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Topic: Book received with unpleasant note

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Subject: Book received with unpleasant note
Date Posted: 11/7/2010 12:08 AM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2010
Posts: 196
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I received a book with an unpleasant note written on the back of the piece of paper printed out from PBS (Information For The Receiver.) I didn't expect the sender to send the book with that kind of nasty note. I'm not going to write the note on here since every other word is a swear word about my RC not allowing books to come from a smoking home so she had to go buy a brand new book to send to me. Is this something I should put on the thing that I fill out when I click I received book or should I just forget about it knowing I'm probably never going to receive anything from this user again?

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 12:15 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2009
Posts: 579
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Wow, what the .....??! That is unimaginably rude. The person should have just declined the book with your RC of no-smoking. It's stupid to go buy a new book, when the next person may have the book not exposed to smoke. I think you need to report the person, because it's against the rules to send such hateful things with a book. But, I think you may need to mark it received, since you did get the book you wanted....

ah, here is the FAQ

Can I include anything with my book?

Generally: No.

Media mail regulations are very strict: only media (books, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes) and an invoice (page 2 of the PBS wrapper qualifies as an invoice) are allowed to be sent using Media Mail rate.  No advertising, commercial solicitation, political materials, religious tracts, non-Media items, letters, cards are allowed.

  • Media Mail is subject to postal inspection
  • If your package is found to be in violation of Media Mail regulations:
    • Your package may be returned to you
    • Your package may be delivered to the requestor postage-due
    • Your package may be destroyed.

Including anything but the ALLOWED materials above in your package is a serious infraction of not only PBS rules, but also Federal law. Including inappropriate materials with your books will jeopardize your membership at PBS.

Last Edited on: 11/7/10 12:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/7/2010 12:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 706
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If a book does not meet the requestor's RC, the would-be sender can just say so & not send it, no harm, no foul, no consequences for either person.  Not sure why they thought they had to go buy another copy.  In any case, there's no call to be rude about it.  Yes, I would note it on the form for PBS.

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 12:53 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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"If a book does not meet the requestor's RC, the would-be sender can just say so & not send it, no harm, no foul, no consequences for either person...+1

Considering the sender did have a choice to decline the transaction without any penalty whatsever, there is absolutely no excuse for rudeness.  Hmmm....maybe your sender is a new or inexperienced member that does not understand they can decline any RC they wish?

Consider this course of action:

1.  PM the sender (before logging in the book) and very politely thank her for the lovely new book.  But does she realize that she could have easily declined the RC without penalty or consequences?  In which case her book would have been offered to the next member wishing for it.

2.  If the sender responds nicely, chalk it up to their learning experience.  Log in the book, and maybe mention the nasty note briefly in comments, and also that the situation is resolved.

3.  If the sender responds with more rudeness (or not at all), log the book in and make a detailed comment.  Also, contact TPTB directly and let them know the circumstances and as much of the nasty-gram you are comfortable forwarding.

ETA - and yes, Mary is correct.  Personal correspondence could violate the USPS Media Mail rate.  But if not picked up in a postal inspection, there's nothing PBS can or will do regarding this portion of the situation.

Last Edited on: 11/7/10 3:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 11/7/2010 1:21 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Media mail actually doesn't prohibit adding comments.  We can write a personal note ON THE INVOICE.  We cannot add a letter.  The OP said it was on the back of the invoice.  (The PBS insert is considered an invoice.)  The PO has said that bookmarks are also permitted. 

That said, I would both write in the comment box and PM the PBS folks under contact us.  PBS is very clear that foul language is not allowed.  While it fits media mail rules, it is not acceptable here.

It is also not typical.  Members are encouraged to turn down RCs that they cannot met or are uncomfortable with.  There is no negative to turning down a RC.  Other than you do not ship your book for a credit.

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 1:34 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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USPS doesn't seem to have a general concensus as to what constitutes a brief note (allowed in MM) vs. personal correspondence (not allowed MM).  Therefore iffy during Media Mail inspections.

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 1:47 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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This is certainly something that needs to be reported to the Team.  Media Mail restrictions aside, rudeness is not allowed between members.  You can note it in the survey portion, but also contact the team using the Feedback feature and let them know, since the survey boxes are only read when an account is reviewed. 

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 4:56 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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Wow, just WOW.  Totally inappropriate.  DEFINITELY report this to the team.  But I do NOT recommend PM'ing the person who wrote the nasty note.  Entering into any kind of dialog with this person could only result in more bad language, bad feelings, and much more stress for you.  Sorry this happened to you!

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 7:28 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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This seems to me like a new member who wasn't aware of the rules. That doesn't excuse the nasty language, so definitely report it to the Team.

Subject: Do you still have the note?
Date Posted: 11/7/2010 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2006
Posts: 125
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Do you still have the note?  If so, you should take a photo of it and forward it to TPTB so that they can see exactly what you were sent.  That's really inappropriate!!

Last Edited on: 11/7/10 2:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/7/2010 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,697
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I'd take a photo also and upload it online and send the link into the PBS team, along with typing out the text of the note.  That is so not appropriate!  The team needs to talk to this other member about this.

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2007
Posts: 2,550
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The note you received is inappropriate.  I can't believe the sender is so clueless about the site that they went out and purchased a new book.  It says right in the b ox when you get the condition does my book meet the requirement or it does not.  Gosh.  And she is cussing you? 

Once again, I am stunned.

Oh please please report them.  Thats just batty.

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I almost never recommend reporting things to the Team.  I feel they have their hands full most of the time.  But I certainly would use the "Contact US" link below and let them know what this person has done.

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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I agree - you should report this and let the team contact the other member.  Just mark it received as normal, but definitely send in feedback. 

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I would avoid PM'ing that person.  They don't sound like they are playing with a full deck.  I would report it to PBS, though.  I hate to think that everyone who has an RC about cigarette smoke (myself included) would end up in getting that nasty note.

I really can't believe she would go out and buy a new book rather than decline your order.  That makes absolutely no sense.

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 9:40 AM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2007
Posts: 1,011
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Oh dear, how nasty and unpleasant. I am so sorry that this happened to you. I hope it was only a misunderstanding, but then I find myself thinking that even with a misunderstanding, there is no reason to smack someone in the face with a profanity-laced and/or mean-spirited note.

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I'm in the camp to not even bother with PMs. I'd just mark it received, make note of their nasty gram in the PBS comments box, and then go to "Contact Us" and send it all in to PBS directly. This member needs a timeout as well as a very simple concept explained (how could they not know when there is both the option to accept or decline?).

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I'm with Amee and Kate on this.  I wouldn't bother comminicating further with this person and go straight to TPTB.  How awful!

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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I'm so sorry you had this experience -- I thought I'd seen just about everything on PBS, and I am still shocked by this. 

Definitely report it to the staff -- use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of any PBS page.  It is against PBS policy, potentially violates Media Mail laws and, depending on what they wrote, could violate obscenity laws for the mail as well.  Certainly you don't want anyone else to have the same experience you did.

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Take a photo of the note, let TPTB know what went on that you have a picture of the note and are willing to send  a link. I would also say that you do not feel comfortable PMing the sender. That note sounds rude and personally I'd not want to tick off (again( someone who knows where I live.
Ask the team to to talk to this member and explain the rules.

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 9/4/2010
Posts: 3
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Blow it off.  You can't do anything to control the idiocy and/or nastiness of others, all you can control is how you let it affect you.  And, unless it is an unwelcome revelation to you that the thumb-sucking morons share the world with the rest of us, it shouldn't affect you one iota.

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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" . . . thumb-sucking morons share the world with the rest of us"   ROFL Ken  yes

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I get what you are saying Ken, but I can't really agree in this case.  The sender of this book clearly does not understand the rules of the club, or for that matter, the way book swaps work.  They need to be clued in on the fact that they can decline RCs, as well as the fact that abusive communication with other club members is prohibited before they repeat this situation with another club member.  Given the circumstances, that education is best coming from PBS admin.

Date Posted: 11/9/2010 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2010
Posts: 33
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It's quite strange why they felt it necessary to purchase a brand new book when they didn't meet your requestor requirements.  Maybe they have OCD, and they felt you "forced" them into purchasing a book for you without the smell.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 11/9/2010 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I'm in the report this to TPBST.  You didn't need the abuse and if I ordered a book from the person I might get that same nasty note since I too have a non-smoking RC.  I get refusals, simple smoking home does it.  Not a problem, I'd rather not have the smell.