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Topic: Should I have said something?

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Subject: Should I have said something?
Date Posted: 10/27/2009 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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I received a book yesterday and it arrived in good condition but it's a miracle that it did.  I live in the South.  In most areas of the south we have been getting rain every day except for a few days every day for the past six weeks.  Yesterday was no exception.  At the time my mail arrived at noon there was no rain but a couple of hours later we had a downpour.  The book was not well wrapped.  It was wrapped in paper and the paper was torn on the end.  It's a wonder the book didn't slide out.  Also, I think the book should have been wrapped in a plastic bag before it was wrapped in paper.  Had I delayed going to the mailbox my book would have been soaked.  I am thinking a polite note to the sender would have helped them in the future in mailing out books but I let it slide.  I didn't want to offend the sender.




Date Posted: 10/27/2009 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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It isn't required to wrap books in plastic, if you have a lot of rain in your area and you think books that you receive should be wrapped in plastic then you need to have an RC requesting that people do that. I don't think a polite message about how the paper was torn and the book could have come out would be out of line though. I've opened my mailbox to find nothing but an empty wrapper, it's not a fun experience.

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 4/14/2009
Posts: 286
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Write a polite note, letting the person know what happened.  I got a book in the late summer that was wrapped cigar style.  No kidding.  It was wrapped with one sheet of paper, with the top and bottom edges exposed - intentionally.  The person was a newbie.  We had a lot a rain during that time and I was impressed that it make it to me without humidity damage at least. She thanked me for the suggestions.  Remember, your sender doesn't want to lose credits in the future.

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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It is up to the receiver to have a dry place for their mail to be placed.   The sender is not resposible for that.  A note to the sender wouldn't hurt but I'd be careful to let the sender know that the book she sent was not harmed in any way.

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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"It is up to the receiver to have a dry place for their mail to be placed"

I agree.

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I have had the same situation many times. (I DO have a dry place for my mail, but my carrier walks and I'm the penultimate stop...so stuff can get very wet before it even gets here.)  I often send a note thanking them for sending the book and telling them it arrived safely, but that the package was torn and how easily it could have been disappointing for both of us. I go on to say that because of that, I try to always wrap my books in plastic so I don't lose a credit due to the PO or weather. That doesn't assign any blame to them but does let them know that if something bad happens, a credit could be lost. Many senders are new and grateful.

Last Edited on: 10/27/09 12:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/27/2009 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 284
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Jodi, I'm not trying to stir the pot but I think that unless you have an RC that asks for plastic a book damaged by water while in transit would fall under the "damaged by the USPS" and the help docs state that you do not get your credit back. Letting them know is a good thing. I used to only wrap books in plastic when requested to do so. I have since found a easy solution for me, so all my books go out wrapped in plastic now.


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: 10/27/2009 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Posts: 112
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I have to agree with Kay.   I  also live in an area in the south that has has tremendous rain the last several weeks.  I have  a mailbox for the mail, but with the amount of rain we've had, the books can still get damp, especially if you can't get your mail as soon as the carrier delivers.   Thank goodness I haven't had any ruined books.  Some of them have been wrapped in plastic and this really helps alot!  I always  try to wrap any books I'm sending out in plastic first, just because you never know what might  happen along the way. 

Last Edited on: 10/27/09 3:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/27/2009 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
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When I messaged a sender about her packaging method (or lack there of), she wrote back thanking me.  She said she just wrapped her books like Christmas presents and never gave a thought to how damaging taping a wrapper to a book might actually be.  She was glad I PM'd her.


Subject: Susan, I'm with you, but bet members do rwap for water damage, not usps.
Date Posted: 10/27/2009 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Last Edited on: 10/27/09 3:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/27/2009 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I have an RC requesting that people wrap in plastic. I think I've had one person turn me down because of it. No problem to me, because my west-facing mailbox will get rain blown into it if the postman doesn't close it properly. And when it rains around here, it usually pours!

ETA: It certainly wouldn't hurt to send a polite PM suggesting wrapping in plastic when sending to your region. I've done that in the past as an FYI.

Last Edited on: 10/27/09 4:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/27/2009 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,280
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I live in south FL... I totally understand the rain thing!

I have an RC stating that all books be well-wrapped in plastic before applying the wrapper due to our weather... I've never been turned down for it, and all but maybe 2 have been carefully wrapped :)

This has saved many of my books on those rainy days (although a few times even plastic wrap couldn't save them!)  It might be worth it to you.

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2006
Posts: 1,464
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If I send a wrapping suggestion, which I will if I feel it's warranted, I also end with 'just a friendly note from one book lover to another.."  We all love our books and want to receive them in good shape, just as we send them in good shape. I personally wrap in plastic and mummify with tape.

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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Andrea H. (tiger-lily) - You live only about 40 miles from where I live. I'm in Ruston.

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Like Mary, the few times I've pm'd regarding book wrapping the response has been positive.  Although PBS does not require plastic underwrap, it IS recommended.  That being said, I didn't use plastic underwrap (for most of the first year I was a PBS member) until I saw it on an RC...which made me think, I live in a wet climate and other members probably do also. 

Shortly thereafter, I received a book that had clearly been thoroughly wet.  Despite the mailing label being protected, water had run under the packing tape and blurred the printing.  DC was unreadable (not scanned) and I've no idea how USPS read enough of the address to deliver the package.  But...the book inside was wrapped in plastic and in excellent condition.  I've been a firm believer in plastic ever since!!  There were no early DC scans and the outer wrapper had dried, so based on that and some other clues I figure the sender unknowingly deposited this book in a leaky blue box.  So sometimes it doesn't matter how dry my mailbox may be if it the book has already been exposed to water enroute.

Last Edited on: 10/28/09 10:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/29/2009 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Of all the PMs that I have sent suggesting plastic wrap, I've only had one that wasn't a bad reaction, it just wasn't a good one, they didn't respond at all. Almost all of the rest of them were new members that were thrilled that I took the time to let them know about it. They'd not even given it a thought, but they surely were going to do it from now on!

Date Posted: 11/2/2009 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2005
Posts: 87
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I think that if you live in a wet climate you should put a RC for wrapping in plastic.  I myself do not wrap in plastic but would have no problems doing so if it was requested.  For all the people that do want it wrapped, there are people who do not as well.  I used to wrap in plastic until I received a very nasty pm telling me that because of my wrapping in plastic, the person ripped the book cover completely off trying to remove the saran wrap.  After that, I stopped wrapping in plastic.  I think most people would not have a problem with this RC if it came up. 


Date Posted: 11/2/2009 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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You can PM if you want, but I would be VERY gentle and make suggestions rather than complain. I personally I think if you want someone to use anything above and beyond what PBS requires that it should be put in an RC rather than reprimanding the sender after the fact. I have sent PMs about wrapping before, but not for wet books--only for someone trying to use the 1-page wrapper with 3 pieces of scotch tape, or for a couple where the wrapper was taped to the cover.


Date Posted: 11/2/2009 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Posts: 112
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Hi Kay,

    Saw where you posted that we only live about 40 miles apart! Cool! I sent you a PM.  Hope to hear from you!

Subject: You mean it rains more than 3 or 4 days a year.
Date Posted: 11/2/2009 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2008
Posts: 118
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I live in a very dry part of California.  When I first started to mail books it honestly never occurred to me to wrap anything in plastic so having someone very nicely tell me about it was a very good thing.  Keep it light and helpful and you may be doing many people a big favor.  

Date Posted: 11/3/2009 12:57 AM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2005
Posts: 325
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I use plastic grocery bags.  I cut the handle part off and just tape it shut. 

Quick, easy to get off and cheap.

Date Posted: 11/3/2009 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I wish that there was a check mark on the initial order from a member or on their WL that could say they want or don't want plastic pre-wrap.  I always appreciate it when there is plastic used.  It would seem to me that since PBS even says it's a good idea, that going so far as to have a RC for that only  (which is the only restriction I would have) is silly when just a "plastic? or no plastic?" question could be asked and kept as part of the ordering system.  So many people see a RC as a red flag and deny no matter what it is.