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Topic: I sent a book which the PO damaged. What now?

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Subject: I sent a book which the PO damaged. What now?
Date Posted: 10/22/2008 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2008
Posts: 3
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I mail my books in padded envelopes which cost considerably more than using PBS wrappers.

In addition, of course , I has to pay postage for a heavier than usual hardcover book.

I don't see why the receiver doesn't split the cost.  Ie. I spent $3 and she loses a credit.

The book is apparently still readable, just not "collectable."  "Collectable" was not specified in the order.

Any thoughts by other members?  The feedback from the receiver is below:

Book was sent in a padded manilla envelope. There is some water damage and the spine was broken probably due to something excessively heavy on top of it. however, this does complete my collection.


Date Posted: 10/22/2008 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2006
Posts: 2,303
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Information from "help"

 A book is considered Damaged by USPS if it was damaged in transit (while in the mail).

  • This is usually just bad luck
    • Even the most well-wrapped packages can get mangled by a postal sorting machine
    • We have tried to divide the risk fairly between the sender and the requestor:
      • If the sender gets the book back damaged, the sender assumes the risk: she should contact us to cancel the request. The requestor gets the credit back when we do that, and the sender does not get credit unless she used PBS-DC or PBS Printed Postage
      • If the requestor gets the book damaged by USPS, the requestor assumes the risk. The requestor does need to mark the book received and does not get her credit back; the sender does get credit in this case.
  • If you feel that the wrapping of the book contributed to its damage en route:
    • You can tell the sender this in a Personal Message
      • Please be gentle! The sender may be new to bookswapping.
      • You can ask for your credit to be refunded if you believe it is warranted.
    • You can share your own tips on wrapping technique, and/or refer the sender to the
  • Help items on wrapping a book.

You can also comment on the wrapping in the Comments box at the bottom of the survey portion of the Book Received page, so these details are recorded on the transaction in our records.

Last Edited on: 10/22/08 7:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/22/2008 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
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Barry, you are under no obligation to refund the credit if you provided adequate packaging and the USPS still damaged it.

I cannot tell from the part you copied if the person is saying the water damage was caused by the USPS or that it was there before it was sent. If there was any water damage to the book before sending it you would be required to return the credit. Otherwise, the system understands that you are out postage and leaves it up to the sender to refund credits on damage done by the USPS as long as the book was packaged well, which it sounds like yours was.

Date Posted: 10/22/2008 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Well, I don't get the impression from the receiver's comments that the book being collectible - or rather, part of a collection, which is what he/she actually said and can mean something else entirely - made any difference one way or the other in reporting it damaged by the USPS.  Expecting a book to not have water damage or a broken spine isn't an exacting standard or anything, and we are supposed to report books damaged by the USPS, whether they're collectibles or not, so that piece is really irrelevant.  The issue of collectibility also doesn't have much bearing on the fact that a member really shouldn't have to give up a credit for a book they ordered in good faith, but aren't able to post back into the system - even though on rare occasions, they sometimes do.  I can't imagine anyone being happy about finding themselves in that situation.  I know I wouldn't be.   That said, I was under the impression that if the book was actually received by the requestor, and it had been adequately packaged - which I think a well sealed bubble mailer certainly qualifies as - then the requestor is the one who is supposed to be out the credit & not the sender.  Did he/she actually ask you to return the credit, or is what you quoted above all that was said?  If so, you may be misunderstanding this person, and all they  were actually doing was reporting the book as damaged by the USPS, and not asking or expecting you to do anything at all.  As far as splitting the cost goes, that's automatically the case whenever someone orders a book.  The requestor spent the same $3 on postage that you did in order to get a credit to order the book from your shelf.  Unfortunately, a USPS damaged book is always going to leave somebody losing - either a credit or the cost of postage.  In this case, it looks to me like it's the receiver, and as far as I can tell, they don't appear to be contesting that.

Date Posted: 10/23/2008 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 1,748
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I had a book sent to me that got damaged recently and I believe it was partly the senders fault since she didn't use enough tape and only had one layer thick of paper wrapping and I didn't get my credit back. You are not responsible for this, especially since you clearly wrapped it with care!

Date Posted: 10/23/2008 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 770
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From what you copied, it doesn't seem like they are asking for their credit back. 

Have you had any further discussion with them?