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Topic: Received a book that was never marked mailed

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Subject: Received a book that was never marked mailed
Date Posted: 10/31/2008 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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A couple of weeks ago, I got a WL offer; the sender never marked the book mailed, so it went back on my WL, and that same day I got another offer for the same book (from a different person). Today I received both copies of the book, and I'm not sure what to do. I never got a PM from the person who sent the first copy; I'm not sure he knows it wasn't marked mailed. What's the right thing to do in this situation? Should I send the first sender a credit and post the book? Should I send the book back so the sender can post it again?

Date Posted: 10/31/2008 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,892
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I've had this happen to me before.  From the help docs:

Scenario #1 (the most common scenario):

  • You submit a request, which goes to Sender #1

  • Sender #1 does not mark the book mailed before the deadline, but still mails the book.

  • Then the request cancels and gets passed to Sender #2, who also sends the book.

  • You end up with two copies.

    This situation (the requestor ending up with 2 copies of the book) is part of why marking a book mailed before the deadline is such an important part of the swapping process. 

    The bottom line here: always mark your books mailed, so you don't become Sender #1!


When you receive 2 copies for a book after submitting only one request, you are not obligated to give a credit for the extra (canceled) copy.  You are obligated to mark the properly sent copy received.

  • When you mark the book received from the active transaction on your En Route to Me tab on your My Account page, Sender #2 will get credit. 
    • Sender #2's transaction is the only active transaction for the book on your account page.
    • The transaction with Sender #1 moved into your Transaction Archive when it was canceled, as a canceled transaction.
  • You are not obligated to give a second credit for a canceled copy of a book when you submitted only one request
    • You are also not obligated to send the book back (although this is a nice thing to do if the sender is a new member).
    • You are obligated to mark the book received that is on your En Route to Me tab on My Account.
  • If you do wish to give credit to Sender #1, you can mark that copy of the book received from the canceled transaction:
    • Go to  your Transaction Archive:
      • place your cursor over My Account in the toolbar at the top of the site
      • Click Transaction Archive in the menu that drops down
      • you can also click the link 'Transaction Archive" from the My Account page
    • Scroll down to see the canceled transaction for this book.
      • Check the sender name and Details to be sure it is the correct transaction
      • There are sometimes several canceled transactions for one title
    • Click was the book recieved? on the transaction
    • The usual Book Received screens will come up from there.
    • When you mark a canceled book received, the credit is taken from your account and given to that sender.
  • Again,  you do not have to mark the canceled copy received.
    • If you like, you may Post the extra copy of the book into the system for others to request.

 

 

 


If this information didn't answer your question, let us know.
 
 
 
Date Posted: 10/31/2008 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Well, if it went back on your WL and all that, that means the transaction was cancelled and you don't have to mark it received.  If you decide to give them the credit for the book, you'll have to find the cancelled transaction in your transaction archive and mark it received from there.  This automatically gives them a credit from your account.  Here's my opinion about this: I don't usually have any use for an extra copy of a book - be it wish listed or otherwise - but, as long as the book is postable, I'll give the credit to the sender and offer it to someone else on the list.  If I can't repost it for some reason, that would be different, but I think everyone should get a credit for their postable books, even when they make a mistake and forget to mark them mailed.  I'd also send a friendly reminder to them to make sure to mark their books mailed on time, because not everyone will be willing to give them the credit for them.

Date Posted: 10/31/2008 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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As the Help says above, you do not have to give the first sender (that did not mark it mailed) a credit or return the book. You can however, do one or the other if you want to. I hate being put into the position of having to pay twice for one book, or at minimum spend another $2-$3 in postage to resend the book to recoup the credit. But, I feel guilty keeping the book so what I do is repost the book to my shelf and once I have gotten the credit for that extra copy, I send it to them. If the sender is snotty, if I didn't have the money or the credits to do this, my response would be to do what the help says I have to do - nothing.

Date Posted: 10/31/2008 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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I think everyone should get a credit for their postable books, even when they make a mistake and forget to mark them mailed

I totally agree with this and I do what Kim does in this situation.  However, one thing when you are deciding how to handle it is:  The person receives one, maybe even two, emails reminding them to mark the book mailed as the deadline approaches.  So, generally, unless there was an unforseen event of some kind, people can't say they didn't know that they were supposed to do this.  I might suggest emailing the first sender to hear what happened on their end before deciding whether to give credit to them.

Date Posted: 10/31/2008 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Lisa's idea is probably a little better,  actually.  It might be better to initiate a dialogue with them before marking the book received.  If nothing else, just to make sure they're still an active member.  It might be unlikely, but it's possible they never have logged back in to the site or looked at any PBS related emails since they mailed out your book.  Stranger things have been known to happen:P

Date Posted: 10/31/2008 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2005
Posts: 453
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I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with all the above ideas. The policy is clearly in place (as provided by Holly above) and it protects the receiver from incurring additional expenses when a sender makes a mistake that results in double receipt of a requested item.  Listing the book and passing the credit on later when the book is requested off your bookshelf still costs you the $2.23 for shipping a book and you get NOTHING for it. That is no less costly to me than the lost credit is to the sender who neglected to mark her book mailed. Who should bear the financial cost - me or the person who didn't follow directions in the first place? 

Now, in the case where a sender neglected to mark a book mailed, but no other copy has yet been mailed at the time of receipt, I would definitely go back to the transaction archive and mark it received (and MAKE SURE to remove the book from my wishlist.) I am sure this is also according to PBS policy.

I'm guessing it is generally very new people who would forget to mark a book mailed, and they would most likely learn from the mistake, so it usually only happens once.



Last Edited on: 10/31/08 7:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/31/2008 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Well, the good thing is, the policy is written in such a way that members can do it either way, depending on how they feel about it.  I don't see any reason not to give someone credit for their book, but that's just me & my preference.  As long as I can repost it - especially if it's a WL book and there are a lot of people waiting for it - I'm fine with doing that.

Date Posted: 10/31/2008 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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The only thing with those that go ahead and give the person the credit when they didn't mark it mailed is that then they get snotty when those of us that feel they need to learn from their mistake don't give them the credit.

It is kind of like someone deciding not to mark a book RWAP because you just know the person just made a mistake...well, you know what I mean!!

Date Posted: 10/31/2008 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Yeah, I can certainly understand that.  The rules are on your side if you decide not to though.  And the thing about it is, this has happened to me exactly once since I've been a member here.  I messaged a TG at the time and asked her opinion, and she said that she would give them the credit, and she personally wouldn't feel right about keeping the book without doing that, but it was up to me.  I opted to mark the book received and sent it on to someone else.  I still feel good about handling it that way, but I certainly don't think any less of anyone who chooses not to.

*ETA: As far as it being like RWAPs, it kinda is, and it kinda isn't.  With an RWAP, unless the sender refunds your credit, you're out a credit and have a book you can't repost.  If you opt to mark a late mailing received, you're basically out postage to send it to someone else, but you still have a book you can repost or give to a friend.



Last Edited on: 10/31/08 8:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/2/2008 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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I once received a book that the sender missed marking as mailed due to computer problems and  then being out of town.  He PM'd me to tell me what happened.  The transaction timed out, and my wish went to the next person who had the book.  This 2nd sender cancelled the request because his/her book did not meet my RC's.  (This was all before I received the PM from the 1st sender).   So in the end, I received the book from the first sender only and was able to mark it received, and give him the credit, and everyone was happy.

Date Posted: 11/2/2008 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Remember that this discussion is about books not marked mailed and not just declared "lost" for overtime delivery or for distance ( like Alaska, Hawaii, and APO's - I don't know about Puerto Rico).  It takes a long time from those 3 I mentioned and I've always had the delivery time take longer so they are declared "lost".  In those cases, be sure to wait a couple more weeks, at least, before reordering.  And you might PM the sender just to make sure! 

Ruth

Date Posted: 11/3/2008 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2008
Posts: 203
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I like Melanie's idea about waiting until you are able to resend the book and get your credit back before you give the member a credit. It sounds like an honest mistake but that doesn't mean you should be out a credit in the interim.
Subject: Same thing happened to me
Date Posted: 11/4/2008 7:11 AM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2007
Posts: 60
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Last Edited on: 4/10/11 11:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/4/2008 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Well, it's good to see the opposite POV on this issue, at least.  I personally just couldn't do that.  If nothing else, I'd repost the book and then give the 1st sender the credit when it was ordered by someone else and I got it.   Anything else feels punitive to me, and I don't feel like I'm here to enforce the rules.  I think it's my responsibility to adhere to them myself, and report flagrant disregard of them, certainly, but I'm not interested in punishing other members when they screw up and make a mistake.  I don't have the overall view of them as members and their account history & activity to go by, like the PTB do, so I really have no idea what sort of members they are; I just know that in this one instance, as pertains to me & my request, they made a mistake.  As far as I'm concerned, the only plausible explanation for mailing a book on time, and then failing to mark it mailed on time, is that it's some sort of screw up, oversight, personal problem or real life drama/disaster that has caused the person in question to forget or overlook it, or just be downright unable to do it.  I can't, in my wildest dreams, imagine somebody accepting a request and then going to the time & effort to package it up & mail it out on time, and then just deciding that they've done all they need to do, and they could care less about following the rules & procedures.  I also can't envision anyone who's actually failed to mark a book mailed sitting at their computer & snickering over their craftiness in flouting the site rules and getting their credit out of me anyway.  Maybe I'm naive, but I just can't imagine anyone doing this deliberately or arrogantly, or for any sort of self-serving reason really.  What would be the point?

Date Posted: 11/4/2008 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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I don't think people are saying the person is sending and not marking it deliberately to get one up on someone. The problem is that when they are breaking that rule, they are costing the receiver $$ if the credit is given. A member really needs to see that that is unacceptable and the quickest way for them to see that is when they are out the credit not the receiver. Yes, it isn't fair that they are out a book and a credit, but it also isn't fair that the person who got the book is out the additional postage or an extra credit when they did nothing but order 1 book. If someone does not have very many credits or is really cash short, they should not be out anything for someone not doing their part in the swap.

Date Posted: 11/4/2008 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I'm not saying that that's what everyone thinks, Melanie.  What I was saying is that not giving them the credit seems like a punitive measure to me - sort of a take 'em out to the woodshed & teach 'em a lesson type thing - and the only way I personally can justify that is if they've deliberately done something to flout the rules, and not because of a simple mistake.  And I don't buy into the notion that losing your credit is the only way you'll learn not to make a mistake again, or that getting the credit teaches people not to follow the rules.  I think most people could probably manage to remember to watch out for this after having a discussion with the receiver & being told what they did wrong.  Not giving them the credit is just negative reinforcement.  A little something to make it hurt more.  I'm not raising kids here, I'm swapping used books.  If I can repost the extra book, and I'm reasonably certain it's an honest mistake, then I don't see any reason not to give it to them.  I paid something for most of the books I have, and the $2.41 I'm going to spend in postage to mail that book on to someone else is not going to break me.   In most cases, I don't even spend that much per book as most of what I send out are mulitple shipments anyway.  That's a personal decision on my part and it works with the way I manage my shelf, but I certainly don't think it's going to always work for everyone else.  We're all different & have different situations.  One thing I'm fairly certain of though, is that this doesn't happen all that frequently, and it isn't such a huge & widespread problem, that it warrants that action 100% of the time by each and every member who ever has it happen to them.  If it were that big of a concern, I doubt the rules would leave open the option of giving the credit to the other member.



Last Edited on: 11/4/08 12:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Whew!
Date Posted: 11/4/2008 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2007
Posts: 60
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Last Edited on: 4/10/11 11:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/4/2008 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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You know, I'm really sorry that I can't disagree with your opinion on how to handle these situations, Caroline, and not have you somehow take it personally.  I aasure you my comments weren't intended that way.  I simply commented about how it feels to me to do it that way and why I don't.  Period.  They are not judgements on you and I'm sorry you choose to interpret them that way.  Clearly this is a touchy subject, and just offering my point of view on how I choose to handle it - which by the way is actually in accordance with the site rules, thank you very much - was apparently interpreted as something else entirely.   I don't know why this is such a hot button topic, and I refuse to speculate.  Suffice it to say, that I actually don't mind how you choose to handle these situations, should they occur, and I'm not passing judgements on you for how you handle them.  BUT, by the same token, as long as my actions are in compliance with the rules, I can't really see them as the precursor to meeting "in someone's centrally located garage and digging through boxes of books for a swap!"  I seriously doubt we're going to have complete societal breakdown & imminent destruction of the entire PBS system, because out of the one time in the past 14 months that I received a book that wasn't marked mailed on time, I gave the poor boob who made the mistake a lousy credit.  PBS's help docs have a clearly detailed procedure for this, and I'm pretty sure that means that I can do it without breaking the rules or causing a total meltdown of the entire PBS system:P

Date Posted: 11/4/2008 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2007
Posts: 60
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Last Edited on: 4/10/11 11:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/4/2008 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Same to  you, dear.  And I just want *you* to know that I'm 100% all for always following the guidelines - I promise:P  This just happens to be one of the areas where PBS gives members a little discretion, and everyone has to pick the solution that seems right for them.  I said somewhere up there that I do what I do because it works for me & the way I manage my shelf.  If, for whatever reason, it didn't work, I wouldn't expect for people to think I was cavorting about the system here, and having myself a big old party, slapping down those naughty late mailers.  I don't think you should expect - and you definitely don't deserve! - that sort of treatment either.  I apologize if what I said came off that way.  Okay?  Seriously, it really wasn't me shaking my finger at you personally for being a big meanie:)

Date Posted: 11/4/2008 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2007
Posts: 1,127
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If the book was on your Wish List ... it may very well be on someone else's also ... so it shouldn't be too hard to get rid of. I'd tell the sender that I'll give her credit ... once I've been able to send out the book to another member. Requires no additional postage, should be no hard feelings, and I'll bet the sender will remember to mark a book "Mailed" from now on!
Date Posted: 11/5/2008 9:11 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I read back over this and realized that what I said yesterday probably wasn't concise enough.  Obviously there's more than just one reason that some members don't or can't give these senders a credit, and one answer doesn't address all of them.

If it's strictly an issue of adhering to the site rules & guidelines, giving the sender a credit for the book is in compliance with them.  I won't copy & paste all of it again & make this too long; it's above in Holly's post under "If you do wish to give credit to Sender #1, you can mark that copy of the book received from the canceled transaction:". That should pretty much cover it.  I'm sure the emphasis being on "If you do wish".  If anyone doesn't wish to do that, then don't.  The rules cover you on that too.

Secondly, if it's a concern of sending the message that it's okay not to follow the rules, my considered opinion on that is slightly more complicated, but I'll do my best to explain it.  First of all, I don't think it's 100% fair or accurate to make comparisons between giving someone who failed to mark a book mailed a credit, and opting not to mark a damaged or unpostable book RWAP.  As I've said before, in the first case you still have a book you can repost, and in the second, you do not, but that's beside the point at the moment.  My personal opinion on the specific issue of what sort of message that sends, is that I don't think the concern here should be with that, and I think there are other more constructive ways to send a message without taking an across the board action that may not feel right to everyone.  Just aside from the fact that this is usually a simple mistake on the part of the sender, it isn't nearly as widespread a problem as RWAP transactions, and the site rules are very specific in stating the we should always be marking unpostable books RWAP.  They don't say that we should always or never credit members for books they forgot to mark mailed.  They give us discretion on that, and I see nothing wrong with using it.

If a member fails to mark a book mailed and the request rolls over to the next sender in the FIFO line, then the requestor ends up with two copies of the same book, they've used one credit, and the sender is out one credit for the book they sent.  If the requestor reposts that book and it is requested by someone else, then they have to pay postage to send it.  Then they're stuck with the decision of whether they will keep the credit they get for it to compensate for the postage, or whether to give it to the sender.  Some people may not be able to afford that postage or justify that additional expense without the credit compensation.  This would probably be especially true of people who keep small shelves, and tend to send their requests out one book at a time.  Conversely, there are people like me, who keep 200 or more books on their PBS shelves, pick up books at thrift stores, library sales, etc. for the express purpose of posting them here, and tend to get multiple requests, each for multiple books.  This significantly alters your postage expense to credits received ratio, which tends to change your viewpoint on when & where you can afford to give up the occasional credit.  Just from my POV - it's not unheard of for me to have more than one copy of the same book.  I get books by the boxload at library sales, so sometimes I will end up with two or three copies of the same book, and sometimes those books are wish list books.  In fact, if I know a book has a long WL and I can get more than one copy of it, so much the better.  I'm an FOL member, so I can get boxloads of books very cheaply.  I can send those books to wishing members and get credits that I use to get books that I'm wishing for, and everyone is happy.  Most of the books on my WL are rare & out of print, so this ends up being a very cost effective way for me to get them, and since I'm able to keep my expenses low, I don't mind giving  the occasional credit to someone who has made a mistake, and chances are, probably needs that credit more than I do.  I give credits away all the time, for no other reason than just because I know someone wants a book and doesn't have the credit to get it.

I realize and appreciate that everyone is not in the same position, and some simply can't afford to do that.  Not all of us just have spare credits languishing in our accounts, and some of us need and use every single credit we get.    My way of doing things just isn't going to work for everyone, and that's fine.  The rules on this specific issue are flexible enough to allow for either situation, and everyone is able to use the solution that works best for them.  I think as long as that's all we're doing, and it's not about sending messages & teaching other members about consequences, or to agree amongst ourselves on an across the board action to fix a problem that isn't all that prevalent to begin with, the system will work just exactly how it's designed to work, and those problems will remain few and far between, just as they always have.  I didn't wade into this discussion just to argue or point fingers at the non credit returning meanies:P  I'm just offering my own POV, and making sure that anyone with circumstances similar to mine does know that they have options here, and they are in compliance with the site rules, if they choose to exercise them.  And I'm thinking (& hoping:P) that I've clarified the things I've said here well enough at this point, and I can just shut up now:P