Newest Review: ... Christmas. So far I have only paid for the introductory book and the cookery book, as Mango are currently not asking for payment of order... more
Member Name: missbrowneyedgirl
Date: 10/08/01, updated on 16/10/01 (292 review reads)
Advantages: great booka at only 50p each
Disadvantages: you can't always get what you want
I soon landed in the world of Mango. Now the name looked a little familiar and at first I thought I was confusing it with the clothes shop on Oxford Street and in the Trafford Centre (Manchester). Then it dawned on me... I had been at Mrsbrowneyedmum's house and seen the Mango books magazine! I was straight on the phone!
Following the phonecall-with-your-Mum formalities, the conversations went something like this:
Missbrowneyedgirl: Did you have a Mango magazine?
Mrsbrowneyedmum: Yes! (she sounded quite pleased with herself at this point)
Missbrowneyedgirl: So what is it?
Mrsbrowneyedmum: It' a book club. I joined on the INTERNET (at this point she over-emphasised the word internet, sounding particularly pleased with herself. For a woman who had trouble opening an email attachment the week previous I was quite impressed with her IT prowess!)
Missbrowneyedgirl: Oh, so is it any good?
Mrsbrowneyedmum: It's great! I got... (she proceeds to tell me a long list of new, well-known books which aren't particularly interesting so I wont bore you with them) ...and they were only 50p each!
Missbrowneyedgirl: I think I'll have a look...
Mrsbrowneyedmum: Listen at that! me telling you about the internet! (By this time she had progressed past sounding quite pleased with herself and was now positively smug and I thought it was time to go)
So there I was on the new user home page of Mango (the member homepage is different). To be fair, it all looked quite
exciting, that is if you love books! The first thing you notice is the introductory offer: 5 books for 50p each + a FREE book. Apparently you have to agree to buy a certain number of books in your first two years of membership (3 I believe). Impressive I thought, so what is on offer?
The site is quite easy to navigate with the book categories down the left hand side and information accessible from the top bar navigation. First on the left hand menu is your basket (empty at this point but accessible at all times). As you add books to your basket they are displayed in a list under the Basket link which is quite helpful.
So, we need to find some books! The introductory offer books are divided into five book categories, with some very tempting contents:
Everybody's Talking - includes Madonna - An Intimate Biography (J. Randy Taraborelli), Sushi for Beginners (Marian Keyes), Bridget Jones Diary (Helen Fielding), Glue (Irvine Welsh) and How To Be Good (Nick Hornby) to name but a few, and all at 50p each!
Between The Covers - includes Perfect Skin (Nick Earls), Game Over (Adele Parks), Four Blondes (Candace Bushnell), Good at Games (Jill Mansell) and Drop Dead Gorgeous (Anna Cheska) plus more.
Thrills - in it's entirety contains The Last Precinct (Patricia Cornwell), A Painted House (John Grisham), Body Of A Girl (Leah Stewart) and Lethal Seduction (Jackie Collins).
Deep and Meaningful - includes A Man Named Dave (Dave Pelzer), Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus (John Gray), Prozac Nation (Elizabeth Wurtzel), True (Martin Kemp), Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Louis De Bernieres) and Memoirs Of A Geisha (Arthur Golden) plus more. Mrsbrowneyedmum is reading Memoirs Of A Geisha at the moment and thinks it's fantastic so I guess it comes highly recommended!
Girls on the Pull - includes Bridget Jones 2 - Edge Of Reason (Helen Fielding), The Pilates Body (Siler, Brooke), Cheet (Anna Davis), Waterme
lon (Marian Keyes) and Divas Las Vegas (Belinda Jones) plus more.
Viewing and choosing the books in simple. Each category present you with a pictured list with a brief overview of each book. You can click the button next to the book to add it to your basket, or click the 'more' link below each for a more detailed description.
Nearly all of the books on the site are paperbacks. Personally I think it's a good thing - they are so much easier to bend on the beach...;) I also noticed the normal prices of the books (that is when you are a member) is around 40% off the RRP. I also noticed that the RRP does seem higher than usual in some cases but this may be because a lot of the books are 'special club editions'. One other 'issue' I have is that the member version of the site is very slow to load (even over our ADSL connection).
Now cam the difficult bit! I had to pick 5 books. Only 5! Out of all of those! I was like a child in a sweet shop, or in fact, to be honest myself still now in a sweet shop, cake shop, music store, book store or French Connection! It almost broke my heart but I managed, after much chopping and changing, to add my choice to my basket.
So with Irvine Welsh's Glue, Marian Keyes Sushi For Beginners, Nick Hornby's How To Be Good, Jamie Holland's An Almost Perfect Moon and last but not least Tony Parsons' One For My Baby resident in my basket I noticed the FREE BOOK link on the left. Slowly I remembered the offer - 5 books for 50p each + a FREE book - and I couldn't click the link fast enough!
I was then presented with The Boy Next Door by Josie & Rees Lloyd. I have never heard of it but a free book! Into the bulging basket it went. Postage & packing came in at only £2.99 for the six book so my total order was a mere £5.49, representing a total saving (excluding P&&P) of £75.45 according to Mango - I told you there RRPs were a little odd! Carrying on to the check
out was simple. You simply check your order on the basket page, enter your name and address and confirm the order.
Shortly after I received a confirmation email listing all the books I had ordered, the total cost and some helpful contact information. Next cam the worst bit. The wait. I hate waiting, whether it's 2 minutes for the tea to brew or a week and a half for the delivery of some books (as it was). Patience may be a virtue, but unfortunately one that isn't in my possession.
Finally it happened! The delivery! It was a little odd as the delivery man decided that in my absence he would try and hide the parcel under a large plank of wood that he could lean up against my front window. Strange tactics, the White Arrow men, but it did the trick and I was soon sitting cross-legged in the middle of the lounge, grinning inanely and tearing into the cardboard box.
Unfortunately, at this point it was like some evil trick had been played on me. There on the top of the box were The Boy Next Door (the free book) and Sushi for Beginners but what lies beneath was not a pretty tale. The disappointment of not finding the much anticipated Glue and others was terrible. How did it all go so wrong?
No disrespect to the titles I am about to mention but it was kind of like asking for a bike for Christmas and receiving a skateboard. Potentially very good, I am sure, but just not what you asked for! Hiding beneath the fulfilled promises of that brown box were The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment (Isabel Losada), Persuading Annie (Melissa Nathan) and Sleeping in Sand (Crysse Morrison). These impostors weren't a part of the introductory offer and there wasn't even six books in total!
I hurriedly checked the order confirmation email I had received to check I wasn't just losing my mind - it's been know to happen - but no, it was definitely Mango that were once sandwich short of a picnic, or more appropriately o
ne book short of a completely incorrect order. Hurriedly I emailed them the problem, only to receive an automatic 'we will deal with your enquiry' email response. They did offer me a premium rate phone number to call in the mean time but I don't think I will waste my money!
I will endeavour to update you on the progress of the saga but suffice to say, as it stands, we are not amused and certainly far from impressed!
I have just recieved this email:
"We are extremely sorry that wrong books have been enclosed in your
We have arranged a Collection Service for the unwanted item, details
will arrive by post in a few days time."
At least they are making amends! Now I wonder if I have to hide the box behind thta plank for the White Arrow man?...;)
Oops! I have been very bad not keeping you informed... Well, after the email I waited and waited and then waited some more, but no-one came to collect my parcel of books. Then I received a bill for them, which to be fair made me a little cross!
I decided to try and call their Customer Service line to explain the situation but unfortunately this was just an automated service. At this point I was very angry, even more so by the fact I had no books to take on holiday with me.
I emailed Customer Services pointing out that I didn't want the books and no-one would collect them from then something wonderful happened. Customer Services apologised profusely for the trouble they had caused me, then sent me a pre-paid label to return my unwanted books.
Guess what arrived today? You've got it - the books I wanted! the joy of holding Irvine Welsh's Glue at long last, has kind of overshadowed the bad feeling so I have decided to stay and give Mango another chance. I guess no one is perfect, and they have made amends. I'll keep you posted!...;)