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Topic: It's Finally Happened

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Subject: It's Finally Happened
Date Posted: 1/29/2012 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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After over three years as a PBS member, I've just just had my first truly contentious RWAP. The book is stained from water damage on the last 25 pages or so.

I wrote:  Thank you for sending [title of book]. Unfortunately, there is a stain from liquid damage across the top of the book. As I will not be able to repost it, I would appreciate it if you could return my credit within a week so that I can mark this transaction resolved. If you would like me to post pictures of the damage I would be happy to do so. Thanks so much

She responded: 

This is a 25-30 year old MMPB. When I mailed it, it had no damage apart from the normal yellowing that a 25-30 year old MMPB would normally have.

I am very loathe to re-send books if they fail to meet the PBS requirements. I have thrown several away as a result. However, this one was in good condition for a 25-30-year old MMPB.

I answered: 

Regardless of its age, the book is stained. See below:




As I will not be able to repost this book, and as the wrapper was in pristine condition (i.e. the damage did not occur in transit) please return my credit within the week. Thank you.

Then this, from the sender:

That is not water damage. That is fairly normal migration of edge color in old, edge-colored MMPBs.

I read this book just before posting it, and thought it was in quite good shape for a 30 or so year old MMPB. The spine was intact; the pages- while yellowed and with the expected coloration- were intact and flexible, and there was no water damage 9which not only leaves stains but causes warping, which this did not have).

If you want only pristine, like-new books, regardless of their age, I suggest you make a point of that in your requesting criteria. Since you did not, and this had only the normal effects of an aged MMP, I will not refund you. This book was in perfectly fine condition for a 30 year old MMPB.

My response:

I've posted a book from 1912 in postable condition - age really isn't a factor. All I want are books I will be able to repost. 

As there is clear staining and liquid damage (the texture of the paper reflects this, as well as the staining and discoloration) I will mark this transaction unresolved unless you return my credit within the time period I specified. Thanks so much.

Sender's reply:

I get a lot of very aged MMPBs via PBS. This book was NOT water-damaged, and was in pretty decent shape for a 30-year-old MMPB, based on my experience with such.

I am sorry you're not happy with it, but if you want "like-new" books only, I think it is your resposiibility to require this in your requests. Otherwise, totally readable but aged books will fail your requirements, although you did not specify such requirements.

If I had known that you require only "like-new" books, I would have declined the transaction; no 30-year-old MMPB is going to be "like new".

Finally, from me:

As I stated above - all I require are books that meet postability requirements. I really have no idea why you keep insisting I only find "like new" books acceptable. The book is is stained. Period. I have received many paperbacks from the 40s, 50s, and 60s with which I am thrilled. This was a book I knew I would read and then repost. As it is not in postable condition as per PBS guidelines (no staining is acceptable) I asked for my credit back. As I have stated above, I will mark this transaction unresolved if I do not receive it within the timeline previously noted, As we clearly do not agree on this matter I do not see that any further communication will benefit either of us.

I get the awful feeling she was trying to bully me into letting the matter drop. I mean, the book is stained. This "migration of edge colour" is complete nonsense.

Date Posted: 1/29/2012 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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That book is water damaged.

That said, I don't like the PBS suggested form letter.  It just seems to make folks defense.

Date Posted: 1/29/2012 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Ewww. Yeah, ain't it grand when they keep browbeating you and acting like you're clueless? My sympathies.

You could add a "please do not contact me again" warning if she PMs you again. That way, if she continues you could contact TPTB and let them know she won't leave you alone.

Date Posted: 1/29/2012 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Well, I pretty much did in the last mesage. Actually, that's my own boilerplate, not PBS's. I've been using it (on the very rare occasion when I receive a RWP) with zero difficulties til now.

I still can't get over "edge migration". That is so made up.

Date Posted: 1/29/2012 11:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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It's very clearly water damage. Edge migration- HA.   Hopefully she'll return your credit which you ae rightly due.


Laura M. (LMM) - ,
Date Posted: 1/29/2012 11:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2005
Posts: 524
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Mark it unresolved and move on.

Date Posted: 1/30/2012 12:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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This "migration of edge colour" is complete nonsense. 

Oh yeah, that's edge colour migration. And the page sucking up liquid is what caused it to migratecrying

Anytime someone pulls out the "readable" defense I explain to them that PBS has much higher basic standards than readable.

This one is most likely a lost cause. She's not going to admit it is damaged so it is probably not worth banging your head against the wall. Wait to see if she realized she is going to get the unresolved and returns the credit and if she doesn't, mark it unresolved.

Date Posted: 1/30/2012 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2008
Posts: 1,509
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I'm sorry this happened to you. Since you gave her a date to return the credit, just mark it resolved or unresolved on that date.

Date Posted: 1/30/2012 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
Posts: 754
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Oh wow, definitely water damage.

Last Edited on: 1/30/12 10:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/30/2012 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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In my opinion its not worth wasting your time replying to her anymore.  Clearly they will not admit they are wrong, it would have been so much simpler to say so sorry my mistake and return the credit.  I would just mark it unresolved and get on with your life lol.

Date Posted: 1/30/2012 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I've already marked it unresolved. I had an enjoyable hour or so dealing with this, but enough already.

Date Posted: 1/30/2012 12:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I've a book from 1835 which passed my desk last week that has colored edges.  I flipped through the book and it has no edge migration.. You'd think it if happened then a book that old would ahve it.

Edge migration only happens if the book is wet and it's called "color run or seepage"

I've actually 4 books on my desk from 1979-1983 all have colored edges and none have edge migration.. me thinks this sender has been duped before and told her water stained book was 'normal' for that age and now she thinks it is  normal thing.

Date Posted: 1/30/2012 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,365
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Oh yeah, that's edge colour migration. And the page sucking up liquid is what caused it to migrate

ROFL, Melanie!

Sorry you ran into this Caviglia.  Sounds like she may sincerely believe she's correct.  Xengab may have nailed it: "Me thinks this sender has been duped before and told her water stained book was 'normal' for that age and now she thinks it is  normal thing." May you be spared many more enjoyable hours like this!

Date Posted: 1/30/2012 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I responded to her a couple more times and she just kept respeating ad infinitum ad nauseum that the discoloration was naturally occurring, I was unreasonable, end of story. Particularly as the dye on the outside edges was a completely different color, her theory seems pretty unlikely, to say the least. Oh, well. No longer my problem, I guess. I'm also assuming most people who have encountered this problem with her drop it quicklier than I did. I'm a tenatious beast.

Date Posted: 1/30/2012 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I agree with previous posts, the 'edge migration' of color is clearly caused by liquid damage. 

As for the lack of waviness to the pages, I've noticed that time tends to press-out some of the wrinkles of liquid damage.  Pages that were wet a few days ago tend to be very wiggly, but several years ago not so much.

The the clear line of discoloration, now that just screams liquid damage to me.  Age discoloration is less uniform and usually darker towards the edge of pages.

I probably would have waited the full time alloted before marking the transacton unresolved, give the sender some additional tme to reconsider and return your credit.  Hey, it could happen! 

Date Posted: 1/30/2012 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I probably should have, but she stated clearly: "I'm not returning your credit!".  Need I say she's been a member of PBS for a good long while?

Date Posted: 1/30/2012 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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Need I say she's been a member of PBS for a good long while?


I have noticed from the Questions section that older members seem to be the most contentious on RWAP, at least the ones that get posted here.


The irony of this post....I posted here, got home and received a book in pretty similar condition to yours and had to mark my very first RWAP ever.  I am kind of wondering if I will get the tried and true "its still readable" or an "oops sorry about that" and my credit returned.....only time will tell lol.  And the latter option wins, a polite response and a resolved transaction.

Last Edited on: 1/30/12 11:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/30/2012 11:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Or maybe Stefani, you'll get the 'I received it from another PBS member that way'.

Last Edited on: 1/30/12 11:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/31/2012 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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By chance I ran into an older gentleman who I know mends books professionally and has done for sixty odd years.
I think I nearly gave him a heart attack when telling him about edge migration, he laughed so hard and said that ONLY ever happens when water is allowed to soak into a page :).
He has never seen it on a book that has not suffered some type of water penetration, a very hot steam bath OR sauna can cause it too but that is classed as water penetration in his circle.
There HAS to be something there to PUSH the ink down the page like that. 

Date Posted: 1/31/2012 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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My BFF is a paper conservator at the Smithsonian - I was thinking of setting her on this sender, as I thought it would be hilarious, but realized i then would have crossed the border into Crazytown.

Xen - it was really clear from her messages that she was throwing around terminology she really, really didn't understand.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 2/1/2012 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Pity sake, edge migration!  Does it have a visa?  I sent out a book from 1972 the other day and told the requestor that it was old, still very readable but if he felt he couldn't repost it I'd understand and refund his credit.  When he received it he told me it was in fine shape and it was now a keeper in his house!  I mention it because the pages were indeed yellowed with age but the red edges hadn't "traveled" anywhere!

Subject: I am SO relieved about the edge migration.
Date Posted: 2/3/2012 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 74
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For some time now, edges have been thought to be endangered, but to know they ( it???) was spotted migrating as usual is very heartening.

Most people by now are of course aware that water crossings are an important element of successful edge migration;in countries with drought, the future of migrating edges has been a topic of concern.

Date Posted: 2/4/2012 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2006
Posts: 182
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i just got a book in the mail that was not only fluid damaged, but the binding was broken. the sender returned my credit right away, which was great. but his comment was that he had just gotten a stack of books and had not really looked at them before posting  them. really? bet he won't be doing that again soon--he is out the credit and over $3.00 in postage, plus his time. kind of a dumb thing to do. but again, i am very thankful that it was not at all a problem to get the refund!  sue

Date Posted: 2/4/2012 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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At least he owned up to the error - that was great. Not everyone is willing to do that. That happened to me (as sender), when I was a newbie, when I found a WL book at the library sale, when the other member received it she PM'ed me and said 2 of the last pages (the blank ones at the ends) were wavy, she RWAP'd the transaction and I gave her the credit back. I thought the book was in great shape, nothing torn, stained, bent or crooked, quickly scanned the print pages - apparently missed the blank ones.

Learned my lesson.


Date Posted: 2/6/2012 9:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1,181
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That's definitely liquid damage. I have one like that that's not even as bad and it bugs me that I can't/won't send it out because it's WL. I plan to head over to the Book Bazaar to try to send it with another one in the series that is in good condition.