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Topic: Book arrived damaged by USPS-requestor wants credit back

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Subject: Book arrived damaged by USPS-requestor wants credit back
Date Posted: 11/12/2014 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2008
Posts: 15
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Once again, looking for guidance from the people who know. I sent a brand new, never read book, in a brand new mailer (bubble wrap inside) and apparently was damaged by the post office in transit. This is the message I received from the recipient:

 

The member made the following comment: "I'm so sorry that this book arrived damaged by the postal service. I took a picture of the mutilated package and book; it also had a sticker placed by USPS acknowledging the damage. The back cover and the last 20 pages are very damaged. I realize this isn't your fault but it doesn't meet PBS requirements and I'd like to have the credit back so I can request it from someone else. Again, I'm sorry to ask you to give up your credit since this fault was not yours; however, it seems the fair thing to do since the postal service won't replace the book."

This is the first time I've had this problem. The way I read the rules, assuming I sent the book well wrapped, if the book is received by the requester, even if damaged, the requestor pays the credit. I don't see where it didn't meet PBS guidelines, unless I shouldn't send books in these mailers anymore.

i don't keep that many credits here anymore, otherwise I would say screw it, and just give the credit.  But I don't, I think I have 3. So talk me off the ledge, give the best advice, and I will cool my jets before I respond.

Thank you!

Date Posted: 11/12/2014 11:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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PBS thinks that the sender should refund if the damage was caused by their poor wrapping.

The receiver eats the credit if it is the post office's fault. As this is actually quite rare. From the Help Center:

I received a book that was damaged by USPS

Damage by USPS can happen even to well-packaged books. It is not common, though. 

Damage by USPS to a well-wrapped package is considered bad luck. The risk of this is split between the requestor and sender in the following way:

  • if the book does NOT get to the requestor (= the requestor gets an empty wrapper or the book or Wrapping is returned to the sender) the sender absorbs that blow and loses the credit
  • if the book DOES get to the requestor (even if damaged), the requestor pays the credit for the book.

However, if the wrapping was inadequate and may have contributed to the damage, then the requestor can ask the sender to refund credit, since the damage in that case would not have been simple bad luck.

Date Posted: 11/13/2014 12:02 AM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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You are right according to the rules unless it wasn't wrapped correctly.  I always fold down and tape padded envelopes close to the book so the edges don't get caught in the postal machines.

Damage by USPS can happen even to well-packaged books. It is not common, though. 

Damage by USPS to a well-wrapped package is considered bad luck. The risk of this is split between the requestor and sender in the following way:

  • if the book does NOT get to the requestor (= the requestor gets an empty wrapper or the book or Wrapping is returned to the sender) the sender absorbs that blow and loses the credit
  • if the book DOES get to the requestor (even if damaged), the requestor pays the credit for the book.

However, if the wrapping was inadequate and may have contributed to the damage, then the requestor can ask the sender to refund credit, since the damage in that case would not have been simple bad luck.

All of that having been said, I feel bad that the last 30 pages of the book were so damaged she couldn't even read it.  

Date Posted: 11/13/2014 12:05 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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You don't have to return a credit when the damage was caused by USPS. I would send a polite note saying something like this:

"I'm so sorry the USPS damaged the book in transit. I do understand that it is frustrating, but the matter was completely outside of my control and the risk is evenly divided between requestor and senders as explained in the PBS Help Center:

Damage by USPS to a well-wrapped package is considered bad luck. The risk of this is split between the requestor and sender in the following way:

  • if the book does NOT get to the requestor (= the requestor gets an empty wrapper or the book or Wrapping is returned to the sender) the sender absorbs that blow and loses the credit
  • if the book DOES get to the requestor (even if damaged), the requestor pays the credit for the book."
Date Posted: 11/13/2014 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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What they said yes  PBS rules share the risk between sender and receiver, and in the case of damaged by USPS the receiver takes the loss.  If the book is lost in the mail, the sender takes the loss.

Politely decline and include PBS guidelines to support your position.

Date Posted: 11/13/2014 4:53 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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Yes, she even acknowledges that you are not at fault.  I wouldn't return the credit.

Date Posted: 11/13/2014 6:59 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,399
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Last Edited on: 7/26/15 9:19 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/13/2014 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,567
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As much regular mail in business envelopes as I get damaged by USPS machines, I don't agree that damage to book packages is RARE. 


I'm in the camp that you DO NOT owe the credit back to the requestor.
 

Date Posted: 11/13/2014 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2008
Posts: 15
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Thank you all for your responses.  I will cite the PBS rules and decline sending a credit.

 

Susan

Date Posted: 11/13/2014 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,166
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If I received a book like this, I would be disappointed but NOT request my credit back. I think when you receive a book and the sender is not at fault (and I don't think that making sure edges are down and such means that the sender was negligent if he/she didn't do that. Some of this lies with the usps who should be careful with all mail) than, while it stinks, then you just have to say that it isn't right on either end. While I shouldn't be out a credit, neither should the sender for the 3rd party error. 

I wish there was a way to half it.

Date Posted: 11/13/2014 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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I am also firmly in the DO NOT refund the credit camp.

Just last week I received a WL book that was damaged by USPS. This is the message I sent the Sender:

"Thanks for sending this book. I can tell that it was in great condition when it was mailed, but the USPS damaged the front cover--there's a gash through and through the front cover and it is bent. The wrapping was torn off on both ends as well. I consider this damaged by USPS, and as such you should keep the credit you earned for this book. However, you might want to consider extra tape on the ends of the book going forward. Thanks again!"



Last Edited on: 11/13/14 12:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/13/2014 12:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I wish there was a way to half it.

In a larger sense, the risk is split. You can't halve credits, but if the book is damaged, the requester takes the hit and if the book goes missing the sender does. So it all eventually comes out in the wash.
 
Date Posted: 11/13/2014 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,720
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I wish there was a way to half it.

It is halved. Each party (sender and requester) bears half the risk in case of mailing damage. If it arrives, the sender gets the credit, and if it doesn't arrive, the requestor gets the credit. I imagine that the PO is probably pretty even in terms of things it completely loses and things that it damages but delivers.

And, when you think about it ... why should the sender give up half the credit if the PO damages the book but it arrives? The requestor can still read it (in most cases) ... so the receiver isn't getting nothing at all ... they are still getting value from the transaction, just not full value.

Date Posted: 11/13/2014 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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I received an almost new book totally destroyed by the post office.  I did not ask for my credit back. I did take the unopened package with half the back cover torn off to the post office and chewed out the manager.  I didn't get me anywhere, but I felt better.  I told them that no other company in America does business like that - ruin my property and then refuse to pay for it. The manager agreed with me, but couldn't do anything about it.



Last Edited on: 11/13/14 3:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/21/2014 7:09 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2010
Posts: 107
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I dont understand sometimes why the post office doesn't cover damage. We pay for the service and when the service is not met shouldn't they be responsible, If you paid a moving company to move furniture and something was missing they would pay for it.

Date Posted: 11/21/2014 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,567
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Considering how many badly wrapped books I receive that do NOT get damaged in transit, I don't agree with tongue lashing the senders when books get torn open/damaged by the USPS.  

I have had to fight with PO about packages that were insured then were damaged or lost in transit!  What's the point of paying for insurance if they're not going to accept responsibility?

Date Posted: 11/21/2014 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2010
Posts: 107
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even if you do not purchase insurance, the service you pay for is for the item to get from one place to another