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Topic: Sender misunderstood my conditions

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Subject: Sender misunderstood my conditions
Date Posted: 10/2/2008 10:22 AM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 62
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I have had a book on my wish list for over a year, it was a book for electricians dealing with the LLE exam and codes and such.  I have requestor conditions set on my account for childrens books.  Simply stating that when I request children's books that are supposed to play music or have sounds that it must work or I don't want it.

Well, this book that I've been wishing for finally came up yesterday and this morning I get an email from PBS saying the sender had canceled my request here's what he had to say:

"Sorry, your requirements are for a children book, which this book is not. Double check, your requirements or make sure that this is the book that you are interested."

I am so ticked!  I went to transaction archive to try to PM him but it's not there, I can't find any way at all to contact him, the request is just totally gone.  How could someone get so confused as to what the conditions are for?????  Sorry, I'm just upset.  Anyone got any thoughts to share?

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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This happens alot. Some people don't realize that RCs are for any order you place, not specific so they don't understand that it may not apply at all to their book. Sometimes the RC is worded in a way that is not understandable so make sure to read through your RC to be sure that it would be clear to someone who knows nothing and understands little. Some members just will not send a book for anyone with RCs too. Nothing to be done at this point, you do not get contact info and if there were other wishers it has gone on to be offered to them.

What I would recommend is to make sure that book is not on auto-request. The next time it is offered to you turn your RCs off and then accept the offer. Once that order is placed you can turn you RCs back on. Nothing there to confuse them.

Sorry you missed you WL book ;(



Last Edited on: 10/2/08 10:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/2/2008 10:46 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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did it move on to the next person or were you the only person that had it on a WL?  If you are the only person, it may still be in the system and you can see if the book is available.  If the book is still on your WL then it moved on to someone else.  If it is on your RL and a copy is available try again, you will be able to to contact them.

sad when this is a book site (which usually means being able to read) and they don't read things through.

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I thought if a Wish List book didn't meet conditions then the Wisher got to go back on the list?

edited to add this from the Help Center and underlining: If a sender declines by clicking

  • That book does not lose its place in the "FIFO" line
  • It simply goes back into its previous place
  • The requestor's request is passed to the next person offering the book.
  • If this is a Wish List book
    • and there are other people Wishing for the book, the requestor goes back onto the Wish List at the same place "in line" and the book is offered to the next Wishing member.
    • and there is no one else Wishing for the book, the book is removed from the requestor's Wish List.
      • the book goes onto the requestor's Reminder List
      • the requestor will not be able to Wish List the book again until this copy has been sent out to another requestor (and there are no active copies in the system).


Last Edited on: 10/2/08 11:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/2/2008 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2007
Posts: 6,567
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That is what bothers me about RC's. I make a point before I decline a request that has RC to talk the person through PM. I'll accept it then contact them just to go over them again.

I have would hate to decline it because I misunderstood something.

I wish more people would do that. You can accept the trade then click PM and email the person.

I've found moe often people rather have the book most of the time.

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I agree, Ashley.  Communication is key.  That's why I usually include my nickname in the Requester Condition, so that the Sender can PM without having to accept.  I know what the Help Center says about asking for a message, but the reason cited is that there's no PM button.  If you include your screenname you can be contacted while the condition is still in place, avoiding some of the later difficulties presented by the accept-then-decline scenario.  I find most people are willing to have a conversation if it'll ensure things work out for everyone in the end.

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 62
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Thanks for all the replies!!  the idea to turn off the RC is a good one... IF... I can remember to do that. 

Yes, there were others wishing for the book behind me.

Yes, I did go back to the top of the wishers, but I'd already waited over a year for this first chance, I don't see another opportunity happening any time soon.

I absolutely agree that a conversation taking place beforehand is almost always beneficial to both parties.  More times than not the person still wants the book.

In my RC, I do have the option to PM me if there's any doubt or questions, this person just chose not to I guess, still don't see how they mistook Conditions as Requirements.  That doesn't even make sense... that I'd only require childrens books but yet be requesting this book for electricians from him/her??????????

I don't think I'm so far gone that I'd think  "Journeyman Electricians Review : Based On The 2005 National Electric Code", was a book for kids.  Maybe they hadn't had their caffeine for the day yet.

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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how exactly are your RC worded?  perhaps we can help you adjust the wording in case it is confusing

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 62
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My RC is as follows, Let me know what you think:

 

This Condition is for Children's Books Only:

#1- For Children's Books that have sound or music that is supposed to play when the book is opened or by pressing a button:  This feature must be working or I do not want the book.

#2- No books that were "prizes" from cereal boxes.  These books tend to be very thin, little, have magazine type pages, please PM me if you are not sure about this one.

Nickname:  Jen147

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 12:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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Looks pretty clear to me, but I have met people confused enough to read "This Condition is for Children's Books Only" as says "This Condition Means I Only Want Childrens Books" or the only thing they actually read is "Children's Books Only". If a person slowed down, read it all, and thought, they'd get it no problem, but alas too many skip too many of those steps to get it right.

Maybe change that to something "If I ordered something other than a children's book, go ahead and send it, no conditions apply. If I ordered a children's book from you please make sure they meet the following conditions:"

The biggest trick of RCs is to be short and to the point so people are willing to read them, but still get enough in there that skimmers and the confused can follow it easily.

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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More times than not the person still wants the book.

OK, I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here.  If "more times than not, the person still wants the book", then why bother having RCs?  To me, this is like "having your cake and eating it too", i.e., a requestor wants their RCs in place, but wants the ability to decide whether or not they "really truly" want the book, even if the sender is not sure it meets the RCs.

IMHO, the RCs should either be on and abided by, or there should be no RCs.  (The RCs apply or they don't.)  If the requestor wants a copy of the book badly enough so that they're willing to overlook their RCs, then they shouldn't activate their RCs for that book!

In Jennie's case, however, I understand the frustration.  I think the RCs are clear and unambiguous, and I would have sent the book.

For the record, I have absolutely no problem with people having RCs.  I read them, send if my book meets the criteria, and decline if it doesn't. 

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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seems clear to me, guess the person with the book just had no clue or read to fast and misinterpreted.

I like Melanie's suggestion to just add a little bit saying if it is a normal book then please send but if it is a children's book then X

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 357
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I know this is complicated and probably can't be done, but wouldn't it be nice if there was a box to check next to your wishlist book to activate your RCs?  In other words, just like the "autorequest: yes or no" box.  A separate  "requestor conditions: yes or no".  Then you can turn on RCs only for those books that you really have a specific requirement.  (for instance - dustjackets don't apply to paperbacks, so you can just turn on RCs for hardcover books)


Oh well, it's just a wish.....

Date Posted: 10/2/2008 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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Asking for a PM is one of my pet peeves.  Make your condition clear and I don't have to do that.  I am happy to read conditions and send my book if they meet the conditions.  I am not willing to PM someone and wait sometimes days to get an answer.   If that is a requirement I regretfully decline and move on.

Per the guidelines: 

  • Your Requestor Conditions should NOT ask the sender to "PM me if you are unsure"
  • Date Posted: 10/2/2008 5:01 PM ET
    Member Since: 12/21/2007
    Posts: 1,642
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    I think that since the RC's in this case are only required for Children's books, I'd  keep my RCs turned off except for when I request a children's book. I think you can do it that way. Either that or pain as it may be--have no RCs and then before you order a children's book that would have music or something with it--type RCs in before you order it. I'd think that you would know if you were ordering a children's book with music/sounds, etc.

     

     

    Date Posted: 10/2/2008 7:25 PM ET
    Member Since: 1/14/2008
    Posts: 346
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    Was there a long wish list for the book? If only a couple people, could be a good chance that none of them will respond or clam the book and it would go back to you.

    But I think you would have to cancel the wishlist and request again, which would have you go back to the end of the line (and turn off the conditions this time when you request it)

    Really sucks :(

    Date Posted: 10/2/2008 9:01 PM ET
    Member Since: 10/2/2007
    Posts: 755
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    Last Edited on: 1/17/09 9:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
    Date Posted: 10/2/2008 9:56 PM ET
    Member Since: 3/13/2006
    Posts: 2,024
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    I know this is complicated and probably can't be done, but wouldn't it be nice if there was a box to check next to your wishlist book to activate your RCs?  In other words, just like the "autorequest: yes or no" box.  A separate  "requestor conditions: yes or no".  Then you can turn on RCs only for those books that you really have a specific requirement.  (for instance - dustjackets don't apply to paperbacks, so you can just turn on RCs for hardcover books)

    This is an extremely good idea, Terri.  Not being a programmer, I have no idea how easy or hard it would be to implement, but it makes a lot of sense and would circumvent all of these problems that seem to arise from RCs that apply to only certain books.

    Date Posted: 10/3/2008 11:40 AM ET
    Member Since: 6/5/2007
    Posts: 62
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    Thanks to everyone who posted a reply.  You all have valid points.  For now I've turned my conditions off and just hope it will work to turn them on should I get a wish granted for a children's book.

    I too LOVE the idea of the check boxes to apply conditions to certain books but not all.  I hope you submit that to the PBS staff and it's agreeable and doable.

    I don't think that people who use RCs should be seen as picky or hard to deal with, perhaps there's a reason, like mine, for implementing them.  And I don't think that the majority of RC need any negotiation, the ones I've come across are mostly not wanting a book that smells of smoke or not wanting a HB w/o a DJ.  Those are faily easy to determine.  There is only a small number of RCs that might warrant a PM.  I don't think it's fair to just pass over a wishing member who may have been waiting a long time for a book just because you don't want to deal with it.  Most people are not trouble makers and misunderstandings are abundant, as in my case. 

    The reason I started using these particular RCs is because of disappointing books I received.  It's pretty self-explanatory.  I requested a Eric Carle book "The Very Lonely Firefly".  The whole point of the story was that the firefly kept seeing lights that weren't another firefly friend but then at the very end of the book he finally finds a group of his kind and there were little LED lights imbeded in the back and had one of those buttons that made the lights come on when the book was opened to that page.  Well, the book I got the lights were not working.  If you know the story it's pivitol that those lights light up or the story doesn't make sense.  My husband even tried to change the batteries but the battery compartment was corroded.  So I thought, well I'm not going to deal with this again, hence the RC.

    The second RC was for a book I'd requested and I received the correct story but it was this tiny little flimsy "book" that had come out of a Cheerios box, the "cover" was full of the Cheerios logo and General Mills Cereals and coupons for GM products.  I'd have been ashamed of myself to post such a thing on PBS and cause someone to use a credit for it.  So there's the reason for the other RC.  Chances are that won't  happen again, I have better confidence in the majority of PBS swappers, but just in case.... I've got "protection".

    Thanks again to everyone for letting me vent!!

     

    Date Posted: 10/3/2008 12:45 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/16/2007
    Posts: 15,201
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    You shouldn't have to justify your RCs, the site allows them so your reasons should be a non-issue.

    On a side note, for corroded battery compartments, try cleaning out with steel-wool and vinegar. Works like a charm :)

    Date Posted: 10/3/2008 2:31 PM ET
    Member Since: 6/20/2007
    Posts: 4,979
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    I don't think it's fair to just pass over a wishing member who may have been waiting a long time for a book just because you don't want to deal with it. 

    We all have the right to have RCs.  But we also all have the right to decline if we're unsure if our book meets the RCs or if the RCs make us uncomfortable about sending the book.  If you have RCs, you run the risk of having your request declined based on the RCs.  If you've been waiting a long time and don't want to be passed over due to RCs, then don't use RCs for that book!  The sender has no way of knowing whether you've been waiting 1 day, 1 month, or 1 year for that book...just like the sender has no idea if you're a fair person or a picky person.

    I for one accept most RCs, but I will turn down long lists of requirements, requests for like new books, or requests that require a PM.  I don't see that as unfair at all, especially since you can choose to toggle your RCs off for certain books.

    From the HC:

    Requestor Conditions on and off:

    • Use the "Yes/No" option above the text box in that area of your Account Settings to do this
    • This is also useful if your Requestor Conditions apply only to specific books (or specific categories of books).
      • Remember, the sender will see exactly what you type! Choose your wording carefully: most senders err on the side of caution. A vague notation like "Nice books only" is not easily interpretable, and will probably result in a lot of your requests being declined.
    • Your Requestor Conditions should NOT ask the sender to "PM me if you are unsure"
    • To make this feature work properly, your Requestor Conditions should be
      • clear enough not to require any communication for clarification
      • applied ONLY to requests for books for which you have those conditions

     

    ETA: I know you're upset that you lost out on your book.  But the reality of the situation is that this is the risk you run by having RCs.  You risk people misreading them or not being sure of them and erring on the side of caution.  By signing up to swap here, we agree that our books meet certain conditions.  You are asking for something above and beyond that, and as such, you are the one that accepts the risk of your book orders taking longer to fill.  While I understand your frustration, please don't paint anyone who turns down RCs as being unfair.



    Last Edited on: 10/3/08 2:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
    Date Posted: 10/3/2008 4:51 PM ET
    Member Since: 6/5/2007
    Posts: 62
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    Then there shouldn't be RCs at all, based on your point.  If there's danger of getting your requests turned down for even the most outragious far-fetched doubts.  Who could possibily be of the mind as to analyze their RCs to the point of covering every possible scenerio. 

    I say that because, in my particular case... the sender was the one "at fault" for lack of better words....  How he/she thought to apply children's books to a manual for electricians is beyond me.

    I don't think there shouldn't be RCs, I just said that to show my point of view, we can't possibly be in the mind of all senders, my RC was not confusing or generic as was the example in the HC you quoted.  RCs is a sort of quality control because without them some members would mail out very disappointing books. 

    Date Posted: 10/3/2008 5:02 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/26/2006
    Posts: 9,337
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    Actually, RCs are designed for when you want books that are in "better than PBS" condition.  For example, dust covers aren't required here, but if you want dust covers on your hardcovers, that's a good place for RCs.  They aren't an effective mechanism for quality control -- for dealing with someone who sends out a book that doesn't meet the basic book conditions guidelines.  Marking a book Received with a Problem and asking for your credit back are the best ways to deal with that.

     

    But that said, if someone wants to use RCs to reiterate a book condition, there's no rule against it.

    Date Posted: 10/3/2008 5:21 PM ET
    Member Since: 6/20/2007
    Posts: 4,979
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    in my particular case... the sender was the one "at fault" for lack of better words....  How he/she thought to apply children's books to a manual for electricians is beyond me.

    I agree. 

    There is only a small number of RCs that might warrant a PM.  I don't think it's fair to just pass over a wishing member who may have been waiting a long time for a book just because you don't want to deal with it.   

    I respectfully disagree.  And just like Terri and Cozi, I do not PM about a WL book.  There is a method in place where you can toggle your RCs off if they don't apply to a particular book.  Should you have to do that?  No.  Ideally, the member would have read your conditions correctly and shipped the book.  But the means to turn off the RCs for a particular book are there.  By not using them, you run the risk of misinterpretation.  Had you turned your RCs off for this book, there would not have been room for misunderstanding or declining due to RCs, and you would have gotten your book. 

    Just because you ask for a PM does not make it unfair when a sender does not send one. 

    As Cozi posted above, from the HC, Your Requestor Conditions should NOT ask the sender to "PM me if you are unsure".   

    Your exact conditions state please PM me if you are not sure about this one. 

    Thus, you are doing exactly what the HC says you should NOT do, and you are getting upset when a sender doesn't follow your instructions.

    I don't want to sound mean...I don't want this thread to get mean...but I think there are 2 separate issues at play here.  I would have sent your book.  I agree that the sender didn't read the RCs correctly and declined because they misread or misunderstood.  Yes, that is frustrating and upsetting. 

    But--it raises my hackles when you say it's unfair that they didn't PM because you've been waiting a long time.  A lot of us here wouldn't have PMd, and it has nothing to do with how long you have been waiting--something we have no way of knowing unless we posted directly to your WL.  It has to do with the fact that I'm not risking a credit if I'm unsure.  It has to do with the fact that I don't want to have to wait a few days for a PM exchange when I'm going to the post office today.  Or, as Terri said, For a Wish List book---with multiple wishers----There is NO CHANCE that I am going to PM another member to 'negotiate' about conditions.  They either want the book or not.  It's way too easy to move on and the member with the book should have to WORK to get rid of a Wish List Book!

    I'm not saying you shouldn't have RCs.  (Personally, I wouldn't post a children's book if the electronics didn't work on it.  I even went so far as to see if I could find if one in which the electronics didn't work was postable or unpostable, without success.)  But RCs shouldn't ask for a PM as per the site guidelines.  When you ask for something against site guidelines, it is not unfair when other members don't comply with your wishes.

    Date Posted: 10/3/2008 5:51 PM ET
    Member Since: 6/5/2007
    Posts: 62
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    Well, 1st of all I didn't know that that guideline existed, as many others probably didn't either because many have said in this thread they give the option to PM in their RCs as well.  I'm a stickler for rules, so if I'd known that I'd never have put it in.  I only found it out when it was posted here.

    2nd, I felt the unfairness came from getting passed over for a book that I'd waited for a year for such a lousy reason.  Not knowing the No PM rule, I just couldn't stop thinking, "...if he'd just thought that through a little better or PM'd me..." 

    Lastly... I'll just say lesson learned and I knew that I could turn RCs off but it hadn't connected with me that I could turn it off and on as needed... but until now.... never knew it would be a problem or so misunderstood so that I would have to toggle it off and on.  My rep here at PBS is very important to me, I want every member who I send a book to to be pleased and satisfied after our transaction, and I'd always like to stay within the lines of right conduct that PBS expects of us.  Thanks for all your comments, I respect your opinion.

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