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Topic: Should I just let this go? RWAP issue.

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Subject: Should I just let this go? RWAP issue.
Date Posted: 10/5/2009 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Last week I received a book that was severely water damaged, stained and the spine was cleaved.  The wrapping was intact, although she fastened the PBS wrapper with scotch tape.  She has been amember since 2006.  Here is the series of PMs that were sent:

Me:  Hi - Thanks for sending out "I Capture the Castle" so quickly. Unfortunately it has a large stain across the top with liquid damage to the text pages and the spine is completely cleaved. I would appreciate it if you could return my credit within a week so that I can mark this transaction resolved. If you would like me to post pictures of the damage I would be happy to do so. Thanks so much.

Sender:  I'm sorry you're unhappy with the condition of the book! I looked again at the rules for shipping: "My books have front and back covers, all pages, no liquid damage, no writing or highlighting, are not Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs), and my books are in generally good condition." The book had front and back covers, all pages, no liquid damage (when I sent it), no writing or highlighting, and not an Advanced Reader Copy. It was in generally good condition in my opinion. However, I will return your credit. I would appreciate you returning the book to me, if you would be so kind. Thank you!
Me:  If you wish to send me a second credit for postage I would be glad to send it back to you. From the Help Docs:

You are not obligated to return the problem item at your expense, but if the sender gives you an extra credit or postage to do so, of course you may.

You may want to take another look at the posting guidelines: http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=205

Binding:

* Must be intact, with no separation on the inside or outside of the book

Thanks for taking care of this so quickly. I appreciate it. [she had just returned the credit]
Sender: As you can tell, I disagree with your assessment of the book. You may wish to look again at the posting guidelines that you so kindly sent, which say "Older books may have some page yellowing or spine-creasing or dogeared pages; these are all OKAY." Regardless, even though I was not required to do so, I returned your credit, because you were unhappy with the book. It was in the same spirit that I hoped you would return the book -- you are certainly not required to, per the guidelines. This book was in similar condition to other books I've received. I'll have to remember to claim they are damaged and receive my credits back! Another lesson learned.
 
Now,  she mailed the book on the 29th, and I received it on the 1st.  I'm not even sure if it would be possible for it to get as water damaged as this book was, and to dry completely.  That aside, I really don't like the implication that I am doing anything wrong.  Should I send this person the photos, or should I just let it go, as I am absolutely not sending this book back without another credit.  Here are the photos:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Date Posted: 10/5/2009 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2006
Posts: 575
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It looks like water damage to me. Because it is unpostable she owed you the credit. She gave it back so I would mark the transaction as resolved. PM her letting her know you did that but that you will be keeping the book unless she gives you another credit to cover your postage.

I'd send her a link to the pics and let her know that I believe the book to be unpostable and that if she feels otherwise after seeing the pics that you'll just have to agree to disagree. Thank her again for the prompt return of your credit.

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 3,670
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The sender doesn't seem to understand the difference between spine creases and the spine separated from the pages. Then the sender was using the excuse that the book was received that way. But that doesn't mean the book can be posted. I'm glad you got your credit back and I wouldn't send it back without an additional credit.

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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I agree with your assessment of the book damage. Since she's refunded the credit, I'd mark the transaction resolved.

I'd set the book aside for a few days in case the other member comes through with a second credit. Other than that, I wouldn't worry about it. You did everything right.

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2008
Posts: 1,383
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It certainly looks like water damage to me. Plus, it also looks like some black mold is forming on the edge. I just hope you get your credit back. What did she want the book back for to begin with, to post it again?

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I sent her the photos (possibly against my better judgement).  I mean, this book had so many different elements that made it unpostable.  If it had been in the mail for two weeks I could imagine that some of it happened in transit, but it was only in the mail system for 48 hours.  I'm just happy I got my credit back so I can order another copy.  Thanks everyone for your help!

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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While I agree that the book is unpostable, and I'm glad you received your credit, in my opinion your assessment of its condition (in your original post) is not correct either.  While there appears to be some water damage, at least from what your photo shows, this is not "severely water damged".  Still it is upostable.  You received your credit.  I would let it go, but not return the book since she didn't give you the 2nd credit.

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 160
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Dont know what you are looking at, but judging by the 2nd photo that looks like severe water damage to me.  Caviglia you did the right thing.

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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The photos really don't do the damage justice.  It's pretty nasty.  But like many things, "severe" is a subjective term. 

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 1/9/11 8:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/5/2009 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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I guess I have a different definition of severe since I once dropped a paperback book in a pretty deep puddle . . .  It was long before I joined PBS.  It was a book crossings book - the first I had ever encountered.  It ended it's journey with me.  I don't have a picture of that book, but it was not pretty when it dried...

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,727
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caviglia, If it was me I might respond this way:

Thanks again for returning my credit.

Here are some links to illustrate the condition of the book. Spine creases are OK per PBS rules, however, these pictures show spine separation, where the spine is completely broken through and the paper is the only thing holding the book together. This spine separation is against the rules. Spine creases are where the binding has relaxed and the book may open naturally to that page, but the spine itself is still in one piece. Spine creases are usually indicated by white lines on the spine of the book, showing where the binding has been relaxed.

As far as having received books in this condition, yes, you should consider marking them "Received with a Problem", and asking for your credit back from your sender, as well. That way, the first sender of an unpostable book is the one that will incurr the "loss" of the credit, and neither you nor I will be out the credit for an unpostable book.

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 1/9/11 8:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 2