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Topic: Bad Week on PBS (It's A Rant - Feel Free to Skip)

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Subject: Bad Week on PBS (It's A Rant - Feel Free to Skip)
Date Posted: 3/5/2010 11:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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I've been trading here a very long time with very few problem transactions in either direction out of a LOT of transactions (we are huge readers as are several friends of mine and I also pick up books for a bookclub).  I have no conditions, I'm not particularly picky, I retire books that have ended their trading lives and eat the credit - I won't send a book on if it's past its time.  My books meet the conditions, I've done deals, been a boxer, you name it.  I'm here to swap books because used bookstores have gone the way of the dodo and I read weird stuff that just isn't lying around much of anywhere (as does the rest of the family).  I always check member's shelves to see if they have other books that I want after ordering.  I'm careful with conditions and, until today I've never had a RWAP on a book I've sent, though I think I had one mangled by postal machinery that I refunded the credit. I think of myself as a regular old normal PBS member.

First I finally got a book that I had been on the waiting list for (literally) more than 4 years.  The book was on autorequest and I was thrilled to see it come through as it is a series book and I've been patiently collecting them.  The transaction was cancelled so the sender (a relatively new member) could post it directly to a member's wishlist based on the "save postage" thread.  I understand that this is blessed by the site and perfectly legal and I understand the economic reasons, but I simply don't have a good feeling about holding wishlisted books out of the FIFO to require someone order three or more books (this member's requirement).  I also sincerely doubt those members are returning the favor by doing the same when they come to the top of the list for a book they want.  But, c'est la vie - I can wait, I have a huge TBR, just a bit of a bummer.

So I shipped a lot of books over the last couple of weeks, having posted a couple of piles that the family had finished but I'd not gotten around to adding to my bookshelf.  Among them was a set of unabridged audiocassettes a friend had given me.  They were requested and received quickly, but the requestor sent a PM that they were supposed to be the CDs.  I check and, sure enough, the catalog lists them as a CD.  My bad and my husband never thought to check the format before sending.  I requested they confirm the ISBN (so I could notify the site if it was a reused ISBN), then returned the credits and asked the member to donate the tapes to the public library.  All good, yes?  Until I get the notice that they have marked the RWAP as in violation of their conditions - there were NO CONDITIONS..  I am extremely careful with condition requests and double check all requests with conditions - I put them aside until I am sure they meet them.  In short, this member LIED.  At worst on my part it was a mistake, more likely it was a reused ISBN - and there was simply no reason for the member to flat out LIE.

So, I'm now debating if it is time to put my wishlist on autorequest and my bookshelf on hold and take a PBS break while I work through my TBR pile.  I've had more books "go missing" in the last 6 months than in the more than three years prior, more people ordering a book and then asking me to "add in a few more they want since it won't cost me much more", more bizarre conditions (one recently for only books printed after 2005, one for only books in "giftable" condition) and now these.  A poor economy is not open season on others - public libraries provide books for free every day.

Yes, I know none of these are horrible, life impacting tragedies and neither the world nor PBS will stop spinning as a result.  I also realise there isn't really a question in here.  Perhaps it will be better in the morning and maybe it's just a bad patch of bad luck, but I needed the rant, I think - just to help me shake off some of the disappointment.  Feel free to return to your regular programming and thanks for sticking through the babble.



Last Edited on: 3/5/10 11:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 12:18 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I am sorry you had such a difficult time on PBS lately.  It seems always to move in waves, so hopefully you have gotten through  it and swaps will move more smoothly.  Positive thoughts being sent your way!

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 1:40 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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**Hugs**

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 3:46 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 16
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I'm sorry for your problems and sympathize. I have been swapping here for 5 years and I have never had anyone ask for a credit back . But more and more I am seeing people have RC's. The no smoking think is ok with me, but too many people seem to have a laundry list of requirements. And that frankly pisses me off. This is a used book site not a new book store. I am at the point now where I reject most of the people who have these requirements. I kid you not, the last 8 books requested from me, all in the past 2 weeks and 6 of these requests had RC's! I was ok, if  a bit annoyed with 4 of them and let them go but 2 I rejected do to rude wording and very picky requirements. I am getting very frustrated myself and don't know if I will continue to swap books much longer.

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 6:05 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2006
Posts: 422
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Hey Karen:

So sorry for your frustrating experiences.  I hope things get better for you and your Swaps.

I noted you are in Concord, like me!  I see you are part of a Book Club.  If you are interested in another, we do a Monthly one at Panera Concord Mills.  Women ages 18 - 88!  A good # of members hail from PBS!  All kinds of genres. 

PM me if you are interested.

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 8:35 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,272
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"The transaction was cancelled so the sender (a relatively new member) could post it directly to a member's wishlist based on the "save postage" thread.  I understand that this is blessed by the site and perfectly legal and I understand the economic reasons, but I simply don't have a good feeling about holding wishlisted books out of the FIFO to require someone order three or more books (this member's requirement)."


I would be annoyed too! I don't have problems with offering a book to someone by posting it to them directly, but to offer it to you and then to cancel because you are not ordering at least three books -- that is just wrong!!! In my understanding, that is definitely against the rules. When you sign up you agree to honor requests not to honor requests that meet your own set of rules. I would let TPTB know about this!

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 8:46 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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Actually, Sally - I thought so too, but there is a thread over on the Bazaar where folks can post wishlisted books that they haven't listed and ask for multiple books be ordered to send the books.  The thread states that it is approved by PBS as a postage saving measure.  I only found out about it because the member had a link to it in their profile stating that you had to make a 3 book order from them.

Sadly, I found several books I've been waiting on in that thread and it still bothers me and feels like some people's books are more valuable than others, but ... *shrug*   http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/topic.php?t=197714 (edited for the right link)



Last Edited on: 3/6/10 8:47 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Offering books in those threads like that is allowed.  Requiring in your signature/profile or in PMs that someone order at least 3 books from you is not.  I would have reported that. 

It does seem to come in waves. I get no RCS for a long time and then several nutty ones in a row.  I'll go months without getting a bad book and then I'll get 3 in one week. 

PBS has grown a whole lot in the last 2 yrs adn with all those additional members comes more RCS, more complaints etc.., 

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 9:11 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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It was legal per the thread rules, Mary - I'm not saying I was wronged in any way in the first situation - I probably wasn't as clear as I could have been in the post.  Obviously I wouldn't have been bothered (or even known about the thread or the book) had they not cancelled.  It was the cancellation that bugged me and seemed tacky.  And let's face it, if tacky were illegal, we'd be building a lot of jails. ;)

Thanks for the responses, I appreciate the empathy - perhaps next week will be better. :)



Last Edited on: 3/6/10 9:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I understand the "multiple wishlist" thread, but don't see that it should have correctly applied to your order at all. It is my understanding that those books are not currently posted, and if posted, are posted directly to other's WL (and in some cases, credits are buddied), not that the books are posted and then the FIFO order cancelled if multiples aren't ordered as apparently was the case. I too would be aggravated, and don't think that's in keeping with the intention of that thread.

I hope things smooth out for you - as others have said, it does seem to run in cycles.    

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It's allowed in the threads. It's not allowed to post a book to FIFO and then tell the person they have to order 2 more books from you.  A notce in a signature/profile and book shop header isn't an excuse either because not everyone would see those.

If the person was new it's possible that they ment to post the book to someone's WL directly and goofed it up somehow and it went to you.  If you post the book while someone's WL but go to the book description page or even if the little description pop up is open then it posts the book to FIFO.  Or if you post a WL book to soemone and your account is on hold.  It'll still say "you are postign this book to x person" but then the book goes on your shelf on hold and when you take the account off hold it goes to FIFO instead of that person. (I learned that one the hard way).

Also  a new member might not have known that she should wait to post the books.  She might have posted them first, not realizing they would go immediately on WL hold and then offered them in the thread. 



Last Edited on: 3/6/10 9:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,135
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I am sorry you didn't get your wish list book. I hope it's posted again soon.

I don't get why you are so worried about the "Did not meet requestor's conditions" RWAP though. The other member probably just didn't know which problem to select and she picked "conditions" instead of "wrong book". I wouldn't leap to the conclusion that she lied, just attribute it to idiocy and move on. The Team will see there were no requestor conditions and they will see that you refunded the credit. It doesn't really matter whether the other member picked requestor conditions or wrong book or sender damaged. It's nice if he or she would mark it resolved, but again, it's not worth getting upset if that doesn't happen.

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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I'm not saying the first member did anything wrong (the second did) - just that, after four years waiting, it was a moment of elation followed by a deflation followed by a "Great, so I can get books I want if I agree to order 2 other books I couldn't care less about - not."  I'm not going to lie and say I like the thread - I think it lets members hold popular and hard to find books hostage and I think that the "Order More From Member" and Boxer options combined with bookshelf holds more than cover folks who want or need to save postage.  If you are truly in dire straits and $2.50 isn't in your budget, I think the library is a better option - just my opinion.  That said, it's not as if something was done against the rules - it just felt like being asked to the prom and dumped when the pretty girl finally said yes.

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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The second member wasn't remotely new, Cathy - more than 2 years on PBS, they would have seen requestor conditions more than once and understood the difference.  And if they accidentally hit the wrong button, why no response to my PM requesting the ISBN, noting that I had buddied the credits and asking them to donate the tapes?  I'm happy to give the benefit of the doubt (as I have with folks who sent me problem books in the past) but I didn't get that vibe from this.

Edit - and actually, in my mind it does count differently - damage, wrong book, etc. can clearly be errors or oversights.  Ignoring conditions to my mind is far more serious and is not something I would ever do - when in doubt, I decline simply because I would rather wait for the next requestor than have someone be unhappy.  Marking it as violating conditions is saying that I was presented with a big box and had to click twice to intentionally send someone something they didn't want.



Last Edited on: 3/6/10 10:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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If he first member you're talking about was going to post the book in the book bazaar thread then she never should have posted it FIFO to begin with. When you post a book you are agreeing to PBS rules, one of them being that you will actually SEND the book you post, so doing a lot of cancelling of requested books is going to be a flag on that persons's account. Hopefully she does not make a habit of it.

As far as the RC issue, perhaps this member thinks she has an RC that she does not in fact have turned on. The details of that swap listed under your Transaction Archive will tell you for certain if there was an RC when you accepted the swap.



Last Edited on: 3/6/10 10:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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If the RWAP ever became an issue - they'd see that the member did not have conditions on their account at the time of request so the Team would know that you did not just ignore them. They'd also be able to read the PMs attached to the problem and see what the real issue was.  The title on the RWAP doesn't really matter because they'd always look closer if there was a question.

As for the member requiring 3 books for an order, her offering that way in that thread is OK, her putting it in her profile that you must order 3 books is not unless it is only referring you to the thread and not her shelf requests. It can be disappointing to see books listed in that thread that we want and not see any more that we'd like to order, but I look at a different way. That member wouldn't post the book into the system without being able to ship in multiples so that copy would not be available in the system ever anyway. Now that another member of PBS has gotten the book, there is a chance that they will post it FIFO so allowing people to offer in multiples might just get the books we want moving in the system when otherwise they would not.  Could you tell if the member posted the book and reneged or if she had just posted it wrong while trying to post to the person she'd promised it to and cancelled the request to try again?

For me, its not so much the fact that I can't afford the postage, its the fact that I don't need the credits so I just don't post to FIFO that much anymore. Why spend $3 to send a book for a credit that I don't really need. I can't sell that credit for $3 anymore so I certainly don't want to pay  $3 to get it. If I can ship in multiples at least I can get the cost per credit down so if I sell some I am at least breaking even. So those books will either sit on my shelf, or get into the system through the multiples threads.



Last Edited on: 3/6/10 10:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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There were no conditions on the transaction and there are no conditions listed in the request details.  I responded quickly to a very terse PM, returned the credits, resolved the situation, made a reasonable request (not demand) for the ISBN and for them to donate the incorrect format.  Violating conditions to my mind is intentional on the part of the sender and does not carry the possibility of a simple error since you have to click twice to do so.  I don't take issue at all with them marking it RWAP for wrong book, whether or not there was an ISBN reuse or not, the format was incorrect and both my husband and I dropped the ball on that - out of 1700 transactions, I can live with a mistake resolved but in concert with the other frustrations of late, pegging me as violating conditions bugged the snot out of me. :)

Like I said, bad week - probably one thing alone and I'd not have even blinked.

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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All you can really do there is make sure that you have noted in the transaction dialogue that they incorrectly marked the transaction RWAP, and that they need to note that.  If they don't do that or don't mark it resolved, you could contact the PBS team, but either way it's going to be noted on the transaction record & you should be covered if the PBS team ever decides to review it - which is unlikely unless you have a pattern of repeated problems anyway.

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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It was an RWAP, Kim - we sent audiocassettes of the item and the listing was for CD.  I have a feeling that it may be the case of a reused ISBN and wanted to let the site know if that seemed to be the case, so I asked them to confirm (I list by ISBN) but the fault was mine - even if it was a reused ISBN and I missed the format on listing, my husband also missed it on shipping, so it was definitely a RWAP on our end.  Just  not a violation of conditions, which to me has a whole different connotation.  I didn't mean to give the impression that the first error wasn't mine - it was.

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I understand that portion of it - technically an RWAP, but incorrectly marked.  But they wouldn't be incorrect to say that it was marked in error because technically it was marked incorrectly.  They could address that by either noting that as marked in error, or they could simply mark it resolved, since it was.  What I'm saying is that I'd make sure I had asked them to do one or the other in the transaction dialogue, so that it was on record.

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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Ah, OK - yes, it's covered in the transaction and no, I'm not worried about any pattern of repeating problems since this is a pattern of... one.   Makes sense, thanks. :)

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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That was my bad.  I said "they incorrectly marked the transaction RWAP" and I meant to say RWAP for RCs not being met.  I tend to type faster than I think:P



Last Edited on: 3/6/10 12:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Actually, Sally - I thought so too, but there is a thread over on the Bazaar where folks can post wishlisted books that they haven't listed and ask for multiple books be ordered to send the books.

Where this person violated the rules here is the "that they haven't listed" part of the scenario.  They obviously listed the book because if they hadn't you would not have been offered the book through the wish list.  Personally I would let PBS know what this member did because it was not in accordance with their rules.

As far as the person who did a RWAP, that's really not right since you had already returned their credits.  I can see them doing one if you had refused to return their credits.  But to do so after they received their credits back is just plain nasty.  I would also let PBS know that their claim that they had conditions was bogus.  I think there's probably a way that PBS can see, behind th scenes, whether there was a RC when the member placed the order.



Last Edited on: 3/6/10 12:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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As far as the person who did a RWAP, that's really not right since you had already returned their credits.  I can see them doing one if you had refused to return their credits.  But to do so after they received their credits back is just plain nasty.


I'm pretty sure they marked it RWAP (correct to do so since the format was wrong, just clicked the wrong reason for doing so) first and then got their credit refund. I know I wouldn't PM someone before marking a book received just to see if they'd resolve it without involving an actual RWAP mark on their account.

Sorry for your bad luck, Karen! I hope things start to improve for you!

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2009
Posts: 125
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So, I'm now debating if it is time to put my wishlist on autorequest and my bookshelf on hold and take a PBS break while I work through my TBR pile.  I've had more books "go missing" in the last 6 months than in the more than three years prior, more people ordering a book and then asking me to "add in a few more they want since it won't cost me much more", more bizarre conditions (one recently for only books printed after 2005, one for only books in "giftable" condition) and now these.  A poor economy is not open season on others - public libraries provide books for free every day.

Karen, I hope you don't take a break from the swap. We need good swappers. But I agree some people seem to think that every book they are requesting is going to be brand new. There are a lot of "missing" books and "damaged" books. And I for one am not willing to measure the dimensions of the book to make sure it matches their set!  There seems to be little patience for honest mistakes, not just at the swap but everywhere. I realize times are hard all over and people seem more edgy, but what happened to good ol' fashioned neighborlyness (is that a word?) ? I now send all my books with DC, so I know where they are (so to speak).  My first RWAP was because I left a fingerprint on an Audio Book CD. (Not greasy or foody, just a print!). So now I have to clean them all before I send them!!!

Well anyways, think positive because there will always be someone who lies or wants more for less. Fortunately, I have found they are few and far between.

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