Note to vendors:

Never, ever reply to an angry librarian who you have clearly offended with something like this:

“Dear Ms. Rogers, I am sorry that you were having such a bad day when you responded to my email.”

It is, quite simply, unacceptable.

The American Chemical Society has a lot to answer for.

Fortunately, this did not come from my primary contact at ACS, and my sales rep is responsive, understanding, and does a good job smoothing ruffled feathers. But I’ve made it clear, and i believe he understands: If you want to sell me an expensive product, you better damn well make sure I want to do business with your company. This? THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO DO THAT.


  • Cathy Doyle Reply

    I am so glad that I didn’t get this, I would be having a stroke right about now.

  • Jenica Reply

    It didn’t do awesome things for my blood pressure or my tension-induced trigger-point headache.

  • Dorothea Reply

    I am having SUCH a Sirius Cybernetics Corporation moment. When the revolution comes…

  • Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran Reply

    BAD DAY???!!!?? You haven’t yet SEEN a bad day!

    This is unbelievably appalling.

  • Dale Reply

    Horrible service, but to play devil’s advocate for a moment, what can you (or anyone) do about it? ACS knows where they have us, so when they play nice, it’s purely a courtesy and to make their own day more pleasant. I don’t like this state of affairs, but it does seem unavoidable.

  • Jenica Reply

    The reply email, after I indicated that I was disappointed in the level of professionalism being shown by ACS employees, replied that, essentially, I started it by being mean, and that I was receiving these replies as professional courtesies since the sender isn’t obligated to reply to “offensive or insulting” communications.

    Fuck me.

    As for what anyone can do about it, well, I’ve communicated clearly with my sales representative that I am an on-the-fence customer for budgetary reasons, and customer service is one of the factors that can push or pull me off my fence. He understood.

  • Dorothea Reply

    Dale: We say no. We should have said no years ago. Still, better late than never.

  • Dale Reply

    I don’t disagree with either of you, really, but the salesperson understanding you isn’t going to change their stance. They know you have to buy their journals or face a)insurrection from your faculty and/or b)a risk to their accreditation. Put differently: inelastic markets really suck, and we swim in them. In your shoes, I’d be just as irritated and would fire back as you did, just to be clear about that.

    My only point is that ACS is absolutely bottom of the barrel when it comes to bad publishers. Elsevier et al. are kind and cuddly by comparison, because they lack the accreditation and membership cudgels. PRISM was a shot so far below the belt as to be nearly a self-parody, so how a publisher like that could go any lower … well, I don’t want to tempt fate!

  • JD Reply

    In light of how the ACS doubled the price of their journals package, they should feel we haven’t yet had the courage to cancel all subscriptions to their journals.

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