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Topic: Help with a damaged book

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Subject: Help with a damaged book
Date Posted: 8/16/2008 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2008
Posts: 5
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Hey folks. I'm hoping I can get some advice on how to proceed. Let me explain the situation in chronological order:

1. I requested a book, the request was accepted, the book was shipped.
2. Upon receipt, I listed the book as received but damaged by sender. The book binding is broken but a completely undamaged wrapper indicates this did not happen in shipping. I PMed the sender and asked for my credit back.
3. Sender said that he'd give me the credit after he received the book back.
4. I asked for him to pay the shipping to ship the book back to him, in accordance to PBS guidelines. Since the book didn't meet the 'good condition' requirements of the site, the responsibility is on him to pay return shipping if he wants the book back. Again, I asked for the credit for the book.
5.  The sender accused me of trying to scam him.
6. I responded by sending him a link to an online,  public photo album where he could view pictures of the book and see the damage I was referring too. I acknowledged that he might not have been aware of the damage and I hoped we could work this out quickly. [I also explained that he wouldn't be able to just click the link to get to the album, that he must copy and paste the link into his browser window.]
7. After a week, he had not replied to my message offering the pictures, so I sent him a follow up message asking if he was able to view the pictures.
8. Another week has gone by and I haven't heard from him at all.

I have tried to be very polite with this sender and afford him the oppurtunity to do the right thing. But I'm very angry.  And now he's just ignoring me. Some statements on the PBS site indicate that they won't become invovled in individual disputes. Does anyone have experience with this kind of problem? 

I've read where some of you have recommended contacting the PBS team. I'm not clear on how I should do that, especially now that I've come this far in trying to reconcile the problem with the sender. Can anyone direct me on how to contact the PBS team and what information to send them?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for your time!

Date Posted: 8/16/2008 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I don't think this is the type of thing they get into. Below is more help doc info.


We cannot mediate individual problem swaps at PBS.  We can't adjudicate from a distance; moreover, the club is large enough that even intervening in the small percentage of disputed transactions would not be possible time-wise.  This is why marking a problem swap received "with a problem" is so important: if a sender's account shows a pattern of problems, we will intervene and the sender may be expelled from the club.

The best you can do at this point is to go to the transaction archive and mark this transaction appropriately...


What happens when you submit follow-up

  • Sender resolved the problem
    • this removes the "Was Problem Resolved?" button from the transaction
    • this does NOT change the problem icon in the Transaction Archive
    • Adds the notation that the problem was resolved to the Transaction Archive
      • this text appears on both sender 's and requestor's transaction archives
    • Changes the swap status "behind-the-scenes" so that this problem swap does not count as heavily against the sender as an unresolved problem
  • Sender did NOT resolve the problem
    • this removes the "Was Problem Resolved?" button from the transaction
    • does NOT change the problem icon in the Transaction Archive
    • Adds the notation that the problem was NOT resolved to the Transaction Archive
      • this text appears on both sender 's and requestor's transaction archives
    • Adds a "double mark" against the sender in his or her account record "behind the scenes"
  • Sender did not respond to PM
    • this sends an email to the sender, notifying him or her that his or her account has been marked as nonresponsive in a problem swap
    • the email refers the member to the Help Center information about problem swaps, and tells the sender that he or she needs to resolve this problem
    • this does NOT change the problem icon in the Transaction Archive
    • this does NOT remove the "Was Problem Resolved?" button from the Transaction Archive (so that further follow-up can be given when/if the sender responds about this swap)
  • Marked received with a problem in error
    • this removes the "Was Problem Resolved?" button from the transaction
    • this changes the status of the transaction to "Completed Successfully" on both sender and requestor's transaction archives

Note that once follow-up is submitted, it can't be changed.  The only follow-up option which allows further follow-up to be submitted is "Sender did not respond to PM".


Sorry this happened to you, but I think you're out the credit. Please make sure to do a follow-up, so the site can see if this sender has a consitant problem with sending out damaged books.

Last Edited on: 8/16/08 1:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/16/2008 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Rudeness and non-communication are two things PBS take very seriously, to the point of getting somewhat involved. If you contact them and tell them what youjust did here, that he is no longer communicating, they may get involed to the point of telling him that he need to get involved. To contact the PBS Team, Click the Help Center tab, in the gray bar avove, then the "Contact the PBS Team" link in the lower right of the box.

Good luck but don't hold your breathe :)  Most especially on the weekend!

Date Posted: 8/16/2008 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,365
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Yes, if you've PMd someone about a problem transaction, asking for a reply (which you did) and you haven't heard back in a week, the PBS team will step in to encourage communication.  Do just what Sherry said, or you can click on the blue "contact us" link at the bottom of any page.  Either link will get you there.

Subject: Update on this problem
Date Posted: 8/16/2008 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2008
Posts: 5
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Well, I went ahead and contacted the PBS team with all the info I had. I  received an email reply from PBS stating that this was the only swap the member had done and had apparently abandoned his account. They said they closed it permanently.

I'm please by how quickly the PBS team responded to my problem. I'm glad that no other member has to go through the same troubles with this sender. But I admit I'm disappionted: I'm stuck with a book that isn't worth donating and down by a credit in the process.

Thanks for the advice - I appreciate it. Here's hoping the sender doesn't just open a new account!

Date Posted: 8/16/2008 5:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 401
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You got a response from PBS??  I'm a little surprised (altho happy that you did..even if it wasn't the best of news).  I sent PBS a copy of several VERY rude PMs sent to me by another member (regarding a book that was supposedly in gosh awful condition..NOT so) and never got any response other than the system response saying my "complaint" was received.  I have had several BRAND new books meet one of my little Pomeranians (a big ole 2 1/2 pounds) when it fell off the couch or such..and he chewed one corner, which really looks like a mouse nibbled on it.  LOL  I usually pass those along to friends explaining what happened..I have also had several Nora Roberts books (bought brand new) literally fall apart while I was reading them..of course, once again I have to pass along to a friend or family member...I don't think I would feel right even offering them for free on here.  Hopefully you CAN find someone you work with or family member that would love to read it, no matter the condition.  Heehee...if  anything set it down some where (like the break room, bench in a mall) and I bet someone will pick it up (stick a little note on it or something saying "take me home"..lol).  I'm sorry you lost a credit..it's always so sad to know you have one less credit for a book you may want.

Date Posted: 8/16/2008 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2007
Posts: 881
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If you haven't heard back from the PBS team after a couple of days you should resend your question. I have never had then NOT contact me back quickly.

Date Posted: 8/16/2008 9:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 401
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Tonksy...whelp...it wasn't really a question, but ya know..I refunded the credit even tho I felt it was a TOTALLY bogus (esp. since she REFUSED to return the book after I insisted she be given credit for doing so as well, that seemed ONLY fair) complaint on the receiver's part..I still have a mark as "received but with a problem, BUT the headache is gone and I just figured if PBS didn't feel her total rudeness (she seriously said it was my job to meet her demands, not ask for anything of her, as in returning the book) then I was probably better off just forgetting it..lol.


L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/17/2008 1:42 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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The photographs always prove who is right.  While you didn't get your credit back, you handled this well.  There are people on this site who don't understand the posting guidelines (or don't read them, or don't care) who send out books that are damaged and then will argue until the cows come home that they are right and/or that you are being too picky, this is USED books site, etc.  Nevermind the fact that "used" doesn't equal "damaged".  The best you can do is photograph the book and use it for proof.