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Topic: When you are sent a book in a foreign language

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Subject: When you are sent a book in a foreign language
Date Posted: 1/7/2016 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2004
Posts: 251
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I ordered a book of plays from the Golden Age of Spain. The book cover and information about it is in English. Nothing in the description said the book was in Spanish. The seller didn't tell me that the book was in Spanish. When I received the book in Spanish (though the cover page and back of the book didn't even indicate the interior was in Spanish) I asked to have my credit returned and the sender refused unless I paid him $3.22 for postage and returned the book. He said that he thought I knew what I was ordering and he shouldn't have had to tell me.

Looking at PBSwap rules, I see: "Foreign-language books. Note: if a book is printed in a language other than English, the language should be specified in the book description and title, for example "The Kite Runner (Spanish-Language Edition)" . If the book description/title does not already include the language, you can submit this information using the Edit Book Data link on the More Options menu on the Book Details page." He never submitted that information. And if one clicks on the link on Amazon, one says the English cover (no description or customer reviews.)

I live on a very tight budget due to incapacitating medical problems but am annoyed not only because of the money but because of the principle of the situation. The sender basically indicated that I am at fault for not asking if the book was in Spanish. But in nearly 10 years of being on PbSwap, I've never even seen a book in Spanish here - and it would never have occurred to me to ask, especially since the book description and picture made no reference to Spanish.

I'm not about to lose a lot of time and sleep over this, but I'm ondering if one has any recourse in situations like this - when the sender is at fault but refuses to return a credit.   Tracy

Date Posted: 1/7/2016 11:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2009
Posts: 1,840
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Tracy,

Send a message to the team through the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page. I think you have a good case and the team needs to look at the circumstances.

Leslie

Date Posted: 1/8/2016 7:01 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,409
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Tracy - sorry this happened to you and I can relate - same thing happened to me a few years ago.  There was absolutely nothing in the PBS listing for the book that would have led me to believe I was ordering a Spanish-language version of the book.  I hope you have a better outcome than I did as when I asked this same question here, I was made to understand very clearly by most who responded that I was the one at fault - I was told that I "should have done more research and known what I was ordering."   I think the book I ordered was a MMPB of Carrie by Stephen King - a very common book with hundreds of copies in the system and nothing in the listing suggested that the one I happened to order was going to be in a language I cannot read. As I said, that was a few years ago and I think the Team has since revised and clarified the listing rules for foreign language books (as you noted above.)  Do as Leslie22 suggested and I think you will have a different and more positive outcome.  Good luck!

Date Posted: 1/8/2016 8:35 AM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2010
Posts: 3,016
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I have some Japanese language books (manga) on my WL. They're only available in Japanese (and Italian in some cases), but the cover image actually had the Japanese cover showing (with Japanese text), so hopefully that will work out okay if anyone ever posts them.

In your case you are definitely in the right. The listing should have language info on it, it's not up to you to ask after the language of every book you request. Just think of the WL auto requests! Cripes...

Date Posted: 1/8/2016 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,272
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I concur, turn it over to PBS. The other member was out of line in asking you to pay for the postage and return the book...totally against the rules. I think you have a good case here since it was not indicated in the title that this was a foreign language edition.

Date Posted: 1/8/2016 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,920
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Just from curiosity is this collection of plays only in Spanish or is there an English edition?

Date Posted: 1/8/2016 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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That would be an unpleasant surprise  to get the book that you thought was in English and did not say it was in another language. 

Date Posted: 1/9/2016 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,723
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Being a New Year's elf here and sending you a credit to restore your faith in PBS members!

Date Posted: 1/10/2016 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,376
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Jeanne G.  yes  we all need an 'elf' visit at times...

Date Posted: 1/11/2016 2:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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Technically, when someone posts a book only 4 (but really 5 things need to match the PBS listing).

ISBN, TItle, Author, Binding Type, and Large Print indicator.

It IS up to the person requesting a book to verify what they are ordering. Granted, I wouldn't think to check every listing that I order to make sure that the language is English. On the other hand, I find it is VERY RARE for the title of a Spanish language book to be in English. (Usually the titles are also in Spanish so right there you would be able to tell).

So, I think this is one of those situations where the sender of the book didn't actually do anything wrong (although if they knew the book was in Spanish they could have added that to the listing). However, I would be willing to bet that most members have absolutely no idea that 1. a listing CAN be changed, 2. who to ask to change a PBS listing or 3. much less understand that they could do it themselves.

On the other hand, as someone who orders a lot of books, if I am ordering a book that I am not familiar with, I usually check it out on Amazon first to make sure of things like what is the binding, when was it published, is this a US ISBN or was the book published in the UK or Australia or wherever and to see if there is anything unusual about it.

Date Posted: 1/11/2016 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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As already noted in several comments, there is enough gray area in your transaction to request clarification from PBS admin.  That said, the senders remedy solution is incorrect and not in compliance with PBS guidelines.

Date Posted: 1/12/2016 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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I don't think books being in English is a grey area.  

Tracy already posted this rule in her OP. 

Note: if a book is printed in a language other than English, the language should be specified in the book description and title

 

 What can be posted for swapping here? 

Allowed:

  • Paperback books
  • Hardcover books (dust jackets not required)
  • Audio books (must be originals, not burned copies) - audio CDs, audio cassettes and Playaways are allowed
  • Ex-library books (check that these are withdrawn/decirculated before posting)
  • Book Club Editions (note: since most of these do not have ISBNs, they will need to be Posted using the "Post a Book Without an ISBN" option linked from the Post Books page, to create a matching listing. See How do I post a book without an ISBN?).
  • Books containing multiple stories - these earn 1 Book Credit per book (no matter how many stories are between the covers of the book).
  • Books that do not have ISBNs printed in therm - since most of these do not have ISBNs, they will need to be posted using the "Post a Book Without an ISBN" option linked from the Post Books page, to create a matching listingSee How do I post a book without an ISBN?
  • Books with accompanying media (the accompanying media must be included with the book)
  • Books that originally came with non-media items, if the non-media materials are NOT REQUIRED for the book to be useful.  The non-media items do not have to be included to be postable here.
  • Textbooks/Workbooks - see Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS for more about this
  • Travel Guides - see Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS for more about this
  • Cookbooks - see Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS for more about this
  • Foreign-language books. Note: if a book is printed in a language other than English, the language should be specified in the book description and title, for example "The Kite Runner (Spanish-Language Edition)" . If the book description/title does not already include the language, you can submit this information using the Edit Book Data link on the More Options menu on the Book Details page.
  • Playaways (these are considered audiobooks)
  • Audio language courses or other courses of instruction (ie, self-help) with accompanying bound book.  (Note: These are considered a bound book with accompanying media, and swap for 1 Book Credit. They are not "audio books," which are books read aloud by a narrator.)
  • Boxed Sets - see How do I post my 'boxed set' of books?


Last Edited on: 1/12/16 2:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/12/2016 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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Since the title has to match, the title would have to specify if it's a non-English book.

 It's not necessary to specify the book is in English.