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Topic: Torn Book

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Subject: Torn Book
Date Posted: 3/31/2014 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2013
Posts: 1,524
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I just received a children's book that was wrapped inside a plastic bag wrapper (possibly from a newspaper). Inside the plastic the book itself was inside a folded over newspaper page which is torn in the same spot as the book. The plastic I don't think is torn.The book is literally gouged and torn about 2/3 down the lefthand side. I have not marked it anything yet, it literally just came. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Last Edited on: 3/31/14 8:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/31/2014 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 35,125
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It depends.  Do you feel the book was damaged during transit or do you think the book was damaged before it was sent?

Date Posted: 3/31/2014 11:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2013
Posts: 1,524
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Thanks for the reply, Hunter. I appreciate it. I can't imagine anyone intentionally mailing out a gouged/torn book. The wrapping may not have helped but I don't think was 100% to blame.  The book itself was inside a folded over piece of newspaper that is torn/gouged in the same place as the book. Why would anyone wrap up a book and then damage it? The only odd thing is the blue plastic outer wrap was in one piece. It is a hard call. I did PM one of the lovely pbs live help people and also appreciated her reply. I wish there was a choice of damaged by usps and asking the site not sender for the credit back, that seems more fair in this case. Anyway thanks again. ETA: I did mark the book as damaged by USPS and asked the member for my credit back.

Last Edited on: 3/31/14 11:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/1/2014 2:27 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,956
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Honestly it does not sound like it was done in transit.  If the wrapper was not ripped, it was sent that way, more than likely.  I think that when the sender went to put it inside its mailer it ripped.  Just my opinion.   I find it hard to see how it got ripped inside but not outside if the Post Office did it.  Was it poorly packaged?  I have had some get damaged when the book is loose in its mailer and slides around often tearing the mailer and allowing the book to be exposed.  That is the sender's fault.

Date Posted: 4/1/2014 9:10 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,290
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could the outer wrapper have torn and been resealed by the PO?  then the interior damage would appear to have happened before it was mailed, though it actually happened when outer package got damaged during transit.

Date Posted: 4/1/2014 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2009
Posts: 1,638
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what Jeanne said.


Damage by USPS can happen even to well-packaged books. It is not common, though.

Damage by USPS to a well-wrapped package is considered bad luck. The risk of this is split between the requestor and sender in the following way:

  • if the book does NOT get to the requestor (= the requestor gets an empty wrapper or the book or Wrapping is returned to the sender) the sender absorbs that blow and loses the credit
  • if the book DOES get to the requestor (even if damaged), the requestor pays the credit for the book.

However, if the wrapping was inadequate and may have contributed to the damage, then the requestor can ask the sender to refund credit, since the damage in that case would not have been simple bad luck.

To read about marking an incoming book received with a problem, please see There is a problem with a book I received!.

Last Edited on: 4/1/14 9:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/1/2014 10:40 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 3,410
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I received a hardcover book recently. The binding of the book was broken so the book was basically in two pieces. The book was a cheap book with glued binding and the glue got hard and broke. I sent the book back to the people who had sent the book and when it got back to them they gave me back the credit. I'm sure they did not send the book with a broken binding, but I didn't want the book so I sent it back.

Date Posted: 4/1/2014 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,357
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I wish there was a choice of damaged by usps and asking the site not sender for the credit back

If you mark the book "damaged by USPS", the default is to not ask for a credit refund.  Any time you mark a book received with a problem, you have control over whether to ask for a credit refund or not.  There's a little box that, when checked, asks for a refund, and when unchecked, does not. 

However the site isn't to blame, and wouldn't be responsible for the credit.  It costs the site money to generate credits: per IRS and accounting rules, they have to back each credit with a book or with money.  They charge no membership fee, and I don't see how they could cover the cost of damaged books, or verify the condition of damaged books or cause of damage.

Date Posted: 4/1/2014 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2013
Posts: 1,524
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Thanks everyone for the additional replies. It is a mystery. The wrappings were merely the blue plastic outer and the piece of newspaper inside. Only the newspaper was clearly damaged and did match up the book damage. I haven't yet heard back from the sender. The one credit is not the issue to me, though I know I did make the choice to ask for it back. I would like to know what did happen to the poor book. Perhaps I should have marked damaged by sender. I just don't want to believe anyone, especially a book lover would knowingly send out a mutilated book. As a P.S. I wasn't trying to blame "PBS," I realize the site has no control over mailing. I just meant if the damage was post office caused, it doesn't seem fair that in order for me to get my credit back the sender as to lose one of her own. That's all. Perhaps there could be a reserve of credits for such instances. Anyway, I hope everyone is enjoying a good Tuesday. Thanks again.

Last Edited on: 4/1/14 1:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 4/1/2014 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,235
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I just meant if the damage was post office caused, it doesn't seem fair that in order for me to get my credit back the sender as to lose one of her own. That's all.

The site is just here to facilitate trades between people who join the site. We don't pay them any money for any services (unless you choose to). It's free.

So, the site never owes members anything.

Basically, members take their chances with the Post Office. The PO can do one of 2 things. Either damage books, or lose books.

When the book is damaged in the mail, but still delivered to the requestor, the REQUESTOR pays for it, and the sender gets to keep the credit. That's only fair. Even though the damage is not the requestor OR the sender's fault ... the requestor has the book in hand and can still presumably get some use out of it by reading it. So, it's not a total loss on the requestor's part.

When books are lost altogether, then the requestor gets their credit back and the SENDER pays for it. That's also right and fair. Although this situation is also not the requestor OR the senders fault ... the sender has control over both preventing it as much as possible (by wrapping books as best as they can) AND by insuring themselves against the loss of the credit if they want to by purchasing Tracking/DC from PBS. So, if the sender wants to take their chances on lost credits by not purchasing Tracking/DC ... then they take their chances, and sometimes they lose.


If you think the book you ordered was damaged by the Post Office, then you pay for it and the sender keeps the credit. That's the rules.

Last Edited on: 4/1/14 1:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/1/2014 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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I didn't realize that it was even an option to request a credit return when marked Damaged by USPS.  Doesn't seem right to penalize the sender if they had no control over the book being damaged. 

Date Posted: 4/1/2014 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,956
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Depends on the job of packaging they did.