Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: USPS damaged book yet trader wants credit refunded

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: USPS damaged book yet trader wants credit refunded
Date Posted: 1/8/2012 4:25 AM ET
Member Since: 9/7/2008
Posts: 72
Back To Top

I pack the books I send really well.  Plastic mailer bags and sealed with packing tape.  A couple months ago, a book I mailed arrived mangled thanks to USPS.  The receiver, in a really rude manner, demanded her credit back even though USPS damaged the book.  At that time I had a lot of credits, so I went ahead and refunded it. That person never even acknowledged it or said thank you, so I decided never again would I do that.

I mailed a book last week and she claims the package arrived split open by USPS and crushed on one corner.  The receiver knows USPS damaged the book, yet still asks for her credit back. 

By contrast, I received a hardback book bent into a 90-degree angle by USPS, which I let the sender know about, but I certainly did not ask nor expect them to refund my credit for USPS's rough handling.  I ate the credit on the one that I received damaged as it sometimes happens.    

Why do these traders expect other traders to be out the book, the money to mail it and the credit because of USPS's mistakes? 

How does anyone else handle these and what do you say when you refuse to refund the credit?

Diana



Last Edited on: 1/8/12 4:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/8/2012 4:40 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

With the new log in options, I didn't realize asking for a credit return was an option when the damage is caused by USPS (OK, I checked and PBS recommends requesting a credit return ONLY if packaging contributed to the damaged).

PBS has been very fair in sharing the risk between senders and receivers.  And for USPS damaged books, that risk is bourne by the receiver. Lost book risk is bourne by the sender.  So it's my thought you should not refund credit for damaged books, it will only teach members to expect the same from other senders instead of learning the site guidelines.

Here's more info, and PBS suggested reply:

Damaged by USPS

  • This means a book that was damaged by USPS during its journey.  Normally this is just bad luck, and does not warrant a credit refund.  However, if the Wrapping was inadequate (you didn't seal the envelope, or you left any part of the book exposed, or you used Scotch tape), the requestor may feel it contributed to the damage and may ask for a credit refund.
  • To resolve this: review How to Wrap a Book and decide if your book wrapping was adequate.  If not, you should refund credit.  If you feel it was adequate, you should reply to the requestor politely saying that, and that you don't feel a refund is warranted.
Date Posted: 1/8/2012 6:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,337
Back To Top

The requestor may not know or remember the site rules on USPS-damaged packages.  Quoting the section of the help docs Denise just posted could be helpful.

Date Posted: 1/8/2012 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
Back To Top

Definitely recommend that you copy that section rom the help docs to a PM to the receiver.  Let them know that if they can point something out about the wrapping of the book that was not adequate then you will be more than happy to refund the credit, but that you believe this to be a USPS error.  You're sorry that happened but it doesn't warrant a credit refund.

Date Posted: 1/8/2012 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I wouldn't have refunded the credit if I knew I had packaged hte book well (and I do). 

The only time I ever asked for a credit refund on a USPS damaged book was when someone sent a tradesized book in only the PBS wrapper.  They had taped the wrapper too the book and then the wrapped as half hanign off.  The book was really too big for just the PBS wrapper. 

Date Posted: 1/8/2012 5:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 2,024
Back To Top
I thnk I'd refund if I feel like it and if I feel sorry for the person but someone asking or demanding a refund I would just not acknowledge that request.
Date Posted: 1/8/2012 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,814
Back To Top

I package books well but if it gets damaged by the USPS, I will not refund their credit.  I cannot control the USPS and that is a chance one takes.  Now if the person did not package well, as per PBS, I would ask for my credit back. 

Date Posted: 1/8/2012 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

As a problem swap, the Diana really must respond to (acknowledge) the pm. 

Problem swaps (RWAP) are about the only time members are required to respond to a pm.  If not, TPTB can (and have) stepped in and handled the transaction.  How the OP responds is up to her, but a non-response does not look good in her transaction file and TPTB will review the transaction based that alone...and any action taken will probably go against her.  PBS admin often refunds credits and such in the case of non-response.  But if the member responds and denies the request, TPTB will stay out of it and established site guidelines will prevail.



Last Edited on: 1/8/12 10:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 1/9/2012 12:45 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,956
Back To Top

How does anyone else handle these and what do you say when you refuse to refund the credit?

You simply send a PM  that says "I am very sorry to hear that the package was damaged by the Post Office. You may not be aware of this, but the rules at PBS state that damage done by the Post Office to a book, while unfortunate, does not call for a credit refund to the requestor unless the packaging was inadequate. I believe my packaging was adequate, as I (insert-description-of-your-well-done-packaging). Unfortunately even the most careful packaging of books cannot eliminate all Post Office damage to books. If you would like more information about this PBS rule, it can be found here (insert-url-to-PBS-rule). Thanks, and I hope you are able to use the book in some manner despite the damage. 

Date Posted: 1/9/2012 2:35 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,814
Back To Top
Nicely stated, Sara.
Date Posted: 1/10/2012 6:29 AM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2008
Posts: 5,231
Back To Top

I received a book damaged by Post Office, found in puddle & total mess.  Got my credit back but then decided it was not her fault the mailman could not put package inside box (has  habit of hanging things from box rather than getting out of truck and bringing to my door) so I returned credit and she was so happy.  I think in these cases, swap should return the credit as it is no skin off their back to hand out a credit here and there.  I don't think that will ever happen tho.



Last Edited on: 1/10/12 6:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/10/2012 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,956
Back To Top
Marleen, in order for PBS to do the financial accounting for the site, each credit in the system must be backed with a book or money. So, there are no free credits, even for PBS. If they were to refund credits for post office damaged books, it would cost them money, and not only that, but there would be members who would try to take advantage of that, as it would become much easier to claim that a book was damaged by the post office and get a credit from PBS instead of negotiating with the book sender for the credit. Also, as this is a free website, PBS does not "owe"us anything, we take our chances when using the site, and the only promise that PBS makes to us is that they will kick off members who abuse the site. That's enough for me.
Date Posted: 1/10/2012 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

Yes Marlene, PBS has taken USPS into consideration.  That is why the risk for books lost in the mail is on the sender and the risk for books damaged in the mail is on the receiver...an attempt (that works quite well) to equally share mail risk.  If USPS looses a book the sender does not receive a credit (unless PBS credit assurance is purchased) and if USPS damages the book the receiver is the one who takes the loss (unless wrapping is at fault).

Date Posted: 1/15/2012 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2012
Posts: 266
Back To Top

If you have a problem with the post office, and it happens just ask me, then is it possible to insure the book for the price a copy of the book would cost from the site if it were bought?  That way the receiver could get the money to replace the book from the USPS. 

Date Posted: 1/15/2012 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,337
Back To Top

I just played with the USPS website, and it looks as if insurance for a book worth $10 would cost $1.80.  Kind of expensive, IMHO, as I've had so few books damaged by the USPS.