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Topic: A bit weirded out...

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Subject: A bit weirded out...
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 123
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Has the following happened to anyone?

Yesterday, two of my WL books became available (which is surprising because I'm 48th and 86th in line for them).  I purchased credits for these books because they happen to be two that I really want.  This morning, I received emails saying that the books were canceled (couldn't be mailed).  So, I check the transaction archive.  I see that the books were coming from a woman who lives in the same state as me.  She printed labels for both books this morning, and then immediately canceled the transactions.  As I'm sitting here pondering this, my landlord knocks on my door.  He has a message for me from this same woman!  She had searched my address on the internet and came up with my landlord's phone number (we have the same address, but live in two separate houses).  My phone number is not listed.  So, she left a message with my landlord, telling himhow she didn't really want me to keep the books, she'd prefer to loan them to me and can drop them off.  It turns out that she lives about 10 minutes away.

I'm a bit freaked out by the idea of someone getting my address, then cancelling, then searching for my phone number and trying to contact me (not to mention the rambling message and information she gave to my landlord).   It seems clear that she was looking for people only in RI and posted the books directly to me (I was not first on the WL for either one!). I was hesitant about joining PBS for this exact reason (giving out my address to unknown people).  So far, I've had nothing but great experiences with this site.  Should I be weirded out, or am I overreacting?

 

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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You are not overreacting and I would contact the site to have them explain to her that that is inappropriate behavior. She may be trying to be nice and share her books, yet doesn't realize how weirded out her actions are going to make people feel. But yet, all she had to do is PM that she had something you wanted and would loan it to you. Going to the point of finding out  where you live and contacting your landlord is sign of unstable to me.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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That's why my wishlist is not public, and I use the PBS address for my return address.  The privacy is worth the possiblility of a missed credit or missed book.

 

In this case, I wouldn't be too weirded out, but I wouldn't accept the books.  I'd PM and say that I wasn't interested.  I'd also change my privacy settings to avoid things like this in the future.

 

ETA: Melanie's idea to contact the site is a good one.



Last Edited on: 3/2/09 12:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I would be completely and totally freaked out.  I was hesitant about joining for this reason, too.

I would contact TBTB as this person is IMO viiolating the site's rules by acquiring addresses of people via PBS, cancelling orders and then contacting you about "lending" you her books in a sort of creepy and invasive way.

Yikes!

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,892
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I would be a bit freaked out too.  I don't  think it is appropriate to contact someone outside the PBS-o-sphere unless they give you permission to do so. 

I've never had it happen to me and I'm thinking its not a regular occurence for people to do this.  Still its a bit disconcerting for a total stranger to contact you out of nowhere, especially when he/she doesn't know what purpose you want the books for (like if they were for a keeper shelf). 

Kate -
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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Last Edited on: 3/27/09 4:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 123
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Thanks for the responses, and the reassurance that I'm not overreacting.  I ended up PMing her that I received her message and that I'd prefer just to wait on the WL for them.  She immediately replied saying that she was not giving the books away, but would be happy to loan them.  I reiterated that I'd prefer to receive them from the WL and that I was looking for books to keep. 

Yikes!  I think I'll make my WL private.  My city and state shouldn't be public info (they are marked private in my settings), but it's awfully coincidental that she lives in the next town and happened to post directly to my WL.  I will double check things now....

Thanks again everyone!  I am hoping this is a one-time thing!

 

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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I looked for you in the member directory and your city/state are not listed.  How about your buddy settings?  Could she have gotten that info by adding you as a buddy?

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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That is scary to me.  She might mean well... but this is not the way to go about it.  I too would decline politely saying that I wished to keep the books and that I prefer for my PBS trading to remain anonymous.  Having the landlord contacted... just to lend  a stronger books... that is pretty strange behavior.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/3/10 7:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 123
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Hi - No, she is not on my buddy list (I only have 2 buddies...lol!).  I don't know, maybe it's a very big coincidence.  But, the next town over?  Oh well.  Also, she has no books posted in the system and nothing on her wishlist, so it seems like she is new to PBS?  I don't know.  I'll just keep myself private and hope this is the end of it!  BTW, thanks for checking on that for me, NewRuth!  I was wondering if I missed something...

 

 

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/3/10 7:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 1:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
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I second Cindy R's response. 

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 123
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Yes, I am about to contact TPTB.  Interestingly, I found the following in the Help section:

Note:  It is not all right to contact a member by means outside of the Personal Message system, unless he or she has given you permission.

  • We know that the Internet contains search engines which can permit access to private information such as telephone number, but it is NOT OKAY to use information obtained in such a manner to contact another PBS member.
  • If such contact is initiated without the express permission of the other member and the other member complains, you will recive a warning. If the offense is repeated, or if any such contact is harassing (even if it is a first offense), your PBS account will be terminated permanently.
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Thank you for contacting TPTB, it is good that this sort of thing has such serious consequences, and I hope that that doesn't deter you from reporting it. It might just be a harmless misunderstanding on her part as to how the site functions, but for safety sake this sort of thing needs to be nipped in the bud.
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 123
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I sent TPTB a message, letting them know about the situation and just saying that she should be made aware of the rules.  I don't want her to get in serious trouble, but I'd hate for this to happen again!  And, who knows, maybe she's done this kind of thing before...it's better to let PBS handle it just in case.

Never a dull moment.  :)

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Tasha, even though you have your settings set so that your city and state do not display, your name still comes up on a member search for RI.  (I'm not stalking you, I swear, lol- just trying to figure out how this person may have found you to post those books.)  Since I don't know what city you live in, I can't check whether you come up on a search for your city- but if I were you, I would check that.  That may be the answer.  I found it odd....I put in a search for RI, and had to scroll through a lot of names to find yours, but it's there- with just a dash in the city and state fields.  I would think that if someone has chosen not to display their city and/or state, PBS would not allow those as a search field- but maybe I'm wrong, and that's a scary thought.  Anyway, that's my guess- this person didn't want to get rid of the books, just wanted to loan them out (which makes no sense to me, since I don't think you can ask for a credit for loaning), so she searched her immediate area, and checked everyone's WLs to find someone wishing for books she had.  Definitely NOT an ok thing to do, what she did, but more than likely, it was an honest mistake and she meant no harm.  I'd be pretty freaked out if that happened to me!

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Ok, I answered my own question.  I played with my privacy settings and attempted doing member searches for myself by city/state with it set to private.  If I search by city and state, I don't come up in the list, but if I search on state only, I DO.  So, I don't know if that means anything- it is certainly feasible that this person found you by just searching for RI people, but even with that being such a small state, there are still a lot of members there.  That would be an awful lot of WLs to check out.  The only other thought I have about this is that perhaps this person saw a post of yours on one of the forums and posted the WL books to you that way, and it was just a coincidence that they happened to be in the same state only 10 minutes away.  You could always just ask them directly how they found you to post the books to.  I'd want to know if I were you- heck, I want to know anyway!

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
Posts: 4,972
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Oh my! Yes, I would contact Richard and let him know what happened.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,167
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I am just completely baffled. She's out to "loan" the books? What does she think she is, a one-woman library? She wants them BACK? Then what is she doing on a book SWAP site? The rules plainly state that it's up to the receiving member to do whatever he/she wants with the books they receive. This is one for the record books, for sure. She's here to LOAN books? I don't think so!

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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If the woman printed the labels and then canceled the transaction - whe had the address!  No search needed.

Ruth

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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But Ruth, the mystery is how she found Tasha to post the WL books in the first place.  She was way down the WL for both books, so the poster would have had to post them directly to her WL.  So the question is...how did she know that Tasha lived so close to her so that she could post them to her and then offer the loan instead of the swap?  You have to be able to find someone and access their WL in order to post directly to them, so how did this person find her on PBS in the first place?  That's what is bugging me.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,410
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Im still new to the site but I would definitely be freaked out if someone contacted me outside of the website. When I printed my wrappers to send my books out, I looked at the state the books were heading and the names of the requestors and thats all. Im glad you contacted PBS; they needed to be told if only to restate the rules to her. Im sure she was trying to be nice but this is beyond nessecary. And I cant believe that she only wanted to loan them and not give them. She shouldnt have posted them if she wasnt going to get rid of them. This is not a library.

I hope everything works out for you, Tasha.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 123
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Lesley - I bet you are right.   She probably did a search of RI members and just went through the lists or something.  RI is a VERY small little state, so anyone in RI is pretty easily accessible by a 40 minute drive, max.  I haven't posted in any forums in quite some time (very busy!), so I doubt she found me that way.  Plus, she has nothing listed on either her bookshelf or WL...which is also very odd to me.  Usually people posting in the forums have books posted in the system...not always though, I guess.  It's definitely a mystery!!  I am now wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences with her. 

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Just thankful for the heads up given on this.  I too would be freaked out if someone called my house after doing a web search to find me. 

I think the fact she has no books listed is rather strange and is doing this to other people. Or has done this in the past.

I hope you reported the person so they can give her a warning. 

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