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What's so infuriating about Doubleday's Literary Guild Book Club? You send them a message via their "contact us" page. They respond a couple of days later with a message saying: Please send us your complaint.

So now it's time to give up on contacting them via the internet. Try to find a phone number. It's not easy.

There's nothing for them at http://switchboard.com ... I try the Better Business Bureau at http://bbb.org because they often have phone numbers that aren't listed... the BBB shows several Literary Guild entries, but each one I look at says "they're trying to get basic information on this company."

I do a google search for Doubleday... it's a long distance number, but when I call it, it's disconnected.

Okay, here's the numbers if you can happen across them on the Literary Guild "Help Center" page at http://www.literaryguild.com/doc/help/help_category.jhtml?category_name=Your%20Account&helpType=CM ... here's the number from that page:

Customer service reps are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.


Our bills came from Indianapolis, so we checked their report first. There were 6 other listings for Literary Guild, but one, which indicated its main name was "Bookspan", located in Garden City, NY, seemed likely to be some other operation.
I am a member of the literary guild. You sign up by requesting 6 books and paying for only one. You then have to buy 5 books over the next 2 years. Each month they send you a catalog and order form. The two book specials of the month are on that order form, if the boxes are not checked for “DO NOT SEND” then they will send those books. If you are a member, their phone number is on the bill. Underneath the balance on your account. They are VERY reasonable about sending the books back, and about changing your amount due. They have taken off incorrect charges to my account multiple times. And I have send back the special twice and they didn’t complain.

I find your post. My sister and I both enjoy the literary guild, even though the shipping costs are high, the books are cheap and if you buy a couple at a time, shipping thins out.
Jennifer


Thanks for your comments Jennifer.

I think you make some interesting points.

Because I'm the last one to pass up something that seems like a bargain, I should make clear that I'm not suggesting that the Literary Guild offer is a scam, just that there are some issues that one should be aware of.

As to your point that there's a phone number on the bill for Literary Guild, so what if there is? It's not good enough for a business to say "The information you need exists; the exact information you need is available, if you just know how to access it."

The information (in this case, merely a phone number) should be accessible without knowing some secret phrase or knowing a specific URL, etc. It's a phone number, they're a business, they should have a number listed in the normal places that businesses list phone numbers. This isn't a difficult concept, and while it may not be evidence that the Literary Guild is trying to hide from phone calls, it certainly doesn't suggest that they've put themselves in the customers' shoes to try and figure out the best way to provide customer service.

But my real fury goes for bogus offers to help via email. Nobody is forcing a business to handle customer service by email. If a business is going to do this, it's reasonable to expect them to make some attempt to resolve the problem by email. Asking somebody to explain their question in an email, then responding to that by saying, "Oh, just call us up instead please, and explain the situation all over again" is not acceptable. And nothing about your experience suggests that my experience with email was a rare exception to how they handle such requests for customer service.
EliMantel web search for EliMantel - 30 Sep 2005


For what it's worth, I've found a bunch of phone numbers listed for Literary Guild at the Washington, DC BBB web site:

I agree with you - I had the same experience with the phone number and the customer service e-mail. To make matters worse I somehow have gotten a bill from a collection agency that works for Literary Guild who doesn't even seem legitimate. I reported this agency Penn Credit Corporation to the BBB because I don't even believe they are legitimate and I tried to contact someone at literary guild to determine iuf this is a valid bill and to let them know what kind of company they have hired, but I can't call them and they won't call me and as a result I may now file a complaint with the BBB against the Literary Guild in addition. Everyone wants money but won't allow you any reasonable avenues to get information about the "debt" or even to ask questions. I am through with the Literary Guild, and since they have this "company" working for them I now wonder about their credibility. Without every avenue available for customer service options which definitely includes a phone number I have to wonder if they are a credible business. I certainly wouldn't want people thinking that about my business (if I cared). At any rate - thank you for the information for the phone numbers in your site here, now, thanks to you I have a place to begin to try to reach someone. Thank You again.

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