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Topic: Publisher's error - what to do?

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Subject: Publisher's error - what to do?
Date Posted: 12/10/2010 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 356
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Received a fairly new wishlisted paperback from another member and did the usual flip-through inspection and found that everything seemed okay.

Now I'm reading the book and when I reached page 170, one third of the printing on the page is so smeared that it is unreadable.  Ditto for one third of the page on page 180.  There's absolutely no evidence of moisture so this has to be a publisher's printing error.

Had I noticed this when I received the book, I probably would have marked it RWAP because the sender probably did read the book and was aware of this problem.  Or maybe she wasn't.

Probably, booksellers would not exchange the book without a receipt.  Has anyone encountered a problem like this before?  Naturally, I won't post the book when I'm through with it.


Date Posted: 12/10/2010 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Look up the publishers website, it may have the two effected pages to print out so you can read them. OR if its not contact them and ask them what you can do. Just tell them you recieved the book without a reciept and cannot enjoy it and how upset you are over this.

Sounds like the sender did not read the book or did not finish the book. You could try taking it to Borders or B&N, show them the issue and ask what to do, they might replace it and recoup from the publisher themselves.

Date Posted: 12/10/2010 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Publishers are usually incredibly nice about replacing books that contain errors.  If it's something that's still in print, I would contact them, explain the situation, and I'm sure they'll be able to help.

Last Edited on: 12/10/10 5:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/10/2010 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 356
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Thank you, Xengab, for the suggestion.  The publisher is Penguin, and on their site, they said this:

"If you purchased the book elsewhere, return the book to the place of purchase; the reseller will refund or exchange in accordance with store policy and will eventually be reimbursed by Penguin Group (USA) Inc. when the book is returned to us."

I'll take it to B&N next time I go that direction and see if they'll replace it.  I do know that this book is also sold at Walmart so next time I go there, I might even ask them if they will replace it.

Thanks for the help.


Date Posted: 12/10/2010 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Sometimes on Amazon and Borders you can read excerpts from books and even search in them.  So if you can't replace it, you might be able to read those 2 pages.  I do this sometimes when I'm on my break at work and don't have a book with me.  I'll read the 1st chapter of a book I have or search the book I'm reading now and read a few pages on Amazon or Borders.

Date Posted: 12/10/2010 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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Take it to a bookstore. If they have it in stock, they will probably be able to do an exchange without receipt and send it back to the publisher for credit as a damaged book.

If that doesn't work, I'd contact the publisher.

Really, though, I wouldn't blame the sender. I don't read every book I trade since I get them from family and friends, so it's probably an innocent mistake.

Date Posted: 12/11/2010 6:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,350
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My local bookstore (Copperfields) is wonderful about this kind of customer service.  The small bookstores that have survived tend to be all about taking good care of their customers.

Date Posted: 12/12/2010 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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I recently took back a book to Barnes & Noble with a publisher's error.  The book had been bound upside down in its cover.  All the pages faced the wrong way--it was obvious the cover had been put on wrong.  It was a brand new book, too.  I'd never seen that before!  Anyway, the B&N employee arranged for me to have another one shipped to my house for free as there was not one in stock.  So, I'd think they'd be very helpful with a book that looks like it's new.  Now if the book shows wear and they can tell it's used, I'm not sure how they'd deal with it, but it can't hurt to try.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 12/12/2010 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Another possibility is to see if you can find the sections on Google Books. Though I think your issue is less about reading the missing passages then how to deal with the book. This has come up before and there is no clear answer - some feel it should be a RWAP, some don't, and TPTB have not made a firm ruling. You could pm the sender and ask for a credit back, but they'd be under no obligation to send you one.

Date Posted: 12/12/2010 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,058
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In the past year I have bought several brand new WL books at greatly discounted prices at Blockbuster that had publisher/printer errors.  It frustrated me, but seeing as how I was getting new hardcovers at 25 % of the chain bookstore price I really couldn't complain---maybe that was why they were discounted in the first place, but they weren't marked "seconds" or "imperfect" like you see on clothes and towels that are sold at a big discount.