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Topic: Received the wrong version (ISBN) of a book *again*

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Subject: Received the wrong version (ISBN) of a book *again*
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 7:08 AM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2008
Posts: 6
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So this has happened twice to me now in the past month - once with a WL book and once with a book that I selected from my reminder list. In both cases my transaction archive clearly shows that the book I requested was the trade paperback. In the first instance I received the mass market paperback (and an apology from the sender, who admitted their mistake), and in the second instance I received the hardback (and the sender still adamantly states that the error was not theirs). In both cases I kept the book and did not ask for my credit back; I did, however, mark both as RWAP. I know for a fact that I did *not* expand my wishlist request (because I specifically did not want the MMPB), and you can't even do that for a RL book, so I don't know how the second sender can claim that the request came into them for the hardback ISBN. I checked both ISBN's of the incoming books and they are correct in the PBS database (i.e.the hardback clearly states "hardback" for the book type, etc.).

So I guess what I'm wondering is - is this happening to other folks as well or is it just me? Is it possibly a glitch in the PBS system? Both of these senders weren't new to PBS, and I'd like to believe the second sender but I just don't see how my requesting one ISBN would have generated a request for a different ISBN on their side.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 8:30 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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It is not a glitch in PBS. It is a problem with the people who sent you the books. They posted their books incorrectly.

It also does not matter whether you use the wish expander or not. If you do use it, then it lets you wish for all versions of the book, but they all still show up as individual wishes on your wish list and you are always going to be offered the specific ISBN that the sender posted. In other words, if you look in your Transaction Archive and you see Book Type: Hardcover, then that's what you requested and that's what the sender posted.

What probably happened is that the sender typed in the ISBN on the book he had, which showed him a page with a big image of the book he was posting, and underneath that a bunch of smaller images and ISBNs for other versions. He probably clicked the button that said "This is my Book" on one of the other versions and ended up posting that. It happens if there are several different covers. Sometimes people pick the "This is my Book" button that has the same cover image as their book, even though that's the one thing on that page that doesn't actually have to match.

Also, some people search for a book by title and then hit the Post This Book button from the search results without paying any attention to the actual ISBN on their book.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,576
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i don't agree--- I have had books in both the PB and HC versions with the same ISBN.  And the version could have been correct when the person posted, then later "fixed" by the PBS reviewers without the poster's knowledge.  Of course, at the time of the order, the poster should have double-checked to see that the version matched what they were sending.  But here in the forums in the past few weeks this "glitch" has been mentioned alot.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2008
Posts: 745
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A little off topic but what's the difference between a paperback and a mass market paperback? 

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2007
Posts: 5,597
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An example of a mass market size paperback is:  6.6 inches tall by 4.1 inches wide

An example of a trade size paperback is: 8.1 inches tall by 5.5 inches wide

My problem is that I keep receiving paperbacks when I order School/Library bindings and Turtlebacks for our School Library. People just never realize that they're not the same thing. I wouldn't even complain about an ordinary Hardcover. 

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Actually Jeanne, only the PBS Team can change the binding type on a listing, and they will never do so if a book is currently posted to the listing. So, you have a good theory, but it's impossible to be the case. It's actually far more likely in such a case that a sender posted their book by ISBN without paying any attention to the binding type of the listing it's posted to at all. 'Hey, I posted by ISBN, it must be right', you know?

You can't even get the PBS Team to change the binding type at all unless it can be proven that the book can not be found anywhere with the binding type it's listed under. So, it happens primarily with brand new hardcover releases falsely listed as paperbacks, since it's fairly easy to prove a paperback of the book hasn't even been released yet.



Last Edited on: 1/5/11 1:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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In any case, I had a 'long-time member' that you'd think would know how to post books send me a mass-market paperback instead of the trade paperback once, who then swore she's not the one that made the mistake. The fact it had a completely different ISBN and a cover image that matched the listing she posted to, and not the correct listing, was irrelevant to her. She swore she posted by ISBN. The fact that the version of the book she posted to was wish listed, and the correct listing wasn't, was also a coincidence.

Needless to say, I don't believe for a second that there was any kind of 'glitch'. She either intentionally posted it wrong to get a fast credit (it does happen, and she never did refund me), or made the #1 most common posting mistake by saying one of those alternate ISBNs were hers when she saw the cover images. Long-time member or not, she made a mistake either way.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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There is nothing in the PBS system that indicates a book will be Trade sized - the two options are Mass Market Paperback or Paperback and the Paperback can be any sized soft cover book. If the ISBNs are wrong - then it is a problem. 

 And the version could have been correct when the person posted, then later "fixed" by the PBS reviewers without the poster's knowledge - I would feel pretty confident in saying that this is not going to happen. If people are reporting it as having happened then I think they are misunderstanding something. No one on  Book Data team can ever change a binding, only the PBS Team can do that and they will not do that unless they get proof that a book was never ever printed under that ISBN in the binding that the system lists and they will almost never change a listing's binding if there are books posted to the system. In this case, since the OP indicates the books came with ISBNs different than what she requested this would be a non-issue anyway, the books are clearly posted wrong if they have different ISBNs. 

 

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I will be the third member of the Data Corrections team that will point out that Jeanne's theory about the binding being changed is very unlikely to have occurred.  As Tiffany and Melanie have correctly pointed out, Data Corrections team members do not have the ability to change the binding type on a PBS listing.  Only the site administrators can do that, and as noted, they rarely ever will.  And only when provided with detailed research backup to prove the listing binding type does not exist for the ISBN.  And if there are books posted under that binding type, that usually means that both binding types are available under the ISBN, thus the team will not change the listing.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Thank you Data Corrections Team members for the clarification.  That was my understanding...altlhough it is possible for TPTB to change or correct bindings, it is rare they determine a true error. 

Posting errors are the most common situation (incorrect ISBN) followed by the other posting error, publishers using the same ISBN for multiple bindings (and members who forget to double check when posting).

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2008
Posts: 6
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Thanks for the info on how updates to the listings work! In the first case I know that there were listings for both formats of the paperback with the correct ISBN's - there weren't any of the trade paperbacks available when I wish listed it, but there were several MMPB's (I was willing to wait). I never looked at the hardback listing of the second book until after the fact, but it's listed correctly by the ISBN so I don't see any reason for confusion based on the PBS listings.

I wanted to give the senders the benefit of the doubt, but for the first book (on my WL) I'm wondering if maybe the sender searched by title when posting their book, saw that there was an immediate credit available based on my wish (as opposed to several copies of the other version and no one wishing for it) and figured they'd get a quick credit. Like I said, they were apologetic about the error, but also claimed to be a long time member of PBS. I'm still scratching my head on the second book.

Either way I'll still read the books (I'm actually reading the first one, although I hate the squishy print of a MMPB), it's just annoying that it has happened to me twice now.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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Thanks Melanie for voiceing(sp) the fact that has led to some of my frustration.

For those that are absolutely certain that the ISBN they are looking for only comes in the trade paperback size (as I have a book posted that retained the same ISBN as the one I'm keeping but one is Trade and the other is MM, and for that matter the ISBN here belongs to a HB) where do you find this.  I have tried to find out if some of the books I want are MMPB or Trade or other (in the case of the older books before the sizes became standard).  But Amazon so far is worthless in this regards and the database here (look under edit properties) is almost worthless if it is an ISBN book.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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Chris - the only way to ever be certain you will only get a Trade size book is to add an RC defining the size you want. Even if a book is currently in trade size only under an ISBN, there's no guarantee that the publisher won't issue it tomorrow under the same number as a MMP and the way PBS uses the "Paperback" binding type you could get a MMP without any error by the sender.

Wendy - it is possible that someone does that, many people have the attitude that someone should just be happy to read the book so they post a different version thinking they are all wonderful for granting the wish when they aren't being very wonderful at all. I would just express caution on assuming the ISBN will be for one size only and check both the back of the book and the copyright page to confirm that the book doesn't bear the ISBN you requested before marking it as RWAP.

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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Thanks for the reply Melanie, problem is I don't even know if some were even printed in trade paperback (Niven for example I know to be published only in what is roughly the MMPB size for that day and age for his early stuff, although this was sans-ISBN).  Sometimes it would be nice to simply know where the information came from to begin with (aka where did PBS get it?).

Date Posted: 1/5/2011 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2008
Posts: 6
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Thanks Melanie - but that was the first thing I did, verify the ISBNs on the books I received against the ISBNs of what I requested, and they definitely did not match in either case. Chris, I usually check Amazon and look for the trade paperback version of a book I want (check the dimensions of the book). Then I'll search for that specific ISBN on PBS and request only that version of the book. Knowing now that ISBNs can be re-used, I'll make note of that *if* a book I want offers both versions under the same ISBN.
Date Posted: 1/5/2011 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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Wendy, I'm not sure about Amazon, but here even if there are two versions of the book with the same ISBN then it will only list one of the versions.  It appears that the ISBN number is the "key" in the database which would mean that it is currently impossible for them to list two books under the same ISBN anyways; regardless they WILL NOT list two under the same ISBN.  That is a portion of what has been frustrating me.  To put some of it into perspective I have found that the beginning portion of the ISBN for a book on my bookshelf (the part that represents the company, wiki it if you need to) has moved companies since my book was published (meaning that the ISBN listed on my MMPB book is for an audio book by a completely different author and publishing company now), I'd list it but not even sure which book it was now.

When looking for the trade paperbacks it appears that the best thing to do is as Melanie suggested.  Create a specific RC for that book when you request it, you might do that just in case anyways.  For the SwapADVD sister site (which I'm still not sure I'll stick with) I have an RC now to make sure that the movies are regular DVD not Blu-Ray or something as it isn't always obvious from either the Amazon links or the DB entries (to me at least).

Half the time when I look on Amazon I'm lucky if it lists anything except the title, but then that's what I get for wanting old stuff.

Date Posted: 1/6/2011 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2008
Posts: 745
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Wll this is all so way over my head that even though I should just butt out, and maybe this has already been mentioned...but can you put in an RC about exactly what type of book you want? 

Although I don't want people to start blocking me I will admit that since I obviously didn't even know the difference between the paperbacks, there is a chance I could have sent the wrong one before.  As I said, it's over my head so I am not sure how it happens.  But when I type in the ISBN and it says "Does this book match yours EXACTLY??" with the binding and everything...as long as the paperback/hardcover/CD/etc is right I assume the binding is right.  I KNEW there were different types of paperbacks.  But as long as it said paperback and I had a paperback, I would say that "yes, it did match". 

Date Posted: 1/7/2011 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Erika - you are correct.  As long as the binding type/ISBN/title/author match, you are fine.  If someone wants to ensure they receive a particular sort of paperback (or whatever) they will need to add an RC.