Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: How to handle this?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: How to handle this?
Date Posted: 2/19/2010 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
Back To Top

Today I got a book I ordered.  The sender not only ignored my RC about wrapping the book in plastic, they also simply plopped the book into an 8 x 10 white paper envelope and licked the seal shut.  There was zero tape on the package put there by the sender.  The package was taped up with USPS packing tape in several places because the envelope was really mangled.  It looked like one of the lose corners got caught in a machine or something.  Fortunately and miraculously the book made it through unscathed.  I probably won't do a RWAP because of my RC since many said that because I said "I would appreciate it if....", instead of "you must", the person sending the book could take it as an "optional" request.  But, I do think I will do a RWAP about the way the book was packaged.  I suspect this method is how they send all their books, and they really do need to learn better packing procedures.  PBS clearly says the envelope should be taped tightly around the book and this one wasn't taped, period.

The other weird thing about this package is that they sent it Parcel Post and paid $4.90 to send a 12 ounce book.  They could have sent it first class for less than that and Media Mail for a lot less.  They appear to be pretty new to PBS since all the books on their shelf (42 in total) were posted in the last week or so.  I'm thinking this member needs some PBS training! 

How would you handle this?

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
Back To Top

Either mark it RWAP for not meeting your RC or don't mark it RWAP at all.  The book arrived in one piece, after all.

I would send a polite message to the sender, pointing out how the packaging was mangled, giving the tip about media mail, etc.  Do it in a friendly matter - "this book arrived okay, but the next book you send might not be so lucky!"

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
Back To Top

To be honest, since the book is in acceptable condition I don't think you should mark it RWAP.  Since you feel your RC is ambiguous enough to disregard until you change the wording, and the book is fine, perhaps a polite, cautionary message regarding their wrapping methods would be best.  Considering they're new and quite possibly just didn't know better (looking at their postage choice as an example) maybe this opportunity is ripe for an opportunity to educate rather than admonish.  We were all newbies once, and everybody's experience is unique.

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
Back To Top

When I talked about marking it RWAP it had to do with how the book was wrapped in the first place (loose in a 8x10 envelope) which caused the wrapping to be mangled.  PBS wrapping instructions clearly say:

Manila envelope

  • tape it down tightly around the book(s) to prevent "flaps" that can get caught in postal machinery
  • if your envelope has a metal clasp, this can rub against the book cover and cause damage--a piece of tape over the inside portion of the clasp will prevent this.


Date Posted: 2/19/2010 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
Back To Top

Going back to the help docs:

 

"Official" problems (Wrong book versions/Inappropriate items, Damaged books, Damaged by USPS books, and books that violate Requestor Conditions) are marked as such during the process of marking the book received (see below for instructions)

Your problem isn't an "official" problem (unless you choose to mark it RWAP due to RCs).

Procedure for unofficial problems:

"Unofficial" problems (books that are postmarked late, or that arrive postage-due) are marked received normally, and the problem(s) can be described in the optional "survey" portion on the lower part of the Book Received page.



Last Edited on: 2/19/10 8:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/19/2010 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
Back To Top

While this is true, Kate, the Help Doc on problem swaps doesn't cite poor wrapping of an otherwise acceptable book as an RWAP.  RWAP's are for dealing with damaged books, not other rules of PBS (which can be brought to the attention of PBS via different channels, but remain between PBS and the other member).  While there is mention of the wrapping, it's not actually related to marking an item Damaged by Sender unless the book itself was actually damaged:

A book is considered Damaged by USPS if it was damaged in transit (while in the mail).

  • This is usually just bad luck
    • Even the most well-wrapped packages can get mangled by a postal sorting machine
    • We have tried to divide the risk fairly between the sender and the requestor:
      • If the sender gets the book back damaged, the sender assumes the risk: she should contact us to cancel the request.  The requestor gets the credit back when we do that, and the sender does not get credit unless she used PBS-DC or PBS Printed Postage
      • If the requestor gets the book damaged by USPS, the requestor assumes the risk.  The requestor does need to mark the book received and does not get her credit back; the sender does get credit in this case.
  • If you feel that the wrapping of the book contributed to its damage en route:
    • You can tell the sender this in a Personal Message
      • Please be gentle!  The sender may be new to bookswapping.
      • You can ask for your credit to be refunded if you believe it is warranted.
    • You can share your own tips on wrapping technique, and/or refer the sender to the Help items on wrapping a book.
    • You can also comment on the wrapping in the Comments box at the bottom of the survey portion of the Book Received page, so these details are recorded on the transaction in our records.

Since, while the packaging was faulty, it did not contribute to any damage, I would feel the first underlined portion moot.  I do, however, agree that you can say something in a message, including the suggestion to be gentle, as the member is new.  Sharing tips is always a plus, and it's how most of us learned when we joined.  You can also make a comment for PBS records. 

eta: You could always try the route of citing the violation of your Requester Conditions.  It's most likely related to the inexperience of the member, but is still a valid complaint.  However, you've openly stated that the original wording for your condition might confuse some, and since you got the book in postable condition, I'm a little unsure as to what other reasons you might have to mark the book (and presumably the new member's account) with an WRAP.



Last Edited on: 2/19/10 8:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/19/2010 8:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2009
Posts: 1,393
Back To Top

If the book isn't damaged,  then you should not mark it RWAP. 

I agree with James ----  use this opportunity to educate the sender,  so that they will not make the same mistake again.   I have received books where the packaging is mangled,  and I just simply pm the sender letting them know.  

Maybe having a little compassion is the way to go.  

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
Back To Top

Ok, I marked the book received without a RWAP, sent the member an e-mail telling them politely what was wrong with the transaction and a link to the help documents.  I also sent an e-mail to PBS when I discovered that the portion of the Help documents about "How to send a book" didn't have a listing RC's.  I definitely think that information on RC's and what they mean belongs under the "How to send a book" portion of the help documents.  I actually didn't find RC's anywhere in the help document except as an "additional link" to "How to Send a Book" under "Responding to a Request".  That's pretty burried pretty deep.

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2008
Posts: 16,558
Back To Top

I'm beginning to think that you have a really stinky PO. I couldn't imagine having all of the problems that you do. Goodness!

ETA: Wow! And I just realized that you joined in November. Talk about a string of bad luck!



Last Edited on: 2/19/10 10:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/20/2010 12:05 AM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
Back To Top

When you put requestor conditions (not RC) in the browse help center you get all these topics.

Ok, I'm unsure why anyone would do that if they didn't know what the heck a RC was.  My point was that I think they need to make it a little more clear for a newcomer what exactly an RC is and why it matters.

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 12:14 AM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
Back To Top

I'm beginning to think that you have a really stinky PO. I couldn't imagine having all of the problems that you do. Goodness!

Could be, but it also could be that other people don't discuss the problems they have with the books they receive.  In the meantime, I can just see PO employees responding to my marching into their post office and accusing them of ripping book packages and getting them wet.  That's going to endear me to the PO....NOT!

As far as the package being ripped, it's more likely that happened in their main processing center than in my local post office.  As far as wet/damp books, Oregon has had an extremely wet winter.  I imagine it's pretty tough for them to get the mail from inside their vehicle into my mailbox when it's raining sideways, and not getting the mail wet.  The only way they could ensure the mail didn't get wet would be for them to get out of the vehicle and put their body between my mail and the rain.  I sincerely doubt that they are going to do that.  Also, I discovered some time ago that my mailbox was not watertight so I bought a new one.  That seems to have solved the wet package problem for the most part.

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 12:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
Back To Top

Requester Conditions are mentioned in the How to Accept a Request section, which is what the member would be doing when they get the RC. The problem is that wrapping conditions (which are becoming more common) are not what RCs were really meant for so they are not mentioned in the sending section since the member presumably already made sure their book met the Conditions when they agreed to them in at the request stage.

If there is no real problem in the swap (other than annoyance and a bit of peevedness) then you would not mark a book as Received With a Problem. If books arrive undamaged, then a RWAP would probably not be warranted. Putting the information in the survey (both the member part and the PBS only part) is probably the best route to go.

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 1:07 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,192
Back To Top

Ditto on the bad post office.

Gosh, I just can't believe all the problems you have for a newbie. I feel sorry for you -- it must be tough always having to worry about wet and torn packages. 

I, on the other hand, have an extremely wonderful postman. We've have had rain and rain and more rain here (and getting more tomorrow). Nary a wet book. 

I'm so sorry you're having so many awful problems. 



Last Edited on: 2/20/10 1:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/20/2010 1:14 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,192
Back To Top

Oh yeah, the original problem. 

I would never be so mean to mark something RWAP when the book arrived perfectly fine. But I just don't have those problems on such a regular basis. I would probably not send them any type of separate PM or lecture them (that would hardly endear me to my PBS buddies)  since it would have been my post office or the postal sorting center that ripped the packaging and not them. But gosh, even the books I"ve had plopped in manilla envelopes with no tape seem to usually get to me just fine. Sure maybe a ripped corner but nothing more. I don't wrap that way but I'm not going to chastise someone who does. 



Last Edited on: 2/20/10 2:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/20/2010 4:53 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,790
Back To Top

Could be, but it also could be that other people don't discuss the problems they have with the books they receive.

I've received more than 500 books, and I can count the problems with ruined packages on one hand. I've received a couple of empty wrappers (sender used scotch tape and 3 books fell out ... ouch!) and some torn bubble mailers (books undamaged for the most part). I've also received one dirty package (looked like it was dropped in mud). Never received any wet ones. My rate of bad packaging seems to be 1 out of 100.

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
Back To Top

Could be, but it also could be that other people don't discuss the problems they have with the books they receive.

Could be, but probably isnt in my experience.

I have received 310 books through credit swaps. 3 were Lost In The Mail, 2 were damaged by the USPS, and 2 were RWAP Unpostable books. I have never gotten a wet book. Nor have I gotten a wet wrapper.

Of the books I have sent, 1 was Lost in Mail. 0 reported as arriving wet or damaged by USP. I did have 1 RWAP when I mailed out the wrong book. That was quickly fixed by returning the other members credit.

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2008
Posts: 370
Back To Top

I don't think your RC is optional and I don't think anyone would be justified in taking it that way.  Just because you said, "I would appreciate X" instead of "you must do X", makes the RC polite.  But not optional.   There is only one option with an RC.  The sender has the option to follow it or to not accept that book request at all.  But they don't have the option to accept the book request and ignore the RC.  It's like when you were a kid and your mom asked you to take out the trash.  She wasn't really asking. 

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,192
Back To Top

Ray -- her comment stems from another post in which pretty much everyone told her that she leaves an out for someone not to follow her RC, which it does, in my opinion also. PBS has some guidelines to follow for RCs and hers are not clear enough even by PBS standards.

And I have to agree with Sara and Cheryl ... wet books are just not an issue with most people on the forums. 



Last Edited on: 2/20/10 9:33 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/20/2010 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,497
Back To Top

well it looks like the OP resolved her problem so we can now move on to the next topic...

Subject: Mailed parcel post
Date Posted: 2/20/2010 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,644
Back To Top

sounds to me like maybe a spouse or other relative took the packag to the PO for them and wasn't aware of media mail or

the PO clerk asked a question they didn't understand about media mail so they chose what they thought was the closest option--

Parcel post= slow way to get there like media mail!