Why bother?

I had a problem with accessing some of a certain (big, famous) publisher’s ejournals via one of the university’s main providers. So (as I was invited to do on the error page that I got instead of the article I wanted to read…), I emailed the publisher explaining in some detail what the problem was.

I get an email back in which it is quite obvious that the person writing it simply has not read what I wrote. And/or hasn’t got a clue.

Now, shall I a) email again and try not to be rude; b) email UWA Information Services; c) email the provider; or d) not bother to do anything? (I can pick up the article when I next go on campus. But I wanted to read it now, dammit. And I don’t know when I’ll next be on campus.)

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5 Responses to Why bother?

  1. Ancarett says:

    b and c would be my choice, with an inline copy of the original email and response. Since your institution is paying for the access, I assume, they have a right to know when things are going south.

    That said, the person who answered your inquiry is probably a minimum-wage/work-from-home contract person who has to answer hundreds of help/error email questions each day using scripted responses. If you reply on their response explaining how that didn’t answer your question, you’ll get bumped up the chain to someone who can actually help you and maybe even get the problem fixed overall.

  2. Sharon says:

    As far as both the university and the provider are concerned, I should be able to get this access (and with some issues of some of the journals, I can. That’s the slightly weird thing about it), so yes I was thinking they might be bothered. OK, AFAIK access on campus is fine, but I can’t be the only person wanting to read these things off campus at this time of year. I’ll decide tomorrow. (And what you say about it being a scripted response is highly plausible.)

    Of course, what I really need to do is get remote access to the university server sorted out, but that’s another story.

  3. Chris Williams says:

    In that situation, I tend to contact the relevant librarians – at my institution they’re really handy to have around, and they are the people who sit down with the publishers and hand over millions of quid for this stuff. Also, I find that they actually like to hear from users. I have a sneaking suspicion that they don’t all that often, and they like being in a position to help people out.

  4. Sharon says:

    I have started by giving the publisher another chance. Then I’ll try IS. We shall see what happens. What fun.

  5. Sharon says:

    Oops. When I took a closer look at the information about passwords for the provider, I discovered that I need an extra (or just different) set of passwords for this publisher. Got my article, hurrah. Mind you, their Customer Services rep has just sent me another email stating categorically that I can only access the journals from the on-campus network. I have been very polite and contrite about my mistake, but still…

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