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Topic: ARG - 3 requests with identical RC in less than 12 hours

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Subject: ARG - 3 requests with identical RC in less than 12 hours
Date Posted: 12/24/2009 7:01 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Not really a question about this, more of an observation.

I don't mind so much for myself - my books definitely don't meet the RC (but I'll admit getting so many of these in a row is more than surprising). I know allergies can be a real problem, and preferences can be strong. But...with so many people at PBS who purchase books from a variety of sources such as thrifts, garage sales, UBS, gifts, and even here, this one is bound to result in a lot of turndowns.

I am unwilling to accept books that have been in a smoking home.

I am unwilling to accept books that have been around cats.

Even had my home met both conditions, I get my books from so many sources that I wouldn't feel comfortable sending books to these people. I don't have any RCs, so any books I received from here (and I don't keep my sources separated) could be problematic. On the other hand, I suppose these RCs do result in the recipients receiving fairly nice books that have belonged to only one owner.  



Last Edited on: 12/24/09 7:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/24/2009 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Yeah, it's hard to accept them when they're worded that way. I will accept non-smoking RCs if it's worded like "Not willing to accept books CURRENTLY in a smoking home," because that I can do, and assume they just don't want smoky-smelling books...but when it's worded like "have been in a smoking home"....I take that to mean EVER, so I have to decline. Like you, I don't know the history of many books on my bookshelves and if someone has a severe allergy or something I'm not taking a chance.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I decline those too since I get most of my books used. I might accept if the request is for a book I bought new.  I have 2 dogs and every book I send out comes with free dog hair.  I'm always worried that a cat allergy person will complain even though it's actually dog hair.

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If the request have been for the same book over and over it's likely that it's the same person and you have the only copy of the book.

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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No, oddly it's three separate requests for widely different books.

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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I recently got that same RC about "unwiling to accept books that have been in a smoking home".  I have not yet had to reject an RC (I like getting those book credits!), but this one definitely made me pause.  Like everyone else wrote, I felt I did not know the history of the book and although my house is non-smoking I knew I could not guarantee that the book had never  been in a smoking home.  (btw - I also have a non-smoking RC.)

I had my nose in the book, sniffing, for a day, and also I had my DH and a friend smell it.  Thought about PMming the person.  Ultimately, I decided to just take the chance and send it.  There was no problem.  Even got a thank you.

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,127
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I think most of the people who word their RCs that way don't really mean EVER.  I think they just haven't seen these forum posts about what that phrase actually means to the sender.  But yes, I would have to decline that too, for most of my books.

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Just PM them and ask them what they really mean by their RC.  I have an RC stating that I am allergic to cigarette smoke and strong chemical smells (like perfume and mothballs).  I have as yet had anyone refuse my request.  Everyone who thought they may fit into that category has PM'ed me and asked for further clarification.  I have only turned down one deal and that hurt because it was a 4/1 deal.  When someone responds to my RC and tells me that they don't smoke and don't smell anything on the books I trust their judgement.  And if the book turns out to smell, I will take responsibility. 

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,728
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Well, I don't smoke and no one else does in my house, and no one I know smokes, and even though I do obtain books used, I would accept the smoke RC unless I knew that the requested book was itself smoky.

Most people don't smoke and the only place I actually get smoky books is from PBS. I have never bought or even seen smoky books at the UBS or the library sales, for example.

Although, I have to decline the cat one, too.

And, about a month ago, I got the RC regarding not accepting books that have been in a "bed-bug" infested home!

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I don't know, my sense of smell isn't all that good, and I can't say I've sniffed books at the UBS or thrift or library sales, but I love scented candles so often my house smells vaguely of vanilla or some other scent,  and all of those places smell different than my house, and different from each other. I want my recipients to be happy with the books I send, so even if I've just brought home and listed a WL book from one of those sources, if a RC is at all subjective, I try to err on the side of caution and refuse.  I'm sure many people have better "sniffers" than I do, or allergies I don't want to mess with. :-)

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Kate wrote: Just PM them and ask them what they really mean by their RC.

Unless the requestor has listed their username in the body of the RC, there is no way to contact the requestor until you accept the request. If you accept the request, you're clicking a button that says your book DOES meet the requestor's conditions.Personally speaking, if the wording of the RC isn't clear enough in and of itself to let me know what the person wants (or doesn't want) so that I can confidently click that button without having further communication with the requestor, I'm going to decline.

I personally would not trust my sense of smell, given the number of sinus infections I've had in my lifetime. If you ask me to smell a book, I'm going to decline.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't PM on RCS either.  I experienced a no response as a newbie and have seen too many people post on here that they PM'd and there's been no response and they're panicking over to cancel or mail the book.  If I can't tell by your RC then it's not written clear enough and I'm declining. ANd I don't do the "PM me because I might want this book no matter what"-well if it's a book you want no matter what then the RC needs to be turned off before you request it.

Date Posted: 12/25/2009 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,244
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I too turn down RCs that have 'ever been in a smoking environment'.'  I do accept those that say 'currently in a smoking'.  I get my books from several sources.  I do though, when I turn down an RC, say why I can't send the book.  Hopefully, those that say 'ever' will think about it and change to 'currently'.  Pat

Date Posted: 12/26/2009 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 770
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 I think that had the same RC come through and a similar situation!  I explained in the "why I can't send the book" box that due to the fact that she/he had severe allergies and I am unsure where my books came from before their stay here.  I did not want to risk making her ill.   She had said to pm her with any questions, but no username.  I nicely told her that she would need to include a user name if she wanted people to contact her (although imho, I would not).

An hour later I got another request with the same RC for a VERY different book.  I replied in that box "What an odd coincidence, I think I had an order come through from you earlier that I declined--sorry I don't want to risk your health."  I always feel bad when I decline, but I would feel worse if someone got sick because of pet fur or smoke.

Date Posted: 12/26/2009 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2009
Posts: 9,933
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Just another side of the RC coin.  I have a daughter that has an extreme allergy to cats.  So I have a RC because I order books for her sometimes.  But I try to let the sender know when its for me its ok to ignore my RC.  But if I don't have that and I accidently send her a book that comes from a cat home it would be a very serious problem for her.  Since there are many kittyless homes I don't want to eliminate using PBS for her.   So please don't refuse me because of RC frustration. 

Jannymarie

Subject: Smoking RC
Date Posted: 12/26/2009 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,576
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The phrasing that many times is mentioned as seeming unreasonable is the exact wording given as an example by the PBS site. As a member for only half a year with a smoke allergy, I only recently realized using that phrase might be getting me "dissed" so I changed it to the more reasonable "currently in a smoking home".  I too buy a lot of used books, but I would be able to smell the smoke when I picked them up so I don't worry that they may have been in a smoking home at some point long before I bought it!

Date Posted: 12/26/2009 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Janice - wouldn't it be easier to add the RC for books for your daughter, rather than tell people to "ignore" it for you? Unless you are ordering 98% for her and 2% for you, PBS' wording when accepting RCs is such that people really don't feel comfortable "ignoring" them (and rightly so), regardless of the intentions of the buyer. Ignoring it leaves the sending member open to loss of the book, wrapping time, materials used, postage and the credit - not something most of us are willing to do.  

Date Posted: 12/26/2009 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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Janice, question.  And please don't take offense.

If your daughter's health is at risk because of cat allergies, why request books for her on a used book site?

Date Posted: 12/27/2009 1:27 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,758
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I too turn down RCs that have 'ever been in a smoking environment'.'  I do accept those that say 'currently in a smoking'.

ditto.  or even if it just says 'have been in a smoking home' it doesn't say currenty, so i have to assume they mean ever and turn it down.  i get most of my books used, and have no idea where they came from before me.  plus many of the books i get via the elephant swaps in the forums have come from homes with smokers.  (if i know it still smells smoky to me though, i won't send it to someone with non-smoking RCs even though there are no smokers in my home.)

i do have the 'currently in a smoking home' RCs and i still get turned down sometimes by people who got the books used and are afraid to send them because they don't know the history. 

i'll also turn them off for some books.  if it's been weeks or months since the last copy got posted, i'm taking it when it gets posted to me even if it might come from a smoking home.  (like the one i accepted today.)  books that do arrive smelling smoky go into a large ziploc bag with a box of baking soda until they smell better, which sometimes takes months.  it might still be faster than waiting for another copy to get posted to me.  or sometimes i'll read them when i have a cold and can't smell them anyway.  :)  for me it's not an allergy problem, it's partly personal preference and partly the headaches i'll get after a while from smelling smoke.

Date Posted: 1/2/2010 3:43 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 66
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I'd have no problems with this RC. In fact I have one of them myself (no books that have recently been in a smoking home, if they don't want to take a chance on a book they got used if they aren't sure of the smell I'd rather they turn it down because I am extremely sensitive and have trouble reading a book that smells of smoke).

I can't help with the cat one, not allergic, but if it's a bought I bought new (And more than half of the books I give away on here were bought new for me) I can definitley fufill both those RCs (No pets and don't smoke) and with used books, well I can tell if it smells at all of smoke since I am so sensitive.



Last Edited on: 1/2/10 3:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/2/2010 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 1,103
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You'd think after all the comments on this, that PBS would have improved its example statements. Maybe they'll get to it soon.

Date Posted: 1/2/2010 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,450
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I have a rarely used fireplace in my room (library/loud music room/man and dog sanctuary), and about 50 feet away in the front room is a wood stove. I strongly doubt that smoke could be detected on books here, but my bookshelf is in boxes out in a detached garage. If the RC does not strike me as too obnoxious, IPM a message explaining all this. Some take em; some don't. All have been polite. If the RC is too hifalutin for my taste (about half), I just turn them off and figure they can keep their credits and I will keep my books.