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Topic: Did I do something wrong in handling RWAP?

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Subject: Did I do something wrong in handling RWAP?
Date Posted: 12/5/2009 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2008
Posts: 75
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I received a book and when I opened it the cover opened halfway through the spine of the book.  Thus the cover was about 50% detached from the body of the book.  I read on Help Docs that "binding must be intact, with no separation on the inside or outside of the book."

So I marked it RWAP and included this message which I copied practically verbatim from recommended PBS text:


"Thanks for sending the book. Unfortunately there is a problem: the cover/spine is half separated from the rest of the book and it makes this unpostable by site guidelines, and I won't be able to swap the book again. I would like a credit refund, which can be accomplished by clicking Give Refund in your transaction archive on the Request Details page for this swap, and I will be happy to mail the book back to you if you will provide postage."





The sender replied with this:




"I can assure you that there was no problem with the condition of the book's cover/spine when I sent it to you. I take great offense at the implication that I would mail a book that does not meet the site guidelines. Have you ever considered that the damage could have happened in transit? I would suggest that the next time you encounter a problem, you contact the sending member and politely describe the problem without demands. I have found that most members (myself included) are honest and willing to see any problem quickly resolved.
I am sorry that the book arrived with a problem. The problem was NOT present when I mailed the book. I am going to refund your credit but I am also going to put a condition on my doing so. At no time in the future will I accept a book request from you."

The packaging was intact and was not mangled in any way so I know this didn't happen in transit.  I received the credit back but I guess I'm feeling sensitive today and my feelings are hurt.  Should I have done something different?  I've been a member for almost a year and this is the first time I have been accused of lying.  I also don't know what I am supposed to do about the "condition" as I think that is out of my hands??

Thanks for any words of wisdom!


Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 12/5/2009 9:13 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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It's hard to imagine how the binding could have come undone "in transit"; that sort of stress isn't put on a book that's wrapped, but whatever.

Is it possible you hurt the binding while you unwrapped it?

Anyway, all kinds of miscommunication can happen in e-mails that wouldn't happen face to face. *I* think your PM is nice. *I* think their response is histrionic. You got the credit back. Maybe they were embarrassed.

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,204
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Many people get defensive when they get a RWAP. I don't think she realized that you took the wording for your PM directly from the site. You are correct that you cannot control whether she gets your request or not. If she wants to watch to make sure she doesn't send another book to you, more power to her, you can get your books from other members that don't overreact to a RWAP using a form PM from the site. Chalk it up to the sender having a bad day and taking it out on you and move on, its not worth the emotions.

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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In the future, I would include a picture of the book.  You can go to a site like photobucket.com, upload the pic and provide a link in the PM.  That way, they can see what you are explaining.  After all, a picture speaks a thousand words and it's hard to dispute an image of the book / wrapping.

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,603
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Your PM was nice and polite and clear about why the book was unpostable.  It also let the sender know what you wanted to resolve the problem--return of your credit.

I think the sender overreacted to the PM and probably knew they sent an unpostable book and were hoping you'd let it go.

I'd let it go as well and move on.  Let them worry about if they get another order from you.  You can't control that.

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 11:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I woudln't worry about.  You are not at fault in this. They either knowing sent a bad book or didn't pay attention to the condition of the book they were sending and they're just ticked off that they were called out on it. 

There is no way they can prevent you from ordering a book from them.  The chances of you getting them for a book request is pretty slim unless you both have unusual reading tastes. (and by unusual I mean books that aren't heavily traded on PBS).  On the off chance you order something from FIFO or htey post a WL book and you end up with each other again: they won't know until they accept the request and look to see who the requestor is.  And if they cancel then they lose their place in the FIFO line or have to find another wisher for the book.  They'd just be hurting themselves.

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 11:10 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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FIrst, you handled this RWAP perfectly. There is nothing else you should have done. The problem is with the sender. Histrionic really is such a great word to apply to this person.

I mean look:

"I take great offense at the implication that I would mail a book that does not meet the site guidelines."

"The problem was NOT present when I mailed the book. I am going to refund your credit but I am also going to put a condition on my doing so. At no time in the future will I accept a book request from you."

Oh the poor baby is so offended. Oh the futility of trying to NOT accept a book request from a member. That outta show you! ;) I am surprised he or she didn't address you as madam and end with a curt "good day to you"

Shrug it off, this person is a nutter.

Date Posted: 12/6/2009 12:43 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Number one- please don't be offended by her response to you - she's banking on that since she is overdefensive herself.

Number 2 - you did the right thing.

Number 3 - although statistically it doesn't seem likely that you will cross paths with her again, it does happen.  I've sent more than 3 books to the same person through FIFO in the 2 years I've been a member. And I've received books from the same sender twice through FIFO.  It happens.  But don't worry about it.  She shouldn't either if she's sending out qualifying condition books.

Number 4- I have received on 2 occasions books that though wrapped tightly and correctly were "twisted" in transit.  It definitely affected the condition of the book.  It was probably wedged in a strange position below heavy packages.  The wrappers were not seriously affected.  But the bindings were definitely affected.

Number 5 - Life happens and it's only books.  Less than $3.50.  This is why feedback is not a good idea for PBS.  Don't let it ruin your day or even your hour.  Just let it slide off your back.  She can't hit you or anything.

Please feel better because you did the right thing and you did get your credit back. ;D   That doesn't always happen.


Date Posted: 12/6/2009 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2008
Posts: 75
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Thank you, everyone, for your kind support!  I will definitely move on from this episode now!


Date Posted: 12/6/2009 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,134
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"She can't hit you or anything."

LOL Ruth!

Date Posted: 12/6/2009 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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I would suggest going to your transaction archive and making sure the book you got was from the sender you contacted about it. It is possible that you got a copy from another sender who mailed the book but forgot to mark it mailed, thus making the transaction roll over to the sender you "think" you got the book from because hers is the transaction listed on your main account page. I've had this happen to me a couple of times now.

Date Posted: 12/6/2009 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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You did everything right, they are obviously lashing out because they don't appreciate being marked RWAP. That said, one tactic I like to employ when I am forced to write these notes is to "kill them with kindness". Don't get me wrong, its usually the exact opposite of how I'm actually feeling, and some people will lash out at you regardless, but some people really respond better to it. The example that PBS gives is accurate and correct, but it is also kind of the "bare minimum". A few examples of the phrases I employ to "butter up" the sender are: "Thank you for sending (the book), unfortunately when it arrived... (go on to explain RWAP).