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Topic: Water Damage And Smell Book Problem what would you do?

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Subject: Water Damage And Smell Book Problem what would you do?
Date Posted: 4/11/2014 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 460
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I received a wishlist book in the mail today that have obvious wavy pages from being wet and then drying. and a smell from being damp. the envelope that it arrived in had no marks of water damage or being wet and then drying. the book was thrown loosely into a manilia envelope with no plastic wrap or anything to protect it from becoming damp. there were no tears or any indications that the envelope had been damged enroute. I therefore marked it damaged by sender.  this is the dialouge between me and the sender.

 

"thank you for sending this book. I do appreciate it. i noticed that  some of the pages are wavy like they got wet and then dried. there is also a smell to these wavy pages of dampness. i don't know if you are a new member. or were just unaware but any type of water damage wavy pages etc. are not allowed per PBS rules. 

Molly

 

sender's reply

 

Hi Molly,
I'm so sorry the book arrived with problems. I promise the book didn't have any water damage when I sent it. It must have been damaged in the mail. I've been doing this for a while and I've never had this happen before, so, again, I am very sorry.

 

my reply

 

the envelope that it arrived in was not wet at all and had no water spots or evidence of being wet and then drying. so how do you want to resolve this problem? according to the PBS rules there are a few ways. the sender can return a credit. I can return the book to you for 2 credits one to cover the book and one for the cost of postage to send the book back to you. i hate to see your account be marked because of this problem swap not being resolved. so please let me know what you would like to do to resolve this problem swap. thank you. i didn't mean to sound abrupt or rude but i requested this book for my niece as a birthday present and her birthday is on easter sunday. so now i can't repost and i cannot gift this book to her. so i am really just very disappointed.

 

Molly

 

sender's reply

The book met the club standards when it was mailed; therefore, the only reasonable explanation is that it was damaged in the mail.
According to the PBS rules:
"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."

In accordance with the above rules, I will not be refunding the credit. This is merely a case of bad luck and, for that, I am sorry. I do not appreciate being called a liar, nor the attempts to bully me into refunding the credit with threats of my account being marked. I am sorry this situation could not be resolved amicably, but I have more important things to do than debate the fate of 1 credit and respond to passive-agressive and derogatory messages.

 

so my question is what if anything can i do about this situation? do i have any recourse? what would you do. should i just let this problem go and then have to wait for another copy to be posted and have to pay out another credit for the next copy? or should i send feedback to PBS regarding this situation? I am unsure if i have any recourse to resolve this problem. thanks for any advice. i hate leaving things unresolved.

 

Date Posted: 4/12/2014 12:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,395
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There is nothing more to be done.  That's how the system works.  Fortunately, problem swaps are few and far between.

Date Posted: 4/12/2014 12:43 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Molly, are there water marks or stains on the pages or cover of the book?  Change in texture?  I've observed that wter marks can be more visible outside under natural lighting.

We've had members reporting instances of  newer books (cheap paper) that quickly develop wavy pages just from mild/average humidity...sometimes even observed in bookstores with brand new books.  If this is the case, TPTB have not indicated that pages wavy from humidity make a book unpostable.

That said, PBS admin does not intervene in transactions where members agree to disagree.    At this point, about your only recourse is to wait a few more days and mark the transaction unresolved.  TPTB do keep watch on the number of RWAP's and if a member develops a pattern or high number of problem swaps they will investigate and possibly take action if necessary.

Date Posted: 4/12/2014 1:20 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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You can always post the book to the damaged WL thread in the Bazaar. That way you can recoup your credit. Other than that, I would just write it off as a loss.

Date Posted: 4/12/2014 4:07 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,791
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It amazes me how a book can be damaged inside an envelope but the envelope shows no sign of having gotten wet.  The envelope would be stiff and have its texture changed;  I have seen and felt it.   How long has this person been a member?  I think she may have purposefully not used plastic so as to claim it was done in transit.  When I worked claims, the things folks would try to pass off as damaged by the Post Office.  It sounds like she is not going to return your credit so mark it unresolved.  I keep a small notebook with the names of members who I do not want to trade with again.  And with so many members chances are low you will have to deal with her in the future.  I had three that I cancelled so as to avoid any problems.  Unfortunately sometimes there are a few bad transactions.  Hopefully if she does it enough, PBS will weed her out.  Make sure you Mark it damaged by sender.  And then unresolved.

Date Posted: 4/12/2014 4:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 460
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thanks for all the great advice. this person does not have a profile page so going by the books posted on their bookshelf they have been a member of PBS since July 12, 2011 at  least. i find it sad that their are members like this that don't feel bad about cheating the system and other members out a book that is able to be enjoyed and reposted. it's especially annoying when i have had so many great transactions and tried so hard to send quality books to others. it's almost like bad Karma.  what happened to being rewarded for following the rules and being punished for not following or making them up as you go? hopefully this member hasn't done this to others. i agree with you Priscilla I do find it weird that they claim the water damage happened it transit and is the fault of the PO when  the envelope  shows no signs of the same damage. And I ask you am I really alone in thinking that maybe they should change or add to the packing rules that members should have to weather proof their packages? how hard is it to go to the nearest dollar store and buy a box of plastic wrap or a box of ziploc bags and use them to wrap the books in so that this doesn't happen? or better yet use and recycle the plastic bags for your latest grocery shopping trip? that's free. lol  sorry for the mild rant but I just had to get that off my chest. thanks.

Date Posted: 4/12/2014 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 2,552
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a qoute from the sender's own comments: Damage by USPS to a well-wrapped package is considered bad luck

well, it sounds to me you did NOT get a well wrapped pkg.  Keep the person's name like Priscilla said.  When you order a book, and get teh option to "order more from member" click that button.  It will tell you who you are ordering from.  If it is that person, you have the 1 hr buyer's remorse to cancel the request.  Unfortunately there is no way to skip that sender, you would have to wait until they sent that book to another.  AM sorry that it had to happen over a family gift, though.

Date Posted: 4/12/2014 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2010
Posts: 5,700
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I have two questions:  What was the name of the book?  And what if the book had come with several spine creases, or a corner of the cover was ripped?  Would you have still gifted it to your niece?  Honestly just curious.

Date Posted: 4/12/2014 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2010
Posts: 2,315
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I also wish pbs would require protective plastic wrap. The RECCOMEND it in the guidelines and acknowledge that water damage can happen in transit, but won't give the receiver any recourse if it happens to an unprotected book. 

My RC asks for one thing. Please wrap books in plastic. It works about 80% of the time. 

This year the rain is especially bad. It's possible your book was damaged in transit. Envelopes are heavier material that could let moisture through to damage lighter material inside and not show much (if any) damage to the envelope itself. That has happened to me twice this year. Ticked me off! Brand new book ordered from Amazon. Pristine packaging outside. Unwrapped book inside. The last 15 or so pages lightly, but visibly watermarked.

 

 



Last Edited on: 4/12/14 1:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/12/2014 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,852
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Yes, I also believe that its possible for packaging to look undamaged while the material inside may have damaged. I've also seen heavier envelops and mailers that have dried out with no sign of being wet. So, to me its within the realm of possibility for the damage to have happened in the mail.
Date Posted: 4/13/2014 2:09 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I've received a couple wet packages...the ink on the shipping label runs if it gets very wet.  I've received a couple water damaged PBS packages. One wet package was due to our leaky mail box (quickly replaced) and the other had been very wet somewhere enroute (possibly mailed in a leaky blue box?).  The latter had been very wet at one point and dried before arrival, and even tho the shipping label had been covered in clear packing tape it had been so wet the water ran under the tape and ran the ink so badly I was very surprised PO staff could read it enough to deliver. Although the package arrived, it was never scanned as delivered because the barcode was completely illegible due to water damage.   Luckily in both cases the books were protected by plastic underwrap and arrived safely!

Members frequently request PBS admin require plastic underwrap instead of merely recommending.  On the other hand, I've seen members from hot climates RC for no plastic wrap during the hotter months b/c the plastic can get so hot it melts to their books.



Last Edited on: 4/13/14 2:11 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/13/2014 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2010
Posts: 5,700
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I'd venture a guess that the reason PBS doesn't make wrapping books properly a requirement is because there'd be no definitive proof one way or another.  They'd possibly wind up with a bunch of "he said/she said" situations.  We got them all the time when I worked for the now-defunct Swaptree.

 

Date Posted: 4/13/2014 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2010
Posts: 5,700
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I'd venture a guess that the reason PBS doesn't make wrapping books properly a requirement is because there'd be no definitive proof one way or another.  They'd possibly wind up with a bunch of "he said/she said" situations.  We got them all the time when I worked for the now-defunct Swaptree.

 

Date Posted: 4/13/2014 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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We could probably be here all day going back and forth on the correct definition of "wrapping properly".

Date Posted: 4/13/2014 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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There are people who don't use plastic. At all. There are people who can't understand why we'd need to put plastic on a book because they live in dry climates and don't ever see wet books. As Denise points out, in some areas the plastic will actually melt to the book in the hotter months. The percentage of books that get wet in transit has to be so small that the need is just not there for PBS to require it as a matter of course, but they let PBS members do so if they need it themselves in Requester Conditions.

I plastic wrap 98% of the time. Sometimes I just don't feel like looking for plastic so I don't. 3 months out of the year I often have a plastic wrap RC to protect books during our winter months. Plastic is a member specific thing so anyone who wants it - RCs.

Subject: My past
Date Posted: 4/14/2014 12:56 AM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2013
Posts: 3
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Once I contacted (SwapaCD but obviously same people) and told them that I had played the CD and it had skipped.

They refunded the credit, so I suggest contacting Swapa :-)

Date Posted: 4/14/2014 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,852
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The CD site may work differently.

Generally, in the book swap, PBS won't get involved in problem transactions unless 1. the other member won't respond to messages, OR 2. the other member clearly admits they knew about the damage but won't give a refund, OR 3. the other member is extremely rude.

In any case where the sender is responding but just not telling you what you want to hear, they will not get involved. They have no way of knowing the condition of the book and (regardless of pictures), if there is damage, how and when it occurred. They expect members to use their best judgement and try to work out issues on their own. Sometimes, people just don't come to a final agreement about an issue.

Sometimes the PO works in mysterious ways. Once someone ordered a book from here and when the package arrived, it contained a t-shirt. Sometimes 2 people can look at the same book and one sees a postable book and one doesn't.

Date Posted: 4/14/2014 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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The CD site is different. You pay a credit + 0.49 on every transaction in order to get that credit guarantee.

There will be transactions where the sender and receiver just believe different things happened. The site won't mitigate and pick one to believe over the other.  Its one credit, best to mark it as unresolved and move on.

Date Posted: 4/14/2014 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/28/2010
Posts: 3,023
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 cannot gift this book to her. so i am really just very disappointed.

I think this tells the story more than anything else.
In the future, if you need a book in giftable condition, use the RC system to ask for that.
I've gotten requests for some of my kids books with those.  I'm always very happy to judge them carefully.
Your description sounds more like a postable book that falls short of giftable.

Date Posted: 4/22/2014 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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I am convinced that people have differing perceptions of what "water damaged" is.

I recently received one such book, and photographed it.  If I posted the photo I don't think there would be ANY question about the condition of the book, but that is why a picture is worth 1,000 words.  :)

Warped, discolored, and wavy, but sender still protested it was't "that bad".    LOL

I gave up trying to figure this stuff out  

Date Posted: 8/10/2014 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,698
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Maybe it was printed with cheap paper ?

Date Posted: 8/10/2014 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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A few months ago I did a wet packages test. I held a label from my printer under the faucet and ran the water.  Then I placed it to dry.  The ink did not smear or run, the paper was intact but slightly changed texture.  

I ran water over a bubble mailer and a Manila envelope.  When they dried there was no indication that they had been wet. Manila envelope was maybe not as smooth but it was barely noticeable. 

My findings are the packages can really hold up to a brief dowsing of water and not appear to have ever been wet.  I was simulating the packages being dropped in a shallow puddle or getting rained on during collection.  

I did not wet the inside of the package because we know that will damage the contents such as a book or DVD artwork etc. 

 

Your results may vary with paper and printer ink.

I use the copy paper they sell at Walmart and scratch office paper.  HP printer.

EDITED:  I should test my packaging technique by immersing it in water. I tape the flap edges thinking it will seal out water.  I should find out for sure. 

 



Last Edited on: 8/10/14 5:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/10/2014 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,336
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so my question is what if anything can i do about this situation? do i have any recourse?

After reading the above posts, if you are convinced that the book was water damaged when mailed, your recourse is to submit follow-up (from your transaction archive) that the problem was not resolved by sender.  Once done, it can't be undone, so be sure negotiations are finished.

Date Posted: 8/11/2014 12:38 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Is there a reason this old thread was dug up and re-visited?