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Retired Topics > Exclusive Books: Fanatics programme

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message 1: by Milan (new)

Milan (frozencthulhu) Hi all

Is anyone here signed up for Exclusive Books's Fanatics programme?

I've just been wondering if anyone has received as shoddy a service as I, or if this is just an exception.

It's been a couple of months since I signed up and I racked up quite a few points.
However, I'm yet to receive either
1) a proper Fanatics card OR
2) a quarterly Fanatics statement OR
3) the promised gift vouchers which would arrive with said statement.

Another infuriating shortcoming is the inability to view the exact amount of Fanatics points I've earned -- and they've promised to repair this since quite some time now. I'm actually losing hope it'll ever be possible, so I'll just have to resort to guesswork and my quarterly Fanatics stateme-- oh wait.


message 2: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith I've had one for about 6 or 7 years and luckily never had any problems. However I worked at the store for about 3 years and a lot of people came in complaining about the exact same problems you've had. It might be that your address was simply captured incorrectly.

I can tell you what myself and other booksellers told customers - try calling the helpline (number on card) or email them. However, that might not work - I've heard many complaints from people unable to get through or who didn't receive any reply.

Their telephone and online customer service does seem to be pretty shoddy, and the staff in the stores can't help you because they have absolutely no connection to the Fanatics programme; they just scan the cards and vouchers.

Perhaps the best thing to do is post a complaint on their Facebook wall. Because it's public, they tend to respond very quickly.


message 3: by Milan (new)

Milan (frozencthulhu) Lauren wrote: "I've had one for about 6 or 7 years and luckily never had any problems. However I worked at the store for about 3 years and a lot of people came in complaining about the exact same problems you've ..."

Thanks for your input.
Yes, phoning them is quite unsuccessful and emailing them hasn't produced any reply either.

So I'll just write on their wall and see what happens. :)


message 4: by Shiran (new)

Shiran | 23 comments I've had one for about 7 years now and I've never really had any problems, although I do seem to have 2 cards and no idea how that happened. :P I think my mind is going at 26.

But I totally agree with you on your comment about being able to see how many point you have accumulated. I sometimes expect to have a lot of points at the end of the quarter and then get shocked when my voucher is low, also sometimes I'm sure I've accumulated the same amount of points as the previous time but got a different amount voucher. If we could keep track of our points it would be awesome.


message 5: by Milan (new)

Milan (frozencthulhu) Shiran wrote: "I've had one for about 7 years now and I've never really had any problems, although I do seem to have 2 cards and no idea how that happened. :P I think my mind is going at 26.

But I totally agree..."


Yes, the sad thing is that it has been like this for as long as I can remember -- and yet they claim on the very page:

"We are currently working on fixing the issue so that your points are displayed as they should be."

OH REALLY? That's quite a bit of work, then, if it has taken them MONTHS to fix it... they really seem to just not care. Either that, or they've simply forgotten about it. Which basically means they don't care. :P

And then that pathetic rest of the text...

Please rest assured that as long as your Fanatics details are entered whenever you make a purchase, your points are being counted, and will reflect on your next Fanatics statement.

If you would like to work out how many points you have, the following guide should help:


Oh, so I'm supposed to keep all my receipts and sit down and painstakingly calculate how many points I have? Wow, that's a great solution EB, thanks a lot!

Maybe I should stop ranting. :P


message 6: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Shiran wrote: "I've had one for about 7 years now and I've never really had any problems, although I do seem to have 2 cards and no idea how that happened. :P I think my mind is going at 26.

But I totally agree..."


I had two cards as well, from when they partnered with Nu Metro (or was it Ster Kinekor?) allowing you to get points for movie tickets. Old members could apply for a new card with a magnetic strip to swipe at the movie counter.

You'd think they would have had a point-tracking system by now though - something online or a tally on your till slip. That's another question staff members always got an couldn't answer: How many points do I have?
It's one point for every rand and you get 5% back in vouchers, but sometimes there are specials, double points days, etc. that affect the total as well. I wouldn't bother sitting with all the receipts either though.


message 7: by Milan (new)

Milan (frozencthulhu) Yay, they replied and told me to email someone :\
Hopefully this person won't be terribly unresponsive...


message 8: by Claudia (new)

Claudia (claudiavstoomanybooks) | 1779 comments They sent me an email a while back with a link where I could print out a voucher that totaled all the points I've earned so far (R150+ discount!). The link timed out and wouldn't work a second time. So I emailed them, and they said sorry, but the link only works once and now my points are back to zero.

So yeah, I don't bother with exclusive books anymore.


message 9: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed | 126 comments I'm still waiting for my card as well. Plus my points are not as much as they should be. I almost always forget to give my number when buying books.


message 10: by Milan (new)

Milan (frozencthulhu) Ah, someone from Fanatics actually phoned me earlier today after I sent that email and told me the problem was that because I'd signed up online instead of at a store, Exclusives for some reason neglected to pass my info through to Fanatics. But he said I'll receive my card in about 2 weeks. Yay :P


message 11: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith That's great, glad it got sorted out :)

On the other hand, totally daft on EB's part - you'd think signing up online would ensure a seamless sign-up process - no chance of the form being lost, no problems with hand-writing, etc. Why the hell does the EB site need to pass details on to Fanatics? Should be automatic.


message 12: by Milan (new)

Milan (frozencthulhu) Lauren wrote: "That's great, glad it got sorted out :)

On the other hand, totally daft on EB's part - you'd think signing up online would ensure a seamless sign-up process - no chance of the form being lost, no ..."


Right you are -- but I've been disappointed by them before, so my expectations are somewhere near zero right now. Once I actually had to wait over a month for an item I'd preordered because they for some reason couldn't get enough stock to supply everyone. The only reason for my persistence was that the order was placed on the 20% off day, saving me around R500! >_> Luckily I got the item in the end.

But yea, this is once again seriously ... typical for them, if I may say so :P


message 13: by Shiran (new)

Shiran | 23 comments I think their website is completely separate from the store, like they are two completely different shops with the same name. I read a lot of books that aren't very popular in SA and most times Exclusive don't have them in store but they might have them on their website. I hate buying things online so I usually go to the store and order there but the books can take about a month (if not more) to get here. Which I don't understand, why does it take 10 days if you order off the website but a month if you order directly? Also I often get there and they say the book doesn't show on their system so they can't get it and my question is always why do you have it on your website but it doesn't show on your system? They can't answer or tell me to buy it off the website, which pisses me off cos I'm not a moron and if I wanted to buy it off there I would. Needless to say I have neglected Exclusive since I got my Kindle.


message 14: by Lauren (last edited Jul 11, 2011 12:04AM) (new)

Lauren Smith You're right actually - the website is practically a different store. They have their own warehouse that they get stock from, which is why it usually takes less time. They also have more books available, because it's easy and cost-effective to keep a wide range packed in a warehouse, but rent, staffing and maintenance for a store is expensive, so they can only stock what they think will sell quickly.

This should also explain why a book might be on their website but not show on the system in-store. I don't know what suppliers the search engine in-store searches, but evidently it's not quite the same as the website. I don't know why this is the case.

If the store doesn't have a book you need, they do not order it from the website warehouse but from the publisher or other book supplier. If the publisher/supplier is overseas, the order can take up to two months.

A lot of people still hate shopping online, but the reality is that websites are usually able to hold more stock (it's cheaper than in the store) and they are faster and more reliable (well, except perhaps for EB's site) than in-store orders.


message 15: by Shiran (new)

Shiran | 23 comments Haha my friend keeps telling me to wake up and live in the 21st century but I'm not quite there yet :P I just think it seems stupid that they are separate. Also we live in SA were things never get to their destination, so I'm skeptical about paying for something before I get it. I guess I'm old fashioned that way. I want to physically have it in my hands before I give them the money :P


message 16: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith Yeah, I used to feel that way too. Even doing internet banking - the first time I did it was so stressful, but now if I can't do something like that online I get irritated. It's just so much easier.

If it makes you feel better, many of us in this group rely on Book Depository for online book orders, and there have been few problems. In the few instances where books were lost in the post, BD provided a refund.

EB's website has an option where the book is delivered to the store of your choice, and that seems to be very reliable, not to mention free.


message 17: by Naz (new)

Naz (nazz) | 615 comments I've ordered a few times from EB website and fortunately I've had no problems and the books have always arrived when expected. When I've ordered through the store once it got lost some how and the other time it came quite late. For some reason the books are also cheaper online.

The problem I think is that EB doesn't have any real competition in terms of major book stores in SA so their service is not what it could be and in all honesty they just couldn't give a *ahem*


message 18: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Smith The books are cheaper online because warehouses are cheaper than stores to rent, staff and maintain.

I always hated ordering books for customers from suppliers, because I was never sure if it would arrive on time or at all.


message 19: by Shiran (new)

Shiran | 23 comments I totally agree Naz, so many businesses in this country lack major competitors and they love it because it doesn't matter how much we complain because in the end they know we don't really have a choice, so they do what they want. But I think things like the Kindle and Kalahari.net are going to make them realise they need to step it up. I also think their books must be cheaper online or they won't get any traffic.

I guess that's the case with everything in live Lauren, you fight not to step into this new world but once you do you get annoyed when you have to do anything outside of it. I'll get there, eventually :P


message 20: by Milan (new)

Milan (frozencthulhu) Heh, I don't even order anything from EB due to their shoddy service... A friend and I have taken to calling them "Elusive Books" due to how hard they are to get a hold of.
I've long since turned to more reliable online sellers, like Takealot (formerly Take2) and Bookdepository, for they're a) much cheaper, b) have a greater variety, and c) are just much more reliable in general. I've never had any problems ordering from Takealot, and their Amazon import service is superb and allows for an even greater variety, coupled with not-too-bad prices (most of the time, and as long as what you're looking for isn't too obscure). But even in the normal site you can normally find whatever you're looking for at amazing prices.

Elusives... just can't compare in terms of... everything. But they're still nice for sales and stuff, just got two novels from their Winter Sale yesterday for merely R29 each!


message 21: by Lu (new)

Lu | 12655 comments Mod
Bookdepository is the only way to go imo


message 22: by Milan (new)

Milan (frozencthulhu) Lu wrote: "Bookdepository is the only way to go imo"

I've recently fallen in love with Bookdepository too... Love their prices and free shipping :)


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