Saturday, February 03, 2018

**REVIEW** Book of the Month (BOTM) Club

Remember the Book of the Month Club? You know, back before Audible got to be so popular? Yes, well, I checked it out recently and I'm not such a fan.

I open and close my Audible account like a crazy girlfriend who is in one of those love-hate relationships. It's all based on finances and health. If I'm broke but having a decent few weeks of health, I shut my account down. Then I'll get sick and stuck in bed for several days and need Audible to hold and comfort me until I'm feeling better.

The other day, I was stuck in bed again and started thinking it would be nice to hold an actual copy of a book and read myself past the icks. So I signed up for the Book of the Month Club. I had immediate regrets.

First of all, what the hell is up with that Satanic-looking logo?

I'm putting a spell on you!

Okay, I'm just being silly with that one. Kind of. That is some weird-looking symbolism though. Makes me want to wrap myself in tin foil and douse myself with some holy water. Ugh.

Getting past all that, my real problem with BOTM is that you can't just go in a choose a book from a large selection. Matter of fact, you can't go in and choose a book at all until someone says "Go!" (Why didn't I read the FAQs first?)

Because I subscribed near the end of a month, I was told that I had to wait for the next month's selections before I could choose a book.

Strike One.

They sure didn't wait until the next month to charge my debit card. So, what? I was stiffed out of that month's book? I decided to wait and ask about that later. I was still sick and didn't have the energy to email a nasty letter right then.

The next week I get a notice that now I can choose a book from that month's selections. Soon as I can, I go over to pick out a book. I see 5 books lined up to choose from. FIVE. Just five. This is what's printed on the selection page:
We love these five books, and think you will too. Choose your favorite today.

Strike Two.

Here's the thing: I don't care what books someone else might "love". Really, I don't. (And, by the by, I didn't like any of the five books that these other folks were so in "love" with.) I thought that I was going to get to pick a book from a wide selection of books. Apparently, I was wrong.

Members aren't limited to choosing from those featured 5 books (thank goodness, because those all sucked), but when I checked out the wider selection of "Extra Books", I discovered the selection wasn't that wide. Also, I wasn't thrilled by what I saw.

Okay, well, different strokes, right? Apparently, there are some people who like the BOTM thing. Good for them. It's not for me so I decided to cancel my unused membership. And... of course, that is never made easy.

Strike Three.

I had to hunt through the FAQs (which I was obviously reading for the first time) to learn that I had to email or call BOTM to cancel a membership. Fine. I shot off a quick email. This is the response I received.
Hi Trudy!
Thanks for contacting us. Since it’s the beginning of the month, we’re responding to a large number of excited customers, so it may take us a few days to get back to you. Rest assured, we’ll be in touch soon to address any issues you may have!
If you’re having an issue with your box and need immediate assistance, please call us at : 1-877-236-8540. We’re open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.– 6 p.m. EST.
Oh no no no they di'int! (I sent a follow-up email basically telling them to get my refund processed as fast as they processed the withdrawal.)

Yeah. So. I learned my lesson. No more BOTM for me. I'm still looking for membership in a club that will allow me to choose actual books to populate my bookshelf. I don't need a BOTM that limits my selections or tries to sell me "swag" ($20 book totes with cheesy sayings printed on them or something called "Sunday Socks" for  $10). I just want to buy a book every now and then.

I guess I will just put my Prime membership to use or see what Barnes and Noble has to offer. For now, I have to go and make up with Audible again. Our relationship needs work but we've got a good history.