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Topic: Changing their mind AFTER the book is mailed?

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Subject: Changing their mind AFTER the book is mailed?
Date Posted: 6/16/2013 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2008
Posts: 6
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I had a book requested from me, and I responded yes to the request within 24 hours of receiving it. I printed the postage, packed the book and dropped it at the post office, but had not marked it as mailed, when I got a PM asking if I could cancel. I immediately marked it mailed, explained that I had mailed it late the day before but had not yet marked it as mailed, and that it was already on the way. Now they are asking if they can send it back. I already paid the postage through PBS) and earned the credit, so there isn't any way to cancel at this point, correct? I feel bad that they changed their mind, but as I have already spent the money on postage, there isn't much I can do about it.

Am I missing another option here?

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 6/16/2013 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,145
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The other person is obligated to accept the package and mark the book received. If she no longer wants it, then she should just post it on her shelf and swap it again.

Refusing a package is not allowed as it will come back to you with postage due if you sent it Media Mail. If that happens, use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the screen to ask the admin team for help.

Date Posted: 6/16/2013 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What Cathy said yes  The receiver is obligated to mark the book received, after that she is free to do whatever she likes with the book (but if returned, you are not obligated to refund her credit).

Date Posted: 6/17/2013 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2008
Posts: 6
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The book was received today and the requestor claimed it was damaged in shipping. I have sent hundreds of books, and have never had one damaged, especially when it is low weight and travels by first class mail rather than media. They claimed that the back pages were ripped. I think I am being scammed for a credit refund.

I understand that I am not obligated to refund the credit, but I don't know what to do. I hate to reward what I believe is dishonest behavior, only to have them do it to other members too, but I also don't want to be a jerk.

I am so conscientious about the books I send and being quick to respond and ship. I bend over backwards to make sure my books meet conditions and are well cared for and packaged. After so many years with no problems, this is making me think twice about swapping anymore. I just hate this...

Date Posted: 6/17/2013 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Regardless of why she is trying to get her credit back, if it was damaged during shipping, you aren't obligated to return the credit. Just respond something like, "I'm so sorry your book was damaged via transit! Unfortunately, as the error was USPS's and not mine, I will not be returning your credit as per PBS guidelines." 

Then, honestly, I would just forget about it. I wouldn't let one annoying person spoil something you enjoy.

Date Posted: 6/17/2013 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,249
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Sally,

This sounds like she might have gotten a different book.  Is it possible she asked you to cancel because the first person failed to mark their copy mailed?  If so, it is likely the first book that was received damaged and not your copy.  I would ask that she match up the sender names on the wrapper to verify that it is your copy she received today.

Date Posted: 6/17/2013 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2008
Posts: 6
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No, he requested the book, then changed his mind and asked if I could cancel. When I explained it was already mailed, he asked if he could return it, but I had already paid the postage so I said no. Then he claimed it was damaged. I am not sure it was even received yet, because I think he is lying to try to get a credit back.

Date Posted: 6/17/2013 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,486
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Ask for a picture?
Date Posted: 6/17/2013 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,959
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Well, from his point of view, it might seem like he requested that you cancel the book order, but you mailed it anyway after you saw his message. (I'm not saying that, but from his point of view it could very well look like that).

And, from your point of view ... just because he didn't want the book after all doesn't mean it wasn't really damaged in the mail or otherwise.  It could be exactly what you think, that he is trying to get his credit back unfairly ... or it could actually be that the book really did arrive damaged.

I second the theory that he might have received someone else's book, especially as it seemed to arrive so fast. Your requestor needs to double check the packaging. Because if someone else mailed the book to him but didn't mark the book mailed, then your request was actually a rolled over book request. If that is what happened, then you mailed the book before he could request you to cancel the 2nd order (not your fault, obviously) but not really his, either.

So, what he needs to do is actually determine if his damaged book actually came from you by checking the packaging. 

If no, then you are out of the picture, and so is he. You have your credit for mailing the book, and because this situation is almost always caused by someone not marking books mailed .. your requestor is also done. The fault lies with the first sender, and they are not entitled to a credit if the book wasn't marked mailed. The requestor will presumably get your copy as a second copy, so he ends up with a 2nd postable copy and is made whole.

If the damaged book is actually from you, then you can figure out if you are inclined to give a credit refund, keeping in mind that damage caused by USPS is not the senders fault and no credit refund is required in those situations.  Ask for a picture, and see what he says.

Date Posted: 6/17/2013 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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 from his point of view, it might seem like he requested that you cancel the book order, but you mailed it anyway after you saw his message.

If the OP used PBS postage, it shouldn't matter whether or not the cancellation was requested before or after the book was mailed. PBS doesn't give refunds once postage is printed. 

 



Last Edited on: 6/17/13 7:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/17/2013 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,959
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Oh, I know. I don't think the OP did anything wrong. Or, even anything that she could have done differently to avoid this. It's not her fault.

But there could be lots of things that the original requestor doesn't understand about how the system works, especially if he himself does not use PBS postage.

So, he could very well think that the OP could have cancelled the book with no penalty to herself. I'm just saying that he might think that, and people do, of course, have various levels of understanding of how things work on the site.

Date Posted: 6/17/2013 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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You're right Sara, you did say that. I should have copied your whole paragraph. I just wanted to point out that once the label is printed, the requestor really doesn't have the right to complain that the order wasn't cancelled.



Last Edited on: 6/18/13 9:14 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/17/2013 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,339
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To reiterate what was said above, it's a shame that the Post Office damaged the book, but normally he wouldn't request a credit refund in that case (unless he is claiming inadequate wrapping.)  So you don't need proof that it was damaged.  This is from the Help Center:

 

 

I received a book that was damaged by USPS

Damage by USPS can happen even to well-packaged books. It is not common, though. 

Damage by USPS to a well-wrapped package is considered bad luck. The risk of this is split between the requestor and sender in the following way:

  • if the book does NOT get to the requestor (= the requestor gets an empty wrapper or the book or Wrapping is returned to the sender) the sender absorbs that blow and loses the credit
  • if the book DOES get to the requestor (even if damaged), the requestor pays the credit for the book.

However, if the wrapping was inadequate and may have contributed to the damage, then the requestor can ask the sender to refund credit, since the damage in that case would not have been simple bad luck.

To read about marking an incoming book received with a problem, please see There is a problem with a book I received!.

Date Posted: 6/18/2013 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What they said yes

I would ask the receiver to double check that the book is yours.  Although, if it is you have no further obligation b/c books damaged by USPS are not the responsibility of the sender (unless inadequate wrapping caused the problem).