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Topic: Book sent with known condition issue

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Subject: Book sent with known condition issue
Date Posted: 4/7/2011 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2011
Posts: 286
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I ordered a book and noticed it was sent via my account.

Then I received a PM stating that the sender had noticed a condition issue while wrapping the book.  The cover was separating from the binding but since it was still in readable condition they' sent it out anyway' and 'I don't have to credit them for it'  if it's a problem. [?] 

I'm only interested in books that I can swap again via PBS condition standards and I don't want people paying the postage for books that I don't want.  I guess I'll have to make this as a condition note on my account?  I thought it would be obvious.    

The sender gave me my options:  I can mark the not received and then get the next copy on someone else's book shelf but I was told the 'simplest' thing to do was to mark it received 'as normal' and then they'd credit me as soon as possible.   Really?  Everything about this transaction seems off.  :/

Can I just send it back unopened?  I'm not sure media mail rate has that option but I don't want to keep a book that I feel I didn't order. 

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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She should have PMed you before sending it. According to site rules, you have to mark the book received. I'd just RWAP it, and ask for the credit back. It sounds like she won't give you any trouble over it. 

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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You can't send it back unopened- media mail cannot be forwarded.  Just RWAP it when it gets there, and in the message to the sender, say something like "as we discussed via PM, I am not interested in books that I am unable to repost, so I would like a refund of my credit.  If you'd like the book back, I'd be happy to mail it back to you if you would like to cover postage with an additional credit.  I will be sure to mark this transaction as resolved promptly upon the return of my original credit."

Note that it is NOT ok to not mark the book received per PBS rules.  I also would not mark it received as "normal".  Per the rules, you should mark it RWAP.  Either this person is not clear on the rules themselves, or they are assuming that because you are a newer member, you are not clear on them, and are trying to take shortcuts.

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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 I was told the 'simplest' thing to do was to mark it received 'as normal' and then they'd credit me as soon as possible. 

I missed this on the first read. Please do NOT do this. Looks like she is trying to avoid a RWAP on her account. She doesn't have the authority to give you "options." The options are already in place, and she realizes they don't benefit her.

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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So, welcome to PBS!

No, you should not have to make a note on your account about only recieving books in postable condition. (You can, of course, choose to, but it is not generally necessary to do so unless you have condition requirements that are above the ones that PBS sets).

Problems like the one you describe are not unknown ... but are pretty rare, overall. I've received over 800 books from PBS members and no more than a small handful had condition issues that I would say were unpostable. 

So, I feel badly that you got a problem transaction right away, but it is not the way that most transactions here are.

The other thing that may be going on here is ... IF the sender of your book used PBS postage or PBS DC to mail the book .... they get to keep the credit for the book, even if you never mark it received. (you get your original credit back, too, if the book is never marked received). So, IF they used those mailing types, AND they are asking you to just not mark it received .... they are hoping to effectively steal the credit for the book from PBS. This is against the rules.

So, the right advice is to mark the book "Received with a Problem" when you get it, and ask the other person to give you back your credit. (This way, they don't get to keep that "extra" credit from PBS.)

Having said all that .... it could also just be an honest mistake .... if  the other member printed and paid for postage BEFORE she noticed the damage, she cannot get a refund on the postage at that point, so her choice is either mail the book anyway (and take the chance that she might need to refund the credit if you are unhappy with it) OR just throw away the paid postage wrapper in the garbage. So, if that is what happened, I can see why she mailed it rather than just throw the money in the garbage .... not that that makes it the right thing to do (it doesn't) but it is an understandable mistake.

It is generally better to inspect your books a final time BEFORE you pay for the postage to mail them out.



Last Edited on: 4/7/11 3:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/7/2011 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2011
Posts: 286
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Yes, they should have definitely PMed first before sending it.  I found two condition issues on books I thought were perfect when I put them on my bookshelf here and while  they were still within PBS standards (but not mine, lol)  I PMed before mailing to make sure. It was appreciated.

"Note that it is NOT ok to not mark the book received per PBS rules.  I also would not mark it received as "normal".  Per the rules, you should mark it RWAP.  Either this person is not clear on the rules themselves, or they are assuming that because you are a newer member, you are not clear on them, and are trying to take shortcuts."

I'd never consider the first option.  They've been a member for some years but I think it's possible they're just not up on the rules because they're missing way too much to think it all could pass unnoticed even by a newb!  

Good idea about returning, I'll offer the option of sending the book back for a credit if the sender wants that. 

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2011
Posts: 286
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Thanks Lisa, I just saw your second post.

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2011
Posts: 286
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Thanks for the welcome Sara!   I'm glad to hear this is kind stuff is rare but it did seem a lot to deal with all at once.  I needed to come here for a break down of the facts.  :)

Good news is they (the individual) didn't use PBS or PBS DC while asking me to mark it book not received.  There's no tracking but there was no waste of postage paid and printed before a final inspection either.  Still, I'm happy to give the benefit of the doubt while making sure I so properly and within the rules!   

Subject: Refused - Return to Sender
Date Posted: 4/7/2011 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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It should be standard with all post offices, but you might want to talk to your local PO or your carrier, if you might be at home one day when mail is delivered. I'm fairly sure that if you can recognize this particular book (by sender's return address, perhaps) BEFORE you open it, you can write 'Refused - Return to Sender' on the outside and the PO will send it back (probably very slowly) and charge the offending sender for the return postage. But this is only if it shows no signs of having been opened. I had to do this with a book I ordered from Amazon.uk, where the postage shown when I was ordering it was about 1/3 of the postage on the confirmation email that appeared the next day and the sender didn't answer any emails. It worked out fine, even internationally.
Date Posted: 4/7/2011 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would mark it RWP, reference the PM in the reasonings and ask for my credit back.  Then I'd read it and offer it as a freebie with an order from my shelf.  I wouldn't request another one. 

I woudn't implement an RC over this one book.  You'll just get turned down a lot by people who don't do RCS.  The number of bad books sent through PBS is really pretty low. It seems like there's a lot if you go by the forums.  But that's only because people don't generally post about the many good transactions they have.  They usually only post about the bad ones either to vent or ask advice.

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2005
Posts: 2,320
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Just curious--can't seem to recall this info--if the book was from her WishList, would marking it as RWAP put her back in her place for the book on the WL line?

 

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Yes but I personally would just delete it.  I don't need a book to be postable to read it. I would ask for my credit back though because I wouldn't be able to repost the book for credit.

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yes, if she marks the book 'normal' and receives a 'buddy' refund the OP will loose her place on the wishlist.  RWAP will return the receiver to their original wishlist position (usually #1).

Welcome to PBS brightstar!

Date Posted: 4/8/2011 2:26 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,982
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you can write 'Refused - Return to Sender' on the outside and the PO will send it back (probably very slowly) and charge the offending sender for the return postage.

This actually might not be the case. Most of the time the Post Office will not return Media Mail, even if refused.  It just goes the way of all lost packages.  Not to say that it never happens, because sometimes they do return it, but it usually doesn't happen. 

As far as the sending member being around for a couple years and not knowing the rules, you'd be suprised how often that happens. 

Date Posted: 4/8/2011 12:35 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2011
Posts: 286
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Thanks for the welcome Denise.  :)  The book in this case was not a WL one.  I came across it while browsing here and it's still available (probably widely available!). 

I wanted to offer to send it back because I felt bad about keeping and reading a book when I'm asking for a refund.  I was put in kind of an awkward position.  I know at the least the sender knew it had a condition issue before wrapping or paying any postage, so they had a clear idea on the rules about that.  As to the rest of things the sender suggested, I think it indicates a lack of knowing the rules while trying to work within the established system, lol. 



Last Edited on: 4/8/11 12:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/8/2011 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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I wanted to offer to send it back because I felt bad about keeping and reading a book when I'm asking for a refund. 

Getting a RWAP (received with a problem, which is a bad mark in the sender's account), losing the book, the postage and the credit is the price to pay when a person send  unpostables. The rules are that way so people know that if they don't follow the rules, there are consequences. 

The few times I've gotten an unpostable I've never offered to send the book back and nobody has ever asked me to do it. Most people wouldn't want to have to pay double postage to get an unpostable book back so don't feel bad about it.



Last Edited on: 4/8/11 12:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/8/2011 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 702
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"You can't send it back unopened- media mail cannot be forwarded."   Media Mail can be forwarded and returned.  Postage Due will be charged.

 

 

 

"Most of the time the Post Office will not return Media Mail, even if refused."  Again, postal policy, per the Domestic Mail Manual, is that Media Mail (a subclass of Package Services) will receive forwarding service if there is a valid Change Of Address on file for the addressee, or returned to sender endorsed with the reason for nondelivery.  In either case, postage due is charged.

Date Posted: 4/10/2011 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,982
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Ah, good to know Diane, thanks.  That hadn't been my experience with Media Mail (both forwarding and refused) so it's good to know that they're at least supposed to do so. 

Date Posted: 4/13/2011 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2011
Posts: 286
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The book arrived and marked the book RWAP.  The sender issued the credit back quickly.  The damage to the spine was worse than described but it's otherwise a clean copy.  If it holds together it'll make a nice free-be.

Some more bad luck:  It just happened again.  I got a PM a day after the book was marked mailed saying that the first 46 pages had fallen out.  I inquired if the pages were actually with the book in the mail or were found afterwards (I guess that could happen!) but it turns out they were put in the package and mailed with the book.  I'm being told they didn't know they could PM me before sending because they're new here; but there is a review written and some books on their wish list from a couple of years ago.  It really sounds like they haven't sent out many books.  Two problems out of 25.  My other books ordered so far, even the older ones, have been in very good shape. 

Date Posted: 4/13/2011 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,336
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I have to laugh at someone telling you that 46 pages had fallen out, but they're mailing the book anyway!  Sigh.  At least you know how to proceed!

And you probably know this, but you can now go into your transactions archive and mark the first problem transaction "resolved by sender," since the sender refunded your credit.

Date Posted: 4/13/2011 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2011
Posts: 286
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I found the humor in it too.  It's just too much, lol.

Thank you for filling me in on the "resolved by sender" option, I didn't know I could do that.  They really acted quickly to refund my credit.



Last Edited on: 4/13/11 8:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/17/2011 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2010
Posts: 8
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I have found this topic to be very informative. I try to be careful about the books of my own that I have posted but haven't stopped much to think about the books that I have received that haven't been in the greatest condition but not "so bad" that I know the instant I receive the book that I cannot post it when I am finished reading them.

I have received a few with a word underlined here & there and it hasn't disrupted my reading or enjoying the book so I didn't think twice about it. And honestly without thinking about it, I may have reposted them and mailed them out. sad So if anyone did receive such a book from me, I am terribly sorry.

I've been thinking about it so much this morning that I denied a request with conditions because I felt that what I thought was okay may be not. It did meet the conditions (non smoker, good condition, not musty etc...) but the fact is it is a book that has been packed away in our attic for 5 + years. I guess I was afraid that the scent of age (smells like a library book to me) may be thought of as musty. Anyway, my solution (and I hope it was okay to do so) was to deny and say it did not meet the requestor's conditions but added a note that they could PM me to discuss?

Sorry to take away from the original topic. I probably should have posted as an original question.

Date Posted: 4/17/2011 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2010
Posts: 8
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I have found this topic to be very informative. I try to be careful about the books of my own that I have posted but haven't stopped much to think about the books that I have received that haven't been in the greatest condition but not "so bad" that I know the instant I receive the book that I cannot post it when I am finished reading them.

I have received a few with a word underlined here & there and it hasn't disrupted my reading or enjoying the book so I didn't think twice about it. And honestly without thinking about it, I may have reposted them and mailed them out. sad So if anyone did receive such a book from me, I am terribly sorry.

I've been thinking about it so much this morning that I denied a request with conditions because I felt that what I thought was okay may be not. It did meet the conditions (non smoker, good condition, not musty etc...) but the fact is it is a book that has been packed away in our attic for 5 + years. I guess I was afraid that the scent of age (smells like a library book to me) may be thought of as musty. Anyway, my solution (and I hope it was okay to do so) was to deny and say it did not meet the requestor's conditions but added a note that they could PM me to discuss?

Sorry to take away from the original topic. I probably should have posted as an original question.

Date Posted: 4/17/2011 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2011
Posts: 2,401
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Joanne-

I also have had the tiny little bit of underlining/highlighting dilemma. Should they be RWAP? Can I repost?? Is this a common gray area or can the long time swappers give more advice? I really wonder about this as well. LB

Date Posted: 4/17/2011 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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Lori - you can't post a book with ANY underlining/highlighting without using the text book exception.   However, the owners have said that ANY book can be considered a text book.

Look under the Help Center about how to send a text book and follow those guidelines and you can post it.

Edited to add:  I looked it up for you. 

Overall Condition:

  • No damage at all from water or other liquid
  • Not soiled
  • No stains (exception for cookbooks--see below)
  • No mold
  •  no highlighting, underlining or writing on text pages (exception for Textbooks/Workbooks and travel guidebooks --see below)

This is the exception they mention:

No writing or highlighting or underlining on text pages

  • a signature or note on the flyleaf or inside front or back cover is OKAY
  • an author's signature on the title page is OKAY
  • writing or highlighting or underlining on the text pages is NOT OKAY
    • Exception: if it is a textbook or workbook, these are expected to have highlighting/underlining/writing
      • if you post a textbook/workbook, the condition must be described to the requestor in a Personal Message
      •  AND the described condition MUST BE AGREED TO in a reply PM before the book is sent


Last Edited on: 4/17/11 11:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
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