Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Response To my RC(this got long)

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Response To my RC(this got long)
Date Posted: 6/27/2009 2:08 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2008
Posts: 97
Back To Top

Well, I had my first negative response to my RC.  

The funny thing is, I did not write the RC! 

I live overseas, my address is an APO, so I have a mandatory RC written by the PBS, giving instructions on having to use a customs form to mail books to me, and that the possiblity of the book going lost, before I receive it.

The sender stated that it cost her more to mail the book then PBS indicated, and I would of been better buying the book off Amazon, or a used book store(which, um, unless I can read books in Italian, I don't have here). The books I am receiving, when I see the postage stamped on the packaging, it does not look to be anymore then what I pay for sending books.  Most members are kind enough to send books to me first class mail. I have had a few that were media mail, and still under 3 bucks, and got here with no problems.  I even had a wishlisted book make it to me with no custom form at all. 

She also stated the link that PBS provides for the custom form is wrong.  This I am not sure of, I take a handful of custom forms from my post office on the base here, and have them at the house for when I package up my books.  The member then said, that considering all these facts, if she would of known before hand, she would of canceled the order, but since she comitted to mail it to me, she went ahead and did so.  It was a wishlisted book.

Here is the thing, if she would of canceled the order(which she has every right to do) it would of been my 3rd cancellation in 2 weeks, due to an RC that is out of my control.  These cancellations were on wishlisted books.

I know the RC states that there is a probability that the book will go lost, I want to reassure that I have yet for a book to go lost coming to me.  Also, I have only had one book go lost that I have sent, but come to find out, it was due to the receiving member not getting notice that they had a package, and they lived in an apartment complex, so it was not lost by the USPS, just, the member was not properly notified by the apartment management.

I am starting to wonder if it is worth it to be a member.  It seems the wishlisted books, members do not want to send to me, they are titles my small base library does not carry.  I have bought new books that are wishlisted that I plan on reading, and then posting.  These are books that for some reason, I did not want to wait for my wishlist, and I figure it helps the system to get new books into it.

I see a lot of talk here about RC's and how they should be short and concise, is it maybe time we ask TPTB, to clean up APO, FPO RC's? Any suggestions would be great!  Or, if it is too difficult for the majority to mail books to APO's, maybe not let us participate in books swapping? 

Thanks for reading this long!




Date Posted: 6/27/2009 2:16 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

Well, a better question is can you write a better RC?  If you can, I would send a note with all the details of your problems with this and your version of a better RC to the PBS team at "contact us" link at the bottom of the page.  RC's are better  when short and concise.  The clearer the better.  I have never refused to mail a book to a person in the military.  I haven't noticed that it cost more than any other book I've sent out.  There are several members here who really try to cater especially to the military.  If you read some of the forums you will see that in their signature llines.   

Many members don't want to mess with the extra documents necessary although I find it isn't a big deal.  So please do not be discouraged by this one (or more) members.  We do want to send you books, and for you to send us books.  I know it must be hard to be where you can't get items you are used to much less books you can read in your native language.   Please just give the rest of us a chance, and we'll try to do better for you.


Date Posted: 6/27/2009 2:23 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
Back To Top

If anyone deserved books, it's the folks living in places that don't have English language bookstores.  Don't give up.  There are folks who are familiar with customs forms. 

Now, editing the APO RC, that is a possiblity.   Hmm.

Date Posted: 6/27/2009 2:36 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2008
Posts: 97
Back To Top

Well, from my long winded post above, I am not sure I am the one to rewrite the RC!

I have been reading the forums long enough to know that we have some great RC writers here. Maybe they can come up with something.


Date Posted: 6/27/2009 2:46 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
Back To Top

Leigh, if you ever have a problem like this again in the future, drop me a PM and I'll make sure the book gets to you with no hassle whatsoever.  That's a promise.


Date Posted: 6/27/2009 3:00 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2008
Posts: 97
Back To Top


I think I might be overly sensitive today, and this seems to be coming in a cycle.  I have been a member over 6 months, and though I have not swapped a huge number of books, this is just strange that this is hitting all at once, with the RC denials.

I have been overseas for 2 and half years now(I am in Europe), which has been a great experience.  But, I will not lie, I am feeling a little homesick right now.  My husband asked me the other day, what I would like to do, and I said, browse a big bookstore, with a nice cup of coffee.  I am missing my little conviences at the moment.


Date Posted: 6/27/2009 3:15 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

Sorry for your frustration Leigh, but IMO the wishlists are moving rather slow...probably due to the economy.  It's unfortunate your sender was cranky, many of us would be happy to mail APO!

If you want RC ideas, there are some PBS members truely gifted in this area :-)

ETA, your wishlist is rather modest Leigh!  Have you visited the forums such as romance, paranormal, or games?  Almost guaranteed to beef up your wishlist!

Last Edited on: 6/27/09 3:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/27/2009 5:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
Back To Top

Leigh  - can you add to the RC that the RC is out of your control and that it automatic because they are mailing to a APO?  That books go lost  as much as they would do in the states?  I don't see the hassle and wouldn't have any issue sending to an APO.  For the sacrifice your family makes everyday so your husband can serve his country - it is the least of any of us could do is mail you a book!  Don't give up.

The economy is getting every one snippy, though no excuse,

Date Posted: 6/27/2009 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2007
Posts: 148
Back To Top


I send to APOs frequently so, like Bernhard, if I can ever help just let me know.


Date Posted: 6/27/2009 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,452
Back To Top

Leigh - I've sent several books to APOs and haven't had any problem getting them there.  I try to send 1st Class if the book(s) aren't too heavy.  My PO people are always more than happy to help me with the customs form.  I'm more than happy to send to APOs, and have one that will be going out on Monday. 

I know the RC is long, but it's pretty straight forward and as I said the postal people are more than happy to help with the forms (at least mine are) and they really aren't a big deal to fill out.

Take care and thanks for being there for us.  Pat

Date Posted: 6/27/2009 11:10 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2008
Posts: 97
Back To Top

Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts and offers of help, I very  much appreciate it! 

On a positive note, I did take my daughter to the tiny base library today, and they have a shelf of paperbacks that they just give away.  I found two books in great swapping condition, came home and one was a wishlisted book.  So excited to get that mailed off to someone.  The other one has about 13 copies in the system, not too bad.

Pat-yes very often if you are mailing mmpb they are cheaper to send via first class mail, I do that all the time mailing from here.  But, and I might be extremely lucky with my location, I did mail a hardcover 2 weeks ago media mail, and the receiver got it within 7 working days.  So, you just never know.

Thanks again everyone!  I guess now that I had my whiney post, I should stick around the forums and contribute some more.


Date Posted: 6/27/2009 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2006
Posts: 1,468
Back To Top

Me too; I'll send anybook on my shelf to you, first class, no problem, anytime !!!   Let me know if you see anything.  

I have some books that are 4-1;  see the tag on those books = KarenLS deal.  Not knowing your daughters age, these may be appropriate for her.

I also have a post in paranormal and HF about books that are WL'ed that I'm offering first to forum readers; they are in the June 2009 available threads in each forum.


Last Edited on: 6/27/09 12:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/27/2009 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,610
Back To Top

I wish I had one of your WL books to send to you,  Leigh.  I'll keep an eye out for them, though...

If you ever see anything on my shelf that you'd like, I'm always willing to offer a 2/1 or 5/2 deal.  I keep a stack of custom forms in my desk, so we're good to go with them.

Date Posted: 6/27/2009 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2005
Posts: 37
Back To Top

A while ago I received a request from an American servicewoman stationed overseas with an APO address.  It included the mandatory requestor conditions... telling me it would require a custom form, a trip to the post office, etc.  The form, the trip to the post office, purchasing PBS money to send it, etc. was a small price to pay to enrich the life of one person serving our country.  Leigh, please thank your husband for me for  his sacrifice (and your's).  I will do whatever it takes to assist the wonderful men and women putting their lives in harm's way so we can be free.

I'm sorry, due to your husband's military status, that exchanging books has been so challenging for you.  As others have said...review my book shelf and know that the APO requestor condtions will not stop me from getting a book to you.

Date Posted: 6/27/2009 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

You know, I've thought about this all night because it bothers me that members don't or won't understand.  I'd like to suggest that you start a thread on your situation about RC's being mandatory for the military on CMT forum.  Just a explanation of what and why and how appreciative the military are for what the PBS members can do to make life easier for you all.  No whining or pleading, just a statement of what just happened with this last person and why you would like everyone to understand that the RC's are out of your control.  Educating the members who frequent the CMT (and there are many more than come here) might help everyone in your situation.  Of course, there are those of us who could post in support of your thread saying that it really isn't that big a deal and doesn't cost any more than any other book going out, etc.   This won't reach every member of PBS since not all of them come to the forums.  But there are lots of lurkers and lots more who do go to CMT than come here.  Just a thought.


Date Posted: 6/27/2009 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
Back To Top

I didn't realize that RC was mandatory. I received an order with it once and admit to hesitating when I read it. But I did accept the order, shipped the book, and everything was fine. Even mailing it media mail, the book was received in less than two weeks.

If I see one of these RCs again, I will definitely ship the book.


Date Posted: 6/27/2009 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2008
Posts: 97
Back To Top

Ruth- yes, starting a thread on CMT(every time I see this I think of Country Music Television, which I don't get to watch!) sounds like a great idea. I am researching the postal custom form numbers right now.  I only know them as the green and the white form, I will get the numbers for everyone and start a thread, with the copy and pasted RC from PBS.

Karen- I will check out your shelf for my daughter, who is almost 9.  She likes a series, I have got her hooked on Nancy Drew notebooks, she has read 1, 2, 3, and is now working on 8, 9, 10.  Luckily our library had those, after that, the only one they have in that series is number 43, and I seem to be rasining a little OCD'r, she wants to read them in order!  LOL. 

Thanks again everyone!  My husband had to work all day today, so after he came home, I filled him in on my experience, and how now I feel guilty for all the kindness that you all have shown.  I just hope it makes it easier for anyone else out there that is in my situation, I am surprised I have not seen it brought up before.  I am glad to be living overseas now, in 2009, with internet access.  I was raised as a military brat, and lived overseas when I was young in the early 80's, I don't know how my mom did it back then.


Date Posted: 6/27/2009 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 97
Back To Top

I am military spouse also and I lived overseas for 3 years in Germany and I can understand your frustration.  I was lucky that our base library was decent and had a pretty large paper back swap section that a lot of us participated in so it was always changing.

I never did media mail, but all of my packages always made it- even those that I shipped slow boat-3rd class? I thought for sure a christmas package from my Aunt was lost for good and all of sudden in Feb it showed up.  I wish I had some of your wish list books, but I don't-sorry.

I understand getting homesick-sometimes it is the small things that you miss.  My in-laws are not ones that like to leave the house very much when we visited them when we were on leave they were on notice that we wanted to do all things that we missed.  They were good about going out to eat, movies and doing lots of shopping!

I remember sending about 4 large boxes of clothes that I had bought the slow boat method and they made it and rather quickly.  A Dillards near my parents was going out of business-you could get $100 sweaters/pants/jackets for $5 and they kept on bringing more stuff out so I couldn't help myself!

Date Posted: 6/27/2009 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 1,883
Back To Top

Leigh,I'm sorry you are having problems with your wishlist books. I don't have any of them I could post to you but I will keep my eyes open next time I am out. I have no problem filling out the required customs forms :)

Date Posted: 6/27/2009 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 7,331
Back To Top

I just wanted to chime in on this as well...  I just received my first request with an APO address last week...  but was very happy to accept that request as I am quite familiar with using the custom forms...  I have sent many packages to persons overseas in the military...  I am always happy to grant those requests...  I  am going to take a look at your WL now...  not sure if I have anything you are looking for, but if either myself, or husband does, I'll be sure to post it to you!!!

Date Posted: 6/27/2009 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,730
Back To Top

Sorry you ran into a grumpy member.  Like so many others have said, I am more than happy to ship to anyone overseas.  You might have to be patient with me getting the book in the mail since I can only get to the PO once a week but I would get up early on Saturday and make a special trip to the PO in a heartbeat for any military member requesting something from me.

If you run into the situation again, I'd be more than happy to receive the book for you and forward it on, just let me know.

Date Posted: 6/27/2009 9:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 167
Back To Top

Leigh, sorry you've had trouble lately getting books. I had no idea 1) that the RC was mandatory,  2) created by PBS and 3) that there was such a time difference between first class and media mail when it comes to the military, thanks for the information.

Checked your WL :-)

ETA: Given the length and somewhat complex (at least if one is unfamiliar with mailing to APO, etc. addresses) nature of the RC it would be nice there was a way to refer back to the RC after accepting the request. The first time I accepted a request going to an APO address I ended up sending a PM to the requester asking for help because I couldn't remember what forms I needed. (She was very gracious and everything worked out just fine. I just wish there had been a way to keep the RC info available for reference.)

Last Edited on: 6/27/09 10:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/27/2009 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2009
Posts: 22,643
Back To Top

I just had a WL book held up by someone with RC that were so long and confusing I just refused.    I have RC's.  I think RC's are a good thing.  I think clear, concise RC's are essential!  I post very good to excellent quality books from a smoke free/pet free (not counting dust bunnies) household.  If there are any problems, I warn the customer BEFORE I mail the book and allow them to decide.  I will not spend 20 minutes reading and struggling to decipher some bizarre and strident series of RC's.

My problem, my book, which has 30+ wishers is in limbo.  After waiting on this twit nearly 2 days!  I was planning to just pull the book and I can't even do that!


Date Posted: 6/27/2009 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
Back To Top

reacherfan1909- you do realize the RC in question the member doesn't have any control over because it is automated by PBS  an APO address?  It provides instructions on how to send to someone in the military. 

Date Posted: 6/28/2009 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,752
Back To Top

I've only received one APO request, which the requestor canceled before I could mail, but I take all my books to the PO anyway, and it's not hard to fill out a customs form, so it wouldn't bother me.  The clerks at the PO will help you, and if you use DC you're guaranteed to get your credit.  No big deal.  Probably most people that cancel are just afraid that they will do it wrong or they don't want to visit the PO.  I think they would find if they did it once or twice, it's not as big a deal as it appears.  I've mailed out oodles of packages to my cousin overseas, and it's literally just a piece of paper that you fill out.

Last Edited on: 6/28/09 12:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1