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Topic: Questionable "problem with book"

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Subject: Questionable "problem with book"
Date Posted: 9/25/2013 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2011
Posts: 1
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I recently sent out a book that I concluded met the rules for post-able books (and I always double check prior to mailing to avoid these issues). However, the receiver sent me a message claiming that the book had a damaged spine, water damage, and writing.

I flipped through the pages just before I wrapped the book, and it definitely did not have damage to it's spine that is against rules, or any writing on the story pages, only a name in the front, so I'm baffled on those.  

I also have personally dealt with water damaged books, and I don't mind them as long as I can read them, but I would never send them out (as they break the rules, and wouldn't be re-swappable even if they didn't mind them, which I completely understand). The only thing I can think is if it got wet during the mailing...

I PM'ed back explaining this to the receiver, and also about the possibility of water damage during mailing. I requested they send a photo of the damage to my email, in which any amount of water damage I would instantly refund their credit.

Basically what I'm asking is: is it okay to request a picture of the damage before just issuing a refund if I feel they are overly scrutinizing a perfectly swappable book, or should I just take their word on good faith?

Date Posted: 9/25/2013 1:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,188
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It is fine to ask for a photo. It also OK to disagree with the receiver if you are positive that you sent out a postable book.

I've only had one person accuse me of sending an unpostable book. That was a few years ago. I asked for a photo of the "damaged" book. The book I sent was new, read once, wrapped in plastic and literally went 20 miles down the road to a close-by city so I knew what the weather was like. Dead of summer, dry as all get out.

The photo she sent me showed a water-marked book that looked like water had been soaked through the center of the book. Oh, it was the same book title alright but there is no way the book was water-logged when I sent it. I was flooreed. I don't know what she did to it. Dropped a glass of water on the inside? I told her in no way did the book leave my home looking like that. I refused to refund the credit and "took the hit" for an unresolved book. (Nothing happened to me.) But I felt very strongly in that I did not do the damage and it could not have possibly happened en route either.

Don't bow to receiver pressure and don't refund or acknowledge simply because you're worried about what PBS will do if it's marked unresolved. Do what you feel is right given the circumstances.

Date Posted: 9/25/2013 7:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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As far as :"could not have possibly happened en route," if there was improperly packaged liquid in another parcel, it could have leaked onto her book.  I'm not saying that's what happened, but there are all kinds of crazy things that can happen in shipping.

Date Posted: 9/25/2013 7:34 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,398
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Last Edited on: 11/24/13 8:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/25/2013 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would ask her to make sure the book came from you. It's possible that her book request was first sent to someone else who neglected to mark the book mailed.  Then the system passed the request to you and now she's received the 1st persons book but it's your name in the active transaction.

Date Posted: 9/25/2013 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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double post



Last Edited on: 9/26/13 11:15 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/25/2013 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,714
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Basically what I'm asking is: is it okay to request a picture of the damage before just issuing a refund if I feel they are overly scrutinizing a perfectly swappable book, or should I just take their word on good faith?

You can do either. If the issue is something you think you might have missed (and it is not impossible to miss an issue no matter how well you check over books (which I know because I check over books I've received pretty carefully and I STILL miss stuff, and then I'm like how the heck did I miss seeing that HUGE cheeto stain on page 70 ... ugh!)) ... then you can take their word for it.

if you think it sounds suspicious, you can ask for a picture. But not everyone is able or knows how to send pictures ... so not sending a picture is not proof that they are trying to scam you. Could just be that they don't have a camera or loaned their camera to their daughter or don't know how to get pictures from their camera  into the computer or only can use the computer at the library or whatever ....

Overall, the incidence of people reporting problems with books is so very, very, very low compared to the number of books that I send out that I tend to just figure maybe I missed something.

I don't see scammers around every corner. Not on this site, anyway.

But I felt very strongly in that I did not do the damage and it could not have possibly happened en route either.

Or someone dropped their Coke into the bluebox thinking it's funny. Most likely is someone else's package leaked onto hers, like someone else said. Probably happens all the time.

Date Posted: 9/25/2013 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,188
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As far as :"could not have possibly happened en route," if there was improperly packaged liquid in another parcel, it could have leaked onto her book. 

LOL

My post was meant to help the OP, not become the focus of the thread. Mine happened years ago, and doesn't even need to be discussed. Except, and I thought I explained this clearly, the water damage was in the center of the book. The cover wasn't damaged. The book was wrapped and taped in a large plastic bag. No, it did not happen en route.

Also, with the way mail is routed through major processing centers, books I send 50 miles away within my own state end up going out of state through the processing center in Des Moines before they come back to my state for delivery so you can't really say you know where the book was the whole time enroute. 

LOL I'll repeat again. My post was meant to help the OP, not be anything for anyone to pick on. But since you decided to pick on this one little comment, I know exactly where my mail goes when sent first class. It's not a mystery. I think most people should make it a point to know what processing centers their mail goes through when mailed. At that time, the processing center was exactly in between my home and where the book was going. The book got to her in 24 hours. Thanks though.  Pointless, but thanks.

Or someone dropped their Coke into the bluebox thinking it's funny. Most likely is someone else's package leaked onto hers, like someone else said. Probably happens all the time.

Three out of four posters just had to pick apart what I told the OP. Why? Why was that even necessary? Thanks for offering all the "maybe's" but this was a long time ago. I was simply giving the OP some encouragement and an example of feeling very strongly that the damage happened at the hands of the receiver. That's all.

So, no. This was not soda. Again, book wrapped heavily in plastic. Water stain was just that - water. It was clear from what I could see in the photos and the receive said water.

This is silly. The OP needs the help, not me. Mine was an example of how strongly I felt about MY circumstances. Not that it can't happen en route or that coke can't be dropped into an APC box. I know it did not happen in my case. Let's just take my word for it.

Sheesh. LOL

 



Last Edited on: 9/25/13 11:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/26/2013 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,714
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Three out of four posters just had to pick apart what I told the OP. Why?

Well, first because answers help all the newbies who read the threads.

You have to admit, it would be rare for most people to be absolutely 100% certain that damage could not have happened enroute.

And, second, there are many people who post to this forum with the idea that someone reporting a book damaged is scamming them somehow. And, again, for newbies or anyone else who might read that thread and have that particular thought process reinforced by your certainty, I think that people were just pointing out that things can happen to books enroute BESIDES weather, which is, after all, what you focused on in your first response.

That's why I commented on your reply.

Since everybody on the site acts as both a sender AND a receiver of books, I was just pointing out that receivers of books aren't some mysterious scamming folks out there in the world, they are the same people who are sending books out on the site. The receivers are you and me, just like the book senders are you and me too.

I've seen lots of threads where people are "certain" about things. People are certain that if a book is scanned as delivered, then it MUST have been delivered. People are certain that they sent a book without any spine damage and a receiver must be lying if they receive a book in 2 pieces. Etc, Etc.

I think most people should make it a point to know what processing centers their mail goes through when mailed.

For real? I mail books all over the country and I have no need to know anything about postal sorting centers. How on earth would the information possibly be of use to me? I'm hardly going to drive to wherever one is and go inspect it to see if the PO is running it properly or go search for my lost packages.

So, no. This was not soda.

I didn't mean a literal soda. It was a metaphorical soda representing any drink or other substance that some loser might drop into a blue box, therefore damaging mail. Which happens.



Last Edited on: 9/26/13 9:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Subject: Stuff dropped into boxes
Date Posted: 9/26/2013 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Some support for the 'liquid damage having occurred en route' discussion., Our city removed its payment dropoff boxes because people were dropping in liquids and also substances unnameable. Alas for the PO, they can hardly do away with their drop boxes, though the number of blue boxes here has decreased considerably in recent years.

Date Posted: 9/26/2013 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,188
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Sara, the comments on my situation that happened years ago versus the new situation the OP is going through, just weren't germain. Of course, being well-versed in the PBS boards I figured someone would say something but didn't think three out of four posters would hone in on my experience, which, like I said, was told so the OP knows it's OK to be pretty confident the error wasn't sender or postal related. Therefore, to decline returning a credit.

No, I don't think these questions regarding my post were beneficial to the OP at all because they were designed to pick holes in my confidence and in my scenario. Not to enlighten anyone. Silly, silly me for thinking that my post could just be a confidence boosting one for the OP.

I mail books all over the country and I have no need to know anything about postal sorting centers.

I've mailed and received something along the lines of 4,500 to 5,000 books. I've used DC on every single one, so yes I know pretty much where my books go. I guess that's one of the perks of paying extra for the service. It's been beneficial to me in many circumstances over the 6+ years I've been here.

I've seen lots of threads where people are "certain" about things. People are certain that if a book is scanned as delivered, then it MUST have been delivered. People are certain that they sent a book without any spine damage and a receiver must be lying if they receive a book in 2 pieces. Etc, Etc.

And maybe they are certain for a reason, Sara. No need to pick them apart when someone is certain. How about just accepting the fact that someone is confident? As I said earlier, of course the book could have been damaged en route by any number of factors. In my case, I happen to know because of circumstances best left to those whose business it is. But it was my confidence that made me take the action I took. THAT was my point. 

So roll on .... I'll leave this forum for those better in the know than I apparentely am.

 



Last Edited on: 9/26/13 12:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/26/2013 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,375
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Basically what I'm asking is: is it okay to request a picture of the damage before just issuing a refund if I feel they are overly scrutinizing a perfectly swappable book, or should I just take their word on good faith?

It is okay to ask for a photo, but is also okay for the receiver not to provide one.  It's up to you whether you take their word or not, and it's up to you whether you refund the credit or not.  RWAPs are not that common, but if you're certain you didn't send a damaged book it is okay to stand your ground.  I have had a receiver complain about an inscription inside the front cover, and I just told them it's allowed.

Date Posted: 9/26/2013 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,714
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And maybe they are certain for a reason, Sara. No need to pick them apart when someone is certain.

Many people have a hard time getting out of their own head and imagining an issue from the persepctive of the other side.

There are plenty of receivers who post here who are "certain" that the senders mailed books damaged. Is it true sometimes? Sure. Is it ALWAYS true? Absolutely not.

There are plenty of senders who post here who are "certain" that receivers must be lying about damage. Same thing. Can it be true? Sure. Is it ALWAYS true? Again, no.

Most of the "certainty" that I see people express is based on having less knowledge and experience of the postal system, all the things that can go wrong when something is mailed, how PBS works, what the overall site experience is when you have been a multi-year member with hundreds or thousands of transactions under your belt vs. a 2 month member with 5 transactions, etc.

I'm not saying that I am any expert on all of those things .... but I know more about it than when I joined the site, and I've certainly been educated about many scenarios that I never would have ever thought of on my own, based on other members experiences.

The education that other members have provided to me has led me in the direction of being certain that there is no certainty when dealing with issues here. Do I have strong feelings about things that probably happened? Absolutely. But I have learned thru my, and thru other's experiences, that in many cases you just can't be 100% certain.

You had good reasons for being certain about this one particular transaction that had very particular circumstances ... which is great. We are all just posting our personal anecdotes here. Mine has led me in the opposite direction of being less certain that the PO can mess up in mysterious and spectacular ways.



Last Edited on: 9/26/13 12:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/26/2013 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,714
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This reminds me of an interesting anecdote that someone posted here a long time ago (I think I remember the details but if I have it mistaken, forgive me).

They ordered a box of books from a member and when the box arrived, instead it had t-shirts in it.

The logical coclusion is that the sender mixed up multiple boxes that she sent out, right? You could even be certain of it.

Nope ... what had actually happened is that more than one box broke open during mailing, and some helpful postal employees re-packed the stuff that fell out of the boxes. T-shirts from some other random box into the book box. Taped it all back up and everything.

If I recall correctly, both the sender and the receiver were mystified by the arrival of a seemingly intact package with completely different contents.

Weird stuff happens.

Date Posted: 9/26/2013 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,325
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Rachel, if it happened en route, you don't have to refund the credit (unless inadequate wrapping -- like using scotch tape instead of packaging tape -- contributed to the damage.)  If a USPS damaged book is delivered to the addressee, the requestor takes the hit.  If the Post Office returns it to the sender, the sender is out the credit. 

And like you, if it looks like there's some damage I might have missed, I always refund the credit.  I tend to believe what the other member says, but sometimes a photo will help me sort out what might have happened.  A photo of the packaging can be helpful, too.  If the wrapper is damaged, then it's probable that the USPS caused the damage.

 

And that's a kick Sara -- I was just telling someone about that t-shirt incident today.  Funny to see you mention it! ;-)  I always wondered about the person who ordered t-shirts and received a book.  Makes me wonder what the book was

t-shirt-sketch-book.jpg

 

.

 

 



Last Edited on: 9/26/13 2:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/26/2013 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2013
Posts: 65
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Sara P. - You go girl !!!

Date Posted: 9/28/2013 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2008
Posts: 153
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Seems fine to ask for a photo, but people like me don't have digital camers or programs to send photos so thats a drawback.