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Topic: Newbie needs help - I received a book that violated the Golden Rules

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Subject: Newbie needs help - I received a book that violated the Golden Rules
Date Posted: 3/10/2010 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 19
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I joined PBS a few weeks ago. I've received 3 books, and this third one that came violates the golden rules - there's a stain on the top section of pages. Also, this isn't specifically mentioned in the rules, but the covers have some gross splotches on them. I don't know what they are, but I feel dirty touching the book. I know I need to state that the book was received, but with a problem, but what do I do after that? PM the sender and politely say that the book was unpostable? Request my credit back? I don't feel like I need to send it back (it's readable), but I will not be able to repost it and therefore will lose out on a credit.


Last Edited on: 3/10/10 10:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/10/2010 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2005
Posts: 1,594
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Yes PM them ..tell them the book is unpostable according to the rules...that you would please like your credit back and when they do so you will mark the matter resolved.....until you get the credit don't mark it resolved

Date Posted: 3/10/2010 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 19
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Thank you Sandy!

Date Posted: 3/10/2010 11:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
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BTW - they are allowed to request the book back if they give you your credit - IF they give a second credit to cover return postage. No one hardly ever does, but people sometimes do ask for the book back, hoping you won't ask for the additional credit, so i just thought i'd point out to you that they do have the right, if they are returning your credit and willing to give a second credit.

Date Posted: 3/11/2010 12:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2009
Posts: 8,077
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I actually had someone mail me stamps to cover postage to send the book back instead of an extra credit. So, it can work that way too!

Date Posted: 3/11/2010 4:56 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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IIRC you are not obligated to return the book, but if you agree to do so the original sender must cover your postage expense somehow...stamps, a credit, etc.

Date Posted: 3/11/2010 8:37 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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Also please read the Help Center re: problem transactions. There are detailed instructions and procedures.

Date Posted: 3/11/2010 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Annika, please do always mark an unpostable book with the RWAP.  It's how PBS keeps quality control.   If we don't do this those books keep getting sent around and those senders continue to think they can get away with it.  Disabusing them of that idea is one of the reasons you should ask for your credit to be returned.   I hope your run of bad books (it seems to come in cycles) ends.  It happens every so often.  But most of the books members send do meet the postability standards.


Date Posted: 3/11/2010 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 19
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Thanks for all the responses! The sender replied to my PM, in which I politely pointed out that because there was liquid damage, the book was unpostable, and could I please have my credit returned. The sender said that they received the book that way in a swap, it was gently used, and will I be returning it to them? I disagree - this book was not gently used, but that's beside the point.

Do they need to refund me 2 credits in order to send it back (or 1 credit and send me postage)? Or does one credit cover the postage? Thanks! They would need to refund me 2 credits, right? One in order to place me back to my pre-request number of credits (i.e. before I made the request) and one for postage?

Last Edited on: 3/11/10 10:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/11/2010 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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From the help center:

A requestor does NOT have to return the item in a "problem" transaction

  • if the sender wants the item back, he or she should send postage or a credit to pay for its return.


This is separate from the credit for the unpostable book. It doesn't matter if the person 'received it that way' - that is a common cop out and does NOT justify reposting it.

Again, please see the help center for more info.

Date Posted: 3/11/2010 10:39 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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Personally, I don't return books.  For one thing, it's petty (IMO) to ask for it back - obviously they didn't want it or they wouldn't have posted it.  I think they ask for it back so they don't feel like you're reading it for free.  Or to repost it, which I'm sure happens sometimes.

I usually say this:  "I would prefer not to go to the trouble of repackaging and returning the book; however, I would appreciate you returning my credit for the book since it is unpostable and I cannot repost it.  Once I have the credit, I will mark the transaction resolved."

If you don't mind returning the book, you will need 2 credits - one to repay you for the credit you used for the book and one to cover your postage.


Date Posted: 3/11/2010 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 19
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Thanks Rhonda! I'd rather not return the book - like you said, it's petty that they even asked for it back. And I do want to read the book.

Date Posted: 3/11/2010 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
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Annika, sometimes the issues that you have mentioned with the book can be cleaned up.

If there is some substance on the cover, that is not soaked in, but just sitting on the cover, there are things that will probably take it off (as long as the cover is in good shape) ... you could try some rubbing alcohol, you could try baby oil or mineral oil, you could try Goo Gone.

If the stain on the edge of the pages is only on the page edge and doesn't go into the pages, (like light dirt or fingerprint marks), usually that can be removed with sandpaper.  (I know it sounds like that would rough up the pages, but it doesn't ... you can't tell that this has been done on most books).

So, depending on your particular book, you may be able to make it postable again. (Or, maybe not!)  When I have one of those issues with a book, I usually try one of these methods before I mark it RWAP. Not that you have to do this .... you are entitled to receive books that are already postable when you receive them ...  it's just something that I try before I RWAP things that are potentially fixable.

Date Posted: 3/11/2010 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 19
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Thanks Sara! I think the cover could be cleaned up, but the stain on the pages does penetrate the pages inside - only a little bit, but I don't think it could be postable, or at least I would not feel comfortable posting it.

The sender returned my credit, but sent me a very rude message saying my RC only specified books that don't come from a smoking home and they wouldn't have posted it if it didn't fit the basic parameters and basically I'm taking advantage of the system. Um, whatever - they're the one who ignored the golden rules. And if they received it in the condition it was when they sent it to me, they should have marked it as RWAP when they received it.

Thanks for all the help! Hopefully this won't happen again, but if it does, I'll know what to do!

Date Posted: 3/11/2010 5:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,392
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I've not had too many RWAPs, but when I do I usually ask for the book back so I can see what I missed when I sent it.,  One time it was that someone underlined a sentence in the middle of the book (I'd not read the book, so missed it,even though I do thumb through the book, and even when I got the book back I had a hard time finding the pink crayon underline). 

One time I sent a credit to have the book returned but it never was.