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A letter to Houghton-Mifflin

31 January, 2007

A letter to Houghton-Mifflin

Dear Houghton-Mifflin,
If I weren’t already using your textbooks for classes I will teach again, I would try to avoid you like the plague in future. It’s bad enough the text for my upper-division class was under-supplied. But you have not been forthcoming with information on the backorder. Nor has my Houghton-Mifflin rep contacted me about this at all. In a less dysfunctional world, here’s what should have happened:

  1. When Houghton-Mifflin’s shipping people couldn’t fill the order, they should have triggered a message to my rep, and to someone in supply whose job it is to keep customers updated.
  2. My rep should have contacted me and the bookstore to advise on whether we would get our backordered books on time
  3. My rep should have offered other options. For example, the book I’m using comes in a Pre-Modern/Modern split. The rep should have contacted me and the bookstore and offered to supply the two halves of the split for the same price as the combined edition (we’re talking about 3 books here, as the class didn’t quite hit the cap). Alternatively, she could have offered to send offprints of enough chapters to put on reserve till the books got in. Whichever, they should have been drop-shipped in time that I would have students without books in the third frakkin’ week of the term!

These people are even less competent than the bookstore people who have clearly dropped the ball at several stages in this process.

PS — your stupid disc with the graphics and powerpoints? I can’t copy the graphics because Flash won’t let me, and the PowerPoint presentation doesn’t load. Also, some of the chapters have the wrong stuff loaded. You suck.

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