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Topic: Do I ask for postage to return the book?

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Subject: Do I ask for postage to return the book?
Date Posted: 8/30/2010 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2005
Posts: 92
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I received a book in the mail today, wrapped in plastic wrap and then regular typing paper with the PBS label printed on it.

When I opened it, the cover of the book was fine.  When I opened the book itself, the first page was totally crinkled with water damage and the first 40 pages had water marks and "crinkles" on at least a tenth of the individual pages.  I reported it as RWAP because I cannot repost this book when I'm done with it.  I heard from the sender who insists that the book did not have water damage when it left her house and it was wrapped in plastic wrap.  She said she'll return my credit if I return the book to her.  I really don't want to spend $2.87 to return a book, because in essence, I'm buying my credit back.  So, do I just suck it up, lose a credit or do I ask her to pay for postage?  And if she does pay for postage, what's the best/easiest way for that to happen?  TIA!

Date Posted: 8/30/2010 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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You don't to return the book if you don't want to, and if they want the book back they should 1) credit you back the original credit and 2) send you a second credit for the return postage. But that's only if you agree to send it back.

You can copy and paste the rules from this location.


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: 8/30/2010 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2005
Posts: 92
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Thanks Cindy!  I found the section about water damage, but I did not see that part.  I will copy and paste that when I reply.  THANK YOU!

Date Posted: 8/30/2010 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2005
Posts: 92
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Cindy, in going back and looking, that "rule" is for "unofficial" problems...water damage is for "official" problems, and oddly enough, didn't mention anything about asking for return postage, though I think it's certainly warranted.

Date Posted: 8/30/2010 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2009
Posts: 174
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Last Edited on: 8/31/10 5:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/30/2010 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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It applies whenever the sender wants the book back, whether the problem was official or not.

"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"
Date Posted: 8/30/2010 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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When it comes right down to it, you are never required to send a damaged book back. If you want to, you can offer to do so for an extra credit or the cost of postage. No matter what you decide to do with the book, the sender should always return your credit(s) first. Telling you "I'll only return your credit if..." is a no-no.

Date Posted: 8/31/2010 9:10 AM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2009
Posts: 47
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YOU DO NOT HAVE TO RETURN THE BOOK!   It states this under PBS rules with RWAP books.  You are allowed to ask for the credit back, but she does not have to give it.  However, if this her account is reviewed by PBS, they can cancel it if they feel she was wrong by not returning the credit.  She is not allowed to put a condition on it; you may be able to report this situation to one of the help centers on here.  I hope it all works out, and I am sorry this happened to you.

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 9/3/2010 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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Correct about the not paying to send the book back to get the credit back.

But,  PBS won't have anything to say about her not returning the original credit, because she says the book is fine and you say it is not.  No way for them to tell about the answer to that.

You can try sending photos of the damage and see if that will convince.

On my 2 RWAPs, the senders have said they won't return credit until the book is mailed back to them.  One finally did, but I think she thought I was cheating her.  The other started ignoring me, but they had admitted the book was unpostable (missing the dvd) so PBS did refund the credit.  From this I think it is pretty common that senders think you should pay to mail the book back if you are dissatisfied.

Date Posted: 9/3/2010 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 770
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When I was a new member I had this happen.  I sent PBS a message because I felt like my credit was being held hostage.  They didn't intervene, and they won't on a case like this one.   I think everyone gets one of these transactions at some point.  It just stinks that it's your turn.

Worst case scenario, you can read the book and offer it as a freebie to someone else.  smiley  I hope it works out for you and you get your credit back!

Date Posted: 9/3/2010 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,581
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I had this same situation recently, just add a couple of snot stuck pages to the water damage.  The sender even went so far to say that she'd bought the book new and that it was perfect when she mailed it out.  I agreed to send it back upon receipt of a second credit for postage and pointed out that the book could not be reposted in the system unless the sender was willing to post it in the book bazaar with full disclosure as to the condition.  Once the sender read that, suddenly she knew the book had some damage, but didn't think it was a big deal since it was perfectly readable.  Oy!  This person did refund my original credit and I pitched the book.  Hope you get your credit back.