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Topic: This is why plastic wrapping should be a PBS requirement

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Subject: This is why plastic wrapping should be a PBS requirement
Date Posted: 1/10/2008 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 1,837
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If this works, you'll be able to see a pic I took of a package delivered to me by the USPS.  It was a completely soaked book sent my another PBS member, with black mold growing all over the paper wrapper that the book was mailed in.  The USPS dropped this beauty inside an unsealed plastic bag and stuck it in with my mail.  Yuck!!  Needless to say, I won't be able to repost, much less read, this baby!


ETA:  DARN!  Not sure why the link went to the main page rather than the pic I was linking to!

Last Edited on: 1/10/08 3:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/10/2008 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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You have an extra IMG tag or something.

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Wasnt the senders fault it was the POs fault. If that happens to your stuff a lot you should make it a condition on your account.

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2007
Posts: 1,222
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It doesn't matter who's fault it was. I agree that we should have to wrap the book in plastic first because you never know what this book is going to go through on its journey.

Last Edited on: 1/10/08 4:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/10/2008 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 1,313
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Bummer!  Sorry that happened to you.  I usually only use plastic if I'm thinking about it, but I'm going to make it a priority now!

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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You know-I have a feeling that plastic wrap might not have even helped in this case.

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2006
Posts: 2,030
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I think I would have taken it back to the PO & asked where  exactly they found the book?

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/1/2007
Posts: 230
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I would take it to my PO too and show them how it was delivered to you.  That sounds really unacceptable.  I agree with Mary- I don't think the sheet of saran wrap I usually use would have been enough, based on your description; it isn't completely waterproof.

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Although I always wrap in plastic, I am still a child of the 60s and wouldnt really love any more requirements put on me. Not that PBS has a lot of requirements, just the world in general. If anything should be required it should be the Postal Service protecting the mail we trust to them for the price of postage we pay.

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 1,837
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It wasn't the sender's fault - in fact, I gave her the credit because it was obviously the fault of the USPS.  BUT I did suggest she put her books in plastic as well as the paper wrapper next time.  I think R&R have that as a suggestion in their wrapping instructions, and I sure wish more people did it.


Thanks for linking for me, Britney!

Last Edited on: 1/10/08 8:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/10/2008 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Its a good suggestion but for a lot of reasons it shouldnt be a requirement. One of them being that the more complicated things get the less people will join. If a person looks at the site and sees that all they really need to package a book is some paper and tape they will think cool this is gonna be easy. Throw in requirements and then it gets harder and less people are gonna wanna do it.

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 73
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What a shame! I can imagine your chagrin when you saw those books.

Frankly, I never thought about this problem when I first started on PBS. Then I read some of the complaints and I realized that -- particularly up here in Oregon -- plastic wrapping is a must.  I found one of those roll things of shrink wrap at the office supply storre and I just "wrap" books before I send them now. Of course, recipients must hate me because it's so hard to get into my packages sometimes!<G>

I'm glad you posted this experience. Hopefully, others will be mindful of the problem and act accordingly. Although, when PBS encourages just using the printing label as the sole packaging, it's going to be hard to insist on plastic!




Date Posted: 1/11/2008 12:33 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I got two books in exactly the same manner in April in California during the ONLY spring storm we had.   I complained to the PO - they just sorta shrugged.    If my electric bill gets soaked and I can't read it - I don't think that I should require the electrical company to send bills in plastic (and YES this happens).   

While I would like to see plastic a requirement, I understand why it isn't.      

Date Posted: 1/11/2008 8:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,054
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Yeah I know all about how usps ruins stuff. I purchased an antique ceramic, hand painted Arabian bust... It was SOOO wrapped up wonderfully and the PO shattered the base. They so shattered it that a piece was clear up by the ear of the Arabian horse THROUGH the multi- wrap that it was wrapped in. I wound up didn't turn in the claim b/c they wanted to relinquish it. I couldn't let this one of a kind item go... so I super glued it and ya know, there are pieces missing!... it was THAT shattered. Made me sick.

I'm so sorry you don't get to read that book. ARGH... reckless usps. :(



Date Posted: 1/11/2008 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,754
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I had a requestor thank me the other day for wrapping her book in plastic....she said it was the only thing that saved it, because it was soaked when the PO brought it to her.  It's just habit for me to wrap the books in plastic.  Even though I would have received my credit regardless, I think it would be sad to know a perfectly good book got ruined when a little plastic could have prevented it.  I just love books too much to think about that!

Date Posted: 1/11/2008 9:19 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I wrap in plastic because of stories I've read on here and wanted to make sure my books arrived in readable condition.  However there are many that are opposed to plastic for environmental reason and may not have any plastic in their house and are opposed to purchasing any to use here.

If you live in a rainy area it would be a good idea to put RC stating where you live there is a high chance of packages getting wet and would they please put plastic around the book to try and help save it from being ruined

Date Posted: 1/11/2008 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2005
Posts: 125
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Definitely let people know!  But... and this is a big but... be nice about it.

I'm really sorry that people have gotten books in bad condition but that doesn't give requestors license to slap the next person who posts something they want over the nose with a rolled up bullet pointed list of sins and demands.  Really, you don't need to write a treatise on how to PBS.  Just say, "Hey, would you mind wrapping my book in plastic?" and most people will comply. 

FWIW, everything I send out is wrapped, reinforced, etc.; but that toddler of the sixties/child of the seventies inside still balks at being fussed at.  :)




Date Posted: 1/11/2008 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2005
Posts: 1,628
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Last Edited on: 2/7/15 2:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 1/11/2008 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Mail - any mail - shouldn't be getting wet.  Wet mail is a PO problem, not the sender's problem.

I live in Portland - one of the raniest cities in the US - and have received only one out of 600+ books wet.


Last Edited on: 1/11/08 7:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/11/2008 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It is a postal problem. I live in a very high rain area and my books are never wet.  Beat up w/barely there packaging-yes but never wet.

Date Posted: 1/11/2008 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
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I HATE receiving books wrapped in plastic.  I must be the only one.  The only book that I've ever rec'd that had water damage was one that was wrapped in plastic.  The water had seeped into the plastic and it was a mess.

I also don't like that it's just more trash being generated - plastic in particular.  One of the reasons I even use PBS is because it's a great form of recycling.  Yes, I am one of those crazy tree huggers.  I live in Maine, what do you expect? *shrug*

And yeah, I know I'm in the minority.  Just wanted to put it out there.

Date Posted: 1/11/2008 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2006
Posts: 670
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Melani -

You are not alone, I don't routinely use plastic wrap for that very same reason.  I hold on to any plastic sent to me for use when it is a requestor condition, but that's it.  I've mailed 350+ books with no complaints yet.


Date Posted: 1/12/2008 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2008
Posts: 15
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I've been mailing books through places on than PBS before I found it and I rarely use plastic. Actually, I don't use the PBS wrapper either because a regular sheet of paper (which is essentially all it is) is not very protective to books, DVD cases, etc. I use brown recycled packaging paper and have never had anything returned to me or complaints about it. The packaging paper is a bit heavier than printer paper but not heavy enough to affect shipping cost.

And the fact that I don't use plastic or shrink wrap ot stuff like that. The grocery bag idea is nice but I use recycled and reusable bags for stuff like that.

I agree with those that said plastic probably wouldn't have helped that book. It looks like it was wet shortly after the PO got it and then the dark damp conditions did it.

Date Posted: 1/12/2008 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,419
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You're not the only one that dislikes the plastic wrap.  Sure, I can recognize the good intentions of it.  But when an individual is a smoker and then wraps a book in plastic, well, thanks for sealing in the freshness.  Ick.  Usually smoky books don't bother me as they can air out a bit on the way to me, but having one wrapped in plastic can sometimes floor me when it's opened.

patticom - ,
Date Posted: 1/12/2008 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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I find the plastic annoying too, for reasons others stated (more packaging trash, hard to open).  I don't usually wrap them in plastic myself *unless* someone requests it, or a couple of times I did when it was going somewhere I know to be wet in winter.  :)  I recycle brown paper grocery bags for most books, and so far have apparently had no problems (no complaints, several thanks).

As for the OP, did you open the book and check??  I could swear when I look closely at the photo you linked that there *IS* in fact plastic wrapping peeking through in the bottom corner!!-?  Of course if it is so drenched that it is moldy, plastic wrap is likely to only make it worse... unless it was really really really sealed (like a ziploc).  Sorry this happened to you though, and ITA on the YUCK!