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Topic: Answering PMs

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Subject: Answering PMs
Date Posted: 10/1/2010 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2010
Posts: 188
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I mailed a book a couple of days ago, and today I received a message that the package was damaged by USPS. In the PM, the requester just stated that the book arrived wet.

I know I wrapped the book well, and there was no request for a credit refund in the PM. Is this a message I need to respond to? It figures that this package would be damaged...it was a new book!

Date Posted: 10/1/2010 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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Here's from the Help Center. I suspect they just made a comment. All received comments appear in the form of a PM. Unless she asked you for something requiring a response, I think you are ok to let it go. It sounds like she understood that it was not your fault.

Damaged by USPS transactions:

A book is considered Damaged by USPS if it was damaged in transit (while in the mail).

  • This is usually just bad luck
    • Even the most well-wrapped packages can get mangled by a postal sorting machine
    • We have tried to divide the risk fairly between the sender and the requestor:
      • If the sender gets the book back damaged, the sender assumes the risk: she should contact us to cancel the request.  The requestor gets the credit back when we do that, and the sender does not get credit unless she used PBS-DC or PBS Printed Postage
      • If the requestor gets the book damaged by USPS, the requestor assumes the risk.  The requestor does need to mark the book received and does not get her credit back; the sender does get credit in this case.
  • If you feel that the wrapping of the book contributed to its damage en route:
    • You can tell the sender this in a Personal Message
      • Please be gentle!  The sender may be new to bookswapping.
      • You can ask for your credit to be refunded if you believe it is warranted.
    • You can share your own tips on wrapping technique, and/or refer the sender to the Help items on wrapping a book.
    • You can also comment on the wrapping in the Comments box at the bottom of the survey portion of the Book Received page, so these details are recorded on the transaction in our records.
Date Posted: 10/1/2010 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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As a courtesy I would respond simply, "Thanks for the information. I wrapped the book well, but in this case I guess Mother Nature and the USPS got the best of the effort."


Date Posted: 10/1/2010 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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Like what Rob suggests.

Did they mark it a RWAP?

Date Posted: 10/1/2010 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2010
Posts: 188
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The receiver marked it RWAP--Damaged by Post Office, which exactly the way the book should have been marked since it was damaged in-transit. Thanks for the help!

Date Posted: 10/2/2010 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Did wrapping the book "well" include wrapping it in plastic before wrapping in the outer wrapper?  If not, then you contributed to the book arriving wet.

I took down my RC about wrapping books in plastic.  But, I realize it's time to put it back since it's been raining pretty regularly here in Oregon.

Date Posted: 10/2/2010 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,203
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If not, then you contributed to the book arriving wet.

I don't agree. As the receiver did not appear to have an RC stating the book should be wrapped in plastic she did not contribute to the damage. PBS does not require books to be wrapped in plastic. It is required, however, to create an RC if you want books wrapped in plastic. The sender did nothing wrong.

Last Edited on: 10/2/10 2:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/2/2010 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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If not, then you contributed to the book arriving wet.

I don't agree.

I don't agree either. Wrapping in plastic is what I do, but I know it's not required by the site. It really is the P.O.'s responsibility to keep mail dry, but I know it does happen that between here and there things get wet, so I chose to use plastic.

But I don't have an RC making it mandatory for incoming books, and I would not mark a book RWAP if it arrived wet and with no plastic. I take that chance with no RC.

And I would not expect a credit from the sender. They did nothing wrong.

Date Posted: 10/2/2010 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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This is a really dead horse. For anyone who doesn't know this, plastic wrapping is still not required by this site, and unless the requestor has an RC specifying plastic wrapping, the sender is NOT at fault.

The post man could have spilled a water bottle or coffee on the book for all we know in this situation.

Date Posted: 10/5/2010 1:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What Rob said.

Date Posted: 10/5/2010 3:10 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Yeah Sherilynn, stop raining all over those books!

Date Posted: 10/5/2010 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,724
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When we lived in Guam, all our packages came by boat/barge, so when the monsoon season hit the Pacific, one of the barges was swamped-- all our Christmas presents arrived soaked and ruined. Luckily grandparents always buy insurance for gift packages!  No responsibility of the sender to protect packaged goods against this threat even though boat was the regular form of arrival!