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Topic: Awkward...

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Subject: Awkward...
Date Posted: 8/6/2009 9:37 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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I received a book yesterday, and noticed that the sender had left a nice bookmark in it. I don't know if this was on purpose or not, so I figured that when I marked the book received I would offer to send the bookmark back if it wasn't intentional, and thank the sender if it was.

Then I took a closer look at the book... and it's the first damaged book I've gotten in nearly a year. It's water-damaged and has several gross-looking stains inside. The bookmark is a hundred pages or so before the damage, so I briefly thought that the person might have stopped reading the book before getting to the damage and so wasn't aware that the book was unpostable, but there's no way someone could not have noticed this damage; the water-damaged pages are obvious even from the sides. (And it's definitely not humidity damage, either.)

Now I'm having a conundrum. I have a hard enough time telling people they've sent a damaged book; now how on earth am I supposed to find a non-awkward way of saying "That book you sent me was kind of gross unpostable. And by the way, thanks for the nice bookmark... unless it wasn't actually a gift and you want it back!"?


Date Posted: 8/6/2009 9:56 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Mark it RWAP and put a note of the damage and ask for your credit back. In the little box that PBS supplies - I rec'd the book but I found staining through the staining and it has water damage.  See what she replies.  If she comes back snarky then send her the PBS rules and ask for your credit.  I have found most members are apologetic and may have not looked at the book in awhile, maybe someone borrowed it.l...I would give her the benefit of the doubt. 

I would not ask for the credit back if it was readable and just not postable--water damage, but stains are gross unless they tell you what it is and than even then it could be gross.   For example I had a stain in my book, but it was winter /holidays and I had a manicure with red nail polish, my nail brushed agains the book and left a red mark.  Cheap nail polish (LOL) .  I wouldn't consider that a gross stain - but is a stain just the same and is not postable.

I would just add a PS - I found a bookmark in the book not sure if you left it by accident. 


Date Posted: 8/6/2009 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I would not ask for the credit back if it was readable and just not postable--

I disagree---- you should indeed ask for the credit back even if it was readable and just not postable.  NO amount of water damage is allowed per the rules.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,408
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When I get a RWAP (and fortunately haven't gotten many) I ask for the credit back.  I feel that if I can't post it then I should get the credit back.  So far everyone has been pretty nice about it and I've always gotten my credit back.  Pat

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Agreed it is against rules - but I have not requested credits back on some books that wouldn't be postable.  Most I planned on keeping anyway.  I also think you need to look if the member is new etc the whole circumstance.   I think there is exceptions to the rule and there isn't any rule that says you have to ask for the credit back - this is just me my opinion.  Only the receiver can make that call.   I would definately mark it RWAP and in this case ask for the credit back because there is staining throughout the book ontop of water damage.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2009
Posts: 53
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Jubead is right that it is up to the receiver whether or not they want their credit back, but in your case, I would definitely ask for a credit back because of those yucky stains. ;-) Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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I would most certainly mark the RWAP if you haven't already marked it received. Whether you ask for the credit back is up to you, but unless PBS is notified via the RWAP process that this person sent an unpostable book, they can't flag and weed those accounts out. Plus, the person sending a gross book like that gets the message that it's okay to do if no one calls them on it and they probably would do it again. Asking for a credit back adds to that sting.

Sure, it's up to every person to decide what you do when you get an unpostable book. IMO, though, if you aren't willing to face a little confrontation by marking them RWAP and asking for a credit back, then you really shouldn't complain when you get MORE RWAPs, because by doing nothing you are just fostering the problem and enabling those people to carry on posting crappy books.



Date Posted: 8/6/2009 11:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Once again, my mantra - "Marking books who aren't postable RWAP is PBS's quality control, and members are the only ones who can use that quality control."  PBS sets a high standard for used books.  To keep the quality high, we have to be willing to abide by the postablilty conditions and rules as well as marking any book we've received through the FIFO system as RWAP.  If all we ever did was mark books that qualified as RWAP and didn't have the right to ask for our credit to be returned, there would be no real reason for someone to abide by those rules that we all agreed to when we joined.


Date Posted: 8/7/2009 2:12 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Marking it RWAP is mandatory; asking for your credit back is optional (but since there were "gross" stains, I'd ask for it back).  Given the circumstances, I'd ignore mentioning the bookmark issue unless it violates some other rules (i.e. advertising).

Nobody likes to deal with RWAP transactions but, as Ruth said, the community depends on members to do so for the system to work.

If you have access to a digital or web camera, sometimes it can help to take photos of the damage and upload them to a free photo site (i.e. Flickr or Photobucket) and include links to the images in both your note to the sender and the survey comments to PBS.  It will make clear to the sender what you are talking about, and the documentation will be there if PBS ever reviews the account.

Good luck!


Date Posted: 8/7/2009 7:26 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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I didn't mean to give the impression that I wasn't going to mark it RWAP, if that's how it came across. I always mark unpostable books RWAP, although whether or not I ask for my credit back depends on the book. I just wasn't sure how to mention the bookmark at the same time without coming across as rude. I think I managed it okay though :)