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Topic: Ever feel PMs for RWP do more harm than good?

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Subject: Ever feel PMs for RWP do more harm than good?
Date Posted: 5/1/2008 1:11 AM ET
Member Since: 10/1/2007
Posts: 230
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Sometimes I think I'm just really poor at expressing myself via email.  I had a book I received with water damage recently.  I PM'd the sender, and she responded promptly and apologized, and it seemed an honest mistake.  Somehow between the two of us sending multiple PM's to "resolve" the problem I ended up getting my credit back as well as a very strong impression that she felt I was trying to rip her off (and no response to my last PM).  So I'm just feeling frustrated.  I think if we had been able to discuss the situation in person maybe my requests/thoughts would have made more sense & this wouldn't have ended badly.

She wanted the book returned.  I agreed, but wanted my credit back plus an additional credit to cover postage.  She suggested she order something from my bookshelf, as the book I had received was slender, and could be returned with what she ordered with minimal additional postage.  I said ok, but still wanted the one credit back for the damaged book.  In my head it made sense; otherwise if I sent the two books (the one she ordered and the one I was returning) then we would each have spent a credit, and she would have 2 books and I would have none.  But I think when I sent my last PM saying I still wanted my credit returned she thought I was trying to take advantage or something...my credit was returned but no reply to my email about her plan to order from my shelf, so I still have the damaged book.

I should be happy that I got my credit back, but feel bad about the whole thing, since I do think she was trying to do the right thing, and now thinks I'm a jerk....

Ugh, I hate having to mark RWP...

Date Posted: 5/1/2008 2:24 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2008
Posts: 25
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I don't think there's a problem of communication from your end. As I understand, you were well within your rights to ask for the credit back, and was also very courteous about it.

Personally, I think that she didn't respond because a) having one your books marked RWP is an unpleasant experience, so she might think anyone who marks it RWP is a jerk regardless if they are or not. Or b) she simply forgot/got busy/didn't want to bother with the book anymore, so she didn't reply to your email out of lack of interest, or lack of time.

Date Posted: 5/1/2008 3:03 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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I think people who send books that are unpostable are pretty unclear on the rules.  Whenever I encounter these situations, I always quote the rules - you know the one about the receiver not being obligated to send the book back, and the sender needing to pay for postage if they want the book.  I figure if I let PBS say it for me, it kinda takes me off the hook.

Date Posted: 5/1/2008 8:25 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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If I'm interpreting the rules correctly, I think they state you're only supposed to send the book back if they give you a credit or money for postage, that credit being seperate from the one returned for sending a damaged book in the first place.  That would mean you get two credits and they get their book back.  If they request a book for the damaged book to piggyback, that wouldn't include the return of the inital credit.  However, I think the return of the first credit isn't a requirement as much as it's suggested etiquette.  I've had people return credits begrudgingly, and it can definitely make for sore feelings, but you've got to stand your ground IMO.  Books that shouldn't have been posted definitely shouldn't require haggling, but if someone doesn't feel like checking their books or the posting guidelines, that's hardly your fault for ordering a book in good faith.

Date Posted: 5/1/2008 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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I have learned my lesson! If at all possible I DO NOT engage in PMs about a RWP book.  If the book was clearly damaged before mailing, I mark it "damaged by sender". I describe the problem and ask for my credit back. If I don't get the credit back, I use the "sender did not resolve problem" link.

If I am quite certain the damage was caused by the PO handling, I may or may not ask for my credit back. Sometimes I will just wait and see if the sender OFFERS the credit back. Recently I received a book that was clearly brand new when sent, but damaged beyond reading by the PO. The sender sent me a credit, but I returned it because I had plenty of credits and it was clear that a nice, new book was sent.

I've had it with people getting NASTY in PMs. I don't mean wording that *may* seem to be a little rude -- I mean name calling, cursing and worse.  I report these people to the mgmt.  Not that it does much good -- I got MY hand slapped for "not being as nice as I could have" and a lecture about what "should have been said" by both parties.  Hello? When it's clear what was ACTUALLY said, I was attacked for following the rules, I don't think that's necessary. All I did was say I would NOT be called names and I would NOT be sending PMs *before* marking a book with a problem. I follow the rules of the site and no where does it say that you should/could/or will send a PM FIRST.  The sender didn't argue that the book was damaged, they were mad that I didn't PM them BEFORE marking it RWP.

Date Posted: 5/1/2008 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 10/1/2007
Posts: 230
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Yes, I feel confident that I was within my rights in asking for 2 credits and/or 1 credit if I was returning the book with an order.  It is just discouraging when it seems both of us went into the transaction trying to work things out and things still ended up messy.  Of course there are always going to be people who either don't respond to a RWP or are rude when responding, but that wasn't the case this time.  It just seemed there was a breakdown in communication- I suppose the plan for the book return was complicated and didn't help.  I do feel obliged to mark RWP when appropriate but I thought for a while before asking for my credit back (the book is readable, but I won't be able to repost it).  I expect I will agonize about it even more the next time.

Date Posted: 5/2/2008 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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While it is frustrating dealing with RWP PMs, you are (in theory) helping the greater good, not just yourself, in helping new members learn the rules and/or "bad" members get weeded out.  At least, that's what I try to tell myself, anyway :-)

Thank you for doing your PBS Civic Duty :-)



L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 5/3/2008 1:37 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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9 times out of 10, people who send water damaged books are a PITA to deal with via PM.  I'm dealing with one now, (over 100 pages damaged) and I get REALLY frustrated that I have to go back and forth over a book that was *clearly* posted damaged.

The system as it stand now just stinks.


Date Posted: 5/3/2008 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,750
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I personally feel like people that are a PITA over damaged books knew they sent you a damaged book to start with and just don't care.  Especially if the damage is painfully obvious.  I got a book once that had staining all over, and marked it RWP.  The sender pitched a fit and said that it was brand new, and it was not damaged.  I told her I was putting pictures in my profile for her to look at.  She said she would look at them.  I left them there for over a week, and she never replied.  Nice, huh?

Date Posted: 5/3/2008 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 3,430
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I try to post pictures of the damage on photobucket, and then go back and forth on the PMs until it is resolved.  It is a PITA, but I don't want to be on the receiving end of any books that are very clearly damaged.  It is unfair to those of us who play by the rules.  My question is, why??  I mean, even if you don't read the rules that say no underlining, etc., there is a window that pops up saying no water damage.  I guess some people think it's a used book site so it doesn't matter, but it does matter to me. 

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 5/4/2008 6:38 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I don't get it either, Sheena, but I find comfort in knowing that Karma is just. ;)

Date Posted: 5/4/2008 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,404
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After my 2 emails today for a transaction that happened 2 months ago, I absolutely have to say a resounding, "YES"!  Unfortunately, it has now gotten to the point that I will most likely simply mark received with a problem and state the prolem and nothing else, then simply leave them unresolved.  I really do not need people harassing me 2 months later to mark an item resolved when they couldn't even respond to the PM. (the person had refunded the credit, but no email comes when a refund is processed, you have to hunt it down in the credit registry).

Date Posted: 5/4/2008 3:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,357
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Since the possibility of marking a "received with problem" book is new, some folks may be going through their transaction archive, marking RWP's resolved (or not resolved), and PMing people from there to ask them (politely, I hope!) to do the same.  She may not have remembered that she didn't send a PM at the time she refunded your credit, which would have been nice thing to do, I agree, because then you could have simply clicked on "details" to see whether it was resolved, rather than hunting through your credit archive.