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Topic: Am I too sensitive?

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Subject: Am I too sensitive?
Date Posted: 10/30/2007 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 102
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I just received this PM in response to a book I sent. The book was a paperback. I wrapped it in saran wrap, heavy brown paper and plenty of tape as the guidelines suggest.

"The book was wrapped in one sheet of brown paper and one clear. The brown wrapper was torn all down one side. The book was fine, this time. "

I think I'm just too sensitive but I sent the book correctly. No thanks, just "this time".

Also if the book had been damaged should I (or would you) send the credit back even though you did just as the guidelines suggested? I can't control what the post office does once a correctly wrapped book is out of my hands.

I suggested to her if the wrapping guidelines here are not what she would like she might want to consider a condition for her prefered wrapping.

 

 

 

Date Posted: 10/30/2007 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I think your response was a good one.  If she doesn't like the way you wrapped a book, she may want to let R&R know their guidelines don't meet her preferences.  I would have done the same thing.  I may have cut and pasted the wrapping guidelines, noting that I followed instructions, and that any wished for changes in guidelines should be directed to R&R, but not to individuals who simply follow the rules.

Date Posted: 10/30/2007 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/20/09 10:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/30/2007 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I wouldn't want to know and I would not want a PM telling me my package came damaged by the PO, but that the book is alright.  Why waste my time reading that?  I can't control the PO.  I wrap according to PBS guidlines, actually better, but I can do nothing about how the PO handles my package.  If I've done everything right, I don't want to know how it came to you (general).  Not that I don't care, but I can't do anything about it.  It's out of my control. 

Date Posted: 10/30/2007 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Maybe she wanted you to know so you could tape the sides better. I would want to know. Next time the book might be really ruined and someone could be nagging you for a credit back.  They could make a complaint to R&R that you didn't wrap the book good enough. I received books recenlty were the wrapping was torn but the books were in good condition.  If the sender had taped the side they most likely wouldn't have been torn.  She was appreciative that I let her know because it might save her from having to give a credit back in the future.

Date Posted: 10/30/2007 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/20/09 10:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/30/2007 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 102
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Thank you all for your responses.

I've mailed over 112 books and never had a problem so I am doubtful that my wrapping was the problem. I could probably be accused of overtaping lol! I use very thick grocery bags and packing tape.

I am not upset that she told me there was a problem, I think I was more sensitive to the no "thank you" at all and the fact that there was no obvious wrapping issue on my part.

Again I am probably just too sensitive.

Date Posted: 10/30/2007 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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Typing does not always convey the best. She/he may not have meant to sound rude, but the written word came off that way to you. Take it in the grand scheme of how you send books and go from there. If you haven't had a problem in the past don't worry about it now, but if you get another complaint, maybe rethink your packaging.

I always PM a sender if  the book has been damaged in shipment. I'd certainly want to know if my packaging  wasn't holding up in the mail. 

Date Posted: 10/30/2007 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I was and am responding to the original post where:

The OP's stated her wrapping was fine, following PBS guidelines, it was a PO mistake, not hers.  If I follow PBS guidelines and I meet usps standards then I've done my part.  I've sent out appx 75 books and not a single one has come undone, so if one does, I'm not going to change the way I've succesfully done it for 75 times because the PO doesn't handle one package well. 

I said, IF I do what PBS tells me to do and I meet usps guidelines, than at some point the responsibility is no longer mine.  I would GUESS that PBS thinks the same thing or there would be no option to differentiate between damaged by sender and damaged by usps.

I'm simply saying that if my wrapping job was fine and the damage was the PO fault, and I have a history of wrapping packages well that arrive in fine shape, as the OP does (112 books with no problems to date), I don't want to know because there's nothing I can do about it. 

And, if someone did want to take the time to point out something, but the book arrived safely, I think a polite thank you could have been included.  At least I would have.

Date Posted: 10/30/2007 9:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 76
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Where can I find the exact guidelines/suggestions for mailing??

Date Posted: 10/30/2007 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2007
Posts: 1,829
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Deb -be warned, it's somewhat lengthy (ETA: copied from help center),

How to wrap a Book You are not required to use the PBS wrapper.  You can use alternate packaging for any shipment (heavier/larger and multiple-book shipments may require this), using the 1-page PBS Label (the far right layout choice on the Wrapper Settings page) as an address label. You can also hand-write the address on your package.  Here are the options for how to wrap a book so that it is carried safely to its destination, and arrives in the same condition as it was when it left you! The 2-page PBS Wrapper:

  • Works well for single paperbacks, or even two small books packaged together
  • See Using the PBS Wrapper: a tutorial for instructions, with photos, on how to use the 2-page PBS Wrapper to wrap a book. 
  • If you have a larger or heavy book, or a multiple-book shipment to send, the 2-page PBS Wrapper alone will not provide sturdy enough packaging on its own to protect your book(s) en route.  You will need to use alternate packaging methods.

The 1-page PBS "Label"

  • Cannot be used alone to wrap a book
  • Is intended for use as an address label on alternate packaging (ie, for multiple-book shipments)

Alternate Packaging:

  • Suggestions for alternate packaging materials:
    • Heavy brown paper (from a cut-down grocery sack)
    • Manila envelope
      • tape it down tightly around the book(s) to prevent "flaps" that can get caught in postal machinery
    • Bubble or padded mailer
    • Tyvek or similar large envelope
      • tape it down tightly around the book(s) to prevent "flaps" that can get caught in postal machinery
    • Box
      • prevent your books from sliding around inside with crumpled paper (NOT newspaper--the ink can mark the books!) or (clean) plastic shopping bags, balled up.
  • Poor choices for alternate packaging materials:
    • Giftwrapping paper (too thin)
    • Newspaper (can smudge ink onto the books)
    • Priority mail envelope (this is illegal to use for MediaMail, even if you are reusing it, and even if you turn it inside out!)
      • if you do this, and the package is inspected, it will arrive postage-due at the requestor's, or be returned postage-due to you (the additional postage required will be the difference between postage paid and Priority Mail rate)

General Guidelines for Wrapping:

  • Your book(s) must be completely enclosed in the wrapping

  • Use plenty of tape (2" shipping tape, not Scotch)
    • especially at the corners and seams.
    • You can get shipping tape at any store that sells stationery or shipping supplies.
    • Do not apply tape directly to the book! This can damage the book when the package is opened.
      • If you apply tape directly to the book and it is then damaged when the package is opened, you will not receive a credit.
    • Do not tape over the postage (USPS does not accept this)
    • Do not apply postage to tape (it can fall off)
    • It is okay to apply clear tape over the DC barcode if you are sending a package with PBS-DC
      • If you do this, avoid wrinkles in the tape that can interfere with barcode scanning
  • Make sure that all flaps and folds, on whatever type of wrapping you use, are secured tightly to your package.
    • It is easy for flaps or folds that are not secured to get snagged by sorting machines in the USPS system, and this can cause damage to (or loss of) your book.
  • Consider using an inner layer of plastic
    • You can use Saran Wrap, or clean plastic grocery bags, or any kind of clean plastic material
    • please do not use "Press and Seal". This product contains some type of glue that sticks to the books.
      • If you wrap your book in this and it is then damaged when the package is opened, you will not receive a credit.
      • If you get a book that was wrapped using Press-and-Seal, a product called Goo-Gone will remove the residue from the book cover.

If you receive a book that you think was inadequately wrapped

  • We ask that you give gentle feedback to the sender, to help him or her improve wrapping technique.
  • Doing this not only helps the sender, but also all the future members she or he swaps with, and is a service to the Club as a whole.
  • There are many options for wrapping a book. Everyone needs to experiment a little, to find the method that works best for him or her!


Last Edited on: 10/30/07 10:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 10/30/2007 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I would just be sure to tape the corners and edges better.  No worries!

Date Posted: 10/30/2007 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2006
Posts: 1,620
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I would be a bit bothered too!  I had a book once arrive and the outer wrapping was in terrible shape, but the book was fine because it was wrapped in saran wrap.  I PMed the sender to let her know and to thank her for wrapping it in plastic wrap first.  The way I see it, you didn't do anything wrong.  The extra step you took saved a book! 

Date Posted: 10/30/2007 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 4,469
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Oh, blow it off.  The book was fine, that's the part to rembember, the rest is just general grouchiness.  That said, adding an extra layer of paper won't hurt anything next time:0  Hugs!1

Date Posted: 10/31/2007 12:06 AM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2005
Posts: 1,807
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It could be the book wasn't damaged by the PO, but was actually opened for inspection, as many books are. I've received a number with one end of the wrapping torn open and not re-taped shut. In those cases, it appeared clear the PO had done it deliberately. At least, that was my impression.

Date Posted: 10/31/2007 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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Stacy - the USPS doesn't just rip open a side to inspect and send it on its way. They must clearly mark that the book was inspected and if the wrapping was damaged in the inspection, send the contents and the remains of the packaging in a plastic bag.

An end/side torn open is most likely a package snagging on a sorting machine.

Date Posted: 10/31/2007 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I suspect that your packaging was was just fine.  I have received books in ALL kinds of packaging and about 1/2 of them have an edge of the package torn or ripped (without harming the book).  There is nothing wrong with the packaging, but something sure sunk its teeth in to the edge which I am guessing might be postal machinery which can defeat the best wrap job.  The person who sent this might be a closet cardboard wisher.. one of the PBSers that think all books should be ultra protected with a layer of cardboard.  I recommend you just keep on packaging as before and chalk this up to hungry postal machines and startled PBSer.

Date Posted: 10/31/2007 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2006
Posts: 51
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I agree that you shouldn't worry too much about this.  It would have been nice to get a more friendly PM telling you that the outer packaging has been ripped.  I think it is a good idea to let someone know when their item was ate by the post office.  Some one earlier stated they had sent "x" amount of books and never had a problem.  If the receiver doesn't notify you that the wrapping was damaged how do you really know that you have sent "x" amount of books without a problem.  Communication is the key to everything running smoothly.  The part that can't be forgotten is to be kind.

Date Posted: 10/31/2007 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2005
Posts: 1,807
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Stacy - the USPS doesn't just rip open a side to inspect and send it on its way. They must clearly mark that the book was inspected and if the wrapping was damaged in the inspection, send the contents and the remains of the packaging in a plastic bag.

I've never gotten anything officially marked as inspected, nor has any book been wrapped in plastic. Curious that I've received at last half a dozen book with one end (the short end) opened.

Date Posted: 10/31/2007 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/20/09 10:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/31/2007 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 585
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I've received a few that looked opened rather than torn. I know they're supposed to follow all the rules, but that doesn't mean that someone, somewhere, isn't following the rules and looking for media mail violations by taking a quick peek.

 The same thing was happening to me last year when I was receiving several books a week.  The end of the package would usually be slit open.  (The books inside were fine.)   Many of these were in bubble envelopes.  I have a hard time believing that all of these were being caught in machines.  I think someone at the post office was checking to see if these packages really contained books.  If not, the post office better get some new machinery.

 

 

Date Posted: 10/31/2007 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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Oh boy I have received MANY packages that have been slit or torn open that have not been retaped.  It's happened too many times for me to believe it's machinery.