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Topic: damaged PBS package and book received

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Subject: damaged PBS package and book received
Date Posted: 3/19/2013 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2012
Posts: 21
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Yesterday, I received a book that I ordered from a PBS member.   The packaging (plastic bubble envelope) and THE BOOK are torn up / half shredded.  There is a red stamp that reads "RECEIVED UNSEALED"  on the package and then in handwriting "and damaged".  My guess is that the book was stuck / damaged by a sorting machine in a post office along the way, before it was received in my local post office.  I called the 800 number on the USPS website last night and they just took down my information and said someone would call me.  This afternoon, a woman from my local post office called.  She said she remembers seeing the package and that they have to deliver it.  Since there was no insurance on the package, she first said there is nothing they can do.  She agreed with my guess of how the package was damaged.  Then she said she would see if anything could be done, but she didn't seem to think I would be reimbursed at all.  I am still waiting to hear back from her. 

Does anyone know of this happening before?  What is PBS policy?  From what I could find on here, since it is not the fault of the sender, I just lose the credit and will be put back on the wait list for the book, is that correct?

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 3/19/2013 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,135
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Yes, if a package is damaged by USPS, the requester loses the credit and goes back on the wish list. It's a pretty rare occurrence, so hopefully it won't happen to you again.

Date Posted: 3/19/2013 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 822
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In several years of shipping & receiving items via USPS, and having only a (thankfully) very small number of packages damaged, I'm thinking that the best you can hope for is an apology. Since the book had no value declared before shipping and wasn't insured, they are under no obligation to reimburse anything. And, in the "FWIW category", it's not you who would be reimbursed, but the shipper.

Maybe if you beg the PBS Team, they'll leave your credit wit the Sender, give you a 'token' credit, and advance you to the head of the list for that book -- essentially a PBS "reset". It can't hurt to ask... or beg. wink

Date Posted: 3/19/2013 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2012
Posts: 21
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Thank you, Cathy and Ed, for your responses.

How do I contact the PBS team?

 

Date Posted: 3/19/2013 11:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 822
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The Help Doc at this link is what you'll want to review. http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=529

Pay particular attention to the sections labeled "Damaged By USPS". Since you have some documentation from the USPS that the shipping wrapper was at fault, you'll want to check the option to request a credit refund. How the sender responds to your request will determine which direction you go in. If they say okay and refund your credit, everything is fine. If they say "bollux off", you do have the ability to appeal through the system.

Mostly, I have found PBS members are an honest, generous lot. Many have a few extra credits to deal with this kind of situation. And, in all candor, it's easier to leave someone happy than not.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 3/20/2013 1:43 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Since the 'damaged' stickers can be applied to packages anywhere enroute, you unfortunately have no way of knowing at which location the damage occurred...or even if it was actually 'received unsealed' or that was just an easy box to check for a busy postal employee.  They may consider a gaping equipment tear in the the packaging to be 'unsealed.'

Unless the damaged paper wrapper arrives with a bit of scotch tape and no packing tape, or a bubble envelope arrives with the adhesive protective strip still attached, the receiver really doesn't have any proof that the package didn't start out adequately packaged.  PBS requires packing tape, along with a couple not required suggestions like folding envelopes down snug to the book and using plastic underwrap. 

True postal damage is unfortunate, but not common.  If you receive several, you should consider reporting the situation to your local and regional postamasters so they can look into correcting the problem.

ETA - The Team can be contacted via the link at the bottom of every page.  The column near the right with the 'Company' heading, just click on 'Contact Us.'  Not sure what the can do tho.  TPTB have attempted to divide the risk fairly, ie...If the book goes lost in the mail, the sender bears the risk of loosing a credit.  If a book is damaged in the mail, the receiver bears the risk of loosing a credit.



Last Edited on: 3/20/13 1:47 AM ET - Total times edited: 1