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Topic: Disappointed

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Subject: Disappointed
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 192
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Hello all...I am fairly new here and I have got to say that I love the site and Im totally addicted. BUT, today I received a book with obvious water damage. So I contacted the member about it, she replied, but wants me to ship the book back to her, which I dont mind, but she wants me to pay for the return shipping, as if its a punishment for me or something. I dont agree with this, since I was not the one that didnt uphold PBS's postable book requirements. I havet heard back yet, but upon researching more, I find (and PLEASE correct me if Im wrong) that there is no check/ balance system on members, Except if they have several "official" complaints, they can get banned. So am I right that if this member is unhonest, and obviously she is or wouldnt have send the book that does not meet requirments, then I am just stuck with a water damaged book that I cannot reswap?
Subject: water damage
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 37
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I have also received books that were not in acceptable condition (water damage, excessive highlighting/underlining) and found that I was completely at the mercy of the sender. By no means should you return the book! If you do, she'll just re-list and find another person to scam. You need to ask her to return the credit, but I'd say it's likely that she is not an ethical person and will not return your credit. (Unfortunately, there are some of those types on here.) The bottom line is, you get short-changed sometimes. I've ended up just throwing the books out or giving them to the GoodWill.
Subject: water damage
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 192
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Thank you for your advice and I sure hope the majority of members are ethical, Im sure they are since I have had good luck up until now.
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,546
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From the Help documents:

  • A requestor does NOT have to return the item in a "problem" transaction
    • if the sender wants the item back, he or she should send postage or a credit to pay for its return.

Send her another PM citing PBS rules on water damage and add the above note.  Give her a set time period to return your credit, after which time tell her that you will mark the problem unresolved.  PBS does not usually get involved in individual transactions, but if a pattern begins to appear, they will.  Marking a problem unresolved will put her on the short list and if she continues to treat other members badly, she will eventually get caught.

Sorry you had a crummy transaction.

ETA: I've been here just over 2 years and in that time have had maybe 5 problem transactions.  In every instance I've simply stated the problem to the sender, quoted the rule broken, then asked for my credit back.  I've only had one snotty response, but everyone else was apologetic and resolved the problem with no issues.



Last Edited on: 3/12/09 5:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I have had a run of bad luck with water damage since the beginning of the year (five books) so I feel for you.  It is very, very frustrating.  On the plus side, most of the books I've received have been in good condition and I've received quite a few that look like they've never been read.

You are NOT responsible for sending back the book.  If the sender wants the book back, he/she needs to send another credit to cover the cost of returning the book.  If you've requested your credit, citing PBS guideines, wait a bit and then send a PM informing the the person that you'd really like to mark the transaction "resolved" and you won't be able to do that until you receive your credit for the water damaged book.

Most members will return the credit.  Some will be snarky about it, but you'll probably get your credit.  Good luck to you!

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It's possible that she did not read the book and didn't notice the water damage. Yes this is carelessness on her part but that doesn't mean they are a dishonest person.  It could just mean that she didn't check the book out before she sent it.

I would not send the book unless she refunds you 2 credits. 1 for the credit you paid and 1 for the postage to send the book back.

I also want to add that I think I've only had to mark maybe 7 or 8 out of over 300 books as RWP.  I've gotten many that were borderline and I decided they stopped their postability with me-and that does happen. Every book eventually reaches it's last person as a postable book and sometimes that's you (or me).  But the ones that were truly bad and unpostable were few.  I got my credits back on all but 2 of them.  Those 2 people were snotty and so I reported it as unresolved.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2007
Posts: 2,534
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I hope you get your credit back.  Luckily, I have found that unacceptable books are the exceptions, not the norm.  I have recieved hundreds of books, and I would say less than 5% were unacceptable.  I have also recieved numerous books that looked new!  too many to count.  Glad your with us!!!

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 6:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I disagree about the honestycarless comment. When you post a book you are asked if the book is postable, if you click yes, you are saying you've looked at this book and found that it meets PBS guidelines. Anything else is lying by clicking on yes.

I agree with the others about not sending it back.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 192
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Nope, she said it was sent to her in that condition and she didnt think it was a big deal, so she knew the condition it was in. It has turned into a personal message war, which I really do not want, so I told her to forget it. She did finally credit my original book credit back, but nothing for postage. Im just going to drop it and since I have the book, it wont go back into PBS circulation and others wont waste their credits on it.
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Robin--

I'm sorry you had a negative experience; I hope you won't let it impact the whole of your "PBS experience".  We all get a bad book or two, it is par for the course sometimes.  I try to remind myself that our senders are all humans (well, last I checked), and accidents and things will happen.

That said, what you experienced is a fairly common response for some members who have never had an RWP before.  I would polite refer them to the appropriate portions of the Help Center, offer to provide photos of the damage if you can (I use Photobucket and my cheap webcam for this), and offer them a chance to save face with discussion like "I know we're all human and accidents happen; I don't bear any ill will, I just want my credit returned per PBS guidelines so I can get an undamaged copy" etc.

Some helpful documents in the Help Center to cite to the sender include:

"A requestor says there is a problem with a book I sent!" (including the line "If your book did not meet PBS criteria , you should refund the credit.")

Be polite and factual, and remember that you are not obligated to return the book, even if she wants you to and is willing to pay for it (obviously, if you take her money/credit for postage, you do have to return it).

If you get rude PMs in response, report them to the PBS Team, as they are not allowed.

There is a check/balance system in place, it just isn't very visible to users.  Folks that have a history of problems (lost books, RWP, not responding to PMs, etc) will have their accounts reviewed and appropriate action taken.  This is why it is so important for us, as members, to report problem books appropriately, so that the occasional "bad apple" can get weeded out, and members who are ignorant of the rules can have a chance to review them.

Good luck!

Catt

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The original post didn't say that the sender admitted to knowing about the water damage.  I'm just saying that people do make honest mistakes and assuming that they are dishonest because they sent out a bad book is just wong IMHO.  Should the sender give the credit back? Yes.  But should they be labeled a dishonest person?  Not enough facts were present for that.  THis could be the only unpostable book and RWP this person has had against them.  If this is a habitual thing for them to do then they'll probably get closed down by PBS. 

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,235
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When I purchase a used book I check it three times before it leaves my home and is sent to a PBS requestor:

1.  When I purchase it, I thumb through it;

2.  When I post it, I again thumb through it; and

3.  When it is requested and before I package it for shipping I again thumb through the book.

With all those checks and balances, I've had a couple that have slipped through (and I've shipped 800 or so books), so it is possible that it was missed.

However, I refund the credit when asked, and also send a credit to have the book sent back to me.  In this way I can see what I missed and hopefully avoid that problem in the future.  

Good luck in getting your crecit back.  Pat

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Anything else is lying by clicking on yes

I'm sorry, but that's extreme.  It doesnt' allow for human mistake.  Some water damage is very small and can go unnoticed even if you flip through the book, but didn't actually read it.  In this case, the sender DID know and that is a problem, but not all members who send damaged books are "liars". 

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Pat and Beth that's the point I was trying to make. 

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I sent out a book recently with a thumb print on the edges - a stain.   I think I got it on there from newspaper print on my hands when I was checking the book to make sure it was ok to send.    I certainly didn't SEE it but I also wasn't trying to cheat anyone.  I refunded the credit cheerfully.

I wasn't lying - I was mistaken.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 192
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Oh wow- a thumbprint? Someone complained about a thumbprint? That sounds like judging a used book too harshly. There has to be some room for human error, like a thumbprint. We are all human and we make mistakes, I would hope that most people understand that. But on the other hand, outright ignoring PBS posting standards (no water damage) thinking "I didnt think it would be a big deal" Is a total different chapter in the book (excuse the pun).
Subject: Official complaint
Date Posted: 3/13/2009 5:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 29
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One of the posts mentions making an official complaint...could someone tell me how this is done?  I received books from 2 different members in one week, both books with severe water damage (one book was so bad the open edge was twice as thick as the bound edge).  I did not do anything about it except make a note of their names so, hopefully, I would not make the mistake of requesting books from them again, but was extremely disappointed with the books and also that anyone would send them.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 9:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I hope you at least marked them RWP. IT's the RWP's that get people booted off. If you mark the book as acceptable and then PM PBS about it later-there's not much they can do.  Also they don't get involved in every little dispute. They just don't have the time for that.  They only get involved if there's someone being really abusive or that has a large number or bad transactions in a very short period. 

Subject: RWP
Date Posted: 3/13/2009 9:13 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 29
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Please...what iss RWP?

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 1,564
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Jo M. -

When you mark the book received, you can mark it Received With a Problem.  This will go on their record.

You should PM them to ask for your credit back.  If they say no, you can mark the dispute "unresolved" which will also go on their record.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,707
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I have sent and received over 1000 books here and I have only marked 7 as RWAP and I have only had 2 marked as RWAP against me, both of which as I recall it was simply a difference of opinion over what qualified as excessively worn. Of the 7 books I have marked RWAP, I seem to recall that only 2 of them were REALLY bad to the point where I simply threw the books away, and at least one other was an ARC but not damaged. I think that's a pretty good amount for the amount of transactions I have completed, so I really do think most people here are honest about what they are sending out.

Date Posted: 3/14/2009 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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*sighs* What I meant was knowingly sending books that do not meet the guidelines.  Since the number of people that seem to be sending out books that do not meet PBS rules.

She said the book had obvious water damage- not some tiny mark that is easy to overlook. Sure mistakes happen but obvious water damage to me is not a tiny water spot in the middle of a book.   And to me that is dishonesty in action.   It would be like me giving anyone else a CD with a huge scratch on it and then saying "hey I got it like that", like it makes it all ok.

I do know 90% of the people on here must be doing the correct thing and its the 10% getting all the talk.

I check my books before posting on the site as well as before clicking that I can send it.