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Topic: Ignoring requestor conditions and then being pissed off!!

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Subject: Ignoring requestor conditions and then being pissed off!!
Date Posted: 5/19/2010 8:28 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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In my requestor conditions, it clearly states that I do not want books that have a cigarette odor to them. I know I probably miss out on some good books because of it and some senders think its too picky but the smell really bothers me....no matter how you try to cover it up it always lingers. Anyhow....I recieved a book yesterday that was not only damaged in the rain from poor wrapping...but stunk of cigarette smoke (probably made worse by the dampness). Also, because the wrapping got so damaged I had to pay additional shipping to recieve it as the postage was gone!!! I nicely sent the sender a message pointing out these issues and requested a refund of two tokens (one for the original book and one for the postage i had to pay). The message I recieved back from the sender was horrible and rude! takes no responsibility for the poor wrapping job that allowed the book to get damaged. Although she ADMITS she is a smoker, she doens't do it near her books or in her house and the book was brand new (yest) so she MADE AN EXCEPTION and mailed it to me anyhow even though she despises requestor conditions and usually won't ship to them. She then states that its people like me that make PBS an unpleasant experience and that I dont' belong on this site. Never to contact her again. Um......this is the first time that I have had to request a refund for a condition I clearly stated i do not want and I did so ever so politely. I wish there was a way to copy/paste the conversation. am i wrong to be upset?? Shouldn't she have just declined my requst and not sent the book?
Date Posted: 5/19/2010 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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The more I think about this the more upset I get.............I mean she writes to me that "its people like me that make trading experiences unpleasant".  But

isnt' she the one that started the whole unpleasant trade by sending me a book I clearly stated I did not want (RC: no cigarette smoke).  This whole issue wouldn't have even happened if she had just declined my request.....or even asked me first if I wanted her to "make an exception and mail it" even though she was a smoker.

perhaps this will be the end of my trading on PBS...and I was so enjoying it.

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2008
Posts: 3,529
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  I have a wish list book that I have just turned down 3 request for.  All 3 said the same thing  Will not take books that have been around smoke.  The book looks brand new and I can;t smell anything, but I did buy it at the thrift store so I don't know who had it before me.  I will not take a chance on sending it out with that RC on it.  better safe then sorry.  Of course one of the RC's also started she wanted almost new books ( yeah right).  If people take the time to read and think about RC's there may be a lot less problems.  I would rather turn down someone then to take a chance on them being upset. 



Date Posted: 5/19/2010 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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You were within your rights to RWAP the book. did you? she ignored an RC. Please see the help center for guidelines on problem transactions.

My suggestion for future: You can really only request 1 credit per book (unless you return the book to them) and if the rain damaged it, there is really no way to know if it was improperly wrapped or not. The main issue is that she willfully ignored an RC. That alone would justify a RWAP.

You can copy and paste the conversation but I would not do this on the open forum. You can send it to a Tour guide (like me) if you want further assistance.

Last Edited on: 5/19/10 9:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/19/2010 9:06 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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I would rather someone turn me down than recieve a book I can't enjoy......................and I totally get that as a smoker you don't notice the odor but don't expect me not to notice!

I get a lot of books at the thrift store too (love them) and I have had people next to me give me strange looks as I sniff the books!!! I have had senders let me know that the book wasn't theirs to begin with and they don't think it smells and ask me if I still want it. Lots of times i will say yes and thank them for giving me a choice........................if the book does turn out to be smelly then that was a chance I took and I dont' complain.

I honestly don't mind a well shared read book as long as it has been treated "with respect".......and I find that most of the readers here seem to do that. I  have received a number of books that are in super "like new" condition and a few that are such great reads they are lovingly wrapped. I wish more people had a reading passion and shared books. It is a sad amazement to realize how many books get tossed aside and wasted by the original owner.

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 9:09 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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I did mark it RWAP.....and thanks for the info on the credit amount...maybe that was what upset her..................though she sent me TEN TOKENS.  I would have rather had a not smelly wet book!!!!

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 9:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2009
Posts: 584
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Tammie..I am so sorry that you had this problem. I am a smoker and I completely understand when someone has an RC about smoking. I will not send the book as I cannot tell whether it smells or not. As for not smoking while one reads that is NOT the point the smell gets into the book anyway. I am glad you marked the book RWAP and the sender should be ashamed. RC's are on of the reason I like this site as it solves the issue of sending a book to someone who might have allergies to certain smells. I hope all works out and is resoved!!

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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Thank you kathleen for being supportive!!!  I am in no way knocking smokers for enjoying their "habit".....just dont' share it with me!!!!  Same as I would never mail a book to someone who says "no books in a cat filled house" and assume they wouldn't notice a hair or two.

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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Kathy W.


   I would love to send you a copy of the conversation...and get your thoughts on it.  How do I do that?

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 5/19/2010 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,152
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She gave you 10 Credits?! That's more than the value of a new book.

I think she's pretty frustrated with you and she's trying to do the right thing, but she's gone a little overboard. It sounds like she's having a bad day and she's really annoyed that it's costing her a book, postage and 2 credits and she's not getting anything in return. My suggestion is to take the high road here. Ignore the parts of the message that you think are rude, assume they were written out of frustration. Mark the problem resolved from your Transaction Archive and then return 8 of the credits to her. You can do this without sending a PM.

You've been a member here almost a year. Hopefully you know by now that almost all swaps go just fine, and you won't let one person upset you enough to chase you away. PBS is one of the gentlest places on the Internet, but there are all kinds of people, and there are all kinds of ways to misinterpret written communications. Sometimes you have to just let go of the upsetting stuff and move on.

Also, we use Credits here, not Tokens -- it's easier to understand each other if we all use the same terminology.

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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Good advise...and I agree it was probably written out of frustration on her part.  

I do enjoy being a part of PBS and have had wonderful experiences so far.  I also know that I have provided some great new books for swappers here and have been thanked many times over for that.  I just can't break my bookstore habit!!!!!

I will return nine of her credits (yes I know I love to call them tokens...I will try to stay on the same page terminologywise as others!!!) ...another swapper let me know I should not have asked for the postage credit and that I really should only have asked for one returned for the smokey/damaged book.

Aaaahhh another day...another headache.  Going to make a cup of tea and finish up the lastest Nora Roberts book I reading....lose myself into the land of words for awhile.


Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 5/19/2010 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,152
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Well, if you had to pay the postage due, then it's o.k. to ask for the credit to cover the money you are out of pocket. So, I would say it's not out of line to ask for the credit you spent on the book and one to cover the postage.

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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thats what i thought!!!  But i really don't want to irritate her anymore ...or risk breaking a PBS rule.  Its not really that important an issue to me.

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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Wow, sounds like she was just frustrated. She sent you ten credits after all once she cooled down. Maybe she herself has had a problem swap recently so this one sent her over the edge. I'd give her the benefit of the doubt this time since she was so generous in her refund. She probably felt really bad for sending you the first PM so she was trying to make up for it.

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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You can ask for the postage due.


So you were right to ask for two credits in this case.

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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I would agree that you can keep 2 credits to also cover the postage due - that was the sender's fault and you do not have to pay postage to receive a book. You could have just told the PO you would not accept it and they could send it back to her postage due and you let it go lost in the system and she would have been out the postage money and a credit anyway. A postage due situation is the one time you can refuse delivery of a book.

I am amazed at the number of smokers who use that line - I don't smoke while I read - the smell in on their hands, in their hair, on their clothes, and on their breath. There is no way to read a book and not transfer that smell unless they shower,  brush their teeth and get naked before they pick up a book.

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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If the book was in the rain and the postage was washed off, that is not the fault of the sender. Even if they wrapped in plastic and mummified the book in tape (which was not the case here), if the book was in the rain due to the USPS the postage would have done the same thing. The regulation from the USPS is "Do Not Tape Over Stamps". The postage due was not the sender's fault, unless they were the one who put the book in the rain before mailing it.

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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But, we don't really know what happened to the postage...did it come off in the rain, was it ever put on the book (many stories on here where it was never applied)....bottom line we just don't know!!

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yes Tammie, you were correct to RWAP for smoke odor & RC violation. 

BUT, I'm questioning the postage due situation.  Why would USPS damage a package so badly the original postage cannot be read, then afterwards decide somebody owed additional postage?  This seems wrong to me. . . shouldn't the assumption be that the package originally had all the correct postage before it was damaged? 

I'd be talking to the local postmaster.  IMO they should refund the additional postage.  Yesh, trashing the book then asking for additonal postage just seems to add insult to injury...ya know?

Last Edited on: 5/19/10 11:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/19/2010 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Make sure to RWAP the book and not mark it resolved unless you get at least the credit for the book back.  I would also forward that PM to the staff at PBS (Contact Us - Lower Right Corner).  There is no reason why we have to be subjected to rude PM's and I'm thinking they might want to know about a member who is so over the top.  Receiving PM's like the one you described might scare a member off this site and PBS doesn't want that to happen.

As to all the advice about how she was probably frustrated, I don't care how frustrated you are, there's no call for sending hostle and rude PM's to anyone.

I also just read she sent you 10 credits.  That's really weird.  I'm thinking this member is a little over the top.

Last Edited on: 5/19/10 12:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/19/2010 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 37,927
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Don't let one bad apple spoil the bunch.

I agree that the only time you can ask for a credit for postage is when the sender wants the book returned.  I think you can only ask for one credit in your situation.

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Personally if a book arrived with enough postage due to cover the cost of a credit-I would have refused delivery. 

I would also refund the extra credits and refer the whole thing to PBS. 

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 503
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They wouldn't let me refuse it because the return address part was totally mushed off due to the rain.  Sort of a weird problem that probably doens't happen very often!

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2010
Posts: 388
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I think that the sender gifting you 10 credits was her way of making up for the angry PM.  Or....maybe she had a really bad day and was over-reacting.  We don't know what goes on in other people's lives.  She may have just gotten some very bad news.  Who knows? 


I think it's a good thing you're doing by returning the extra credits.  Take the high road.  In the big scheme of things, this is just a small bump in the road.

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,245
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I have to agree that you should only keep one credit from her.

PBS is pretty clear that the requestor takes the hit when books are damaged by the Post Office. I think it would be rare that the book is damaged in such a way as to require postage to be paid ... but on the other hand, this is something that the sender has absolutely no control over.

And like all damage by the PO (which neither the sender or the receiver can control) ... PBS has fairly divided the risk between sender (takes the hit when books are lost altogether) and the receiver (takes the hit when books are delivered damaged). Unfortunately in your case, the damage made the PO demand additional postage (which I think is unfair and if it were me, I would take it up with a higher up at the PO) ... but it is not the sender's responsibility to cover that. (Not that it is precisely yours, either .. .but you have a potential remedy which is to go complain at your PO ... she has no way to even attempt to get any $ back for this).

Last Edited on: 5/19/10 3:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1