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Topic: What would you do?

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Subject: What would you do?
Date Posted: 1/4/2014 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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I just received a paperback 14th in a series of 15.  It was wrapped nicely and securely in a reused padded envelope.  So far so good.  When I opened it the book was in a bag that Cascade dishwashing detergent packets had come in.  I opened the ziplock and nearly gagged,  The odor was so strong of dishwashing powder.  I took the book out and it reeked of the detergent and not just the covers but the smell also permeated the pages.  I think in a month or 2 it might be aired out enough to read.  Now I have no special conditions but I don't think anyone would have wanted to receive a book like this.

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 614
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I wouldn't RWAP it, since there was no RC.  I would probably send a PM, thanking the sender and letting him/her know how the scent had permeated the Ziplock bag.  They may have thought that the bag would protect it from odor.

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,327
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Ugh.

I'd send a thank you note for the book, but would mention that I was surprised to find that the strong odor of the dishwashing powder somehow made its way through to the book despite her best efforts with the ziplock bag.  I'd say it wasn't a problem -- that I would air the book out -- but that I was sure she'd want to know, since she obviously made an effort to keep that from happening.

Then I'd leave the book open in the garage for a while, or try closing it in a bag with baking soda or unscented kitty litter.  If it were summer, I'd leave it outside in the shade (and would set the timer on my stove so I didn't leave it overnight.)

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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Kath, I think you misunderstood the odor was in the bag where the packets had been.  The book was directly in that bag.  The packet bag was the ziplock there was no other bag.  The scent didn't permeate the ziplock it was in the ziplock Cascade bag.

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 5:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,402
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If the book is a wish listed book, you could mark it as received with damage, post office fault.  This would put you back at top of the wish list for another copy.  The receiver is expected to eat the credit for post office damage.  No refund.  

I'm not sure how PBS would view this, but it is a possibility.  You would then be expected to use another credit on the next copy.

Basically, scent is okay to post.  I've received books that I know I could not read due to the smell of dryer sheets.  I'm willing to sacrifice a credit to get a copy that will not give me a headache.  Face it, not everyone has a sense of smell.  We can wear hearing aids and glasses.  Nothing for smell.

I rather eat the credit than have a smell RC.  

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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Not a wish listed book.  I definitely don't have a problem with the credit, I have plenty of credits, so many I sell them, give some away, use many as gifts.  I will just write to the sender and tell her it would be best not to package books in used Cascade detergent bags.  I'm sure she thought she was saving money using it.  I never thought about scent being ok to post.  I have not posted books that had been in storage due to odor that was about 1/10 th as bad as this.

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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If the book is a wish listed book, you could mark it as received with damage, post office fault

No, you should never mark something incorrectly just to get your spot back in line (or a credit back). If the book is rendered unusable because of the smell, then it is a Problem - Damaged by Sender, but there is no PO issues whatsoever, so that is not an option that should be used.

Scents are OK to post per se, but if she has rendered the book unusable by putting it in the bag like that a requester would have the right to mark it as a problem. You can't post a book that is completely unusable due to the odors it emits (ie, people have marked books as Problem swaps when they have reaked of cat pee even if they don't see cat pee). Since the book was not in the bag for a long time, it is likely it will air out and be usable again though, only the receiver will be able to tell. I WOULD recommend mentioning it to the sender how bad the issue is so that they don't do it again.

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,402
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Okay.  How about damaged by sender, no refund? 

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 614
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Ah, I did misunderstand.  Yowzers, so it actually came into contact with the product bag... Good thing you're not allergic.

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,467
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I'd mark it recieved as normal but PM the sender about the smell issue.

You can enclose the book in a ziplock with an unscented dryer sheet, that can help absorb the smell.

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,402
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No!   No!  Evil dryer sheets!  Please don't!

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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This is what I PMed.  Hope it sounded ok.

"I received the book with a good outer wrapping. You may not wish to use a used Cascade detergent bag as an inner bag, however. The smell of the detergent was so strong it actually permeated the pages of the book and I will need to air it out for quite awhile before reading. I'm sure this wasn't your intention but I think it's being tightly wrapped held the odor in. Happy New Year! "

Date Posted: 1/5/2014 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,467
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Unscented dryer sheet Emily, not a smelly one.  Really, an unscented one will work because that's what I use.  I'm very sensitive to smells but it helps take the smoky smell out of books to ziplock them with an unscented dryer sheet.

Date Posted: 1/5/2014 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2010
Posts: 5,700
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Sounds good to me, Theresa.

How about, instead of dryer sheets, some plain old baking soda?  No odor at all.