MBS Direct
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MBS Direct

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Last updated: Jan. 5, 2018

45 MBS Direct Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 5, 2018

Bought a book from them then they change the book buyback date without zero notice then next semester I accidentally sell them the wrong book and they tell me there's nothing they can do for me whatsoever.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Jan. 3, 2018

This company is absolutely awful. The customer service was extremely unprofessional and the representatives seemed to know nothing about the company's services. I could not tell you how many times the representatives said "Huh?" and "Uhh. I don't really know". It was horribly unprofessional and they were no help to me at all. Also, there were many times I asked extensive questions and it seemed like the representative didn't listen to a single word I was saying and immediately said, "What else do you need help with today?". Nothing was more irritating than having to once again repeat myself and them reply with an "Umm... I don't know, that's never happened before. Can I help you with anything else?" and rushing me off the phone.

It was very tacky to hear annoyed and irritated workers answering the phones of this company. Along with the bad customer service, this book service has a partnership program with my school and all three of the representatives that I spoke with today had no idea how it worked. Obviously, if I am calling, I am the one confused and customer service is supposed to help resolve my issues. As far as my orders, I got scammed $52 for an access code I purchased for a class. It was an access code that was on my teacher’s list, which was their mistake.

I was anticipating on opening the access code envelope to find the access to an online textbook. I finally found myself searching all around the website not finding the textbook at all. I called tech support to maybe realize that I wasn't looking in the right place, but then I called MBS and they had the audacity to tell me that they do not even sell the online textbook through any code. I was so upset to figure out that I, as a college student, was ripped off due to a professor’s mistake. How was I supposed to know that the textbook wasn't included without opening it and seeing it for myself on the website? I called and talked to over five representatives, none of which could help me out or even try to refund my money. I wasted $52 on a code that I never even needed for the class, as well as, many other students in the course.

The issue is now fixed with MBS because of me, but I am intensely disappointed that not even the manager was willing to help out a college student that has been a loyal to their company. I am sad to say that after this semester I will no longer be buying my books from this company due to their unprofessional tendencies and their inability to care about their customers. Textbooks aren't cheap, especially to college students who already spend a fortune on school.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Aug. 22, 2017

Worst customer service experience ever!!! I've been trying to call customer service every day for at least an hour a day since I purchase Ebooks to my son since 8/12/2017 that I did not receive thru email. I've attempted several times to contact them but I couldn't get a hold of customer service to find out what's going on. Instead they put me on hold for most of the time up to 45 minutes to an hour of not line gets hung up or disconnected.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: May 30, 2017

As a parent of 2 high school kids MBS had a GUARANTEED BUY BACK for the book. Now at the end of year with no notice to me about it the school discontinued the contract with MBS. Now MBS will not honor their guaranteed buy back for my kids textbooks. I spent 30 min with customer service, supervisors, etc.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Jan. 4, 2017

The receipt I received, when we purchased the Used books, listed a "Guaranteed Buyback Price" then listed the amount. I returned 2 books - we paid $318.75 for both, with a guarantee buyback return of $168.35 combined. Semester ended 12/15/2016 at 4 pm. I mailed the books to MBS Direct on 12/20. The email I received from MBS says the books were returned after the return policy time frame. They will only give me $77 back. The books were in good shape and without any marks on them. I had taken photos just in case they tried to tell me the books were damaged. That wasn't an issue. MBS guarantee buyback price they give you, is false.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Sept. 21, 2016

I buy books for classes from MBS Direct and the books they ship to customers are horrible. I called and all I get is to pay for a new book. New books come damage and used books are worse with binding coming apart, pages ripped and cover torn and its a hardback copy. Is there anything that can be done about this company making you pay $120-$250 for books that are horrible. I have so many orders where I paid for a new book and they shipped me a used book after paying $200 for the book.

Customer increased Rating by 3 stars!
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Resolution response: July 15, 2016


Original review: July 11, 2016

Book rented was horrible to use, expired early, and the company could only have be purchase another book. They refused to provide anything for the price already paid. DO NOT GET BOOKS FROM HERE!!!

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: June 27, 2016

I returned two information technology books same as I got them. Hoping to get a full refund as I had dropped my course way before the start date. Sadly I was told some pieces of the books were missing (book CD) and I can't get a refund. I asked the agent, "why would I intentionally take that from the book? Knowing I would not get a refund, why would I open the plastic wrapping in the first place???" I asked... "What measures do you have in place to ensure an employee hasn't taken it out of the package and report it missing." She couldn't respond. When asked to speak to her supervisor, I waited 30 minutes until the call ended.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 11, 2016

I purchased a used textbook for $219 before tax and shipping with a guaranteed buyback of $131. Nine weeks later when the course ended MBS Direct refused to buy back. I only used MBS Direct because my employer requires we only purchase from the official bookstore which this us for Webster. The same book is offered by MBS Direct for the upcoming term!

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 6, 2015

Based on their website, I purchased a new Spanish book for my son. The book was not the one that they were using for class thus it was returned. Never used and in the same condition as received. They refunded the "used" purchase price claiming that, "Your book was checked in used as the top left side of the back cover is bent and the corner is split apart." Calling them liars is a understatement. They have shown shady business practices to say the very least. I returned the book in the same condition as received... new.

Original review: May 28, 2015

We have used this company as it was recommended by my children's different schools. Every year when we go to sell them back, they quote one thing then return another amount, or in our most recent experience they claimed the access code inside the book was missing. That was never noted on the buy back quote. Any intelligent person can assume that a "used" textbook would not have a viable access code available to use a second time! It is a "USED" textbook! They were only offering me $35.30 for a 1 year old used textbook not written in that cost me originally over $175!!! Seriously, this place is a scam! Felt sorry for customer service employees who must try to explain their ethically questionable practice to any customers who call in with questions! Shame on MBS!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 30, 2015

This is probably the worst place to buy books. They are one expensive and god forbid you send in a book that has normal wear and tear and they don't accept it - you are charged $7.95 to have it shipped back, or what they get to have my book for free restore it and sell it for $150. What a rip off. Honestly you are better off going any place but here.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: March 18, 2015

If it was not for me receiving a grant for my books, I would not have used this website. They are such a rip off. I sold back a book that I paid $183.25 for and was given $64.15 for it and it is now being sold for $192.45. I ordered a course package that was not required by the professor for $186 and was told that they only sold the textbook as part of a package that included MySearchLab and Pearson Online Access. My professor did not know anything about the two online features and was not able to provide me with the access code needed to gain access to the Pearson Online Access. Talked to a rep and got no help at all. She was very unemphatic and very cold.

Original review: Sept. 16, 2014

I ordered books and paid an extra $30 for 2-day shipping. Let alone was this company extremely expensive for the books, I thought I would try it because of the 2-day shipping. That was wrong. I complained to them and asked for a refund for the 2-day shipping. They then went on to blame UPS and said they had attempted to deliver it. No, no they had not. I was there. I did not get any refund and my books still have not come. I am not late on assignments, thanks to them. NEVER USE THIS WEBSITE!

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: July 24, 2014

Rude customer service, confusing labels and false promises. They sent me a label to return the books and they were wrong, then my account was charged additional money. The customer service agent was very rude. I discovered Amazon provides the same service at lower prices and better customer service.

Original review: April 29, 2014

I've been a student at SNHU online for over two years. Last year, they decided to go to a system to where most of the online classes require a "code" from MDS. If you don't have the code, you can't access the book or the exercises for the class. So, it has to be purchased through MDS to stay in the class. My school claimed this partnership is to save students money, yet I'm paying out more. My wife and I are both full time students at SNHU. Before we could rent most of our expensive texts through places like Chegg for $15-30 a book (and Chegg usually rents to you for 4-5 months each book!). If we were taking the same class, it only required us renting one book and we could share. That is not the case with MDS. Most "codes" are $86 plus tax and up. You cannot share.

Each class requires its own code. So, if my wife and I are taking a total of 4 classes, that's at least $375 for the book "codes" through MDS, yet before, we were usually paying a max of $120 total for 4 books through Chegg each term. With us having 6 terms, that is at least $2400 a year for electronic books. That is nuts! The codes they send are often invalid. It is easier to use a paper book than an electronic one. The texts often contain errors. There are also many times that the answers are not in the books. I'm not sure who the schools think they are kidding when they say it is cheaper/easier using MDS. Not true.

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Original review: March 19, 2014

Not much to tell - MBS Direct sent me wrong book. I demanded a refund. They agreed to all but the original shipping. Sent the book back that day in same box in same condition. In the interim, had to cancel the card used to purchase the book due to identity theft. Got email from them stating they were only going to give me a partial refund. Called to complain and also to alert them that they couldn't refund back to the cancelled card. Long story short, will probably NEVER see a cent of this money from them.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: March 1, 2014

I am taking three courses during the next 8 week term. I ordered my eBooks from MBS (as required by my school, unfortunately) and also ordered a loose leaf text for one of my courses at the same time. Each eBook was $86, plus I paid an extra $125.80 for the one physical text, which was fine, I needed something to highlight and underline. I received emails with the pass keys for TWO of the items I ordered, but not the third. I contacted their customer service, who told me that they would not process the eBook with the accompanying text until they processed THE ENTIRE ORDER. So now, instead of having the eBook I paid for today, I have to wait until their warehouse gets around to processing the physical text and shipping it. I am very angry. I see no reason why I should have to wait for an eBook just because it was part of an order that also included an extra text that I bought.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 25, 2014

I wanted to give you a tip (or maybe a warning) about a particular policy with MBS Direct. If you buy online software from them (such as the WORD search Preaching Library) and use the redemption code to test out what you purchased, you cannot get your money back. They will not refund your money once you use the redemption code. That was a $240 lesson for me. I discovered in an hour after redeeming the code that I already had the books elsewhere for a fraction of the price, and I wasn't interested in the software since I already have Logos. I escalated to the highest manager there.

Once you open the box, as it were, to discover exactly what you purchased, it then becomes too late to return it. The highest level manager remarked that I hadn't purchased very much from them in the past. Not sure how that's relevant. One more tip: I use the Amazon Kindle and pay a fraction for my books. It also makes research and citations much easier! You can even get the Kindle for the PC (or Mac) completely for free. God Bless. (And no I don't work for Amazon. :)

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 5, 2013

If you're calling MBS Direct to use voucher to order, then forget about receiving a polite representative willing to assist you. You will get a representative who "cannot view order history," cannot give discounts, can only sell you a limit of the books for the class you're interested in taking, will flag your order if there's the least bit of suspicion on THEIR end if you don't have your course id number, and cannot give you a final total on your order due to them not being able to calculate shipping charges.

This is the most absurd assistance I've ever encountered from a retail company. I can only assume that the lack of concern for the sale is due to the method of payment being a voucher. It's as if there's a division of class according to payment methods, so if you're paying out-of-pocket, you will be treated as important and the negative feedback on every question asked of them will not be relayed. Instead, when asked how much an order will be, I'm betting the few minutes it takes to discern estimated shipping costs would be analyzed so that the representative taking the order will be correctly compensated for the sale made to you.

If substandard treatment doesn't bother you, then this is quite possibly the reason why our wonderful country has chosen to put so many people's health care into the hands of our government. I'm certain that government employees helping those paying via the voucher method will not be subjected to the same treatment. After all, government agency workers have always been sensitive to those in need of assistance. *laugh* Either way, regarding MBS Direct - I guess this is the treatment I should expect when paying with "assistance money," right?

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 20, 2013

On August 19, 2013, before going to bed, I signed into MBS Direct to find out how much money I would receive for my books. My class just ended on August 18, 2013 so I was looking to sell my books. The online buyback quote was $78 for the Leadership Experience and $27 for Math 009/returned with custom package. I figured it was best to print my return labels in the morning. So in the morning I signed into my UMUC/mbsdirect to print the return labels and was denied. I bought the Leadership Experience book for $160 and Math009 for $100. I called Mbsdirect customer service and talked to an agent and was told they only buy back books as a result of supply & demand. The customer service is lousy and their return policy stinks. When you purchase the books, you're guaranteed a buyback but after you finish the class you're denied and they won't buy back your books. Stealing from college students is a way of life for some. Pathetic (Mbsdirect).

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 24, 2013

I have experienced the same problem in the past w/ MBS Direct. But my current issue is with their buyback program. The people w/ MBS are rude and you never rec'd the same answer when you call back. It is an on going process trying to get some type of correct feedback from the reps. I recommend purchasing books from other students and if you have to use this company, make sure you document everything, including the name of the person you spoke with, date and time. Not that it will do any good. Poor service and poor customer service reps.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 11, 2013

Where to start? They offer different bundles to purchase. New and used. Or you can purchase the text alone. They listed the used bundle and the items it included. The used bundle included the pass code for the online portion of my class. When I entered the pass code, it said it had already been used. I confirmed this with Pearson directly. I then called MBS to get this resolved. Their response was that used bundles do include the pass codes but they might actually be used, and that is a risk you take when buying a used bundle even though it is advertised as having the usable pass code. They would not send a new pass code to me. They said to send all back and pay for the shipping. They would review it and I would get a new set at additional cost in two to four weeks. My class had started and was eight weeks long. They said, in that case, I should buy another new bundle and then just wait for a refund for the other set later. What? I was born yesterday? FYI, out of thirteen people in class, four purchased the used bundle. All four received already used pass codes. Hmmmmmmm....

I replaced all in their original box exactly as they had sent it to me. After a week, I received an email confirmation that they had received the book. A second email noted they had received the book in damaged condition. Understanding what was going on, I shot off an email instantly to express my lack of amusement with them. I told them I was glad to see that they acknowledged sending me a damaged item and that they agree that they used dishonest business practices. I got a quick response regarding notes in the system that they had sent a used book and I would receive a refund in two to three weeks. Apparently some tactic to delay so that you have trouble getting your credit card company to reverse charges. I am initiating an action with the credit card company immediately to avoid that.

Do business with MBS Direct at your own risk. Expect to be screwed. It is like it is being run from a jail cell by people doing time for fraud. Do yourself a favor and purchase your pass code directly from your class site. It includes an online etext that you can access instantly. Do not send your money to this non-business.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 18, 2013

If I could give this company less than one star, I would. A few weeks after dropping out books at our local high school book buy back, I received an email stating two of the books had water damage and I would not be getting my money back. The email also stated that if I wanted these two books, I would have to pay a shipping charge in order to get them back. I called customer service and explained to them they originally accepted the books; now they want me to pay in order to get them back. Their lame explanation was that they have "volunteers" working for them at the buy backs and they don't look over the books. That is not my problem. Maybe they should hire employees. I told them I definitely want my $300 plus books back only to be now told they are not sure they even have them. I will hear back from them in a week or so... Again, I would give this company less than one star if I could. Save your hard-earned money and look into other avenues to sell your books. I wish I did. Learn from my mistake!

Original review: May 28, 2013

It takes this company two weeks to give you your money on PayPal. I got the worst runaround of where my PayPal money was this morning. Finally come to find out that the money is still at MBS and has never been sent to PayPal. Worst company ever and their representatives are rude and unskilled.

Original review: May 14, 2013

I had purchased 2 statistics books while attending Troy University. I was given a guaranteed buyback online. However, when I returned the books to MBS, I was forwarded an email stating there was no money for the books, and it would cost me $8 if I wanted them back. Fortunately, I have learned my lesson and now rent all my books from and have saved $400 in just one semester from other book sites. It is my recommendation future college book buyers to spend a few extra minutes reviewing prospective book sites than losing hundreds of dollars in the end.

Original review: May 13, 2013

I worked for MBS at a university book buy-back a few years ago. I live in the town that the college is in, so I knew a lot of these students personally. They'd come to the counter to return their textbooks at the end of semester and it was my job to scan them and tell them how much MBS was willing to buy them for. I can't tell you how many kids were shocked and outraged when I gave them a price. There was one book in particular (a big biology text) that a few hundred students had to buy for $250 (university bookstore price).

Regardless of the condition, MBS only paid $35 for its return. What **! I was just as outraged as the kids and felt so horrible having to give them a measly 35 bucks in exchange for a $250 book. After a while, I just started telling them, "You know what, take your book back. Go sell it somewhere else where you'll get a lot more money for it." It's ridiculous that they expect students to be happy with 10-20% money returned, especially the ones that tried very hard to keep books in pristine condition all year (or didn't use them at all!). I only worked for them because I needed the money and I will probably never associate myself with the company again.

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Original review: April 18, 2013

I purchased books from three MBS Direct that totaled approximately $400.00. One book was new and the other two were worn and used. I sold them back to the company and received a buyback quote of $141.10. My check was supposedly issued on March 22, 2013. After a week passed and I did not receive the check, I called to report the check was lost or stolen. The representative said to give it another week. After not receiving the check, I called back a week later and was told to give it another week. After the third week, I was finally told that they would issue a stop payment and reissue the check.

I checked back a couple of days later to see if the new check had been issued. I was told that the check was cashed, and they would need to find out from the accounting department who cashed the check. I assured the representative and supervisor that neither I nor anyone in my home had received or cashed the check. I am a single female parent with a 15 year old son that does not drive. It would be impossible for anyone in my home to cash the check. After speaking with the accounting department, the supervisor (Tita) told me that the check had my name on the back of it, but there was no indication where the check was cashed. She told me to get a police department and let them handle it because it was not the responsibility of MBS direct to track down the person that signed the check.

How in the heck am I supposed to file a police report if their office does not provide me with the place the check was cashed? Tita blatantly told me that it was not their problem, and they were not going to be out of another $141.10. She might as well have said, "You are just screwed because we are not concerned." In the meantime, I am out of money that I never received and unable to file a police report because I don't have information to do so. This is just wrong! I will never purchase another book from this company. They are rude and a complete rip-off. All students in need of books should go to Amazon or other websites for purchases that are more reasonable. This was a very expensive lesson learned for me.

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Original review: April 17, 2013

I had a guaranteed quote of $237 for 4 books I sold back to MBS Direct but then when I got my buyback check for $5, I was furious. I called and complained and they sent another check for $153 but that's nowhere near the guarantee they offered of $237. Their excuse was that the books were only worth $5 now. Keep in mind these were 4 books I only used for 4 months and paid on average $150 for each individual book. If you can avoid buying from these crooks, do so. Don't support arrogant, rude, misleading, and fraudulent companies like MBS Direct.

Original review: Jan. 24, 2013

I have never purchased books from this site, but received an order for a student in another state. I called the co. letting them know that I am a student also and asked them how they even had my name and address. The lady on the phone said that they are a sister company of I was more than happy to return them to the rightful owner and they were going to send me an invoice to return them. Since I needed 2 more books for my schooling, I asked if they would be willing to give me a discount on the books I needed since I was clearing up their mistake. She spoke with her team leader and said, "No, they couldn't do that."

I asked to speak with her team leader and she confirmed that they were not going to give me a discount. I could have sold these books online and gotten mine for free, but thought that by clearing up their mistake, they would be more than happy to offer me a discount rather than be out the $300 order that some other college student is waiting for. Do yourself a favor and do not order from this company!

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MBS Direct expert review by ConsumerAffairs

Founded in 1992, MBS Direct partners with colleges and universities to offer an online campus bookstore specific to each school. The online bookstores carry course materials, merchandise and apparel.

  • Customized selection: Because it partners directly with colleges and universities, MBS Direct works like traditional brick-and-mortar campus bookstores, allowing students to search for required books by course number. Students can easily see which books are required and which are optional so they can plan accordingly.

  • eBook downloads: MBS Direct specializes in course packets and other materials available as digital downloads. When you rent or purchase an eBook, you receive a download code immediately and don’t have to wait for your book to ship.

  • Student savings: MBS Direct is committed to offering rentals at a fraction of retail price. You can always compare the rental price to retail to see if renting is the best option.

  • Options: Most MBS Direct bookstores offer not only rentals but also the option to buy new or used. If you decide to buy, you can always sell the book back later. Some bookstores also offer a marketplace option where you can buy from your peers or sell your own used textbooks.

  • Other campus gear: Because MBS Direct partners with your school, you can also buy campus gear like spirit wear, accessories, gifts and more. These ship directly to your dormitory or home with the rest of your order.

  • Best for: students at private schools and universities that partner with this company.

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