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Topic: Honesty or Smoke Screen - you decide

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Subject: Honesty or Smoke Screen - you decide
Date Posted: 11/21/2009 9:08 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Looking for a consensus of opinion here. This is a transaction from another book site. I requested a book over a month ago and it was marked shipped over a month ago. No book yet. There were 4 books total sent by this same person to various people - none have been marked received.

I sent one email after 3 weeks asking for status - no reply. Then after 4 weeks I send another friendly email just inquiring on status. Here is the reply:

I really did sent you the book and I was notified by my postal service that there was a problem with the shipping process as well as with the wrapping of the book. The postal service sent me the reciepts from where I paided for the postages on all of the books and their suppose to be coming back to me. Right now its just the waiting game.

 

Something doesn't quite ring true to me.  Anyway, what would you think and how would you handle it from here? I plan to give it another couple of weeks (in case it is honest).

Blessings,
Christina



Last Edited on: 11/21/09 9:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/21/2009 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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It does sound strange. Usually people only know that there was a problem when they get an empty envelope back, or get the books returned in what ever shape they were found. I don't know why the P.O. would send the person the receipts they had on file, since the sender should have receipts if they paid on-line or paid at the P.O. They wouldn't if they just used stamps, because no one would have a receipt.

I guess maybe they could have sent them some other way than USPS? But at first glance the excuse sounds to me like they've not actually sent the book and are buying for time. I don't know what that would accomplish, though, since what would they gain by doing so?

Weird, but hard to be sure what's going on.

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,129
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Here's what I think--when she says "receipts" she means the postage label--I've heard about post offices that just return part of the envelope to you if the package contents are lost.  I'm guessing they told her they will continue to look for the contents, and that's why she's "waiting".  I'm also guessing she is not going to get her books back.

Since she admitted that there was a problem with the wrapping, I'd send her another message saying since her wrapping was defective, she needs to make the orders good now.  (And then I would resign myself to the fact that I was most likely not going to get my book.)

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,497
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I just can't help but think, what are the odds that 4 packages she's sent have gone lost?  Especially ones at the same time?  I've been sending and receiving packages in the mail thru various websites/trade sites/Ebay for over 9 years now.  I've only ever had 2 packages go lost.  Out of hundreds and hundreds of them.

If she truly did send them and did not wrap them well, then she's at fault and should make good on the trades or refund whatever point/book you used in trade.  I would guess that the labels from the packages are in the process of being returned to her also but that means the contents of the packages are lost and she should make good on the trades.

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Thanks for the replies.

Cindy, on the "other" book swapping site, you get points before the book is shipped. So just accepting it and marking it shipped gives you points. You don't have to actually send the book (this is a flaw in the system in my opinion). Once a person racks up some points, then they can order books. So that would be her incentive.

If she wrapped poorly, perhaps the books are loose in the system, and she just received the shipping labels back? I agree, if this is the scenerio, I will not ever see the book, oh pooh!

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I've heard about post offices that just return part of the envelope to you if the package contents are lost.  I'm guessing they told her they will continue to look for the contents, and that's why she's "waiting".  I'm also guessing she is not going to get her books back.

I've had that happen, but they sent the wrapper to me, the receiver, because the sender's addy was missing. I just got the leftover wrapper in a large baggie. But IIRC, they labeled it as 'empty envelope'. I think if it'd had the senders addy left, they would have gotten it back.

So that could be what they're talking about, although 'receipt' is a weird way to put it. Especially since they call the wrapper 'wrapping'.

Cindy, on the "other" book swapping site, you get points before the book is shipped. So just accepting it and marking it shipped gives you points. You don't have to actually send the book (this is a flaw in the system in my opinion). Once a person racks up some points, then they can order books. So that would be her incentive.

I think I remember that in a site I tried out once. Thought it was a bad idea then.

Hope you can get it worked out, but doubt you'll see the book. Some books with intact wrappers can get lost for a while and show up, but I don't think I've heard of a stray book going anywhere after it's seperated from it's wrapper even when the 'lost' form is filled in.

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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My first impression is to be suspicious, with 4 transactions and all.  OTOH, USPS can be very slow to return problem packages (weight/postage/incorrect addy, etc).  If at least one of the four doesn't turn up withing a week to ten days tho, I'd be tempted to report the member or otherwise begin the cranky process.

ETA - were all four mailed the same day?  Did the sender mention exactly what was the problem that affected 4 different packages?



Last Edited on: 11/21/09 2:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/21/2009 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Denise, 2 were marked mailed on 10-2 and 2 were marked mailed on 10-20 (one was mine). The quote from her on the first post is the only thing that I have heard from her (after 2 emails). There is enough details to make me wonder if there is some truth there. It is possible she had no clue about mailing and could have used inappropriate packaging and/or postage. Hard to say. I will give it another 10-14 days and then report it to TPTB.



Last Edited on: 11/21/09 3:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/21/2009 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,192
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My take, it's just a book so I would let the whole thing drop because she's set it up for being able to defend herself so I don't think you'll get anywhere. Her message makes no sense (my PO isn't nice enough to notify me of anything let alone in advance of having something returned) so she might just not be communicating well what actually happened. That's why I'd drop it.
Date Posted: 11/21/2009 9:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,258
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I'm guessing that if she had wrapping that was defective, the PO sent her what was left of the packaging and told her they'd keep looking.  However, having said that, they don't know what books to look for unless she wrote them back and told her what they were.  Good luck.  I've never had any luck getting books back that were declared lost, even when I sent them the name of the book and the ISBN, etc.  Pat

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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If it's BookMooch, you can mark the book as lost after a certain period of time and get your credit back.  If it's a different site, I don't know how it works.

I had to stop using BM because I had come across too many members who took months to ship (or to acknowledge that they hadn't mailed the book I requested a month prior).  The fact that the credit was given to the sender immediately didn't help any.

Date Posted: 11/21/2009 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Call me cynical, but I vote for smoke screen. 

Maybe it's just to buy more time, or the other person lives in a foreign country where the postal system works differently?

(Maybe she messed up some customs forms? That's the only scenario where I can see realistically being informed and expecting the books to be returned to sender?)

At any rate, she's not upfront.

It takes two emails and  7 weeks to get any information from this person.

None of the packages she's sent has been received.

She didn't bother to contact the people waiting for her packages to say there's a delay once she heard from the post office.

She didn't furnish any "proof" of mailing.

Why would the post office need to send her proof that she mailed something? That makes no sense. Either she already had a receipt from when she paid, or the packages would be coming back to her. I don't see why the postal service would feel it needed to have a policy of sending proof of items having been mailed.

I'd chalk it up to a unpleasant transaction, but would seriously consider reporting her to TPTB on the other site. Or at least ask her to contact you when she receives the books back and/or re-send them out. Sorry to hear about this.

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,714
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If  this is BM, reporting her won't do any good. They very rarely do anything. I had someone actually harassing me via email after a bad transaction on that site, and had to cancel MY account to end the problem. The owners wouldn't do anything about it.

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/15/2008
Posts: 16
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Why are you complaining on this site about another book site?

The post office does return books to the sender if the packaging isn't right.

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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The post office does return books to the sender if the packaging isn't right.

Read the OP again. The sender has said they haven't gotten the books back from the PO. They've got back 'the reciepts from where I paided for the postages ' not 'wrappers'.

The OP wants to know if the excuse sounds strange to anyone else. Because it does. The P.O. wouldn't return receipts. They'd return the empty wrappers.

 

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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If they are infact waiting for the books to come back to them, the p.o will return them, eventually (provided wrappers are still attached). I say eventually because I sent a book that was sent back to me because the address was incorrect, but it took eight months for them to return it to me.