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Topic: Really bummed and a question

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Subject: Really bummed and a question
Date Posted: 2/5/2010 1:36 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2006
Posts: 7
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I am really bummed today... I requested 4 books from a member last week, they sent them promptly and I was so excited to find them (books on collectibles, etc) .. well, the package arrived today, or what was left of it.. 3 books were totally missing and the 4th was mangled and soaking wet... they had sent these 4 books in only a manilla envelope, not wrapped in plastic or anything...there was a rubber band around the paper that was left from the envelope and the mangled book as well as the oops, we are sorry your package was damaged during processing sticker from the USPS....


I marked the books as received with a problem, sent a message to the sender explaining my disappointment and to suggest they use a different manner to send books out and to please wrap in plastic or put in a bag or anything to help protect them from the weather (using a bag "might" have kept all 4 books together this time if nothing else LOL, and requested for them to please refund my 4 credits so I can try to find other books that might help me

Is there anythjing else I should do?  I am normally not at all picky in case there is a tiny stain or anything wrong with a book I get so this is the first time I have had a problem like this..... I still can not believe they sent almost 4 lbs of books in a manilla envelope LOL.....if they had stacked the books on top of each other, and maybe put tape criss crossing over the stack (on the outside of the envelope of course LOL) that might have worked, but you can tell by the package that they had laid them side by side with 2 books on each side... I bet the envelope broke in the center of them first then the machines mangled the rest :(

so if anyone ever gets any books on collectibles, glass, china, pottery, antiques, etc that have photos in them (not the price guide types like Kovels) that would be good for identifying things, hollar at me!!!  I need all the help I can get to identify all this "junque" around here


thanks for listening/reading

Trish

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 1:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2005
Posts: 1,586
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Sorry your books were lost and ruined....The thing is the USPS stated they ruined the books in processing....It is not required that we wrap books in plastic...though I do and I use mega tape....I think the person who sent the book sent it per the rules......granted they could have packed it better but they were in a package and had some tape not scotch tape on it...If it had been me I would not give you the credit cause the USPS put the rubber band on it and marked it was ruined by them..Though please know I am sorry this happened to you

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 2:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2006
Posts: 7
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I requested the credits back because that is what it stated to do in the help files... there was no tape used on the package except to hold the PBS label on so not sure where you got that from... I know its not required to use plastic to protect the books, I only suggested it to the sender to help protect them in the future.... so basically what you are saying is that its my loss and that I am just screwed? ... sad thing is I had to BUY the credits in order to get the books because I did not have enough credits left from swaps to get them :(  I send books through the mail on a daily basis so I know what can happen to them, but if a person cares about what they are doing, they should take some responsibility for not packaging it a bit better... not just shove 4 books weighing almost 4 lbs side by side in a paper envelope, close it with the metal prongs and expect them to actually arrive...geesh....  just my opinion....this has really soured me on PBS...oh well

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 2:28 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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There is a USPS form for lost books.  It is a long shot.  It is highly unlikely to see your books again. The form is called a rifling report.  It is helpful to file the report as it is counted in the PO's audits.  Sort of "you did this and now it is going on your permanent record" rather than any hope of ever finding the books.

And with the credits, I do ask when I feel the package was not sealed.  If a book arrives damaged without tape or with Scotch tape, I'll ask.  You might not get them.  And it may well because of the tone of your first PM.  It is up to the sender to decide.  Writing that PM asking for credits is a very delicate task.



Last Edited on: 2/5/10 2:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/5/2010 2:56 AM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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.... so basically what you are saying is that its my loss and that I am just screwed?

Yes, that's what she is saying.  I am very sorry this happened to you.  This is the point I have been making all along.  So what if you have sent 100 books not wrapped in plastic and none arrived damaged.  It takes so little time to wrap books in plastic I just can't understand why everyone doesn't do it.  If those four books had been wrapped together in a plastic bag, like a grocery bag, and then put in the manila envelope, there's a good chance they would have stayed together and made it to you intact.  This happened to me.  Someone sent me 6 books wrapped tightly in a grocery bag and then in an outer wrapping.  The end of the outer wrapping got torn probably because they didn't tape the pointy ends of the wrap down flat and it got caught in a machine.  Anyway, the books stayed together and stayed with the wrapper.  The post office taped the package back together and all six books arrived to me undamaged.



Last Edited on: 2/5/10 2:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/5/2010 2:56 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2006
Posts: 7
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thanks for your opinions... I will just chalk it up to a bad experience and go on.. ...I don't want people on here assuming I am just a b**ch or something because I am not good expressing myself when I type and it tends to come off as being harsh... I was just basically wanting to know if I was wrong wanting my credits back for something I did not get... I could have just waited it out and said I never got the package at all and got them back that way, but that would have been extremely cold & a lie since the package did somewhat arrive.. I was just trying to be honest and share my experience like so many other people seem to do here... I have a TON of great swaps on here and met some great people

thanks and good luck with your swaps

Trish

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 3:00 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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4 books, averaging a pound each...in a unreinforced manilla envelope?  Since the manilla wasn't folded down and secured firmly with packing tape (per PBS) nor were the books secured to one another (common sense), I would have been surprised if they had arrived safely.  That combination of books and wrapper was a disaster waiting to happen.

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 3:07 AM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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You didn't come across at all harsh.  You were simply venting and I don't blame you.

You might want to put a Requestor Condition on your account asking people to please wrap your books in plastic.  That's what I have done.  If someone doesn't want to accept my RC because they don't want to bother with plastic, I would rather that happen than receiving a ruined book.  One thing I found out when I was PM'ing people asking them to wrap in plastic (before I did the RC) is that many people have never thought about the consequences to books if wrapping gets wet.  I even had someone thank me for educating them on this subject.

I just sent you a credit to help ease your pain.  I received a credit the other day from someone here who was thanking me for something, so I'm passing that credit on to you.  I know it isn't compensation for all the books, but it might help.

BTW, if you havent checked the books as received, you might want to do a RWAP, because I think the wrapping job they did (sans the plastic) did not meet the PBS guidelines.  PBS guidelines clearly say to tape wrapping tight and securely around books.  It doesn't sound like they did that.



Last Edited on: 2/5/10 3:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/5/2010 3:37 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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You marked the missing books as received?   Whoops.  You shouldn't have.  Those should go lost or get cancel, giving you your credit back.

 

From help:

I received an empty wrapper--no book inside!

If this is a book you requested, you should not mark the book received, since you did not get the book.  You should contact the sender to let him or her know what happened.  

  • The sender should call 800-ASK-USPS or go to http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MLNtRcvd.aspx  and input the information online there. This will help USPS try to recover the book.

    • The form is titled "mail Theft"; this does not mean that you can use it only if you think the book was stolen.  "Received without contents" is an option on the page.
    • The choice to make under "Class" on the form if Media Mail was used is "Parcel Post".
  • If you think that the Wrapping method may have contributed to the loss of the book, please do give (gentle) feedback to the sender; you can refer to All Help documents about bookwrapping if you like. 

  • If you have marked the book received by mistake (or if the system marked the book received for you while you were absent from PBS), you can also discuss this with the sender, who got credit when that happened. See How do I contact another member? for instructions on how to contact a sender from the transaction in your Transaction Archive.

If you have not marked the book received yet, do not do so.  You will continue to get the usual auto-emails from PBS asking if the book has arrived; open and read them, and follow any instructions within. 

If the book hasn't arrived by the 26th day (the 35th day if the sender or requestor is outside the contiguous US) after it was marked mailed, then PBS will declare it lost in the Mail and you will get your credit back.  If the book does arrive after that, you should mark it received from your Transaction Archive.  

If the sender agrees to cancelling the request early (not waiting the full period for the book to be declared "lost"), then she or he can contact us and ask us to cancel the transaction for the book.  (A cancellation in this case will pass your request to a new sender if there is another copy of the book available in the system, or will put the book on your Wish List if there is not another available copy.  If the book was on your Wish LIst before, our cancellation will put you back on the Wish List for this book, in your previous place "in line".)

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
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It sounds like plastic wouldn't have really helped in this case anyway...but that the packing was totally inadequate. I would have marked the one book RWAP but not mentioned the plastic, personally, just stating that a manila envelope, unsecured for four books was not adequate packaging. And as Emily pointed out, books you didn't actually receive should NOT be marked received anyway.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2008
Posts: 745
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Was it a book bazaar deal or just four books for four credits?  I wonder, if you were to word the PM right, if a credit compromise  would work (assuming it is too late to mark them not recieved...that clearly the preferred way to go).  If you had paid 4 credits for the 4 books, and it cost her 4$ to mail the books, maybe she wouldn't be against giving you back two or three.  Not that it would make you feel as good as four...but two or three is better then nothing and something she may feel more inclined to do...

If I mail out a book individually and it gets damaged in the mail, it's hardly fair for me to have lost the book AND spent postage on it for nothing.  But it's also not fair for the receiver to lose a credit for something beyond their control either.  

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 6,377
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I agree with Cheryl - the debate about plastic aside, it sounds like the sender did not adequately package your books, and I think you are entitled to ask for your credits back and I hope you get them.  Although technically the books were damaged by the USPS, it sounds like that *might* not have happened if the sender had used some packaging tape which I believe is required.  And I only say *might* because I recently got a mangled book returned to me by the USPS which was well taped and in plastic, but nothing was going to protect it from the teeth of whatever processing machine the USPS used on it, LOL!

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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Since manilla envelopes are (unfortunately) listed in the PBS accepted alternate wrapping I don't think they sender will agree that they did not adequately wrap the books. Without the wrapper being intact, there is no way to know what condition it left them in. I despise manilla envelopes and wish they'd take them out of the suggested alternatives. I know some people I get them from are good at securing it, but I would rather that idea not be planted in people's heads.

That said, the proper procedure here would have only cost you 1 of the 4 credits.  Its a good reminder to always check the Help Center or with a Live Help before taking action on a problem. As copied above, any book that does not actually arrive should not be marked as received.

Hopefully this sender will be willing to work with you and not just take all the credits they shouldn't have gotten and leave you out. And hopefully you find the books again soon.

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 6:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/5/2010 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Since manilla envelopes are (unfortunately) listed in the PBS accepted alternate wrapping I don't think they sender will agree that they did not adequately wrap the books

Here's what it says about manila envelopes:

Manila envelope

  • tape it down tightly around the book(s) to prevent "flaps" that can get caught in postal machinery
  • if your envelope has a metal clasp, this can rub against the book cover and cause damage--a piece of tape over the inside portion of the clasp will prevent this.

From what the OP said, it sounds like the envelope was not taped down tightly around the book so the wrapping job did not meet PBS guidelines.



Last Edited on: 2/5/10 11:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/5/2010 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 6:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 5
Date Posted: 2/5/2010 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2006
Posts: 7
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well I guess I did screw up by marking them received with a problem instead of not recieved... I should have read more about it before I marked them....like I said I will just chalk it up to experience.. the guy who sent them replied by copying the PBS rule "If the requestor gets the book damaged by USPS, the requestor assumes the risk."  that is not his fault....oh well

thanks everyone

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 2/5/2010 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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you can share with him that you mistakenly marked 3 of them received that did not arrive and see if he will send those back, use the help document someone posted above to show him that is the "correct" way to do it.  If doesn't I would try the contact pbs link telling them you mistakenly marked 3 of them recieved & see if they will do anything about it.

someone once posted about how the sender gets the risk of post office losing the book and the receiver gets the risk of post office damaging the book, so it is spread out a little bit.

might not work, but you can try.

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,321
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Thought I'd add this, too, for future reference -- I was thinking of the part about poor wrapping contributing to the damage (not the lack of plastic, since that's not required, but a manila envelope with no tape reinforcement)

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.
Date Posted: 2/5/2010 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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And I only say *might* because I recently got a mangled book returned to me by the USPS which was well taped and in plastic, but nothing was going to protect it from the teeth of whatever processing machine the USPS used on it, LOL!

I agree, how does anyone know the wrapping job was poor? She said the package came mangled with only part of it left. That means we don't really know if scotch tape or packing tape was used. I've received two books damaged by USPS and let the senders know who both said they had wrapped adequately (one with packing tape and no plastic, the other with both packing tape and plastic) and were very sorry that USPS still managed to destroy the packaging and damage the books. So I think it's possible to wrap properly and still get a damaged book. The USPS can be pretty hard on packages. One of the damaged ones I received looked and smelled like it had somehow landed under the mail truck in the direct line of an oil/gas leak.

Anyway, I hope you get back at least 3 of those credits back. Hopefully the sender is understanding if you message again about not actually getting those other 3 books. Maybe they didn't realize only one arrived.

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2008
Posts: 1,110
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I once had a book sent to me using only  a manila envelope. Unfortunately, the envelope arrived empty. I PM'd the sender and told her what had happened and what the post office had advised me (to always use packing tape with a manila envelope if sending anything larger than a few sheets of paper. She had a second copy of the book and sent it to me to make up for the first one, and received her credit (and we both learned that manilla envelopes are not adequate packaging by themselves). This knowledge served me in good stead when I sent out a family heirloom book to a relative and knew to tape the envelope closed and wrap the book in plastic.

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I agree, how does anyone know the wrapping job was poor? She said the package came mangled with only part of it left.

I think it's quite possible to determine whether or not the manila envelope was taped tightly around the book.  If there's no packing tape on the corners of the manila envelope, that would indicate to me that the envelope was not taped tightly around the book.  That is a postal accident waiting to happen.  With the corners flapping in the breeze, I can easily see them getting caught in some kind of a machine.

I'm hoping that members here think about a package they are sending.  Look at it and think, "could this get caught in a sorting machine"?  I know there are people here who think it is the postal service's fault if a book is damaged in any way during transit.  I disagree with that thought.  If a book is poorly wrapped and it gets damaged during handling, I don't think it is the fault of the Post Office.  Think about it...... they handle thousands of packages a day.  They don't have time to look for poorly packaged parcels and make sure that they handle them in a way that won't damage the contents due to the poor packaging.  Books sent through the USPS get tossed and turned in their trip through the system.  A consciencious sender should always take a look at the books they are sending and really give some thought as to whether there's a good chance the books will make it through the Post Office system safely. 

I've been using poly envelopes lately.  I always tape the corners tightly because I can see those sharp corners getting caught in a sorting machine.  That is not a requirement in the PBS guidelines, it just seems like a sensible thing to do.

 

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 5:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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Since manilla envelopes are (unfortunately) listed in the PBS accepted alternate wrapping I don't think they sender will agree that they did not adequately wrap the books

Here's what it says about manila envelopes:

Manila envelope

  • tape it down tightly around the book(s) to prevent "flaps" that can get caught in postal machinery
  • if your envelope has a metal clasp, this can rub against the book cover and cause damage--a piece of tape over the inside portion of the clasp will prevent this.

From what the OP said, it sounds like the envelope was not taped down tightly around the book so the wrapping job did not meet PBS guidelines.

The OP doesn't know how it left the sender because they didn't get much of the package. It could have been snug on the books and the thing just split open from bad USPS handling. It could have had a good amount of tape on the missing part and that is why the machine grabbed it.There is no way at this point to know if there were any flaps to get caught in machinery.

 

Patricia - you could try responding to that PM stating that yes, the rules state that the requester assumes the risk if the book get to them and you are willing to take the hit on the one that did make it to you, but that the sender is the one who assumes the risk if the books don't make it there and you'd like the credits back on those 3. They might respond with a too bad, but they also might see grounds for compromise.

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If I received an envelope that was missing books I wouldn't have marked them received. I would have marked the one that was in there received. But not the other 3.  You didn't get them.  I believe that it says if your envelope is missing books when it arrives damaged like that then you don't mark them received.

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Ooops guess I should have read all the posts before I commented.

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