Book Depository: too much security, not enough communication

Christmas time. I decided to order books as presents from the Book Depository, and have them delivered to my son and his family in Australia. It has always worked in the past, with any other provider. Probably even with the Book Depository, but not this time.

When the parcel was not showing up much after the stated delivery date, I started enquiring, but nothing helpful was forthcoming. “[D]ue to security reasons [they] are unable to disclose”, the order was cancelled. No notice was ever sent that this had happened, and particularly not why.

Dear sirs,

On the 4th December 2017, I placed an order with your company (see above ref) and received an order confirmation from you soon after. Having had no notice that my order had been delivered to my son and family in Sydney/Australia, I tried finding out its status online… just to discover every single article of it had been cancelled and refunded (which last part, I still have to check in my accounts).

At this point I am very upset that you didn’t take the pain of sending me notice of this cancellation and even less of giving me any reason you may have had for doing so.

I am very willing to hear for you shortly.

The initial reply didn’t offer much help.

Eunice D, Jan 2:

I am afraid your order failed our routine payment security checks.

Unfortunately due to security reasons we are unable to disclose what our
security checks are.

I am very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause

Kind Regards,
Eunice D,
Customer Advisor

I pointed out that the reply did not resolve any of my concerns in any way.

Subject : Re: Customer Query: My order – Order Reference BDU-599-22605909289

Thanks for your reply.

However, I still can’t understand that you didn’t inform me as soon as your payment security checks (whatever they are) didn’t authorise my payment.

You are not the only book-selling store online, and I could have ordered from another one, in time for a Xmas present. I can’t really accept your excuses and therefore will not consider your company as a reliable one for my next purchases.

Sorry but you clearly failed MY requirements…

The subsequent reply didn’t offer any more help, save for expressing a misguided hope that I would reconsider my opinion of the Book Depository. In light of… the lack of helpfullness?

Eunice D, Jan 2:


Thank you for the message.

I’m sorry we did not inform you about the security checks.

We hope you restore faith in us.

Should you need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us again.

Kind Regards,
Eunice D,
Customer Advisor

Amusingly enough, I then received a customer satisfaction survey. So I obliged.

The reply from Eunice D, Customer Advisor was kind.

However it missed the point completely. Of course she is not in cause, rather The Book Depository’s policies which she is to apply pointedly, I suppose.

Her answer mentioned that cancelling my orders was due to not passing “security checks” and that she couldn’t unveil what those checks consisted in “for security reasons”.
As far as I can see, that makes a lot of security…

But what I regret most is that I was never informed of this cancellation (after my order had been confirmed) and had to find out by myself on line, when my Xmas order had not arrived… in January.

In short nothing against Eunice D and everything against the BD very unclear policies and complete lack of communication and understanding towards its customers.

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