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Topic: Technically RWAP, but...

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Subject: Technically RWAP, but...
Date Posted: 7/18/2009 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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Ok, for the first time I'm a little torn as to how to proceed upon receipt of a RWAP book.

Received a very nice travel book (a Fodors, relevant to an upcoming family vacation). Unfortunately, the "pull-out map" attached to it has been just that, pulled out. It does degrade the usefulness somewhat, but not critically. Before marking it RWAP, I PM'd the sender to see if they still had it. Unfortunately, they don't. They did however, acknowledged their mistake and were apologetic. Now, the prospect of going through the RWAP (which I've never shied from before) feels more superfluous.

The book is still useful, I'm happy to get it (I was actually surprised - I'd put it on my WL as a long shot, as it's a 2009 edition), and the sender doesn't seem to be a problem member. It won't be AS useful as if it had the map, however, and I *was* expecting it.

Would you:

A) Mark it RWAP and ask for your credit back
B) Mark it RWAP and NOT ask for your credit back
C) NOT mark it RWAP

One of these is technically correct, one is technically incorrect, and one is "not incorrect". I know which one I'm leaning towards, but am curious what others would do. This is really pretty small beans and not worth angsting over, but I'm curious.

Date Posted: 7/18/2009 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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That is a hard one.  I am split between 2 and 3, but leaning towards 2 because I believe the rules that everything is suppose to be included.  Kind of glad I am not in your situation.  Make the member think before sending something out again that is incomplete.  Make sure it is marked resolved.  Good Luck - let us know what you decided - kinda of nice to see how other members handle the different situations.

Date Posted: 7/18/2009 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/3/2009
Posts: 10
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IMO - if you would post it, knowing that the map is missing and send it to someone, then it's not RWAP. If you don't plan to because you wouldn't want that person to miss the map, then it's RWAP. What to do with the credit is up to you and how useful the book is without the map (and incomplete). Personally, if I got it, it would be a RWAP - in your situation, now I'd have to go buy a map after I just "bought" the book. Not what I planned on doing.
Date Posted: 7/18/2009 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 41
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I was split between 2 and 3 a bit too, but believe I would go with 3.  I'm one of those persons that always researches our family vacation spot.  FODORs is great for that, provides a lot of information and they aren't cheap.   Even without the map, there is a lot of value to the 2009 edition.  I'd be delighted to have gotten the up-to-date 2009 information for the cost of a credit. 

Enjoy your trip!!


Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 7/18/2009 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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Oh goody, a philosophy question. Let's pick apart the relevant text from the Help Center...

  • Books that require supplementary Media materials MAY be posted

    • supplementary Media materials include CD(s)/CD-ROMs/DVD(s)/VHS tape(s)
    • if the book originally included supplementary Media materials, the supplementary materials must accompany the book for the book to be postable.
  • Books that require non-Media supplementary materials MAY NOT be posted

    • an example would be a book that requires a decoder or craft materials
    • these items cannot be sent MediaMail
  • Books that originally had accompanying non-Media materials that are not required to read the book (ie, jewelry) MAY be posted.
    • The extra material does not have to be included, and if it is included, the book must not be sent using Media mail rate.

It looks like we have to first figure out if a map is supplementary media or non-media material. If it had been mailed with the book that it came with, I doubt that USPS would have a problem with it going media mail; but what if you mailed a map all by itself? They probably wouldn't let that go media mail. So this one is kind of up in the air, but I'm going to come down on the media side here because it's paper and it came with the book originally.

Next we have to figure out if it's required or not. You, yourself said that "the book is still useful", therefore, it cannot be that the map is required.

So, now we come to the root of the question -- do the sub-bullets under the first bullet above only apply if the main bullet is true (which is not the case here)? Or do they apply to all books that have ever had supplementary media materials, regardless of whether or not those materials are required in order to make use of the book? I would say "no, supplementary media materials that are not required in order to use the book need not be sent with it."

Therefore, I would say that the sender did not have to include the map and I would not mark this book received with a problem.

There's clearly room for interpretation here, so your conclusions may vary.

Date Posted: 7/18/2009 5:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 37,182
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IMHO  the book conditions state:  no missing pages, so technically it is a rwap.  However, you said that you were happy with the book and that the poster  acknowledged their mistake and were apologetic, and were not a problem member.  So my opinion is that  you already made her aware of the problem, she was not snarky in her attitude when pm'g u back and you can easily print up a map online.  I would not mark it rwap.

Date Posted: 7/18/2009 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 2,024
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You buy the book with a certain ISBN and it includes the map. The one you got didn't, there it is technically a RWAP. The sender should have offered you a credit together with the received apology. Would I mark it RWAP ? I probably would because I can't repost it plus you said yourself, you expected the map to be in it. Now you have to go buy a map and for that you could have probably bought the book yourself. :-)
Date Posted: 7/18/2009 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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LOL... Cathy, I like your style.

I do have to disagree on the technical aspects though. The map was originally bound within the book so it has to be assumed it was PART of the book (it was physically pulled out along perforated lines). Personally, I think it's pretty clear it should have been included, and respectfully suggest you may be mistaken as to what constitutes media vs non-media material (not that it matters - your reasoning is clear, I just disagree with that one premise). A map would fall under Supplementary Media (the map is keyed to the book and vice versa, as well as being printed material) and not non-Media (you can't read jewelry!).

That said, this is not the part of the equation I was on the fence about - and I enjoyed the digression! :-)

Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts! I'll sleep on this and not worry about it anymore.

Date Posted: 7/18/2009 5:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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I think Cathy did a wonderful anaysis and I agree with her conclusion.

I will add that maps in travel guides are not numbered pages but supplemental materials meant to be torn out and used separate from the book. This does not degrade from the content of the book and there are no "numbered" pages missing.

Although the map was part of the original book and was expected to be included, this is such a small part of the book and easily picked up. The book is far more valuable and well worth the credit.

I vote not to RWAP.



Last Edited on: 7/18/09 5:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/18/2009 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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I vote RWAP.  The map was supposed to be there to make it postable.

Yes, the member was nice, but RWAP is not about nice, it's about the book being postable.

If this is the only unpostable that member posted, it is no big deal to their account.  If this member has a pattern of sending unpostables but being nice in PMs before the book is marked received, not marking RWAP enables continued posting of unpostables.

If you are satisfied by the original PM from the sender, mark the RWAP "resolved" immediately after marking the book received. 

Last Edited on: 7/18/09 6:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/18/2009 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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This is probably close to being one of the "gray areas" where we are supposed to use our best judgement.  My personal opinion based on the guidelines and experience is that it is RWAP and should have been posted in the BB for a possible credit with the receiver knowing beforehand that the map is missing.  The map was attached and should still be there to be the most useful.  Travel books can be expected to have maps.  I would RWAP it and then it's up to you to do what you feel is best about asking for a credit to be returned or not.


Date Posted: 7/19/2009 12:11 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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I could be wrong, as always, but I think it is RWAP the map was part of the book and was expected and the sender is sorry, and so admits to being in the wrong. By the rules, it is a RWAP, you would not post it like this right? That being said, though RWAP is not about being nice or not, asking for your credit back is up to you and if it where me I would not, as I could use the book, though not post it again and the sender was sorry!

Date Posted: 7/19/2009 5:00 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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I don't mean to sound like a meanie here, but when you receive a book that violates PBS posting guidelines, you are obligated to mark it RWAP; you are not obligated to ask for your credit back -- that's up to you.  One RWAP won't hurt a good member making an honest mistake, but if the member has a pattern of this type of behavior, you will be helping document it and sending up a red flag for PBS to review.  Not marking it RWAP just passes a potential problem member along to the next member; the system depends on books being marked as such.

The map was part of the book, and should have been sent with the book, or at least, if there were a grey area, you should have been PMed before sending to ask if you minded if the map was missing.



Date Posted: 7/19/2009 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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Christina wrote:

"I will add that maps in travel guides are not numbered pages but supplemental materials meant to be torn out and used separate from the book. This does not degrade from the content of the book and there are no "numbered" pages missing."

While I agree with you regarding Cathy's wonderful analysis, I continue to disagree with the premise that the absence of a  map attached to a travel book does not degrade the content of the book. Maps are certainly numbered and tied into the books content. The book has content and symbols specifically keyed to that map  that cannot be looked up on another map. Yes, things can be looked up on the another map in general, but "Point A" or "Restaurant B" simply won't be on a generic map. This convenience is one of the main attractions for travel books. That said, if I agreed with that premise, I'd also agree with your conclusion!   ;-)

Anyway, as others have pointed out, there are obligations to the community involved here. I do not feel I could in good conscience repost this (and I had intended to, after our trip), so I feel I am forced to mark this RWAP. I will not ask for a credit refund however, due to A) the book still having meaningful utility, even if degraded, and (mostly) B) the sender having a good attitude.

I will also mark it resolved.

Thanks for bouncing this around with me folks - it's always interesting and fun to go over the ramifications and nuances! :-)

Last Edited on: 7/19/09 6:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 7/19/2009 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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Glad you enjoyed reading my thoughts on the subject, even if we didn't come down on the same side of the issue in the end. :-)

Date Posted: 7/20/2009 1:03 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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If you think it's useful enough you could post it later in the BB for credit as long as you disclose the fact of the missing map. 


Date Posted: 7/20/2009 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 7,331
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So now I'm curious.... where are you going on a trip to????  LOL

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,508
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So here's another question (spinning off of this): What if it was missing the included map, but you threw another map of the same city in with the package?



Date Posted: 7/21/2009 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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My thought: If you're OK with keeping the book and don't have a problem with the fact that you can't repost, I would: RWAP - Don't ask for credit return - Mark resolved. End of issue.

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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"My thought: If you're OK with keeping the book and don't have a problem with the fact that you can't repost, I would: RWAP - Don't ask for credit return - Mark resolved. End of issue."

That's exactly what I've done. Oh, and your avatar reminds me to have a Margarita, too!

Thanks all!