Posts Tagged ‘alternatives to amazon’

Wordery just lost a customer…

December 23, 2021

I was happy when the online bookseller Wordery emerged a few years back, as I’ve always sought alternatives to the behemoth that is Amazon. They offered decent prices, though their deliveries always took a while longer. They have now lost me as a customer, for very poor customer service and penny-pinching.

How many of you read a book as soon as you’ve bought it? Most of the time I do, but by no means always. More importantly, if you aren’t going to read a book straight away, do you carefully examine every page for possible defects before it rests on your shelves? Because it seems that’s what Wordery expects you to do, so that you can take advantage of its “generous” three-month period for complaints, replacements and refunds… Sale of Goods Act? Merchantable quality?

So, my gripe is about one of the beautifully presented Everyman’s Library hardbacks, Selected Writings of Alexander von Humboldt, which weighs in at 800 pages. I bought it a couple of years back, and have only just begun reading it.

No, I hadn’t checked every page. So when it suddenly repeated a 32-page sequence of pages, and then omitted the next 32-page section, I realised I had a useless book on my hands. No sympathy from customer service at Wordery. Too long had gone by. Basically a p*** off and die response; no reply to a second e-mail, or from a director of the company to whom I also complained.

Now, I’m not going to cry about it, but a book isn’t the kind of thing where you’re immediately going to detect a flaw which renders it useless. It’s not like a garment with a hole, or an electronic device which won’t function. And I’ll mention a story from about 20 years ago. Then, I’d bought a heavyweight academic tome on religious history from a secondhand bookshop. If I’d bought it new, it would have been £25 or more. And that turned out to have a missing signature (section of printed pages). I enquired of the publisher whether there was any way they might be able to supply me with the text of the missing pages, pointing out I’d bought a used copy. And was genuinely astounded when the reply basically said, ‘Nonsense. Send your address and we’ll replace the book.’ And they did.

Ah well, caveat emptor, as they say. And I shall. No more of my money to Wordery, who actually might have stood to make rather more out of me next year, when Amazon rejects my Visa card in its spat with the banking world. The whole business leaves a rather nasty taste in my mouth.

Rant over, back to reading.

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