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Topic: When do I start looking like the problem?

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Subject: When do I start looking like the problem?
Date Posted: 11/28/2009 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 10,282
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I am beginning to feel very frustrated.  Within a month's time I have received 4 unpostable books. The killer is the books are in fairly decent condition overall, but they either have had liquid damage or highlighting or writing that makes them clearly unpostable.   Now, four unpostable books in a month's time may not seem so bad, but given that I only received 7 books total in that time period, my RWAP's are more than half my total!

Honestly...I am not a picky swapper.  I can even appreciate that some books might be received on their last leg and I may be the last person in line (so to speak), but that does not describe these books.  Like I said, they're actually pretty decent copies.  But each of them have been unpostable according to PBS's guidelines (and because of that I cannot post them back into the system).

Really, I am just trying to uphold the standards here at PBS, but it's beginning to feel like a drag.  I'm beginning to hate opening my mail (and isn't that sad).   But my bigger concern is.....with so many unpostables received in such a short period of time I'm beginning to wonder if or when  I  will ever be seen as the "problem child" in PBS's eyes? 

In all honesty...except for the two marked RWAP today (and I therefore I don't yet know if the senders will resolve the problems), I will say...by and large any RWAP books I've ever reported have been quickly resolved -- meaning senders took responsibility and corrected their mistakes.  Only one was snippy and said since the book was in otherwise excellent condition and was perfectly readable, she did not feel like she needed to refund my credit.  (sigh)  After a couple e-mails being as gracious as I knew how to be I decided to not waste anymore time, marked it unresolved and am just hoping that the system will weed her out eventually.

On one hand, I really do believe I'm doing the right thing by marking these RWAP, but the frequency is beginning to make me worry about how I look to PBS.  Any thoughts are welcome. 

Last Edited on: 11/28/09 4:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/28/2009 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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I know how you feel, I've worried about the same thing when I had a rash of unpostables. I really wouldn't worry about it though. I've never heard of someone being reprimanded for marking too many books RWAP. If you are really worried about it you could use a digital camera to document the damage before you post the books as unpostable or do whatever you do with the damaged books you get. That way, if the team ever asks you about it (and like I said, I've never heard of them doing such a thing) you would have a photographic record of the damaged books. 

Date Posted: 11/28/2009 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 2/11/15 8:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/28/2009 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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If you were brand new...maybe (if they even look at this type of data) - but you have been a member for a long time with a lot of history, so I wouldn't be all that concerned. 

I also feel this happens in waves from the other similar threads. Hoping your future swaps are better.

Date Posted: 11/28/2009 5:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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There should be no room for rudeness and name calling in these interactions.  One can either agree that they sent an unpostable book, and refund the credit, or they can disagree and refuse to refund the credit, but if a rude name calling reply accompanies the decision, PBS needs the authority to retrieve that credit from the sender and give it to the receiver, on principle alone - just as a "slap on the hand" for the uncalled for rudeness.

ITA with this.

Date Posted: 11/28/2009 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,277
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Julie -- I am with you on this 100%. There seems to be two speeds: either the sender is sincerely apologetic and anxious to do right (jeez, we all make mistakes) or they are 180 degrees from that with either totally ignoring that there was a problem and not replying to a PM, or antagonistic.  Sometimes the dialogue seems to open (and close) with rudeness... and I would love to see penalties for that.

Date Posted: 11/28/2009 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 10,282
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While I've technically been a member for two years, I only started trading a year ago.  After creating my account I was so overwhelmed with information overload that I promptly left and didn't come back for almost a year.  I've been actively trading since last fall, though, and, as Julie stated for herself, my outgoing books have never been a problem so I'd hope my personal track record would speak for me being a good member.  That said, I acknowledge that anyone can make a mistake.  And I try to always say something to this effect when I write to a person who's sent me an unpostable.  I'm just feeling a bit leary lately as I order and receive books.

I agree with the rest of Julie's post too, though I will say....the majority of my trades have been good and even most of my RWAP transactions have ended well (with the sender taking responsibility).  But that doesn't negate how much I dislike receiving unpostables and marking them RWAP.  Good points, Julie and I think your suggestions sound reasonable.  I'm grateful I've never been called a name (yet).  That would be very difficult to swallow.

Date Posted: 11/28/2009 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,498
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My theory is that if you are very clear in the little box to report to PBS as to why it is unpostable, then it won't be held against you.  And I'd rather we report the RWAP then keep problem swapers out there thinking it is okay to post unpostable books.

Date Posted: 11/28/2009 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 2/11/15 8:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/28/2009 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 770
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I hate marking anything rwap because it never ends well.  Recently I had a book that was clearly water damaged.  I sent a message to the person and the response, "I got it that way and I didn't mind" and "Don't ever order from me again".  No credit refund...

I've often worried that PBS will think I'm the bad guy too.

Date Posted: 11/28/2009 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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It seems that these RWAP's do come in cycles.  I was in a long one and have recently seemed to have come out of it.  It really makes me appreciate all the good condition books when I get them!   I hate going through the rigamarole for getting a credit back if I get it back.  But there's no other way.  I don't know that TPTB would consider doing the "no comments" from the sender of a RWAP - but you could put it as a suggestion.  I just always pray that these cycles are short ones!


Date Posted: 11/28/2009 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Over all I've had really good luck with my RWAP transactions.  I've received my credit back every time and only twice was the person remotely rude.  Even then is was more of a "it must have happened in the mail!" response than any sort of name calling.  I've had one or two that have turned into an orgy of politeness (i.e. "I'm so sorry! I'm returning your credit" "No I'm sorry, you don't need to do that!" "I insist!").

They certainly do seem to come in waves, though.  I'm not sure why my responses have been over all so positive.  FYI - here's my boilerplate RWAP template:

Thank you for sending [title of book].   Unfortunately [state damage here clearly and concisely].  As I will not be able to repost this book, I would appreciate it if you could return my credit within a week so that I can mark this transaction resolved. If you would like me to post pictures of the damage I would be happy to do so. Thanks so much.

Date Posted: 11/29/2009 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,371
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I like your wording, Caviglia. You are gracious, clear, and giving the person room to retain self-respect.

Date Posted: 11/29/2009 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Many people react defensively to an RWAP, and no matter how diplomatic you may think you were in the attached response, you're never reading it though their eyes.  Because the PBS team may feel the occasional need to review a problem transaction, it's important for them to have the ability to see what both sides have to say & how they responded to the problem.  If that's negatively on either end, while it may be unpleasant, it does serve as a record of someone who has an issue with either their transactions, or their responses to problem transactions.  The PBS team may look at someone's account, decide they don't have a high number of RWAPs, but they don't generally respond well to the ones they have.  They *might* issue a gentle reminder to this person that they need to be polite, etc. and avoid any name calling & accusations, or they might decide that something more drastic is in order.  They might even decide that there was a lot of miscommunication on both sides, that neither party handled the situation exceptionally well, and decide to leave well enough alone - unless & until one or both parties exhibits some sort of pattern of problem communications.  It's hard to say, and anyone directly involved in a dispute isn't exactly in a position to be impartial.  I trust the PBS team to be impartial & do what they feel is appropriate.  I realize that I may not always agree with them on that, and I take it as a given that there are going to be cases where I'd like to see them do more, but such is the nature of things when you have a dog in the fight, so to speak.  When it's personal, there's no way to be fully impartial about it, and it's always easier to critique someone else's methods than it is to implement your own set of procedures that are completely fair to both sides.  I personally wouldn't want to see them issuing or not issuing credit refunds because one of the parties involved was rude.  I don't think a credit refund should be compensation for a slight or insult, but that it should be strictly about the book.  How can anyone honestly expect a member to be impartial, not take an RWAP personally, and always do exactly what the situation calls for, if the managment themselves set such an example as to base the refund of a credit upon how the person asking for it, or the person responding to that request, worded their message? 

Last Edited on: 11/29/09 3:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/30/2009 2:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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I hate marking anything rwap because it never ends well.  Recently I had a book that was clearly water damaged.  I sent a message to the person and the response, "I got it that way and I didn't mind" and "Don't ever order from me again".  No credit refund...

Karen, in situations like yours where the sender is blatantly admitting they knew they sent an unpostable book, I have seen the PBS Team intervene, take a credit from the sender, and return it right back to the requestor. How long ago was this transaction? It might not hurt to let them know about it, since the person admitted to you they sent a damaged unpostable book. I would copy and paste their PM to you in the "feedback" email.

I am in the same boat as the rest of you guys. Earlier in my trading here at PBS, I learned that I had an usually high record of RWAPs. I became a little nervous about my good standing with this site. I've had 2 books go lost on me (one with PBS-DC and one without), the first book I sent out to an APO went lost, but other than that everything has been fine. Except for the RWAPs that always seemed to find their way into my mailbox. I got to the point where I feared opening my packages for what I might find. I'd rather NOT have RC's, but I'd also rather not have RWAPs. At one point, the PBS Team told me that 10% of my transactions were ones I'd marked RWAP. There have even been a few orders that should have been marked RWAP, but I overlooked something (very faint discoloration and texture changes to the paper from water damage, binding issues, and stains). Or there were a few where I was just so tired of dealing with marking things RWAP that I decided not to. And of course I feel bad, because now this person doesn't know the book they sent out was an unpostable, and now someone else is going to have to deal with them in the future.

As bad as this sounds, because I'd rather no one get RWAP-worthy books, I am glad to know that I am not the only one who knows they have received a high number. Hopefully the increasing numbers of RWAPs will encourage PBS to change their structure a little.  Just a few weeks ago, I marked 3 of the 4 books I received that day RWAP. 2 were because of water damage (I took pictures and sent them to the senders without being prompted/asked because I felt like this would look really bad of me otherwise) and 1 was because the binding was just awful.

Last Edited on: 11/30/09 2:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/30/2009 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I would have a problem receiving an unpostable book.  When I am done reading a book, I will put it on my shelf to re-sell.  But, because I follow rules and guidelines, I would not post an unpostable book.  So, you really are losing out when someone sends you an unpostable book unless you don't care and are willing to put it on your bookshelf even though it is technically unpostable.

Date Posted: 12/1/2009 5:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Jennifer, my experience is the same, though I have yet to be told my number of RWAPs was too high. I have actually given up expecting to repost anything I order from here and keep almost nothing on my shelf anymore.  It's just became too painful to open the books and be disappointed and anxous about having to confront someone. (Even though the majority of people have returned the credits and been polite about it.... the bad ones really stick out.)