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Topic: RWAP advice please :(

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Subject: RWAP advice please :(
Date Posted: 2/11/2009 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2007
Posts: 90
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Since I've been here, I'm lucky that I've only had to mark two books RWAP. I've swapped a lot of books. The first time the member didn't understand that no writing was a rule (yes, i know, it's clearly stated, but it happened). I never got my credit back, but whatever, there wasn't a malicious PM discussion back and forth. I forgave her and moved on. She learned what the rules were, and that's fine.

My most recent incident really irks me. I'd really love advice on how to handle this... I'm sure I'll have to eat another credit, but I don't think I should be considered at fault, here.

I received a book that was tightly wrapped, tightly taped, tightly sealed. Very well protected against the elements. but when i opened the book, there is extreme water damage to the spine, from cover to cover. this did not happen in transit.

I've tried to capture pictures of it, but the flash blanks out any detail, so you cant see anything. I'll try playing with my settings, but I don't know if I can "capture" it on film. Any suggestions here?

Anyway, here is my PM to the sender:

Thanks very much for sending this book; it was wrapped wonderfully and arrived safe and sound. Unfortunately, when I opened the book, I noticed that there was significant water damage from cover to cover, and the inside top corners of all of the pages had damage as well. Since I can't post this one back into the PBS system, I'd really appreciate it if you could refund my credit. Thanks again!

The response i received:

I THOUROUGHLY DISAGREE with you. I would NEVER send a book that was not acceptable, as I require this of other members. However, "happy reading, and enjoy".

I find this completely insulting, because here i am, holding a blatantly damaged book that could NOT have been damaged in transit due to careful wrapping. There was no damage to the outer wrapping. Do not call me a liar when i am holding a book that has distinctly discolored sections of the cover and warped pages (more than just wavy) throughout the entire novel. What do I do?

Edited for formatting. God, things show up differently on my mac vs my PC at work. LOL

Last Edited on: 2/11/09 8:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 2

Date Posted: 2/11/2009 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I assume you did mark it RWAP, and that inbox is part of the transaction dialogue?  I'd take that as you disagreeing about a book's condition and mark it unresolved by the sender - I wouldn't bother with them anymore at all.  Add something appropriate in your follow up notes to PBS about them refusing to acknowledge that they'd sent out an unpostable book, and then just move on.  I know it stings, and you'd probably like to box their ears, but don't let it get to you.  Maybe 1 out of 10 members here would send a snarky response like that, so don't let them push your buttons.

Date Posted: 2/11/2009 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2007
Posts: 90
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Kim, sorry, I guess in my venting mode i left out important details. yes, I marked it RWAP and the PM i included in the post was what I included in that. I didn't want to be rude, I hate asking for credits back. But really, I know when there's water damage. It just frustrates me that someone would reply with such snark when I tried to be as polite as possible... I think youre right.
Date Posted: 2/11/2009 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Erica, this Help Center item is for situations such as this:

  • Follow-up on Problem swaps
  • You've certainly done what it asks by PMing and requesting your credit back, but there is some other useful info.  Part of what it says is this:

  • Senders who send problem books and do not resolve the problem will have their accounts double-marked "behind the scenes"; if a pattern of this emerges on a sender's account, it will jeopardize membership .
  • I've been in this situation a couple of times.  I usually do PM back one more time and point out that I'll be marking the transaction  Unresolved.  Some members do not care, but some don't want that on their account and will refund the credit.  However, I wouldn't hesitate to mark it Unresovled whether you PM them again or not.  You asked, the answer was no and that's all you need to do.

    Date Posted: 2/12/2009 9:59 AM ET
    Member Since: 8/8/2007
    Posts: 90
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    Thanks, Beth. That's more than helpful!

    Date Posted: 2/12/2009 3:15 PM ET
    Member Since: 9/13/2007
    Posts: 2,520
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    I had a similar problem capturing lightly colored water damage. I had to turn off the flash in the end, just make sure you have a good light source, daylight might work best. However I was extra frustrated when the sender didn't respond after I sent the photos that were so fiddly to take. In the end I wish I had not wasted my time, this may be one of those situations.
    Date Posted: 2/12/2009 4:29 PM ET
    Member Since: 7/7/2007
    Posts: 4,815
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    Also, taking photos of the damage from an angle, rather than straight on, may help them show up better.  And, as Liesl suggests, different lighting may help.  Flourescent lighting is good for saving energy, but not always the best for photography. :-)


    Date Posted: 2/12/2009 6:33 PM ET
    Member Since: 1/1/2009
    Posts: 1,924
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    Try taking the pictures outside in the sun light!

    Date Posted: 2/13/2009 9:26 AM ET
    Member Since: 8/6/2005
    Posts: 92
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    For taking a picture, I would suggest going outside in natural light and using your macro setting and get close to the damage.  But it sounds as though this sender won't even acknowledge that.

    I feel for you....I just received a book that didn't meet my requester conditions and have had a snarky response back when notified by PM.  My sender hasn't even marked the book mailed yet, but if/when they do, I'm going to mark it RWAP.

    Date Posted: 2/13/2009 9:33 AM ET
    Member Since: 8/8/2007
    Posts: 90
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    Thanks so much everyone for the kind words and helpful advice.

    It looks like we've actually been able to work things out without me having to take further pictures of the book. She sent a much kinder PM a little while after the first (without me having to respond) and we've come to an agreement on the situation. But, I will definitely keep these pointers for taking pictures in mind, since unfortunately, I'm sure this is not the last RWAP book I'll get, but hopefully it will be a rare event!

    Date Posted: 2/13/2009 9:36 AM ET
    Member Since: 8/6/2005
    Posts: 92
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    Erica, I've been on paperbackswap.com for 3+ years and 99% of the time I've encountered wonderful, pleasant people who would bend over backward to make you happy.  Unfortunately, it's that small 1% that can sour an experience.  I'm glad you were able to work things out!