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Topic: Silly question--what happens when a book is damaged in shipping???

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patticom - ,
Subject: Silly question--what happens when a book is damaged in shipping???
Date Posted: 9/12/2008 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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I only had this happen one time, ages ago, and I honestly can't remember!!  Does the requestor get their credit back without taking it from the sender, or does one of them (requestor/sender) have to eat the credit for postal damage???

I just got a complaint for a hardback I sent that was BRAND NEW--the requestor claims it arrived separated from the binding--???  I KNOW it was in absolutely perfect condition when I sent it, so either it was damaged in shipping or ...????  The requestor's request sounds like someone new to the site, but does not list a profile so I can't confirm it.  I'd rather eat the credit than turn someone away from the site, but at the same time I'm awfully miffed that the post office(?) completely destroyed a brand spanking new book.  :(  IIRC I sent it in a padded envelope too!!!

patticom - ,
Date Posted: 9/12/2008 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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Oops, update... I just realized this book was marked received 2 days ago!!  It was marked received without a problem, but now 2 days later suddenly there is... ????  It's too late to mark where the damage came from, isn't it??

What would you do with this complaint??

Date Posted: 9/12/2008 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Weeeellll, the sender should have mark RWAP, damaged by USPS.  Either way, they don't get their credit back, you have to give it to them if you find it necessary.  If it were me and I had a few to spare, I'd give it to them just to avoid bad feelings, even if I was sure I wasn't to blame.  That's just me, though, I am sure others will disagree.  It's a personal choice.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 9/12/2008 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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You should respond to the requestor, explaining that it was a new book sent undamaged from your house in a padded envelope so it must have been damaged by USPS in transit.  You are not obligated to return a credit in this case (see second bullet point).

From the Help Center:

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

If you dispute the nature of the problem: you should be sure to write your PM response to the requestor by clicking the PM button on the swap in your Transaction Archive.  This will record your response on the transaction and if your account is ever reviewed for problem swapping, this information will be there to explain what happened in this swap.

  • 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.
Date Posted: 9/21/2008 10:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2007
Posts: 2
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Hmmm...but what if you get a book that was only in the PBS coversheet, and is wet.  The book is signficantly water damaged, almost unreadable, and the inside of the wrapper just slightly so hard to tell where it happened.  I am hoping that no one would wrap an already wet book up and send it, so marked it as damaged by USPS.  Should I assume risk if they did not take very great care in sending it?

niffir - ,
Date Posted: 9/22/2008 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 495
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If you don't want to assume the risk, you can put a RC in place with specifics about how you expect your books to be wrapped.  Expect to have many requests refused, though.

Date Posted: 9/22/2008 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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this is why people should check their books before marking them received!

I don't know if I would return the credit especially since you know the condition when it left your house. 

Date Posted: 9/25/2008 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/8/2006
Posts: 6
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well I had a person just today say I sent a water damaged book to her . I know when I sent it it was a very good book in great condition and no water damage. But as you said to avoid any hard feelings I gave her her credit back. does she have to send me my book back since I gave her back her credit???????? So I can see for myself the DAMAGE???????

Date Posted: 9/25/2008 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,188
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No melanie she doesn't need to send the book back unless you pay her the postage cost in addition to returning the credit. (Help Center under RWP damaged by sender explains this)

Hmmm...but what if you get a book that was only in the PBS coversheet, and is wet. - Since the PBS wrapper is the only thing required, the sender would not be obligated to return a credit that was soaked during transit. If the receiver doesn't want to risk that, then they need to have an RC asking for better wrapping. I do that during the winter months and didn't get turned down at all with only two coming without it.

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/8/2006
Posts: 6
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Oh well that was my one and only LOL