(Apologies to our regular readers for the following rant)
I ordered 5 books from Thriftbooks.com on November 28th. I have ordered books from them several times before and have always been pleased with the quality of the used books, the pricing, and the quick shipping. The order on November 28 was an entirely different story. My 8-year-old was tearing through our collection if Christmas books when I realized that she didn’t have a copy of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. So I pulled up my Thriftbooks app and quickly found a copy for $4.47 and added it to my cart. In order to get free shipping I had to order $10 worth of books so I ended up adding 4 more books to my cart. That evening I received an order confirmation for all 5 of my books.
By December 12th I had received all of my books except “The Grinch” (the most important book in the order) and had received no communications from the company about it so I sent Customer Service an email:
“I placed an order for 5 books on 11/28/16. It said shipping would take 4-14 business days. I have received all the books except “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. It has been 10 business days (2 weeks) since I ordered it. My invoice says it should be coming from Oregon, but it hasn’t even shipped yet. Unless they ship it today, Priority mail, I don’t see how I will get it in time. This is a Christmas book and I expected to get it in a timely manner. My 8 year old won’t have much use for it after Christmas. So far I have been thrilled with your service and have recommended you to many friends but right now I wouldn’t recommend your service to anyone.”
I received a very well-written and I thought at the time, sincere apology from customer service but no offers to make things right.
“Greetings from ThriftBooks.
Unfortunately, a book can sometimes be purchased around the same time by two different customers. This usually happens when a customer purchases a book that has recently been sold to someone else and is in the process of being de-listed (removed from the website and no longer for sale).
I can assure you this is a rare occurrence and we are working towards eliminating this issue. Regardless, I wanted to apologize for the inconvenience this has undoubtedly caused you. I also wanted to assure you that we fully refunded this title at the time of cancellation. You should have received an email to this effect at the time of cancellation, and if you didn’t, please accept my apology.
I know that this email doesn’t do much to get you your book, but I wanted to make sure you knew that we immediately refunded your order. All the best, Jordan”
I could understand the situation, I wasn’t happy about it but these things happen. I decided=d to try the library at this time. The next evening something about that email started to bother me and I decided to search Thriftbooks again for my book. Surely it couldn’t have been the only copy they had available. I was right and it made me angry that they hadn’t offered me a different copy. I wrote to Customer Service again:
“Checking your site today I see that you have 55 new and used copies of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” available right now. Five of those used copies are good or acceptable and within the price range of the one I ordered. While I appreciate your well-written apology, I do not understand why I received NO NOTIFICATION OF ANY KIND about you canceling/crediting my order. I expect you to send me one of those 5 copies with free shipping to make up for this unacceptable customer service. I will gladly pay the $3.84-$4.04 minus the 20% off coupon I used on my order. My eight year old certainly has no understanding of your delay in the “de-listing” process. She just wanted this book to read for Christmas. I expect you to make this right.”
I received my response at 5:42 the next morning, meaning she had sent it at 3:42am PST (her time, weird?). Jordan replied:
“We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused.
All the best, Jordan”
I am now so mad that I can hardly see straight! I gave them a very reasonable way of fixing the situation but all they seem to be giving a verified customer (several times over) is “lip service”. Any good company would have offered me something for my troubles (a $5 off coupon, a % off coupon, free shipping) something to make up for my inconvenience. They have chosen to ignore the problem and hope I’ll go away. Well I certainly will go away after I have posted this review on every social media site I can come up with.