After Stream of Library Complaints, EVA Subscription Services Finally Responds

For months, more than a dozen library customers of EVA Subscription Services, based in Shrewsbury, MA, have expressed enormous frustration after not receiving periodicals ordered and finding that their calls and emails to EVA went unreturned. One customer even filed a complaint with the local Better Business Bureau (BBB), which closed the case as “unanswered,” two filed complaints with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s (AG) office, and several expressed concerns on library electronic mailing lists.

LJ, after being alerted to libraries’ concerns, contacted EVA, whose president Mary Cohen, was deeply apologetic, even if her explanation for why the company dropped the ball likely won’t convince certain customers.

See the full story here.

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Well these jobbers

and other private sector firms that are created to allow libraries to outsource a lot of work usually are the result of calls for "privatization" mainly for public and university libraries, who are generally the largest purchasers of their services. You get what you pay for. If you have an in house serials department that does the direct ordering and dealing with the publishers directly, including the billing, you are going to get better results most of the time.

I would not have delayed

My comments are not about the service specifically since I have no knowledge of them personally, nor of the assertions made in the article, however I would like to offer some general comments.

If my subscription service had failed to deliver I would not have delayed more than a few weeks. Periodicals are serious business at the library. (Frankly I think for libraries with up to about 120 subscriptions they are best managed in house.)

Time is of the essence in these types of things. If the company is going under you want to be able to attach any assets if needed before they disappear. A few telephone calls, an email or two and one letter that is not answered in a week and I would have had the library's attorney sue them. Sue them locally, get a judgment, have it domesticated where they are located, find out their bank (if you paid by check it is on the back of the check - no need for depositions or interrogatories in that case) and request a Writ of Execution so that a sheriff may seize money from that bank account to pay the judgment. This can be done in about 65 days if you keep an eye on it (although the business mentioned here is in Massachusetts, and Mass does not participate in UEFJA).

If you dawdle the company may become effectively judgment proof by simply depleting all of its assets, or go bankrupt which would stay any small claims action.

This is of course not the best course of events, but it is incumbent upon the library not be a good conservator of the public's funds.

I hope in this case the vendor is able to get up to speed and that the libraries get superb service after this glitch.

In my opinion the BBB is a more than useless; it wastes your time filling out the forms. I feel they seldom achieve an equitable result for the consumer. They are funded by businesses and of course are biased towards their funding source - which is of course proper, but they imply that they are an impartial arbiter of consumer disputes and I don't feel that they are. Google bbb useless and read some of the unfortunately amusing stories.

garbage

When my library hits hard times I'm going to pedal a story like this as an explanation for why I can't pay my bills on time. I'm sure they'll be cool about and give me all the time I need.

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