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Topic: poster feels PBS guidelines are suggestions?

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Subject: poster feels PBS guidelines are suggestions?
Date Posted: 12/30/2009 2:52 AM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2008
Posts: 388
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I recently got a book from some one new to PBS.  It was a wishlisted book that I've been waiting to get forever so I was extremely disappointed when it showed up with several severe stains and water damaged pages.  The book was severely yellowed but that was NOT one of the problems as I know that is allowable and was not unexpected.  It the book had just been yellowed that would not have been a problem.  I contacted the sender and told her about the problems and why I was unhappy after I marked the book RWAP.

She replied that she didn't remember any stains or water damage, but that the book was yellowed (and that that was to be expected with used books).  I took photos of the stains/water damage and copied and pasted the PBS posting guidelines.  I highlighed the parts where this book did NOT meet posting guidelines.  I told her that the yellowing was expected and was not a problem, the mystery stains and water damage were. I requested my credit back since the book did NOT meet PBS posting guidelines.

She acknowledged that the book did have stains and water damage and that the PBS guidelines said not to post books with that kind of damage and then said that the PBS guidelines were SUGGESTIONS and not RULES so she felt that you don't have to follow them if you don't want to?????!!!!!!  Thanked me for the information but declined to refund my credit.  I PM'd her that they are not suggestions and she would get into trouble if she continued to ignore the PBS guidelines and posted what are UNPOSTABLE books.  She didn't reply so I marked the transaction unresolved. 

She was polite if clueless the whole time.  So what are you supposed to do when someone ackowledges sending you an unpostable book but won't refund your credit? 

This is the second bad transaction I've had recently with wishlisted books which is very frustrating.    Most of the time, folks are great but there should be someway to report people who deliberately ignore PBS rules???

Thanks-Tory



Last Edited on: 12/30/09 2:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/30/2009 3:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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She was polite if clueless the whole time.  So what are you supposed to do when someone ackowledges sending you an unpostable book but won't refund your credit?

Just exactly what you did, which is what the process is for.  The not getting the credit refund part is frustrating, but the most important thing is that it's all on her record and the record shows an unresolved RWAP.  She'll have to do this to more people than just you to get in any real trouble for it, but you definitely did your part to get it documented, and that's an integral part of it.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 3:08 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,447
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By RWAP, you should have been given the option to go back in place on the WL. 

There isn't anything you can do to get your credit.  Just mark it unresolved like you did.  PBS does not get involved in the middle of disputes.

But you can copy the PMs and report her to PBS under the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page.  This would be a reporting that she KNEW the book was unpostable and still posted it.  Or if she was rude.  Reports of that kind bump folks up the list to be reviewed by a person.  (Just as repeated RWAP will eventually flag someone.  A manual report just flags them quickly rather than slow.)  This will not get you your credit back.  But PBS has a tendency to act very quickly on reported abuses of the system.

PBS has very high posting standards.  She can post that type of damaged book on other sites, but not here.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 3:08 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,860
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I would report her to PBS. You can use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the pages. That way, perhaps they will reiterate the rules to her. You are probably out the credit. Unfortunate, but it happens sometimes.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 6:42 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Yes, I'd definitely report her. That way, PBS can discuss with her that the posting guidelines are rules and not suggestions, and can let her know directly from them that she's putting her membership in jeopardy if this practice continues. You're most likely out the credit, but that happens sometimes. I'd say that the most important thing here is that this member gets straightened out quickly before she sends out a lot more unpostables and leaves many more people unhappy.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 9:19 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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Date Posted: 12/30/2009 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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I would send her this part of the Help Center (they've recently updated the wording to take care of people like this). And tell her in that PM that if she does not return the credit within 5 days you will be forwarding her PM admitting to sending damaged books to PBS. Though they do not get involved in individual disputes, they usually do not let it go if someone admits to the official problem.

Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS

When you Post a book, you are asked to confirm that the book is "in good condition, and not excessively worn".  It is impossible to list all of the ways in which a book might be considered excessively worn, but the criteria below are as comprehensive as we have been able to make them.

If you feel your book falls into a "grey area", you can either post the book and send a Personal Message to the requestor, or not post the book.  We have delineated what we can, and we expect members to follow these guidelines, and use their common sense in cases that are unclear.  If you would not mind "paying" a credit for a book you are considering posting, then it is probably okay to post.  However, book condition can be a subjective matter.  Keep in mind that a pattern of sending out poor-condition or inappropriate books will jeopardize a sender's membership.

These Guidelines are not suggestions.  They are criteria to which all books Posted here MUST comply.

All of the information below apply both to swapping for credits and Box-O-Books swapping.

General remarks:

  • This is a used-book swapping site; books are not expected to be in like-new condition.
    • Older books may have some page yellowing or spine-creasing or dogeared pages; these are all OKAY.
    • Decirculated library books may have various markings and/or stamps inside or outside or on the page edges of the book; this is OKAY.  These may not obscure text.
    • BookCrossing books may have stickers or stamps or markings on the outside or inside covers or page edges of the book; this is OKAY. These may not obscure text.
    • Hardbacks do NOT have to include their dustjackets.
    • Audiobooks MUST be the original cassettes/CDs, but do NOT have to include the outer "box" that held the set.
    • Audiobooks must be playable.
    • Books that require batteries to work do NOT have to have working batteries.
    • "Playaway" books must include working headphones.
    • There is an exception to general condition guidelines for textbooks; see below.
    • There is an exception to general condition guidelines for cookbooks; see below.
    • There is an exception to general condition guidelines for travel guides; see below.
  • We do NOT have a place for members to describe the condition of a particular copy of a book.
    • ALL books on PBS are expected to be in "good, not excessively worn" condition
    • Books are requested in FIFO (first-in, first-out) order
  • If you would like your books to be in "better-than-PBS" condition :
    • You are responsible for setting Requestor Conditions on your account.

Guidelines:                                                                                                                                       

Overall Condition:

  • No damage at all from water or other liquid
  • Not soiled
  • No stains (exception for cookbooks--see below)
  • No mold
  • no highlighting, underlining or writing on text pages (exception for Textbooks/Workbooks and travel guidebooks --see below)


Last Edited on: 12/30/09 9:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Kate -
Date Posted: 12/30/2009 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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Good catch, Melanie. If that quote doesn't work, I agree with reporting her. Not to get her in trouble, necessarily, but to ask them to explain this to her. Sounds like she's not going to believe it coming from another member.



Last Edited on: 12/30/09 10:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/30/2009 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/7/2008
Posts: 323
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Thanks for the post about the updated guidelines, Melanie D.! I didn't know they had updated these, or the new (to me) part about travel books, so thanks for posting that :) .

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2005
Posts: 1,592
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There isn't anything you can do to get your credit.  Just mark it unresolved like you did.  PBS does not get involved in the middle of disputes.

I had the same thing happen and PBS did get involved after I sent the PM's from the member who admitted she knew but did not care that the book I received was damaged. They took the credit from the sender and refunded it to me.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 36,028
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When these things happen, I wish we could post the member's name.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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There isn't anything you can do to get your credit.  Just mark it unresolved like you did.  PBS does not get involved in the middle of disputes.

 I have seen them get involved IF the sender clearly states that they have broken the rules and still refuses to make things right. They have restored the requester's credit in a few instances where it was absolutely-without-a-doubt- nothing-to-do-with-opinions-but-a-clear-fact that the member admittingly sent a book they should not have.

When a member admits to sending stuff they shouldn't have and refuses to make it right, TPBST should always be notified. They may not do anything, but they should be made aware of members who are flagrantly abusing the system. RWAP trails help them, but it doesn't show them a member is willfully abusing the system.



Last Edited on: 12/30/09 1:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/30/2009 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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The sender said, "... the PBS guidelines were SUGGESTIONS and not RULES so she felt that you don't have to follow them if you don't want to?????!!!!!!"  

The guidelines are Rules of Membership...they are what she agrees to abide by when requesting to become a PBS member.  Knowingly violating the rules should probably be reported to PBS Admin.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I agree with Mel.  I wouldn't take the help docs too literally at that.  You can always contact tptb with it & see if you get any response.  I know they've restored a credit here & there, so you can certainly try.  And aside from that, it certainly doesn't hurt anything for them to see a pm where the sender admits to sending unpostable books & not knowing the posting rules, and then refuses to refund the credit.  Even if the credit is a secondary issue, the rest of it is still something that should probably be reported.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 3,430
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It doesn't sound like she's clueless...it sounds like she's saying "screw you" with a smile on her face.

 

(metaphorically speaking)



Last Edited on: 12/30/09 3:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/30/2009 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 294
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I've been thinking lately about the word "guideline." In everyday life, the word "guideline" does not imply a hard-and-fast rule. I think of "guideline" as stronger than "suggestion," but not as strong as "rule." Don't you?

I wonder why PBS uses the word "guideline" instead of the word "rule." Perhaps people like the one in this case get misled by the word itself.

Fiona

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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They have changed the wording from Guideline to Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS