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Topic: Blast from the past

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Subject: Blast from the past
Date Posted: 2/26/2010 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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I recently had an unusual thing happen that I thought I'd mention.

I received a PM regarding a book I'd mailed out, saying that it was missing pages and politely asking for a credit refund. Now, I always, at the very least, riffle through each book sent out, and so it would be extremely unlikely to fail to notice 30 missing pages! I mean, I just don't think I would even have kept a book like that in the first place. Then it becomes clear that this transaction happened over a year and a half ago!

So, because the person PM'd me politely, I responded politely, explaining that I do check books before sending them (never had a RWAP), and that I think it was far more likely the damage occurred during the nearly two years they've had the book than that I somehow failed to notice all the missing pages when checking it.

I am very happy that the sender asked politely, and that I responded in kind, because as it turns out, the pages had not fallen out - they had never been printed in the first place! This would be very difficult to catch without reading the book (and this was one I had not read), and the recipient was just getting around to reading it. Sure, it was a long time ago, but it's easy for me to put myself in their shoes - I have a mongo TBR pile and it's only getting bigger as I work my way through school. The point is that it's a problem book, regardless of it being more of a "no-fault" unusual printing problem. The recipients polite, matter of fact manner made it easy to avoid jumping to faulty conclusions.

I just wanted to share this as it illustrates another reason why treating each other with politeness is just generally a good thing for all involved, even when one thinks (as I might be forgiven for initially thinking) that someone is trying to take advantage of you.

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2005
Posts: 6,963
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Good point!  and Good reminder! :)

You might suggest to the other member that when this sort of thing happens, a reader can often contact the publisher regarding a mis-printed book.  *MOST* times the publisher will send out a new copy to the person to replace the one that's defective. 

And you know, I would never think to contact a member after such a long time has passed regarding a book that was RWP, when I didn't mark it as such.  I realize there is not stated "time of limitations" at PBS, but that seems a bit extreme.  I think if it were me, I would simply just chalk it up to my own lack of checking (if it were something other than the mis-printed pages) and let it go...taking it as a lesson learned.  Ya know?  Granted, they were extremely polite, but it does seem odd.  :)

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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"I realize there is not stated "time of limitations" at PBS, but that seems a bit extreme.  I think if it were me, I would simply just chalk it up to my own lack of checking (if it were something other than the mis-printed pages) and let it go...taking it as a lesson learned.  Ya know?  Granted, they were extremely polite, but it does seem odd.  :)"

Yes, I agree. For a single credit, I wouldn't have bothered asking, myself. That said, I sent out (even inadvertently) a book with a problem, so I wanted to address it. I didn't feel coerced or that I "had to" (and if I'd asked here, I doubt many - including myself - would say one would be obligated to) refund a credit. It just seemed like a good thing to do. I'd rather have my self-respect than a credit, and I'd rather have that self-respect built proactively rather than clutched tightly in a defensive manner. We ALL make mistakes, so why does it need to be a traumatic drama when the inevitable happens? Just address it, learn from it if necessary, and move on.

It was interesting about the recipient as well; I realized that I would likely have had more of a negative initial reaction if they had been either impolite or fawningly over-polite (neither of which should drive one's reactions, IMNSHO, but...). I think I took them seriously because they were simply matter-of-fact and polite. They acknowledged it was an unusual thing and were just asking. What more can you require of someone? Not everyone would ask, but if you're going to, they did it the right way.

Just a philosophical train of thought for the day! ;-)

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2005
Posts: 6,963
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We're in complete agreement! :)

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 7:50 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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There's no "statute of limitations"??  Really?  Once I've marked a book received, I can go back and mark it RWAP???  I'll have to go to the transaction archive and check that out.  I ask because I picked up a book that I received five months ago and found that it has several water-damaged pages.  It's not really obvious when the book is closed, but when you open it, it looks like it got splashed and it soaked through about 10 pages.  It has been sitting on my bookshelf since the day I got it, so I'm 100% sure it came to me that way and I just didn't check it very closely.  I don't think I'll ask for a credit back after all this time...that doesn't really seem fair.  But at least I'd want the mark against the other person in case they are in the habit of doing this.

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 9:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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No you can't go back and change how you marked it received.  You could go back and PM them and ask for a credit-but I wouldn't.  If you don't notice it when you mark it received than I don't think you shoudl go back and ask for a credit back. I wouldn't have if I was the person who the OP is dealing with.

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,256
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A couple of years ago I picked up a book for DH at the FOL or Goodwill or some similar place, and he was reading it and realized that about 50 pages were missing from the book.  I had just joined PBS so I ordered him another book, and asked the sender to make sure that pages XXX through XXX were in the book.  They were and he was then able to finish reading it.

However, even flipping through the book I wouldn't have noticed that the pages weren't there and would have probably posted it and sent it out not knowing.  There's really no way to know about missing pages unless you read the book.  Pat

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 11:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What Mary said.

I haven't seen anything that suggests PBS admin will go in and change a completed transaction to RWAP afterwards.  The opposite in fact, as TPTB allows the site to operate itself 'hands off' as much as possible.

ETA - I also agree with Amanda, that I've heard of several cases of customers contacting publishers and receiving replacements for defective books.



Last Edited on: 2/28/10 2:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/28/2010 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I ordered a book from Amazon and while reading it noticed that a chunk of the book was inserted upside down and backwords.  I exchanged it for another one and had the same problem with Amazon-they had apparently gotten a bad batch from teh publisher.  Anyway-I would not have noticed if I didn't try to read the book. If I had picked the book up somewhere and just flipped through to check for stains and writing-I would have missed the binding problem. 

Date Posted: 3/1/2010 7:47 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Even when catching it immediately and sending in feedback to have it corrected and even when it was a mistaken click (such as marked the wrong book received) PBS will not go in and change the marking. So, no, not even with the help of PBS can you go back and change it once you've marked it, but I have later that day or the next looked a bit closer when adding the book to my database, realized a problem with the book and asked for my credit back. Got it one time, didn't the other. I count 50/50 pretty good odds in the end :)