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Topic: When it rains it pours...

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Subject: When it rains it pours...
Date Posted: 2/16/2011 3:24 AM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2005
Posts: 146
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... unpostables, that is.:-(

Out of the 4 books I got today, 3 had various degrees of water damage/staining and  I need a little bit of help with books #1 and # 2.


Book #1 actually went lost in December, it was a surprise to see it  finally show up in a pristine envelope. Unfortunately there is a water damage to the back cover (there is a clear water line in 2 different places) but

I don't see any marks on the envelope - it looks almost unnaturally clean for a book that's been with the USPS for 2+ months.  Do I just mark it receved - after all the sender has been out of a credit for so long?  Or do I mark it

RWAP- Sender or RWAP-USPS - theoretically the water damage could have been sustained enroute?   


Book #2 has multiple white stains/spots (paint?, food?, something else entirely?!) on the back cover and parts of the spine. I already marked this book RWAP and send a nice note to the sender explaining why I had to RWAP.

I didn't ask for my credit back (although I'd like it returned) but I really REALLY hate confrontation.  The sender basically said that as far she remembers the book was in great condition and "If you are not happy with it, I suggest you repost it on PBS or sell it on eBay. The books exchanged here are basically free, so none of us complains unless there is a serious problem." What would yoi answer or would you just let it go?


Date Posted: 2/16/2011 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,699
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Book #1, unless you have obtained a second copy of the book, you are obligated to mark it received.  Unless it has a clear postmark indicating it was mailed within a week of being declared lost or after the date it went lost and the sender did not PM you about it.

From the help center:  If the postmark was from the week before the book was declared lost (or later!), and you got no notification from the sender that the book would be/was mailed late: you do not have to mark this book received (this is the ONE case in which you don't have to mark a received book received: if a very late mailer without notice caused you to reorder the book and end up with two copies). 

If you feel that the damage to the book was caused by the USPS, then mark it RWAP--USPS damage.  If the envelope shows no sign of having gotten wet yet the book shows water damage, I'd mark it RWAP--damaged by sender and ask for my credit back.

Book #2, if you want your credit back, then ask for it!  The sender can't read your mind and doesn't know you want your credit returned unless you tell them that.  The book you got was certainly NOT free!  You either bought a credit to purchase it or swapped another book that somewhere you paid for to get it.  You don't have to accept damaged books.  You can always ask for your credit back now since that's what you really want.

Date Posted: 2/16/2011 11:15 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Someone needs to remind the sender of book #2 that she agreed to the rules, including PBS Condition Guidelines, when she signed up.  Definitely ask for your credit back -- you can't "repost it on PBS" because it isn't in postable condition.  Just be polite and ask for your credit back and politely mention how you'd have to have to mark the transaction as "unresolved", which puts a double black mark on the sender's account.  You are not obligated to send the book back in order to receive your credit.

I'd also do the same with book #1 -- if the wrapper isn't water-damaged, it probably didn't happen en route.  Mark it RWAP - sender damaged and ask for your credit back.   The Help Center has some suggested wording if you need some.

Nobody likes confrontation, so consider it your civic PBS duty. Some folks feel they can get away with sending unpostable books because of the confrontation issue, so please do your part to deal with it now, rather than passing the problem on to the next person to order from them.

Date Posted: 2/16/2011 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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Does #1 look like it could have been rewrapped by the post office? I once received a book rewrapped by the PO after it had been in a mail truck accident. So the envelope looked great, but the book had oil stains and smelled of gasoline! so it's possible it's damage-PO, but you're the only one who can really make the decision if it was something that happened en route or was probably done before it ever hit the mail.

As for #2 I'd reply and tell her what Sarah said that the books are NOT free. I'd also include something that explains that plenty of people "complain" about unpostable books. They are against the rules and no one likes getting an icky book, used or not. I'd have asked for my credit back in the beginning, and you still can, but I don't think this sounds like someone who will actually return it. It's worth a shot though.

Date Posted: 2/16/2011 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Book #2, the sender is basically telling you to 1) repost an unpostable book, or 2) sell on another site...both are specifically banned per PBS Terms of Use.  Ask for your credit back and mark it unresolved if she refuses.  Otherwise your options are limited, but her advice approaches snide territory.

BTW - "as far as I remember" rates right up there with "I received it this way"

Date Posted: 2/16/2011 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2011
Posts: 212
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Book #1: That's a tough call. You should mark it RWAP, but you'll just have to decide whether you think it was sent out that way or the damage was sustained en route.

Book #2: This person is just trying to bully you. The book was not free, and you certainly should "complain" about it. And suggesting that you repost an unpostable book? That's just silly. You have already marked it RWAP, so I would send one more PM asking for your credit back, wait a reasonable amount of time for a response, and then mark it unresolved if they refuse. I don't have high hopes that you will get your credit back, but it's worth a try.

Date Posted: 2/16/2011 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,557
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Love a duck, but I'm tired of folks who won't take responsibility for sending unpostable books.  And they aren't free.  I think that bothers me the most in these situations.

Credits used for requesting books were earned by paying the postage to send a book or by purchasing credits.  The books aren't free!

Good luck, I hope it works out well for you.

Date Posted: 2/17/2011 7:00 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
Posts: 754
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Books on this site are basically free????    

Bwahahahahaaaaa!!  LOL!!!  Oh that's a good one.     Not for the price of shipping books and buying credits, they are not free.    Cheap- yes.  FREE??  Um...no.

Last Edited on: 2/17/11 7:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/17/2011 7:13 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
Posts: 754
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If it was free then people would never have to worry about whether they had 100 requests of books to ship out for this month or not.  

This site is much cheaper than buying new, that's for sure.  But there still is a cost.  And it does add up.

Last Edited on: 2/17/11 7:14 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/17/2011 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,582
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Obviously the sender of book #2 doesn't read forum posts,,,LOL  Please direct them here to read all about it.