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Topic: Do I HAVE to give a refund if book was damaged in route?

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Subject: Do I HAVE to give a refund if book was damaged in route?
Date Posted: 11/19/2009 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2009
Posts: 15
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I have been told a book was water damaged upon arrival.  The book was sent in a bubble wrapper like I always send them.  I've never had a book get damaged in a bubble wrapper.  It wasn't damaged when I sent it out so, my question is, do I have to refund the credit?  I see this as a USPS issue (or weather related) and not my fault.  Because once you send things in the mail it is kinda out of your hands.

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 9:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If I knew I sent a postable book and wrapped it well then I wouldn't.  Was the bubble mailer a beat up one that had been used several time and maybe not holding up anymore? If not then I wouldn't refund the credit.  I reuse bubble mailers but not if they're really beat up. 

ETA: plastic wrap is not required by PBS and unless the requestor had an RC asking for it then you don't owe them a credit for not using plastic.

Last Edited on: 11/19/09 9:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/19/2009 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2009
Posts: 15
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Hi, Mary

No, I purchased brand new wrappers and used one for this book.  Also, there were no conditions placed on this book as to how it was to be handled.

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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Kimberly, did the other member say the envelope was wet as well?  If she says the envelope was dry but the book had water damage, you have to ask yourself if you doublechecked the book well before you sent it out.  If you are positive that you checked the entire book and it was fine, then you don't have to return the credit.  But, if this is the case, then you know that the bubble envelopes you use aren't waterproof and you might wantt to consider an inner plastic wrap as well on future books.

Yes, I know plastic is not required, but if I knew that a book I sent was water damaged in the mail, I would want to do something next time to prevent that.  I'm very happy when people send plastic wrapped books.

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2009
Posts: 15
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Hi Diane,

I have to say that nothing is waterproof.  But I am positive that the book was fine.  In fact, I go through every book I send before I mail them even if I have just finished reading them - which is the case with this book.  No, she did not mention the condition of the mailer but she said the entire book has pages wrinkled from water damage and the bottom corner is damaged to the end of the book. 

I agree about the plastic wrapping.  But I had a book come with plastic wrapping that bent back the corners - however, I didn't complain.

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,422
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Now I have to ask are the pages really wrinkled from water damange, or if they are of the poor quality publishers are now using these days that are always wrinkled. 

Wrinkled pages do not equal water damage - usually the damaged pages are very stiff and brittle and there is staining on them.

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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I've received a couple of books lately that had water damage and each time the sender insisted it must have occurred during transit. I'm pretty sure it didn't happen during shipping as the pages had long since dried and the packaging was not wet, rippled or damaged in any way. It's starting to make me think some members may not know what to look for as far as water damage.  

By the way, books with bent corners are perfectly acceptable on this site. Any type of water damage isn't.

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I'll agree Kimberly, considering that the Sampsonite gorilla sometimes moonlights as a USPS employee, nothing is waterproof under all possible conditions.

By definition, bubble mailers have a fairly high level of water resistance.  When well secured, the inner plastic air bubbles offer protection from liquid reaching package contents.  By themselves, manilla envelopes and some of the padded paper mailers offer little or no weather protection.

Last Edited on: 11/19/09 11:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/19/2009 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I think I am correct in saying there is NO time that you HAVE to give back a credit.  It's a judgement call on your part.  If you are sure you sent out a postable book, wrapping according to PS standards then don't give it back.   You are not responsible once the book leaves your hands.  There is NO requirement for wrapping in plastic.  

I agree that no envelope is waterproof.  But packages aren't required to be waterproof. 

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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To expand on Mary S. comment -if it is not water damage but due to the cheaper or recycled paper it will be uniformed in appearance.  I would ask the requester if the envelope was damamged?  Ask for her to send pictures of the envelope and the book.  Then you can decide if you should return the credit.

Cozi is right on when she says you do not have to give back a credit and it is your call. One unresolved RWAP will not hurt your account - it will be a issue if there is a pattern.  Good Luck and I hope all works out.

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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Can you ask the member to send you pics of the package AND the book? You will be able to tell in the pic if the book has water damage that you just missed or if it is something that is obvious enough that it couldn't have been there when you sent it. The pic of the package will show if it was USPS damage. I have seen members that are adamant that the book they sent was fine and the other side is just as adamant that the book is unpostable. Sometimes just different lighting will show glaring damage that was seen before. If its obvious its damage sustained after you mailed it, don't return the credit.

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2009
Posts: 15
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Thank you for all your suggestions!  I may have to buy Samsonite luggage to send my books in from now on, lol.

I haven't asked for pictures but if the member pushes the issue I will.  I just want to swap my books and move on. :)

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2007
Posts: 923
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I am the person that received the book.  I am dropping the whole issue of the water damage. It isn't worth a credit to me to cause such a stir. The book was sent in a Value-Lite cushion mailer and the envelope was not in bad shape. There is a little triangular tear on the back and if water seeped in or not, I can not tell. When I feel from inside the envelope the plastic is still intact with no tears so I don't think it got wet this way. The book is water damaged. In the beginning of the book, the entire outer edge and the bottom edge of the book are damaged. The bottom right hand edges are damaged for the entire 228 pages of the book. The mailer showed no signs of any water anywhere. The book was mailed to me on 11/16 and I received it 11/18. The entire 228 book pages were totally dry which made me suspect that it should be wet if it happened in the postal service that recently.  But, do I know for sure? Nope! So, Kimberly, I will mark it received and we can just drop it at that. I am a good trader and I beleive you are too. I can still read the book and I will just give it to a friend. I'll chalk it up to a freaky quick trip.