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Topic: Need some advice regarding my first RWAP

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Subject: Need some advice regarding my first RWAP
Date Posted: 1/11/2011 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2010
Posts: 14
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Hello everyone,

 

I've been a  member for a few months, but this is the first time I've had to deal with a RWAP, and I'd like some input.

 

I received a book that didn't meet PBS guidelines, pretty egregiously  - its binding had separated from the spine, but more importantly, it had a page that had fallen out and been tucked back in, as well as a number of other loose pages that are this close to separating too. I don't think I'm outrageously picky, and truthfully in my time here I've sucked it up and let things through that I should have marked as RWAPs because I don't like drama (though reading through here, I'm beginning to see the folly of that). However, I draw the line at books with pages falling out. 

 

So, I marked the book as RWAP and PMed the sender, politely telling her that the book didn't meet the postability guidelines and asking for my credit back. She replied politely enough and apologized (though she apologized for it not meeting 'my' conditions. Uh, my RCs weren't in question, we're talkng the basic site guidelines here! But whatever). Now here's where I need advice: she wants me to return the book before she'll refund my credit, and she wants it done in the following manner: I re-post the book, let her know that I've done so, she'll request it and then presumably once she receives it she'll mark it as such and then my credit will be refunded. Is this a typical way for something like this to be handled? I've searched the forums and it doesn't seem like there's just one method for going about getting your credit refunded. Truthfully, I feel a bit funny about this, and a little bit annoyed that in order to rectify the situation she created I'm going to be out more postage. But if this is an accepted manner in which to handle this I guess I've got to go along. Or do I? I'd appreciate any input anyone wants to offer.

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 12:08 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 34,942
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Hi Rebecca,

The Help Center states (in several different areas) that:

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.

So if  she wants the book returned to her, she can give you 2 credits.  One for the damaged book and another one to pay for postage. 

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 12:25 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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First, it is completely up to you, and to be honest I would wonder at her motives in having the book returned to her anyways.  As a book poster I can only determine a few reasons to do this, and some of them would be to repost it here although the others are legitimate (I have a few badly worn copies of my favorite books that I read because I know I can't damage them anymore than they already are).  Check and see if she is still interested when she finds that she will lose 2 credits for this to happen

Second, I WOULD NOT RETURN THE CREDIT IN THIS FASHION,

To do so you would be posting an unpostable book.

#1 This is just plain bad form.

#2 As I write this there are 1,666 people online anyone of whom could request the unpostable book from your bookshelf, don't take the chance.

#3 If she was the scheming type then she could simply mark the book as RWAP when she received it turning it into a sort of he said/she said argument.

 

I haven't dealt with a RWAP before, but in addition I also believe this would be frowned upon because the resulting correspondence would no longer be associated with the original transaction as well.  I'm only shooting in the dark with this one.

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 12:35 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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We're seeing more reports of requests for returns in this manner.  PBS guidelines do not call for this method, and frankly I'd be leary. 

Any book posted FIFO is subject to RWAP unless the textbook clause is involked.   If you decide to post the book to her wishlist tho, once the transaction is noted in the system I would pm her (before sending) and restate her request and conditions, then wait for her pm in response before mailing.  This way the agreement becomes trackable through the transaction records.

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 12:36 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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In short, no. Her suggestion is not an acceptable way of handling things.

Just politely direct her towards the "Give Refund" button on the Transaction Archive. You can offer to mail her back the book once she has returned the original credit and has sent either a credit or enough for postage (through paypal or something similar). It might be a good idea to include a statement on what you intend to do if you don't hear from her by <insert date>.

Some people ask for the book back because (1) they think if you have to first go through the hassle and/or expense of sending it back you would not ask for the credit back  (2) they don't think it's fair that they are out a credit, postage and the book or (3) they want to assess the damage firsthand (I think this is rare) or (4) they intend to repost the book.

 

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 12:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Not only is that not the way credit refunds are done here, but it also violates the rules in a couple ways:

1) You don't need to return a problem book to the sender at all, let alone do so to get a credit refund. This would be punitive for the receiver, who did nothing wrong. The intent of the rule is to motivate senders to be careful about checking their books, or else they face the possibility of losing out on book, credit, and postage. Members don't get to make up their own rules and refund policy by refusing to refund credits until they get a book returned. Any member that attempts to do so, should rightfully get an unresolved RWAP on their account, and no book returned.

2) You would be knowingly posting an unpostable book into the PBS system. This is absolutely not allowed, under any circumstances.

So, if she wants the book back, she has to give you two credits. One for the problem book, and one for the return postage. At no point should the book be posted into the system again in any way at this point. Even posting an unpostable book directly to someone via their wish list is no longer allowed.



Last Edited on: 1/12/11 12:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/12/2011 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2010
Posts: 14
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Thanks very much to all for the responses and info.:)

Yeah, I am not comfortable with this situation, it feels hinky. I don't like the idea of posting such a blatantly unpostable book in my name, and I don't like the feeling that the onus has been placed on me to jump through hoops in order to get my credit back.     

I think I'm going to present her with the option of giving me two credits upfront before I'll send back the book (and I certainly hope she doesn't want it back in order to re-post it). So my next question is - what do I do if she refuses to give the two credits? Mark the RWAP unresolved?

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 2:35 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Well, in this scenario, basically, if she doesn't give one credit back (for the damaged book), you'd mark it unresolved. If she gives one, but not the second one for return postage, you should mark it resolved, and do whatever you like with the unpostable book. If she does give you two credits, you'd mark it resolved, then you'd need to send the unpostable book back to her (or give her back one credit, if you change your mind about being willing to return it).



Last Edited on: 1/12/11 2:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/12/2011 3:58 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What Tiffany said.

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 4:03 AM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2010
Posts: 14
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Okay, gotcha. Thanks, everyone - I'll reply to her tomorrow. Fingers crossed that it goes smoothly and no drama ensues.:)



Last Edited on: 1/12/11 4:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/12/2011 6:23 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 599
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Good luck!!

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 6:28 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,779
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Here is a pertinent quote from the PBS rules, if that helps.

If you receive a book with an "unofficial problem" as listed below you should mark it received normally and note the problem on the Book Received/Survey page.  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 a pattern of "official" OR "unofficial" problems (especially official problems that are not resolved according to requestor follow-up) emerges on a sender's account, we will take action.

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 1,516
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I had the same problem with a RWAP I had.  She wanted me to post it and she would order it from me.  It made me nervous and I didn't do it.  I told her that the book didn't meet postability guidelines, therefore I would not break the rules and post it.

The transaction went unresolved in my case.  I hope yours works out. 

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 1/12/2011 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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i would definately point them to the help documents about this.

if it is still unresolved and you think that the sender admitted that the book was unpostable, you can try sending to pbs team for help.  if you say it is unpostable, but they say it is, then pbs cant do anything.  But I had one not dispute the damage, but then started to ignore. pbs refunded and said they would talk to the member.



Last Edited on: 1/12/11 11:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/12/2011 6:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2008
Posts: 1,396
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I went through the same thing. Don't send the book back until you receive a credit for the RWAP and for returning the book to them. My sender had to argue and tell me that she received the book that way and that she was going to be out 2 credits. It wasn't my fault that she didn't mark it RWAP when she received it. Plus, don't forget to take pictures of the damage on the book before returning it.

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 6:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2010
Posts: 14
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Okay, I've PMed her. Basically I told her that the Help Center info stated I wasn't under any obligation to return the book at my expense, and that since it was unpostable I was uncomfortable with breaking the rules to re-post it. I told her I'd be glad to send the book back if she provided the two credits upfront,  and if that wasn't a workable solution to her,  she could just refund my original credit and we'll be done. I'm not expecting a warm and fuzzy response, but hopefully she'll see the wisdom in just getting it handled and not wigging out.

 

Ronda, it is interesting that as in your situation, she didn't dispute anything I said about the book's condition in her brief message. Just apologized for it not meeting 'my' conditions and laid out her 're-post and request' refund plan.

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2010
Posts: 14
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Uh-oh...looks like my hopes for a clean resolution are dashed. She's claiming that the book was in postable condition when she mailed it, and that the re-post and request refund method she proposed is the only way she'll refund my credit.

I honestly don't see how her claims about the book's condition could be true. The book is an ex-library book, and although it looks okay from the outside, the spine has separated  from the binding, and the binding's glue is deteriorating to the point that sections of pages are pulling away from it, and therefore individual pages are coming free. The completely detached page, it seems to me, had to have come loose prior to mailing and been tucked back in, as it stuck out from the others just a bit, but was still in line with them. If it had somehow come loose during mailing due to being knocked about, I think it would have been sticking out a lot more and possibly creased.

What now? Mark it unresolved? I mean, I want my credit but I'm not interested in engaging in a battle royale with this woman.

 

 

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,779
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I would politely let her know that you plan to mark it unresolved in x amount of days if you do not get your credit returned. And that Unesolved RWAPs count double against a member's account.

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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Did you give her the links to the rules, maybe even a link to this forum thread?  That is the main thing that gets me is that she is basically demanding that you also break the contract you signed upon joining.

If it were me I would also take pictures of the damage, it is within her perogative to request this as a matter of fact.

EDIT: Here are the help center links

http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=529
http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=590



Last Edited on: 1/12/11 9:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/12/2011 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Actually, it's not. Since even now there are many people who still don't have access to any kind of digital camera or anything (not to mention many members that would be hopelessly confused were they to try the photo hosting thing, since their computer literacy isn't as high as others), there is nothing in the rules requiring a member to provide photos (at least, that I can remember), even if the other member asks for them. That being said, if you have the means and knowledge to do so, photos are a good idea, and can make the RWAP process easier.

ETA: I just went through a year-long period with no means of photo taking whatsoever, so I know it's very possible to truly have no means of taking any pictures.



Last Edited on: 1/12/11 10:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/12/2011 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2010
Posts: 14
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Unfortunately, I don't have the means to take pics right now, so in order to do so I  would have to buy a disposable camera and go from there to get the pics onto my computer.  All for one credit? And she could still accuse me of being the one who damaged it, or continue to claim that the damage was not present when she mailed the book out. Though in my experience as someone who's owned many a beloved book that was held onto even though it was falling apart, the kind of damage the book has isn't the sort that happens in the mail. It happens because of age and general wear and tear created through a lot of handling, or just shoddy construction.

I did tell her that the Help Center stated I wasn't obligated to send her the book at my own expense but  didn't give her the direct links to the docs, so thanks for those, trucker-monkey, I will include them in my next PM to her. I intend to reiterate as politely as possible that the refund process she's requiring violates the rules, and that if she's unwilling to budge from this demand then I'll just mark it unresolved and move on.

 

Date Posted: 1/12/2011 11:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2009
Posts: 1,652
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Often it helps to set a date.  Something along the lines of "here are the help doc. on this matter.  If my credit is not returned by (X date) then I will mark this matter as unresolved which will leave a double black mark on your account."

In her way, essentially you are out a credit regardless.  You'll get your credit back, but be out the postage anyways (from the sounds of it), and you'll have to hope that the book arrives at her doorstep and she would mark it recieved.  I would send out a final notice sort of thing and be willing to cut ties.

Date Posted: 1/13/2011 1:24 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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It really bothers me that someone would insist that you break the rules in order to facilitate resolving the problem that they are responsible for. I hate to say it but I doubt someone that delusional will end up doing the right thing. I would let her know you will be marking the transaction unresolved if your credit is not returned, sometimes that works.
Date Posted: 1/13/2011 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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"Actually, it's not."

I stand corrected.  I had thought I read this in there when I first looked over RWAPs, and wouldn't have thought anything of it given how often I'm around today's youth (pretty much everyone of them has a cell phone and the ability to use it).  Couldn't find it anywhere and agree with your reasoning when I actually consider it,  thank you for sticking to reality.

Good Luck Rebecca

Date Posted: 1/13/2011 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2010
Posts: 14
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Well...fudge.

No happy ending for this RWAP, I'm afraid. As I said I would, I sent her a PM last night in which I again pointed out that I was not obligated under the rules to return the book before I got my refund (or return the book period), and that the process she wanted me to go through in order to get it was a violation of the rules, both in terms of demanding that I repost an unpostable book for ANY reason, as well as predicating the return of my credit on her receipt of the book. I  gave her the relevant help doc links, and told her it was clear that we didn't see eye to eye on this, so if she was still intractable, then I'd just mark it unresolved by the end of the week.

She replied that I would be right about her refund process breaking rules if the book had been in poor condition, but since it wasn't, I was wrong. (Huh?! At least I think that's what she was trying to say.) She then stated that she 'had a suspicion' that my real issue was that the book in question was an ex-library book, rather than 'a hardcover you can display on your shelf', and that ex-library books are allowed here and I had nothing in my RCs about them. I actually yelped at that - I buy used/discarded books from my local library on almost a weekly basis, both to swap here and to keep for myself. Ex-library books are A-OK with me, which is why there is nothing about them in my RCs. Books that are falling apart are not A-OK. She reiterated her refusal to refund the credit for a 'good' book, unless it was returned first. Nothing I said about the rules seemed to penetrate her mind at all. Apparently she just makes up her own. So I marked it unresolved, and that's that.

I'd really like to thank everyone here for their advice and guidance.  I'm not the kind of person for whom making waves comes easy, so situations like this aren't my forte. You guys rock.smiley



Last Edited on: 1/13/11 8:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
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