August 19, 2011
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a TR Tax & Accounting Catalog on the Same Day as an Advance Renewal Invoice for a WG&L Print Title
I should add luckily both appeared before my wondering eyes on the same day ... that would be yesterday. While any regular reader of LLB knows that I am less than delighted with the editorial quality and pricing of many of the treatises TR Legal publishes, particular ones that were once published by publishing houses the Company acquired, I've also mentioned that I still find the editorial quality of some of TR's Tax and Accounting treatises to be very good, a bit expensive but I'm a buyer of some of their titles. So yesterday I received an advance renewal notice for one WG&L print title we still have on our shelves. Yesterday, I also received a TR Tax & Accounting print catalog. Guess what I found? Yup, the renewal invoice pricing was exactly the same cost as buying the title new at list price (no discount offered in either).
Has this always been the case? Frankly I don't know if I've been paying 100% of buy-new list price for renewing the few WG&L titles we have retained in our little county law library. But I sure as hell will not do so now or in the future. The WG&L titles aren't essential; there are substitutes available.
So I called the Customer Service number about this little issue and was offered an X% discount. After saying something like, "you need to do better than that," I was offered an X-plus% discount after being put on hold briefly. I emphasize briefly because I do not want to convey the impression that calling the 1-800 number for TR's Tax & Accounting division (whatever) was the sort of 1-800-Nameless experience many institutional buyers have had with TR Legal.
The X-plus% discount offer was a bit high but in the ballpark of what we have all come to expect from WEXIS for many, if not most, print renewals compared to buy-new list prices. I proceeded to ask the TR Tax & Accounting customer service staffer if I was going to have to repeat this call when my other WG&L titles came up for renewal. He politely suggested I contact my rep -- ah, when I was given his name, it did ring a bell if ever so softly. Yes, I will be calling him.
Is there a moral to this story? You bet. Hello, TR Tax & Accounting, make sure product catalogs are not received the same day advance renewal invoices are! Revenue stream that bad? (In this case the title wasn't up for renewal until December of this year). I did experience "sticker shock" at the renewal pricing, might have checked out alternatives, but also might have just paid it but for also having the product catalog in hand. Now, this is damn good "customer education and experience."
Also in today's mail from TR Legal. For some time now I've been wondering whether TR Legal's opt-out Columbia House Book Club had ceased operation. Or, alternatively, wondering if I just wasn't receiving any postcards because I've killed off so many West print titles in this Shed West Era. Well, I'm still a member of the TR Legal's Columbia Book Club! Oh boy, West's jurisdiction-specific 'key rules" for federal and state court rules is now offering bankruptcy rules as an additional pamphlet volume. My response is in the mail. [JH]