This semester I thought I'd save a couple of bucks on a $120 textbook and purchase a "like new" textbook for $65 from a Marketplace vendor. It shipped quickly, but that is where the positive experience ended.
The book I received was not the same book advertised. The Amazon listing is for a single volume 1272-page book. Though the cover has the same ISBN, what I received is the second-volume of a bound photocopy reproduction of the book which starts at Chapter 16. You could argue it is a semi-profession reproduction but the text on pages is still splotchy like they did not have enough toner in the high speed printer.
I contacted the seller to arrange return shipping and a full refund for this "materially different" item, and to their credit, they responded relatively quickly. But, yet again, the positive experience stopped there.
"We are very sorry to hear that an item left our facility as the wrong book. Our shipping dept. will be reprimanded for not checking this item more thoroughly.
Unfortunately we do not have any more of this title to send you another
copy. Please do put this item back in the original package and write "return to sender". This way we will be charged for the return rather than you. Please DO NOT go to your local PO to drop this off. They are unaware of our contract with our local PO and will most likely try to charge you. Please simply put this back in your mail box. We will initiate a refund when this arrives. You will receive an email notification at the time of initiation.
We again are very sorry for causing this situation.
Customer Service Support"
To me that is a red flag. Having sold items online before, as I understand it, the USPS does not allow a buyer to mark a package as return to sender once it has been opened. And then, even if there is a "local arrangement" to be billed for returned items, how does one get it past the carrier picking it up or the Post Office accepting the shipment? Others have mentioned possible mail fraud in doing so. If the seller truly had a arrangement they should include a return shipping label. Also, this method would not provide a trackable trail and proof of delivery.
I replied that this was not a viable option since it was the responsibility of the accepting carrier/PO to confirm postage was paid on the return. I let the seller know that I wanted to get a concession to cover return shipping and signature confirmation so I could return the book, then to process the full refund once they receive the package. My request was refused as it was not an option.
"I am sorry that your PO will not follow the policy of our PO; which is to charge us for all returns.We have never had an issue with a buyer being told "no" by their PO before.
The only option left is to please simply put this in a USPS priority box and mail it back to
We will refund you the shipping you paid. Thank You"
Another red flag? I am first told "DO NOT go to your local PO to drop this off. They are unaware of our contract with our local PO and will most likely try to charge you", then the next note says "We have never had an issue with a buyer being told "no" by their PO before."
The seller has a lot of positive reviews for the volume they have, but the negative reviews are worrisome, where they would not refund all of the shipping. The seller gets very defensive as well in the feedback. I am opting to ask Amazon to help out since I don't want the seller to turn this around on me. As it stands, I have a book that is likely prohibited for sale on Amazon.com, and once I send it back the seller can say whatever he or she wants about it. What a pain!
Has anyone else had a bad experience with books/textbooks like this?
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