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Topic: Question about Requestor's Conditions

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Subject: Question about Requestor's Conditions
Date Posted: 2/17/2008 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/13/2007
Posts: 6
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Am I allowed to refuse a request if I believe the requestor's conditions are not reasonable?

 

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,537
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You can choose to refuse to any request. but you'll have to give a reason for the refusal.  I know many folks just say that their book doesn't meet the conditions and leave it at that. 

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 416
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Sure, I don't see why not.  You might be worried your book doesn't meet their conditions so it might be better to stay on the safe side.  I just got a request from someone who asked not to receive books from a smoking environment.  That was fine but their second request was to "receive books only in like new condition".  That kind of put me off.  If you want new, go to the bookstore. 

I did send the book however because my book does meet that criteia.  I just don't like when someone expects a brand new book from a used book site.

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/13/2007
Posts: 6
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Thanks.  The requestor had packing conditions that would have added weight and therefore cost and although they probably didn't mean it this way, it sounded like they would make it my responsibility that the Post Office didn't damage the book.  Since I couldn't guarantee there would be no damage, I felt I couldn't agree to the conditions

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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How did they want the book packed?  I probably would have turned it down too if I didn't have the packing they wanted on hand or they wanted something unreasonable.  I had one recently that wanted the corners of hard cover books cushioned. But it wasn't a hardcover that they had requested from me so I accepted.  If it was a hardcover I might have declined. I'm careful about wrapping books up but this seemed a little over board.  Back when I first joined, I posted a 15yr old WL paperback. There were 84 people waiting for the book.  The 1st person had a condition that said something like "I only want books that are in like new, near mint condition" or something like that.  Hello! It's a 15yr old paperback.  It's not going to look like new.  I declined and the 2nd person was overjoyed to get the book.

It's ok that you declined if you felt they were making an unreasonable request. I do think it's unfair to auto-decline any book with conditions as some people do on here.

Date Posted: 2/17/2008 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/13/2007
Posts: 6
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15 year old paperback like new?  What  a hoot!  People are interesting....

The requestor had specific packing and taping details which would have definitely added weight and I probably would have agreed to those but couldn't get past the idea that they were looking for a guarantee that there would be no damage and since I didn't plan on hand delivering the book, I couldn't guarantee.

I didn't know you could auto-decline but I don't think I will take advantage of that function.  If the condition is reasonable I don't have any problems fulfilling the request.  One condition I have a problem with is smoke odor.  I don't smoke but bad sinus problems makes it impossible for me to tell whether a book I have received from someone else is so inflicted so I decline any requests with that condition unless I purchased the book new.

 

 

 



Last Edited on: 2/17/08 11:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/18/2008 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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There's no function you can hit to auto-decline books with conditions.  What I meant was that there are people on here who never accept any book request with a condition. Any condition at all even if it's a non-smoking condition and they don't smoke.  I think that's unfair.  I decline any request that asks for unreasonable things like the excessive packaging, PM's with a description of the book or books that look like new.  I make sure all my books are postable before I post them.  But they are used.

Date Posted: 2/18/2008 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/14/14 6:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/18/2008 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2006
Posts: 156
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I don't really understand the whole water-proofing concept, myself.  Do people insist that all their other mail be water-proofed as well, I wonder? 

 eta:  If I order something that won't fit in the mailbox, I figure it's my responsibility to make sure there's someone here to get it.  If my mail sits on the mailbox so long that snow blows in and damages the mail- also my responsibility.  If the post office damages something in transit, (which has happened to me once in 20 years) then I try to rectify it.  Personal accountability goes a long way.

 



Last Edited on: 2/18/08 4:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/18/2008 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2006
Posts: 130
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Well, I'm all for personal accountability, but I have to disagree with Judy.

I've worked from home in Chicago for the last 12 years, my husband for 3. We do get at least 20 pieces of mail per day, not counting Ebay, PBS, or any other online shopping. While some clients use certified mail or FedEx, a surprising number just toss some very valuable documents in a manila envelope, scrawl my address on the front, and send it first class. I've never had one arrive damaged.

Books from PBS, on the other hand, sometimes look like they've been run over by a truck or left in a puddle, so yeah, I get why people now have these conditions. Part of personal accountability means doing it right the first time......

I admit that I'm curious as to why the OP doesn't want to share the "odd" packaging request she received.....

Elizabeth

Date Posted: 2/18/2008 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2006
Posts: 156
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I admit that I'm curious as to why the OP doesn't want to share the "odd" packaging request she received.....

Maybe she doesn't think the exact wording is any of our business.  (which would be refreshing).

In a nutshell, anyone can have any RCs they want, and anyone has the right to refuse them.  No need to feel badly about it.  As Sandy said, you can just say "does not meet requestor's conditions".

 

Date Posted: 2/18/2008 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/13/2007
Posts: 6
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Since the packaging  was not the  issue, I didn't see any need to elaborate.  If you really need to know, please PM me and I will give you the details.

My problem was the inference that if the package was damaged by the Post Office I would be at fault because the packaging was not correctly constructed.

Date Posted: 2/18/2008 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,177
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 don't really understand the whole water-proofing concept, myself.  Do people insist that all their other mail be water-proofed as well, I wonder? 

No, I don't really care if my utility bill gets so soggy I cannot read it. A book on the other hand I want to get to me safely, it doesn't even have to do with re-posting, I value a book a lot more that any old piece of mail.

 eta:  If I order something that won't fit in the mailbox, I figure it's my responsibility to make sure there's someone here to get it.  If my mail sits on the mailbox so long that snow blows in and damages the mail- also my responsibility.  If the post office damages something in transit, (which has happened to me once in 20 years) then I try to rectify it.  Personal accountability goes a long way.

It really isn't a who's to blame issue IMHO. I just don't want the book damaged along the way, it doesn't matter a dang to me whether I could blame the USPS, the sender or claim responsibility myself. I much prefer avoiding the damage to a book in the first place.

I am guessing that people who don't understand the need for extra protection on a book do not live in the upper midwest. It is almost guaranteed that a book will get wet coming here this time of year before it gets anywhere near my mailbox and just getting it out the window of the car and into my mail box will most likely get the book wet.

 

To the OP - if the RCs make you feel that way, I would note that in the reasons for turning down the request, or PM them about it. Just let them know that the way they have their packaging RC worded, it makes people think he/she is shifting the responsibility of the USPS onto the sender and they will probably get turned down more. I would want to know if my RCs wording were the cause of the turn down so I  could reword it (of course this requestor could really be trying to do exactly that and won't reword or care, but its worth a try).

Date Posted: 2/18/2008 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2006
Posts: 156
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I am guessing that people who don't understand the need for extra protection on a book do not live in the upper midwest. It is almost guaranteed that a book will get wet coming here this time of year before it gets anywhere near my mailbox and just getting it out the window of the car and into my mail box will most likely get the book wet.

No, not the upper mid-west, but it snows here 6 months out of the year.  I've yet to receive a wet piece of mail, media or otherwise.  My comments weren't directed at people who want to protect the book on its journey, though, just the people who are always looking for someone to blame.  I'll get down off my soapbox now.

Date Posted: 2/18/2008 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/14/14 6:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/18/2008 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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I've seen many people change their minds on adding extra water proofing and tape after receiving three or four books of their own damaged by the weather enroute to them.

Doesn't matter whether the PO gets the blame or the sender does, nor whether the requestor has conditions asking for extra wrapping or not, if it's wet when it arrives, it gets marked RWP and the sender gets the mark on their account. Damaged by PO doesn't weigh as heavy as damaged by sender, but after time, I would think they would add up to a question.

Date Posted: 2/18/2008 10:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I wrap all of my books in plastic wrap before sending on unless they are in a bubble mailer.  I do this so that if the book/package gets wet enroute the book has a fighting chance.  It doesn't add a lot of weight, and honestly, not many packing materials should add a lot of weight.

Date Posted: 2/18/2008 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 1,956
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My only condition asks that books meet PBS posting guidelines, and the other day I got declined for conditions.  Go figure... She was snotty in her response too, but I'm really not upset about it.  I figure this is someone I'd probably rather not deal with anyway.  I'm okay waiting for the next copy. :)

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2006
Posts: 95
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I am guessing that people who don't understand the need for extra protection on a book do not live in the upper midwest. It is almost guaranteed that a book will get wet coming here this time of year before it gets anywhere near my mailbox and just getting it out the window of the car and into my mail box will most likely get the book wet.

I live in the Upper Midwest and don't use "extra protection on a book."   I have not had a problem with books getting wet in transport either way.  Its those that send them wet in the first place I have run into.  I guess the difference between you and I is that knowing I was going to receive multiple packages, I took it on myself to invest the $40 into a mailbox that could handle several large packages.   I also have made the local PO and my carrier aware that they are NOT to leave anything external to the mailbox.  If it can't fit in the mailbox they are to leave a notice and I will take the time out to pick it up. 

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 2:43 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Tony, I'm sorry, but my wet books have nothing to do with my mailbox, it is undercover on my porch, and my mailbox has never had a drop of water in it. (A walnut placed their by a squirrel once, but that's another story :) I hardly think that buying a $40 mailbox will cover and eliminate all wet books. You are assuming that all wet books are the result of faulty mailboxes.

My mailman walks his route. He has to open his pouch at ever mailbox that is not on a porch, of which we have some. He also has to stand at the back of his truck and refill his bag with mail, where the wind blows the rain across him and the mail. The last time I look at him, he was pure human and just a easily wetable by the rain as you and I, and the things in his hand got wet too. I've stood on my porch and watched him pull out of his bag pkgs & mail for me that were wet. My mailbox had nothing to do with the difference.

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,177
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My mailbox has nothing to do with it either. I have a brick mailbox with a high end Rubbermaid box in it for the mail. The only way snow is getting in is if someone opens it up and throws snow directly into it. It is oversized so she can fit up to 5 packages at a time. Since my first BoB got drenched with no plastic protection, if I expect more or a big package I put a cooler on my porch for her to seal it in. When I was expecting a lot of books while we were gone on vacation, I had a neighbor checking twice a day to make sure no overflow was put on the steps. So no, the difference is not that you provide better protection for delivered mail.

As I pointed out in my earlier post, the mail gets wet before I can do anything about it, therefore, I cannot take responsibility for it in any other way other than asking for plastic. It gets wet on the floor of the trucks delivering it, it gets wet as they take it between the trucks and buildings, it gets wet as she takes it from her vehicle to my mailbox.  It can get wet anywhere but in my mailbox. Since winter hit and I added the plastic RC, I would say that 75% of the books that have shown up here had gotten wet at some point along the way. None were still wet by the time they got here. Two had been wet enough that the packaging had torn and the book would have been junk without the plastic. I thanked those people very much for adding the wrapping and saving those books.

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/14/14 6:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/19/2008 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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We just had a flash flood warning and will probably have several more before the end of hurricane season. When Katrina hit the coast we had a flood so bad my house actually flooded and a lot of my stuff (including some books) was damaged. Ive lost two cars to flood damage.

Even so I dont request extra packaging and I dont feel the need to add it to books I mail unless its requested. In my two years here I have had ONE book damaged at the PO because of rain. Out of 540+ books recieved 1 was damaged by the PO. Im not good at math but thats like one fifth of a percent of my books that was damaged by the PO in a severely flood prone area of the country. Its a very slim chance that a book is going to be damaged by the PO.

I do however add extra packaging if its requsted. Thats not a big deal. Even if someone wats a book encased in tape and two layers of plastic its probably not gonna add up to being over a lb so its gonna cost $2.13 to mail it. If it weights more than a lb and up to 1lb 15 oz its gonna cost $2.47. Thats only $.34 more.

ETA out of the 649 books Ive mailed out no one has ever marked one of them damaged by the PO.



Last Edited on: 2/19/08 11:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/19/2008 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/14/14 6:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/19/2008 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2006
Posts: 575
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I had my first wet package come just a few weeks ago. We've had a lot of snow and rain here this winter. The only thing used for wrapping was the printed wrapper, that wrapper was soaked. My mailbox also sees no rain as it is undercover. Thankfully the book was dry. The reason it was dry, a single layer of saran wrap. I was glad the sender wrapped it in plastic first or I would have had a soaking wet, useless, unpostable book. And to think all it took was a little plastic wrap. No way was it going to bring the cost to mail the book up.

I always wrap in plastic first. I don't expect everyone to do so. To each his own. If someone asked for plastic and I didn't normally use it, I'd accommodate them. No biggie to me. But if others choose not to do so, that is their prerogative. I don't think it would add much to the cost. But if the requester was asking for a bubble wrapper, plastic, lots of tape... yeah that might add up. Not just the cost of mailing, but the material cost. Again I might accommodate them, but others may wish not too.

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