened to me with the paperback version of Monster Mama).  The person had almost 50 books on their shelf (pretty much all kids books) and several wish list books and had reviewed about 15 books.  It never occured to me she wasn't an active member.  When the book got to about 4 days without being accepted, I looked to see when her last book had been posted and it was well over a year ago.  I suspect she was an active member and something (hopefully nothing bad) happened that made her forget about her account.  I wouldn't want someone who has been an active member punished for not being able to currently participating, but I think that for her own protection, if her account was placed by TBTB on a vacation hold after 3 timed out requests (to be unheld as soon as she logs on and clicks off the hold), other members wouldn't request a book from her shelf that would 1) time out after five days, and 2) she wouldn't have her books dropped off her shelf (especially if it's a book with 300 copies availble and she's waited a year to get to the front of FIFO!).  I know that PBS does eventually place an acount on hold, but sometimes it seems like it takes too many timed out requests for what seems pretty clearly an inactive account.  Just my 2 cents.  Sorry it was so long!

Date Posted: 6/15/2008 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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Stephanie - Just wanted to point out that that method of checking to see if someone is active is not always accurate. It can assure you someone is active when you see recent postings, but can be deceiving when someone is only posting WL books, which some members do. The books on the shelf may look old and inactive, but they may be posting a lot of books that never update their shelf because they are mailed immediately. Hopefully that is what has happened to you and you see the book in the mail on its way to you soon.