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Topic: Would this offend you?

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Subject: Would this offend you?
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2008
Posts: 91
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Everyone has always been so kind and forthcoming with their advice that I'm back for more!

Today I received a book and have no issues with the book itself.  The wrapping is slightly questionable.  The sender put it into a manila envelope, and sealed it with Scotch tape.  It was torn with large gaping holes in multiple areas, not quite large enough for the book to actually fall out but enough to be of some concern.  I wanted to let her know that while the book arrived in good shape, she might not want to take a chance that the next person will be so lucky.  I could use your opinions on whether the PM I've composed could be taken as offensive.

Thank you so much! I really appreciate that you complied with my RC about pre-wrapping in plastic.  Surprisingly, not everyone does even after accepting the conditions, so I thank you for that.

I did want to let you know that the Scotch tape wasn't enough to keep the manila envelope from splitting and tearing significantly. It looks like the post office machines chewed it up and spit it out.  If I may respectfully offer some advice, using packing tape and then taping the envelope tightly around the book (so it looks ike a brick) will help limit the chances of severe damage either to outer wrapping or to the book itself.  I've noticed that the books that are wrapped in this way are usually the ones that arrive intact, and those that are allowed to slip and slide around in envelopes tend to sustain more damage.  Luckily, the fact that you wrapped the book in plastic first kept it from being chewed up or rained on (the weather has been kind of iffy lately) so it arrived in good condition.  

I hope you are not offended by this; I just wouldn't want someone else to mark any books you send as RWAP.  Thank you again for the book! I'm looking forward to reading it.

What do you folks think?

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2008
Posts: 80
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I think that's a very nice message, and I wouldn't be offended.  It's always hard to word stuff like this. 

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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I think it's worded very friendly and I have done the same thing in a similar situation.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2006
Posts: 472
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I think it's fine.  You are nicely offering a suggestion that might help them in the future.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2008
Posts: 91
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Okay, thanks for your reassurance!  With all of the horror stories I've read on the forums about PBS members getting nasty replies in response to nicely-worded ones, I couldn't help feeling a little nervous about this.  I like to think that everyone who loves to read are also lovely polite people, and it always shocks me to learn that that's not always the case.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 1:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I agree that your note to the person is very diplomatic and friendly. I know when I was a new member that I appreciated if someone told me my wrapping needed work!

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I think because you suggest a solution and are not being rude about things, no one would have much of an issue with it.

I would assume most people would like to know if their packing needs to be changed so they dont get RWP and end up loosing a credit because the poster was not able to tell if the book was damaged before or after sending.. Plus the  book could get lost if it did slip from the package.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,284
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Edie, I think your message was right on!  It was kind and great that you offered a suggestion too.  You did it in a way that I would think the sender would take no offense to and heed your advice.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 5,174
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Beautifully written.  I struggled over this recently as I received yet another BRAND NEW hardcover book (I am very lucky with the books I get!) and it was wrapped in the PBS wrapper which of course didn't go all the way around so it was taped to the formerly-pristine dust jacket.  I so didn't want to hurt her feelings, but she needed to know, that, and that she was about $1.20 over in postage stamps.  I wrote what I thought was a nice letter, friendly, but never heard back.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1,181
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I think the note was very friendly, polite and helpful, too. I recently PM'ed the sender of a book I received to tell them that they probably would have saved money sending me the 4.5 oz. paperback by First Class instead of the Media Mail way they did send it. I haven't heard back yet, and don't know if I will. I didn't mind waiting for the book, but I know that First Class would have been under $2 and Media Mail was $2.41.



Last Edited on: 1/6/09 6:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2007
Posts: 9,682
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Sounds fine to me. It was friendly but suggested help so that there isn't a future problem. I've handled problems like this in a similar fashion and have received thank you notes from people who were new. I think you "done good kid".

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2008
Posts: 91
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Thank you for your encouragement, everyone.  I sent the PM, and haven't received a response, though I hope that if she does respond, it's not with anger. :)

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Edie--

If she responds with anger, the problem is hers, not yours.  I had a similar "Scotch Tape" situation this week, and the member was very polite in her response.  Your message was politely worded; she shouldn't take offense.

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 8:24 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Sounds good to me--I've sent several similar notes to newer members who don't know how to effectively wrap yet and have never had a nasty response. Hopefully you will have the same experience!

Cheryl

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 11:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2008
Posts: 91
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So far, no acknowledgment.  Oh well.  At least I didn't get a nasty PM back! :)

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 12:22 AM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2008
Posts: 284
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I would love to see a section somewhere on PBS that has sample PMs to send when you have a problem.

This is definitely a PM that I would nominate!

Date Posted: 1/16/2009 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 745
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People who don't ship a lot, and don't get feedback, just don't know that scotch tape doesn't work well. It comes off easily, especially in Post Office manglers (also called "sorting machines"). I even use clear packing tape to fix broken holes in my plastic shower curtain! :)

 

Date Posted: 1/16/2009 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Lol.  "Manglers".  I like it.  It's like a Stephen King story:P  I've gotten a few that looked like the Jolly Green Giant had used them for chewing gum.  And they were all in manilla envelopes.  I hate 'em myself:P

Date Posted: 1/16/2009 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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Your note was great. I have also found it helpful to send off the link to the PBS Guide on how to wrap a book. www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php



Last Edited on: 1/16/09 3:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/16/2009 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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<<I even use clear packing tape to fix broken holes in my plastic shower curtain! :)>>

Chuck, I am so not going to ask what you're doing in that shower that's making holes.  Moths, perhaps... :-)

Cheers,

Catt