As part of a collaboration with a book publishing colleague I signed up for a free trial at Safari Books Online to see what it had to offer the book reading & buying community. Not much, as it turned out. Each time I visited I found it pretty useless. It looks like they have taken the Amazon Books “Peek & Read” idea and tried to make a business model with it.
But what really sucks about Safari Books is the ham-fisted, clumsy and lazy way they handle their email relationship with potential fee-paying subscribers like me. I signed up for the Free Trial many many months ago, and this morning comes their huge and dense email asking me to make 1 of many decisions. It starts with a breezy opener:
How time flies! This note is just a reminder that your complimentary trial to Safari Books Online will expire in 5 days. To ensure your access to Safari Books Online — and the thousands of technology, creative and business titles it includes — doesn’t end, sign up today to continue with the service. …”
Then follows a set of links and options – none of which I’m interested in – before it ends with this:
“Or you can do nothing and on 10/29/2009 we will begin your paid subscription at the price of $22.99 per month plus any applicable taxes.”
What?! Is this Stealth Subscribing? If I’m too busy or lazy, Safari Books will take my money? So, why did they open the email by telling me I’d lose my subscription if I don’t act?
Safari Books gets 5 Stars for bad relationship management, and the “thumbs down” for trying to get my subscription by stealth.
You’d think two major publishing companies like O’Reilly Media and Pearson Education would know better wouldn’t you?