Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Problem Swap (did I do this right?)

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Problem Swap (did I do this right?)
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
Back To Top

I just want to make sure I've done everything "by the book" here.  Please don't let this turn into one of those threads that becomes a war over the pickiness of requesters.  I didn't use my Requester Conditions and my complaint about the book I received is completely regarding the Book Condition Guidelines. 

I received a book today that, of 154 pages, had 109 pages of underlining and marginal notation.  Granted some of these pages only had a few marks, while others had nearly an entire page underlined.  In my message after marking the book Received With a Problem I stated that I was terribly sorry but had to mark the book RWP.  I asked for a response in order to resolve the issue, as well as a refund of my credit.  I copy and pasted the appropriate Help Center lines regarding underlining.  I received a single sentence response telling me that if I mailed the book back to the Sender my credit would be refunded.  I sent a second message citing the Help Center paragraph about problem swaps and that the requester is not required to return the problem item but that they could if compensated for the postage required.  The second reply from the Sender said "No, I paid one way - you pay the other. I think you are being too picky about the book. Take it or leave it."  This was my response:

"This isn't about pickiness, this is about the rules and their purposes. The rules clearly state that underlining, unless the book is a textbook, makes a book unpostable. If I were to repost and send this book the requester would be fully within their rights to mark the book received with a problem. The rules (not me) state that if you would like the book returned then you must compensate me for the cost of postage. I paid to mail a book to get the credit I used to order your book. I do not need to pay again in order to receive that same credit, that would be double the cost to me simply because you cannot follow posting guidelines. You have every right to refuse to refund my credit, just as I now have every right to mark this as a refusal to resolve the issue and report this to PBS.

Good day."

I marked the problem not resolved in the transaction archive and forwarded a copy of the exchange to TPTB for the purpose of merely having it on record.  I would like to know if I've done everything as I should and whether or not I crossed any lines by being rude or misinterpreting the rules.  I believe very strongly that I have done everything correctly but would like to be sure as I've never encountered a situation like this and as it's my first attempt at dealing with a situation such as this I'd like to know in the event of any future problem swaps whether or not to take the same course of action.

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 229
Back To Top

I don't think you did anything wrong.  I do agree that 109 pages of underlining and marginalia is definitely not within the conditions, and no, you are not too being picky. 



Last Edited on: 7/14/08 8:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
Back To Top

I think you did everything right. Some people don't think the rules apply to them. This looks like one of those cases.

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,718
Back To Top

As long as it wasn't a text book, already agreed upon about the highlighting and underlining, it seems like a perfectly reasonable letter to me, straight and to the point. The "take it or leave it" reply would leave a bad taste in my mouth", and I probably would not have been as clear as you were in your response. And you are right, you did pay postage once for that credit, I would have never thought to say that.

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
Back To Top

James--

I'm sorry you had such an obnoxious experience.  It sounds like you took the high road and did everything right.  The only part I have an issue with (sender's ignorance and rudeness not withstanding) is your statement of  "You have every right to refuse to refund my credit".  Your book has an "official" problem, and the rules state: "The credit should be refunded to the requestor if the problem described is accurate" so I'd argue they don't have "every right" to refuse :-)

I don't think this will turn into a nitpicking thread; 109 underlined/highlighted pages isn't a gray area -- it is unpostable, period.  Even if it were a textbook, they'd have needed your approval before sending.  You've not crossed any lines; rude/abusive PMs should be reported to the PBS folks, as they aren't permitted here.  You remained courteous, perhaps more courteous than most of us might have after the "take it or leave it" comment.

Tim is right; some folks feel they're above the rules, and I'm sorry you had to deal with one of them.  I hope your next swap is a better one.

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
Back To Top

I suppose the wording is off, Elizabeth.  While it's not a Right per se, there's no guarantee that they will refund the credit.  If he wishes to ignore the rules (further) then he can do as he will.  He could have hauled off and cussed me out if he was so inclined, and while that's not a "Right" it's definitely something he can choose to do.  I think I was also trying to avoid rudeness and so might have colored things a little in his favor in that regard.  I'd always thought the refund of a credit was highly recommended as opposed to mandatory.  Regardless, I'm glad that I handled it correctly.  This was my first instinct and whereas one might like to think their instinctual reactions are always best I can never be sure, so it's good to know I did the job right.  Thanks for the responses :)



Last Edited on: 7/15/08 1:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
Back To Top

James--

My apologies, no offense was intended.  It was a rather nitpicky issue, perhaps, but returning your credit is the right thing to do, as stated in PBS policies, so I'd hate to give him an idea otherwise, is all.

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
Back To Top

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to seem offended by your comment.  It didn't seem offensive in the least!  Now I feel bad for explaining.  I was just reflecting out loud on what you had said and perhaps defended my wording a little, but I meant to say that you are right, that it's not just up to the Sender.  I just never got the impression it was completely mandatory, though I'd be happy to find my impression incorrect.  I feel I've accidentally offended you by accidentally seeming offended.  Your comment was very helpful because I'd like to have at least something to work on for the next time something like this happens, as neurotic as it may sound.  No apology needed, thanks again for the response! :)

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 12:03 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2008
Posts: 45
Back To Top

I think your notes to the sender were completely in line and appropriate.  It sounds like this person really doesn't understand the rules or the spirit of the site, and I hope this will serve as a sort of wake up call for him.

And enough with all the apologizing--this thread has become entirely too nice!

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 1:13 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 369
Back To Top

And enough with all the apologizing--this thread has become entirely too nice!

LOL @ David for reading my mind.  :-)

As for the original issue, I'd agree with everyone else.  109 of 154 pages???  Geez, I've missed a sentence or two, maybe a note here or there, in books I've posted but not read, but 109 pages would take a blind person to miss!

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
Back To Top

You handled itmuch nicer than I would have!  :-)

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
Back To Top

James,

I just received two books last night from here with excessive underlining too.  I've only sent the intial message and am hoping for a better outcome than you did.  If not, I'll lift some of your words here as they're great.  :)

 

 

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
Back To Top

You did everything right Jim. The only thing I would have added to the PM is to tell him that too many unresolved official problem swaps will put his membership in jeopardy. That often gives them the extra poke to do the right thing even if they don't want to. 

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
Back To Top

<<And enough with all the apologizing--this thread has become entirely too nice!>>

Hey, Jimi and I are just trying to provide a chance of pace :-)

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,974
Back To Top

Jimi, you indeed did everything right.  No worries about that!

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
Posts: 4,731
Back To Top

I have to agree, you handled it better than I would have!  I'm not that nice. 

109 pages w/ underlining?!?!  Wow.. I tend not to look 'inside' my books too often.  Guess I'll start now!!