Completely Dissatisfied

Completely Dissatisfied
An open letter to the Rutgers Bookstore at the Ferren Mall.

Let me preclude this by saying that I have shopped at Efollet and the Rutgers Bookstore for three and a half years, dutifully paying the outrageous prices for resold, used, and new books.

I walked into the Rutgers Bookstore at Penn Plaza (the Ferren Mall) this morning to go check out my books, price them out, etc. I walk downstairs to the books aisle and notice that the aisles are completely partitioned off – there is no way to get to the books. I read the sign that is posted on the partitions and it notifies me that we must speak to a representative to get our books. This has not been how it works in all the years of shopping at this store. A seller asks me if I need any assistance. I reply, stating that I would like to price out my books. He says that if I go to the website I can get the prices. I reply, saying that the website doesn’t have the ISBN numbers for the books (it never has, I wonder why that is…). He finally replies, saying that they’ve never given out ISBN numbers and that it was not allowed for people to come in and get them themselves. What a joke. The last two semesters I went down there and wrote down the ISBN’s for the books I needed - because it’s the only reliable method of finding the book you want. I then proceed to exit the store and the clerk calls me back to ask where I’m going. I reply that I’m leaving because I’m not going to pay the ridiculous prices. He replies with disinformation and blatant lies, telling me that the only place I can get my books is from this bookstore.

I am simply outraged by your store policies and employees. It’s bad enough that you won’t list or give out the ISBN numbers for the books, but then to have your employees blatantly lie about being the only place in town to get books. Normally I buy several things from the bookstores (no longer textbooks though) to support them since they’re generally good stores. However, I will no longer step into, endorse, or otherwise promote your horrible store. I will never buy a single notebook, pen, hat, or other Rutgers Merchandise from your store. And you can bet that the people I know will hear my outrage and respond in kind. You’re running a racket here – trying to force students into paying large amounts of money for books that would be dirt cheap if you weren’t a bunch of profiteering gluttons.

I am disgusted, and will advise all people I know, work with, and meet to avoid your store. Suffice it to say there will be many postings throughout campus to make light of this situation, AND provide alternatives to your monopoly of information.

Good day.

-Michael Santangelo

And for those of you who do not know the 'tricks of the trade' so to speak, here's what you do.

1) Go to the Efollett website and find out the names and revisions of the book.
2) Confirm this information with the dept. of the class you are taking. They may even give you the ISBN number - since they DO have them.
3) Go to and buy your books from other students who are selling them at significantly lower rates. BE SURE TO CHECK THE REVISION BEFORE PURCHASING!


2 Responses to Completely Dissatisfied

  1. Anonymous Says:
    Its funny, because last night i met this girl who was at my house and she apparantly works at njbooks. She said recently that employees from the RU book store have blatantly been stealing books and trying to sell them to njbooks in their plastic wrappers and everything. When the njbooks employees figured this out they called the RU bookstore to tell them what was going down. they apparantly just kinda shrugged it off and didnt really care.

    what excellent businessmen :-/
  2. Mike Santangelo Says:
    And on that note, I present to you the price comparison! dun dun dun!

    Mathematical Models: $75.50
    Essential Mathematical Biology: $39.99
    Linear Algebra: $97.50
    Intro To Graph Theory: $63.00
    Total: 275.99
    Mathematical Models: 41.50+3.49
    Essential Mathematical Biology: 27.88+3.49
    Linear Algebra: 51.00+3.49
    Intro To Graph Theory: 22.00+3.49
    Total: 156.84

    Savings: $119

    Guess that's why they don't want to give out ISBNs...