Re: Comments on Journal Subscription Agents Lesley Tweddle 14 Apr 2004 08:25 UTC
I fully agree with Rollo Turner - you cannot get good contact people on
the cheap. Some institutions are BOUND to take the lowest bidder, and
this is their misfortune.
But we have never asked from our subscription agents anything other than
'publisher's list price' plus the shipping and handling charges. We
have never wanted fancy discounts. YET, the quality of the contact
person has varied, not only between companies, but even within the same
company - good ones have disappeared (I hope, by promotion!), and
inferior ones have taken their place. A lot depends on who has trained
/ mentored them, as I have seen.
However, I believe the compartmentalisation of work contributes.
Sometimes this is structural / employment policy in the company, as in
"Level 1 person may only attend to Level 1 queries, and gets Level 1
salary". Occasionally you find an energetic, capable person who, though
employed on Level 1, enjoys engaging with any level of query, trying to
solve it, or forward it to the right area - and keeping you informed
too, very important! If her Level 1 salary stays the same, she probably
disappears after a few years.
Sometimes you get a person who is not only energetic and capable, but
perhaps through being in a regional office, has a really wide scope of
authority and responsibility, and can help you in any difficulty or
impasse however high-level. When this happens, you really strike lucky.
Best wishes to you all, and thank you, founder and moderators of this
firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 797-6912
Head, Serials Department,
American University in Cairo - Libraries & Learning Technologies.
American University in Cairo, Library - Serials, 11 Youssef el-Guindy
Street, Bab el-Louk, Cairo 11511, Egypt.
FAX 792-3824. International dialling code from USA 011-202; from UK