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Topic: sounds like Richard may have had his feeling hurt.

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Subject: sounds like Richard may have had his feeling hurt.
Date Posted: 5/15/2015 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,667
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poor little guy.

We did expect to hear about disappointment at the prospect of paying to use the site. We were surprised by the anger from some members, and we'll admit that we felt hurt by it. We'd put so much effort in for so long, and we'd been very proud of having created such a wonderful place to share books, so we were taken aback at first when we got some messages accusing us of greed and selfishness. But happily, along with the negative came a lot of positive.

I'm sorry but this sounds a little like pollyanna to me.



Last Edited on: 5/15/15 1:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/15/2015 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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Charles, I understand why people were not happy with the changes.

At the same time I think........ A person set up something the people like FREE for 10 years.  How would that person feel when they restructure and add a small fee and the result is anger from some members.

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2009
Posts: 851
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What Valerie saidyes.

 

 

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2010
Posts: 577
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agree with Valerieyes

Like Judge Judy says, If you don't like it, then leave.  It's your choice.

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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i agree with Valerie as well

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,667
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what do you suppose the reason was behind publishing a newsletter to all members and announcing that feeling were hurt by some negativity expressed by some members. Could that info have been left out of the newsletter entirely. or was it somehow important to let us know that feelings were hurt.

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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Why do you care what he wrote in his newsletter? It didn't bother me one bit. It's kind of odd to nitpick something you don't like in someone's newsletter that complain about it.
Date Posted: 5/15/2015 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,667
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Richard is our leader. Aren't we supposed to care? but I guess you are right. Maybe I should ask him to stop sending me newsletters. Especially if he is just going to complain about us. I seem to remember quite a few people had opinions about him when the postage quit working.

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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Then there's your answer. Opt out of newsletters. By the way, just because YOU don't like things doesn't mean everyone has to dislike it. If you don't like what he or anyone has to say than why even read it, delete and move on.
Date Posted: 5/15/2015 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,667
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sigh.

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 537
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I don't get the newsletters - anyone want to post what was actually said? Is the second paragraph of Charles's first post a quote? If so, I'm with you, Charles.

Why would the person running a business feel the need to share their hurt feelings over customers' reaction to a policy change? Tell it to your family, tell it to your friends offline, but don't tell your customers, as if it's their job not to disagree with you. There will always be disgruntled customers, some who have a legitimate beef and some whose reaction is out of proportion. Part of running a business is acting businesslike, and understanding that sometimes people will disagree with you.

It's worth it to me to pay PBS a fee for the services I get here, but I don't appreciate them acting as if people being disappointed and angry when they added the fees after many years is some sort of personal insult.
 

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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Well Charles that's just how it is..not everyone will agree with you..sigh..

Yes that was the quote Laura but he never shares what was said outside of the ones we all saw in most of the chats accusing them of greed and selfishness. 

Yes, part of running a business is acting like a business but a newsletter (and if you read all the chats, he was accused of a lot an dnot answering to those allegations) that someone has ( a blog, an opinion page) it's what they want to write and no way no how will everyone be happy all the time. 

If he never addressed it, someone would be upset, if he glosses over it, someone's upset, etc..

 

By the way there was no complaining but go to the club communications, then newsletters and see the only one there for May. Read the newsletter, see past ones, so you can see a style. I think knowing some background is helpful. One small paragraph out of a newsletter to pick on? That made the entire newsletter negative? 

 



Last Edited on: 5/15/15 4:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/15/2015 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,667
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Michelle since you have come back to this thread several times to attack me could you explain what you are angry about?

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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I haven't attacked you, I simply said that I don't agree and not everyone will agree. Now I have agreed with you on other threads. If you don't want someone to comment on your threads, it would be beneficial to tell that person. Also since you addressed me now I answered. You are angry I edited my post but I do that when I see lots of errors I made. That shouldn't bother you. Perhaps you can explain why you get angry in all your threads when someone doesn't agree?
Date Posted: 5/15/2015 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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For Laura,

PAPERBACKSWAP NEWSWIRE MAY 2015

Dear Members,

It's almost summer...the days are still getting longer, the grass is getting greener, and pretty soon the kids will be out of school. PaperBackSwap is hopping! It seems like everyone is looking for books to take on their vacations or to enjoy during long lazy afternoons. Things in the club have settled into a good rhythm, after the system change in February.

We knew that instituting membership fees would present challenges - after all, everyone likes free!  We wish we could have kept membership free forever, but such a data-intensive site requires a lot in the way of servers, maintenance, security and support. We didn't want to exclude anyone, so we worked to create a range of options to allow each member to continue participating, no matter what his/her budget or swapping pace.  

We did expect to hear about disappointment at the prospect of paying to use the site. We were surprised by the anger from some members, and we'll admit that we felt hurt by it. We'd put so much effort in for so long, and we'd been very proud of having created such a wonderful place to share books, so we were taken aback at first when we got some messages accusing us of greed and selfishness. But happily, along with the negative came a lot of positive. On the very first day of the announcement, we got messages like  

"I just signed up for the early membership fee. I just want to thank you for the many years of swapping. Your customer service has been fabulous and the service is so handy. Keep up the good work."

"Thank you for keeping this site going for as long as you have without a mandatory membership fee. I appreciate everything you do."  

"You guys are doing great and I will continue to tell my friends while I enjoy the “A La Carte” option."

"OH! I am so, so happy with the new changes at PBS!!! It is worth every cent of the membership fee"

"I just wanted to tell you that you're handling this change really well by offering so many options. Love PBS! :)" 

Each positive message has meant so much - and so has each enrollment in Annual Membership and every A la Carte Swap Fee purchase. They tell us that our members value the service the club provides. Knowing that has helped to bring things back into balance, and reminds us of why we have worked so hard at this for so long.

Coming up: vacations at the beach, weekends at the lake, barbecues in the park, afternoons at the pool.  We hope that PaperBackSwap can help you find your summer reading list!

We appreciate every one of you, 

Richard and
The PaperBackSwap Team



Last Edited on: 5/15/15 7:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/15/2015 8:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I think most people (myself included) were unhappy with the lack of transparency about what the changes would entail. The number of books available has dropped more than 1K per day. There are never more than 1K people logged on to PBS at any time. Obviously, I'm not privy to their books, but this can't go on forever. The Newsletter smelled like panic to me. I think they missed their opportunity for instilling a fee structure (09 or thereabouts) when the site was rapidly growing, rather than as a bail out measure, which is what I think this is.

This is all of a piece with that post Richard left on CMT (since redacted). His business is dying a slow death by Kindle and rising postage rates. I'm not happy to see this happen, though I do worry about the people who have a substantial investment in the form of credits. As I said in another thread, I'm not super interested in having Richard et al be my banker. I don't think I'm alone as many people (including myself) have seen an uptick in orders, as offers have slowed to a crawl.

On a side note - how many other Harvard MBAs are sharing their hurt feelings via customer newsletter? It's totally embarrassing.

ETA - I find the newsletter worrying as it continues to demonstrate a complete lack of PR acumen, which makes me question Richard's business sense as a whole. If we're all going to trust them to stay in business and not dissolve the company along with our credits, it's sensible to pay attention.



Last Edited on: 5/15/15 8:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 5/15/2015 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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what do you suppose the reason was behind publishing a newsletter to all members and announcing that feeling were hurt by some negativity expressed by some members. Could that info have been left out of the newsletter entirely. or was it somehow important to let us know that feelings were hurt.

Truthfully? I think it was to gain sympathy from his sheeple, and stir up the pot with the 'haters' who didn't agree with how the changes were rolled out. And judging by some of the responses to this thread, succeeded in driving a deeper wedge in the site's precious 'community'. 

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Seriously. Alienating a section of your clientele is not usually the road to business health. 

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 8:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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Like Judge Judy says, If you don't like it, then leave.  It's your choice.

Sadly, it appears many have. And when the goldkey converted memberships expire, I expect more will.

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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I never read the newsletter, so as far as I'm concerned, this is just a big ol' tempest in a teapot.

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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Lsressler, you think they will actually leave?  I don't think they will quit,  not while they're hoping to get something on their wishlist.  

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I'm leaving when I expire. The costs/benefits do not add up. PBS is hardly the only book source available.

ETA - I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I can't imagine I'm alone.



Last Edited on: 5/15/15 9:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/15/2015 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,186
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It isn't but for some of us it's a cheap option. 

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 9:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I'm not faulting anyone else's decision. 

I have lots of ways of getting books, my WL offers have mostly stopped, I'm not interested in running a book distribution business on my own dime, I don't love this company's business practices, etc. etc.

Date Posted: 5/15/2015 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 54
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Valerie, thanks for posting the newsletter! I'm one who doesn't receive it.

I think it's fine. The mention of hurt feelings is brief, and while PBS is a business, there are people behind it -- people who have put lots of effort and care into it and devoted a large portion of their current lives to growing and maintaining it. If a significant percentage of the membership doesn't value it as much as they'd hoped, of course there will be hurt feelings. Expressing it in a newsletter only reflects the fact that there are real people behind this website and this business. I like to support small businesses and what are clearly human-run endeavors. Sometimes it's easier to deal with big, impersonal companies, but they lack a personal touch. It's too bad we're so often uncomfortable with communications not being "all business" as we've come to expect.



Last Edited on: 5/15/15 9:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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