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Topic: Frustrated

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Subject: Frustrated
Date Posted: 2/9/2011 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2009
Posts: 2
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I've enjoyed being a member of Paperbackswap. But lately the frustrations are beginning to outweigh the enjoyment.

In the past month I've received 3 books from members that I never ordered. The post office keeps "losing" books, which is disturbing, considering the amount of postage we pay to mail them. The post office has also been damaging books like crazy. They slit the packages open, to make sure we are properly using media mail. And books have been arriving wet & torn & unreadable.

Anyone else having these problems?

Date Posted: 2/9/2011 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2009
Posts: 11
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Fortunately, I haven't had any paperbackswap books that were damaged, but I bought 2 books online that came in tattered packages (1 had packaging that was torn and disintegrating, the other came a package that was sliced open with multiple marks on it).  USPS must be looking for something because they're going crazy on packages lately.

Date Posted: 2/9/2011 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Are you by chance in MD or WI?  Both known to inspect a higher number of media mail packages. 

I haven't been having a problem. And as for receivign 2 books you never ordered-I hope you didn't credit these people.  If someone send you the complete wrong book than what you ordered, you do not have to mark it received.  You contact the sender and see if they still have the book you ordered.  You let it go lost if you don't get the one you really ordered.

Date Posted: 2/10/2011 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,408
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I haven't had any problems and I send out quite a few books and we've had lots of snow.  Pat

Date Posted: 2/10/2011 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,175
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I would take the packages back to the Post Office, show them the damage from the inspections, and file an official complaint. Media Mail is subject to inspection, but they are supposed to make sure that the packages are resealed approprately.

I am not having any more issues than normal (which is close to none).

Date Posted: 2/10/2011 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I also have not noticed any mail problems lately.  So I agree with Sara and your issues are probably regional.  File official complaints, these will bring attention to the problem and hopefully a solution for you and other customers.  Consider contacting TPTB, PBS has an official USPS liason person that might be in a position to help also.

Laura M. (LMM) - ,
Date Posted: 2/10/2011 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2005
Posts: 524
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In the past month I've received 3 books from members that I never ordered.


Not sure I get this...the only thing I can thing of is AutoRequest, but those books would have been on your WL. I can;t believe that 3 different members could have messed up their book shipments to you and sent the wrong book!

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 1:05 AM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2009
Posts: 21
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Funny, I just had that happen to me today. I've had some outgoing problems but that's because the dillweeds here are just that, big ole dillweeds. Anyway, I've been having some difficulties with an "excuse a minute" boxer and today, the package arrived - empty. 

But here's the thing - it appears to have been opened by USPS and a measley little "officially sealed" label adhered over the closing - but hardly sufficient to make it mailable by their own requirements. I'm furious and am going to go to the post office tomorrow and demand they buy the books to make up for their ineptitude. Dang it, I was so looking forward to these three books, too! 

Even beyond this one experience, the post office has been giving me problems of all kinds lately - from packaging to postage to First Class vs. media and finally - getting them to the right address in a reasonable amount of time. 

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,581
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I have only had 1 pkg w/ audio books smashed at the P.O. a few are torn and worn at the corners on the face of the pkg.; so I make sure to reinforce my corners.

But other than that my PO does a good job. How can you recieve books that were not ordered? Senders would only get your address by accepting a request.

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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@ Fara-"How can you recieve books that were not ordered?"


Someone who was processing multiple orders at the same time could get the orders mixed up.  I was on the receiving end of something like that once.  The sender buddied me a credit to cover postage and asked me to ship the book to the right person; and then he had the person who got my book send it on to me.  It worked fine.


Date Posted: 2/11/2011 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 589
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I had several books go lost in late November and December.  I assume it was due to the heavy holiday volumn.  Lately everything has been arriving as scheduled.

I also had a book (well packaged) that arrived almost bent in half.  I don't know how they managed to mangle a book like that and not tear the packaging...although there were black marks all over the package like it had been caught in machinery.  Maybe they were tire tracks......surprise



Date Posted: 2/11/2011 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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No problems here, 99.5% of my transactions in both directions still working perfectly smooth (knocking on wood, throwing salt over shoulder, crossing fingers, etc etc...) But I have found that things at PBS tend to go in streaks--both good and bad things. So if I get a book I have to mark RWAP because I was sent an ARC or a paperback when a hardcover was ordered, I can almost bet that within a week there'll be another problem swap, or a book gone lost or something. It's just always worked that way for me. It's been many moons since I had a problem swap...and no, O Venerable Book Goddess, that doesn't mean I'm due for one! LOL


Subject: Another one
Date Posted: 2/11/2011 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2009
Posts: 2
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Just today I got another book totally ripped open. The p.o. had this one inside an open plastic bag, with a note that said they were sorry they damaged the package. Luckily the book is okay. I would report it, as some folks suggested, but I would be going to the post office way too often to complain.

For those who asked - how can you get books you didn't order - I had ordered other books from those people & they send the wrong ones out. And twice I had ordered a book previously from them & somehow they used my address again to mail me someone else's book. It happens quite a bit. Everyone has been nice about it, but it's just frustrating to get it straightened out.

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Mary, I disagree with "...going to the post office way too often to complain."  If your PO is having internal problems, they cannot correct what they do not know about.  I would consider this as giving them the information they need in order to track down the problem and correct it.

Last Edited on: 2/11/11 3:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/11/2011 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2010
Posts: 196
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"And twice I had ordered a book previously from them & somehow they used my address again to mail me someone else's book."

I don't know if this would apply to PBS, but my guess is that it does, I recently had problems with someone on SAD with someone keeping my name and address and with that they somehow got my phone number and email address as well. According to SAD and also law enforcement, this was invasion of privacy.

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
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Today, for the very first time, we received a book that appeared to have had the packaging opened by the post office.

You'd think if they were gonna inspect it, they'd at least have the decency to tape the danged thing closed again when their suspicions were not confirmed!

Mary in KY

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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If you explain to the Post Office that you are having a rash of damaged packages, maybe they'll give you a way to file your complaints on line.  I guess if you don't want to complain to them about it, you'll have to live with it.  :-(

I haven't had any lost books or damaged books -- or wrong books -- , so hopefully it's a run of bad luck that's nearly over for you.  That has to be frustrating.  I'm sorry, Mary.

Date Posted: 2/12/2011 9:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The one time I had one come inspected it had plastic over it and said it had been inspected. 

Date Posted: 2/12/2011 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,198
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Note from PO is different for "inspections" vs packages damaged by their handling.  The inspected ones I've rec'd haven't looked damaged at all, they are resealed with tape that says "USPS" in red and blue font.

Lori - ,
Date Posted: 2/12/2011 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2009
Posts: 79
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Echoing what others have said -- I have only had ONE book sent to me (out of over 100) which was opened and inspected by the post office.  The package was resealed and a label was affixed the package, clearly stating that the post office had opened it and inspected it.  The book was undamaged and the package was completely resealed.  I have, however, had several packages (and books) damaged during the mailing process, almost all of which were books sent using the printed paper-wrapper packaging method recommended by PBS.  Books sent to me in bubble-mailers or manila-envelope mailers almost always arrive in perfect condition.

Needless to say, I only use bubble-mailers and heavy-duty manila envelopes when I mail out my books!  smiley