Return policies catch students off guard

by Katie Anthony, Staff Writer

A stipulation in the campus bookstore’s return policy has left many frustrated students with textbooks they don’t need and little hope of returning them at full price.

The policy for returning books at the bookstore is that no returns will be accepted without receipts and that the books must be in their original condition. Textbooks that come packaged must be unopened.

It also states specifically on the return policy attached to each receipt that a confirmed drop slip may be required.

“I just don’t understand the issue,” freshman Jorie Landers said. “Students order their books online, and if for some reason they don’t get here in time, students just go to the bookstore and get books so they’re prepared for class. I don’t think it should be required to have a confirmed drop slip.”

Manager Cindy Harlan said the bookstore is enforcing policies laid out by their company, Follett, as they’ve done in the past.

“Our policy hasn’t changed any,” she said. “We comply with our company policy, and the policy is the same.”

While the bookstore insists that the refund policy hasn’t changed any from the fall to spring semester, some students are finding it a hassle to return books for a full refund.

They say they’re discouraged when it comes to book buyback and book returns on campus.

“When I went to return one of my books, I was told I needed an add/drop slip,” freshman Trisha Schroeder said. “It was too much of a hassle after that, and while I was dropping the class, I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore.”

Some students had also raised issues about being unable to return their books for full refunds. The deadline for returning books has already passed, and now the bookstore accepts books at their buyback value.

“This kind of confusion [with the return and buyback policy] hasn’t really been an issue before,” Harlan said. “It’s our first year with the big posters that sit outside of the bookstore stating our return policy, and it says right on the posters that a confirmed drop slip may be required for books being returned.”

The Student Government Association met on Jan. 7 to discuss this policy and how it is affecting Simpson students.

“They know people are doing this (buying books online and returning the ones purchased at the bookstore) and that is why they are taking action to stop this,” senior Clint Bradfield said at the SGA meeting. “It makes sense from a business side, but it did catch people off guard.”

The bookstore has been compliant with the requests by students to have the book lists online earlier. Follett only requires book lists to be online 14 days prior to the start of the semester, and the bookstore had the book lists online 20 days prior to the start of the semester.

“We have to get together all of the books from the professors before we can get the list out,” Harlan said. “It’s a lot of hard work, and we’re glad to do it. We’re doing all we can.”

Book buyback goes on all year long during the regular bookstore hours, however, for the 2008-2009 school year, refunds on textbooks are no longer available.