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Topic: another RWP: do we need a 3rd party?

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Subject: another RWP: do we need a 3rd party?
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 294
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<sigh> I received a book with underlining in it, so I followed the guidelines about how to respond. But the sender also followed the guidelines, and our conclusions don't match. I think I deserve my credit back and that I don't have to mail her the book. She says I only get a refund if I send the book back to her. I'm tired of arguing, and so is she. We both want to be done with it.

To clarify my head, I just wrote the whole thing up, with quotations from both of us, in the form of a posting. But I can't post it here, because that would be a serious breach of netiquette--the assumed confidentiality of email, especially vis-a-vis quoting email in public settings.

It seems like a royal pain in the butt to have to get an arbiter for such a trivial thing as a credit. But what else can I (we) do? Who would serve as the neutral judge of a thing like this?

                                                               --Fiona

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2008
Posts: 397
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If it is a book that is allowed to have writing/highlighting -or in this case underlining- in it it has to be a cookbook, workbook or textbook & in the guidelines for these it states that the sender must PM with the requester the condition of the book & it must be agreed upon PRIOR to sending.  If that is the case the sender did not follow guidelines because they did not send PM's describing the condition & having you agree to them before sending.  So IMO if that wasn't done then it's the same as sending an unpostable.

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2008
Posts: 2,527
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copy & pasted from the help center:

"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."

Just tell her you'd be happy to return the book if she agrees to cover the postage cost with a credit. That would mean you'd get the credit returned for the book & another to cover the cost of you shipping it back to her. I would just copy & paste the info directly from the help center to help her understand. Also let her know it came directly from the help center and you'll be happy to mark this problem swap as resolved. Otherwise after 7 days it will be marked as unresolved leaving 2 marks against her account.

Hope this helps!



Last Edited on: 2/12/09 10:04 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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Just an fyi, something I have caught on to. 

If, when I initially mark a book RWAP I include in the message that I've taken photos (I do it on my phone camera) of the damage/infraction and that I'm happy to forward them to the sender, a funny thing happens.  You pretty much totally avoid the whole "I don't believe you- send it back to me" scenario.  The person knows up front you've got them dead to rights and they seem to be more likely to just move forward without the monkeying around. 

A lot of senders are convinced that their are all these receivers out there who just live to screw them out of a credit and make this stuff up.  This way, out of the gate you are making it clear that you're willing to ante up the evidence.

This doesn't always work in all situations but I've found it's a good habit to get into.

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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There is no neutral 3rd party to resolve situations that cannot be resolved between the swappers. sometimes the two parties never agree and the receiver is out the credit - that is why there is an Unresolved button on the transaction. PBS will not become involved individual swaps.

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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You can copy the guidelines from the Help Center.  If the sender still isn't convinced, you can suggest they contact their Tour Guide or go to Live Help.  Any tour guide would say the same.

You could also direct them to this thread :)

 

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 294
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Leann quotes from the help docs: "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."

That very sentence is the one that has me confused and thinking that we need a neutral outsider to help the resolve the issue.

Because this is what most people seem to conclude:

[Leann herself now, not the help docs]  "Just tell her you'd be happy to return the book if she agrees to cover the postage cost with a credit. That would mean you'd get the credit returned for the book & another to cover the cost of you shipping it back to her."

Here's the thing: I don't *want* to mail the book back. There isn't another copy in the system. It's wish-listed for at least two other people. Buying it new would cost at least 13 bucks.

I can't seem to find a place in the help docs whether they discuss the situation in which the requestor wants to keep the book, however flawed.

But all of you have helped me understand how it works: the built-in clock helps to settle things. And I know what I need to write to the person who sent me the book.

                                                                      --thanks,

                                                                                    Fiona 

P.S. Oh!! This is important, and I almost forgot. Is there a way to change the way I labeled the problem? I mistakenly click on "Wrong Book Received" and it's not that--it's "Damaged by Sender."

If/When I click on "Was the Problem Resolved?" in "Transaction Archive," will it  give me a space to explain a little bit? Because that's where I was thinking I could clear up the label issue, and get it labeled correctly as "Damaged by Sender."

 



Last Edited on: 2/12/09 11:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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IMHO if you feel the book is good enough to keep then it's only fair to pay the credit for it, even though posting it may have violated the rules here.  But that's just my opinion.

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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My stance on this is, if the person does not admit to the damage and keeps the stance that the book was perfectly postable and you know it is not, then there is no way on this side of sane, that I would send the book back. Mainly because I just know they will repost the book and someone else will get stuck and a book they cannot now post.  There is NO rule that says you have to send the book back, the sender needs  to refund your credit back.

Bernard- thats just encouraging people to post unpostables, why send it back when you can pretty much predict they will just repost it on the site and break the rules again?



Last Edited on: 2/12/09 11:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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Fiona, it's basically this:  You do NOT have to return the book.  That's trouble for you and not expected.  If you WANT to, you should ask for a credit to cover the postage.  Read it this way:

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
(not should!!).

You can simply tell her:

"I prefer not to have to go to the trouble of repackaging the book and taking it to the post office; please return my original credit so that we can close the transaction as "Resolved."

 

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 6:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2008
Posts: 2,527
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In this case of you wanting to keep the book, the most you can do now is request your credit back & wait a week. At that time you can mark it as problem resolved if she refunds the credit or unresolved if she doesn't. Marking it unresolved will then leave 2 marks on her account & if she receives too many PBS will eventually step in and do whatever it is they do when too many negative marks are on an account.

Best of luck!



Last Edited on: 2/12/09 12:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I'm not understanding  But the sender also followed the guidelines   Did they or did they not? Was it a textbook/cookbook with underlining? Did they PM you with the books condition and you didn't respond?  If they PM'd you and you didn't respond then you shouldn't have marked it RWP. 

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,154
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I kinda agreed with Bernhard... if you're so quick to keep the book, why are you so worried about the credit? If the sender was OK to have written in the book, there's nothing more to say or do about it. It was allowed. She IS wrong that if she wants the book back, you have to pay to mail it - not true, *if* she was wrong to mail a book then she is supposed to give you a credit to mail it back. That's definitely within the rules of PBS. But it sounds like maybe you just kinda forgot that some books could get written in, and now are regretting it a little? If you're planning to keep the book anyway, just let it go. Or, once you read it, you can offer it as a freebie in the book bazaar.

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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I'm not understanding  But the sender also followed the guidelines ..

This is what confused me too. I took it to mean that both parties believe they are right and neither one outright broke any rules.  In those cases, when the two just don't agree, then the receiver will often be the one to eat the credit.  If I believed I sent a book within the guidelines and someone told me they were not satisfied with the book yet it was good enough for them to keep, but they wanted the credit back too, they would be marking it as unresolved because I wouldn't return the credit.

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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That's pretty much my take on it too Melanie.  If I send someone a book, believing it met all the criteria and acting in good faith, and that person then said there was a problem, my first reaction would be to apologize and try to make it right.  But if that same person then says they want to keep it anyway, but still get their "money" back, my reaction is going to be, "No way.  I'll refund you the credit, and I'll pay the return postage, but you're not getting it for free and slapping me with a black mark."

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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Heather said, "If the sender was OK to have written in the book, there's nothing more to say or do about it."  But, the question is Heather while the sender is within her rights to write in the book there are rules to follow BEFORE you can send a book that has writing in it...did the sender follow those rules.

To others that have commented about returning the book....if a sender sends out a book that does not meet guidelines (water damage, underlining, writing in book, etc) they have only themselves to blame if they have to return the credit and not get the book back...and the receipientof the book is not obligated to return the book....the sender Should Not make that a condition of returning the intial credit, because that is in my opinion holding the requestor's credit hostage. 

My question to those that would want the book back...Why?  If it is an unpostable book why are you going to pay double postage (to send & to get back) on a book that you cannot gain a credit on even if you do get it back?

 

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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What Rhonda says is right with regards to returning the book -- you aren't obligated to do so, even if the sender wants you to and is willing to pay.  I had a similar situation come up myself -- got a book so smokey it triggered an immediate asthma attack (I have RCs about smokey books), so the book went straight into the outdoor trashbin, as I couldn't have it in the house.  The sender kept insisting I return it, but I couldn't bring it in, package it and take it to the post office -- it was a health issue.

Ditto on what Christy said; if the book is RWP, the initial credit should be returned, period. There are plenty of reasons for not wanting to return the book, but the initial credit refund shouldn't hinge on that.

Fiona, I think you need to clarify what guidelines the sender "followed" and how they don't match in order to get the advice you need here.

Cheers,

Catt

 

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 5:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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How was the sender also following the rules?

Amy
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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Wait, so - because I mark a book as RWAP I am obligated to send it back so I can get my credit back?

Look, I ordered the book because I want to read and re-post it. I am not necessarily worried about the condition it's in for my sake, I am concerned with the book's condition because in order for me to get more books that I want to read, I have to re-post the ones I've already read and those books have to follow the PBS posting guidelines.

So, Bernhard and Melanie - I do not follow your line of thinking at all.

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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No, you not obligated to send it back if it is RWAP but if the person is offering to send you 2 credits, one to replace yours and one to ship it back, that would be nice.

 Again, who is the sender following the rules? What kind of book is this? More of the situation would be helpful!

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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So, Bernhard and Melanie - I do not follow your line of thinking at all. - My post is in response to the OP saying that they both followed the rules but disagree on the situation. If the sender knowing sent an unpostable book, yes, I agree that the credit should be returned, BUT, the OP makes it sound like it is not a clear breaking of the rules when she says they both followed the rules but still disagree.  I do not believe that someone needs to return a credit if they think the book they sent was postable and they followed the rules and I would err on the side of fairness if the receiver plans on keeping and using the book. Again my comment is for the situation where it is not just a lack a meeting of the minds on the remedy, but where there is a disagreement on whether the rules were broken in the first place. I would not think it was fair if someone sent a book that was in their opinion, postable (following the rules), yet in the receiver's opinion, it wasn't  postable, and they will keep the book anyway and read it, but want the credit back too. I know the rules don't care about fairness, but if no one is completely in the wrong, then I go by fairness. 



Last Edited on: 2/12/09 7:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,496
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If the sender did not PM you about the underlining before sending the book, then they did NOT follow the PBS guidelines and they owe you your credit back.  Period.

If you don't want to return the book then you don't have to.  The sender is wrong for making that a condition of returning your credit spent on this book.

Date Posted: 2/12/2009 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Melanie, I think it's fair to just say at this point we don't have all the facts.  Until we do get all the facts we're all just speculating and giving "what if's"

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 3:31 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 294
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Wow, what an enthusiastic response! Thank you.

First, I should not have said that the sender "followed the guidelines." I apologize for saying that. It was confusing.

There is obvious underlining in the book--which is not a textbook, it's a work of nonfiction about the rivalry-cum-friendship between Matisse and Picasso--and she sent it to me that way, without any PM in advance. The book is unpostable.

I appreciate all the supportive comments to the effect that I shouldn't have to return the book in order to get the credit back. Sometimes when you get a book and it's marred by something like underlines, you just want it out of your sight. Other times, you are so impressed by what the book has to offer (and this is more readily perceived, I think, with nonfiction), that even while you're upset to see it marred by the damage, you don't want to let it go. I'm doing some research related to the topic of this book. There are no other copies readily available. If I sent it back, not only would it be a cost to me in time and trouble, I'd have to spend $14 on a new copy of it, because now that I've seen it, I know I need it.

So the upshot is, the sender has proved to be quite decent after all. She was stubborn, at first, about not wanting to refund my credit, which is why I posted here. Thanks to you guys, I was able to write her a simple message to the effect that if she refunded my credit, end of subject; but if she didn't, the system was set up to "double-mark" her account if I didn't not mark the transaction resolved after 7 days.

Last night she refunded my credit. Today would've been the 7th day. In the wee hours of the morning, I marked the transaction resolved.

I only wish I didn't feel, now, that I should contact every swapper and ask ahead of time if the book I want is free of marks. <shrug>

                                      --thanks again.

                                                        Fiona

 

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