Interesting (though long) thread on the amazon forum about an alleged buying fraud by the Nebraska Book company (NBC).
Summarizing the allegations, posters write that NBC's fraud takes the form of:
1) Buying competitively priced used textbooks from other Amazon sellers.
2) Upon receipt of the used textbook, NBC reports to the seller that the book it received has a different ISBN than listed, making it materially different than the item offered for sale. Alternatively, NBC claims that the item arrived with undisclosed damage.
3) NBC then demands the seller issue a refund.
4) (Sometimes) NBC refuses or claims to be unable to return the textbook to the seller.
5) Allegedly, NBC then sells the book on to another customer.
Oddly, the thread concerning these allegations began back in June of 2008, and there continue to be allegations.
Sadly, most posters seem to find it only after having dealt with NBC.
[More on this here.]
Even after reading an interview with folks at NBC, I can't help but think that they are living at the bottom of a very deep silo.
In the linked to interview, it seems to me that NBC has an insular, defensive, and obstinate corporate style. Employees of NBC have the gall to suggest that it can't return books to sellers for refunds because the logistics of it are simply too hard to work out.
It hides behind its internal processes and self limitations, but refuses to acknowledge one important fact. It has chosen to act as a buyer in a marketplace that has certain risks, but also the upside of good pricing. NBC eschews the accepted methods of correcting online selling market failures, claiming to be "too big" to have to comply with normal refund processes. Because it buys so many books, it claims, it can't or won't send a book back to an amazon seller in order to facilitate a refund.
If NBC can't bear the risks and costs of bottom feeding for low priced inventory on amazon.com and half.com, it shouldn't buy on those venues. If NBC's overhead structure isn't capable of efficiently dealing with and returning for refund the 3.4% misdescribed and 0.5% damages inventory it buys online, then NBC should write off the costs of those purchases, improve its processes or abandon buying in these marketplaces.
Some funny stuff from ex-employees here: http://www.jobvent.com/nebraska-book-company-job-reviews-C4061
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Watch out for that firewater!
Schaghticoke chief charged with DUI
WOODBURY (AP) — Woodbury police say they charged the chief of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation with driving under the influence.
Fifty-nine-year-old Richard Velky was arrested Christmas night. Police say an off-duty officer who saw Velky driving his SUV erratically pulled him over at about 9:15 p.m. Friday.
Authorities say Velky got out of his vehicle, stumbled toward the officer's personal car, threatened the officer and punched the hood of the officer's vehicle.
Velky was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, failure to drive right and breach of peace. He posted $5,000 bail and is to be arraigned Jan. 4 in Waterbury Superior Court.
A woman who answered a phone listing for Velky Tuesday said his arrest wasn't newsworthy and hung up.