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Topic: Using Swappers' address to send promotional material...

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Subject: Using Swappers' address to send promotional material...
Date Posted: 11/10/2011 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2006
Posts: 125
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Well, this is a new one.

Today I received an envelope containing ads for a variety of Etsy stores.  I didn't recognize the sender's address, but he/she self-identified as "PBS Member --------" in a hand-written addition to the address label.  It wasn't a username that I recognize from my friends list - so it had to be someone who had saved my address after either sending or receiving a book from me!

It was a little creepy to think that people might be hanging on to my address for weeks or months after a transaction!   I sent a message to PBS, assuming that this is against the TOS, but I'm wondering if this has ever happened to anyone else?

Date Posted: 11/10/2011 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Oh, this is a big red flag for that member.   They are risking their membership. 

We know that the Internet contains search engines that permit access to private information such as telephone number, but it is NOT OKAY to use information obtained in such a manner to contact another PBS member.  If such contact is initiated without the express permission of the other member and the other member complains, the offender's PBS account may be terminated permanently.

Note:  It is not all right to contact a member by means outside of the Personal Message system, unless he or she has given you permission.

If such contact is initiated without the express permission of the other member and the other member complains, you will recive a warning. If the offense is repeated, or if any such contact is harassing (even if it is a first offense), your PBS account will be terminated permanently.

Last Edited on: 11/10/11 12:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/10/2011 2:01 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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That would be a big no-no, good you reported it quickly Suzi.  Do you have enough of the other member's info to see if their account is suspended?

Date Posted: 11/10/2011 2:24 AM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Did you participate in the Holiday card swap last year? I think I remember someone diong something similar using the address list.

Last Edited on: 11/10/11 2:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/10/2011 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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You did the right thing in reporting it, Suzy. Common sense should have told this person that they shouldn't use the PBS addresses for anything other than sending books that were requested.

Date Posted: 11/10/2011 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I received the materials today. I don't know if the member is still here or not...since only those with public profiles appear in the member directory. Searches by both city and by username don't bring them up.

Date Posted: 11/10/2011 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 1,516
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You absolutely did the right thing.  I would be so upset if this happened to me.  I don't think someone who does this should even receive a warning, just lose their account.  Of course they would have already had and used the addresses by then, but still. 

Date Posted: 11/11/2011 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Personally I would send them the stuff back with a note saying. Do NOT send me this again.

Date Posted: 11/11/2011 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/12/2010
Posts: 101
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Date Posted: 11/13/2011 11:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2006
Posts: 125
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Looks like the sender's account was suspended/closed.

In a way, it's sad.  I'm quite fond of Etsy and if she had just PM'd me beforehand, I would have totally been OK with receiving her ads.  But I was so uncomfortable with the way I received the ads that I don't really feel like checking out any of the stores.

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 11:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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I know it's against the rules, but hope they got a warning before getting canned, esp. if they had good books   LOL. 

Actually, it wouldn't bother me that much, since I get so much junk mail. 

What upsets me is getting a dirty worn copy of a book .  :)  That I *paid* for.  .

Receiving free ads doesn't cost me anything... I'd just trash 'em and figure the person who sent them to me just wasted postage money.  But yes, I'm totally against "culling" addresses from here to make a mailing list for another business, and of course it should be outlawed.


Date Posted: 11/15/2011 7:59 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Suzi, they could not have PMed you to offer either -- any kind of commercial promotion, be it in PMs, forum posts, advertising materials stuck in with a book order -- is prohibited.  Contacting members outside of PMs without their permission is also prohibited, even if that contact information is readily available (such as on the Internet).

Laura, if you're getting books that don't meet the PBS Condition Guidelines, I hope you're marking them as "Received with a Problem -- Sender Damaged" and asking for your credit back -- that's the best way to ensure that those who aren't familiar with or following the rules will be compelled to do so. ;-)