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Topic: Do I get my credit back if the book was damaged in the mail?

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Subject: Do I get my credit back if the book was damaged in the mail?
Date Posted: 7/10/2010 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2009
Posts: 287
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So I got a book today that was badly damaged, probably due to poor packaging. The packaging was torn off and the pages are all bent, wavy, and covered in dirt. Never had a book arrived that looked so bad, what happens? I said it was damaged but I didn't seem to get a credit back...

Date Posted: 7/10/2010 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2005
Posts: 44
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The sender would need to give your credit back. It doesn't happen automatically.

Date Posted: 7/10/2010 8:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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The sender is not obligated to return your credit if the book was damaged due to USPS handling, even if the wrapping was at fault, so don't expect to get it returned. 

Date Posted: 7/10/2010 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Yes, the credit return is never automatic, you'll need to contact the sender and request your credit back. 

 

This is what the Help Center says about USPS Damaged books:

 

Damaged by USPS

  • This means that the book's poor condition appears to be the result of its journey in the mail.
  • This includes books that appear to have been poorly packaged for mailing by the sender.
  • Read more about USPS-damaged books here

 

Damaged by USPS transactions:

A book is considered Damaged by USPS if it was damaged in transit (while in the mail).

  • This is usually just bad luck
    • Even the most well-wrapped packages can get mangled by a postal sorting machine
    • We have tried to divide the risk fairly between the sender and the requestor:
      • If the sender gets the book back damaged, the sender assumes the risk: she should contact us to cancel the request.  The requestor gets the credit back when we do that, and the sender does not get credit unless she used PBS-DC or PBS Printed Postage
      • If the requestor gets the book damaged by USPS, the requestor assumes the risk.  The requestor does need to mark the book received and does not get her credit back; the sender does get credit in this case.
  • If you feel that the wrapping of the book contributed to its damage en route:
    • You can tell the sender this in a Personal Message
      • Please be gentle!  The sender may be new to bookswapping.
      • You can ask for your credit to be refunded if you believe it is warranted.
    • You can share your own tips on wrapping technique, and/or refer the sender to the Help items on wrapping a book.
    • You can also comment on the wrapping in the Comments box at the bottom of the survey portion of the Book Received page, so these details are recorded on the transaction in our records.

*****

 

As you can see, you can ask for your credit back if you feel the wrapping was at fault.  As Dawn said, though, they are not obligated to do so. 

Date Posted: 7/10/2010 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,860
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So I got a book today that was badly damaged, probably due to poor packaging. The packaging was torn off and the pages are all bent, wavy, and covered in dirt. Never had a book arrived that looked so bad, what happens? I said it was damaged but I didn't seem to get a credit back...

Nope, since the book arrived and was damaged by the Post Office, the sender keeps the credit (unless they choose to return it to you, but the rules say they don't have to). When you think about it, really that is the fair solution in this case anyway.

As neither the sender or receiver has control over the Post Office's actions, and the sender has spent actual cash money to mail the book out, it really is only fair that they keep the credit. And you presumably have a book that can be read, (even if it can't be reposted) so you are still getting something for your credit, even if it is not the full value of a normal transaction.

Date Posted: 7/10/2010 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2009
Posts: 287
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Ok, so then why do they get automatically returned on the dvd and CD site? Yeah, do something on two of the sites but not on another, makes perfect sense.



Last Edited on: 7/10/10 10:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/10/2010 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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You would have to ask the owners that last question.  We are all members, just like you, and don't know the why of the site decisions.

Date Posted: 7/11/2010 1:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well on the CD site don't you pay a transaction fee?  I don't do that site but I think I've read that here.  The transaction fee probably goes to cover the credit refund in cases like this. 

As for the DVD-I do that site and there is no transaction fee. But if a DVD is damaged in the mail then it probably won't work at all.  Whereas with a book-even if it gets soaked or torn you would most likely still be able to read the book and at least get some value out of it.  The rules are that a book had to be postable when it left the sender and not necessarily when you get it or after you've read it.  The sender has no control of how the post office will handle the book or when the spine will decide to give. 

Date Posted: 7/11/2010 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Well on the CD site don't you pay a transaction fee? 

Yes, yes you do . 49cents.

 

But if a DVD is damaged in the mail then it probably won't work at all. 

This has always been my belief as well.  In both situations, CD or DVD, the item is actually rendered useless if it arrives damaged. 

Date Posted: 7/11/2010 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Do they return it automatically for RWAP: Damaged by PO on the other sites? That may just apply to RWAPs and I'm pretty sure they review the description of the damage first.

Date Posted: 7/11/2010 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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One thing about it, it's perfect chance to give some needed advice on the proper use of wrapping materials.  I was given that opportunity myself this week.  The book was wrapped in some kind of flimsy brown paper that didn't hold up well at all.  This time the USPS took pity on me and put it in a "We care" plastic bag.  3 sides of the book's wrapper were torn completely open and still with the book by some miracle. This was not a new member. 

Ruth

Date Posted: 7/12/2010 12:07 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Liesl, that seems like an excellent question.  I haven't had that happen to me so I went to SaDVD to look at the HC there.  USPS Damaged is listed as an "official problem":

(From SaDVD): 

DVDs that arrive with one of the "official" problems listed above (Wrong DVD/burned copy of a DVD, unplayable, Damaged by USPS) need to be marked "Received, but with a problem" from the En Route to Me tab in My Account

and goes on to say (among other things, of course):

You will be sent a message saying that your credit will be refunded shortly after review.

 

I haven't personally encountered this, even in the form of the ?? from another member, but the above leads me to believe that it would be treated the same.