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Topic: How do I mark this book...?

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Subject: How do I mark this book...?
Date Posted: 12/24/2008 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2007
Posts: 1,829
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I knew the answer at one point, but have not had to deal with it personally before and have since forgot...

I received a book today, with very - interesting - wrapping.  It is a trade size book, the main PBS label was wrapped around with a little extra paper where the ends didn't meet.  There is some decorated plastic under much (not all) of the label (normally appreciated, but...), but both ends of the book were exposed.  They weren't torn... nothing was there.  No plastic or paper (Which I absolutely do not understand.  Why use plastic to protect part of the book, but then not use anything on another part? )

As a result of this strange wrapping and today's weather...it has been raining/slushing/icing all day both the book and label have received water damage.  The book is still wet, even.

The end result is a water damaged book that would otherwise have been perfectly postable.  I'm going to mark it received with a problem... it has water damage.  But do I say the sender is at fault, or the post office?  (I should add the part of the label that had water damage had plastic under it.  The water damage to the book occured where it was completely exposed and along the edge under the label.)

Edited for typos.

Last Edited on: 12/24/08 5:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/24/2008 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I would say you need to PM the sender.  But my gut says it's the sender's fault, and you should mark it RWAP after reading what others have to say - or go to live help or the help desk and pose this question to them - they'll get right back to you.  I've gotten my share of wet books!


Date Posted: 12/24/2008 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,716
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Improper packaging is the fault of the sender.  Had the book been fully wrapped, I would say the PO's fault.  With the ends exposed like that, it couldn't help but be damaged.

I'd PM the sender first and make sure that's really how they sent it before marking it though.

Date Posted: 12/24/2008 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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From the way you describe the wrapping - with the ends left exposed - the sender is definitely at fault.  As Sarah said, improper wrapping is the fault of the sender.  You should mark it RWAP and ask for your credit back.

Date Posted: 12/25/2008 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2008
Posts: 3,541
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I don't know if this helps you or not, but I found this section in the HC about books damaged by the USPS.  There is a mention of wrapping contributing to the damage, which I think applies in your situation.

Damaged by USPS transactions:

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.

(underlining and bold added by me)