Did eCampus Ever Send Customer Her Textbook Or Her Refund?

What’s worse than paying ridiculous prices for textbooks? Paying a slightly less ridiculous price for a textbook, then never receiving the book or the refund the company promises. In October, more than halfway through the semester, Emily was forced to request a chargeback for a book that she never received. She suspects that the company never mailed it at all, and they also never issued her a promised refund.

I purchased a textbook from ecampus on 8/17/10. On 8/27/10, I was told the book was shipped to me. I was given a USPS tracking number that never worked. I contact ecampus on 9/9/10. I was told on 9/23/10 that ecampus had issued a refund to my account because USPS lost my package. I never received a refund. I contacted ecampus on 10/16/10 to request a refund again. Ecampus told me that they would again issue me a refund on this item. Today is Oct. 31st and I have not received a refund. I have disputed the charge with my credit card company, but I have been told that ecampus is non-responsive to their inquiries.

I’ve never had a company lie to me about issuing me a refund. Twice. Or issue me a fraudulent tracking number. (I know the difference b/w a lost package and them just making up a shipping number.) More people should know about ecampus so that they won’t also be scammed and ecampus will realize that they can no longer lie to customers without suffering consequences.

Emily’s story is remarkably similar to one from another college student and eCampus customer that we published four and a half years ago–practically forever in college student years. Except that student was selling her books to the company, not purchasing.

Tips For Saving Money On Textbooks
Getting Jacked When Selling Textbooks Back
4 Things You Should Rent Rather Than Buy
Textbooks: The Gift For The Student Who’s Got Nothing
College Textbooks: Shop Around, Ask Your Professors, And Save


Edit Your Comment

  1. humphrmi says:

    I’m pretty sure that If they don’t respond to the chargeback inquiry, then it gets charged back.

  2. blogger X says:

    Ugh, My school does eCampus. Amazon is on average $20-30 dollars cheaper, not including shipping rates, of which eCampus overcharges too.

    Nothing like ordering a textbook well before class, only to receive it two days before the end of class. I’ve been there…

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Um hey, I was once a college student as well (not too long ago) and there’s pretty much no reason to ever wait 13 days after receiving a non-functional tracking number to call the company, wait 2 weeks for the company to return my inquiry, then wait 22 days to request a second refund.

    I bet if Emily had called sooner, rather than later, and had been more persistent with her facts, she would’ve had her refund by now. If they’re hoping you eventually forget and not ask them for a refund or your book, your tactic must be to make sure they don’t forget.

    • newdogoldtricks says:

      Way to blame the OP. Sure she could’ve been more persistent, but I was also once a college student and I remember how crazy the beginning of the year can be. Sometimes things get away from you. She has been trying, and even her credit card company can’t get a response.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I came off harsher than I intended. Yes, the beginning of the semester is rough, and there’s a lot to do, but companies like eCampus depend on college students for business. It won’t show up on its marketing anytime soon, but eCampus is probably very aware of how things just “get away from you” and probably hopes that college students just forget and give up. That makes it even more important that students are persistent in getting these companies to pony up the refund.

    • aloria says:

      Ah, because your level of free time and organization as a college student applies to everyone. Way to blame the OP.

  4. SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

    yeah selling college books is def a racket, but they should at least ship the darn thing, she seems like a pretty patient person, and resorted to a chargeback only when ecampus wouldn’t respond to repeated inquiries.

  5. outlulz says:

    Amazon, Amazon, Amazon.

    I was once scammed by someone on Half.com. Listing was for my textbook, brand new. When it arrived it was a very beat up different textbook. Half.com took 60 days to give me my refund and since all I had at that time was my debit card, my bank was apprehensive on giving me a charge back without me being able to provide a conflict resolution result from Half.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      BN.com (Barnes & Noble) is very good as well, I check both them and Amazon before I make any book purchase, Textbook or otherwise.

    • Mauvaise says:

      Definitely. I attempted to use Half.com for my CHM151 text book this semester as they were cheaper than I could find even on Amazon.

      The person advertised the correct ISBN and edition, however, when I got the book it was actually a customer edition for a local community college that wasn’t even in my state. The inside cover actually said that material may be missing that the college didn’t deem necessary for their curriculum.

      When I contacted the seller to request a return/refund, I was told that it was “practically” the same, and they suggested that I compare against the actual book. That’s great except “practically” isn’t the same as “exactly” and if I had the actual book, I wouldn’t have needed one. Not to mention I wasn’t going to waste my time going chapter by chapter, page by page to see what was missing.

      Their excuse for the mislead is that Half.com puts in the ISBN and pictures. That may very well be true, but Half.com also allows for the seller to include their own text where the person could have indicated that this was a customer edition text for a specific community college. Then I could have made an informed decision. Like I did when I purchased an international edition for a considerable discount.

      I didn’t even attempt to go through Half.com for a refund though – I used my Amex to purchase and went straight to USAA to dispute. Got the refund almost immediately. I still have the book because despite asking for an address to send it back, I never got one from them. Never again.

  6. crazydavythe1st says:

    She’s is pretty good shape. She’s got a paper trail, and since they aren’t responding she’ll almost certainly be granted the chargeback.

  7. physics2010 says:

    I had a friend in the exact same situation. She called immediately, bugged incessantly and finally just bought it off Amazon. The shipping number per se wasn’t bogus since they printed the label, but until the label was used it wasn’t entered into system or charged. After a few weeks they admitted it was out of stock and they had no hope of getting it. They refunded money and provided $50 voucher so she could try again next semester.

  8. smarmyjones goes cattywampus says:

    I once had this happen with Half.com. I paid for the book but never recieved it. Tried contacting the seller, but it turned out her account was no longer active and there were lots of recent reviews (dated after my purchase) stating the same thing had happened to them. At least ebay was reasonable about it and refunded my money. It turned out to be a good thing since I never used that book in class anyway.

  9. kromelizard says:

    These are the risks you take when searching out fire sale prices from functionally anonymous sellers on third party marketplaces.