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Topic: Book damaged en route

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Subject: Book damaged en route
Date Posted: 12/19/2010 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2007
Posts: 2
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I mailed a perfectly fine book in a manila envelope, securely taped.  The receiver marked it as rwap.  She pmed me saying the book is ruined, that the envelope and book have been saturated with water, the envelope split at edges, and mold is in the envelope and the book.   She says I should have wrapped it in plastic. I mailed it from my office, so I know it didn't get damaged in my mailbox outside so it was either ruined en route or in her mailbox .  She wants her credit back!  I say the PO damaged the book and she should take it up with them.  What's your take on this one? 

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 12/19/2010 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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This is USPS damage. Senders are not required to wrap in plastic. If a member's mail is likely to get wet, then she needs to setup requestor conditions asking people to wrap in plastic.

Date Posted: 12/19/2010 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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Plastic packaging is not required by PBS. However, it is certainly a good idea and many members do pre-wrap books in something like plastic wrap before mailing.

Damage that occurs during mailing should be marked "RWAP - Damaged by PO". And you are not responsible for returning the credit. Unless you think that your packaging contributed to the damage. But like I said before, plastic is not required, so you are not necessarily responsible for not wrapping in plastic.

PBS assigns the "risk" of PO damage between the receiver and the sender ... if the PO loses the book, the receiver gets their credit back (and the sender loses) .... but if the book is damaged en route but arrives, the sender gets the credit (and the receiver loses).

Date Posted: 12/19/2010 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I would be in favor of PBS requiring members to send books in plastic, but to date it is NOT a requirement.  If the outer wrapper is damaged to the point the book inside is also damaged, then the book should have properly been marked RWAP - damaged by USPS

Cookie, PBS wrapping guidelines suggest folding manilla envelopes down firm to the book before applying packing tape. Should we assume this is how you wrap?  The padded envelopes can have a bit more excess before it becomes a problem, but oversize is always at risk for damage by sorting equipment.

In regards to the RWAP, the only complaint the receiver could legitimately make is that the wrapping was inadequate but that's going to be a tough sell with a firmly taped manilla envelope. 

The sender is not obligated to return credit for a book damaged by USPS.

Last Edited on: 12/19/10 11:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/20/2010 5:36 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2010
Posts: 238
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I would be in favor of PBS requiring members to send books in plastic, but to date it is NOT a requirement. 

Quoted for truth. I co-sign it all.

Subject: Thanks
Date Posted: 12/20/2010 7:21 AM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2007
Posts: 2
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I appreciate all of your feedback.  You're right in line with what I thought but it's always good to get suppport. Have a great holiday!