UPDATE: Go ahead and trust focloir^^, though the interface with Amazon may be creaky

UPDATE: I received a very nice response from focloir in reply to my complaint with them and it has exactly turned me around on them. I am temporarily keeping part of my splenetic original post at the bottom here (mainly so people can laugh at how Korea’s tin-pot culture has become part of me), but in fact Mr. Griffin’s response was so quick, personal and apparently honest that I am posting most of it here with the new advice that your heart can still be broken when a book disappears, but  focloir seems to be quite serious about the service it provides.

I am very sorry for the cancellation.  I know that I sent an e-mail to
either you or [Name Redacted] notifying of same with an explanation.  The
in-stock note was from Amazon because they assume, with reason, that,
if the book is listed, it’s there.  I most definitely have NOT sold
the book but I cannot locate it.  I looked for days and then went back
and did it again.  I store the books in boxes with letter labels.  I
have a distinct memory of having the book in my hand and opening up
box E.  I also have it on my own inventory as Box E.  I have a goodly
number of Korean translations and I have to keep special track of them
as the names can be tricky, sometimes it’s transliterated as Yi and
other times as Li, Jong can be Ch’eon

I then went through a number of boxes in which I had put some of the
more recent Korean titles thinking that inadvertently I put it in one
of them. But nothing.  And then I went back again figuring that
sometimes once you’ve done it your mind will not let you see the books
with fresh eyes.  (I still have the order form with the [Name Redacted] address in
[City Redacted] and I was going to drop a line once I came across it).

I am a book collector myself and know the disappointment of not
getting a book.  (Worse still if it’s stolen.  I had and extremely
rare book on the Celts from 1705 stolen from my hallway at Christmas.
It happens every year but the police and postal inspectors have no
interest whatsoever in stopping this seasonal behavior.  The book
would have been thrown away and be lost to posterity.)




……EDIT … here is a technical problem between Amazon and some of its dealers…

On January 11th I ordered “Early Spring, Mid-Summer and Other Korean Short Stories (Modern Korean Short Stories)” from focloir through Amazon. I was delighted to find it in stock and  listed at only $22.50, because it is a rare book.  The next day, I received the Amazon confirmation of my order which tells me that all my books will be shipped.

Today, I go to see where my orders are (I had ordered quite a few books) and this order is mysteriously nowhere to be found. Fortunately, I save these kind of emails, so I go back to that email and find my order number

focloir lies on Amazon

I click on the order number and… nothing….  it goes nowhere. There is no record on Amazon that this transaction has ever existed.

So, I get on the handy Amazon chat and deal with a nice chap who tells me that the order was cancelled (apparently without ever contacting me) because the book was “not in stock.”

Whut?  I go back to look carefully at the confirmation, and I note that even the day after the order, the book is still clearly in stock.

The nice chap on Amazon then says I should file a complaint. “OK,” sez I, “It’s a way to get some justice out of this focloir-up.” Which I do, and I feel slightly better for about 45 seconds until I receive this risible response from Amazon:

Thank you for submitting your report. All reports are reviewed by our investigations team. For privacy reasons, the results of our investigations cannot be disclosed, but please know that we will take any appropriate disciplinary actions.

In other words – Ptooie to you and your stupid complaint, we don’t care to be transparent. Oh, and you won’t get any satisfaction from us, either.

2nd time I’ve missed out on this book, too.




3 thoughts on “UPDATE: Go ahead and trust focloir^^, though the interface with Amazon may be creaky

  1. Charles… a look on Abebooks seems to reveal the very book for which I am looking. This will be the third time I have ordered it, with the truama discussed above preceded by the trauma in which the shipper said it had been sent and must have been lost in the mail.

    Also, picked up a couple of other really interesting books/monographs/etc that look like they will be quite handy.

    So, good advice!

    Now I can’t wait to get back to the States this summer and actually get my hands on the things.^^

  2. Here is an example of wasted money:


    Rather than embarking on a quixotic drive to have foreigners learn Korean, if ROK wanted to have foreigners appreciate Korean culture, they would foster translations of Korean genre literature.

    Korean manga, for example.

    Korean mysteries

    Realistically, VERY few will ever learn Korean.

    But MANY more might come to appreciate South Korean culture.

    This is so odd, it almost smells like an example of Korean nationalist thinking, rather than an element in a well-conceived plan to raise the stature of South Korea in the world.

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