It’s Not Us, It’s You.

There are so many choices these days regarding college textbooks: you can buy used or new anywhere (even Amazon!) (not sponsored) and you can also rent from several different websites as well as—thank goodness they got with the program—the actual college bookstores.

What we have done up to this point is rent from one of two textbook rental websites and then buy any books that we couldn’t rent, used if possible, from his college bookstore.

Now that D’s college bookstore is offering rentals (yay!), because he was away all summer (I didn’t know what his classes would be so I couldn’t order books while he was gone), and because he’s going back to school in just over a week, I decided to go through the campus store for everything this time. I figured it’d be great for us to not have to move a box of textbooks into his dorm with everything else: he can walk across the street AFTER the move to pick them up.

This morning, I finally went online to order his books (okay, let’s be honest: I was already online).

I inputted all of the information about his classes and the website spit out the list (and used/new/rent options with pricing) of the books his professors are requiring. I made my selections. I clicked “check out”. I was prompted to sign in.

And then I got an error message and couldn’t go any further. That’s when I remembered that this happened last semester too.

I tried it a few times again, even cleaning out my cache and using a different browser, but the result was the same.

I called the bookstore (like last time), and it was like Groundhog Day.

I told the woman who answered what had happened, and that it happened last semester too.

Here’s something I don’t understand.

Her response was, “Hmm. That’s weird. Well, can he just get his books when he moves in next week?”

THIS IS NOT A SOLUTION. Even if I wanted to do that, it doesn’t fix or clarify the actual problem, which is the website.

I said, “Uh, no. We’re not buying new textbooks. We want to rent and buy used when possible, and those will probably be gone by next week.”

She kept saying how weird it was that I was having trouble, and I said, “Surely it isn’t just me? This happened to me last semester, too. Can I just order his books over the phone?”

“No…” she said. “I don’t even know what to tell you. My supervisor will be in after one o’clock, though. Maybe she can come up with some kind of solution.” Her lack of concern that I was having any trouble at all and that I was clearly frustrated with the website issue annoyed me further (though I remained calm and didn’t take it out on her).

I thanked her, hung up…and ordered his books from the other websites I use.

That was MY solution.

Now if one of you can remind me of this over Winter Break so I am prepared for the repeat, that would be awesome.


  • Headless Mom

    I have a solution for that…

    Let him get his own books! He is a college student, right? He gets a lesson in being a grown up and you get ZERO hassle. Looks like a win/win to me.

    (Seriously, snark aside, we have HG a credit card for exactly this reason. She lets me know how much to expect on the bill, books only, and I never have to think about it at all. )

  • Grandma W

    I would still call the Supervisor and tell him or her you had problems again and they lost a sale again.
    They should get their Shhhh together and correct this whole thing, they are losing business. Plus the old story tell 7 people about a bad situtation and they will each tell 7 and on it goes.
    Grandma W