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Topic: question about water damage...

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Subject: question about water damage...
Date Posted: 1/19/2010 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
Posts: 37
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ok.. today received a book that had wet wrapper and book... I have put it aside to dry and I am hoping for good results but in the meantime I went to update the status of the book. It is the first time I have had to select "arrived but with a problem". It only gave me the option of damage by sender or USPS.. I selected by sender but it didn't give me any other options after that as I wanted to explain the issue. It wasn't the post offices fault as the person didn't wrap using plastic so I went with sender.. but I also expected to have been able to explain myself to PBS. I wrote to the sender explaining what happened and what I did but I am not sure what else to do.. what does PBS do? I am hoping it dries with no evidence of water damage but if it doesn't I won't be able to re-list it.. Any suggestions?

Date Posted: 1/19/2010 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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It's not the sender's fault as the book was water damaged AFTER it left the sender's hands.  It's NOT a requirement for books to be wrapped in plastic.  If you would like all books mailed to you to be wrapped in plastic, you need to make it a requester condition.

You should have marked it "Damaged by USPS".

Date Posted: 1/19/2010 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Unfortunately, if the book is wrapped according to PBS standards which do NOT include plastic then you should have marked it "damaged by USPS."

Ruth

Date Posted: 1/19/2010 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 770
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 I agree.  It isn't the sender's fault that the book got wet in transit.  I wouldn't be happy to get a RWAP if I followed the wrapping guidelines for PBS and the post office damaged the book.  Take for instance the copy of Nicholas Spark's The Last Song that I receieved.  the book was bent almost in half because someone at the PO tried to shove it in my mailbox.  the back cover is split in two.  That's not the sender's fault, why should she get a RWAP?  She felt awful about it when she read what had happened and offered to return my credit.  I didn't take it because it wasn't her fault.

If you want books wrapped in plastic, make an RC for them.  Perhaps you can go back to the transaction archive and click the "marked RWAP by accident" button (or whatever the language is.)

Date Posted: 1/19/2010 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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The others are correct, you did not mark the book correctly. You should have chosen "Damaged By USPS" as the book was most likely not wet when the sender turned it over to the Post Office. The right thing to do would be to go into the transaction archive and select "marked RWAP in error" as has already been suggested. It isn't right that this should show up as a black mark on the senders account as if they sent a book that didn't meet PBS requirements. Here is the help center definition of RWAP Damaged by USPS:

 

A book is considered Damaged by USPS if it was damaged in transit (while in the mail).

  • This is usually just bad luck
    • Even the most well-wrapped packages can get mangled by a postal sorting machine
    • We have tried to divide the risk fairly between the sender and the requestor:
      • If the sender gets the book back damaged, the sender assumes the risk: she should contact us to cancel the request.  The requestor gets the credit back when we do that, and the sender does not get credit unless she used PBS-DC or PBS Printed Postage
      • If the requestor gets the book damaged by USPS, the requestor assumes the risk.  The requestor does need to mark the book received and does not get her credit back; the sender does get credit in this case.
  • If you feel that the wrapping of the book contributed to its damage en route:
    • You can tell the sender this in a Personal Message
      • Please be gentle!  The sender may be new to bookswapping.
      • You can ask for your credit to be refunded if you believe it is warranted.
    • You can share your own tips on wrapping technique, and/or refer the sender to the Help items on wrapping a book.
    • You can also comment on the wrapping in the Comments box at the bottom of the survey portion of the Book Received page, so these details are recorded on the transaction in our records.


Last Edited on: 1/19/10 8:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/19/2010 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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PBS won't do anything especially since the sender did nothing wrong-unless the book was wrapped using scotch tape and not taped enough.  I got one the other day where they used the PBS wrapper to wrap a tradesized book, only used scotch tape and taped the wrapper to the book itself.  I marked that one RWP because had they just used some mailing tape and taped the edges and corners better and not put tape on teh book-it would have been all right.  But not wrapping in plastic is not cause for an RWP. 

Date Posted: 1/19/2010 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
Posts: 37
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Okay.. I thought I read that PBS required plastic wrap so my bad... I went back into the transaction archive and it shows the book as "successfully completed transaction" and when I used the pull down menu to have it sort by damaged by sender and damaged by usps I dont have ANY so I guess it didn't take...  I guess this means there shouldn't be an issue for the sender and they wont recieve any mark.. thanks for the info I"ll know now for the future.. I thought I would have more options when I selected the received with a problem button, this being my first time having to do so and I paged back so maybe that's why it didn't take and shows as successfully complteted..

Date Posted: 1/19/2010 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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It is suggested that we use plastic wrap, just not required. If you have a rainy season or are prone to getting wet mail the only way to ensure that all of your books come wrapped in plastic is to set Requestor Conditions asking that those who send to you use plastic (which can be done by going to your "my account" page and clicking "settings").

For future reference here is the link to the help documents about receiving problem books http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=529 . It seems long, but that is because it outlines many different scenarios. If you are experiencing a specific problem (say you get a book with writing in it for instance) it walks you through what options you will be given so you can know what to do ahead of time. I know it isn't very helpful after the fact, but you could always book mark it in case you ever need to look up this information again. 

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 2:42 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Although some of us members wish otherwise, at this time plastic underwrap is only a suggestion not a requirement.  Therefore, the book was damaged by USPS.

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Well, I disagree as to whether it was the sender's fault or not.  If the sender had wrapped the book in plastic, it probably would have ended up arriving without water damage.  To me, that makes it the sender's fault. 

I would like to see PBS add verbage to the wrapping instructions saying "It is best to wrap books in plastic before the outer wrapping during the winter months to prevent the book from possible water damage if the outer wrapping gets wet".  I was very surprised when people sent me personal PM's when I posted about wrapping books in plastic, thanking me for my posts and saying that they really hadn't thought about the possibility of a book being damaged if not protected by plastic.

Kate -
Date Posted: 1/20/2010 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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Well, I disagree as to whether it was the sender's fault or not.  If the sender had wrapped the book in plastic, it probably would have ended up arriving without water damage.  To me, that makes it the sender's fault. 

I know how you feel about plastic wrapping (and I'm a big fan of it also), but the help docs specifically state that in this scenario books should be marked damaged by USPS. I'm not knocking your opinion that it's the sender's fault, you're fully entitled to that view, but the rules are clear about how it should be marked.

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,669
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but I also expected to have been able to explain myself to PBS

So, Teresa, after you select one of the "picks" for a damaged book, when you click on "continue" or OK or whatever the button says, the next screen is the form that gathers mailing information for PBS. The largest box at the top is where you write the text of the PM that gets sent to the sender of the book. So, you would write your explanation here, and the action that you would like the sender to take, and the sender receives it as a PM. It is also attached to your transaction, so PBS could access it if they needed to.

Subject: PO won't accept wet damaged packages
Date Posted: 1/20/2010 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,515
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According to PO, no wet packages or those with evidence of  leaking should be forwarded in the mail system unless damaged by weather during transit.  Why???--read on

When I worked for the federal govt, one time we got a package at the office that was "leaking", they called a bomb squad! (and this was

before 9/11/2001)

  Apparently something packaged inside had gone thru machinery where the machine oil got on the outside of the wrapper, then soaked thru the

mailing box during delivery.   A LOT of hysteria for a little machine oil  !! 

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I know how you feel about plastic wrapping (and I'm a big fan of it also), but the help docs specifically state that in this scenario books should be marked damaged by USPS. I'm not knocking your opinion that it's the sender's fault, you're fully entitled to that view, but the rules are clear about how it should be marked.

Then we agree to disagree.  I don't think it is the post office's fault when a book gets wet because it was inadequately packaged for the weather conditions it went through.  The post office has a really tough job getting our packages to us without harm.  They have to deal with weather and machines that can eat a package because an end wasn't taped down propertly.  I feel that we should do everything we can to help the post office in their endeavor to get us packages safely.  This includes some kind of waterproof inner wrapping and a very tight and well taped outer wrapping.  I would rather take responsibility for how I wrap a package than blame any damage that occurs on the post office.  But, you know,  that's just me.

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 5:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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You don't disagree with her Kate, you disagree with the rules of the site.

Kate -
Date Posted: 1/20/2010 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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Then we agree to disagree.

This particular issue (at least how it should be officially marked) is not a matter of opinion. It's straight from the PBS rules. I don't always agree with them, but I do follow them as a member of PBS. As I said, you're 100% welcome to your opinion that it's "the sender's fault". But if you actually mark it as "RWAP - damaged by sender" for that reason, then you're the one not following the rules.

Take it up with PBS to change the rules if you don't like them. But don't punish someone else with RWAP if they are following the current rules. IMO that puts you in the wrong, not the sender. The owners of PBS decide the rules, and unless you can convince them to change this why do you think you can make up your own rules about who deserves a black mark on their record??

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I don't disagree with the rules of this site, just choose to wrap books in a manner that goes beyond the rules in order to try my best to get the book to the recipient safely.  I just don't think it is the post office's fault when someone doesn't do an adequate wrapping job and a book ends up ruined.  Those are my opinions and I am entitled to them just like you are entitled to your opinion that it would not be your fault if a book got ruined because you only wrapped it in paper.

I am not asking PBS to change their rules.  But I do wish that they would do more to encourage people to wrap books in plastic to help insure against water damage.  I found out from my last posts on this subject that a lot of people (probably newcomers) never thought about wrapping books in plastic and they thanked me for bringing it to their attention. 

Kate -
Date Posted: 1/20/2010 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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just like you are entitled to your opinion that it would not be your fault if a book got ruined because you only wrapped it in paper.

I always wrap my books in plastic, thank you very much. And I would love for plastic wrap to be mandatory. I don't disagree with you on that but it's sort of beside the point. What I (and everyone else) was saying is that current PBS rules say this scenario should be marked "RWAP - damaged by USPS" not "RWAP - damaged by sender." Even if you feel it is the sender's "fault" because of shoddy wrapping. In that case they ask you to "gently PM" about the issue, not mark it damaged by sender.

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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This particular issue (at least how it should be officially marked) is not a matter of opinion. It's straight from the PBS rules. I don't always agree with them, but I do follow them as a member of PBS. As I said, you're 100% welcome to your opinion that it's "the sender's fault". But if you actually mark it as "RWAP - damaged by sender" for that reason, then you're the one not following the rules.

Well, since I wasn't talking about how it should be marked in a RWAP, I guess that I am still entitled to my opinion.  If my only two choices were Sender or PO and PBS rules are "once it leaves your hands you are no longer responsible", then I guess I would mark it PO with a notation that in MY OPINION the fault lies with the sender for not doing an adequate wrapping job, not the PO for having to deal with an inadequate wrapped package.

All I can say is that I am very happy that almost all the people I have received books from, thus far, have taken the time to wrap them in plastic first since, on several occasions, that saved 3 or 4 books from being ruined or lost.  If I started getting books that were ruined because they were inadequately wrapped, and the senders told me that , since PBS rules say that once the package leaves their hands, they are no longer responsible, no matter how it was wrapped, I would probably stop doing business here.

 

 

 

 

Kate -
Date Posted: 1/20/2010 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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We were arguing two different points, then. Thanks for clarifying. The comments above yours were about how it should be marked (i.e. damaged by USPS) so your disagreement seemed to be in response to that.

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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Deja-vu...

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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Do you ever get the feeling that you've seen this all before?

Weird.

gift-img2.jpg



Last Edited on: 1/20/10 8:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/20/2010 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2007
Posts: 170
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Anyone know the official hijack count?

:P

Subject: ...
Date Posted: 1/20/2010 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
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 I actually praise people like Kate. Sure, over voicing one's opinion can wear out their welcome, but sometimes it's the only way to make progress. When I first signed on with PBS, I was constantly getting damaged books wrapped in thin typing paper and scotch tape. Now I see the majority of members using plastic wrap, plastic bags, or recycled bubble envelopes thanks to PBS' plastic recommendation which might have never happened if frustrations weren't expressed. PBS is always looking to improve and make this site more accomodating. They can't do anything if we are silenced.

Subject: ...
Date Posted: 1/20/2010 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
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Actually, it is neither the sender's fault, nor the PO's fault  if a book gets wet. It's God's fault...and that should be the 3rd option.



Last Edited on: 1/20/10 11:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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