Variable service quality.

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Guest's review of Books Direct www.booksdirect.co.uk

★★★☆☆

“Variable service quality.”

Written on: 30/06/2011

I registered with Books Direct's Books for Children arm when expecting my first child in 2008. The introductory offer was good, and I knew I would be spending more than £50 on books for him within the first year.

Service has been variable and the Editor's Choice thing really did not work for most customers. Overall, they have been okay, though the customer services telephone team has been a generic call centre with limited English, and a crib-card list of answers and resolutions for the last two years.

Delivery used to be within two weeks but seemed to be one person directly employed per area, so you could speak to them. Now it is a third-party courier who -though the recommended delivery time is now only 3-5 working days, sometimes 'loses' deliveries. However, I've found replacements have been sent at no extra charge when the courier has failed to deliver and I've complained. The books delivered sometimes have damaged covers, and value for money is variable -always check title prices against other online sellers when thinking of ordering.

Since this week the website has been 'Cached', as has the BCA site with many links not working, and my account was first empty of details, and now the login section has gone completely -as have many of the links on the site. I placed an order last week which I had expected to receive earlier this week, luckily I put it on account -it's much less hassle to pay them when you have actually got the books, rather than upfront -due to courier inconsistencies. Does anyone know if the company has suddenly gone out of business? I've had no joy trying to contact them which would suggest this may be the case.

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Oxon's Comment

Written on: 30/06/2011

Update: The Bookseller has an article -BCA was sold to German group Bertelsmann in 2008 -but BCA members were not told about this, and has now been sold again, along with Bertelsmann's other UK businesses -World Books etc - no revelation of who has bought it.

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