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Topic: Requestor wants her credit back for USPS damaged book?

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Subject: Requestor wants her credit back for USPS damaged book?
Date Posted: 6/15/2011 3:51 AM ET
Member Since: 9/7/2008
Posts: 72
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Okay, I sent a hardcover book out packaged well in a plastic mailer bag.  It had no water damage when I sent it.  I get a note from PBS that it was received with water damage caused by USPS.  What irks me is that the requestor has asked me to refund her credit regardless.  My question is, why should I?  I didn't damage the book and wrapped it quite well to insure that it wasn't damaged.  

A few months ago I received a hardcover book that USPS managed to bend into an angle.  It was clearly caused by USPS as it had smears all over the package from where it got stuck inside a machine.  USPS even included a note apologizing for ruining it!  I certainly didn't ask the sender to refund my credit as it was not her fault that USPS ruined the book. 

I've sent a response to the requestor asking her to explain to me how the book could have been water damaged when it was wrapped and sealed well in plastic.  I'm interested to hear her justification for asking for her credit back. After all,  I've already spent money and wrapping materials to send her the book in exchange for a credit so why should I be out the book, the money, the materials and the credit

Diana

Date Posted: 6/15/2011 3:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,326
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Diana, this is from the help center:

Damaged by USPS

  • This means a book that was damaged by USPS during its journey.  Normally this is just bad luck, and does not warrant a credit refund.  However, if the Wrapping was inadequate (you didn't seal the envelope, or you left any part of the book exposed, or you used Scotch tape), the requestor may feel it contributed to the damage and may ask for a credit refund.
  • To resolve this: review How to Wrap a Book and decide if your book wrapping was adequate.  If not, you should refund credit.  If you feel it was adequate, you should reply to the requestor politely saying that, and that you don't feel a refund is warranted.
Date Posted: 6/15/2011 4:01 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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Yeah, what Patty said (that the Help Center says) smiley

 

Subject: Thanks for advice and the link
Date Posted: 6/15/2011 4:07 AM ET
Member Since: 9/7/2008
Posts: 72
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Thanks, that info helps. :)

 

Diana

Subject: USPS tore holes in package
Date Posted: 6/15/2011 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 9/7/2008
Posts: 72
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Update:

Apparently, the requestor feels i owe her a credit refund becase USPS somehow tore holes in the poly mailer bag and then got the package wet.  I use poly mailer bags - the kind that are very difficult to tear holes in - and seal all the openings with tape.  This requestor wraps all her books in plastic wrap three times so therefore feels that since I didn't do it exactly like she does, she deserves a credit refund.  I disagree.

This is the very first time I've heard of USPS managing to tear holes in the poly mailer bags I use, and I have mailed out thousands of items over the years.

 

Date Posted: 6/15/2011 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,720
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Actually, I get those poly bag mailers with holes punctured in them all the time. Bubble mailers too. They always have rips and holes. I don't bother letting the sender know unless the book was damaged. Usually, the book arrives undamaged in spite of the rips and holes.

In any case, you do not owe her a credit.

Nobody is required to package books such that they can survive ANY trip thru the PO, passing along through any weather conditions on the way. You are only required to package books such that they can survive the AVERAGE trip thru the PO. And, waterproofing of any type is not required by PBS, in any case.

So,  send her another message. Say that you feel the book was adequately packaged to survive 99 percent of trips through the Post Office. Suggest gently to her that if she feels that three layers of plastic (or any plastic, for that matter) is needed to adequately wrap books coming to her, she should make a Requestor's Condition to that effect, as it is not required by PBS. And, gently decline to refund her credit.

Then you can safely ignore any other messages.

A "damage from PO" RWAP on your account is not going to hurt you at all. Unless for some reason you start to get a ton of them.



Last Edited on: 6/15/11 6:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/15/2011 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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Unless a poly mailer is taped TIGHT against the book, they almost always will get stuck in the machines and holes will tear in them.   I've had more damaged packages with poly mailers than all other types combined.

I do use them myself but make sure they are taped both directions, tight against the book.

You always have the choice to return the credit or not.

Date Posted: 6/15/2011 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,460
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I use polymailers too and I've never had someone say anything got damaged in transit.  I also tape the mailer tight around the book so there is nothing loose to catch on a machine.

If you feel you packaged adequately, then don't refund the credit.  You are not resonsible for USPS damage.

Date Posted: 6/16/2011 6:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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I also use the poly mailers and have done so for about the past 3 years (roughly 800 books) and have never had an RWAP or even a comment about holes in the mailer, damage, etc. I agree with the others, damage in transit doesn't equal credit refund unless you used the PBS wrapper on a hardcover book with the ends sticking out or something really stupid like that.

Even plastic wrap is NOT required unless the requestor has an RC stating such, and those RCs I reject even though I use the waterproof poly mailer...I take RCs very literally.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 6/16/2011 8:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Cast-iron envelopes - the Thing of the Future?
Date Posted: 6/16/2011 8:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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If you think you did everything right and the USPS messed up. Then don't give back the credit and move on. 

-RD

Date Posted: 6/20/2011 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/2/15 4:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/21/2011 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,707
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I also use poly mailers and I've never had a complaint about them. The books I have received that have been damaged by USPS have almost consistently been mailed in just the PBS mailer or in an unlined manila envelope.

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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This requestor wraps all her books in plastic wrap three times so therefore feels that since I didn't do it exactly like she does, she deserves a credit refund.  I disagree.

Did this requestor have an RC that asked you to wrap three times in plastic?  If so, then I would recommend returning her credit.  If not, then it is your choice as to whether you refund the credit.  It appears from what you have said that you wrapped it adequately, so in principle you wouldn't need to return the credit since USPS damaged the book.  It all depends on whether a double-black-mark is worth the "in principle" argument.

 



Last Edited on: 6/21/11 11:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/21/2011 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,720
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When the book is marked damaged by the PO .... I do not believe that the sender receives a double black mark, and maybe not even a single one for that matter. Yes, PBS tracks damaged packages so they can investigate if someone has a pattern of too many .... but I sincerely doubt that they count as black marks against an account.

"Damaged by Sender" damages your account. Since PBS clearly states that "Damaged by USPS" is not even the senders fault (unless the packaging is faulty) ... I sincerely doubt they count it the same as a "Damaged by Sender".

So ... again, I wouldn't worry about that in the least.

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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Thanks, Sara.  That is good to know! I will edit my posting to avoid confusion.

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/2/15 4:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/21/2011 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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I agree with Sara, and doubt that a RWAP (even unresolved) regarding USPS damage will pull much weight with TPTB.

*hugs* Jeri, sounds frustrating.

Subject: No RCs
Date Posted: 6/21/2011 4:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/7/2008
Posts: 72
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The requestor didn't have any RCs on the book in question, not about wrapping in plastic nor anything else.  She told me in her response (when I asked how the book was damaged) that she does that to all the books she sends out. 

I've been using poly mailers for a long time and it's been interesting reading different senders experiences with them.  The ones I use are extremely dificult to tear.  Unless past recipients are not saying a word about tears in their packages, which is possible I guess, this really is the first one I've heard about that was torn up by USPS.

Diana



Last Edited on: 6/21/11 4:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/21/2011 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I use poly mailers, as well as Kraft paper. Poly bags are tough. They can be easily punctured, but tearing them is very difficult. I even have trouble opening them with scissors that aren't extremely sharp.

I have received plenty of books wrapped in polymer bags and have never seen one severely damaged, just some with small holes. I have also never gotten a complaint about them.

Wrapping them tightly helps, but i have had many different types of items delivered to me (from books to bottles of medicine) that have just been dropped in the bag and left to rattle around loose with no damage.

Regardless of whether she agrees with your packaging style, it only needs to be packaged well enough to survive an average trip through the system. If plain paper envelopes are deemed safe enough to protect our utility bills and mortgage payments, then the way most of us wrap our books can be considered serious overkill.  



Last Edited on: 6/21/11 4:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/21/2011 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,326
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Your PM conversation with her is permanently attached to the transaction (as long as it was started from the "book received" box, by her, or from the transactions archive.)  So if the Admin Team ever looks at the unresolved transaction, they'll see your side of the story.

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Poly bags are allowed per PBS wrapping guidelines (although IIRC they recommend folding down firm to book and taping).  Therefore the receiver doesn't really have any grounds to demand a credit return for USPS damaged book.