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Topic: Why isn't a waterproof inner wrap required?

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Subject: Why isn't a waterproof inner wrap required?
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2007
Posts: 326
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Does anyone know why it isn't required to use a waterproof inner wrap when using the PBS wrappers?  I received 4 books (from 4 different senders) over the weekend and two are water damaged.  One clearly got wet in transit and it is completely trashed so it is a "damamged by USPS" thing and thus I am essentially out of luck if the sender does not refund my credit as I kindly requested via PM.  The other I honestly cannot tell if it got wet in transit or not.

In both cases the books were shipped using the PBS wrappers but were not wrapped inside with any plastic.  Any one know why this isn't a requirement? My only thought is that it is an attempt to be environmentally friendy (which I am all for) but when shipping books it just seems to me that using something to keep them from getting wet would be a no-brainer.

Am I missing something?  These are the first damaged books I have received so I am pretty bummed.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 3:01 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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I don't understand why it is not a requirement, either, Nora. I live on a route where sometimes the carrier has to carry the package in his hand while delivering the mail. If it's raining, it gets wet! That's just plain and simple. I just don't know why, either.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 182
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I don't know either.  I use ziplocs.  Religiously.....

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 8:17 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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I've had a few books water damaged in the mailing process as well, although none this year since we are in a drought here.

The ones that I can't understand are the ones who wrap large hardcover books in the standard PBS mailer and NOTHING else. Half the time part of the book is sticking out by the time it arrives and usually there is only one sheet of paper on any given part of the book.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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I think its because PBS operates under the KISS philosophy. Keep it simple silly. Honestly if Id have been required to mail my books in anything other than the wrapper when I joined I would have deemed it too complicated and not even bothered with the site. If you live in an area that gets hit with a lot of flooding add a requestors condition asking for the plastic. Also some people have been having issues with melted plastic on their books. Im certain this isnt caused by sitting in mail boxes but it could be caused anywhere on the route so plastic can get you in just as much trouble as not having it. I would also assume that If I put plastic on a book (I always do) and it melted that would be my fault but if I didnt and the book was damaged on the way by something I couldnt control its the USPS fault.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I wrap everything in plastic now after reading a thread about it getting damaged in transit.  That said, is it fair to ask for a credit back if the sender sent it in good condition and it was damaged in transit?  sure they could have wrapped it in plastic but it isn't a requirement.  I'm just thinking out loud and am not saying what is right or wrong.....

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2007
Posts: 326
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But in this case, I feel that this water damage **was** something that the sender could control.  My real upset in this matter is that because it happened en route and the sender did package the book according to PBS guidelines (the inner wrap is not required), it is me who is going to lose out if the sender does not give back my credit. When a book is packaged properly according to guidelines and it is damaged en route, the sender does not **have** to give the credit back -  the receiver takes the blow when the book is damaged by USPS...........

From the help section on what to do if a receiver marks your book received as damaged:

  • USPS has a superb record of delivering packages intact, but accidents do happen. If the package was wrapped properly and this was just bad luck, then you do not need to refund the credit.
  • If the method with which the book was wrapped could have contributed to its damage en route, you should read here for guidance in wrapping a book. The main points are: use plenty of tape (2-inch shipping tape, not Scotch), especially to reinforce corners and seams, and make sure that your shipment is completely enclosed within the packaging (there should be no portion of the book(s) inside exposed).
  • If your book was damaged en route due to poor packaging, you should refund the credit.

Hopefully the sender will give me back the credit  (no response to my PM yet) and it will be over with, but I think an inner wrap should be required - seems to me that it wouldn't be out of line in a KISS philosophy to make it a requirement that the book is waterproofed in some manner when shipped out.  Accidents do happen and I understand that, but I think this one could have easily been avoided. I just don't like that it is the receiver that takes the brunt of it in this case - the sender gambled by not using plastic and it didn't make it.  Had I ordered this book from an online bookseller and it arrived damaged in this manner certainly the seller would be liable. I know there is always the possibility that unscroupulous person could say a book was damaged when it wasn't but that is always is a possibility in any transaction situation.

 In the grand scheme of the world I certainly recognize that this is not a big issue.  I am prepared to have to eat the credit - but I don't have to like it.  :) 



Last Edited on: 8/13/07 10:08 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2007
Posts: 161
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I am new.  I have been using a LOT of clear packaging tape on the outside of my parcels, so that the only untaped parts are the delivery confirmation and the place where the post office adds postage. I had originally used ziplocks but then found that I was also adding all of the tape anyway (paranoid about media mail getting torn) so I stopped using the ziplocks.

Katlover

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2007
Posts: 16,831
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I think it should be a requirement also. I ALWAYS put my book in a Ziplock baggie first. 

Maybe we all should put this suggestion in the "Treasure Chest" on the main page???

 

 

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 10:51 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2007
Posts: 326
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Maybe R&R will hop in here and let us know what the "official" thoughts are on this matter.  :-)

I always send out my books in a ziploc inside of whatever other manner I am shipping - bubble mailer, kraft paper, etc. The bag is reuseable and isn't going to melt.  I have never had a water damage complaint.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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so for the book that you requested a credit back, did the sender send it according to PBS guidelines?  I'm unclear about that from your post.  If they did and it got wet in transit, the sender can't control that.  yes they could have wrapped it in plastic but it isn't a requirement at this time.

Is it still readable?  if so, you aren't out a credit because you did receive a book you can read.  sure you can't relist it but you can offer it out for free with an order from your bookshelf.

I personally ship my books wrapped in plastic and then just the PBS wrapper because those are the guidelines (not the plastic part).  If it is damaged in transit that is nothing I can control because it did leave my post office in good condition. 

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Another thought. Several people on this site are very environmentally consious and feel that wrapping in plastic is not only a waste but not ecco friendly. Since the site is sorta about recycling then it seems using plastic would be sorta against that philosophy as well. Either way until the every place that I get mail from is required to send it to me in a waterproof wrapping I dont think PBS should make it a requirement. I also dont think that asking for a credit back when the book was damaged by the PO but wrapped according to the PBS standards is justified. If they did what the site says they should do then they arent at fault for the book being damaged.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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But in this case, I feel that this water damage **was** something that the sender could control.

But if they followed the wrapping guidelines, they did nothing wrong.  It's a huge bummer that your book got wet, I completely agree, but if there was nothing *else* wrong (and it seems from your followup post that there was not) with the wrapping job, I would question the asking for credit return as well.  I have gotten books that were half out of the package and once even got the book laid ON TOP of the wrapping because it had come completely apart.  Those are poor wrap jobs (not enough tape, normally!), but not using plastic is, at this point, just a matter of preference (unless it is an RC, of course).

I agree with Chris that the reason seems likely to be KISS and RR have given an option...Requestor Conditions (already mentioned, I realize).  If you have that as an RC and someone sends you a book w/o plastic, then I would absolutely agree with requesting the credit return.



Last Edited on: 8/13/07 11:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2007
Posts: 326
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End result is that  I received a severely damaged book which is not what I requested.

What would you guys do?  I wrap in plastic so I shouldn't have to face this issue, but had I sent it w/o plastic and the sender got a damaged book, I would refund the credit - just my way of doing business.  I know some of y'all are very active and respected swappers - if you guys were the sender in this situation and I requested the credit back, would you refund it?

I know, I know, suck it up and move along............ ;-)  I am trying, I really am.  :) I have already ordered a replacement copy.  The damaged one is in the kindling pile - I am not talking a little bit of damage here, folks - the book has hit the end of it s life expectancy.



Last Edited on: 8/13/07 12:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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I have recieved a book that was not wrapped in plastic an was water damaged by the PO. It was sitting in the bottom of a bag filled with water. Not only my mail but every other piece of mail in that bag was damaged. I marked it as damaged by the PO and did not ask for my credit back. It wasnt the sender of my mails fault anymore than of any other piece of mail in that bag it was the USPS fault.



Last Edited on: 8/13/07 12:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I think it would be great if it was required.  I think it's NOT required because it's the US post offices' job to keep your mail dry until delivered to you, then it's YOUR job.     We do not get packages from anywhere else that has to be waterproof.  When we order a book from Amazon, we assume it will get to us dry and if it doesn't, we don't blame Amazon.    

Edited to add:   I would NOT ask for a credit back as the sender followed all PBS guidelines.   IF you asked me to refund the credit because the books got wet?  Then yes, I'd refund it because it would be the nice, easy thing to do.  One book credit isn't worth having someone angry and upset to ME.    Now don't all of you order from me then demand your credits back just cause I'm a nice person!!!   LOL 



Last Edited on: 8/13/07 12:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,534
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It's not the sender's fault that your book was damaged.  Wrapping in plastic is not required.  If you want to make it a requirement for the books you receive to be wrapped in plastic, you need to make it one of your requestor conditions.  If I was the sender, I would not refund your credit.....I'm not as nice as Cozette.  :-)

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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End result is that  I received a severely damaged book which is not what I requested.

Which is a drag, yes.  but should the sender be out a book, postage AND the credit for following the club rules?? I don't think so, sorry.

What would you guys do? 

I would not have asked for the credit back.  I probably would have mentioned to the sender that plastic is a nice touch and why.  If this person is new, or doesn''t read the forums, then they might not know.

I wrap in plastic so I shouldn't have to face this issue, but had I sent it w/o plastic and the sender got a damaged book, I would refund the credit - just my way of doing business.

Which is your choice, not a club rule.  A good choice, IMO, I use plastic, too.  I didn't KNOW to use it before reading the forums, though. Never would have occured to me.

if you guys were the sender in this situation and I requested the credit back, would you refund it?

It would depend on a lot of things.  Tone of the PM, the situation, things like that.  IMO, if the sender gives you back your credit it is a gift, not an entitlement, because he or she followed the club rules.  I have returned credits for USPS damage before because I felt bad for the requestor and, honestly, I could spare the credit.  If it was my only one, and I'd followed the rules?  Well, I might part with it a lot more reluctantly.  

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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 Now don't all of you order from me then demand your credits back just cause I'm a nice person!!!   LOL 

LOL. Foiled. ;-))

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2007
Posts: 326
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I would certainly hold Amazon (who does wrap their books in plastic) responsible - it  may not be their **fault** because it was indeed an accident, but I would hold them responsible.  And I certainly believe that Amazon would replace the book.  In this hypothetical situation, Amazon paid the USPS (with postage) to deliver their product to me safely.  If the USPS does not get the product to me safely then Amazon needs to take it up with their contracted carrier.  In the world of shipping products the sender is contracting the carrier and the receiver has nothing to do with it.  The receiver has a right to a product in good shape - this is what they ordered and what the sender is obligated to provide. If the carrier doesn't get it to the customer than the seller needs to file a claim with the carrier - this is how it works in the world of shipping.  Yes, I recognize that we here at PBS are not a business but I think that the basic business concept should still apply.

If you paid $26.95 for a hardcover book from an online seller and it arrived water damaged would you just keep it?  Would you take it to the PO and tell them you received it damaged and they should replace it (good luck with that), or would you notify the seller?

 

 

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2007
Posts: 16,831
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I would also notify the seller, and I think Amazon would replace the book.  IMO!

 

 

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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I just got two books from Amazon on Friday neither was wrapped in plastic. Also the most your spending here is what ever you spent to ship. If you only want to spend your credit on books that you know will be wrapped in plastic then make it a requestor condition.

Im not even defending it as a person who feels strongly about not using plastic. I wrap all my books in plastic but I still dont feel it should be required. And I still dont feel its the senders fault that the book got wet. When it happened to me it was the USPS fault because they left the bag out in the flood rains we caught from a hurricane.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,716
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I have received a book before that got wet during transit and became water damaged.  I let her know that she might want to consider using some kind of plastic wrap in the future, but I in no way held her responsible since it obviously got wet while being delivered.  It is very rare for any of my mail, including my book packages, to get so wet that it soaks through, and I live in NC.  If a book becomes damaged by the USPS, then it should be marked that way, and the sender shouldn't be held liable for that.  Not when they followed the site rules.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Amazon would really replace the book if it was damaged by water?  Amazon doesn't wrap any of my books in plastic, they come in a box and could be damaged, but I have never received a damaged book so don't know if they do replace or not

If I was the sender I probably would not refund the credit because when it left my home it was wrapped according to specifications and in good condition.  I should not be held accountable for the USPS and their handling of the package.  If I were to refund the credit then I'm out a credit PLUS the shipping for something I had NO control over.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2007
Posts: 326
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And really everyone, I am not trying to be difficult here.  I honestly want your feedback because I would refund the credit if it was requested of me.  My thought is is that I am the sender so I am obligated to get the purchaser the product they requested. To me it would be unfathomable to tell the receiver that they are out of luck because I did what was required of me (wrapped in paper) when I could have stepped it up a little notch (wrapped in plastic) and done more to ensure the safety of the product I was sending.  To me the condition of the books I send and the care I take in shipping them safely are a reflection of me.  Now that is simply a statement of  how I personally feel - please don't anyone go reading anything more in to that statement. 

I have already ordered a replacement copy and I consider the credit lost.  My original question was **why** it isn't a requirement when it seems to me to be an easy fix to a problem it appears that many of us have had. That's all I asked.

I genuinely did not mean for this topic to get this big.  I like a lively debate, though - and PBSers are nothing if not lively!  :-)

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