Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shilling Your Own Feedback

Today's "Bad Bookseller, No Cookie" award goes out to Ecampus for what I suspect is them shilling their own feedback on a site that reviews book buyback sites.
For background, a book buyback site is one where you punch in the ISBN of your book, usually a college textbook, and are told that you'll receive money for mailing your book in to the operators of the website.
I noticed the suspicious feedback in question on a site called Bookscouter. This is a site that lets you punch in the ISBN from your book and then get quotes from dozens of buyback sites. I use it myself from time to time when I need to dispose of a college textbook or two.
I've posted a shot of the review in question, along with some of the surrounding reviews.

Notice the following feedback, which is part for the course for this company's reviews on this site.

1 of 5: July 2009 DO NOT USE this so-called company. Instead of paying me they posted "in-store" credit and then never converted this to cash payment even after repeated requests and their promise to do so. Their email messages are worthless computer generated pap, and their "customer service" is nonexistent.
1 of 5: June 2009 Having dealt with this company a few times, I generally understand how they work. I recommend that anyone selling books to ecampus plan on waiting 1-3 months to receive a check. With almost every order so far I have received a check, although one time they claimed that the books were lost (yea right). Anyways, the trick to getting money out of them faster is after a month or so start complaining by sending them messages. Wait a week in between complaints and you will usually get your check after about 2 or 3 messages sent to them. It sounds stupid but that's the way they work. Definitely a company I would recommend not dealing with unless it's your only option.
1 of 5: May 2009 too bad i have to give them 1 star, otherwise they would get zero. the story goes...took my books, no payment, no response to email, it's now over 90 days since sending books. my advice is to look for another company even if ecampus gives you a quoted price.
1 of 5: April 2009 Finally! Payment Received 87 days after they had possession of the books I sent. It only took 9 emails, 3 phone calls and a "payment demand" letter from my lawyer to get my money. I sold them 88 brand new copies of a nice book for which I had to get management approval prior to sending. Emailing them is a joke, did not resolve or help at all, when they bothered to even answer. I was informed on three separate occasions my check had been sent. Phone calls are a waste of time. I finally checked out the Better Business Bureau (BBB) file on where they are rated a "D+" with 500+ lifetime complaints. Finally after my lawyer sent a "demand" letter via registered mail I got a phone call the same day that letter was received by them. They had been busy, payments were taking longer than normal, blah blah blah. They never even apologized. I did get my check two days later though. This is EASILY the worst company I have dealt with for anything! EVER!! I am upset the rating system forces me to award them even 1 star.

Okay. That's the pattern. There are quite a few more in the same vein.

Now, notice the one positive review.

5 of 5: April 2009 No problems here. I understood their timeframe stated, and, was paid within it. I was ok waiting i a little longer because they provided free, insured, UPS Return shipping and paid higher rates than any other site.

Even if they're not shilling positive feedback for themselves, it's amazing that they've currently got 14 feedback on the site, and not a single ambivalent customer. Normally even the worst company gets some lukewarm feedback due to unobservant consumers.
You know, what the heck....
For what amounts to a terrible track record of satisfying their users, I'm issuing a second "No Cookie" to Ecampus.

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