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Topic: Would this book be considered damaged?

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Subject: Would this book be considered damaged?
Date Posted: 9/12/2012 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2012
Posts: 1
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I got a book yesterday that is bent out of shape, as in the entire book is really bent up into an 'S' shape.  The book is still readable but it would be hard to keep a hold on it and just be distracting to read.

I think it might be damage caused by the PO, but there were problems with the wrapping.  The wrapping was not taped up very well and the package was open when I got it in the mail. 

Is this a book I should report as damaged? I don't see anything in the book condition guidelines saying anything about whether badly bented books are unpostable or not.

Date Posted: 9/12/2012 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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Bends in the cover and pages are considered postable, so I don't know why yours wouldn't be.  As long as there are no tears from it's harsh experience through the PO system, I'd say it's postable.  I personally had a book that looked like it was an accordion.  I flattened it out for a while with heavy weight on top of it, and it's mostly flat now.  I'd try that if you don't have to read it right away.

Date Posted: 9/12/2012 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,231
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I would try to flatten the book back out before doing anything. If you can flatten the book back out, then I would mark it received normally.

Books like these are really hard to say though. The site just takes a "use your common sense" approach and unfortunately sometimes a sender and receiver do not agree. I personally do not believe a book bent into an S would meet the "in good condition" definition in any way even though no specific rule states no bent covers. When I sent a picture of a smooshed hard-cover to the PBSTeam asking if they could amend to rules to include not smooshed hardcovers because that book was clearly trash and not "in good condition and not excessively worn" they said that making the rules any clearer would be hard and people really had to use common sense.

If I received a book the was bent into an S and the packaging was torn, I'd mark it as received with a Problem - Damaged by USPS. If I received one bent into an S that looked like it was like that before being sent I'd mark it as damaged by sender. Can I point to a rule that says no bent covers? No. But I can point to where is says ""you are asked to confirm that the book is "in good condition, and not excessively worn" and would argue a book bent into an S does not pass that test.Some slight bending is one thing, bent into an S does not sound like minor damage to a book. 


Last Edited on: 9/12/12 9:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/13/2012 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I would mark as postable. Just put something heavy on it for a while to smooth it out. It might not wind up pristine, but it should be fine eventually. I think this is more or less like smell issues - the receiver may thing the smell is unbearable, but it is simply too difficult to make it a part of the rules, i.e. where is the line crossed from "just a bent cover" to "unpostably bent". I think it's too fuzzy an issue. To be honest, if the person balks at returning their credit, you don't have much in the way of ammunition to make your case. It sounds like more hassle then it is worth. YMMV.

Last Edited on: 9/13/12 10:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1