As much as I prefer ordering books online for the price and convenience, the waiting time does bother me. It’s been taking longer and longer for shipments to be dispatched, which doesn’t coincide with the estimated delivery times listed on Book Depository. I find this rather problematic when it comes to pre-orders that I want to read before all the spoilers emerge. Though for the most part the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
Besides the shipping time, I’ve had two problems with Book Depository: (1) received wrong book, and (2) received damaged book. Both situations obviously didn’t please me but I think the customer service is generally helpful, so I will continue ordering from them in future.
Recently I ordered the international paperback edition of P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han from Book Depository. Confusingly, I received the hardcover edition, which has a different ISBN. I made sure to check when I ordered, plus the hardcover is significantly more expensive than the paperback. The hardcover costs almost 40% more!
The reason I wanted this specific paperback edition was so that it would match my copy of the first book in the duology, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I’m a stickler of matching formats, sizes and editions. That’s why I’m always very meticulous when checking the specifications of books I want to buy based on their ISBN.
When I received the hardcover in the mail last Friday, I immediately contacted customer service. Initially they insisted that I received the correct book but then I pointed out the ISBN differences. The next question was if I was happy with the hardcover and they offered a 10% refund. I pointed out that I ordered the paperback and that’s the edition that I wanted.
Well, someone else from customer service took over, apologised and explained the cataloguing mix-up. They promised me a full refund and said I could keep the book with their compliments.
Today I received an official email stating that my order has been cancelled and I will receive a refund.
A couple of months ago I also received a damaged book from Book Depository. The Back cover was torn and folded. A bunch of pages were torn along the edges as well. The packaging itself though was in mint condition, which means that the book wasn’t damaged during transport. They sent me a damaged copy from their warehouse.
I took photos of the book and sent them to customer support. They were quick to reply, apologising for it. As compensation they sent me a new copy and I was free to keep the damaged copy. I didn’t need to send it back to them, which is good because I wouldn’t have been willing to pay the shipping cost.
All in all, I think Book Depository’s customer service is satisfactory. It took a while to convince them that I received the wrong copy of P.S. I Still Love You but in the end they dealt with the problem as best as they could. Of course I’m still not happy about the mismatched duology but at the end of the day, I at least have a copy to read.