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Topic: This must be why . . .

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Subject: This must be why . . .
Date Posted: 8/4/2013 9:03 AM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 383
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some members put the basic guidelines as specific conditions.


 This person has been a member since 2009. Just wanted to share with people who would get my frustation.  The hubs tries . . . .


Here is the exchange:


  1) Problem: Damaged by Sender

The member to whom you shipped your book' has sent you this personal message:

"Was so disappointed to open this book and find: writing, circling of sentences, on pages 5,6,7,8,9,10,13,14,17
Wish to get my place in line on wishlist and return of my credit, please"

You did get credit from the system for sending the book. ***The requestor is asking you to refund credit for this book.***

For more details about this problem and how to handle it, please refer to the email sent about this transaction.

We know that no one intends to send a problem book; we appreciate you working with the requestor to resolve this problem.

Please use the box below to reply to the requestor about this problem transaction:

2) I know the book wasn't perfect, but it was certainly readable. I don't think the writing on it was excessive.

I apologize for not advising you of its condition before sending it to you, and giving you the choice whether to accept it or not. I thought it did meet PBSs conditions.

I note that there are several PBS members who want the book, so I imagine you could easily get a credit for sending it to someone who would accept it in whatever condition it is in.

3)These are the PBS requirements, you did not meet them

◾No writing or highlighting or underlining on text pages ◾a signature or note on the flyleaf or inside front or back cover is OKAY
◾an author's signature on the title page is OKAY
◾writing or highlighting or underlining on the text pages is NOT OKAY


Date Posted: 8/4/2013 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2007
Posts: 5,904
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If I found a something with a circle on page 5, I would ask for my credit back. It makes the book unpostable. It's really quite simple.

I've had several people talk about "readable" . Almost all books are readable. That's not the point. I need them "postable" or my credit is gone. Poof!!!

Date Posted: 8/4/2013 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,039
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Well, report the sender to PBS and they should force the credit refund in this case, as your sender clearly explains that she did it on purpose and not only that, apparently knows the notification rule and didn't follow it.
Date Posted: 8/6/2013 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2009
Posts: 279
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I had similar happen to me recently. I received a water damaged book and the sender admitted in a PM that she was aware it was damaged. But since she had received it from a PBS member in that condition, she figured that justified sending on to the next requestor. Never mind that PBS specifically states NO WATER DAMAGE.

Date Posted: 8/6/2013 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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'It's readable' is one of the more common excuses for mailing unpostables (I received it in this condition, thru PBS is another).

Politely point out the book does not meet PBS minimum guidelines for swappability.  If the sender doesn't refund your credit (if requested) then do forward the info to TPTB (when a confession of knowingly sending unpostables is present).  It's one of the few conditions under which PBS admin will step into a transaction.

Last Edited on: 8/7/13 12:44 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/7/2013 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,209
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I find long term members being the most guilty of "it readable" arguments for sending unpostable books :( You are right to reitterate the rules of the site to the sender. They cannot send a book with writing/highlighting without getting the requesters approval. They admit they know that. They need to return the credit not tell you to try to pull what they did.

Stay firm in asking for your credit back so that you can request a clean copy of the book. If they do not return it, let the site know through Feedback via the Contact Us link that the sender admits the book was written in, but refuses to return the credit.

Date Posted: 8/13/2013 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2005
Posts: 65
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I hate that this is the case, but I'm at least reasuured that I'm not the only person to recieve a response like this.  Just recieved a book that looks like coffee seeped through the last 50 pages.  The response stated that (a) it was recieved this way, (b) it's readable, (c) it's a popular, wishlisted book, and (d) they'd return the credit if I intend to destroy the book instead of reading it.  While b & c are true, I will not be returning this book to the PBS inventory due to the condition I recieved it in - I feel perfectly justified in my polite response affirming that I'd like my credit returned.  

Date Posted: 8/13/2013 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Exactlly Deidra, politely let the sender know that due to coffee/liquid stains on approx 50 pages the book does not meet PBS minimum Swappability rules for postability (I use the word Swappability b/c that's how it's titled in the Help Documents).  Request the credit return if you wish.  Returning the book is optional...IF the sender covers the postage costs.  Otherwise it's no longer any of the senders concern what happens to the book at this point. 

The only points I would discuss in pm's are that the book appears to have been mailed unpostable, and you are requesting a credit refund (and would like to mark the RWAP resolved).  The rest are just unimportant details to disagree over, and won't resolve the RWAP.

If the sender remains unwilling to do the right thing, do forward the transaction to PBS admin for review and possible action.

Date Posted: 8/14/2013 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2011
Posts: 558
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I had one that told me that they didn't think it "was enough water damage to be a problem because it was totally readable" and that maybe a used book site wasn't for me since I had "such high standards."  He, oh, so graciously offered my credit back.

Date Posted: 8/14/2013 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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I would have responded to that with a comment along the lines of "maybe PBS isn't for you, since you evidently don't care about their postability rules"!  devil

Date Posted: 8/14/2013 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,786
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lanamilo - I had a similar experience.  The sender repeatedly referred to the fact that I decided her book did not meet "my expectations" or "my guidelines" and then noted that no other book she had sent was found to be lacking.  I finally copied the basic PBS condition requirements and stated that "my guidelines" are irrelevant (since I don't use Requestor Conditions) but those of PBS must be followed.

Last Edited on: 8/14/13 1:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/14/2013 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2010
Posts: 15
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I have recently added an RC saying that I would like to receive only books that meet PBS guidelines for swapping. Then I provide a link to the page that lists the guidelines. I have since had 2 people turn down requests on the grounds that it doesn't meet my conditions.  ?????

I read over the whole conditions document occasionally, and think that it would be a good idea for everyone!


To me, the most frequent issue is the underlining/highlighting rule. PBS says that they're okay in textbooks if the sender tells the potential receiver in a PM, and the receiver responds with an okay.  Many people seem to forget this detail. Also, there's the question of what is a textbook and what is not a textbook....


Last Edited on: 8/15/13 2:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/14/2013 10:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 138
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Kay - PBS also has an interesting article about textbooks in the Help Center called "What is the definition of a textbook?".

Date Posted: 8/15/2013 12:14 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2010
Posts: 15
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Betty B.--Thanks. Can you provide a link? I can't find it. I do remember reading once in the help docs. that one could call any book a textbook if it was used in a class. Don't remember where I found that.

Date Posted: 8/15/2013 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I was actually the one who got the clarification from TPTB a few years ago. Anything can be considered a textbook. See here and here.

Date Posted: 8/15/2013 2:51 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2010
Posts: 15
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Thanks, Caviglia.

Date Posted: 8/15/2013 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 138
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So sorry Kay, I can't seem to paste into the text box with my tablet,  but I should have at least told you how to find the article.  In the Help Center, search the word "textbook"; for me the article is the first result.  Thank you Caviglia for getting us the info from PBS and providing the links.  The second link is similar, if not identical, to the article I mentioned.   I needed to use the rule 3 times this week for college workbooks, so it was nice to know more about how it works.

Subject: just a funny on this subject
Date Posted: 8/19/2013 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/7/2008
Posts: 323
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Hi! I came across this thread in trying to figure out what I should do with my first problem swap!

I just requested Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer and got it today. I was so disappointed! I looked through it and there was 1 chapter that had between 100 and 200 red pen marks circling commas, words, and sentences....I reread the swappability guidelines, did a search of "textbooks", saw this thread (and others), reluctantly decided I had to rwap it (a first!)....

went to the library to use their computer, even counted how many red pen marks there were to be very accurate where you write what is wrong with the book....then....midway in the rwap process...looked at those pen marks again, jumped out of my seat and went to the stacks, and guess what! The book in the stacks had the exact same markings! (In other words, it was part of the story....)

wow....I came really close...hopefully tptb know about this book :)

just thought I'd share the funny :)

Last Edited on: 8/19/13 5:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/19/2013 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I almost did that once Melanie. I flipped through a novel and saw a bunch of scribbles and scratched out words on a few pages. Luckily I looked at it close and saw that it was supposed to be there.

That could have been embarassing.

Date Posted: 8/19/2013 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/7/2008
Posts: 323
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Yes Lisa! What's amazing is how long I got into the process before it occurred to me maybe it was not used as a textbook in a class (an English class, for example)-- the markings looked so real! Or I need new glasses...Luckily I was in the library and the book was in!

Last Edited on: 8/19/13 5:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/20/2013 12:45 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,343
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Melanie, I had the same experience with the same book.  Came that close to marking it RWAP. lol!