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Topic: Have you noticed a change in attitudes around here?

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Subject: Have you noticed a change in attitudes around here?
Date Posted: 12/2/2007 3:34 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 73
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Hi, all ....

I'm feeling a bit blue right now and want to share my concerns.

I joined PBS nearly two years ago and have loved this site. I've had 598 swaps altogether and almost every one of them has been positive.

But lately, I've noticed a real change in the attitudes of people, especially newcomers (there are MANY exceptions, of course, and I don't mean to paint with too big a brush,but that's been my observation).  Today was the topper. I received a book that I'd waited for with great anticipation and the minute it came, I marked it "received."

Then, I really looked at it. The entire book had writing, underlining, notes, etc. throughout (and it was a NOVEL!). I'm not talking about a few pages, but almost every page in the whole book.

I PM'd the sender and tried, as politely as possible, to let him know that I was disappointed and that the rules clearly state the books should be in GOOD condition (specifically, with no underlinging, writing, etc.).

The answer he sent was this:

I am sorry you have such strong emotions about a used book. It was used when I swapped it, and I had no complaints. In the future, you should stipulate the type of books you are willing or not willing to recieve. If you had done that, I would not have sent you the book. IN over 50 interactions with other members, people who wanted ZERO writing and underlining said so in their request. I have sent out 40 books, (some with writing and underling) and have not had one complaint until your letter. Best of luck getting what you want in the future.

No offer to refund my credit; no apology or acknowledgement that he might have misread or ignored the guideslines, just a "tough luck" attitude that seems to be cropping up more and more frequently here. Is it just that we're growing so much that the law of averages says we'll get someone like this more often? I've seen this happen on other sites and I hate the thought that it could be happening here.

I hope I'm wrong.




Last Edited on: 12/2/07 3:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/2/2007 5:17 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2007
Posts: 116
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I'm new so can't say what it was like. But I've sent out about 50 books. and received about half as many. A couple of them where ones that I thought were a bit past their prime, but I took them.

Then I got one that just reeked, it had been wet (with something yellow like dog pee) and then left to mildew. It stank, my office stank and I wasn't too happy.  This did not happen in the post office, the covering was pristine. The cover of the book was half yellowed, as was the top half of most pages. They were not wavy, so clearly just damp and mildewy. The book took only 3 days to get to me; you could smell it through the wrapper.

I sent this semi nice message, not even asking for my credit back, trying to open a dialog.: I appreciate the book, but it had obviously been damp at sometime for a lengthy period, and reeks of mildew. I can smell it across the room. It's all yellowed across the top, where it was wet or damp. ecch.  I may have to throw it away, it is so bad. What's the story here?            

Her response?

As far as I know I sent you a good book.

The end as far as she was concerned. No way could she think that, but I just went ahead and threw it away and ordered a new one.

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 6:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Its not really a new attitude. Maybe just your first experience with it. I was once accused of damaging a book myself when I left negative feedback in BOB about a water damaged book. That was over a year ago.

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 6:24 AM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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Last Edited on: 1/19/09 6:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/2/2007 7:00 AM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
Posts: 1,003
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Barbara, you should definitly report him, and include a copy of his snotty email which freely admits that he regularly violates site policy!!  I'm sure R&R will give you your credit back when they kick him out.

I think you're probably right about the law of averages.  There are bound to be a few bad ones.  But I think most members are still responsible book-lovers who abide by the posting policy.  Everything I've received has been fine, and many of them have been darn near brand new.

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 7:46 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Yes, please report that person.  This is not a matter of interpretive requestor conditions.  That is a site rule that he agreed to follow, and now freely admits to regularly violating.  Please report him right away.  I have only had one problem book, and while the interaction was civil and mature, she still refused to believe me.  I guess people don't want to accept that things get overlooked. It happens.  I'm terribly sorry for the bad book and snotty attitude you got.

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 8:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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I haven't really noticed a change in attitudes...there are always going to be a few bad apples, though I have fortunately only had a couple of minor dealings with any of them in my 2+ years here. Most folks are reasonable and courteous, but it sounds like you ran into one of those who thought that, for some reason, the rules didn't apply to them. I would bring that exchange to R&R's attention via the feedback button, though. And I wouldn't lose heart, just think of that person with itching powder in their underwear, have a good laugh and move on. :)


Date Posted: 12/2/2007 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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I don't think I have noticed a change in attitudes.  I have been on here for >2 years now and have had >3000 exchanges, counting those in both directions.  I think I have only received 1-2 bad ones and have had 3 of the ones I sent that people complained about, that I didn't really agree with the complaint (though I refunded them their credits)  The vast majority have been positive.  I agree however, that this one in particular, as well as the one that smelled and looked like "dog pee" needs to be reported to the bosses.  Some things definitely need to go to higher authority when they can't be resolved cordially between people!!

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 10:19 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 7,581
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I would respond and ask for your credit. I would also copy and paste the section from the help center saying what is acceptable to post here!

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 3,220
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Last Edited on: 1/21/09 2:20 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/2/2007 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 18,128
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I'm still fairly new, since March.  I've been lucky and havent received any bad books and so far no bad comments from receivers of mine........I hope if I ever do send anything unsatisfactory........which I try not to.........that the receiver will let me know in a friendly way and request a refund of the credit.......

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I too have been lucky so far.  However, the OP person needs to be reported...he has sent out 40 books that don't meet PBS standards?  if no one else has reported him he needs to be stopped now!

I don't know if it is the huge influx of new members but I have had one member order a book and then leave PBS without marking the book received, so I had to wait until the 26th day to get my credit.  I also posted 2 books that were WL'd and never heard anything from them as far as ordering the book.  majorly disappointed!

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 10:57 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,848
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I would PM the member back and request a return of my credit for that book.  Like someone said, copy and paste the posting conditions for them.  After you get a response from them, send R&R a note with the member's PMs in it so it's on record.  You don't know that they're telling the truth about no other complaints.  Just because the other member didn't hear the complaints doesn't mean someone else hasn't complained.

I've found it's always best to be super-clear about what you want if you're requesting your credit back.  Don't just point out why the book doesn't meet the posting guidelines, finish off the PM with a request for your credit to be returned.  Don't wait for the other person to offer it back.

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 11:12 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,763
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I would respond and ask for your credit. I would also copy and paste the section from the help center saying what is acceptable to post here!

I would do exactly what Jessie said and point out that all books are supposed to be in postable condition, regardless of how he got them.  I would also let him know that it is the sender's responsibility to make sure there is no writing or underlining in the books, NOT the requestor's.  If he still doesn't return your credit, I would send his pm to R&R so at least they will put a 'ding' on his account, if nothing else.  What a jerk.

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 76
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Yikes!  As a recent newcomer to the site, I tend to error on the side of being overly cautious in what I'm sending and have been making it a habit of pming a requester if there's even a 'slight' question about something with a book, even if I'm forced to cancel the order if I don't hear from them, because I don't want to send something 'questionable'!!

I am shocked by some of the rude responses people are getting back when they mention the book conditions. :(

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Absolutely respond to him, quote the Help Center, and point out to him, that requestor conditions are for when you want something above or in addition to the site rules. NO WRITING AT ALL is a site rule, with the exception of cookbook & text books, and even those must be discussed and approved by the receiver before hand. It is ABSOLUTELY NOT acceptable in any way, shape or form, in a novel, and he needs to be told this immediately.

Please do the rest of the membership a favor and risk another rude response from him, and let him know that this is not acceptable, and he is endangering his membership with this attitude. Tell him that once R&R receive enough complaints about him sending books with writing (which you are going to report this one) his membership may well be cancelled, especially if there is evidence that other members have made sure he is aware of the rules and he continues to ignore them.

Also, be sure to ask that he return your credit, and you are under no obligation to return the book, because he did not post a book that was within the guidelines of the site. This is clearly stated when he posted the book, and is not a personal preference for you alone.

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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I can agree with everyone here. My thoughts:

People are generally nice.

Some are not...or don't seem to care.

I try hard, (sometimes difficult) to "accent the positive", and try to let go of negatives.

I wrap all my books in plastic,  but have not received one with it. I will  continue to do so,  but would really appreciate if others would  do the same...all the time...you never know. It's a nice and caring touch.

I try to be kind at all times, but if I received a letter as blatantly inconsiderate as the original poster did,  I would definitely report that person.  The book's condition was absolutely against the rules. I currently have offered for free, books that are in perfect condition, except for one or two pages underlined,  but there are rules.

It disappoints when others act like this. Let's try not to let them take away our joy during this season.

God bless you!


Date Posted: 12/2/2007 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I would absolutely report him, otherwise unsuspecting swappers will continue to spend credits on books that aren't postable.  He freely admits that he he regularly violates the rules.  He'd probably be happier swapping somewhere else.  I know I'd be happier if he was swapping somewhere else.

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 73
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Reader-Girl --

>>> " I just went ahead and threw it away and ordered a new one."

That's probably the best attitude to have! I don't know why I get so upset over this trifling matters, but I have to learn to brush them off, like you do.   I'm probably old enough to be your grandmother (or mother at the very least) but you've shown yourself more mature than I in this case!


Date Posted: 12/2/2007 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 73
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Thanks EVERYONE for all the good advice and kind support.  Your reminders that this kind of trader  is in the definite Minority around here has helped me keep it in perspective. I suppose I've just been lucky so far not to have encountered very many rude, selfish people (at PBS and elsewhere in my life -- how lucky is that????)

It also was great to see so many newbies respond, proving that my "problem child" was not typical of the newcomers here.

I've always hesitated to "report" someone -- it seems so petty. But maybe that's why he's come to believe it's okay to send out books like this.

I didn't sleep well last night, going over all this stuff (I know ... I know ... if this is the worst problem I face, I should count my blessings, and I do).  I realize part of the problem is that swapping books here (and on one other site) has become a real highlight for me. I think they are the only sites I make sure I go to everyday. It sure has made reading more enjoyable too, since I have a supply of "free" books I'd never otherwise have read.

Anyway, thanks again everyone!

GrannyGamer (Barbara)

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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Barbara, yes, please report him.  The percentage of bad books that we all get will not go down unless we weed out the bad senders.  If you feel bad reporting him send me his name, I'll be happy to do so!  Lol!

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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That's not a postable book to begin with! 

I have noticed a decline lately too, so it isn't just you.  I've been a little upset with my mom cuz I order books for her and have them directly sent to her.  When she sends them back to me, a good portion are not postable..lots of highlighting, writing, etc.  Argh.

I received one hardcover book where the front cover was BARELY hanging on.  I pm'd the member and she responded, "I hope you enjoy the book!"  Wha....?!?!

The other day I received a very badly  water damaged book.  I told the member the shipping was fast and packaging was great but there were many pages and the cover that had water damage.  The member refunded my credit.  So, it installed a little hope left in me that there's still some "good apples" in the bunch.  :)

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 1,010
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I think some people just think they are above the rules.  Usually just a small minority.  I think that is why some people get upset when others post about these are free books and people should just be glad to be able to read them.  No they are not free books, and people agreed to follow the rules when they signed up.

I would say 99% of my trades have been good, and about 85% of books I receive have looked almost brand new/well cared for. 

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,763
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I feel bad about reporting people too, but I then I stop and think, if I sent out a bad book, I would expect to get reported.  Even if I don't get my credit back, at least I am showing that the member has violated the site rules.  And I know that R&R are not going to kick someone off for one bad mark, but if they get a lot of them, then they deserve to be kicked off.  We should all be sending out books that meet site conditions.  It just makes the site a better place to be and then no is disappointed.  And when someone freely admits that they send out bad books all the time, they are pretty much asking to be reported anyway.

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 4:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 643
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Glad you're happy again, Barbara. Have a great day!


P.S. I'm having my 10th. grandchild...too much to be happy about,  right?