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Topic: RWAP - Is it the Sender's or USPS's fault?

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Subject: RWAP - Is it the Sender's or USPS's fault?
Date Posted: 12/17/2008 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2008
Posts: 16,558
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Hello! This is my first RWAP and I want to make sure I do good by you guys. :)

I received a thick TPB that was wrapped in a plastic grocery bag with the single wrapper wrapped halfway around it. Then the sender taped the hell out of most of it. However, it looks like one section might not have been taped up because the plastic bag had been pulled through the tape. I hope that makes sense. It looks like it might have been caught on a USPS sorting machine or something.

So, how do I mark this?


Date Posted: 12/17/2008 10:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would mark this damaged by sender as it was not properly wrapped. THe PBS wrapper is not adequate to wrap tradesize or hardcover books even with a plastic bag and lots of tape.   

Sandra (dru) -
Date Posted: 12/17/2008 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2006
Posts: 508
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A book is considered Damaged by USPS if it was damaged in transit (while in the mail).

  • This is usually just bad luck
    • Even the most well-wrapped packages can get mangled by a postal sorting machine
    • We have tried to divide the risk fairly between the sender and the requestor:
      • If the sender gets the book back damaged, the sender assumes the risk: she should contact us to cancel the request.  The requestor gets the credit back when we do that, and the sender does not get credit unless she used PBS-DC or PBS Printed Postage
      • If the requestor gets the book damaged by USPS, the requestor assumes the risk.  The requestor does need to mark the book received and does not get her credit back; the sender does get credit in this case.
  • If you feel that the wrapping of the book contributed to its damage en route:
    • You can tell the sender this in a Personal Message
      • Please be gentle!  The sender may be new to bookswapping.
      • You can ask for your credit to be refunded if you believe it is warranted.
    • You can share your own tips on wrapping technique, and/or refer the sender to the Help items on wrapping a book.
    • You can also comment on the wrapping in the Comments box at the bottom of the survey portion of the Book Received page, so these details are recorded on the transaction in our records.

Last Edited on: 12/18/08 12:01 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/17/2008 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Ok, but was the book actually damaged?  Maybe I'm just not making the correct visual, :-), but I'm only hearing how poorly it was wrapped (and certainly it was poorly wrapped).  You don't mark RWaP unless there is actual  damage.  Then, of course, the HC info above applies.  However, even if there is no damage, i would PM the sender and gently say something about the wrapping job. 

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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totally not USPS's fault that the sender didnt package it well enough to be shipped

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 12:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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If there is no damage, there is no RWP. If there is damage I would mark it RWP- damaged by USPS myself.

As the Help Docs above clearly state, if it is damaged in transit it is RWP - damaged by USPS, it is not damaged by sender unless it was damaged before being sent.

If you feel the wrapping contributed, then either say that in the reporting of the RWP and ask for the credit bac kthen or do so in a PM. If the book wasn't damaged, then I usually let them know in the receiving process that the book could have become damaged because of wrapping issues and offer suggestions to avoid it in the future.

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 12:20 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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Yeah but was the BOOK damaged?!?! That's the crux of the issue here and only one other person has brought that up. There is no RWAP if the book was not damaged.

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 9:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Ditto. If the book wasn't damaged (and meets PBS guideline criteria), it isn't RWAP, regardless of the wrapping job. I would write a polite note to the person when marking it received that says something like this:

Thank you for sending [book title]. I'm looking forward to reading it!

As an FYI, the wrapper for the book was torn in transit because the uncovered plastic caught in one of the postal machines. Fortunately the book was not damaged, but I think that [insert wrapping suggestion here] would significantly decrease the chances of this happening again.

Thanks again for mailing the book!

I would also put in the "comments to PBS" box a note regarding the poor wrapping job. That'll let TPTB know if there are future problems with that member's account.

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 110
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Since PBS guidelines are that it is proper to wrap a book only with its one page cover, no damage to the book should be considered the fault of the sender.

Kate -
Date Posted: 12/18/2008 10:57 AM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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Last Edited on: 3/27/09 3:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/18/2008 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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Actually Richard, the guidelines do not say it is OK to wrap with the one page cover. It says the two sheet is OK, but when you print the one page it clearly says it is intended for a label and should not be use as a wrapper since one page is not enough. It also says in the wrapping instructions that the 2 page is usually only adequate on mmpb and that something else should be use for the larger trade size and Hard Covers. But your last part is correct, PBS does not put the fault on the sender when a book is damaged in transit regardless of how shoddy the wrap job is.

Last Edited on: 12/18/08 1:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/18/2008 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2008
Posts: 16,558
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Sorry, I completely forgot that part. Yes, the book was damaged. It's cover and first few pages of text (the actual story) were torn up.

Jane, I really like your PM message and will use something like it.

Thanks for the responses, I will mark it as RWAP - USPS's fault with the note to the sender. She is new and it looks like this is the first book that she sent out.