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Topic: Pretty angry with reply to book in good condition

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Subject: Pretty angry with reply to book in good condition
Date Posted: 6/12/2012 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,489
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I got a RWAP today to a book I sent out three days ago. The book was a paperback published in 1978. I looked it over carefully, and was surprised at how good overall the condition was. The spine was curved very slightly, about what I would expect from a book read reasonably carefully a half-dozen times. To be sure there were no markings inside, I thoroughly rippled all pages three or four times. Nice shape, I thought to myself. A close inspection looked to me like the cover had been folded completely about 2 1/2 inches in from upper rh corner, but I didn't even notice it until inspecting closely. Nothing resembling water damage. No foxing.

Today I get this RWAP that claims the spine was "broken in half" and "most of the inside pages were falling out."

And I was not very polite with my reply. In fact, as to the "inside pages falling out," I called that a bald faced lie.

I have been in PBS for over three years, shipped out almost 400 books. This is the second complaint I have ever had. The first was a few months after I started, and that book had a spine so badly warped that it embarrasses me to remember it. I confess I didn't know any better at the time, but this was resolved after several exchanges with the receiver and I was made to realize I was wrong.

I will definitely go to the wall over the condition of this book. And I am 100% sure it was not damaged in shipping. I added extra wrapping and bubble wrap, and sent it first class because I like my books and want them to arrive in good shape and be appreciated.

Date Posted: 6/12/2012 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
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I will definitely go to the wall over the condition of this book. And I am 100% sure it was not damaged in shipping. I added extra wrapping and bubble wrap, and sent it first class because I like my books and want them to arrive in good shape and be appreciated.

 
But you can't be 100% sure it was not damaged in shipping.      It very well could have been damaged in shipping.
Date Posted: 6/12/2012 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
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1978 book... Maybe the glue was dry and something smacked it just right in transit.
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 6/12/2012 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,138
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There is no need to "go to the wall" or be rude in any way. Just say, "I checked the book and it was in good condition when I sent it, so I will not be refunding your credit." The other person will then mark the problem as unresolved and that's it. No further action or discussion is required on your part.

Date Posted: 6/12/2012 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
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Agree with Cathy. There's no reason to prepare for a battle. You stick to your guns, tell them you're not budging and have a nice day. There's nothing else they can do.

Date Posted: 6/12/2012 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,200
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There is no need to get riled up and getting rude will do nothing but get you in trouble. I would bet dollars to donuts that it is a case of the spine being brittle with old age and fell apart in transit. The receiver is probably thinking the same things about you (baldfaced liar thoughts) that you are about them.

I've had books in my hand that were very similar conditions. Looked very good for older paperbacks I inspected the books repeated because of their age and source. One of them, on the third opening, had the spine crack and the pages just came flooding out. Had I opened it twice and sent it, that third time would have been what the receiver saw and would have been pissed that I send a book that they opened and had pages flooding their lap.

Always approach a swap with the assumption that the person on the other side is as honest as you are. Treat them as you would want to be treated. The exchange usually go better and ends more satisfactorily that way.

Date Posted: 6/12/2012 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 545
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I had a similar thing happen recently - the receiver described significant damage that was definitely not there when I mailed it, although she said there was no damage to the packaging. I chose to politely decline to return the point. I wish there was a better way to deal with these sorts of situations, but without a third-party arbiter I don't know how it could really be done.

Weird stuff happens sometimes, and although I am actually a big fan of the postal service, I am happier thinking that my package somehow ended up on the bottom of a heavy pile and the spine got torked, than I am thinking someone else is lying and trying to cheat me. I will assume positive intent on the part of the other folks at PBS I deal with, and hope that they do the same with me.

Date Posted: 6/13/2012 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 11/20/2005
Posts: 2,288
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Something a little similar happened to me.  I received a book and when I opened it, literally all the pages just kind of fell out of it.  It was a much older book...from the 80s if I remember correctly. I contacted the sender who swore the book was in fairly good condition when she sent it. And then I talked to Mr. Postman who is used to seeing all sorts of packages come to and go from my house.  I live in Arizona... where the heat, especially this time of year, is hot and very dry.  I was told that it was possible if book is left outside in the mailbox for a good amount of time, and including whatever happens in transit... the book could have dried out enough to crack the glue, bend the spine, and lose hair .. I mean lose pages. Not much I can do about the Arizona heat.



Last Edited on: 6/13/12 9:05 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/13/2012 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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Also, can you please verify that she indeed received a book from you? It could have been that another sender didn't mark the book mailed but mailed the book, the request passed along to you and she thinks you are the sender of this bad book.

As others explained, it's also likely that the book got damaged in transit (Media Mail is not handled with kid gloves) but it's also possible that she got another book and thinks it's from you.



Last Edited on: 6/13/12 9:45 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/13/2012 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 4/29/2009
Posts: 7,893
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Can you ask for a photo?

Date Posted: 6/13/2012 10:19 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,489
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Recipient was a male, by the way.I don't know why you assumed otherwise.

The matter has been resolved. Recipient said I must have anger management problems and I could keep the credit. But maintained it was a "pigpen." I confessed to being pretty angry and slightly intemperate but it was righteous anger over a pretty good book.

The book was sent first class, you know. And with bubble wrap and three layers of heavy kraft paper that weighed more than the book itself. I have many old 35 centers that come apart exactly as some of you described. This one was just not that way. As I said, when I handled it quite a bit, I was almost surprised myself at how good it felt. I send out a lot of older books because I have been accumulating books for more than 60 years. Whenever I have the slightest doubt about one, I accept the request, then PM the recipient a very detailed description of any and all flaws. Only once, did the recipient decide against the book (they wanted it for a gift), and even within the last two weeks, I have two compliments for both packing and the accurate description of the book.

Dunque. Thanks for the feedback, all.

Date Posted: 6/13/2012 11:00 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,283
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I've had brand new, just out of the store new books - brought them home opened them up and the spine and book parted company.  Took the book back and the store clerk had to go through 4 books to find one that didn't do the same.  These were brand new books, so yes it can happen, and I think it's especially true of older books where the glue has dried out.  Good luck and glad it worked out for you. Pat

Date Posted: 6/13/2012 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
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Sorry but the USPS could destroy anything in their clutches.  I send books everyday at work, bought reuseable bags that have a very high rating for strength. But still they manage to rip or make holes in the darn thing. I've wrapped books in cardboard as they were older ones, and come back looking like someone use them in a war.  When you get footprints on them, just makes you wonder what is going on.. they were human.

 

Date Posted: 6/13/2012 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I once received a BDSM book with a boot print on one side and tire tracks on the other.  It must have been a very naughty book to deserve such punishment.

Date Posted: 6/13/2012 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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I think you overreacted.  Considering the book's age, there's a good chance it got damaged.  It doesn't matter that the book was wrapped in bubble wrap.  All it takes if for a book to fall just right and the binding glue to be too dry.  It happens.  In the future, you may want to calmly answer that you checked it before you sent it and it was just fine.  Request a photo if possible.  And tell them that if it is damaged it was after you sent it and is probably due to USPS.



Last Edited on: 6/13/12 4:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/13/2012 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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Yeah, a heavy box could have been chucked right on top of the package and snapped the spine. I've mailed 20 pound media mail boxes before. Imagine what could happen to some randomly thrown packages in a bin if you throw one of those on top.

I've had old books that I was intending to post snap in half in my hands as I opened them (fairly gently, too).

I never discount that something could happen in the mail to a book.

I once received a hardcover, bent into a very obvious "C" shape .... when you looked at the spine in the same position it would be if it was sitting on a shelf. I don't know how the Post Office managed that one ... I think it must have been compressed while it was in an upright position somehow. Never seen anything like it before or since.

So ... your receiver is probably not lying. I'm sure you are not either. Stuff happens, especially to old books. If you don't want to give the credit back, then don't, since it apparently was damaged in the mail.

However, I don't think you should be thinking that someone is trying to scam you.

Date Posted: 6/13/2012 11:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,489
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One last thing to say on the matter of The Purple Book.

I look at the man's bookshelf: a pretty impressive listing of over 300 vintage sci-fi paperbacks.

I follow the trail he leaves, and find he has an e-bay store with the same 300 books plus many more. The Purple Book is there, and his reserve is $6.00. Very very interesting. Now I really wonder just what his PBS record is for RWAPs.

Date Posted: 6/13/2012 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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Now you've opened a whole new ball of wax, with a PBS'er potentially reselling books, a definite "no no".   How were you able to figure out his ebay id? You must be quite the sleuth to figure out his trail!  Interesting...

Date Posted: 6/14/2012 12:02 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,489
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Easy, I just clicked his profile, partly to see what his bookshelf looked like, mostly because something about the way he so quickly so completely backed off when I, intemperately according to most on this thread, laid battle lines with no intent to back off. So I see almost proudly on the profile, his website, which is an e-bay store.

Date Posted: 6/14/2012 12:21 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
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You should report him, especially if he's selling the supposed ruined book you sent him!  With wrapping the book the way you did, and your description of it, I would agree that he must be lying about this.  And now it seems you have proof, so you were right to stick to your guns about the book's condition.  

Date Posted: 6/14/2012 2:12 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
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With wrapping the book the way you did, and your description of it, I would agree that he must be lying about this.  And now it seems you have proof, so you were right to stick to your guns about the book's condition.  

It is not against the rules for book sellers to be members of PBS.

It is only against the rules to systematically obtain books to sell using PBS.

There are actually several members here who own bookstores, online or real.

So, he may or may not be breaking the rules. Posting books here that you may also have for sale somewhere else is not actually breaking any rule that I know of, as long as you are mailing them for one credit as they are requested here.

It is only against the rules if he is requesting books here to sell.

It's suspicious, but not proof yet, that he has for sale a copy of the book that you sent to him. It doesn't prove that he is lying about your copy, as he may have more than one copy. However, if he does have more than one copy of the book, then I think that's proof that he only reuqested a copy from you in order to sell it.

So, if he has only one copy of the book in question, and it's for sale, then it woudl seem he is lying about the condition it was received in.

If he has more than one copy of the book, then he may NOT be lying about the condition ... but, that would seem to be proof that he is ordering books from PBS to sell.

Either way, it would seem that he is doing something that is against the rules ... so report him to PBS. They can check it out and see what they think, having his whole PBS record to look at.

But ... it's still not proof that he was lying about your copy.

I agree that it is highly suspicious, though.



Last Edited on: 6/14/12 2:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/14/2012 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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One last thing to say on the matter of The Purple Book.

I look at the man's bookshelf: a pretty impressive listing of over 300 vintage sci-fi paperbacks.

I follow the trail he leaves, and find he has an e-bay store with the same 300 books plus many more. The Purple Book is there, and his reserve is $6.00. Very very interesting. Now I really wonder just what his PBS record is for RWAPs.

Report it and let TPTB handle it.

Date Posted: 6/14/2012 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,979
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Sounds suspicious to me, especially since he is selling your supposedly ruined book. Hope he's not rwapping books just to get credits to get more books to sell. I would report him and let the team take care of it. Good luck and please let us know what the team says if you go that route.



Last Edited on: 6/14/12 6:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/14/2012 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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mythbusters_busted.png

Date Posted: 6/14/2012 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,489
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And what is the mechanism for reporting this PBS member?

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