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Topic: Question re: RWAP

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Subject: Question re: RWAP
Date Posted: 6/29/2010 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2009
Posts: 6
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I'm hoping someone can answer this for me, or provide some words of advice.  I have the following RC: "Due to my allergies, I would prefer books that do not come from a smoking home."  I figured that was both polite, and pretty clear about the fact that I don't do well with things that smell strongly of cigarette smoke.  I've received a few books since I joined a year ago that smelled vaguely of smoke, but not overpoweringly so, so I just let them go without marking them RWAP. 

However, yesterday I received a book that reeked so strongly of smoke that I was fairly bowled over by the odor before I'd even fully removed the book from its wrapping.  I've tried airing out, and 24 hours later, the smell is still incredibly strong.  I've never marked a book as RWAP before (though I probably should have on a few occasions), but I feel like I should do something about this.  The problem is that I don't know if the fact that my RC doesn't specifically state that I won't receive books from smoking homes would work against me in this case, or if it's such a blatant instance of ignoring my RC that I really ought to go ahead and mark it as RWAP. 

So, if anyone could share their thoughts/opinion about this, I'd really appreciate it. 

Date Posted: 6/29/2010 11:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,509
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That's hard because with the word "prefer" the argument could be made that you didn't specifcially indicate that it could not have a smoke smell.

Firstly, I'd rewrite your RCs so that they say, "due to allergies, no books from a home where a smoker lives" or something like that.

As to what to do, I'll let others chime in. I'm terribly conflict averse.

Date Posted: 6/30/2010 12:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,222
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Your RC should be turned down by people who have a smoking home. The problem will be whether it really came from a smoking home or not. You can RWAP and say something, but they may come back and say their house is a non-smoking home and they just received it used. It is the drawback of such an RC, it won't eliminate all stinky books because some people can't smell well and get the books and repost so quickly they don't have time to air out.

eta: I have a similar RC and haven't ever RWAP a book since I like to assume honest senders. I did question one REALLY stinky one and the sender had been sick during the time they read it and sent it back out. IMO, if you mark it RWAP, you need to be willing to change it to marked in error if the sender comes back saying they do have a non-smoking home.

Last Edited on: 6/30/10 12:04 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/30/2010 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2009
Posts: 6
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Mimi and Melanie - Thank you both for your responses.  I really appreciate your opinions and your help.  I've decided that I'll go ahead and not mark it RWAP, but I am going to make my RC more definitive so that if this happens in the future, it'll be easier to figure out how to proceed. 


Again, thank you both very much!

Date Posted: 6/30/2010 3:32 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,130
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Well, I am not sure why people seem to think that RCs are not mandatory (unless the RC specifically states that your request is optional).

The fact that you have a RC in the first place ought to be a big clue to the fact that senders should be following the extra conditions if they accept the RC.

If the request was optional (something you don't care about) then you wouldn't have an RC in the first place, right?

Date Posted: 6/30/2010 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2007
Posts: 17,099
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Requester Conditions are not optional. There are mandatory.  The RC's are shown before you accept the request and say if the conditions are not met, the credit will have to be returned.

Date Posted: 6/30/2010 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 211
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Perhaps you could edit to something like "due to allergies, no books that are currently in a smoking home OR that smell strongly of smoke", which would weed out smoky books currently in a nonsmoking home.  Depending on how sensitive you are, you may want to take out the 'strongly'.

Date Posted: 6/30/2010 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I would not put in the smell of smoke.. Since that is one way people will instantly decline the RC.. What I can smell compared to what others can smell is very different.

I would just put "Due to Allergies, please do not send books currently in a smoker's home"..

(a smoking home just sounds wrong to me since its not the house that smokes..LOL)

Last Edited on: 6/30/10 1:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/2/2010 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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And don't forget that if you live on a driving mail route where the drivers use their personal vehicles, they can smoke and your book will then end up reeking of smoke. Not all drivers have that ability, but those that are driving their own vehicle do. Your regular driver may not, but you may occasionally have a substitute and they may smoke, hence books on those days reek. If you have a route that never has a personal car driven on it, or a PO box or such, then you have cause to mark the book RWAP because it had to come from the sender.

Also, Xengab has it right that you want to avoid using the word 'smell' since that is subjective and the sender might worry that they cannot smell smoke from a previous owner. Simply tell them "Due to Allergies, please do not send books currently in a smoker's home" and all they have to worry about or figure out, is whether someone in their house smokes or not. No guesswork, just facts.