Author Does Right Where Publisher Once Went Wrong

Michel Cuhaci ordered a book from Amazon, only to discover it was an unreadable misprint copy. He made sure that the one-star review of the book made this known. Little did he know, the Author of that book was reading the reviews. And little did he know, that author is a Certified Bad Ass.

Dan Fleisch went out of his way, spending nearly $500 to to fly to Canada, to make sure that Michel got a good copy of his book, “A Student’s Guide to Maxwell’s Equation”. Oh yeah, and this was all on Christmas Eve. After exhausting nearly every other option, he finally decided to test fate and huff it out himself.

He took another look at the weather. It appeared there’d be a break in the snow by morning.

At 6 a.m. Christmas Day Fleisch was sitting in a plane at the Dayton airport waiting to head north.

“I’m sitting there. The plane is fairly empty, and I think, ‘Am I nuts?’

Michel seemed bewildered, but more confusing than this was Michel’s reaction to the whole event.

Last week Cuhaci went back to Amazon and added a new comment about the book and its author.

“But I did not change the rating,” he said. “I want people to look at my comment and see what a dedicated author he is.”

Umm.. Michel, I know you want some light on this story, but do the man a favor and give him the 5-star rating he deserves. We’ve spoken about the rating system’s power in the past, and that amazing 5-star story s going to do a lot more for the book than an amazing one-star review. Sometimes the best customer service comes from the people behind the products, and not the businesses behind them, and Dan Fleisch is a shining example of that. Kudos.

[Dayton Daily News]


Edit Your Comment

  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    And also, a book like that can’t possibly have a ton of ratings. I mean, it’s a guide to equations! Give the man the 5-star rating he deserves.

  2. MissPeacock says:

    Dan Fleisch sounds like the coolest guy ever. Or the scariest. I can’t decide which. And what a great way to drum up publicity for his book.

    I *hate* it when people give bad reviews because of things like a misprint in the book or a problem with shipping.

    • MiltyKiss says:

      @MissPeacock: You and me both. I wonder if the Michel even tried to contact Amazon?

    • davidamarcillo says:

      @MissPeacock: yes! I also hate when people give a PC game 1 star because they “had trouble installing it” but then say it is an awesome game with no other flaws. So one flaw = one star??

    • MikeB says:

      @MissPeacock: Many of the responses to the OP’s review state the same. And it seems that he got the book and gave the rating without contacting Amazon. He says that he will contact for a refund but not that he did before the review.

      Excellent response by the author. Well above and beyond. And yes, the review should be changed to 5 stars.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @MissPeacock: I heard this story on NPR, and I still cannot decide if this is super-cool of the author or if it’s stalker-scary!

    • sdennett says:

      @MissPeacock: Dr. Fleisch is pretty much one of the coolest guy’s you can ever meet. I had him for an Intro to Astronomy course at Wittenberg University a few years back. He was easily one of the best professors at Witt.

    • Jrsy Devil's Advocate says:

      @MissPeacock: He’s definitely the coolest.

      Now if he hung around like the house guest that wouldn’t leave and offered to read his entire book to Michel, then that would have been creepy…

  3. GyroMight says:

    Wow..I think the next book the guy should write should be titled “A Guide To Customer Service.”

  4. F1RacingClock_GitEmSteveDave says:

    Post a link to the review, and I think we should all head over there and rate the review “very Helpful”, so it gets featured near the top.

  5. ForrestWhitakersLazyEye says:

    He’s passionate about his equations.

  6. IphtashuFitz says:

    I’m surprised nobody has posted a link to the actual review yet, so here it is:


  7. Elcheecho says:

    i always read the 1 and 2 star ratings though.

  8. CmdX says:

    This seems to have done wonders to his book sales… the good pr and buzz on amazon probably paid back his plane ticket many times over

  9. Trick says:

    Well, the book now has its 15 minutes of fame!

    • LandruBek says:

      @Trick: A book like that is seriously going to need it. Maxwell’s equations are heavy duty stuff: they condense all the physics of electricity and magnetism into four brain-bending equations. There’s an apt nerd T-shirt that goes something like: In the beginning, God said ((insert Maxwell’s equations here)) and there was light.

  10. Yossarian says:

    I have no real need for the book but I am sorely tempted to buy one.

  11. Eric1285 says:

    I never read 1 star reviews on Amazon. I find that most of the time they’re usually due to some ridiculous bias or some rare slip-up (such as this misprint, or poor service on Amazon’s part) that’s unlikely to happen.

    • athmsVT says:

      @Eric1285: @Eric1285: I agree to a point. I look at the 1s to notice what the problems are, and if they ever get resolved. Sometimes you see a product that has a lot of 5’s and a bunch of 1’s. It usually means it is a good product, but can have issues. If the person is just ranting, I move on.

    • Charlotte Rae's Web says:

      @Eric1285: I read them all. I have a kid and find the reviews very telling about how well things are made. Obviously not about a book of course…

  12. thesadtomato says:

    Could have used this book in college for sure. Maxwell, then Lorentz, then Einstein all kicked my butt.

  13. econobiker says:

    If someone could inject even 1/100th of the customer service which this author showed into the dank, dark, depths of most corporate “customer service” departments, how cool would that be…

  14. starrion says:

    Actually if anyone is in need of assistance with equations, I think it would be Verizon Wireless.

  15. bravohotel01 says:

    It wasn’t the author’s fault, but Amazon’s for shipping defective product. Why didn’t he work with Amazon to get that resolved before leaving a poor review?

    Oh wait, that would’ve required effort.

  16. Collie says:

    I am tempted to buy the book just to support the author, what a guy. I bet he was something else in the classroom.

    • Ein2015 says:

      @CmdX: Yup, I just purchased the book now. :)

      (Not to mention I’m an engineering student and the sample pages look AMAZING.)

  17. torqueU says:

    Hmmm… I work at the Dayton Airport, even worked on Christmas and I don’t remember seeing him….

    • domesticdork says:

      @dave511: I know it’s not the biggest airport ever, but it’s not that hard to believe you didn’t see him, unless you see every person who goes through on a given day.

  18. SacraBos says:

    I’m not a student, but I agree the author deserves at least 1 more book sale. EPIC WIN.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I only read the 1-star ratings on Amazon. There’s only so much “omg gret product would buy again a+++” that I can stand.

    The lower ratings are more likely to be the helpful reviews.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @ChasityKliker: I look for the longer reviews because those usually explain the rating. Sometimes the longer positive reviews will explain why they disagree with the negative ones. I do agree that the lower ratings are more likely to give reasons for the rating though.

  20. MrsLopsided says:

    Karma would be this publicity resulting in his book becoming a required textbook in eltromagentism courses.

  21. jpdanzig says:

    I didn’t know authors of math texts had so much money…

  22. Everett Vinzant says:

    I am buying this book just to support the author. After the lack of customer service I just received from CapitalOne, I wish this story would be crammed down their throat. They could learn, who am I kidding? They couldn’t learn anything. It would be like trying to teach a flea about nuclear reactions. Mr Fleish, you get the bad ass of the century award! I grant you an Honorary Doctorate in customer service. Likely the only one to ever be so well deserved.

  23. Anonymous says:

    He surely could have rectified this in a less creepy way…right? I don’t like the idea of a strange person flying out to track my down over a bad review, regardless of the circumstances.

  24. ds143 says:

    the review:


  25. jmndos says:

    “I didn’t know authors of math texts had so much money…”

    Yeah, seriously, i guess the recession is hitting them hard and they are pushing the loss leader methodology.

  26. EmperorOfCanada says:

    The rating says

    “I would now change my rating to 5 star however the system does not allow a rating change.”

    So if thats true, whats the problem, the guy cant change it? =p

    • erin_w (formerly femme_dork) says:

      @EmperorOfCanada: I’m confused by what you mean. That person is saying: I would change it to a 5 star rating, but it doesn’t allow the rating to be changed.

      I think he should add another five-star review and link to it from a comment within the original, at the very least…though he does need to learn not to give it a one-star rating because of something the author had no control over. I get irked by people who use ratings to vent their issues with shipping and whatnot, instead of focusing on the actual product.

  27. parad0x360 says:

    It might be good to keep it at a 1 star. When I check reviews I always read the negative first because they tend to be more honest. So if I went after that review and then read the whole story I would probably buy it without reading any other reviews.

  28. Mari Walker says:

    That’s pretty damn awesome!