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Topic: Member received wrong copy, what's the right thing to do?

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Subject: Member received wrong copy, what's the right thing to do?
Date Posted: 11/18/2008 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 22
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I got a book from another member, I read it and, as I usually do, reposted it. The next person who received it says it is not the copy she wanted. Apparently, it's an advanced copy. I don't remember it saying that, but since I got it from here originally, I never checked (or cared, for that matter, ...it was plenty readable). What is the right thing to do? I don't want to lose a credit or a book (that was in beautiful condition, by the way).

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If it was an ARC then you need to give her her credit back.  ARCS are not postable here.  Usually they'll say on one of the covers Advanced Reader's Copy or Uncorrected Proof.  It can be hard to spot.  I got one recently from the damaged books box and when I first saw the book it looked like a regular trade-size book.  But on the back it says uncorrected proof. It also has a bunch of publishing info/phone numbers that you don't normally find on the back cover of books.  When I put in the ISBN it comes up as a hardback. 

If you think the book was postable then ask her if she can take pictures with her digital camara. 

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 9:07 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 22
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I originally received it from another member on here, wouldn't that mean it was okay. Sheesh, I was so happy when I got it in the mail because it was in BEAUTIFUL shape. Who cares if it's an ARC? Is there a reason it's not okay? I live in a rural area with a tiny library so I have always been grateful to get a good read out of this site, I could care less if it's an advanced copy....am I weird?

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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No that doesn't mean it was OK to post.  I received an obviously unpostable book today. I was a WL book.  The covers are barely hanging on and pages are coming loose.  THeir excuse was that's the way they got it from PBS.  Just because they didn't mark it as RWP doesn't mean that I have to accept.   I'm not saying that you intentionally sent out an unpostable book.  It can hard to tell sometimes with an ARC.  They aren't allowed because they are the books that are sent out to reviewers and such to preview the book. Sometimes they are changed afterwards if there are mistakes or they decide a plot device doesn't work or something. Sometimes they even change the title if the reviewers give it a thumbs down.  Also the binding may not match as ARCS are generally a tradesize paperback and the book is sometimes released with that ISBN as a hardback. 

Amy
Date Posted: 11/18/2008 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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Kim, that is the problem. Just because a book is readable does not mean it's acceptable, according to PBS posting guidelines.

It is against the rules to post ARCs, plain and simple.

I completely understand about not really caring what condition a book is in or what type it is, as long as you can read it.

Still, the rules are there for a reason and they should be followed.

Date Posted: 11/18/2008 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,399
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Last Edited on: 6/5/11 12:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/19/2008 12:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Kim, I am so sorry to hear that you got an ARC from another member.  If you go to the Help Docs and read the section on Posting Books, under the Book Condition Guidelines, the What Can Be Swapped Here? tab covers this.  Here's the direct quote:

Not allowed:

 

  • Anything that is not a book (this includes calendars, coloring books, blank journals)
  • Anything that contains advertising
  • Advance Reader Copies (also known as ARC s, Review Copies or Uncorrected Proofs--these are not the final versions of books)
  • CD-ROM books/e-books (books that must be read on a computer)
  • Burned copies of audio books
  • Xerox or otherwise unoriginal copies of books
  • Unbound pages
  • leaflets or pamphlets or booklets* without ISBNs (other members complain at spending a credit for these)
  • Books that require supplementary non-media materials (non-media materials cannot be sent by MediaMail)
  • Pornography (sex manuals and erotica are allowed, hardcore pornography is not allowed)

*A leaflet/pamphlet is an item with fewer than 20 pages; a booklet is an item with between 20 and 50 pages that is not a children's book. Children's books often have less than 50 pages and are not considered booklets just because of their short pagelength.

Please note: if you Post an inappropriate item for swapping, it may be removed from the database as an automatic action without notice; if it has been requested from you before that happens, you will not get credits for sending it.

 

Unfortunately, you got dinged by another member who posted an ARC when they shouldn't have, and because you weren't aware that the book was unpostable here - and apparently didn't know that it even was an ARC - you marked the book received, when it should have been marked RWAP (Received With A Problem), and as part of that problem transaction, you could have asked that member to refund your credit.  Now you've sort of inherited that person's problem, but the member who received it from you absolutely did the right thing and followed the correct procedure - she marked it RWAP and asked you for a credit refund.  My best advice at this point is to go ahead and refund the credit and put it down to lesson learned.  It would be a really good idea to become familiar with the help docs, especially the portions on what can and cannot be posted at PBS, and what to do if you receive unpostable books.  Try to check the books you receive very carefully from now on so that something like this doesn't happen to you in the future.  Most of us had to learn some of these lessons the hard way as well, so you're in good company, at least:P  Best of luck, and try not to let it get you down. 

  



Last Edited on: 11/19/08 12:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: ARCs
Date Posted: 11/19/2008 1:19 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,420
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What you can do with ARC's is givethem as a freebie with another book off your shelf.  They ARE hard to spot!

Date Posted: 11/19/2008 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 22
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How frustrating. It makes me want to pull all my books off this site. I'm just an obsessive reader trying to stay ahead of our small library's catalog.

Date Posted: 11/19/2008 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,707
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I would insist that she send you a picture proving it is an ARC before you refund the credit.

ARCs are not postable here because PBS credits have a "sort-of" monetary value, and ARCs cannot be "sold" - you can actually be prosecuted for selling them.

Date Posted: 11/19/2008 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 54
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Kim, I, too, have nothing against ARCs.  If you ever get one again, they are acceptable on www.bookmooch.com, I think.  I've swapped a couple there.  In my experience, Moochers tend to be less fiddly about quality than Swappers, although it varies, I'm sure.  I have accounts on both sites.

Date Posted: 11/19/2008 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 22
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Thank you so much for that advice Hildy. Now, she is requesting 2 credits!! Is that realistic? I want the book back too...it was practically brand new! I read it and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it, text or otherwise. It infuriates me because I just ordered my little girl a bunch of "Clifford" books and now who knows if I'll have enough credits to read anything else for awhile.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 11/19/2008 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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Kim -- really sorry this happened to you, but if you sent a book that's not allowed here, you do have to pay the postage if you want the requestor to send it back. You don't have to do that by sending a credit. You can mail a self-addressed stamped envelope to her or offer to send money through Paypal. Not everyone has a Paypal account though.

Date Posted: 11/19/2008 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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To my knowledge, I have never in my life seen an ARC, or have I?  I am concerned that this sort of thing could happen more often because people don't recognize a book is an ARC.  Are books usually marked "Advance Reader Copy" in an obvious way, or only in a very subtle way?  How does a person go about getting an ARC?  I think it might be cool to find an ARC of a book I have read and see if the plot is the same.  (I guess that sounds like I have too much time on my hands...)

Date Posted: 11/19/2008 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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I like the idea of the receiver sending a digital picture that the book is an ARC.  That would give proof.  If I thought a book I sent was postable, it might be hard to believe a sender who said it wasn't postable without some kind of proof.

Date Posted: 11/19/2008 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 22
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I like the self addressed stamped envelope idea. I hadn't thought of that. I called the phone number on the PBS "contact us" page. Has anyone ever had to do this? If so, how long before you get a response? I also pm'ed the guy from here that I originally received the book from. I don't expect him to do anything, after all, I read the book after he sent it to me, but I guess I thought he should know.

I am with you VLR, I have no idea how people get an ARC but I am the type of person who will read anything that's printed. Life is too short to risk missing a good book.

Date Posted: 11/19/2008 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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No, I have never called the number on the contact us page, why would I? It very clearly states in the help documents:

"We can't intercede in individual problems, but if an account shows a pattern of problem sending, we will intervene."

I have contacted them via email about problems with how my accout was working and they responded promptly.

Edit to remove part of the quote that didn't really apply. 



Last Edited on: 11/19/08 5:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/19/2008 5:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2005
Posts: 72
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 The few ARC's I've had all said plainly on the cover that is was an Advanced Reading Copy and not for individual sale. I'm not sure if they are all like that or not. I'd also request a digital photo as proof that it is an ARC before you refund the credit. The ones I had you could not miss it. They made it very obvious that it was an ARC. I hope everything works out for you!

Date Posted: 11/19/2008 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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They aren't all like that.  They can be hard to spot.  I have one that looks like a regular tradesize until you look at the bottom of the back cover. There it says Uncorrected Proof please contact so and so for plublishing info, blah blah blah" .  The ISBN brings up a hardback. 

I think people originally get them because they work in the publishing or media industry or they know someone who does.  They send them out to get feedback on the book before it goes into it's initial printing.  That's why they aren't postable because sometimes the plot is changed, stuff it taken out or added, a major mistake is corrected or something. 

You can trade them in the Damaged Books Virtual box. 

I would also ask for a photo.  If you want the book back you will have to give her 2 credits or 1 credit and postage money. 

Date Posted: 11/19/2008 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 23
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I'm wondering if part of the reason ARC's aren't postable has to do with the fact that it was a free copy intended only for review purposes. Books missing their covers aren't allowed because the publisher/author haven't received any compensation for the book, perhaps it is the same story with ARCs?

I have received some ARC books in the past from a publisher. They send them to me for free on the condition that I put a review up on my blog and on Amazon. Pretty sweet, really.

Date Posted: 11/20/2008 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 54
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Am I the only naturally suspicious person who thinks this scenario smells a little funny? 

It seems like a pretty understandable mistake.  I'm sure a lot of people can read for their whole lives and never encounter an ARC or know what one is and how to spot it.  And now she wants two credits (?) on nothing more than her say-so?  If she said it had a ripped cover or missing pages, you'd know if she was lying, but she tells you it's an ARC, assuming you won't know the difference and believe her?  I'd want some kind of confirmation, before I took her word over yours.

Date Posted: 11/20/2008 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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I called the phone number on the PBS "contact us" page. Has anyone ever had to do this? If so, how long before you get a response.

Actually, the tour guides have been asked by the PBS team to advise people AGAINST calling that number.  That number is for their buisness operations only, not for us to ask questions about the site.  As someone said earlier, contacting them won't get you very far becuase they don't intervene in individual swap issues like this.  This is for you two to work out.



Last Edited on: 11/20/08 9:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/20/2008 10:13 AM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2007
Posts: 62
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Its definately NOT suspicious to ask for 2 credits on a book when the sender has asked that the book be returned.  Is suggested in the PBS guidelines in cases where the receiver asks for a credit back on a book received that is not postable.  The sender is entitled to ask for the book back BUT the receiver is not obligated to send it especially if the original sender is not providing postage.  As previously mentioned, the postage can be supplied by a credit, a SASE or paypal money. 

If I were the sender here, I would credit the person who I mailed the book to (2 credits if I wanted them to return it) and then PM the person who sent the book to ME and ask for my credit back on this book.  I would also provide photos of the ARC indications.  Couldn't hurt to ask, right?

Lauren

Date Posted: 11/20/2008 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,146
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I'd probably just give a single credit and let the book go (unless you really, really want it back, but knowing you can't post it again unless it's a freebie)> check out the Book Bazaar forum, there are a LOT of postings about ARCs. In fact, if your book is an ARC of a wishlist book, someone may SPECIFICALLY want it from you and be excited about a deal. Still though, it's a hassle, and there's no guarantee she'd send it back anyway. I don't think it's suspicious though. Seems like a mistake in just not KNOWING it was an ARC. Nothing I'd fault someone for. In fact, I often check the ARC thread in hopes I'd find some of my WL books to beat the line. I'm a member of another trade site, which allows posting them. It seems like we're often so easy to jump on the other person (if they haven't marked a book received, they're "obviously" cheating and saying they never got it, yet when a book we're supposed to get doesn't show up, well, we just never received it legitimately). The other trader probably just noticed it was an ARC and knew the PBS rules, which is why she asked for the credit back. Simple stuff. If she doesn't have a digital camera, or doesn't want to make the effort, why hassle?

Date Posted: 11/20/2008 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2008
Posts: 626
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To my understanding, another reason why ARCs aren't allowed is because sometimes they are made a bit cheaper since it is an advanced copy.  Though I am not sure, I have never had an ARC. 

I would also ask if the person could provide proof that it was an ARC.  Then if it was, I would return the credit and send SASE for the book back (if I really wanted it).  I wouldn't do anything until I had proof though, especially since you didn't notice that it was an ARC.

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