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Topic: ripped off by PBS???

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Subject: ripped off by PBS???
Date Posted: 9/5/2012 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2009
Posts: 10
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I had a positive 3 credits, went in the next day ans i was -22 credits, I emailed the president, asked the "online help" who sad they could not answer my question, have left phone messages at the headquarters and received nothing back.  I am now down to -18, though I have sent out over 5 books in the past week, today I sent 3 and gopt NO credit for them at all.  What's up with that?  I can't get wishlist books and I damn sure am not listing any more books or buying postage through PBS anymore until this is straightened up and I get my credits back.  Any idea how to do that?  ANyone else get ripped off?  I am right now one very angry member.  A gold key member and this all happened AFTER I paid that membership fee.  I have turned lots and lots of people onto to ths site but for sure will not tell anyone else about it.  

Date Posted: 9/5/2012 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/29/2009
Posts: 7,897
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Here are a couple of possibilities.

Did you try clicking the Contact Us option?

Date Posted: 9/5/2012 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
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You can look at your Credit Registry and see why the credits were removed. Click on the blue linked word Credits in the upper right area of the screen or when you are on your My Account page it will be linked to the blue number of credits. There will be a desciption next the the removal of the credits.

Calling will not do anything, that phone line is not for help like this, there is no phone support for PBS as it is a free site and does not have paid support to man phone lines. E-mailing the president will take longer as he doesn't deal with the day-to-day support of the site.Use the Contact Us link in the lower right under Company and send in Feedback. The PBSTeam will get back to you, usually within 48 hours. Live Help is only manned by Tour Guides, volunteer members who cannot access other members accounts, so we can't look into your account to see what has happened. 

The only time I have seen massive credits removed have been,  bad referals; when PBS postage with Credit Assurance has been used on a large amount of books that never appear to be delivered to the USPS system or a large number received never mark as such; or a lot of bad transactions are found to be unresolved. Not saying any of these issues are what have gone on in your account, just some of the issues I have seen in the past. The only thing you can really do to find out what has happened is to look in your Credit Registry and send in Feedback to talk to the PBSTeam.

Date Posted: 9/5/2012 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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My first thought after reading your message and your comment about referring a lot of people: it's possible that PBS did some housekeeping as far as closing dead accounts or accounts in violation and some of your referrals were closed.  They would take back the referral credits if the person violated the site in someway soon after being referred, posted their 10 start up books, used their 2 credits and then didn't mail book requests out, or were found to have previously been a PBS member or violated the 2 accounts per household rule. 

I would check my credit registry to see what it says and use the contact us email.  It's run by volunteers so you may have to wait a few days for a response.

Date Posted: 9/5/2012 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2009
Posts: 10
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I tried the email at contact us got no response, called the number no body there during business hours and left messages - no call back.  I did look and it said because books were not mailed but they were all mailed.  Some were lost in the mail.  Some I accidentally sent to the wrong person and they did receive the book when the person with whom I had switched the book sent it to them and they sent their to the other person.  Also I refunded credits to anyone I accidentally sent the wrong book to or they chose another book without using a credit and I sent that.   I thought what the heck I'd just buy the credits but it is over $60 to buy the 18 I am in the hole.  As I refunded their credit AND they got their books anyway I then lost 2 credits AND the book.  Does that seem fair to you?  

Date Posted: 9/5/2012 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Maybe the receivers never sent the books to the correct people and/or never marked the books received when they were finally received.  If they went "lost" in the system they may not have known that they had to do this or how. Sometimes people can be on PBS for years and not know something simple like that. 

Date Posted: 9/5/2012 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
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If you have explanations for clearing up the some of the problem transactions, then you can explain that to them. But it will have to happen via the Contact Us link. There is no customer service phone support to PBS. It may take a little bit for them to get back to you. They may be backed up a bit, or researching anything you said in your message to them. Yes, books do go lost, but 25 books is a high amount and would cause a flag on anyone's account. PBS never has the intention of ripping a member off, but they will also check out strange patterns. There will be a PM trail of you straightening out the incorrectly mailed books since PMs can never be deleted from the system completely so let them know which transactions that happened on.  Hopefully you can clear up some of the confusion.

Date Posted: 9/5/2012 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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yes Melanie D.

Well done!

You certainly deserve to display the Gold TGL Badge!


Date Posted: 9/5/2012 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
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There have been some forum posts which have convinced me that PBS is actively checking up on accounts where the books were mailed with PBS postage (thus the sender gets an automatic credit), and then not received by the receiver (thus triggering a credit refund to the book requestor out of PBS's pocket).

If you have these types of transactions on your account, and the books were actually scanned, then you should be able to point that out to PBS (as non-delivery after a book scans would not be your fault, or even related to you at all). If you have these types of transactions on your account and the books you mailed don't show any scans, then you might have a problem. (NOTE, it still might not be your fault, maybe you have a bad Post Office or mail carrier, or something like that, however, it still points to a problem existing somewhere).

The site keeps track of averages, and I suspect they are taking a look at accounts that fall outside those averages now.

Like others have said, using the "Contact Us" link is pretty much the only way to get it resolved, one way or another.

Date Posted: 9/5/2012 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,514
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Sara P.

That is good to know. There isn't a system yet developed (except maybe death) but that someone can figure out a way around it to their profit. It is why I use DC even though it costs a bit more here. It is also why I use paid postage on the books I sell at Amazon and Half.com. I've been burned a number of times by people who milk the system there too.




Date Posted: 9/6/2012 10:02 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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May I chime in? Use the Contact Us, then the Send Us Feedback. Not the phone listed there. That is really the quickest way to have PBS see any messages. PBS really runs on a tight budget, so we can stay free. The tour guides, under Live Help, can walk you through the credit registry. But we cannot see your account, only what you tell us. We are volunteer members.

PBS has accounts flagged by computer, based on statistics. But a human then reviews the account.

Date Posted: 9/7/2012 2:41 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Just to make sure, did you use THIS "e-mail" contact form via the feedback link: http://www.paperbackswap.com/feedback/index.php  rather than actual e-mail? They will reply to you by e-mail that way though. I just want to make sure that when you say you "tried the email at contact us got no response "  you don't mean you only tried Richard's personal e-mail and didn't send in feedback. The phone numbers and e-mail address at the bottom of the Contact Us page are NOT for member support. The only way to get that on issues like this is by sending in feedback. I know it's natural to kind of "freak out" and want to get someone on the phone or something right away for things like this, but as this is a free site, that kind of support simply isn't available. You need to send in feedback to the admins, and they'll get to it as soon as they can.

If you DID send in feedback using the form above, and it's been a few days, you may want to check your spam folder and such, as well as your "Club Communications" linked from the yellow bar on your account page, to make sure you didn't miss their response.

Date Posted: 9/8/2012 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Jozee, if you do not hear from the team after 10 days, send another message through the Contact Us link.   As it was said earlier, the site runs with minimal permanent employees and your message may have slipped through the cracks, they may be researching the issue (that takes time) and then will get back to you with an answer.  

The quick way would be to look at your credit registry.  If can't figure it out and feel comfortable sharing it with a tour guide, then contact your assigned tour guide or one that is on Live Help and paste your credit registry.  Otherwise, you will need to wait to hear from the Site Admin Team.

It may have been mentioned prior, the answer from the team will come in form of an email, addressed to the email address currently registered with the site.    Check your spam folder to make sure it wasn't caught or you can check the club communications log to see if the team responded and you missed it in your email.

I personally do not see it related to the gold key and would say it is a coincidence.  Good Luck


Date Posted: 9/9/2012 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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SInce you had a few book mix ups, did you keep the PMs from those? If yes, then make sure to mention them in your feedback email, that way they can look and see what was said by the other members.  I'd tell them the PM titles for easy location.

I would also look through and see if any of the transactions still show the book being lost, then PM that member to mark it recieved please.

Date Posted: 9/9/2012 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,392
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I had a case a while back where a PBS member sent a book with PBS DC (can't remember if PBS Postage was used or not).  Anyway the book went lost.  I sent a PM saying I was sorry the book hadn't arrived, but if and when it did I'd be sure to mark it appropriately.  I then get a PM from the sender that she'd never sent the book (forgot).  I sent the PMs to TPTB and her account was suspended.  I don't know if they just did it long enough to do some checking or if it's still suspended, as I don't remember who it was, but I'd say if a valid complaint is made and proven to be correct, they do look into it.  Good luck.  Pat