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Topic: If book is RWP, do I really *owe* the sender a PM first?

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Subject: If book is RWP, do I really *owe* the sender a PM first?
Date Posted: 4/1/2008 12:11 AM ET
Member Since: 8/2/2005
Posts: 405
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When I receive a book that clearly was damaged before it was sent via the mail, (things like water damage, tears, cleaved spines, writing, underlining...etc) I mark it as such and write a note to the sender what the damage was and I repeat what I sent them in the little box at the bottom so I have it on record for R&R if they ever need to review that particular transaction.

I generally do not ask for a credit back because 9 times of out 10 when I do, I get very rude and abusive PM's back. So I've stopped bothering, I don't need that kind of headache over one credit.

Recently a very good friend whose word to me is like gold, told me that she received a book that was clearly damaged and should never have been  posted. She did as I do and didn't PM the person about the book and  just reported it as RWP and detailed what the problem was. A few hours later she got a very rude and curt PM from the sender telling her that if she had a problem with the book that she should have PM'ed the sender first so they could "work it out". She also told my friend that she would not be getting her credit back and that the sender was horribly upset that she had what she felt was an undeserved black mark on her account due to my friends being stupid and mean for not contacting her first.

I told her to report all of this to R&R, but I had to wonder about what is the correct way to handle receiving a RWP vs. what we are "expected" to do by the book senders.

So my question is this: When you receive a book that has a problem, do you contact the sender BEFORE marking the book as RWP. Or do you feel that you should  just go ahead and mark it as such and let things rest as they are?

And just to add this, looking at this and placing myself in the place of a person who sent out a damaged book, (which has only happened to me once in my 2 years of being here and that turned out to be misunderstanding on the part of the receiver) I wouldn't expect a PM about a damaged book beforehand.



Date Posted: 4/1/2008 12:54 AM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,384
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I do not PM before marking RWP.  The system only works when we mark books accordingly.  After marking RWP, the PM option comes up and you can choose to send a message or not.  Then, there is the new feature of marking if the problem was solved or not.  But, I totally understand your frustration and think I might start simply eating the credit and marking RWP and walking away as it is not worth the hassle or negativity to try to get a credit back for things that really should never have been posted.

Date Posted: 4/1/2008 1:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,812
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i mark RWP if i notice it shouldn't have been posted, then send the PM. 

with the new button on a problem transaction, if the sender resolves the problem and the receiver marks it as resolved, it's not as much of a ding.  that's what the sender should have been worried about, not a PM beforehand.

Date Posted: 4/1/2008 3:30 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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If I get a book that's got a problem, I mark RWP then PM the sender.  It doesn't matter if we later work things out, if the book is unpostable then it's unpostable.  PMing them doesn't change that.

If I had posted the book that had a problem, I wouldn't expect to be notified first either.

Date Posted: 4/1/2008 5:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,343
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I don't generally PM first.  I mark it RWP, and send a gentle message -- I assume they didn't see the damage or didn't know about the posting guidelines -- and generally do ask for my credit back, although sometimes I don't if it's from a very new member.  I'm always a bit nervous about how my PM is going to be received, but generally people have been either apologetic or at least courteous.  And I love being able to go into the transaction archive now and indicate that a problem transaction has been resolved to my satisfaction.  (If one had not been resolved, I would have marked that, too.)

Date Posted: 4/1/2008 8:09 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,008
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I posted a few weeks ago about a book I had sent that was marked RWP.  The receiver claimed it arrived with "uniformly wavy pages", with no stains or other evidence of water damage, but because the pages were wavy, the person equated that with water damage and marked it RWP.  Yes, I was upset, but more so because the book was like new when I sent it and must've been held in an environment that made the pages wavy in transit.  The receiver did what they thought was the right thing, and truthfully, I would not have expected a PM first.  I did post here in the forums and the concensus agreed that perhaps this book shouldn't have been marked RWP, but either way, a PM first was not the way to go.

The dispute resolution option came out after this, and this transaction has been left listed as unresolved.  Basically, both the receiver and I agreed to just let it go and walk away from it with no hard feelings on either side.  I certainly wish I didn't have that mark on my record, but I don't want to open up the issue again either with the sender--it's been too long and noth worth it in my book (no pun intended). 

Date Posted: 4/1/2008 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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I wouldn't contact the person before marking a book RWAP, contacting them wouldn't change the facts.  To me it would be how the issue was resolved...I think perhaps that second "ding" of not resolving the problem probably holds as much or more weight as the original "ding" for sending a bad book in the first place.

Kristina W. I really hope your friend went into her transaction archive and marked that the issue was "not resolved" especially after the way the sender spoke to her in that PM...that wasn't nice!!!

Date Posted: 4/1/2008 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2007
Posts: 96
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The new addition of indicating whether the problem was resolved is a good idea, but it doesn't seem to cover all the bases.  I have had one book RWP.  I wanted the book, didn't think it was worth asking for the credit back, but did mark it RWP and explained why.  In my explanation I explained the problem with the book but also explained that I wasn't asking for a credit back as I would enjoy reading it but would not be able to repost it. 

I got a very rude response from the sender indicating that the torn page (About two inches of the corner was  gone and it was NOT the cover) should not have been a problem because it was "a few pinpricks".   I didn't respond as I had nothing more to say. 

So, I haven't clicked on the "Was it resolved" button.  I didn't ask for my credit back, so I didn't get it.  But I certainly can't say that this transaction worked out satisfactorily.


Date Posted: 4/1/2008 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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I look at it this way: what is expected of us is courtesy and to follow the rules.  The rules don't say "if you receive a book in poor condition, please tread on eggshells and PM the sender first to see if they'll play nice".   The rules do say: "If you receive a book with an "official" problem as listed below, you should mark it received with a problem to note this on the sender's record and contact the sender for your credit refund. "


I've received around 10 RPW items, out of 350+.  I marked all of them RWP, and requested a credit back in my note to the sender.  I've never had a rude reply; I'm sorry you're having a frustrating experience.




Date Posted: 4/1/2008 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/2/2005
Posts: 405
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Thank you everyone who responded so far, I have really enjoyed reading all your thoughts and to be honest, I was a little surprised that so many feel as I do, but for their own reasons.

My way of looking at RWP, report them as such, ask for your credit back but certainly don't expect it. Move on.

Thanks everyone. :)

patticom - ,
Date Posted: 4/1/2008 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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The only way I would PM first is if I was uncertain... such as the wavy pages thing; there are a lot of paperbacks these days that have that wave brand new in the store.  If I received one of those and wasn't sure if it was that way before, I might PM to ask the sender if they got it that way (although I think I'm experienced enough to tell the difference, actually--I'm just using that as an example).  OR if there was only a little writing somewhere inside the pages that I noticed (but I could see might have been overlooked), I might PM the sender and ask if they were aware the book was written on and that it was against rules to post in that case.  If they apologize, say something like "oh my goodness I didn't notice that I'm so sorry" and/or offer my credit back without me asking, then I might just mark it OK without even doing the RWP thing.  But if it was a clear violation and NOT something easy to overlook, no way I'd definitely mark it RWP first thing, AND I would write and request the credit back.  If they are rude, that's their issue not mine.

I'm fortunate in that none of these things have happened to me (smile), but I've read the boards enough to think it through ahead of time and be prepared for if/when it does.  :)  So far I've only received 2 books damaged--one was obviously done in shipping, and the other I accidentally marked received OK before noticing the problem, oops.  I did write and let the sender know about it though (but did not ask for my credit back since I did not do what I was supposed to do and marked it RWP in the first place).

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2007
Posts: 188
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I've always been a little uneasy about how RWPs would be responded to and grateful I hadn't had any, from reading some of the posts in the forums before.  Well, I've just had my first 2 RWPs and in both cases I marked them RWP, and sent the auto PM.  When the transaction log showed no progress or refunded credits on either for more than a week, I followed the system and indicated the problem hadn't been resolved.  Both senders were nice in their responses (yay!) and I got my credits back. 

One thing I missed, and feel bad about however, was that one sender returned my credit w/out responding to my PM and I could have seen that the problem actually HAD been resolved a day or two earlier had I noticed.  With credits coming in for books I'd sent, I didn't notice the credit count had one "extra" one for one RWP book.  So, my lesson learned is that checking the transaction log isn't enough - I need to check the credit registry to BE SURE they haven't refunded my credit. 

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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I don't PM first.  I consider the message sent with the RWP to be the "PM." 

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,731
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I always mark RWP, and then PM.  I usually start my PM with, "I'm sorry I had to mark this book RWP, but...........".  With the new feature in the transaction archive that allows problem transactions to be cleared up, members that send bad books should be more motivated to work with people if their books are marked RWP, not less, at least that's the way I see it.  I think some people just refuse to work with you and refund the credit, regardless of what you do.  I further think that a large majority of those sent the book knowing it was damaged but not caring.  Thankfully, they are in the minority.