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Topic: ARGH. Oh, good grief. More advice needed!

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Subject: ARGH. Oh, good grief. More advice needed!
Date Posted: 5/27/2010 7:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2009
Posts: 8,077
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"I check my books before I send them because I have had people try to get a credit back for no reason. So if you would like the credit back I ask that you send the book back, because when I sent it the book was fine."

That was the response I got to my RWAP. I know I've read it here, but if the member wants the book back, they have to give me back a credit, plus postage FIRST, right?

Last Edited on: 6/3/10 11:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 5/27/2010 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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No, you aren't obliged to return the book if you don't want to. Especially not at your expense.


You are not obligated to return the problem item at your expense, but if the sender gives you an extra credit or postage to do so, of course you may.

If you're not willing even if they give you an extra credit, just tell them so. If you're willing, tell them you'd be happy to, as soon as you receiver your original credit back and have your postage costs covered. (Easiest to ask for a credit, but I once agreed to send one back when I got stamps in the mail from them. The stamps arrived and they got the book back.)

What ever you do, don't send a book back unless you get your first credit back and the postage costs. The book could go lost on it's way back in the mail, then where would you be? Out the first credit, the postage costs and the book. A refund of a credit for a RWAP should never depend on them getting the book back. That's not part of the rules.

I think many senders ask for the book back thinking that the receiver won't press on getting their credit back if they have to spend more money to do so. Then they change their minds when they realize they have to bear the cost.

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 8:40 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Correct, you aren't under any obligation to return the book and that should not be the reason that the credit isn't returned.   If you are willing they should buddy you a credit to cover postage.  I would offer to send a picture of the damage.  With that said I would recommend that they speak with their tour guide and if they can't reach their TG, then a TG on Live Help to help guide them through the process and rules.

You may also want to direct them to the help docs.  Click here to find the following help docs  -  There is a problem with a book I sent and There is a problem with a book I received. 

This will explain the process for each of you to follow in this situation.   If you need further help, contact your tour guide or another tour guide on Live Help.  

Good Luck.  Robin

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 9:20 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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"I check my books before I send them because I have had people try to get a credit back for no reason. So if you would like the credit back I ask that you send the book back, because when I sent it the book was fine."

So right away you know this isn't their first RWAP.  And apparently they made no admission of fault there either - the receiver was just trying to scam them for a credit:P 

Here's what I suggest:  Tell them you understand their reticence, but that you've seen many cases where the senders demanded the receiver's return their book before they'd refund the credit, but for whatever reason, they did not follow through on their end and the receiver's were then out the credit they spent on an unpostable book, plus the money to return it.  If you read this forum much, you almost surely have seen it.  Tell them because of that, you go strictly by the book - the rules set forth in the help docs by the PBS team - and then quote them:

  • We know that no one wants to have problems with their transactions!
    • Please do not take it too much to heart if you have a book you sent marked received with a problem.
    • If you did wrong, simply learn from this, and resolve not to repeat the error.
    • One problem transaction will not mar your account! However, a pattern of poor sending will jeopardize PBS membership. Best to learn from errors before it is too late: see specific information about the different "Problem Transaction" scenarios below.
  • A requestor does NOT have to return the item in a "problem" transaction
    • if the sender wants the item back, he or she should send postage or a credit to pay for its return.

Tell them that you're willing to accept an additional credit as compensation for the cost of mailing the book back to them, and as soon as you have received the credits, you will be more than happy to return their book.  Tell them also that if they would rather not spend a credit for return postage, you will be happy to donate the book to Goodwill, but that you still need the original credit refunded in order to mark the RWAP resolved.

The thing about it is, I think almost 90% or more of the time, if people who respond like that had any intention of owning up to their mistakes, they'd have refunded the credit right away, and you'd never be posting & asking for advice on how to handle the situation in the first place.  You have to give people the benefit of the doubt that they just aren't familiar with the help docs and how they should respond to problem swaps, but when they right off the bat treat you like a potential scammer and refuse to admit to the possibility that they sent you a damaged book, it doesn't bode well for a smooth resolution to the problem.  Then it's really about what you can say to get them to do the right thing.  If they are still unwilling to take ownership of their mistake, all you can do is mark the RWAP unresolved & move on.

*ETA:  Robin's suggestions were really good too, but I'd bear in mind that the email PBS sent to notify them of the problem, and the transaction record itself contain the link to the help docs & the instructions on what they should do to resolve the problem, so it's unlikely that they'll copy & paste a url (that they've already ignored once) into their browser, and look into what the help docs have to say on the matter.  Just MHO - it could work; you never know:P

Last Edited on: 5/27/10 9:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/28/2010 12:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2009
Posts: 8,077
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Cindy, I've sent a book back when the sender mailed me stamps instead of a credit.

Kim, I used what you said almost word for word -- it's polite and to the point.

We'll see, folks.

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 8:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2009
Posts: 8,077
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I do realize that last weekend was a holiday weekend, so I've been nice. I PM'd again today and told the sender that I was sorry they thought I was trying to get my credit back for no reason, but the fact remained that the book was unpostable. I asked for the credit back and am giving her another week before I mark it unresolved (told them that in the PM), and said I'd be happy to return the book if they would cover postage.

Hope I hear something soon!

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2009
Posts: 8,077
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Here's the latest. Any advice?

"I have been on your profile page and it clearly states that you send out an unsendable book with every book you send out. In stating this I believe that you telling me there is a problem with the binding is all to get your credit back. I checked that book over and there was nothing wrong with it and it met the standards of paperbackswap."

eta: I'm trying to take pictures, but DH's camera isn't cooperating. Also, of the books listed on my profile as freebies, I haven't gotten a credit back for any but one (hence checking better for problems when the books come in). SO frustrating, especially since my other RWAP's (I think I've only had 2 others) went so smoothly!

Last Edited on: 6/3/10 11:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/3/2010 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
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I would do as you stated and wait the week, then mark it as unresolved. There will be swaps that the sender and receiver cannot agree on. She may change her mind and give the credit back.

Binding issues are tough because sometimes the book IS ok when it leave the sender, but the wear and tear in the USPS hands can weaken it enough that when the receiver opens it, it is damaged. No saying that is the case, just pointing out that you both could be right, she sent a postable book and you received an unpostable one.

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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It sounds like she doesn't understand about freebies with orders. If you (Jennifer) are not asking 1 credit for these books, and just sending them out for free with ANY order, then you (Jennifer) aren't gaining an extra credit off of books that you have been refunded for. I would explain that to her as well. It's different if you (general you) are getting refunds on damaged books, and then turning around and asking someone else for a credit for them. Maybe she thinks that is what is going on.

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I would do like Jennifer says and explain to her about offering unpostables, and then reiterate your end of week deadline. Say you are going to mark it unresolved by XX date and that will then put a permanent double black mark on her account. Say you are done negotiating, it is what it is, and the ball is in her court now.

Since she doesn't understand the unpostables as freebies part of the site, she may get scared of a double black mark and refund the credit. Not that I'm saying you should intimidate her or stress it as being worse than it is, but just simply state it as matter of fact and let her decide whether she is okay with it or not.

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2009
Posts: 8,077
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@Melanie: I know, and I totally see that it could have been okay when it left and cracked in transit. The other member's reaction is what's putting me over the top to press the issue. I'm so not having a good people week, online or otherwise. frown

@Jennifer & Amee: I have thought about that -- I know that lots of people, especially ones that don't frequent the forums, don't understand about freebies with orders. I've had a couple of people take me up on that, I think, and I did a 3/1 deal on one of the genre forums (9 books for 3 credits). I just want to share the book love, KWIM?

I know I'm letting it bother me WAY more than it should. Like I said, I'm not having a good people week. Thanks for the advice and sympathy, though! Right now I just want to mark it unresolved and forget about it, but I will at least wait the week I said I'd give. I'll think about it over the next few days and go from there.

Last Edited on: 6/3/10 5:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/3/2010 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I'd have more sympathy for her if she wasn't outright accusing you of trying to rip her off.  If it were me - and I know it's not, but - I'd answer her back & tell her to either can it with the BS accusations or I would report her for rude & harassing behavior in her PMs.  I'd maybe give a VERY brief explanation about freebies, and that you don't get a credit for those books, and I'd say that she has 1 week to resolve the RWAP and then it would be marked as unresolved by sender.  Let her infer from that what she will.  I've already lost patience with this nitwit, and it's not even my RWAP:P

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2009
Posts: 579
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Can you use your cell phone to take the picture? You can go in the bathroom where the light is good. My phone hooks up easily to my compute via USB, although I can also email the picture to my self.

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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I've had the same thing happen (being accused of scamming for absolutely no reason) and I know how much it sucks. If this one is anything like the person I was dealing with their next tactic will be to accuse you of causing the damage yourself. That is what happened when I sent a photo. This is just something that people who try to cheat the system and break the rules do, they pass the blame because they KNOW they are in the wrong. If you ask me, she is the scammer, as you are obviously not the first person she has had mark a book she sent RWAP. At some point you are probably just going to have to write this one off and mark it unresolved. 


Date Posted: 6/4/2010 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 5:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/4/2010 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2009
Posts: 8,077
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 Here is my attempt at a firm and civil reply, as I have totally lost patience. Any tweaks needed?

"Again, I'm sorry that you think I'm trying to scam you out of a credit so I can have an extra one. It is permitted to send out freebies with orders, and to ask for a credit for unpostable WL books.  I have not received credits back for any of the WL books I'm asking a credit for on my profile page. They were books that I received normally and didn't notice damage until well after I had marked them received. You'll also notice that there are a couple of books I'm offering for free with any order. Other members don't have to take me up on that, but it is well within PBS rules to offer them that way.

I have offered to return your book if you refund the credit for the book and a credit to cover postage, which is what the rules say. The other option is simply to return the credit for the unpostable book, if you don't want it back. As you haven't offered any other resolution, the deadline for this is June 10. Otherwise I will have to mark the transaction unresolved.

Thank you."

eta: It's taking all I have not to tell this member they're pi$$ing me off.

Last Edited on: 6/4/10 1:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/4/2010 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 5:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/4/2010 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I don't think you need to explain your actions regarding your unpostables, especially not when the person you're dealing with just accused you of being dishonest and who refuses to acknowledge that rules exist that might not be in her favor. It seems like she's going to continue doing things her way, and the rest of the world be damned. But, it's a nice and civil response nonetheless.

Unless you want more nasty responses that will give you high blood pressure, you might want to add that you don't want any more PMs from her. I'd personally just want to wait in silence until the deadline, rather than be subjected to any more of her ugly accusations. But that's just me.

Date Posted: 6/4/2010 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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You are being a lot nicer than I would be. Hang in there! :)