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Topic: damaged by USPS...

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Subject: damaged by USPS...
Date Posted: 3/16/2010 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2005
Posts: 87
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If a book is damaged by the USPS, does PBS refund the receiver the credit or are they out the credit?  I just had my first Damaged by USPS.  I used the PBS postage so I already received my credit.  I know I wrapped it well, but it is awful that the requestor now has a damaged book.  Just curious as to a good resolution.  They did not ask for the credit back.  What do you all do in this situation?

Thanks so much in advance.

Tricia

Date Posted: 3/16/2010 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Hi Tricia - Yes, the receiver is out the credit.

  • 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.
Date Posted: 3/16/2010 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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The receiver will be out the credit. PBS doesn't cover credits in RWAP situations. If the damaged book makes it to the receiver-they lose out on the credit, if it returned to the sender or goes missing due to damaged packaging-the sender loses out (unless they use PBS-DC). The risk is split between the two parties in the transaction, PBS doesn't assume any risk in transactions anytime other than a sender's PBS-DC credit guarantee.

Date Posted: 3/16/2010 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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It's unfortunate, but it's one of those things we can't control. If the book goes lost and the sender didn't buy PBS DC, then they're out the credit as the Receiver gets it back. If a book arrives RWAP USPS, the Receiver takes the hit.

Sometimes senders will refund out of kindness, but they're not requried to. And if you know you packed well, there's no reason to feel guilty, especially since the receiver didn't ask for the credit back.  None of us can control what happens to a package once we turn it over to the USPS, and the receiver probably just wanted to let you know in case you see a pattern emerging on the books you send out.

It's up to you how you want to respond. But you're not obliged to return a credit, but you certainly can sympathise. Any of us can have it happen.

I've only had it happen once, and I didn't refund the credit. From the way the receiver described the condition, nothing short of putting it it a box with two inches of packing peanuts would have helped. I did re-think my packing, and decided I'd done all I could. (saran wrap, good paper, packing tape, no lose edges...)

 

 

Date Posted: 3/16/2010 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2008
Posts: 1,115
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No, PBS doesn't refund the requestor's credit when USPS damages the book. I had this happen once (I got the damaged package and book back in the mail, then resent it because it was still readable). I offered the requestor their choice of a free book from my bookshelf or their credit back. When they requested the credit, I refunded it.

Ask the requestor what they would like to do. I got a book damaged by USPS once but chose not to request my credit back because the book was still readable, even though the cover was torn (right along with the wrapper and plastic wrapping, showing that the sender did indeed do their best to send it in good shape).

Date Posted: 3/16/2010 6:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2005
Posts: 87
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I have been here almost 5 years and never had this happen, so I guess my packaging is probably OK.  I wasn't sure in which situation the receiver received the credit back, so thank you so much for linking to the guidelines for me.  It has been a long while since I checked those so I am going to go back and reread them again.  I still feel completely horrible.  Darned USPS!  :/  I may still return the credit since I have had so many years of good swaps here and always have plenty of credits anyway.  Thanks again to everyone.

 

Tricia