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Topic: First RWAP - please help

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Subject: First RWAP - please help
Date Posted: 9/15/2010 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2010
Posts: 311
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I had a book requested from me that had an RC that the book must come from a non-smoking home. Since this is a non-smoking home, I sent the book out. They then marked the book RWAP upon reciept and PM"ed me to tell me that the book smelled of smoke and they would like their credit back. 

My problem is this, I do not want to give the credit back - the book met the RC. I have pm'ed them back and told them that I had done nothing wrong, the book met the RC and PBS guidelines and I do not feel as though I should have to give the credit back.

I have read the help section but am just not 100% postive if it is ok for me to refuse their request. Will I get in trouble?

Also, there is no way to prove or disprove that the book smells like smoke or not.  It isnt like I sent out a damaged book. How does PBS handle disputes like these if it is needed for them to get involved?

Date Posted: 9/15/2010 1:42 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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If they said only from a non-smoking home then keep your credit.  It's up to you to decide if you followed the RC as written.  You aren't a mind-reader.  Smell RC's are usually too vaguely written.  You won't get into trouble.  It's your decision to make.  They can't do anything to do you.  They can't hit you.  Refuse them politely saying you followed their RC as written.  This is why so many people refuse RC's like this.


Date Posted: 9/15/2010 2:27 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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Don't worry - PBS won't get involved at all.  It's a matter of opinion - she's thinks it's smokey and you know it wasn't sent from a home where there are smokers.   You don't have to give back her credit.  Even if she never marks the RWAP resolved, it won't matter.  Unless you get many RWAPs it will never hurt you in any way.

Date Posted: 9/15/2010 2:52 AM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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This is a common one that comes up a lot. Some people will automatically decline to send to someone with a no smoke RC because, even if you yourself do not smoke and your house is totally smoke-free, who knows where it came from before you. Don't worry about it, you honored the RC. If their nose is way more sensitive than yours, there's nothing you can do about it.

Date Posted: 9/15/2010 3:19 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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PBS looks for patterns of problems, not just one.  Don't worry about it.  One RWAP, especially a smoking one, won't be an issue.  Not everyone has a sense of smell.  RCs about smell are always a problem, both to write and to meet. 

And this is coming from someone with a smoking RC.  Books that might be smokey are a risk we take being on PBS.  If the member needs their RC to be more strict than "currently in a smoking household" then it should be worded as such.  Just tell them if you didn't smell smoke on the book. 

(Agh!  Typos.)

Last Edited on: 9/15/10 5:47 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/15/2010 3:41 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 1:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/15/2010 4:17 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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Alyson, I had this happen to me last week. Totally shocked me as we are a non-smoking house as well. The requestor tried to belittle me by saying that aliens must have taken my perfect nonsmoky book in between my house and hers and switched it to a smoky one. She demanded that she get a credit refund immediately. Well, I didn't refund the credit as I told her that my book did meet her RC (non-smoking house). She didn't like that at all. She kept pming me telling me that she was going to have to mark it unresolved, hoping that I would cave in and refund the credit. Didn't work on me.

Make sure that you write in your pm to the requestor that you dispute her description of your book and that you did meet her RC and you wouldn't have sent it if it didn't. This is important in case PBS ever looks into it, which they more than likely won't. One RWAP is not going to hurt you.

Forgot to mention that because of this bad experience with this member and her RC, that I will no longer take a chance and will decline any smell, nonsmoking etc.. RCs anymore. I have already declined two books because of this because I don't want to take the chance again. I had before accepted many non-smoking RCs with no problems until this one. Too bad it ruined it all, but nope it's not worth taking the chance. Never thought I would agree with those who have said in this forum that they refuse all smelly and nonsmoking RCs, but now I agree with them.

Last Edited on: 9/15/10 4:24 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/15/2010 5:01 AM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2008
Posts: 697
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The receiver is clearly in the wrong here asking for her credit back. She doesn't even mention smell which would make it subjective. 

She needs to say in her RC, if you are not sure whether this book was ever around smoke please do not send.

Date Posted: 9/15/2010 5:10 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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Yep, I had the same thing happen.  She even went so far as to say I had ignored her RC.  (There was none.)  She then went on to critique the way I had packaged the book (even though it was well wrapped and there was no damage, but apparently not to her standards).  I did agree to return the credit if she returned the book.  I wish I hadn't.  I now don't accept odor/scent RCs for the same reason. 

Date Posted: 9/15/2010 6:02 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I'm so sorry to hear that members do this.  It makes it harder for the rest of us smoke sensitive folks to get books.  If they need to be stricter on smoke, then they need to be very clear.   The "currently" wording should not be used if members are not willing to risk lingering smoke.  (I personally put some books in baking soda in the sun to help flush out the old smoke smell.)

While we can often fix poor eyesight with glasses, there is no fix for a lack of sense of smell. 

Date Posted: 9/15/2010 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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I can't tell what was in the OP's mind, but she never said anything about the book not smelling like smoke. Alyson, were you aware that the book smelled like smoke when you sent it out? Obviously, if you were aware of it but you live in a non-smoking home, that meets the literal requirements of the RC, but is still a somewhat different situation than if you didn't smell anything yourself.

Date Posted: 9/15/2010 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2010
Posts: 311
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Thanks for the replies everyone - and to clear up any confusion in my OP - no the book did not smell like smoke to me, we live in a non-smoking house and that RC stated that they did not want books to come from current smoking households.  I did purchase the book secondhand but have had it for number of years, I honestly smelt nothing on it or I would not have sent it.

I just wanted to make sure that I wasnt in the wrong by refusing to return the credit.  Sadly this has turned me off to sending to people with smell RCs. I have sent in the past but dont think I will anymore - this is what I was always worried about - there is simply no way to prove that the book didnt smell before it left my home.

Date Posted: 9/15/2010 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Wow sounds like a super sensitive requestor. 

I have a really sensitive nose, so I'll still send out books to people with smoking RCs (unless they smell to me) and take my chances on getting a RWAP. I don't use RCs myself, but I have been tempted. I know how unpleasant it is to receive a stinky book.

Date Posted: 9/15/2010 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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Yup, a whiff of a smell RC and I'm usually moving on.


Subject: Mildew Smell
Date Posted: 9/15/2010 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2010
Posts: 11
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I get that smoke-free request often too. Last week I got a person asking that the book not only be from a smoke-free home but it shouldn't smell like mildew either. I debated about sending this one out. I don't smoke but how am I to know if the other person won't think my book smells like musty, damp towels ? Hmmmm.

Date Posted: 9/15/2010 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Just a note about what increases smells...like the smoking postal worker.  If a book has any kind of smell (paper is very absorbent) not just smoke...being wrapped up tightly for the period of time - especially the long scenic routes some books seem to take - will concentrate the smell that the paper will normally shed .   I don't bother to have the smell RC because I don't get that many that bother me.  Not worth it - and I am allergic to cigarette smoke.  I have gotten a couple that had to be discarded.  One I smelled right through the plastic it was wrapped in before I opened any part of the packaging.  But in all my time here there have only been a couple of books that bothered me.  I might be weird, but I just don't like the hassle.  I reserve the hassle for the ones who send me PBS unpostables.