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Textbook Ordeal

2010-09-05

Category: General

As mentioned in earlier posts, your old pal LibertyBob is back in grad school. Things are going rather well, for the most part. The only exception was one of the textbooks.

Textbooks for college are very expensive. There are reasons for this, but it doesn't make it easy on the students. That's why we now have many ways to get used books or even rent them for the semester.

For particular books, I prefer to buy them because I expect to use them for reference in the future. When I buy, I want them new. This reduces the chance that the previous owner damaged them or did anything gross between the pages. This is particularly true when I have to order them without looking at them first.

This time, I ordered through the Barnes and Noble web site. Normally, I have really good luck with Barnes and Noble. This is the first time I ordered something that went through one of the partners. I won't be doing that again.

The book is one I will keep for reference. I was willing to pay the full price for a new copy. I paid my one hundred and seventy dollars for it. I ordered with plenty of time before the semester started; ordering it the same day I found out what it was.

As the semester drew closer, I grew more worried. The book failed to arrive. More days passed without the book. The semester started and still no book.

My email to the partner garnered a response of it may take the full fourteen days. Given that it had already been more than two weeks since I placed my order in the Barnes and Noble web site, I was not happy.

So, the book eventually arrived. The first homework was due that very night. I got things done and submitted, but was not happy about the close call.

Then there was the other problem. Notice that I said I was willing to pay full price for a new book? One would assume a new book would not be pre-underlined. I also expect that a new book would need to have the spine properly opened rather than opening freely. Used books sell for appreciably less than new ones.

I've contacted Barnes and Noble about the issue. In addition to everything else I told them, I mentioned that I would never be ordering through one of their partners again. Regular orders through Barnes and Noble would be fine; they've always given good service. Those partners are just too much of an unknown.


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