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Topic: Two RWAP questions

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Subject: Two RWAP questions
Date Posted: 8/22/2011 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2006
Posts: 125
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I've got two recent transactions that are problematic, and I'm wondering what to do (if I should do) anything about them.

1. I requested a book that the Amazon description clearly states should come with a one hour videotape.  When I requested it, I specified in my Condition Notes that I only wanted the book if the supplementary material was included.  The request was rejected because "This is a book - not a group do DVDs".  Now, as I understand PBS's rules, if the book is missing its supplementary materials it is not postable on the site.  Should I contact the owner and let him/her know?  Or should I leave it be since I'm not having a transaction with them?


2. I received a book with extensive highlighting in it, and when I marked it RWAP the sender said she would refund my credit if I mailed the book back.  I replied that I would be happy to send the book back if a second credit was sent to cover my postage costs, because that was a fairly standard practice.  Her response was "No, actually standard practice at PBS is to swap used books. I don't think that complaining about the quality or condition of the books you received is standard practice. Do remember that these are used books. I don't remember complaining to the person who sent it to me that is had highlighting."  So I replied again, explaining that the site's guidelines specifically state that a recipient needs to be contacted if there is highlighting.  I also sent her a link to PBS's Swapping Criteria.  I haven't heard back from her since then, and according to PBS she hasn't read the PMs.  How long should I wait before marking the transaction unresolved, and should I make any more attempt to contact her before doing so?

Date Posted: 8/22/2011 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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You are correct on both accounts and the Help Center clearly explains both situations.


On the first, I don't think you can do anything about it since it sounds like you had a Requester Condition denied. If that is the case there will be no trail of the transaction so no way to contact him. If I had a way to contact a member with a book that was posted incorrectly, I would send them a link to the appropriate Help Center document so they would know they risk losing the credit for not having the supplemental media included.

On the second situation, since it doesn't sound like you gave any timeframe for dealing with the situation, I would send one more PM (about a week after the first was sent) after looking in my Credit Registry to confirm that they hadn't just refunded the credit without saying anything. I would politely let them know that since I had not heard anything from them about resolving the matter according to the guidelines PBS gives in the Help Center I would be marking the transaction as Unresolved and that will result in a double black mark against their account. If they want to avoid that, please refund the original credit for the unpostable book sent by X date. If the credit is returned by then I would be glad to mark the transaction as resolved by the sender.

Date Posted: 8/22/2011 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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Good luck getting the credit back; her response contained a couple of classic responses, you know the references to a "Used Book Site", and the classic "Thats the way I got it" dodge.


Date Posted: 8/22/2011 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I agree with Melanie. That is a fair way to deal with a problematic member.

Date Posted: 8/22/2011 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2011
Posts: 122
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I got a book recently where the last page was sliced by an exacto knife (I assume) and hanging by a quarter inch of paper. The sender is demanding the book back to return my credit and stating that it is not fair that she would be out the postage when she was "being nice" by sending the book to me. I finally got tired of arguing and told her that if a picture of the damage would be sufficient for her to return my credit, let me know, otherwise I would just leave it unresolved. It is frustrating to me as I was planning to use the book in my classroom library and it is too damaged to do that and I am out a credit as a result, but she clearly is not budging. It sounded from her messages like she is leaving the site, so a black mark probably doesn't matter to her. Also frustrating is that I typically am pretty accepting and have taken books that are technicaly unpostable because of stains, but they were not that bad. I try not to be overly picky, but a cut page is too much.
Date Posted: 8/22/2011 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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Also frustrating is that I typically am pretty accepting and have taken books that are technicaly unpostable because of stains, but they were not that bad. I try not to be overly picky, but a cut page is too much.

Rachel, accepting unpostable books isn't doing the site any favors. As long as those members continue to benefit and are not told they can't swap those books, the will continue to do so. If all members hold all the books they receive to the rules then no cut pages or stains should be acceptable and we can weed out those bad swappers or educate the ones that don't know any better. Threatening to leave the site because they get called on sending a bad book is a common tactic, don't fall for it.

Date Posted: 8/22/2011 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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It is good for the site for us to mark RWAP.  We need a record made that the sender was not folllowing the guidelines.  Without RWAPs, PBS can't track them. 

Now asking for your credit back, that is a different issue. 

Date Posted: 8/22/2011 11:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2006
Posts: 125
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Thank you for the advice, guys!  I will do as Melanie suggests for #2 and when I hit the one week mark from my last message, send one last PM with a date before marking the transaction unresolved.  It's a real pity that it all played out like this...that sender had a lot of interesting looking books on her bookshelf and I probably would have given her many more points in the future.

Date Posted: 9/16/2011 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2006
Posts: 125
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Just as a follow up/continued frustration with RWAPs...

I ended up mooching two more books from the same sender as RWAP #2 without realizing it.  One book was fine, but the second book had highlighting again.  I sent a message, she didn't respond; after ten days I marked the transaction as "sender didn't respond" and that finally triggered a reaction.  She denied that the book had highlighting.  I'm planning to take photos tonight but I suspect it won't go anywhere; with the last RWAP she just stopped responding.

This is now two points that I'm out on books (through her) that don't meet the site's guidelines.  It's very frustrating. :-/

Date Posted: 9/16/2011 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Suzi- I can guess her response, that YOU did the highlighting and her book was perfect when sent...LOL

Date Posted: 9/16/2011 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Is it a lottery Xen?  I guess she'll respond "I received it in this condition..."

Date Posted: 9/16/2011 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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Wow, that is frustrating!  Just make sure that you mark both of them unresolved if she doesn't take any action.  That will show a pattern developing on her account. 

Date Posted: 9/16/2011 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2006
Posts: 125
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I looked at the first fifty pages of the book, and took a picture of every page that had highlighting.

Here's the pictures I took:


The whole book is like this, too! :(



Last Edited on: 9/16/11 8:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/30/2011 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2006
Posts: 125
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Final follow-up (in case anyone was curious):

The sender never responded to the pictures I sent, so I contacted PBS to request that they just send her a reminder for future swaps that highlighted books aren't eligible unless the recipient is contacted first.  I logged into my email this morning to see that the credits for both transactions had been refunded!  It looks like the RWAP sender has either been suspended and/or closed her account.  I didn't mean to force her off the site, but I'm a little relieved because I won't be nervous every time I mooch books from that genre anymore.

Date Posted: 9/30/2011 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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It may be a temporary suspension. They may just be talking with her and making sure that she is crystal clear on the guidelines and what is acceptable here before they let her loose again.

And please don't waste your energy feeling bad about it. I can never understand why an innocent person would feel guilty when someone gets busted for causing them grief.

Last Edited on: 9/30/11 1:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/30/2011 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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It could also be that there were RWaPs from other members, too, about highlighting in books.  Good idea to write in to the Team.

Last Edited on: 9/30/11 1:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1