We have had a rash of bad modern publisher’s bindings come through the lab lately.  Not because some publisher decided to get creative, but simply sloppy work and no quality control.  When do you all say enough is enough and have your acquisitions departments send books back for replacements?  Does this automatically happen?  Do they consult you first?  Or do they just send them through the workflow like nothing is wrong?

I realize that there is a tipping point between time and labor in repairing these books in-house and time and labor in shipping the book back to the publisher or vendor and then receiving and reprocessing a new volume, but what’s the tipping point?  This usually happens so infrequently that we normally just make the repair, but there have been four such items this week.  By sending them back, do the publishers get the message, or is this just business as usual?