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After receiving emails from Ipoints telling me about TSP’s introductory offer I decided I would take a look.
TSP stands for The Softback Preview. They offer books that are the same as the hard cover versions but the hard cover is replaced with a durable softback cover. They also claim that the softback books they offer are not available in paperback anywhere else in the UK and that TSP originals are unavailable anywhere, in any format, in the UK.
I found the Homepage easy to navigate. It is in exactly the same format as World Books and Just Good Books. It showed clear details of the introductory offer, 3 books for £1 each and no commitment to buy other books. Also available, if you want to include it in your order, is a free Document Case.
Along the left-hand side of the page there are the book catergories, these include, History Science Reference Health and Self Health Fiction Literature and Language Erotica
There are 3 easy steps to ordering your books. 1. To look around the site at the 100 books available on the introductory offer. 2. Choose 3 books, add them to your basket, not forgetting the free document case. 3. Complete the online form and then wait for delivery.
There is a good selection of books to choose from in the 100 available for a £1. I chose the Internet Bible, 2nd editon, this also includes a CD- Rom with over 40 Internet tools and utilities. My second book was The Royal Society of Medicine Health Encyclopedia, this is a A to Z reference book covering all health matters. My third choice was a Lord of the Rings set of 3 books, which counted as one choice.
Each time I made a selection and added it to my basket there was a message telling me how many books I had left to order to complete the introductory offer. Lastly I ordered the free gift, which is the Document case. The basket showed all my choices including how much I was paying for them as well as the full Publishers prices, it showed I had made a saving of £121.72 with my £3 order. It also stated clearly that postage and packing costs an additional £3.99. So the total cost of my order would be £6.99.
Next proceed to place your order, here you are required to give your name, address, telephone number and email address. Once your order has been sent you receive an email confirming it and detailing the items and the cost. There is a phone number and an email address to contact TSP should you have any query.
I placed my order on 6th December 2001, I knew from reading other opinions that my order would not arrive in time for Christmas, as they were not the fastest when it came to delivery. My order finally arrived, by courier, on January 24th, 7 weeks after I placed it.
The books were well packed in plastic, in a large, brown, cardboard box and also enclosed in the box were Februarys issue of the Preview and my invoice and statement. This shows your membership number and details the order and the amount to be paid within 10 days of receipt of the order. Payment can be made by post either by cheque/Postal Order, Visa, Mastercard or Delta. You can also pay by phone or online using Mastercard, Visa or Delta.
Also included on the invoice is the recommended title which, if you do not tick the box to state it is not required or refuse it online, will be sent to you.
There was a note in the parcel apologising for the delay in delivery. It stated that they are in process of upgrading their system to improve the service to members and have been experiencing problems resulting in the delay in the delivery of some books. They are dealing with this problem and all future orders should be handled a lot faster.
When you initially log on to TSP online, you are required to enter your membership number, give yourself a user name and a password. Once this is accepted you can view your account, this shows details of any orders and the amount due for payment. It is easy to pay online, once you have decided to pay you are taken to a secure server, here you select the card type, enter the card number and expiry date. When this is complete your account will show payment instruction received.
I also refused the Recommended title whilst I was online. This was followed by a confirmation email, so if there is ever a problem with receiving this, when you have not ordered it, remember to keep this email as proof that you refused it.
There is no commitment to buy any further books from TSP, but when you have paid for your introductory order you will be sent 6 issues of Preview, this is a leaflet from TSP telling you what books are available that month.
If you wish to cancel your membership, this can be done in writing to TSP, but only after you have received the six issues of Preview.
If you receive the wrong book or a damaged book these can be returned free of charge and a replacement will be sent. If you return a book for any other reason TSP will make a handling charge.
The February issue of the Preview has an offer of buy one book for the full TSP price and get all the books you want for 30% off the TSP price. Postage and packing costs £2.99 per order, not per book. The recommended title this month is The A to Z of almost everything for £13.99. Other book prices vary from £6.99 to £17.99.
I am pleased with my books, even though I had a long wait for them. The Document case is nothing special, just a green bag, big enough to hold A4 size documents, with a black plastic lining, handles and a shoulder strap. What you can expect for a freebie.
Very comprehensive op. I joined TSP and had to wait a while for the books but have received everything now. I forgot to cancel my recommended title though. When I phoned up they offered me the book for half price so I kept it!
jools30 31.01.2002 17:36
I joined up a few months ago and received my first order really quickly. I have had a few problems with delays on out of stock titles, but generally I have found it ok. I do like the fact that you don't have any further committment. Great op, Julie
Marchant 28.01.2002 21:13
An excellent review of a book club but because of my feelings towards book clubs in general, I would like to wait and see what your opinion of this club is like in a few months time. Mike