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Topic: Odd Transaction

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Subject: Odd Transaction
Date Posted: 6/22/2012 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2008
Posts: 903
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I was finally offered a book that had been on my wish list for a few years (yay!). The sender accepted the transaction and marked it mailed within the PBS timeline. I waited for the book to arrive. And waited. Waited some more. Received my first "reminder" email from PBS to ask if the book had arrived and to mark it mailed if it had.

It hadn't.

The book finally arrived the other day. Postmarked 14 days after it was marked mailed on PBS. I open the package to find not only the book I'd ordered but an extra book that I hadn't ordered. WTH? And to top it off the binding of the WL book is falling apart and the pages are coming loose.

No PMs from the sender saying they'd made an oops and were sendng the book late, no mention of the extra book.

If the book had merely been late i would have let it go but I did mark the transaction as a RWAP due to the unpostable condition of the WL book. And I PM'd the member asking about the reason for the extra book and if it was meant to go to another member - if so to contact me to make arrangements for getting the book to the 3rd party who may be expecting it (it's not currently a WL book but there aren't any other copies currently in the PBS system). I haven't heard back yet but I only sent the PM yesterday so I'll give it a few days.

Am I handling this correctly, IYHO? This is definitely the oddest transaction I've had and am not sure how to deal with it.

 

Date Posted: 6/22/2012 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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To me it sounds like you handled it correctly.  By itself, a late postmark is not a reason to mark it RWAP but given that its also unpostable that's a definite RWAP.  It's a nice gesture of you to check and see if they accidentally sent you the extra book instead of someone else, but honestly they probably were hoping you'd overlook the unpostable book if you got a "free" one too. 

Date Posted: 6/22/2012 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2008
Posts: 903
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Actually, you can RWAP for a late postmark.

 

 

Books that arrive with a late postmark should be marked "received with a problem" and the late postmark can be noted.

  • Providing the late postmark while marking the book received will generate an auto-email to the sender of the book, reminding him or her that late mailing is not acceptable at PBS.
    • The email includes the information that the late postmark could have been entered in error
    • The email includes the information that sometimes postmarks are delayed a few days, even if the book was mailed on time
    • The email includes the information that if the late mailing was agreed to by the requestor, this is not a problem
  • You can contact the sender using the text box provided while marking the book received
    • Please be gentle! You can't know what might have delayed this shipment.
  • If the book was declared lost in the mail and you requested and received (or will receive) a second copy because you thought the first one was really lost:
    • If the postmark on the package was from the week before the book was declared lost (or later!), and you got no notification from the sender that the book would be/was mailed late: you do not have to mark this book received (this is the ONE case in which you don't have to mark a received book received: if a very late mailer without notice caused you to reorder the book and end up with two copies).
    • OR: You can mark it received to note the late postmark, and ask for your credit back in your Personal Message to the sender. If you don't hear back/don't get the credit back within 3 days you should contact us using the Feedback link at the top of the Contact Us page.
    • You can also note this information about the late mailing in the Comments box at the bottom of the Book Received page, while marking the book received: this will go onto the sender's record.
  • A pattern of late mailing will cause account suspension and possibly termination of membership
    • Sometimes late mailing happens for very good reasons, but chronic late mailing will not be tolerated.
Date Posted: 6/22/2012 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I had the same thought as Stefani. The extra book may have been a "bribe" that the sender added in the hope that you'd be "nice" and not mark RWAP. 

Date Posted: 6/22/2012 6:10 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2008
Posts: 903
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I thought about the bribe angle too but that just annoyed me - they could have at least sent a book I'd want to read. cheeky

 

Date Posted: 6/22/2012 6:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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Interesting KR, I remember asking this in chat help once and they told me not to mark it RWAP but to just note the late postmark when marking it received.  So I've been doing on the 4 or 5 books I've received with a clear late postmark.    So I wonder, could the help doc be outdated?  I asked a question earlier and it was implied that the help doc might be outdated in that case...so I don't know.

Date Posted: 6/22/2012 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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But a postmark does NOT show when it was actually sent.  I've had issues with my post office in the last 6 months.  I can send something to my work from my local post box (as a test) and I KNOW exactly what date it was sent, one postcard took two months to arrive and the postmark said it was sent one month after I had actually sent it. 

So they aren't a good measure of when something was sent. I go by what the printed postage says as that has to be when the item was sent at the latest.

Date Posted: 6/22/2012 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2008
Posts: 903
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You're correct Xengab - I misspoke (miswrote?) when I said postmark. The actual printed postage stamp was dated 14 days after the date the sender marked it mailed on PBS.

 

ETA: Stefani, I don't think the ability to mark late postage as a RWAP is outdated. When you mark a transaction RWAP you are given a dropdown list of reasons and late postage is on the list. Or it was as of 2 days ago.



Last Edited on: 6/22/12 7:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/22/2012 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,916
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 When you mark a transaction RWAP you are given a dropdown list of reasons and late postage is on the list. Or it was as of 2 days ago.

The reason it is confusing is that you "mark" it as Received with a Problem -- Late Postmark when you mark it received.

However, many of us don't think of that as a "real" RWAP because the transaction itself is NOT marked as a Problem Transaction in the Transaction Archive. PBS simply makes a note of the late postmark, same as the way the system worked BEFORE you could mark a late postmark as RWAP.

So, if this makes sense ... essentally you are clicking a button that says "Received with a Problem" but internally its not actually a RWAP transaction to PBS. And it does not count against the sender like an actual RWAP does.

That's why it is confusing to people. It's not a "real" RWAP, where the transaction is marked as a problem transaction in your Transaction Archive.

Date Posted: 6/22/2012 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2008
Posts: 903
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Thanks Sara, that does make sense. Although I'm a bit confused about this part of your response:

And it does not count against the sender like an actual RWAP does.

In the help docs it says:   A pattern of late mailing will cause account suspension and possibly termination of membership

I read that as that it DOES count against the sender as it establishes a pattern of non-compliance with the club rules and their membership can be revoked if they have a history of late mailings.

Maybe I'm interpreting it wrong or am missing something? 

 

 

Date Posted: 6/22/2012 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,916
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In the help docs it says:   A pattern of late mailing will cause account suspension and possibly termination of membership

Yeah, I'm sure that is true. Late mailings eventually catch up with the senders. It's not the same thing as actual RWAPs, though. I would believe that those would count more heavily against a sender than late mailings.

So, I believe that it would take fewer RWAPs than late mailings to cause PBS to close an account. (Note, I don't actually know this for a fact, it just makes sense to me.)



Last Edited on: 6/22/12 8:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/22/2012 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2008
Posts: 903
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But if it's included in the dropdown list of RWAP reasons you are given to choose from how does it count any less than any of the other RWAP reasons? That's what is confusing to me.  

Date Posted: 6/22/2012 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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Thank you Sara, I think I get it now.  It's technically an RWAP in the system, but its sort of like....getting community service as opposed to jail time smiley 

Date Posted: 6/23/2012 12:36 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yes, the PBS log-in options were changed awhile back.  They now allow members to RWAP for late mailings.  A postmark is mostly just a generalization b/c it can be stamped anywhere enroute, but counter postage dates are the best evidence.  And yes, I've received books with counter postage dated 7 days, 14 days late...or even a few more.

Date Posted: 6/23/2012 2:19 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,916
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But if it's included in the dropdown list of RWAP reasons you are given to choose from how does it count any less than any of the other RWAP reasons? That's what is confusing to me.

The same way that "RWAP - Damaged by Sender" counts against the sender, but "RWAP - Damaged by USPS" doesn't necessarily. Damaged by USPS only counts against the sender if it becomes a pattern, because it would indicate that they aren't wrapping well enough (or they have an inadequate PO) if they have a lot of them.

You are just reporting a problem when you choose something labeled "Received with a Problem". All problems reported to PBS do not trigger the same actions against the sender equally. That's why the "Received with a Problem" buttons have different labels.

Reporting a Late Mailing is not the same type of problem as reporting a Damaged by Sender. It's completely different, and different actions are performed by the system, and different fields get filled out in the PBS database based on picking one or the other. 



Last Edited on: 6/23/12 2:20 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/23/2012 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2008
Posts: 903
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OK, so basically it's like committing a misdemeanor instead of a felony? devil  That will be good to know in case I run into that issue again with a transaction. Thanks for your help in clearing that up for me!

In this particular case the late mailing was the minor issue and I marked it RWAP due to the unpostable condition of the book instead. And I still haven't heard from the sender either so if it goes unresolved I guess I can just consider the transaction a wash and post the extra book I received into the system.

 

 

 

Date Posted: 6/23/2012 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Marking a book RWAP is not some kind of punishment for the sender. RWAP simply means "hey, the book I got has a problem." That problem could have absolutely nothing to do with the sender, or it could. You may think you deserve a credit refund, or maybe not. If you receive a WL book that is badly damaged due to post office mis-handling, you'd want to mark it RWAP just to get placed back at the top of the list, if nothing else. That has nothing to do with the sender in most cases, and they aren't put on some bad-person watch-list because their book was marked RWAP. 

Date Posted: 6/25/2012 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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I've heard a lot of talk in the last few weeks about RAWP for a late post marks its come up and a could of these questions threads.  I had never noticed it before is it a new feature?  I've only RAWP'd a few books and never for late postmarks and I have never noticed that being an option before. 

I also think that the extra book was so you would over look the fact that she was either mailing late or that the book was damaged.  I've actually had this happen before they go to mail the book and see it has damage so they just say I'll throw this one in for free and they might not be as pissed and might not RAWP me.  Some of us feel guilty about RAWPing a book.   

Date Posted: 6/26/2012 7:52 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 89
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i'm not trying to be rude, but none of these "infractions" are crimes in any way, neither misdemeanors nor felonies.  I'm starting to see that this club has become a haven for rule mongers who want to do nothing but find fault with everyone else.  I wish everyone could try not to do this so much, because it does ruin the club for other people, like me.  I'm afraid to send books out at this point.  The book pictures in these threads look ok to me for the most part.  I don't inspect the books I receive at all, let alone take them out in the sun to see stains better.  I've decided I'm not going to quit yet, and I don't want to stop reading the forum because I've become so paranoid about getting RWAPs (although I still don't know what that stands for), but I'm sticking to the closeout books for the most part and not planning on posting much more.  I don't read the very popular types of books like crime, mystery, and romance, so it's much harder to find the books I'm looking for and I spend a lot of time waiting for wish list books.  If I can get them I put up with a few stains.

Date Posted: 6/26/2012 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2008
Posts: 903
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Yes, well for those of you who couldn't tell by the smiley icon my comment about misdemeanors and felonies was a JOKE. I'm not trying to get anyone in trouble here, just trying to understand the system better and do my part in marking problem transactions. I'm not some RWAP-happy member out to "get" anyone. I've received 267 books from the other wonderful members here and have maybe marked 2 or 3 as RWAP. I've probably received another handful that I should have marked RWAP but let them go because I either ddin't know better or felt they were questionable. I posted here because I've never had this particular situation happen and knew that the members here could give me some good advice on how to handle it.

Lately I've noticed an uptick in the amount of questionable or unpostable books I've been receiving - broken spines, torn pages, underlining (not in textbooks). Maybe just a bad run of luck?  I don't know. The rules are in place for a reason and while I don't mind reading a book that has a water stain or a few pages with underlining on them, PBS says these books are not acceptable to post to other members so I don't. And I'm tired of receiving books that don't meet the acceptable posting conditions set by PBS - whether it was an innocent mistake on the part of the sendert or not. Even if a book is sent in good faith (and I honestly believe the majority are) how will that member know they sent an unpostable book if nobody tells them? 

I'm working with the sendor of this particular transaction to get it cleared up. She says there must have been a system glitch (?) as when she printed the mailing label the extra book showed up as being part of my transaction rather than going to the member who had actually requested it. She is in the process of trying to contact that member and (hopefully) will let me know if he/she still wants the book. If so I have agreed to send the book to the member who requested it. I asked for a credit to cover the postage if I need to send it on but don't expect a credit back for the one I RWAP'd.

Date Posted: 6/26/2012 10:40 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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  I'm starting to see that this club has become a haven for rule mongers who want to do nothing but find fault with everyone else.  I wish everyone could try not to do this so much, because it does ruin the club for other people, like me.  I'm afraid to send books out at this point.

The rules talked about by people here are the Official Guidelines, which means that they're supposed to be followed, and if not, reported.

When people join this club, they agreed to abide by them. All of them. Not just just the convenient ones, or the ones they feel like following. Those who receive books that don't follow the guidelines have every right to report them.

Which is good all the way around, because then every member knows what they should expect as a minimum condition of a book. They have a right to get at a book in minimum condition. Credits are not free, and a member deserves to get what they "paid" for.

And to earn those credits, the sender agrees to follow the rules. It's not really that hard. Either the book meets guidelines, or the RC, or it doesn't. I've sent out over 900 books, and have one gone lost in the mail, 2 damaged by the USPS and none marked as "damaged by the sender". I always wrap as well as I can, and I send out within the time allowed. If a book didn't meet the requirements, I don't list it. If later I find it has a problem, then I cancel the order and remove it from the list. It's really not that hard, but it does take more work than just wrapping a book up without looking at it and then tossing it in the mail.

I think the rules are what keeps this place open. I tried the other sites for a while, even the ones where you can list damage to books, and frankly I left because 1) people didn't care if they ever shipped or not 2) they lie about the book condition and when I did get a book I got tired of 3) receiving crap that should have been in the garbage. Too expensive and frustrating to stay at those places.

Here, I know what I should be getting at a minimum and how to report those people who don't follow the rules. That allows me to order and relax, knowing I have a good chance of actually getting a book in decent condition. I doubt I'm the only one who stays here for that reason.

 



Last Edited on: 6/26/12 10:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: continued
Date Posted: 6/26/2012 9:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 89
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It's not that I haven't had trouble too.  I've gotten bad books.  I've gotten people lying and saying they were sent when they weren't and jerking me around about it for months.  I've gotten several books that were so bad I just threw them out.  I know the rules are there to be used.  I just can't see pushing it as much as some people want to.  It's not worth my time and it's unpleasant.  Hell, I'm a lawyer.  i know all about abiding by the rules, but I don't want to spend all of my time dealing with the rules in my time off, I guess.  Maybe I should just quit reading the forum  In a lot of ways you guys are doing a service to the club by keeping things on the up and up.  I am not trying to be a pain, just not have so much of it myself.

Date Posted: 6/26/2012 11:33 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Most of us aren't that judgmental Elizabeth.  We are probably more flexible than you might think when it comes to book condition.  In the cyberworld we probably sound a bit more hard-core than the reality.

But PBS operates based on a 'minimum swappability condition' basis.  Unlike other sites where members can list the book condition, rate other swappers, and arrange their own trades etc. (most of those sites are/were less successful than PBS, in fact most of them are now defunct or not thriving).  If PBS members do not adhere to the minimum condition guidelines, there's really nothing to save the site from chaos (and failure).



Last Edited on: 6/26/12 11:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 6/27/2012 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Lizzee, RWAP = Received With A Problem

IMHO, all books received with a problem should be marked as such.  Not to "punish the Sender" or for any other punitive reason.  But just because it is what is supposed to be done, and records the transaction accurately.  Doing so helps the site run more smoothly. 

By not marking a problem transaction as RWAP, you are, in effect, lying to the site and saying you had a perfectly satisfactory transaction experience.  This is not a true and accurate account of the transaction and in a very small way, skews the site's historical records by recording a successful transaction when in fact, it actually wasn't.

I'm not trying to be a "rule-monger" here.  Just sharing how I feel:  Not everyone marking problem transactions as RWAP is out to "find fault with everyone else".

Date Posted: 6/27/2012 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 89
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You're probably right.  It's just more difficult to deal with for me, and I don't like hassles in my off time, after all I have a 17 yo foster daughter for that.  I will give it a try to turn the evil doers in ;), and make sure my sent books are really really good or put them on the unpostable list.