Thanks for the Vote of Confidence, Amazon Textbook Rentals

Normally, I buy all my textbooks for class. However, I had a class this semester which required a very expensive textbook – I couldn’t even find a decently-priced used copy – so I decided to try out Amazon Textbook Rentals for the first time. It seemed kind of like an early version of Netflix, but for books: you pay to rent a book for a relatively cheap price ($24 for this one, when it retails around $60), they send it to you, and after a certain amount of time you print out a shipping label and send it back. The sending back part is free thanks to UPS.

So, I bought the textbook, used it the prerequisite number of times for the class, and then returned it a few days ago via UPS. Yesterday, I get an email saying (the bold was highlighted by me):


Thanks for sending back your rentals. The carrier received your package on Thursday, May 12, 2016. All future late charges on these items are stopped. We will send you an email once we have processed your return (please allow up to 30 business days).

Well, gee, Amazon, thanks for the vote of confidence. Why would you talk about hypothetical future late charges when they’re nonexistent, and will never exist, because I returned the book on time? I know it’s probably just processed boilerplate, but it makes me sound a little on the “naughty child” side, as if you were expecting me to return it late, or something. I’m imagine you pacing, all ready and raring to go with late fine emails addressed to me just sitting in your draft box, waiting to be sent. Really, now. It’s like…was there an office pool, betting on whether I’d return it on time or not?

“He’s not going to return it on time, Carol, I just know this guy’s gonna lose it in his apartment or leave it at a Starbucks.”

“Oh golly gee Jim, have a little faith. Speaking of Starbucks, you wanna go out and get some?”

“No thanks, I’m in a relationship.”

“I know, lighten up Jim, that wasn’t a come-on, I just want some hot coffee.”

“So get some in the break room, and…::phone rings:: hold up, it’s Lynette, I gotta take this call.”

“Yeah whatever. See ya Jim.”

“Bye Carol.”

“::murmur:: note to self…find out where this Lynette lives and how to get rid of her…”

And that’s how Carol got fired from Amazon.

4 thoughts on “Thanks for the Vote of Confidence, Amazon Textbook Rentals

  1. And then there’s the dark side. A few years back I worked as store manager for a large convenience store chain. We were open 24 hours, although there was very little traffic in the wee hours, because insurance rates were cheaper if the store was manned. Whenever a robbery resulted in the death of a clerk the chain ran an ad basically saying, “$25,000 reward for information leading the the arrest and conviction of the person who murdered our employee at (store location).” The ad was perpetually in place and when needed the company official would simply call the newspaper and say, “run the ad,” giving the appropriate store location.

  2. Hi Jacob!
    I find this a little of a comic genre- you being regarded as a naughty child and that there must have been an office bet whether you would return the book on time. Good one! Keep coming up with more! 🙂

  3. Heh, very much enjoyed reading this post. I can totally picture that whole scenario! Phew, I guess they will just have to wheel the stocks away, until their next victim actually *does* return their book late.

    • Thanks Adele! I like making up imaginary offices, kind of like in cartoons when they zoom inside your scalp or ears or heart and see people working and stuff…

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