Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Used Book Refunds... Again

Sorry, this post is basically me venting my frustration.

I tried... again!  There's always that enticement that a used book is going to be cheaper than a new book.  It's not just the price that beckons me to buy a used book, though.  There's also the reality that in purchasing a used book I'm recycling something that's already been produced.  Essentially, I'm wasting less by reusing a book someone else no longer wants.

I wrote a few months back about an issue I had trying to resolve the refund for a used book.  Today it happened again.  Amazon has a great rating system for the condition of used books--Like New, Very Good, Good, Acceptable.  
I expect that an acceptable book may be missing some pages and definitely will have writing, but a like new condition shouldn't have any writing and should be in almost new condition.

Last week, I ordered a "Like New" book for my husband.  When it arrived, I noticed the dirt and marks on the front and back cover.  I cleaned them off easily enough with a damp rag and a little baking soda.  But, then I opened the book up.  Over half of the book was written in and underlined in--pen.  Of course, I contacted the seller.  They agreed to give me a refund upon receipt of the book.  Tonight, I went to print off the return label--which required me to pay for the return postage.  I could understand this if I had made an error in my order.  But, I didn't.  

After trying to contact the seller again because of my surprise, I received an email back that said that he/she couldn't believe how petty I'm being and that I should be grateful they were willing to give me a refund at all.  But, it actually gets worse.  The seller accused me of trying to find a sucker and get free books.  I have contacted Amazon.  I'm curious what their response will be.  The refund was issued, but honestly I don't care.  My brother always tells me that I won't pay for good customer service.  He's wrong.  I will.  The experiences I have shopping will shape where I choose to spend the money I need to for the things we need and want.  I am often willing to buy less if it means I won't have someone insult me or be rude to me when there's a problem.  

I guess this is one more nail in the coffin, so to speak.  I want to buy used books!  But, not if I have bad experiences when I order them and take a risk every time that the book isn't going to be in the condition it was described in.  


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