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Topic: My Credits are all gone ?

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Subject: My Credits are all gone ?
Date Posted: 12/7/2009 3:44 AM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2005
Posts: 24
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I have looked all over paperback swap for a simple ' contact us' button and couldn't find one, so I'm posting in hopes somebody can help me.

I've been a member for quite a few years...and lately it hasnt' been easy scraping together the funds to mail books, but I really wanted to get some new reading material, so I mailed out 4 books, they were received...that cost me the cost of a book, the packaging, and about what $2.75 in postage per book.

So today I go to log in and get a few books, and I have a negative 4 on my account. When I click on it, it reads this

 

12/5/2009 2:32 PM ET
  • Reason: credits used by disallowed account(s)
-6
-4
12/5/2009 2:31 PM ET
  • Reason: Referred member disallowed

I am so upset ! I have absolutely no clue what this is all about ?? I mailed out books, and it shows they were received, so I honesty earned my creditc. I haven't referred anyone in years ( sorry not for lack of loving Paperback swap, but just never thought of it ). So what the heck ?

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 6:15 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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"Contact Us" link is at the very bottom of the page, right side.  Under the "Company" section.

I've copied the link here:  Contact Us

 

Eta:  You can also see what is going on with your credits by clicking the "Credit Registry" link on the My Account page.



Last Edited on: 12/7/09 6:17 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 12/7/2009 7:10 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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It sounds like  you got credits at some point for members who named you as their referrer when they joined, and those accounts were later found ineligible.

But if you haven't referred anyone for a long time, it's probably a mistake.



Last Edited on: 12/7/09 7:11 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/7/2009 7:13 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I wonder if someone perhaps didn't list you as a referring member w/o your knowledge, but b/c they didn't do something/did do something wrong, the credit(s) you were "given" for being listed as referring them were taken back.  As for the other bit, it reads as if your account was "debited" for that member's transaction(s). Definitely contact using the the link Debbie posted and you should be able to get your questions answered.

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2009
Posts: 248
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so we are responsible for people we refer? How are we supposed to know how other people will act once we refer them? That seems unfair. I can't MAKE anyone follow the rules, even if I know them personally.

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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Jessica - you are not responsible for the actions of a legitimate member, but you do not get to keep credits gotten for accounts that are not elligible to be here. For instance if you get a referal credit for someone under 18 or the 3rd account in a household, those credits will be taken away from you when they figure it out because it was not a legitimate referral. I think you may also lose the referral credit if they post the 10 books and then immediately remove them after you get it.

Cheryl - did you scroll down to the bottom of you credit registry looking to see if any referral credits showed up? Definitely send it Feedback through the Contact Us link and ask the team if you cannot figure it out. 

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,707
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It sounds like they took back not only the free referral credit you get when you refer someone here, they also debited your account for that person's use of their 3 free startup credits. Which doesn't seem very fair to me, as someone said you have no way of knowing how someone else will act once they get an account! I agree that you should send in Feedback about this.

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,188
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I don't care what the policy is ... she said she hasn't referred someone IN YEARS ... they should not be taking credits away for something that happened years ago if they weren't astute enough to figure it out before years had passed.

I can see one person recently signing up and giving her the referral but four that she's unaware of? That's pretty unlikely. And we only have two start up credits now so that totals 3 so there has got to be another (or few) referrals PBS is dinging her for. 

Hopefully she'll get it figured out .... it should be right in her credit registry somewhere. If not, then PBS made an error. 



Last Edited on: 12/7/09 11:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 12/7/2009 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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In the past, each new account got 3 credits, even if they were in the same household, and you could also get a referral credit for referring someone who lived with you. (Now it's 2 credits to the first account in the household and no referral credits for other accounts at the same address.) If she referred her two minor children, then that would explain the loss of 8 credits. As their parent, she's responsible for their violations of the Terms of Use, so she has to "pay" for the startup credits they used (3 each), and she can't benefit from referring illegal accounts so she loses the 2 referral credits she got for them as well. There's no "statute of limitations" in the Terms of Use, so from the admin's point of view it doesn't matter how long ago the violation was committed.

Of course I don't know exactly what happened here, but that seems like a plausible reason to charge one account for the others' transactions. It's also reasonable to remove the startup credits if one person creates multiple accounts in order to get additional credits.

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2005
Posts: 24
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What happened was...as I found out this morning...I helped my now 22 year old son sign up in 2006. He was 19 then. Before that my daughter had signed up and she was not 18 yet, but that was even before my son from my memory. They called me on that though and I thought all that was taken care of.  Since I  helped my son sign up, I gave him my same password...He was hoping to get some books on herpatology as he works in the herp department at the zoo. Well he didn't find much that wasn't geared towards kids, or that he didn't already  have.  When a book came up that I wanted, and I didn't have any credits, since he had some I asked him to order it for me . He did...I mean don't people do that on here all the time anyway, family members will loan credits, friends will gift credits etc.

The email I received this morning was not very nice, and I still don't really understand it. I'm a good member, an honest person, and I don't even post to the forums so I wont' be dragged into arguments, etc. I mail good books, I love my Box of Books..

So they assumed I had set up and was using my son's account, which is 100% not the truth...


After going back 3 years and deducting what they said I owed for my daughter joining, I am still down by 3 credits, and feeling really

let down about a website I have loved and loved and loved, and bragged on to other people, and honestly really enjoyed.

It is/was my little piece of heaven away from all the humdrum of life...while my children , young or older, have their own events, dance, etc..

I could come here and get something for 'ME'...

I'm sure my account will probably be suspended, but I had to gently have my say, unlike the email I received, which was shocking to me in the way

it was worded by professionals.

 

So if you don't see me again on here, you all will know why.

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I don't care what the policy is ... she said she hasn't referred someone IN YEARS ... they should not be taking credits away for something that happened years ago if they weren't astute enough to figure it out before years had passed.

If she hasn't been active, with zero credits, the system may have been set to pick up the extra credits as they came in. And just now she's come back.

I know people have gone into the negative on their accounts, and have been allowed to come back when they've made good on the credits or books. Although I don't remember the exact circumstances. (IIRC, one boxer had to make good on books they never sent to be allowed to have their account back.)

I don't think there should be a time limit on bad referrals or violation refunds. But I do think they should take each case into account based on the details. She will just need to contact them and have someone pull it all up and look into it.

I do think they've had a lot of people get their free credits then bail when they get their books, although I'm not saying that happened here. But they have to protect themselves against that or other missuse of the system. Otherwise the freebies would have to disapear.

 

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2005
Posts: 24
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I am a very active member. My daughter , joined in 2005, and she was not 18, although for the few months she was a member she was active, trading books, and loving it...... so I guess they not only accused me of my son not being 18 when he signed up in 2006 ( and he was indeed 19), and me using his account because he used a credit to get a book for me, but having given me back the credits they took for that, they  have decided to go back 5 years and take my credits for my daughter having signed up.  Again, the tone of the email sent to me was uncalled for, and shocking to me as a PBS fan.

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Does your son live with you?  If so then why did you set up an account for him when the rules say no more than 2 accounts per household? Also referral credits are not supposed to be given to accounts set up in the same household.  Did you use an alternate address and then change it to your once the referral credits were received? 

Why did you set up an account for you underage daughter when the rules say must be 18?   If her account is stil there with WL books or books posted and her profile had something to indicate that she was not 18-that's probably what got their attention.

It sounds like you broke the rules and it just took awhile for you to get caught.  Unless your did not live with you at the time his account was set up. In which case the only rule broken was the underage account for you daughter. Did your son live away from home and recently move back in with you? The address change could have been what brought attention to the fact that there are 3 accounts for one household and the fact that your daughter might be underage. Not sure how they would figure that out unless her profile said something to indicate she might not be an adult.  (it's happened before where minors have set up accounts and then put in their profile that they were only 16 or 17-then they get reported and their account gets closed). 

Also the email they sent was probably an standarized email that was created for when they suspect people of breaking the rules. 



Last Edited on: 12/7/09 1:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/7/2009 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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Sorry you feel that the email was abrasive Cheryl, I know some of the Team's responses have seemed abrupt to me in the past, I figure we just have one or two that just don't do well with communicating.

From what you wrote, I sounds more like they suspected your son's account as being a second account you were using instead of them suspecting him of being underage.  They really do try to enforce that and sometimes people get caught by the triggers that really are legit. The TofU are clear that no one else should be using the account and it sounds like there was more than one factor in your son's account the really looked like you were in it. 

I do believe that if they catch someone who has set up multiple or inelligible accounts to get the extra referral or start up credits they should try to recoup them no matter how long the account has been open. Its not fair to those that follow the rules and it hurts the site when those free credits are taken when they shouldn't be.

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I'm sorry that your feelings have been hurt by the PM's or emails you've gotten.  I also think that sometimes those messages are more curt and unfriendly than they could be.  I just view them as machines' messages.  Completely impersonal.  You do need to clear this up, and I'm sure that if you work with them in resolving the situation, you can come out with everything okay.  They don't deliberately try to alienate people.  I guess they are trying to sound authoritative and it comes off being insulting.  I hope you can get eeverything straightened out and feeling better soon.

Ruth

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2005
Posts: 24
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My daughter's account was removed years ago. At the time I set it up, I did not read all the rules like I should have, so made an honest mistake. My son lives with me and has his account here, i.e. uses my computer.

 

I have been a very quiet member. If I broke a rule it was not intentional. There are only 2 accounts in this household.

Anyone else ? MsRight.....

Your name suits you...are you a detective by chance ? A lawyer ?

 

Nevermind everyone, I am remembering why I do not post on the forums .

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2005
Posts: 24
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I'm not going to come back here again, so if anyone wants to reach me , send me an email. Thanks for those that tried to explain things to me...

and to those that have a burr up their butt....well no comment.

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well it looks she's offended that I was right.  Her account got flagged because 3 were opened at the same addres probably all with the same last name.  It just took PBS awhile to catch it.  Doesn't make the OP a bad person. Just trying to figure out what she might have done to cause the problem.  Since the daughter's account was closed a long time ago it must have come to PBS attention that the son's account was the 3rd for that household. 

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 4:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Well it looks she's offended that I was right.

If a member posts about something that is confusing them, or that they have questions about, I don't see how anyone can get upset when forum members try to figure out what the problem was. Until there is a lot of information posted from the OP, the 'solution's will go from best guess to something closer to the real answer as it gets narrowed down. And sometimes it may be that the member did do something wrong. Other times, it may be a glitch.

The thing is that if people don't want speculation about the cause of their PBS site problem, then they can just ask where the "Contact Us" button is (right there at the bottom, under "Company") and leave the forums out of it.

TPTB seem to be quick enough to answer.

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Yeah I don't get that either.  Don't post about a problem or ask for an opinion of you don't want constructive answers or opinions that might differ from your own.  PBS doesn't just take people's credits away for no reason.  They don't even take them away when someone complains about a book you sent.  If they took credits away it was for a legitimate reason.  Then it comes down to why they were taken away and how to fix the problem if it can be fixed. 

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 3,430
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Smokymist, If you're still reading this thread, just want to say I'm sorry that you received a PM from PBS that seemed rude.  I've had to send in comments & questions before, & I've often felt  "talked down to."  I love PBS, and I even volunteer my time for this site, and it's very frustrating to receive unfriendly, unhelpful responses from the people who are supposed to help.  Hope things are looking up for you soon. 

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Anyone can make an honest mistake, and people who do not frequent the forums often may not know every single rule there is here at PBS.  I get that the OP broke some rules, but it sounds like it was not knowingly, and it also sounds like at least some of it was done when PBS was very young and maybe the rules were not as clear back then (I don't know, as I wasn't here then).  My point is that I think the OP was the most upset, not because she had credits taken from her, but because of the manner in which she was reprimanded for a first offense, which was an honest mistake and not an intentional breaking of the rules.  How many people like to be treated like a career criminal for making an honest mistake?  This is not the first time that I have seen someone complain of being treated this way by the PBS higher-ups.  Mary, you might be right, PBS did, I'm sure, have a good reason to take back the credits, but was the rest of it a proportional response to the offense of the OP?  All I can go by is what the OP said, and she said she was not deliberately trying to screw PBS and break the rules.  In those shoes, I would also be upset at being so rudely reprimanded.  If it's a member's first offense, why must the correspondence be so harsh?   Why can't they just point to the wording in the Help Center, explain how the member's actions violate the rules, and how to remedy the situation?  I can see if a member repeatedly breaks rules and fails to educate themselves, but for such a longtime member, it hardly seems appropriate to be smacked down the way she says she was.  I am all for PBS upholding their rules and punishing those who are truly out to screw the site, but this case sounds far from that- that's all I'm saying.

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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I've had to send in comments & questions before, & I've often felt  "talked down to."

I've heard this from a few people. I have not received anything that made me feel talked down to, but I have been ignored twice and I really don't appreciate that. I am sorry that you felt that the communication from the PBS team was rude, but I don't think you should be complaining about people having a 'burr up their butt' when they are trying to understand the situation that you posted about on a public forum.

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I was commenting more about being accused of having a burr up my butt.  I never talked harshly to the OP. I just asked if she did various things that might have caused this problem.  If she did not want possible reasons for the credits being taken away then she should not have asked here.  Was I supposed to tell her to sue PBS for her credits back?  I just gave her possible reasons and it turns out I was right. 

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Mary, I meant the correspondence that the OP got from PBS was harsh, not from anyone on this thread.  Sorry if that was not clear.  I think everyone on this thread was trying to help, and perhaps the OP was a bit sensitive from having been chewed out by PBS and took it the wrong way.

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