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Topic: I can't believe this response

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Subject: I can't believe this response
Date Posted: 1/31/2008 9:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2006
Posts: 51
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I sent the below message about a book that I received.
There are about 4 pages that were not cut correctly when this book was made. When these pages were seperated so the book could be read there are tears in the pages. Two of the tears are long enough that they are into the text of the book. I will not be able to post this book back into the system.

After 4 days and no response I sent this message

Did you receive my message last week? I am confused as to why the book was sent in the condition it is in. There is no way that you could not notice the defect in the way the pages were cut. (I don't have a problem with that) Once you look at the pages you can't miss the tears that are in the pages. I would appreciate a refund of my credit that I paid for this book. Please respond back. Thank you

Finally a week after the original PM I get this response today.

I bought this book at a used bookstore and never read it, so I did not know there was a problem with the pages. I apologize for that. As long as you can read the book, I don't think a credit is warranted.

I can't believe that she thinks it is OK to send out a torn up book just becuase I can read it.

Date Posted: 1/31/2008 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Here is one solution. Send an email to the publisher. Let them know there was a defect in the book and see if they wont make it right. Please note: I have avoided the question you asked. Kinda of a bad day for me, so am choosing to avoid lots of things today, including dishes and the laundry.

Date Posted: 1/31/2008 9:35 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,751
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I would send a pm back in reply that says, "While this may be your belief, PBS posting guidelines do not share it" and then quote not only the posting conditions, but the part under what to do if a book you send gets mark RWP and it is the sender's fault.  

Don't you love how people just make up their own set of rules to go by and ignore the ones that are already in place?  Those people are just my favorites.

My experience tells me that you won't get your credit back, but at least they will have to see how they are wrong and how the PBS guidelines proves it.   There's a tiny little bit of satisfaction that comes with that.

Date Posted: 1/31/2008 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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I agree with Amanda, politely remind her that she signed an agreement with PBS to only send books that meet the PBS guidelines, and that this book does not. Readability was never discussed in the Terms of Agreement, nor the guidelines for posting, only the minimum rules for posting. 

Remind her that per PBS rules, stated in the help center, and reiterated when she posted the book, the book must meet specific guidelines or the credit shall be returned to the requestor.

Date Posted: 1/31/2008 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 1,313
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I've learned it's not worth it to fight with these people.  I've tried (and very nicely too) and have never gotten my credit back for damaged books.  I don't bother anymore - I just mark it RWP and move on. 

Date Posted: 1/31/2008 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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I would certainly try what Amanda suggested...be sure and copy and paste the PBS book conditions in your next email to the sender.  I have had one that did not refund my credit and one that did...the one that did, she and I have become friendly buddies and share alot of reading in common.

If you haven't marked the book RWP yet I would be sure and copy and paste her comments in the section at the bottom about other information you feel R&R or whoever reads that section should be aware of.



Date Posted: 1/31/2008 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I guess I have to dissent (a little). When I read the first PM, I thought that the pages had torn when she opened the book, not that the pages were torn already. She also did not ask for a return of the credit or a response to her PM, as required by PBS regarding problem transactions. (This likely explains the no response.)

Then the 2nd PM says that she doesn't have a problem with the mis-cut pages, but then asks for the credit back. It also says "There is no way that you could not notice the defect in the way the pages were cut." which to me is rather accusatory and not really condusive to getting a credit back. (This is talking about four pages, not an entire section of the book.) I really think this could have been overlooked, and I would be rather annoyed by that statement if I'd made an honest mistake. 

Yes, the OP should have received a credit back for a book with torn pages. But when I read the first PM, I thought the pages tore when she went to read the book, and that wouldn't be my responsibility as the sender. And the second PM sends mixed messages about what the problem with the book actually is.

I would recommend that Pattie send a message clarifying exactly that the issue is not the mis-cut pages but the fact that the pages were already torn when she received the book. Recognize that it was probably an honest mistake on the sender's part. Then quote the HC part just about the torn pages, and the part that says that the sender should refund the credit in that case.

Last Edited on: 1/31/08 10:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/31/2008 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,716
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I had one like this this week too.  Book was clearly cleaved.  I sent a message to the sender, just a friendly heads up that they might want to check their books a bit better in the future.  Their solution was that maybe I should have requestor conditions if this was so important to me!

I was going to leave it after the first PM but I just couldn't after the response.  I told them I shouldn't have to have requestor conditions that the book meets the posting guidelines that THEY agreed to.  Their excuse?  Well, they never read the book but that's exactly how they received it so they figured it was okay.  At least they returned my credit which I had made clear in my first PM I wasn't asking for it back.

Date Posted: 1/31/2008 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Sarah, as an FYI, the HC doesn't use the term "cleaved" any more. Specify that the pages are separating at the binding instead. Many people have no idea what cleaved means, but will understand if you say the pages are separating. Then you can directly quote the HC regarding page condition and request the credit back. :)

Date Posted: 1/31/2008 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2006
Posts: 51
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The reason that I stated that there is no way that you could mis the defect is because it is very visible from the outside edges of the book.  There is a large section of the book that is not cut properly.  There are tears on only 4 of the pages.  The reason that I didn't ask for my credit back in the first PM was if she would have responded kindly with a nice PM and explanation I had decided not to push the issue of returning the credit.  Once I was ignored for 4 days I decided that I would ask for the credit back.  I do not see in the help documents that you have to ask for a response back.  What I saw was if I ask for a response back and do not receive one within a week then I can contact R&R and this will be a double black mark on their account.

Date Posted: 1/31/2008 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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What I saw was if I ask for a response back and do not receive one within a week then I can contact R&R and this will be a double black mark on their account.

Sorry if I wasn't clear on that, Pattie. I meant that if you don't ask for a response that you are probably unlikely to get one, and R&R will not mark the account for the non-response because you didn't ask for one. And the person was not obligated to respond when you didn't request a response. Then you asked for the credit back in retaliation for a non-response to a PM which you didn't ask a response for (and also didn't wait the 7 days that the HC recommends to await a response).

You PM'd more about the mis-cut pages rather than the tears that made the book unpostable, and I already said that when I read the message it looked like the book tore while in your possession, not before the book was sent. And those tears were on 4 pages only, and something that I think could be easily missed, especially if the person didn't read the book.

My recommendation is that if you want your credit back, try a little more honey in your next message, along with quoting the HC. You can take it for what it is worth, just my recommendation. But I felt that your messages unintentionally muddied the real issue, which whas the torn pages, not the mis-cut pages.

Date Posted: 1/31/2008 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2005
Posts: 827
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The Help center says:

Non-response to PMs that clearly ask for a response acts as a "double black mark" on a sender's account...

from There is a problem with a book I received!

Date Posted: 1/31/2008 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
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Isn't it odd, how on a site to swap books, that people treat one another as adversaries instead of at the very least civiliy.

If I receive a kindly worded PMs about a book, I'm always more than happy to refund the credit, if for no other reason than to keep the peace.  But if the equivalent of a 2 or 3 bucks keeps my good kharma out there moving, I can afford it.


I'm really sorry the person was such a putz to you, OP

Date Posted: 1/31/2008 12:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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I do think that your first PM was unclear. It makes sense if you assume the person knew the pages were torn when they sent it, but absent that assumption, I would also have read your PM as saying that you had torn the pages yourself when you attempted to read a book that was manufactured wrong. A book being manufactured wrong does not make it unpostable and your PMs do seem to focus on that as being the problem.  With the first post, it wouldn't have crossed my mind the the receiver was expecting anything from me (and I am usually very good at reading between the lines).

Her final PM is wrong. But she may have responded poorly to the shortness of your second post. Hope you can get it resolved.

Date Posted: 2/1/2008 2:21 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2007
Posts: 1,829
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I received a book like that new from Amazon (not an individual sender)...mine has about an inch on 5-10 pages that stick out further and then becomes two tears where the page would normally start. 

The manufacturing problem is very obvious; I can't imagine someone not opening the book up to look at the problem, and once you opened the book you would notice the tears that are unpostable. 

If Pattie's book has the same problem (and it sounds as if it does), how could the sender have missed it?  And once you've seen this manufacturing problem, I doubt Pattie's first PM could be misunderstood.

Date Posted: 2/1/2008 8:09 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/13/14 11:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/1/2008 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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Unlike some here I was not confused by the original PM...I found it clear that she was saying she received the book with the tears in it.  And it would seem that common courtesy would dictate that anytime someone PM's me with an issue about a book that you would respond at least with "I'm sorry!"  I also think that before any sender sends out a book they should flip through the book to make sure that it is in a condition acceptable to be sent out...whether they have read it or not....this in and of itself could prevent some unpostables from being sent.


Just my 2 cents


Date Posted: 2/1/2008 9:24 AM ET
Member Since: 8/2/2005
Posts: 405
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I'm not trying to change the subject, but I just cannot understand why some folks feel that ignorance of something automatically makes them free and clear of responsibility. There are many times when I will get books from a library sale or the local goodwill that I know will be grabbed up quickly on PBS and so I buy them knowing I will never read them. But I ALWAYS check out every part of their condition before I even consider buying them. And flipping through the book to check out the condition of the pages is a must!

Based on what you got vs. what you got as a reply...I really do feel you are owed a credit back on this transaction Pattie. I wish I could spare one because I would give it to you myself if I could.


Date Posted: 2/1/2008 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 38,893
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Hi guys, thought i'd give my input.  The sender already knows there is a problem, but states that she didn't know about it (not very likely).  I don't think she's personally going to get her credit back. =(  If the above options fail, let R&R know that you are displeased with this member and why and they might mark her on the "bad" list. Good luck!


Date Posted: 2/1/2008 10:40 AM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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How does a doulbe black mark differ than any other black mark?