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Topic: Problem with book received

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Subject: Problem with book received
Date Posted: 6/29/2009 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2007
Posts: 7
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I had a book on my wish-list and it finally came in. However, I have requestor conditions and the main one is no books from smoking homes. As soon as I opened the package I could smell that awful smell. I marked the book received but with a problem and pm'd the person. Her response was that no one in her home smokes and she never had this complaint before. she also said that she has received books that were not in good condition before. Well, I checked and she's only been a member since May of '09. Is it possible that this person was booted off PBS and signed up under an alias? I responded back to her and asked her to please return my book credit and that I would mail the book back to her if she wanted to pay the postage as per PBS guidelines. Now I have heard nothing back form her. Will PBS make her give the credit back or am I up a creek? It just makes me wonder how PBS protects us from people who totally disregard the rules.
Date Posted: 6/29/2009 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Sorry to hear about your RWAP.

PBS usually does not get involved and mediate problem swaps. So it's unlikely that they will "make" the person give the credit back. But you can offer to mark the RWAP resolved once she gives you back the credit. Unresolved RWAPs count as "double strikes." I would also give her a deadline to respond by.

More info from the help docs.

I hope it gets resolved to your satisfaction.

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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how do you mark it resolved?  I marked it rec'd w/problem -- the sender was gracious enough and it is settled - but how do I mark it resolved

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 8,560
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jubead, I think it's in your Transaction Archive and you just follow the prompts.  I have only had one RWAP, the sender promptly returned my credit, and I think that is what I did: follow the prompts in the Transaction Archive to mark it resolved.

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 10:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Wow I am now confused- when I selected RWAP as my choice - I was returned to the main screen.  This is my first RWAP so I didn't think much about it so what are the prompts when you select RWAP?    It is settled with the sender so I have no problem marking it resolved.   In my archive it shows a green check - but I didn't mark it resolved  I went to details but it doesn't note that it was ever marked it RWAP. 

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Go to your Transaction File and look the book up that you marked RWAP - there will be a red check on thre left side and a box on the right side asking about it being resolved.  That's what you open to resolve.

Ruth



Last Edited on: 6/29/09 11:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/29/2009 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Lauren, you may not get your credit back.  The way PBS protects us is to let us handle these things with the thinkgs like RWAP, unresolved transactions, and when enough of them pile up - or the sender gets rude - they will close their account and do whatever they can about unused credits. 

I realize that this isn't what you want to read.  That's why it is so important to RWAP every time it's appropriate and ask for the credit to be returned.  That way these member who do not abide by the posting conditions are culled out much sooner and every one here is better off not having to deal with them any longer.  It forces those people to start paying attention to what they are sending out.  The sooner new members learn this the better it is for them and for us.  We are the only real quality control that PBS has.

Ruth



Last Edited on: 6/29/09 11:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/29/2009 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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It's possible that she actually did meet your requirements by not sending a book from a smoking home--hers---, and the smoke smell is from a previous owner.

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Dawn is right - she might not have a smoking environment - but the problem comes when you try to make a RC specific to a "smell" which can be so subjective and many people can't smell things all that well.  My mom can't.  I'm sorry this happened.  PM her and ask if she has a smoker in the house.  And remember that p;eople can't always remember the RC's when it comes to wrapping the book or even accepting the order.  Who knows what she was thinking?  Some people just think others will not call them on it.  That's why it is important to do so every single time.

Ruth

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Lauren, there are some ways to air the book out and get most if not all the smell to go away.  One way is to use a box with a set of Odor Eaters (which has activated charcoal) and let it sit in there shut up tight with the book's pages open.  There are other ways as well.

Ruth

Date Posted: 6/30/2009 1:50 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,670
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Sometimes if you reuse packaging that can smell like smoke too. I have received bubble mailers that stunk like smoke with OK books inside. I tossed those mailers, since I didn't want them stinking up my office.

Date Posted: 6/30/2009 2:02 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,953
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For the first time in the two years since I joined PBS, last week I received some pretty stinky books. I immediately put them in a baggie with some dryer sheets. I will open up the bag when it has been a week.

Date Posted: 6/30/2009 2:50 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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If the OP's RC stated "not from smoking homes" and the sender does not have anyone in the home who smokes (as she replied to the OP) then is this really a RWAP?  If the sender is being truthful then she met the terms of the RCs and shouldn't be penalized because the book smelled like smoke from a previous owner.

OTOH, the OP is still stuck with a smelly book, which isn't exactly fair either.  While that might be "fixed" using dryer sheets or what have you, it's still something the OP tried to prevent with her RCs.

Is there any way to "solve" this so neither of them loses?  If we assume that both members are being honest and have acted in good faith, then the only equitable way I can see of resolving this is for the sender to refund the credit, and the requester to return the book at her cost.  That way both parties are back where they started from, and each has spent the same amount on postage, so it cancels out.

 

Date Posted: 6/30/2009 4:07 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Interesting solution Bernhard, you put some thought into this one :-)

I've received books mailed with dryer sheets, they didn't remove smoke odor.  I've also tried sealing books in a zip-lock with baking powder or kitty litter with limited success.  Earlier today, I removed a book from a bag of litter.  They had been sealed together for over a month...and the book still smells of smoke, but it no longer upsets my allergies from the next room.  May try the odor eaters next.



Last Edited on: 6/30/09 4:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/30/2009 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2007
Posts: 7
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Thanks for the replies. I did suggest to the sender that perhaps she had picked the book up somewhere and didn't realize that it smelled. I still have heard nothing back from her. At this point all I need to do is nothing, right? Do I contact PBS or since this is an unresolved issue will it stay that way unless I change it in my transactions. I really wonder how many get booted off PBS and sign up under an alias and then repeat the same behavior. What precautions does PBS use for this?
Date Posted: 6/30/2009 9:11 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I can only answer that if you don't mark the transaction "resolved" it will remain open.   I had one go that way for a long time when I was new - until I discovered it a long time afterward when I finally marked it "Unresolved". 

I don't know the answers to you other questions - I don't think anyone knows what it takes for PBS to kick someone off.  It may depend on each individual case and it's details.

Ideally you would have given this member a time deadline to reply to you.  PBS takes it seriously if they do not respond to PM's upon learning about a problem transaction and not trying to resolve it.

I couldn't tell you about the other situations.  If people are really crafty they can probably re-join as an alias although if they aren't careful it can become obvious that they are using an IP address that has been "kicked" off.

Ruth

 



Last Edited on: 6/30/09 9:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/30/2009 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2008
Posts: 115
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The three times I've received an inappropriately posted book, I've had no luck getting replies from the people. Two simply ignored me, despite repeated PM's, and I had to drop the books into the recycle bin at my house (both had pages eaten by pets).  My assumption is that someone who was dishonest enough to post those and mail them would not have the character or conscience to make it right either. It seems I was right.

I had one member who sent a book with some torn pages. She adamantly insisted they were not torn when they left (but the wrapping was not damaged in mailing and it was puncture-type damage, as if someone had rammed a pen into the side of the book). She really freaked out when I PM'd letting her know there were about 15 damaged pages in the book!

She actually wrote: 

"What is it you want from me!?! It wasn't my book! My daughter gave it to me and she says nothing was wrong with it!?I have been in the hospital with a back problem! I was widowed just over a year ago! I can't deal with this now! What do you want me to do!?!"


Wow. I decided that I'd hit upon someone unstable, whether her fault or no.  I had to drop that book in the recycle bin too.

 

 

 

Date Posted: 6/30/2009 10:17 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Wow, April!  That's too bad that you've had all this happen - especially the last sender you mention. 

Actually, if senders do not reply to your PMs you should definitely send any info and description of the damage as well as PM content to the PBS team using the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page.  PBS takes a very dim view of members who do not respond to PM's about problem transactions.

Ruth

Date Posted: 6/30/2009 11:24 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 4,412
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I see this differently. In light of all of the discussions about RC's in other threads, I don't think the OP's complaint is valid. OP's RC states "not from smoking home" & the sender's home is (purportedly) not a smoking home. The Sender probably did exactly as posters on this board have suggested in the past and asked herself these questions:

Is my home a smoking home - NO
Anything in the RC about "smells" - NO

Therefore, one assumes the Sender felt she could accept the RC. We have gone 'round and 'round on this board about the mean ole RC-deniers. Well, this is why some just don't want to deal with RC's - the Sender presumably felt she was complying and the OP felt differently. Now, the Sender is either penalized with an Unresolved Transaction or is out her book & the credit if she refunds the credit. 

Now I don't know either party to this transaction, but it seems to me that the Sender acted in good faith, so maybe the OP needs to add something in her RC about no smoke exposure, EVER. For instance, my home is non-smoking, so if I send out a book I purchased & haven't loaned out, I will send out to a Non-Smoking Home RC. But if I purchased the book from UBS or got from a friend or whatever and I cannot vouch for Smoke-Free, I will only send out to Current Non-Smoking RC's & will turn down general Non-Smoking RC's because I'm worried about exactly this situation.

While I sympathize with the OP's disappointment with the transaction, it's not a case of egregious disregard of RC's like poor Tim (Gatewood) has been going through. This just seems a genuine disagreement between 2 rational people who sincerely feel differently. That being said, Bernard's suggestion is a good one & so is letting the whole thing go. OP's out a credit & Sender's out the postage(= 1 credit). Even Steven.

JM(extremely)HO, of course :)

Edited 'cause apparently I cannot spell worth beans!



Last Edited on: 6/30/09 11:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/30/2009 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I'm kind of with Leslie in this one.  If the RC was not from a smoking home and the sender says no one their home smokes then they did not violate the RCS.  There was no mention of there being a "no smoke smell" in the RC.  So there was no requirement of the sender to sniff the book.  Some people have a really poor sense of smell (myself included). 

And like Leslie said-this is exactly why some people turn down any and all RCS.  Because now there is this "who is right" question going on.

Who's to say that a postal employee didnt' smoke around the book at some point in it's journey.  (I've seen people post on here that they know their mail carrier smokes and so they decline any smoking RCS).  It's possible. 

If she has pets, wears heavy perfume or has a poor sense of smell she may have never noticed a smoke smell and the RCS didn't specify a no smoking smell. (2 me everything in my house pretty much smells like dog because I have 2 large ones).



Last Edited on: 6/30/09 11:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/30/2009 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 108
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We recently received three books that reeked of smoke and caused my allergies to flare up so bad I had to use my inhaler. My DH, who unwrapped and handed them to me , couldn't smell a thing! (He says he has 'goat nose'.)  So I know for a fact that some people really can't smell smoke or musty odor on books.

Date Posted: 6/30/2009 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2007
Posts: 7
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I'm sorry, the concept that someone can actually justify sending a book out that smells to high heaven of smoke and because the requestor said that no books from smoking homes and the sender doesn't smoke is so wrong in many aspects. Its the same as saying, "Well, no one ever said I couldn't steal form wal-mart so until they do it must be okay." Come on!

Except for the fact that it would reflect poorly on my account, it would almost be better to never mark the book received at all if there's an issue. I would never do that because,  guess what, it's wrong and I don't need someone to tell me that to understand it.

I guess after two years of being a member, I'm lucky to have only had this one issue.

Date Posted: 6/30/2009 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 4,412
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I'm sorry, the concept that someone can actually justify sending a book out that smells to high heaven of smoke and because the requestor said that no books from smoking homes and the sender doesn't smoke is so wrong in many aspects. Its the same as saying, "Well, no one ever said I couldn't steal form wal-mart so until they do it must be okay." Come on!

No, it isn't the same as stealing from Wal-Mart. We all have been told you can't steal - it's against the law.  The Sender posted a POSTABLE book under PBS guidelines. She followed your RC and didn't break any PBS "laws" in doing so.  As long as her book fell within PBS “laws,” then her book was “legal” to send (to extend your analogy further).  Nothing wrong with re-wording your RC to prevent another such swap.

Kate -
Date Posted: 6/30/2009 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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I'm sorry, the concept that someone can actually justify sending a book out that smells to high heaven of smoke and because the requestor said that no books from smoking homes and the sender doesn't smoke is so wrong in many aspects. Its the same as saying, "Well, no one ever said I couldn't steal form wal-mart so until they do it must be okay." Come on!

Lauren, not everyone has a great nose. Debra's comment could have been mine. My nose is sensitive, and I can smell smoke from miles away, but my husband has a terrible sense of smell. The risk you run when you say "not from smoking homes" is that a nonsmoker with a bad nose will still send you a stinky book. If you say "no smoke odor", you run a risk of being turned down by people who aren't sure about their sense of smell. It's a bit of a catch 22. However, if you'd rather be turned down for a good book than risk receiving a bad one, that might be a better way to go for you.

Hopefully someone wouldn't intentionally violate the "spirit" of your RC, but that's the problem with subjective requests like odor. If she didn't realize it smelled, and her house is nonsmoking, she didn't do anything wrong.



Last Edited on: 6/30/09 7:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/30/2009 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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she also said that she has received books that were not in good condition before

I hate this cop out. I just want to ask what that has to do with anything? The dumby should have RWAP it.

 

She actually wrote: 

"What is it you want from me!?! It wasn't my book! My daughter gave it to me and she says nothing was wrong with it!?I have been in the hospital with a back problem! I was widowed just over a year ago! I can't deal with this now! What do you want me to do!?!"

 

Wow. Maybe she should have put her account on hold until she could cope.

Still, I would have told her I wanted my credit back. It takes half a second to do so.

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