Sunday, March 8, 2009

Is the Mob Running the U of M?

Okay, this has got nothing to do with beer or beer ramblings. It just got me so whipped up, I have to say something.

So, I'm getting ready to take the last class of my graduate education at the U. It's a bitter-sweet moment because I've had some great classes and met some fine people but I've also had some horrible classes and met plenty of worthless people. I've yet to figure out if the enormous price tag (thanks U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and ABC for footing much of the bill) is worth it. And yet, I've got a sense of accomplishment and I'm feeling a little pride about walking out of there in May with an MBA in my pocket. So, the scales seemed to be tipped towards an overall favorable opinion of the experience.

But then I had to go through the always-painful book purchasing. Fine. It must be done. Okay, so do I have any options? Ah, yes!!! I can purchase a new book (that I'm sure we'll never use) for about $150. I can probably find a used book on Amazon that might cost me $100 or maybe less. Oh wait, it appears the on-line book store is offering me a new option! I can purchase an e-book for only $88. Hmm, it appears to be a bargain option...well, maybe not a bargain but at least the least expensive option. And I've never used an e-book before. Maybe I should check it out. Sure. What the hell. I'm in a good mood because it's my last class afterall.

Okay. I've now placed my order. Hmm, I expected to get e-mailed a link so that I could download the book. No e-mail. Ahh, I see. They are sending me something. Okay, it must be a book on CD. Perfect. I can hold on to the CD in case I need it later.

A couple of days later my package arrives from the U of M bookstore. Ahh, my CD! Wonderful. I tear it open to see what goodies are in this package. Wait! There's nothing in here but a receipt. Why would they just send me a receipt? Oh, I guess they sent me a receipt that includes a url for an on-line book store as well as the PIN I need to get the book. Hold on a sec... did they just charge me $5 god-damn dollars to ship me a god-damn package...a PACKAGE...with nothing but a god-damn receipt in it? They did! I can't effing believe it!, that's not true. I can totally believe it. That's pretty consistent with much of my overall U of M experience.

I guess it makes sense. As as part of my Masters in Business Administration education, they are teaching me how to totally screw customers by providing questionable value at a ridiculously high price. Ahh, I see the point now. Thanks U! I can't wait to trample my first unsuspecting consumer!


  1. Are you kidding me?!?! They charged you $5 to mail you a paper copy of a receipt for an ebook you purchased? It boggles me they they are so archaic.

    Does the postal workers mafia have a work-creation agreement with the bookstore mafia?

  2. MBA 9000 - Capstone class: The Benefits of a Monopoly. Exhibit A - the University Bookstore. Why sure, we'll buy that $150 book back from you at the end of the semester so we can sell it to the next guy for $138 as used. We'll give you $32.

  3. lol I've actually seen used books selling for more than their new price. This was a few years ago when stickers were used for prices. A black marker was used to black-out previous prices, but you could see that the original price of the book was actually less than the currently used price.