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Topic: if you have to mark it RWP, do you PM first?

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Subject: if you have to mark it RWP, do you PM first?
Date Posted: 4/14/2008 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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I've gotten my third book in a row that needs to be marked RWP.  :-(  

The last book I marked RWP caused a huge fuss including extremely rude PM and name calling all based on the fact that I didn't send a PM to the sender FIRST telling of the problem before marking it rec'd. I reported the abusive nature of the messages. I know there is no requirement to PM someone before marking a book RWP.  I'm starting to worry that marking these books RWP is going to reflect negatively on my member standing -- like I'm too picky or something.  That's not the case, to be sure.

The first book (of the most recent 3) was mangled, torn and stained by the PO. I didn't ask for my credit back, the sender gave it back to me anyway, and I returned it (because I have lots of credits and it was a like new book -- the PO mangle wasn't the sender's fault).  The second book came with a completely split spine. Not only that, but it was the wrong title. Since it was the correct author and series, I didn't actually notice it was the wrong title until after I marked it RWP, but it's the same result. This is the transaction where I got reamed a new one by the sender.

The third book came today. It's a MMPB from the 70s, so I don't expect it to be in mint condition. It's the kind with dyed edges (green, in this case) and you can clearly see water damage on two sides, about the last 25% of the pages. The inside back cover has a clear watermark on the same two edges. The green edge has bled off where it was wet.  Very much an unpostable book, but maybe you can see why I am a little gunshy about marking it RWP.

Last Edited on: 4/14/08 10:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/14/2008 8:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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No, I do not PM before marking a book RWAP...what is it going to change, even if they returned my credit it is still policy to go ahead and mark it RWAP!  I think (personal opinion) is that only those that do it all the time..send out damaged books...are the ones going to raise a stink.  If it was an honest mistake why raise a fuss...I'd just mark it RWAP, fill in the message to the sender there, request my credit back and move on.

just my 2 cents

Date Posted: 4/14/2008 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Since your question isn't clear (if you want to know if you PM before marking RWP, or PM at all), I'll try both answers.

What you have is a book with an "official" problem -- unpostable due to water damage.

Per the Help Center:

""Official" problems (Wrong books/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" 


So, yes, you must mark it RWP.

Again, per the Help Center:

"If a book you requested with a credit arrives with a problem, you need to send a Personal Message to the sender (1) during the process of marking the book received and/or (2) using the PM button on the transaction in your Transaction Archive, as described in How do I contact another member?.

Your PM should clearly ask for a response, and if you want a credit refund, this information should also be included in the PM.

You should give the sender a week to respond."

Marking books RWP reflects on the sender, not you (unless you're abusing the system, and I doubt 3 books out of whatever you've received is abuse).  It does, however, give new members a chance to review the rules, and the system a chance to weed out members who are repeatedly sending out bad books.

You have to PM them, regardless of if you want your credit back, because the sender is entitled to an explanation of the problem.

If folks are sending you abusive PMs, you should report those to Feedback, as you did before, because they aren't tolerated here.  I'm sorry a bad apple who wants to bend the rules has been giving you a bad time.



Date Posted: 4/14/2008 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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Catt, I'm talking about sending a PM before ever marking the book received, not the message box that is for describing the problem while in the system for marking a book received. 

I know sending a PM before marking it received is NOT required, but there seems to be a sub-culture of "not making waves" -- I've seen many examples of it in the forums.

Date Posted: 4/15/2008 12:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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'Not making waves' is exactly how people foster and enable people to continue sending unpostable books! If the book is unpostable, mark it so, and send a nice, polite PM describing the problem at the same time. That way you're following the rules by reporting the problem transaction and still giving the sender an opportunity to save face by returning your credit. You don't need to be a beeyotch about it--I mean, you follow the rules so why would you expect anyone else not to have to do the same?

You can only see this ONE transaction...not the big picture of what's going on with the person's sending history. Say you PM the person before marking it RWP and they say, "gee, I didn't see the problem, sorry, here's your credit back, please don't mark it a problem transaction!" So you don't. You got your credit back, everyone's happy, right? Um...maybe. What you DON'T see is that meanwhile, this person has sent out 10 more water damaged, unpostable books from the same damp box in the basement to other folks...maybe some of those get reported, maybe not--maybe everyone is all about not making waves this week, and maybe some of THOSE take it a step further and don't even bother asking for a credit back! The very dishonest sender scores big time in that case, while the receivers all mumble and grumble to themselves, or maybe even seethe a bit.

Marking it RWP flags their account so that those people who have problems repeatedly get warned and or banned. If it truly was an honest mistake, one RWP on their account isn't going to get them booted out, and you shouldn't feel bad about marking a problem book as such.


Date Posted: 4/15/2008 2:22 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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Mark it "received with a problem" then send the PM.  Nothing they do is going to make that book magically postable, so there really isn't any reason to send a PM first.

Besides, if you're asking for your credit back they won't get the credit for that book until after it has been marked received.  So, if they are someone who uses their credits they may not even have the credit to return until it's been marked received.

Date Posted: 4/15/2008 7:54 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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Well, I followed the rules. I sent a polite message indicating that I knew the book was old and the damage was probably not caused by the sender, but it was an unpostable book and I asked for my credit to be returned.

I rec'd an equally polite message back saying that it sounded like the book was still readable, and the water stain was probably caused in the mail anyway,  so enjoy the book and have a nice day! 

I replied that readability has nothing to do with it, the book didn't meet the rules of the site and please return my credit. So far:  no credit and no reply. I'm not exactly a happy camper at this point.

patticom - ,
Date Posted: 4/15/2008 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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If it was damaged by the post office, then it was not their fault and I don't think it appropriate to *expect* them to return the credit (not that you can't hope!).  However, if the package is dry you should tell them so because clearly it was wet prior to mailing and it could not have been the P.O. fault.  It sounds like you implied to the sender that it was postal damage, so it makes sense that they would not return the credit in that case, IMHO.  Many people will return it anyway, but certainly not everyone because returning a credit sort of implies accepting fault kwim? 

Date Posted: 4/15/2008 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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No, I made it clear that it arrived in a Dry package with No water marks. The SENDER is the one who is trying to convince me that it got wet while in the mail -- that the package *and* the book manged to completely dry before arrival, and that the brown paper bag wrapping wouldn't show any evidence of water mark.


Date Posted: 4/15/2008 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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Some people simply refuse to follow the rules and there's not much you can do about that - other than be sure to mark problem books RWAP and to go to your transaction archive and click the "Was problem resolved" button and choose "Sender did not resolve problem."  This gives a double black mark on their account.

I would suggest a change in how you phrase the PM for next time.  I'd say "While I appreciate receiving the book, I was disappointed to see that it had water damage.  Water damaged books are not allowed in the system.  Since I won't be able to repost this book, I would appreciate it if you would return my credit."

Who caused the damage is irrelevant, so I wouldn't even bring that up.  I like to be polite while leaving them no wiggle room to explain why I should accept an unpostable book.  But even so, I have had a few people refuse to give my credit back.  Fortunately, they are the exception.

Last Edited on: 4/15/08 12:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/15/2008 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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I just finished the "was the transaction resolved"  link (not!) . After reading the third message where I was accused of lying, I took photographs and put them on photobucket.

I figure it's more of a reflection on the sender's morals than anything and what goes around comes around.  I'll just throw away the book and order another.

Date Posted: 4/16/2008 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2005
Posts: 390
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Denise, did the sender live in Florida\? Sounds just like a transaction I just had. Same response from the sender.


Last Edited on: 4/16/08 2:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/16/2008 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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Unfortunately, no, Sandra. It would be nice to think there is only one person doing this, but I think it's more common than you'd think.