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Topic: User blames PBS for their own oversight-update!

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Subject: User blames PBS for their own oversight-update!
Date Posted: 6/29/2009 12:07 AM ET
Member Since: 5/2/2008
Posts: 199
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I wanted to get a hardback edition of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" for a pregnant friend. With hardback, I figured any obvious signs that the book was used (cover wear, spine creases, ect) wouldn't be apparent and it would be an okay baby shower gift.

I requested the 3rd edition hardback and the user sent me the 3rd edition, paperback.   I sent the following PM, when I recieved the book and marked it RWAP (the wrong book was sent):

"The ISBN above is for the hardcover format, and I received the paperback edition. The book I got has ISBN:0761121323. I was specific to get the hardback edition because it will be a gift for a friend and I was worried about cover wear."

I got back this entirely discourteous reponse:

"The ISBN I input into the system is the one that is on the book. If PBS has the wrong infor for it, take it up with them."

Either they are new....or just plain rude! Ugh!

I responded telling the user that the isbn that is clearly listed on the back of the book she sent me linked to the same edition, but paperback. And HIGHLY more common. There are almost 500 copies, where as there was ONE hardback edition. (hers) I also stated what PBS guidelines dictates what happens next. (She refund me the credit, or I mail the book back and she refunds me two credits.)

I wonder if the user was just trying to skirt around the FIFO system and hoif her book off on me. But seriously rude!


I'm not being crazy or anything....right?

Last Edited on: 7/1/09 1:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/29/2009 12:21 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 8,629
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She's wrong, because when you post a book,  you get the box that asks "is the book you want to post" listing a few things like title, author, and, yes, book format!  So at that point when it must have said "hardcover" she must have, um, played a little fast and loose with the truth, because her book was not hardcover.  Did you get your credit back?

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 12:35 AM ET
Member Since: 5/2/2008
Posts: 199
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No. And me thinks she's not going to see her error and blame me, pbs, or anyone else but herself. Maybe I'm wrong, though. I'll be cautiously optimistic. That link to the back cover is a scan of the book she sent me.

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 2:26 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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The scan is for a paperback edition.  If the sender continues to be stubborn, not much you can do except leave the unresolved RWAP on her account.  I assume you've posted all the above info to PBS admin. 

Is this stuff happening more often, or do I just hear about it more?

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 8:07 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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Is this stuff happening more often, or do I just hear about it more?

I think it's a combination of both, though leaning more towards the "happening more" side. 

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 8:25 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Last Edited on: 6/29/09 8:27 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/29/2009 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I've had that happen before too. Most of the time I'm not picky about which edition I get as long as I can read the book, but of course it was one of those where I had the HC wishlisted because I wanted it for my keeper shelf (I'd already read the paperback)...and got the paperback. Totally different ISBN, and yet the sender *insisted* that she'd listed it by the ISBN and not title/author. Uh-huh. I believe ya, dearie...thousands wouldn't, but I do. :-D

I hope you get your credit back. If it's not returned, or she doesn't respond to your PMs just send her one more PM in a day or so, polite and letting her know that this transaction will stay as an unresolved problem swap on her record, unless you get a credit back in which case you'll be happy to mark it resolved. If she doesn't respond, move on. Nothing else you can do!


Date Posted: 6/29/2009 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2009
Posts: 2,524
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Last Edited on: 11/23/10 11:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/29/2009 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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PBS Admin talks about a system to rank our wishlist, which isn't a popular idea with members....But I see many more requests for a sytem to rank members :-)

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2009
Posts: 42
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It could be done. eBay has a star ranking system.  It could be adapted for this site.

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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No, no, a thousand times no!  Please not a rating for members.  There is too much (s)he said- (s)he said  going on as it is and ratings would be very subjective and prone to revenge or dislike ruling the ratings.    Only the PBS team needs to know this and that's why those reporting in forms for books we receive are so important to fill out when things don't go according to the rules and guidelines.  


Date Posted: 6/29/2009 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,086
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I don't think a member ranking system would be very popular here, either. Some people do ask for it, but overall, I think a lot of members want to keep PBS simple to use.

And, the fundamental way that PBS works is by FIFO. They would have to completely re-engineer the site to have member rankings (or to have individual book conditions, also). 

And then what do you do about all the people who would think that they were given "unfair" feedback by some other member? It happens all the time on eBay that sellers have to bend over backwards to make some jerk happy in order to avoid a negative feedback, even if the eBay seller is in the right of the situation.  And, what about all the people who would never order a book from a new member, because they don't have enough feedback, or whatever?

I trust that PBS is getting rid of bad members over time with the processes already in place. And, I absolutely believe that what they are doing must be working, because overall, I have had very very few "bad" transactions relative to the amount of books I order.

I vote for the status quo!  :)

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I just wish that you could block members.. Say I recieve a book from Jane Doe, totally water damaged. She wont respond to my Pms or is rude. I dont wish to deal with this person in the future. I would like to be able to hit a button that says Block or no more books from this member. So if this member has books in FIFO, it would skip over them and go to the next person. And yes this could only be done after you have RWAP or have a suspicious book go lost. Not just because you dont like their forum posts.

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I wish they would get rid of the pop up that shows other editions of the book.  I think this is where a big part of the problem lies.  People put in their ISBN and maybe the cover doesn't match. So they see another edition of the book with the same cover picture and click on that.  They need to get rid of that pop up showing other possible edition options. I remember being confused by that when I first joined because of the cover pictures.

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I agree with you, Mary!  Why don't we suggest that?  I don't think people read those pop-ups, and if they do they don't read far enough to see the cover doesn't have to match.   They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case, I really believe it!


Date Posted: 6/29/2009 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I like the idea of the pop ups.  But if it could just list the type of book, not the photo.  So it would say HB, PB, audio, etc but not show a cover.

(But then, I post by number.)

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 9:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Ok - I am one of the newbies that also recommend ranking when I first joined!   I now know why it wouldn't work.  This site isn't designed for a ranking system.  I think newbies should have to go through some type of orientation (just kidding).  Seriously I would like to see a member that really understands the workings and communicates on a newbie level - to write a question and answer doc of all the "real" newbie questions. The help docs are great for procedure - but procedure and reality  are sometimes two different things.  I would have loved to have read some answers from a member or members their personal experiences, how they handled it, explaining how they may use tags - even why rankings wouldn't work here.  Maybe when I am here longer I will also  will feel differently about that comment - but for now it stands. 

Date Posted: 6/29/2009 11:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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If you look at the top of the menu of this forum you will see a red thread that is always there, and it is all suggestions and hints by PBS members for new members.  It's long, but it isn't like a regular thread that goes along in a linear fashion.  It might help you out.


Date Posted: 6/30/2009 2:55 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Ya know... with the number of times I've seen this exact situation pop up, where the poster swears the book was posted correctly, I have to wonder if maybe the ISBN had been used for the HC version at some point, then was reused by the publisher for the PB version later on.  If that were the case, the data for the type of binding could have changed after the book was posted.

I'm not saying that's what happened here, but I have to wonder if it's possible?

Date Posted: 6/30/2009 8:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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They won't change the binding in the system if it was at one time used for the one they have listed.  They only change it rare instances where someone can prove that it was never issued in the binding that PBS has on record.  So if even just 1 other website shows it with that binding-PBS won't change it especially if there are books posted or people with the book on WL.  So it's really hard to get it changed because PBS gets it's infro from other internet databases (I think primarily Amazon). 

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 6/30/2009 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Bernhard, that happens much more commonly than you would think.  Publishers will often reuse the same ISBN for different editions of a book.  As a member of the data corrections team, I see it happen quite a bit.  And Mary/mrslefty is correct that the PBS team will not change the binding on file when this happens.  It is very uncommon for them to change a binding, as the listed binding typically was corrrect at one time for the ISBN.  And the PBS administrators are the only ones who can make that type of change - data correction team cannot.

So, since the PBS version of the binding on the ISBN won't change, the posters need to verify that their book matches the title, author, ISBN and binding type of the PBS LISTING, and not the listing from Amazon or some other source.   (So it's very unlikely the poster would have incorrectly posted their book because the PBS listing changed after they posted it.  That's the very reason that PBS admins so very rarely will agree to change a binding type.)

Last Edited on: 6/30/09 11:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/30/2009 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2009
Posts: 98
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"Seriously I would like to see a member that really understands the workings and communicates on a newbie level - to write a question and answer doc of all the "real" newbie questions. "

When I joined PBS I was a assigned a Tour Guide who was very nice and helpful with all my questions. I think this plus the Help Docs and Forums cover the needed informattion very well.

If people will utilize them.

Subject: Update!!
Date Posted: 7/1/2009 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/2/2008
Posts: 199
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Okay...maybe in this whole thing Iw as making a fuss out of nothing. But it was really the principle of the matter. PBS users, for the most part, have been considerate, understanding and overall intelligent lot. But according to my problamatic sender, I'm some penny-pinching hag that rubs her hands together  and says things like "Yes....excellent. I will cheat this person out of their credits. Muwahahahahaha."

Because this was her response:

"Obviously I did not make up an ISBN, I input what was on the back of the book. But whatever. Obviously money is an issue for you, since, as you say, this free used book is a gift for a friend, so when I get another book credit, I will send it to you. As far as the book you have, keep it, another friend may fall pregnant and you may need a used gift for them as well.

Although I have my suspicions that you are just looking for something for nothing, some things aren't worth arguing about."

Here i think I should put: Sincerly, Ms. Mean, Bitter, and astoundingly rude.

Maybe put in a P.S. with something like "By the way, I just use this site to get ride of my crappy books and think that the unfortunate recepients of my bounty should think themselves lucky that I deigned to even accept their request."

I am willing to accept that the possibility of her book getting listed under the wrong binding type (which she just ignored....) is not remote. But was I really twisting her arm so to merit this response?

Date Posted: 7/1/2009 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I'd take a picture of the book and a close-up of the ISBN and post it to one of the public photo boards. Send her the links, and tell her that because she refunded your credit, you will mark the matter resolved (and will not respond to further messages regarding the matter).

I'd also remind her that the books are not free, and that credits cost $3.45 or are earned by mailing out books at a typical cost of $2 or more.

But that's just me.

Date Posted: 7/1/2009 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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I'd report that, it's horribly rude.