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Topic: Manufacturer error?

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Subject: Manufacturer error?
Date Posted: 10/22/2010 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 482
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Okay fellow PBSers, what would you do?  I just received a cookbook I requested from another member.  It is in beautiful shape, however, it has an assembly error in it.  It is 144 pages long and pages 65 - 96 are repeated twice in the book and pages 97 - 130 are missing entirely. The original poster did not alert me to this problem before it was sent - maybe they didn't notice.  What would you do, RWAP or let it go? Thanks for your opinion!

Date Posted: 10/22/2010 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Recently, there was a long thread on this subject.  Read it here:  http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/topic.php?t=218066

If it's a newish book, I'd try contacting the publisher and see if they'd replace it.  They're usually very good about doing that.

Date Posted: 10/22/2010 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I think it's definitely a RWAP.  You didn't get what you ordered.  In essence you received a half a book instead of a whole book.

 

Date Posted: 10/22/2010 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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It is a very divided subject, some do not feel that a sender is responsible for a publisher error since its not damage and the receiver has the book so they can try to get the publisher to correct it. I tend to agree with Kate that it is a RWAP. My opinion is that a sender should be responsible for anything that makes the book unpostable or unusable that would have been caught had they read the book. The sender not reading the book should not transfer to the receiver liability for things missed because of their lack of doing so.

I have not noticed anyone post a reply from the Team on this subject and would love for someone to post if they have sent in Feedback about the subject. 

Date Posted: 10/22/2010 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 482
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I'm still pondering how to mark this.  I noticed the repeat pictures (full page!) immediately as I was flipping through the book.  The cookbook is in great condition, but I do not see how a sender could check their book before sending (we all do this, right?) and not notice it.  The missing pages are of course less noticeable, cause, well, they're not there, lol.

Date Posted: 10/22/2010 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,720
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I think you should contact the publisher and see if you can get it corrected before you mark it rwap. The publisher may very well replace the book for you, or replace the missing pages if the book is ring bound.

When I check a book before sending it, I do not think I would notice repeated pages. I am looking for rips or stains or writing on the pages, etc ... and not at the page numbers. I would only notice if I had read the book, but cookbooks are rarely read through like that, not to mention it is not uncommon for me to mail books out that  I have not read. So, I am not surprised if it was completely overlooked by the sender. And, I am not too eager to hold the sender completely responsible for manufacturing defects in books ... not when it is likely that the receiver can get it fixed by contacting the publisher.

Date Posted: 10/22/2010 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 482
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Well, I just called the publisher, Reader's Digest, no less, and they informed me that since I did not order it from them and do not have an account with there company, they will not send a replacement copy.  frown

Date Posted: 10/22/2010 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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That's unfortunate Michele, we hear that most publishers are more accomodating than the response you received.  Thank you for posting the publishers name, something to keep in mind when buying in the future...what goes around, comes around.

Subject: Contact the author if possible
Date Posted: 10/23/2010 6:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2010
Posts: 288
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Many authors don't like when the publisher messes up, it costs them sales, and will send you a corrected copy if one exists. If not, they'd definitely start hounding the publisher to get a corrected copy out there. Books are generally pubished in bulk, so if one copy is messed up, it's likely that all copies from that run have the same errors.

As for the sender, I've had family members give me dozens of unwanted cookbooks in the past. I may glance through them quickly, but never long enough to notice if pages are duplicated or missing, so I'd question if the sender truly knew about it.

Date Posted: 10/23/2010 7:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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If I noticed it before I marked the book received, I'd mark it received with a problem. If I didn't notice it until after I marked the book received (without a problem) I'd let it go. As I mentioned on the thread Caviglia referenced, I'd consider this book to be missing pages. Most of the other members who posted didn't agree since the pages weren't torn out and were never included. Since I don't believe anyone has used the contact us link at the bottom of the page to ask pbs, you might want to try that and get their thoughts.

Date Posted: 10/23/2010 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 482
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Hi everybody, just a little update to say what I decided:  while marking the book received, I was reminded that my options didn't really apply to this situation.  I did not feel that the book was damaged by the sender, so I did not use that option.  I did leave the sender a simple message stating I was disappointed with the book due to the above mentioned problems.  I also left a comment for the pbs team that perhaps publisher error could be addressed in the help documents.  Sort of an interesting situation, but I absolutely love this club and little quirks are bound to turn up here and there.

Date Posted: 10/23/2010 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 5/1/2007
Posts: 6,559
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One of the requirements for posting a book is "No loose or missing text pages".  Since there are missing pages, it is unpostable and technically a RWAP situation.  Even though the sender didn't cause the missing pages, the pages were missing when they posted the book and the sender is responsible for making sure the books they post meet the requirements. 

ETA:  I would have marked it RWAP if I noticed.  I probably wouldn't have noticed until after I had already marked it received.



Last Edited on: 10/23/10 11:07 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/23/2010 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I think we're going to need to get an official stance on this one. Both sides have valid points.

Date Posted: 10/23/2010 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,327
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I'm with Willa: Both sides have valid points.

Michelle, you said, "I also left a comment for the pbs team that perhaps publisher error could be addressed in the help documents."

I'm thinking that, since you didn't mark it RWAP, you sent that note in as Feedback (maybe through the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page, under "company.")  If so, please let us know what they say.  If not, please send your comment in again as Feedback -- otherwise the Admin Team may not see it for quite a while.

 

Date Posted: 10/23/2010 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,707
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I'm thinking maybe a tour guide could ask the team to weigh in on both of the recent threads addressing this problem. If they did add something to the help files, it would have to be awfully specific - you can't just say ANY publisher error renders a book unpostable, because that would mean that ONE typo would be "just cause" for marking a book RWAP - which obviously it isn't. It would seem to me that it would almost HAVE to be a glaring error like the one the OP posted about - something that actually detracts from the reading of the book.

Personally, though, I think this actually falls into one of those VERY few situations where maybe PBS should eat the credit - let the sender keep their credit but give credit back to the receiver as well. Like they do if a book with PBS DC goes lost in the mail. Because honestly, neither party is at fault and I don't think either party should have to be the "loser" in the situation. I can't honestly imagine this happens often enough that it would cost the site more than a dozen credits per year, if that.

Date Posted: 10/23/2010 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,720
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Personally, though, I think this actually falls into one of those VERY few situations where maybe PBS should eat the credit - let the sender keep their credit but give credit back to the receiver as well.

PBS never eats the credit .... senders who want to guarantee their credit pay 27 cents for it every time they send a book. Honestly, if 2 out of 100 books with DC go lost (which is high, books lost by the post office actually average less than 1%); PBS would refund 2 credits .... but they have received 27.00 for 100 DC purchases, and paid out about 6.70 in credits. I do not begrudge PBS the extra money, but they are hardly taking a loss on the credit guarantees.

Anyway, I suspect that if PBS was to guarantee a credit refund on books with manufacturing defects .... we would see a lot more reports of them.

Date Posted: 10/23/2010 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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OK, so I sent in Feedback and asked if these cases should be marked RWAP. To me they don't really have a stance on it, just summed up the points we all discuss each time and stand on the fact that they believe the manufacturer will replace the book (which I don't tend to agree with when we are trading used books not buying them, but that's my personal opinion). But here it is, interpret as you may:

Dear Melanie,

We always advise members who receive books with binding errors to contact the publisher and ask if they will replace it. This should be done by the member who has the book in hand (the requestor), not the sender. If a book is very old and out of print, it sometimes can't be replaced. Otherwise, the only publishers we know of that refuse to help with this are a few specialized book clubs which sell direct to the consumer and will only deal with their own members. We are not sure why you say that publishers often refuse to do this, as our experience is exactly the opposite.

If the requestor has tried to get the book replaced and cannot, then she can contact the sender and ask for a credit refund. With regard to marking this received with a problem, members can do whatever they feel most comfortable doing in this case. It's not important whether books with this type of issue are marked "received with a problem," since these are unusual cases and don't signify sender carelessness. We won't hold these problems against a sender unless we think she's deliberately sending problem books. A requestor can always ask for a refund on any transaction (problem or not) and a sender can always decline if she does not feel the refund is warranted.

As with all problems, we would hope both parties would apply some common sense to the resolution. A sender should not knowingly send out a defective book. We don't expect a sender to read every book she sends, or do a minute check of every page or page number, but if there's a gaping hole where 100 pages have fallen out, we think she should notice that. Likewise, a requestor who gets a problem book should not assume this was deliberate error on the part of the sender. Although we don't spell out the time period in which a requestor can ask for a refund, we don't expect senders to provide an unlimited warranty either. Going back to a sender months or years after a book was received and asking for a refund is not likely to be successful.

We hope this information is helpful,

The PaperBackSwap Team

 

Date Posted: 10/24/2010 1:54 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Thanks for following up on this Melanie. I will reserve my opinion on all but one issue here.

If PBS were to eat a credit everytime there was a grey area, this site would surely not last long as a site that is free to join and use. I can not imagine the costs involved in keeping just a few necessary people employed, let alone the costs to house and run the servers, let alone all those start up credits they award to new members.

Yes, they surely make some money on the Printable Postage, the amazon link, the BoB and Journal programs. Probably that stuff covers the costs of employing a programmer or two, but I bet it takes much money to keep PBS up and running as smooth as it does.

Date Posted: 10/24/2010 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 482
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I'd like to say thank you, too, Melanie, for contacting the PBS team.  My computer was on the fritz last night so I am reading with interest all the further posts.  I am okay with my decision and since the book is a cook book I'll be able to use it still (except for some of those I'm sure delicious vegetable dishes not included!).  If it was just about any other type of book, I'd be totally out of luck. 

Date Posted: 10/24/2010 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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To me they don't really have a stance on it, just summed up the points we all discuss each time and stand on the fact that they believe the manufacturer will replace the book (which I don't tend to agree with when we are trading used books not buying them, but that's my personal opinion).

I think they have taken a very clear stance on it.

The receiver is the one to try to get a replacement, because they do have the book in hand, and although they can ask for a credit return it will not be held against the sender if they chose not to do so.

And I also don't know why you stated to TPTB that publishers aren't inclinded to make replacements? Since, like the team's response, I've seen/read of many cases where they do gladly make replacements.

Date Posted: 10/24/2010 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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Since, like the team's response, I've seen/read of many cases where they do gladly make replacements.

+1

They said that specialized book clubs might not, which I think Reader's Digest qualifies as one. From what I've seen, they usually just print novels in book club editions (the ones I've seen are abridged versions with 2 or 4 in each book). I'm not sure about a cookbook like in this case, but it could possibly be a reprint of one you could wish list separately from the Reader's Digest version.

Date Posted: 10/24/2010 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2009
Posts: 962
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This is a difficult one for me.  I understand why the requestor would be upset.  But at the same time, the book does seem to be a manufacturer defect so personally I would have a hard time marking it RWAP because it's not the sender's error.  They didn't damage the book, and it seems to be a hard error to find by just thumbing through it.  I would be happy with the recipes that were there.  But I see both sides of the argument.  I would think it would be personal choice on marking it.  And the fact that it is a defect may sway TPTB when they look at a RWAP feedback.

Good luck with your book.

Kellie

Date Posted: 10/24/2010 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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I think they have taken a very clear stance on it.

The receiver is the one to try to get a replacement, because they do have the book in hand, and although they can ask for a credit return it will not be held against the sender if they chose not to do so.

And I also don't know why you stated to TPTB that publishers aren't inclinded to make replacements? Since, like the team's response, I've seen/read of many cases where they do gladly make replacements.

I didn't state to them that the publishers aren't inclined to make replacements, that was their interpretation on my statement that "some people are able to get the publisher to replace the book, but often, because they did not purchase the book they are unable to find someone willing to replace it" which has been my personal experience unless the book is a current release.

My feeling that they haven't taken a clear stance is because they say what they'd like to happen, but don't address what should be done in the case of that not happening. They say that a receiver can seek replacement, but they don't take a clear stance on who should stand to lose the credit when the receiver cannot get a replacement. SOMEONE has to lose a credit in this situation - a sender who didn't catch a publisher error or a receiver who has a partial book. 

When I seek answers from the Team, I look for things that will make it easy to clearly spell out answers when people ask questions - if X happens, you do Y and Z should happen.  Were I to receive a LH question on this now, I'd have no better answer for the member now than I would have before - they can try to seek a replacement, if that doesn't happen they can try a RWAP, or not; they can try to get the sender to refund the credit, but they don't have to. It appears to be one of those areas that is very grey and lots of possibles without exact answers.

Date Posted: 10/24/2010 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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My feeling that they haven't taken a clear stance is because they say what they'd like to happen, but don't address what should be done in the case of that not happening. They say that a receiver can seek replacement, but they don't take a clear stance on who should stand to lose the credit when the receiver cannot get a replacement.

Doesn't this cover it?

It's not important whether books with this type of issue are marked "received with a problem," since these are unusual cases and don't signify sender carelessness. We won't hold these problems against a sender unless we think she's deliberately sending problem books. A requestor can always ask for a refund on any transaction (problem or not) and a sender can always decline if she does not feel the refund is warranted.

So if the book is marked RWAP because of manufactoring defect, it won't be held against the sender.

The receiver can ask, but it's up to the sender to do what they're comfortable with. So it's up to the sender to decide, and if they decide they're not responsible for those kinds of defects, they're free to decline.

Their decision is to leave the return of the credit it up to the sender. Just like any other RWAP.

mistie -
Date Posted: 10/24/2010 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,017
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Michele (OP), have you received a response from the sender? I personally think you would have been justified in requesting your credit returned - under the guidelines of "missing pages".

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