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Topic: What can I do?

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Subject: What can I do?
Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 202
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I sent a book about a week ago. My wife & I remember it well. It was virtually new. Practically mint condition. My wife wrapped it in Sarn Wrap before she wrapped it in thick brown paper.

Now I get a form letter that it was RWAP. That it had "considerable water damage." And he wants me to refund his credit.  I'm not saying that that statement is impossible, we just think that it is highly unlikely. We have sent about 40 books in the 2 or 3 months since we joined and we've had no such problem before. All our books have been impeccable.

Now, I'm not going to argue . I will refund his credit. It's not worth the aggrevation to me. But I also wish to protest. To defend myself. Is there any way to do that. I feel like we're getting stiffed and I would like PBS to know that and , perhaps, keep an eye on this guy's record. Any suggestions.

 

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Well, that's a tough one.  If you are sure you prepared it that well for its journey then he should have blamed it on the USPS if it got torn up in transit.  If it wasn't water damaged when you sent it, then in my opinion you don't owe him the credit.  But it will look better if you give him the credit .  Also you can tell the PBS team by using the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page.  Be sure to send your response using the PM he sent you if it was using the survey form he had to fill out.

Ruth

ETA - in my experience, the brown paper that is recycled paper isn't good for mailing since it dissolves when wet.

Eited for spelling thanks to new very small keyboard



Last Edited on: 5/28/09 7:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Is he accusing you of sending a water damaged book, or is he claiming that book was damaged by water during delivery?

 

 

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2009
Posts: 55
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I also received a  message for a book I mailed RWAP for "water damage" It was not damaged when I sent it. They also requested their credit back, which I gave back. Is this becoming a trend????

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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and I have to ask because I honestly don't know, are we senders responsible for books that arrive wet or otherwise damage by USPS?

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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This is why it's so hard when you're sure you sent a postable book.  Did they say where on the book the water damage was?  Can they provide pictures?  It's not required that they provide pictures, but it might make the claim go away if it's baseless.  Water damage occurring enroute is different than water damage in a book that was that way whehn sent.

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Did you ask him to make sure the book came from you and not another member who maybe forgot to mark a book as mailed?

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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If you've wrapped your book by the standards set forth or better, then usually, you aren't liable for water damage incurred during transit or other damage the USPS can do.  I've found that the best wrapping is done with plastic underwrap, and then some type of poly or Tyvek wrapping.  Those are expensive, and I've received great books just in the printer paper with the label on it.  It just all depends.

Ruth



Last Edited on: 5/28/09 7:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 7,331
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I would definitely want to see the book....  I mean, if it was truly water damaged and you know that it happend after you sent the book, I'd want to take that up with the USPS....  but like someone suggested above, ask for pictures......  if someone is being honest, they should be able to supply pictures....  if they are trying to get a freebie out of the situation, I don't think they'd soak a perfectly acceptable book.... 

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Wondering if they claim it's wet currently, or damaged before it came?  I have gotten a book that was literally dripping water.

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 7,331
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And to comment on what Ruth said...  isn't it just totally random how a book sent in something practically indestructible can end up mangaled and then yet you receive one wrapped in just paper with very little tape that came all the way across the country just fine......  I would really like to see a piece of mail's actual journey.........  it's the strangest thing...

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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If I were you I would ask for photos of the damage before I refunded his credit. If you are SURE it wasn't damaged don't just give the credit back, you are not required to do so. One RWAP on your record is not going to get you banned from the site.
Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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What can you tell from looking at this member's profile - if there is one?  You can look on his/her bookshelf to see when they started putting books on it.  I'd stand my ground until I knew more about it.  I wouldn't give it back if I was sure it was sent as you said.

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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If you are certain the book was fine when it left your hands, tell the other sender that and ask that they send you pictures of the water damage and the wrapper to show that it was damaged, and not in transit.  I have received water damaged books that the senders were certain were fine when they sent them, but the damage was considerable.

It may be that someone is seeing wavy pages from cheap paper and poor binding and thinking it is water damage and a pic will clear it all up.  If they send pics of damage that was obviously not there when you sent it, then say you won't refund the credit. Not all RWAP are settled to both parties satisfaction and there are people out there they will say a book was damaged just to get the credit back.

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 202
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First of all, I should have used the pronoun "she".

Checking the profile was a good idea. She appears to be reputable, having sent and recieved hundreds of books and is the mother of seven.           I PMed her to see if she is accusing me of sending it that way or does she believe that it happenened in transit. Now we know it was almost new when we mailed it and if she admits that it happened in transit. and is USPS fault then to what exrent is it my problem?



Last Edited on: 5/28/09 8:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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If you wrapped it at least as well as the PBS guidelines say to, then i don't think it's your problem.

Ruth

ETA - these things happen and USPS caused damage isn't a reason you should give back the credit and she shouldn't have asked for it



Last Edited on: 5/28/09 7:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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If a book you sent was marked received with a problem, you will receive an email from PBS notifying you of this, and including a link to the information here.   The information below will help you sort out what the different problem categories are, and also help you resolve the problem swap.

Basically, if you get a Personal Message about the problem, you should:

  • read the information in the PM to understand what the problem was (and consult the information below if necessary to decide if this was indeed a problem swap)
  • reply to the PM offering resolution if there was a problem OR disputing the problem if you believe that this was not a problem swap
    • You can refund credit from the swap itself (click Request Details on the swap in your Transaction Archive to see the Refund button)
    • If you dispute the nature of the problem: you should be sure to write your PM response to the requestor by clicking the PM button on the swap in your Transaction Archive.  This will record your response on the transaction and if your account is ever reviewed for problem swapping, this information will be there to explain what happened in this swap.

  • Remember that the requestor is not required to send the book back at his or her expense.   There is more information about this below.  The sender of a problem book does risk losing credit, book and postage; this is the incentive NOT to send problem books.

If a requestor sends you a Personal Message about a problem swap, you do need to reply, and to resolve the problem if there was one.  Because the requestor can provide follow-up on how the problem was handled, resolving the problem will greatly reduce the effect of a problem swap on your account record. Unresolved problems (or not Responding to PMs about a problem swap) will more seriously affect your account record, if a pattern of this accumulates on your account.  Remember that one problem swap will not harm your account, even if it is marked as unresolved by the requestor who gives follow-up on how you handled the problem.

If you dispute the nature of the problem, you should be sure to write your PM by clicking the PM button on the swap in your Transaction Archive.  This will record your response on the transaction and if your account is ever reviewed for problem swapping, this information will be there to explain what happened in this swap.

More information about problem swaps follows:

What is a problem swap?

There are four types of problem options that a requestor can choose from when marking a book received:

  • Wrong Book

    • This means the book did not match the listed item in one or more of the four necessary aspects--ISBN, Author, Title, Booktype (ie, paperback, hardcover, audio) OR that the book was an inappropriate item (such as an ARC) and should not have been Posted for swapping at PBS
    • Wrong booktype/wrong ISBN swaps are NEVER caused by a "glitch" in the system.  If you posted a hardcover using the paperback listing, you made the error.  The system will not "substitute" an incorrect listing.   If you started by entering the ISBN and then chose instead from the 'alternate ISBN' list shown below the listing preview, that is where you made the mistake.
  • Damaged by Sender

    • This means the book arrived in poor condition, not attributable to USPS damage en route
    • This includes books packaged using tape applied to the book if the book is damaged and rendered unrepostable by opening the package.
  • Damaged by USPS

    • This means the book was damaged en route, either through bad luck or due to inadeqate Wrapping technique
  • Requestor Conditions Violation

    • This means the book did not meet the conditions specified in the requestor's Requestor Conditions that appeared on the request at the time it was accepted

All problem transactions, once they have been marked "Received with a Problem", will be archived in your Transaction Archive.  The sender DOES get credit when the book is marked received with a problem.  The credit should be refunded to the requestor if the problem described is accurate.   We can't intercede in individual problems, but if an account shows a pattern of problem sending, we will intervene.  In all cases of Problem transactions, the receiver does NOT have to send the book back to the sender.

If you are contacted by a requestor about a problem transaction:

  • Please be courteous:
    • The requestor MAY have clicked the wrong button, or may be mistaken about whether or not the transaction was actually a problem, but that could be because she or he is new to the site, or is not clear on the rules.
    • Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Gentle handling of this situation will minimize unpleasantness.
    • Even if you get a rude PM, do not respond in kind.  Abusive PMs should be reported to us.

  • We know that no one wants to have problems with their transactions!
    • Please do not take it too much to heart if you have a book you sent marked received with a problem.
    • If you did wrong, simply learn from this, and resolve not to repeat the error.
    • One problem transaction will not mar your account! However, a pattern of poor sending will jeopardize PBS membership. Best to learn from errors before it is too late: see specific information about the different "Problem Transaction" scenarios below.

  • A requestor does NOT have to return the item in a "problem" transaction
    • if the sender wants the item back, he or she should send postage or a credit to pay for its return.

  • The vast majority of swaps take place at PBS without a problem
    • also the vast majority of problem swaps are settled easily between the swappers. (We cannot adjudicate on individual swaps.)
    • However, there is some level of subjectivity to these situations, particularly with regard to book condition.
    • If you and the requestor cannot come to a happy resolution, you both need to put this behind you and move on. There are too many good swaps to be accomplished at PBS to focus on one bump in the road.
  •  Member-to-member communication is very important at PBS.
    • We do not expect our members to agree in every case, or even to reach a satisfactory resolution to a problem transaction, but it is never acceptable to ignore a PM from a member with whom you have conducted a swap, as long as the PM is appropriate and asks for a response.
    • If one member ignores PMs, we may step in; although we cannot assess the truth of a situation, if one member is refusing to communicate with the other, that member may be judged as "in the wrong" for this reason.
    • Also, the system does track resolutions to problem transactions, so too many unresolved "problem" transaction can mar a sender's account far more than the same number of resolved "problem" transaction will.  Not replying to a PM that clearly asks for a response will act as a "double black mark" on a sender's account, and senders whose accounts show this pattern will be judged as "at fault" if they do not respond after a pattern has been established.
Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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However -

f your book was marked as "Damaged by USPS"

  • This means the book was damaged en route by USPS.
    • USPS has a superb record of delivering packages intact, but accidents do happen. If the package was wrapped properly and this was just bad luck, then you do not need to refund the credit.
    • If the method with which the book was wrapped could have contributed to its damage en route, you should read here for guidance in wrapping a book. The main points are: use plenty of tape (2-inch shipping tape, not Scotch), especially to reinforce corners and seams, and make sure that your shipment is completely enclosed within the packaging (there should be no portion of the book(s) inside exposed).
    • If your book was damaged en route due to poor packaging, you should refund the credit.
Which tells me that only if you wrapped it poorly do you owe the credit back.

Ruth

 

 

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 304
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If I was 100% certain when I sent it that it was a postable book I absolutely would not give the credit back. I have been buying, selling and trading online for a very long time. You wouldn't believe the stuff people pull to get their item(s) for free. I don't think you should give back the credit. Especially, since you said they used a "form letter". If this is his scam and he keeps getting credits back he'll keep on doing it. If he pulls this with enough people and they all say they sent a good book his account will be looked at. RWAP reports work both ways. He might just get himself banned. People count on other people not wanting to argue or because they feel intimidated. Save us all some trouble and don't give them the credit back, please.

Good Luck!!!

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
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I agree. I would ask to see a photo of the book if they can offer that. And I would not refund the credit if I were really sure it was in great shape when I sent it. I would just answer something like, "I"m sorry, but I know that book was in great shape when I sent it, it was nearly new. I would like to see a photo of the book if possible, and will not refund your credit unless you can prove to me that I sent a book that was unpostable when I sent it. If the book was damaged en route, I'm sorry, but I did wrap in plastic and thick paper, and am not sure what else I could have done to ensure its safe arrival."

And if they marked it RWAP and unresolved, I would contact the PBS team myself in my own defense. They really don't get involved in cases like this, but at least you have it on record that you dispute what they are claiming.

I send a lot of books, but they are all very postable. I check them over before I list them, and I check them again when they're requested before I say I can send the book. If there is even a hint of possible unpostability, I put them on my 'unpostable' book list to send as freebies with an order. (Some folks who've gotten some of my freebies even said they would have considered them postable, but I don't take chances.) If someone accused me of sending an a water-damaged book or otherwise unpostable book, I would have a hard time believing it. Sure, mistakes do happen. If they said something like, 'there was underlining on page 78" I would likely capitulate and refund the credit, as I don't go through the books page by page one at a time. But water damage is very noticeable.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I just received and opened a book today.  It was a WL book.  It has some very rippled pages in the beginning of the book and some on the ending pages of the book.  But I don't see any water marks.  So I marked it RWAP and didn't ask for the credit back since I'm not 100% sure.  I did ask the sender about it, though.  I dohn't see how just part of a page can be rippled if it isn't water damage.  I just don't know what to think. 

I got a second book that smells so strongly of mildew that it's triggered my allergies (it's the only one I have that's book-related).  I'm disappointed.  But what can you do?

Ruth

Edited for spelling and to add - I won't be re-posting either of these books.



Last Edited on: 5/28/09 9:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/28/2009 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2008
Posts: 166
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I have a book I just bought that has wavy pages but only certain pages and only at the bottom. I can't see any water damage and as I bought it new, I hope the bookstore didn't sell me a water damaged book. I think the wavy pages thing can be just small part of the book and if there was no visual water damage, I would say it is a postable book; unless the the majority of the pages were really wavy. Just my opinion. I agree with asking for pictures or even asking if the wrapping looks damaged just to protect yourself.
Date Posted: 5/28/2009 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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The ripples on my book is on the bottom in the beginning pages and on the top of the ending pages.  I'm really uncertain.

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 304
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Ruth, this very subject has been coming up fairly often these day. They are using paper that is of far lower quality these days. That wavy rippling could easily be just cheap paper. Some one, I am desperately trying to remember who, came up with great ways to determine what the rippling was caused by. Was it Melody? Melanie? Shoot I can't even remember what thread it is. You could search this forum. Try search for wavy pages and/or rippling. That should bring up something. Sorry I can't remember. :-( Maybe someone will come along that remembers what thread this information is in.



Last Edited on: 5/28/09 10:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Kate -
Date Posted: 5/28/2009 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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 I would just answer something like, "I"m sorry, but I know that book was in great shape when I sent it, it was nearly new. I would like to see a photo of the book if possible, and will not refund your credit unless you can prove to me that I sent a book that was unpostable when I sent it. If the book was damaged en route, I'm sorry, but I did wrap in plastic and thick paper, and am not sure what else I could have done to ensure its safe arrival."

This is exactly what I would do also. I would want to see a photo.

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