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Topic: I need help with some of the conditions attached to requests

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Beth G. (BethG) - ,
Subject: I need help with some of the conditions attached to requests
Date Posted: 5/2/2011 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2006
Posts: 25
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I'm confused about what to do with certain types of conditions. No smoking, no animals, things like that I understand and know how to respond.

However over the last few months I've had some bad experiences with conditions that involved the condition of the book, conditions that go well beyond the requirement of PBS. Things like, no bent corners, no cracking on the spine, or, for hardbacks, must have dust jacket, dust jacket can not be torn or folded.

I accepted some of these requests and sent books that I thought were very close to new in appearance. But a couple of the club members did not think that my books met their conditions.

I am now quite gun shy about this sort of exchange. I don't need the trouble. Am I allowed to just refuse a request with this kind? I hate to refuse a request out of hand, but I have no confidence that I can tell if the book will meet the conditions.

Please tell me, what do the rules say and what do you all usually do?

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 12:01 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,857
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Yes, you can decline any order for a book that you want to. Simply write a polite message in the box for the reason for decline. It is enough to write "book does not meet conditions" or "I am not comfortable with this RC", or "I am not sure about this RC".

I usually send books as long as I can meet the RC, and I have never had any issues doing that so far. But you are not required to send the book if you are not sure about it.

If you have another transaction in the future where you are not sure how to answer, you can always come ask in the forums, or ask a Tour Guide about it before you decide how to answer the problem.



Last Edited on: 5/3/11 12:04 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/3/2011 12:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 34,965
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Beth, your post is a good example of why some members deny all requests with RC's attached.   They've sent books they felt met those RC's and have been burned.

Like Sara, I try to accept all RC's that I can.   But if the RC is confusing or subjective in anyway, then I turn down the request, based upon the RC. I also add a short reason why, the same as Sara.  I'm not rude, but if the RC is confusing, I say so. 

You are allowed to turn down any and all requests with RC's attached without any bad marks on your account.  Just as PBS allows members to attach RC's to their requests, PBS also allows members to deny them because of the RC's.

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 2:34 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,445
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RCs are meant to be a guilt free way to turn down conditions you are not comfortable with.  The requestor will not know your name; they will just know the reason you entered into the form.  They have the option to turn off the RC and re-request the book. 

(Well, not on a WL book.  Then they just have the option to turn off the RC for the next copy.)

PBS does not keep track of how many RCs we turn down.  They keep track when we cancel orders, but not RCs.

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 2:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2011
Posts: 2,398
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Beth, it doesn't seem fair that you sent in good faith books that were rejected by the receiver. Good books, too. Books you should be earning credits for. My question for those with more experience is this-- can Beth attempt to explain why she deserves the credit and keep it? Also, what exactly causes an account to be flagged or black marks on your record? I can't find the info anywhere. I live in fear of breaking the rules in life in general.  I'm beginning to see the whole RC debate in a new light. A book can be so smelly you have to take it outside for disposal immediately, but is postable unless you have an RC for odor. I don't want to put RC's in and risk wholesale rejection of my requests, but this is a good argument for automatic  "sorry, can't send". What a conundrum.

Why in this case does the person with the RC get a good postable book and a credit and Beth loses and feels bad?  Unless she fights for her rights.  Many people are very non confrontational and would not bother.  Or you just let it go and say not worth the hassle. Almost all my swaps have been great. I try to not worry about this, but I could be in Beth's shoes one day and I feel for her.

 

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 2:57 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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"RCs are meant to be a guilt free way to turn down conditions you are not comfortable with..."   +1

When in doubt Beth, politely decline.

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 2:58 AM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Lori, the receiver has a right to complain and RWAP a book if they feel it doesn't meet their RCs. They do not automatically get their credit back though. If someone clicks "received with a problem" it is up to the sender to return the credit or not. The sender has every right to deny any damage or problems and refuse to refund the credit. If the receiver marks the transaction as not resolved, that does place a flag on the sender's account, but it doesn't really mean much unless that person is getting lots of them or seems to be making a habit of sending bad books to different people. Nobody is going to get kicked out over a disagreement.

Subject: "Please do not mummify the CHILDREN'S BOOKS"
Date Posted: 5/3/2011 7:01 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
Posts: 1
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What does this RC mean?  ANybody know?

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 7:10 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,857
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Usually when people talk about mummifying books, it refers to the practice of wrapping the package so that the surface is entirely covered with packing tape. Some people like to mummify the packages because they feel it keeps them from being damaged during mailing. However, many people find it hard or impossible to open them when they are like that. 

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I just turn down the ones with RCs about the books condition.

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 10:13 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,271
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I try to accept RCs when I can, but I feel that there are a few unscrupulous members who may use them as a means to a free book. And unfortunately, that affects everyone with an RC. Swap here long enough and you will accept an RC that you genuinely feel your book meets yet the member wants their credit back...one of those is enough to make you RC-shy. I will turn down any RC that has any subjective requests for exactly that reason.

I used to write long refusals explaining EXACTLY why I felt my book would not meet their requirements, now I just say "No Thank You", and walk away and forget about it.



Last Edited on: 5/3/11 10:14 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/3/2011 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2010
Posts: 762
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RCs = requestor conditions



Last Edited on: 5/3/11 11:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/3/2011 11:32 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I just wanted to add that one of the conditions you listed - Must have dust jacket for hardcovers - is a very common condition and not at all subjective.   If it's a hardcover book, then the requestor wants the dust jacket.    PBS guidelines state that if the requestor asks for the dust jacket to be included with a hardcover book, then the dust jacket must meet the same postability conditions as any other book cover (no tears over 1", no water damage, no chewed edges, etc.).

So if you get an RC that requests the dust jacket for a hardcover book, you should be afraid to accept it as long as the book and the dust jacket meet PBS postability guidelines.

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,798
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we all have our own ideas on what conditions our books are in.  I decline ALL RC's that are under that banner or require a PM to the requestor.

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,600
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What I do is this--I don't inherently reject any request with RC but try to look at them case by case. However, I do NOT accept any requests with RCs that

1) obviously do not meet the condition of my book (i.e., no ex-library when my book is, and I've also started rejecting no smoking ones because my son, who lives with me now, smokes.)

2) are very long-winded--I won't even read them especially if they are in paragraph form and longer than 3 lines...rambling, whiny explanations of past bad trades as the reason for their RC etc. are a no go. Just tell me, briefly, what you want. If there's more than one condition, it's best to list them in bullet or numbered lists.

3) use subjective language like "good condition," "like new" "don't smell" and such--if I have to make a judgment about something, I'm not taking a chance.

4) If the RC is full of SCREAMING CAPITAL LETTERS, BOLDED PARTS, italics, underlining or has more than 3 exclamation points!!!!!!, I reckon the person is not really stable so would rather not deal with them.

But that's just me. I also dislike the ones that just re-state the PBS posting guidelines, and mostly it depends on my mood and how the RC is worded whether I accept those or not.

Cheryl



Last Edited on: 5/3/11 12:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Beth G. (BethG) - ,
Date Posted: 5/3/2011 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2006
Posts: 25
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Thank you, everyone, for the info. I certainly learned a lot. I appreciate all the help.

I try to accept the RC's that I'm sure my book meets. No smoking, no problem unless I got it used. No pets, sorry.

Until recently I did not mind the ones that went into condition. They are a bit more worrying since it is subjective, but I used to accept if I thought the book met the conditions.

These problem swaps have made it clear how differently people can look at condition. One book especially still puzzles me. I bought it new and read it once. I thought it looked absolutely brand new, but the requestor thought it didn't meet his / her conditions.

What finally prompted me to post were conditions I received recently. The RC had 2 rather long paragraphs on the condition the book must be in and then added another paragraph on how to pack the book to make sure it stayed pristine.

I am glad to know that turning RC's down doesn't count against me. From now on, if I think the book meets conditons, I'll PM to check. If I am in doubt, I'll just turn it down.

Thanks again for the help.

Beth

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,445
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Lori-

PBS does not tell us details about how accounts get flagged for review.  I assume it is based on a percentage.  I know they look for repeated problems.  I think the computer might select who gets flagged and actual humans do the review.  They will put members on hold while trying to contact them by email.

Having a RWAP or two is not enough.  

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,271
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Regarding the question above about Please do not 'mummify' CHILDREN'S BOOKS - 

This is my RC.  I request a lot of books for a DGD who lives in another state, and my son, in trying to open some of the packages, especially those that use only the white paper as required by PBS, was having a difficult time getting the books unwrapped without having to worry about possibly damaging the books.    So far I haven't been turned down for a book, but did have to explain 'mummify'.  Pat

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,271
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What finally prompted me to post were conditions I received recently. The RC had 2 rather long paragraphs on the condition the book must be in and then added another paragraph on how to pack the book to make sure it stayed pristine.

I've gotten that RC myself and even in my most innocent and accommodating days, I would not have touched that RC with a ten-foot pole. Amazing what people will ask for!!!

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2007
Posts: 145
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I don't turn down RCs as a rule, but if it's anything remotely subjective or more than a  few sentences, I refuse the RC. 

A PBS member can put an RC and as the sender I have every right to refuse an RC. 

If the RC is something like "must have the dust jacket" "not from a current smoking household" , "no mold", or "no horse hair", I'll send the book. 

However, if the RC is something subjective like "must be almost brand new", "excellent condition", "no smells", I refuse the RC.   Those ask me to make a judgment and what I think and what you think might be different.   If the person wants me to PM them to see if the book is acceptable despite the RC, I refuse.  I think an RC should be clear on its face.  I shouldn't have to get into a long winded back forth on PM to understand what you want.
 



Last Edited on: 5/3/11 3:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/3/2011 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
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From now on, if I think the book meets conditons, I'll PM to check. If I am in doubt, I'll just turn it down. 

Just an FYI, to PM you would have to accept the conditions.  And if you don't get the answer you want, and can't send the book, you won't be able to click Doesn't Meet Conditions.  Cancelling that way too many times can flag your account.

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2011
Posts: 2,398
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Lisa and Emily- Thank you so much for the insights.  Love PBS.  Will be a loyal member in sickness and in health til death do us part.

I almost thought that one post was asking about sending mummified children.

I'm thankful today for loyal PBSers that are willing to take the time to help other people learn the ropes. THANKS

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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4) If the RC is full of SCREAMING CAPITAL LETTERS, BOLDED PARTS, italics, underlining or has more than 3 exclamation points!!!!!!, I reckon the person is not really stable so would rather not deal with them.

I almost thought that one post was asking about sending mummified children.

Thanks for the laugh, Cheryl and Lori!

Regarding the mummified children, I don't think Media Mail will take those, LOLOLOL!

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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Most of the RCs I get are that books come from a smoke-free and pet free environment.  Nobody in this house smokes and while we do have pets they live outdoors.  I do turn down requests that the book look brand spanking new. I've only gotten one of those.

 

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 542
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I'm a member with an RC (DJs for hardbacks, no ex-library) so I appreciate those of you that don't reject RCs out of hand just 'cause they exist.

To the OP - I'm sorry that you had problems with people who RWAPed something you thought was perfectly acceptable. As Lisa said, just because someone RWAPed you, you do not have to return their credit - obviously if you ignored their RC or sent something unpostable you should, but if you are quite sure that you checked the item and it met the criteria, you are perfectly OK to stand your ground and politely inform them that you feel you met the criteria and will not be returning their point.

I think PBS doesn't make this very clear, and there's a tendency to panic when you get a RWAP notice and think that you'll get kicked off the site unless you return the point (or at least that's how I felt when I got my first RWAP), and it's just not true.

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