A heart warming tale of wonderful customer service

Penguin logoJust wanted to share a good experience I had recently with Penguin books. I bought a copy of The Man in the High Castle a few months ago, but didn’t get around to reading it until last week. When I’d nearly finished it, I realised that there was a pretty serious printers error: the last couple of chapters were completely missing, with the first 50 pages of the book reprinted in their place. Very frustrating – I want to know how the book ends!

Looking at Penguin’s FAQ, it appeared that they can’t replace faulty books unless you bought the copy directly from them; otherwise they advise you to go back to the shop you bought it from. Unfortunately, the place I bought my copy from no longer exists! I emailed Penguin’s customer service to see what they would recommend, and if they would make an exception to their returns policy in my case. I fully expected either no reply or a polite refusal, but figured I’d try anyway.

Within half an hour of sending the email, I’d had a personal reply from a customer service assistant, letting me know that he’d passed on my enquiry to someone higher up and would be back in touch. I was quite impressed with this in itself – there’s nothing worse than waiting in vain for a response, wondering if your email has even been read! A couple of hours later, I got an email from someone (presumably the higher-up previously mentioned) apologising profusely for the inconvenience caused by the faulty book, and asking what address I’d like them to send a free replacement copy to. Result!

I’ve always been a fan of Penguin as a publisher – they’re books are just, well, nice. It’s good to have a more solid reason to be a Penguin fan 🙂



Edit: It’s just been pointed out to me that Penguin aren’t always so wonderful:

Nasty story. Ah well, I’m still happy with the service I received anyway!


3 comments on “A heart warming tale of wonderful customer service

  1. Good stuff…fantastic book too.

    If you’ve not read much PKD, then I’d recommend you do:

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (natch)
    A Scanner Darkly
    The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and

    are worth starting with – but most of it is good.

    Also, if you’re *really* interested, there’s a fantastic bio by Emmanuel Carrere that I strongly recommend. It really puts a lot of his stuff in perspective.

    If I’m preaching to the already converted…disregard!

    • Cheers! Just started getting into PDK really – have read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and A Scanner Darkly, but that’s it so far (obv, still waiting to see how The Man in the High Castle ends!). Will follow up your other recs tho – especially the bio, should be interesting!

  2. I had a similar heart-warming experience – from a bookseller. Was reading a 2nd hand copy of Julian Barnes’s Arthur & George, only to discover 50 or so pages missing (earlier pages repeated instead). As the book had a Waterstones 3 for 2 offer sticker on it I took it in there to enquire – and was given a brand new copy (intact!). Very impressed given I was clearly not the original buyer. (And shame on whoever didn’t remove the book from circulation earlier!).


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