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Topic: Damaged by USPS...kind of- SOLVED

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Subject: Damaged by USPS...kind of- SOLVED
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 11:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2009
Posts: 57
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Hey guys, I just got a book in the mail yesterday that I was PSYCHED to be getting, but when I opened the mailbox and stuck in my hand to pull the mail out, it literally squished.  It was an absolutely disgusting sensation.  I looked at the book in my hand and it looked like it had been thrown into a puddle and stomped on a few times!  The package was torn open and was in a plastic USPS bag. The USPS had put a sticker on it that said "received unsealed" and passed it on.  I brought the disgusting looking mass into my house and took pictures of it so that if the sender wanted to see what it looked like he could, and marked it RWAP- damaged by USPS.  I feel like though the damage occurred in the mail, it would not have happened had he sealed the package appropriately before handing it over to the USPS>  I made sure to include a little note for the sender letting him know what had happened and told him about the sticker that was on the package.  Am I right to try to pursue getting my credit back from him or should I just let this go?  This book is absolutely not postable, and it's not even readable at this point-I have it sitting in between 4 textbooks on my kitchen table to dry, hoping it won't rip to shreds. :/


SANY0218.jpg picture by rlcassell1SANY0215.jpg picture by rlcassell1SANY0214-1-1.jpg picture by rlcassell1


ETA: just realized that 1) the package was taped with scotch tape, and 2) I left all of the mailing information on the 3rd picture (oops!)

Last Edited on: 10/30/09 12:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2008
Posts: 1,362
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From your pictures, it almost looks like this book was torn by one of their processing machines.  USPS can be traumatic on packages (they destroyed a well-taped box of books I recently sent out, all I got back was the cut out of the address label and a letter telling me how I might be able to get my books back).  I can't tell from your picture if the sender used scotch or packing tape, if they just used scotch tape it can come untaped, and if this is the case, I would definately ask for my credit back.  I don't know if it was the sender's fault or USPS's.  I know that I would be very dissapointed if I got this book, so I think you were probably right in politely asking for your credit back.  In cases like this, it's just sad to see a good book destroyed. 

Date Posted: 10/30/2009 12:45 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2009
Posts: 57
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I double checked, and they did use scotch tape.  If they get back to me, I might try to politely tell them to use packaging tape to make sure that this doesn't happen to them again.  Thanks so much for your response!

Date Posted: 10/30/2009 1:58 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,246
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Did it come apart at the scotch tape? Or, was it open at a scotch tape seam? If so, ask for your credit back.

But, if the scotch tape part was still fastened, and the package was ripped at some other place ... that is definitely the USPS, and it would have happened no matter what tape the sender used. And, if it arrived wet, that is also the fault of USPS ... not the sender.

Date Posted: 10/30/2009 2:24 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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 looked at the book in my hand and it looked like it had been thrown into a puddle and stomped on a few times!

I don't see that it being taped with Scotch tape has anything to do with this damage!  It is my belief that if that happened to a book taped with the right tape, the book would have been ruined anyway.    Maybe the package being open was because of the tape.  But occuring to YOU, that wasn't what damaged it.

Date Posted: 10/30/2009 8:25 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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It is always so frustrating when you receive a destroyed book, but especially when it is one you are really excited about getting!

But sometimes it happens no matter how well wrapped it is -- I have sent out MMP books, wrapped in plastic beneath the paper wrapper, sealed well at both ends and wrapped once in each direction with packaging tape (in other words, well wrapped, but not mummified) and the receiver has only gotten the plastic and the wrapper. And even if a book is wrapped in plastic, if it is dropped in a puddle of water, it will still get saturated, short of vacuum sealing, if a package gets wet enough it will ultimately affect the contents.

I guess what I am saying is that receiving a damaged book can be the fault of the sender, but not always -- that's why they call it media maul!

Date Posted: 10/30/2009 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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But sometimes it happens no matter how well wrapped it is --

Very true. I wrap mine in packing tape, good paper (for large Holiday cards) and wraped in saran wrap underneath with the "To" address folded across the cover so the P.O. can see the address in case the wrapping gets torn off.

And I've had at least one report of a book arriving in just the saran wrap and address! A couple where the book was torn open by a machine. And I've received my share of machine eaten packages with books that had some sort of damage. Some with corners gouged out where you can tell it got caught in some sort of sorter that ate away at it until someone saved it.

You can't even guarentee you'll get a book in good shape if you put it in the middle of a box with peanut packing! Bad things just happen on the way from one place to another that will destroy, or eat through, the best packing.

Date Posted: 10/30/2009 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Looking at the packaging, I'll guess the package was mailed at the counter (postage strip) and was (at the time) sealed with scotch tape.  At some point, a sorting facility received the package damaged by Media Maul and applied the received unsealed label enroute.  It's anyones guess when the water damage occured, but could have caused the scotch tape to fail.

Last Edited on: 10/30/09 11:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/30/2009 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2009
Posts: 57
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 Thanks guys- now I know better for next time, and Denise- I never thought about a DIFFERENT USPS facility putting the sticker on the package lol apparently in my little head there is one big post office that does everything!  The sender was really nice and refunded my credit because the book couldn't be reposted.  Thanks again guys!