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"New" Curriculum.

Usually, when I'm disappointed with some product or service, I'd just not buy from them again. I'd stay away from the product and not make a fuss. But sometimes, when I've been doing business with someone a while, I'll let them know I'm unhappy about something.
Well, here's what happened:

I ordered a LIFEPAC kit for science and two fourth-grade Spelling workbooks (BJU) from Christian Book Distributors. When the box arrived, I had two little boys jumping about. They get very attached to the curriculum, especially if it's from Bob Jones. They *had* to write their names on the workbooks right then and put stickers on them. You just can't return them. It would be akin to returning a new family pet because the pet store sold Sparky when he had a broken leg or ticks.

Well, I was disappointed. I know it is NOT a big deal to have a bit of printing cut off the edges of a workbook, but when you spend $40 on two notebooks, and the pages aren't neatly set in them, and the cover is mis-printed? You get a little annoyed, I should think.

I called Bob Jones Press and explained to them that no, I wasn't looking into a refund, and the workbooks still seem useable, but this isn't the quality I expect from you guys! Just to let you know that if you've started cutting corners or using a new printer that your customers ARE noticing the difference. Just log it down that I'm unhappy about it.

No, I'm not looking for a refund. No, I'm not returning the workbooks, because I have two children who would feel I've betrayed them if I did that. But... just letting you know that if it becomes a consistent problem, I won't be such a consistent customer after a while. I know they save every scrap and review I send them, as I get phone calls and answers to my reviews rather often. Usually they're very positive, but telling them FYI there's a problem in your Civil War section and perhaps we need to group Lee with the *Southern* generals in your next teacher's edition.

Well, that made me sad. That was enough for one day. The next day, I opened up the LIFEPACs. Um... I guess I must not have washed my hands as well as I thought as there is some sort of chip or barbecue sauce residue on the teacher's manual. Hm. Even though I haven't had chips or barbecue sauce, better go wash my hands before diving into the pile.

Um... now I find children's fingerprints on several of the workbooks. Not just little fingerprints, but smeary fingerprints! The picture doesn't do it justice. They are exactly the only size that I do NOT have in the house... something between Woodjie and Elf-sized. In real life, when you can hold it away from glare, it's really... gross.

How strange. The LIFEPACs came in plastic wrap! They must have repackaged a return and tried to pass it off on me as new. Which... whatever. But I'm paying for new. Maybe I'm picky. I like my stuff *new* when I pay for new. If I'm at a vendor booth at a convention, I understand everyone and their dog probably touched the book before I bought it. But I'm holding it and looking at it before I buy it.

This is different.

Well, I called CBD about the LIFEPACs, anyway. They will send me a postage sticker and mail me a new bunch of LIFEPACs. I'm out the time it took me to grouse about it, and the time it will take me to package everything up and send it back. CBD has treated me well over the years, and I'm willing to overlook things if they're just occasional... but... if it keeps happening over time, I'll just forget it and buy used stuff. I'll save money that way, but then I'll be paying for used stuff and not new stuff and getting used stuff...

You know what I mean. Would you have complained?


  1. Yes. If I'm paying for new I want new ~ not somebody else's sorta new.

  2. Too right I would have complained! And I bet I wouldn't have been as nice about it as you! lol

  3. I would have complained too. Don't you just hate it the time you have to waste on it. That's what really gets me. I think you handled it very well!

  4. Thanks! I know, looking at the pics it seems to be a little petty, but I spent over $98 all told... when I could have spent a lot less on used stuff.

    Maybe I shouldn't even bother comparing. But *new* should be *new.*

  5. You know, not to stir up a "bash CBD party" here, but I have had problems with them as well. And, let me just say that returning items shipped all the way to Japan is no small thing! Not to mention the fact that they charge the same huge fees for shipping over hereas everyone else, yet it takes a month to 6 weeks to get my order, when I get orders from other companies in one to two weeks.

    Anyway, new should be new, and that would have made me upset as well. I haven't used them since our last bad experience last year -- not out of spite. I just don't feel like taking the risk. Too much trouble!

    I hope everything gets cleared up to your satisfaction with a limited amount of trouble for you!

  6. If I am buying new, I want the new smell with no creases, bends, dents, smudges, or greasy finger prints. Yes I would have called, for sure.

  7. Lifepacs are created and carried by Alpha Omega (AOP). I'd highly recommend you complain to them. They seem to be somewhat responsive to complaints (or used to be at any rate). I'm running irritated at them this year too. However it is more about content than packaging.

    The ninth grade history is a particular sore point.

  8. I would have complained too. i don't want dirty books unless I paid for dirty books.

    BTW I just noticed Rose's new profile pic. What an adorable little grin. It looks so innocent with a hint of mischief.

  9. Yes, you definitely did the right thing.

    One time our school ordered some workbooks for overseas, and half of them were missing about 40 pages (while the first 40 pages appeared twice). Apparently our school complained and did get a credit for the next year. We had to photocopy and bind about 20 workbooks for the kids with the defective ones, at considerable cost to the school.

    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas


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