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Topic: Recipient trying to get refund credit?

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Subject: Recipient trying to get refund credit?
Date Posted: 8/5/2014 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/3/2008
Posts: 12
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I mailed a hardback with sleeve that was never used.  Recipient marked as received with no problems yesterday.  Today I got a PM with this message:  

"After looking more closely at this book I have discovered that it has a horrible smell! I wish I had noticed before giving you a credit. I will have to throw it out."

I haven't responded and not sure if I will.  Because the condition of the book was so good, I suspect this person is just trying to get a refund credit.  

My question is, what do I do about this?  Should I respond?  I know there was no "horrible smell" and if anything, the book smelled new.  I've been swapping since 2008 and never had a problem with any books I've sent.  

 

Date Posted: 8/5/2014 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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PBS thinks, in general, that we do need to respond.  That said, a smell is not an approved RWAP issue.  And could well have happened in the mail.  Horrible sure, but not an approved problem.  We are also not expected to refund a credit for post office damage.

Face it, not everyone has a sense of smell.  We can get hearing aids and glasses.  No way to fix the loss of smell.

Please be very polite.  Please respond from inside the book order details, there should be a PM button there.  Use that instead of clicking a response.  (This way PBS has a record if this is a habit of this member.) 

 

 

Date Posted: 8/5/2014 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/3/2008
Posts: 12
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OK.  Thanks.

Date Posted: 8/5/2014 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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If I knew the book I sent was as nice and new as you have mentioned, I would ignore the message.  Sounds like a problematic member, and polite or not, I wouldn't feel the need to engage with such a person, and to be put on the defense and apologetic (with nothing to actually apologize for), with potential back & forth PM's, etc., with them.  Just my .02.  

Date Posted: 8/5/2014 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 15,291
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Did the member have an RC about smells? If there's no RC then there's no problem either. But I agree also with Emily's comment of:

Please be very polite.  Please respond from inside the book order details, there should be a PM button there.  Use that instead of clicking a response.  (This way PBS has a record if this is a habit of this member.) 

Date Posted: 8/5/2014 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,325
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I agree that you need to respond. 

You might have someone else sniff the location where the book was stored to see if another nose might detect anything.  That's the problem with smells -- our noses all seem to work differently.  I think that's probably why there is no mention of smell in the postability criteria here.

Date Posted: 8/5/2014 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,374
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There are several places in the help docs where it mentions we need to respond: 

Reply to the requestor promptly, offering resolution if there was a problem OR politely disputing the problem.

If you dispute the nature of the problem: you should be sure to write your PM response to the requestor by using the link in the email you received, or by clicking the PM button on the swap in your Transaction Archive.  This will record your response on the transaction and if your account is ever reviewed for problem swapping, this information will be there to explain what happened in this swap.

Failure to respond (in an active account) is considered admission of fault in a problem swap.

Date Posted: 8/5/2014 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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IIRC sassy, the 'problem swap' referred to generally means a RWAP...ie whether or not you agree or dispute a RWAP, do not allow the message to go unanswered.

In cases where the receiver has already marked the book 'received without a problem' a reply is probably encouraged but no longer mandatory.

If the odor is in fact that horrific, I'm surprised the receiver didn't notice when the package was first opened (and odor concentrated from confinement).  As already mentioned, the book could have been mailed with odor...picked up a smell enroute...or even acquired the odor after received.  Maybe the cat didn't like a 'foreign' smelling object in his home and sprayed the book (for example).  If the receiver didn't notice the odor upon opening and marking received, it's difficult to place fault later.

Although a polite response would be a good idea, you do not have to accept the blame if you are sure of the book condition.

 



Last Edited on: 8/6/14 7:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/5/2014 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,342
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I know for a fact that odors can be picked up enroute. We used to have a postman who chain-smoked; more than a pack a day for sure. ALL of the mail in his truck would reek of cigarette smoke. Especially the mail for the houses towards the end of his route, which is where we were located. His entire truck literally reeked of smoke. The man was nice as could be, but I was never so glad when he changed routes and we got a new postman.

Pam

Date Posted: 8/6/2014 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2008
Posts: 1,382
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"After looking more closely at this book I have discovered that it has a horrible smell! I wish I had noticed before giving you a credit. I will have to throw it out."

I'm sorry, but this doesn't make any sense to me. Why would "looking closely" at a book cause someone to suddenly discover a "horrible smell"? My sense of smell isn't the greatest, but if it was that horrible, I probably would've have noticed it before marking it received without a problem. Personally, I would just respond with a polite note and would NOT return the credit.

Date Posted: 8/6/2014 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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This sounds a little fishy to me.  I know immediately when I open a package whether or not there is a smell.  It is that obvious. 

 

Date Posted: 8/7/2014 5:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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Maybe a reply like this?: I am glad you received this near new book but I am sorry the book is not to your liking. I promise it did not smell badly when it left my care. I understand smell is subjective but I have never had a complaint like this before. I have heard that books can pick up smells in transit. As it was not strong enough to notice the scent when you first inspected the book perhaps something can be done to the book to correct it? I think the forums might have some ideas on this or Mr. Google. Again I am sorry the book some how has a bad scent. Please know it is postable here on PBS. 

 

 

Date Posted: 8/7/2014 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I would either ignore it or send a simple message saying you are sorry they aren't happy with the book.

I seriously doubt there is any subterfuge here. They are probably just unhappy that they had to throw the book away.

Date Posted: 8/7/2014 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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Color me the suspicious type, but I'd watch her bookshelf to see if it gets reposted.