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Topic: RWAP - How, exactly does this work?

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Gavia -
Subject: RWAP - How, exactly does this work?
Date Posted: 3/4/2010 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2009
Posts: 198
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How does RWAP work, exactly?  This is the first time I've had a problem that warrants reporting as such, with return of credits, and I'm not sure exactly how it works.  Here's the scoop:

I received two books which I had intended to keep for my collection.  They are both classics, and I don't own them.  Imagine my disappointment when they both arrived heavily highlighted throughout, with yellow and pink markers, with handwriting in the margins.

Obviously I want my credits back.  If I mark them RWAP, and explain the problem, do I get the credits back automatically?  Do I have to deal with the sender personally (I'm reluctant to do this, because I'm very angry at the moment; this is not a tiny little mark - it's all over)? 

Do I have to send the books back?  It will cost me over $3.00 to send them back, not to speak of the hassle of wrapping, PO, etc. 

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 1,898
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1) no, you won't get the credits automatically back. You WILL get put back on the Wish List if it's a WLd book, though.

2) You need to PM the sender with your request for credits back and deal with them that way. Be firm, but polite, explain the problem, possibly link to the rules, and don't feel bad about it.

3) No you don't have to send them back. If they want them back and are willing to pay for postage (either monetarily or through another credit) you CAN send them back, but you're not obligated to.

Gavia -
Date Posted: 3/4/2010 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2009
Posts: 198
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I know that underlining, highlighting, etc. is allowed for textbooks, but it's my understanding that this has to be specified and agreed to by the sender beforehand.  

These may or may not be textbooks (one of them has a stamp that says "textbooks from your bookstore", the other says nothing) - but I was never told anything about their condition before I received them.

In addition, the sender taped the wrapper to the book cover, on both books, so it took me quite a while to remove the tape without damaging the covers, only to find them basically unreadable.

I'm not happy. :/

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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Since you say you are angry at this time, may I help you word your response to the sender....

Dear Sender, thank you for sending me (Book A & B...insert names) so promptly.  I am sorry though that I must mark them Received With A Problem due to the highlighting and writing in the margins as this is not allowed unless as per the guidelines you contact the requestor and they agree to accept the books with these issues.  Had I been contacted I would have declined these books as highlighting and writing are not acceptable to me.  I am also requesting the return of the credits for both of these books because I will need to order another copy of each.  Upon return of my credit I will mark this issue resolved.  Also, if you would like to have these books returned to you we can work out reimbursement for postage prior to their return.

P.S.  if you need I will be glad to send a link to the help center that deals with sending "textbooks"

Thank you

Your name


Hope that helps.

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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You will need to deal with the sender personally. The credits are not automatically returned, the sender must refund them. You do not need to send the book back unless the sender gives you an ADDITIONAL credit to cover postage (this is on top of the credit they owe you for sending the damaged book in the first place). And they should give you these credits before you mail the book back, not upon their receiving it.


Check out this Help Doc for details: http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=529

Last Edited on: 3/4/10 2:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Gavia -
Date Posted: 3/4/2010 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2009
Posts: 198
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Thanks, everyone who has given me input on this.   And thanks, Christy, for the letter, which is very well worded.  It sounds just like what I would have written if I were in a better mood! LOL

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 3:11 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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Also, you should in your letter to the sender give them a set date to return your credits. PBS suggests giving them 5 days.

Gavia -
Date Posted: 3/4/2010 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2009
Posts: 198
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Oops.... I've already sent off the letter (I did not send a separate letter but included it in the space provided in the "Received" window), and of course I never thought to ask for a date to return the credits.  

I suppose I could send them a P.S., and ask her to do that, but maybe I'll wait to see if I hear from her.

What happens if she doesn't return the credits in 5 days?  Or 10 or 15?   I guess I just have to suck it up, huh?

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 770
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If she doesn't respond in a week or so contact the PBS team.  Not responding to a pm about a problem is a no-no!  Also don't accept an "I got them that way" type of response, let the team know if that happens as well.  (The "I got them that way" excuse burns me up!)

If she does not respond within a week, mark it unresolved in the transaction archive.

Date Posted: 3/5/2010 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2009
Posts: 2,014
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After 6 months of no hassles, I have had to mark 3 books RWAP in the last month and a half. Two books were sent with the wrong ISBN and one had liquid damage.  The first one I was very nervous about but followed Christy's formula:  First thank the sender for something (sending promptly, well-wrapped, etc.) and then politely and firmly advise them of the problem and request your credit be returned. 

In each case, the sender acknowledged the problem as theirs and returned my credit quite promptly.  Having read horror stories on the forum, I was surprised and pleased at how nice PBS swappers can be.

I don't have any books on order right now....a little gun-shy I guess...but I'm thinking of trying again.

Good luck with the results of your RWAP.  Hope everything works out great for you.


Date Posted: 3/5/2010 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I have only had to do one RWAP and the sender fought my request for the credit being returned.  But, I remained firm (had to send her the part of the help file that was applicable) and she eventually returned my credit.  If you are in the right, stand up for yourself and don't take "no" for an answer.  Just word all your PM's in a non-aggressive manner and you will probably get your credits back. 

Date Posted: 3/5/2010 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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If the sender does not respond within 5 days, send them the following PBS guidelines:

If the sender does not respond to your PM within 5 days, submit this information in follow-up from the transaction archive. This will send an email to the sender, prompting him or her to log in and deal with this problem swap. If the sender does not respond to that email within 2 days (a total of 1 week since your original PM), contact us. Failure to respond in an active account is considered admission of fault.


Highlighting is mine. I did this once and got my credit back the same day.

Last Edited on: 3/5/10 12:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/5/2010 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2009
Posts: 125
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Just remember that politeness is better received than anger. Also, your PM's about the RWAP become part of the transaction history. So no matter how upset you are try to be kind.

Date Posted: 3/5/2010 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 7
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I'm new here and I may have already made a mistake. You see I recieved a book with what it looks like dried food stains on it. I forgot to scoll down to RWAP and only marked it recieved by mistake. I've already sent them a message but so far no message. So how do I still get my credit back?

Gavia -
Subject: Update
Date Posted: 3/5/2010 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2009
Posts: 198
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I am generally very conflict-averse.  That's one reason I was reluctant to contact the sender personally.    However, even though I was angry at first, and disappointed, it would take real knowledge of bad intent on the sender's part to provoke me into writing a rude or snarky note.      My note was polite, and I included the paragraph about exceptions for textbooks. 

The sender responded immediately, and sent a very apologetic message, saying that she was new and obviously hadn't read the guidelines carefully enough.   She returned my credits that very same day, and wanted to know what she could do to make this right.   So I wrote a reassuring message back, saying that everyone can make mistakes, and I encouraged her to look at the forums in order to learn more about how this site operates.   So now all is well. 

Thanks again for your input. 

Last Edited on: 3/5/10 9:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1