Chegg Wants Your Textbooks Back Before Finals, Or They'll Charge Full Purchase Price

Is your college’s semester a little longer than most? If you use the textbook rental service Chegg.com: that’s too bad. They need your books back now. Shawn reports that even though he needs his textbook until December 23rd, Chegg claims that they need it back by the 20th, or they’re going to charge him full price, even if he gets an extension. Is that company policy? Well…. no.

Shawn writes:

Chegg just sent me a reminder that I need to return my textbooks – but the date they expect to have them in hand is before the end of my semester. These are supposed to be one-semester rentals, I checked. I contacted customer service just be told that if they don’t receive them on Dec 20th they will charge me the full price of the book. Only problem – my semester doesn’t end until Dec 23. Apparently Chegg wants me to go into finals without books. With the holidays, the chances of these books getting to Chegg within 7 days is slim.

Here’s Shawn’s chat transcript:

info: Please wait for a customer service representative to respond. You are number 1 in the queue. Your wait time will be approximately 0 minute(s) and 5 seconds. Thank you for waiting.

info: You are now chatting with [Chat Rep]

[Chat Rep]: Hello! Thank you for contacting Chegg Live Chat, where we care about the environment and plant a tree for every order rented. How may I help you?

Shawn: Hi – my books are due before this semester ends. Can I send them back after Dec 20 or do I get charged?

Shawn: The chegg due date is Dec 20 but my semester ends Dec 23

[Chat Rep]: Hi. I would be happy to assist you with your extension issue, Shawn.

[Chat Rep]: What is the title of the book you’re referring to?

Shawn: Contemporary Nutrition – that final is on Dec 22. Chemistry – that final is on Dec 23

[Chat Rep]: Thank you very much.

[Chat Rep]: We currently offer the following extension options: 15 days, 30 days, 45 days, 60 days, Quarter (85 days), and Semester.

[Chat Rep]: You can extend any rental by clicking the book title in the “Current Orders” section on the “My Account” page. Please click the “Extend your Rental” button and follow the prompts. Taxes will apply.

Shawn: OK so I will get charged for the extra few days?

[Chat Rep]: You will get charged first day after your due date, but if you return your book within the 7 days of the due date, we will refund your money.

[Chat Rep]: Just to clarify, we will charge the purchase price.

Shawn: OK

[Chat Rep]: Is there anything else I may assist you with today, Shawn?

Shawn: Thanks. I know its not your fault but that is a really bad business practice, especially since Chegg set the due date before the end of the semester. I’m not sure I will use Chegg anymore

info: Your chat transcript will be sent to [redacted] at the end of your chat.

The site’s own FAQ says, regarding next semester’s rentals:

If you plan on renting your books for the 2011 Spring Semester and the due date does not cover your full term, please contact us via Phone or Chat and we will extend your rental period to fit your term for free.

That’s an odd definition of “free.” We checked in with Chegg to see what’s going on, and will update this post accordingly. Have any other Chegg customers with semester structures slightly outside the norm had similar problems?