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I guess everyone got the message about the free chess book from the USCF with the use of the chess.com coupon code. (I will paste the message at the end of this post.) I'd like to clarify the details on the use of the coupon code.
I went to their site immediately after receiving it to place an order, but was unable to understand how to make use of the code. I found the place to input the code, but did not see how to claim my free book. I stopped the process right there and decided I'd check back later. USCF sales contacted me and asked if they could assist with completing my order. It turns out you don't get to choose your book. The USCF sends you a book of their choice when you order.
Free is free, but it's not such a great deal to me if I don't get to choose. A book about how the pieces move would not be useful to me. Although from my play, anything a little beyond that would help.
The point is I just wanted everyone to be aware of how it worked as either the USCF or Chess.com did not make it clear.
Free Chess Book for all Chess.com Members (up to a $30.00 Value!)*
Occassionally Chess.com gets some really sweet deals, and this might be the best one we have ever had! In celebration of National Chess Day (October 9th), USCF Sales is offering all members of Chess.com a free chess book gift with any purchase at USCFSales.com between October 9th and October 19th.
Use the coupon code "CHESSCOM" when making your purchase and receive a free chess book, up to a $30.00 value! They have titles from such legendary authors as Grandmasters Yasser Seirawan, Andrew Soltis, Eduard Gufeld, Colin McNab and many more! These are all brand new, first quality Chess books with MSRP up to $30.00 USD – Free with ANY Purchase from USCFSales.com. All purchase support the United States Chess Federation (USCF).
We at USCF Sales do apologize for any confusion caused by our advertisement. When we first came up with the promotion, we never imagined that people would think that they would able to choose their own book, up to $30.00 value, on any order. We showed the books that we planned on giving away through the promotion in the advertisement and thought that would be sufficient. But it clearly wasn't and we do apologize.
As you can imagine, we had people buying $3.00 items and expecting to choose their own free $30.00 chess book, something that would be a financial disaster for us. We have a large number of books we purchased at a terrific price, which is how we are able to offer a free gift regardless of order size.
While only a small percentage of the customers who took advantage of this promotion were confused, it was enough that we felt that we needed to post clarifications.
If anyone has any questions, they should feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
I'd also like to say that I was not trying to be negative toward the USCF. I appreciate what the USCF has done for chess and I've always had pleasant dealings with them. Even in this case, the customer service reps were prompt in contacting me and the communications were very professional and friendly.
Free book or not, the USCF is a great place to shop for your chess needs.
This offer was timely for me on a couple of counts. First, the exchange rate on the AUD is higher than at any time I can remember, and second I was planning to buy a couple of books anyway. I wanted Kasparov's Great Predecessors Vols 1 and 5, and MCO 15th edition (my current edition was printed about 1970). So I had nothing to lose.
I picked up the three books, including postage, for about $A100 less than I'd have to pay here and got a couple of freebies thrown in. An email overnight confirmed that all five have been despatched and I'll be watching my mail box like a kid waiting for Christmas.
I was surprised at the personal attention from USCF. Their link to MCO wasn't working and they were quick to respond to a query; and when I did buy there was an apparent glitch that they attempted to resolve by email. (In fact there was no glitch and the order had been confirmed, but I was impressed by the response.)
I've bookmarked the USCF shop and I'll certainly make it my first stop if I want any more chess books.
I'm a lifetime USCF member, but I'm not that enthused about buying anything from USCF - their shipping & handling fees are outrageous. For the same book (Nunns Chess Openings) USCF wants $12.70 to ship (UPS or USPS) Amazon charges $4.00. This isn't an isolated instance either, in fact, it seems to be typical. Most online chess stores I've been to are also cheaper on P&H than USCF, often way cheaper.
Well, that all just depends on where you're shipping from.
When I read that you wouldn't even get to choose what your free book would be (in this supposedly "greatest of all offers"), my reaction was: the USCF is up to their old tricks again...
Is the USCF an organisation or business? I didn't think registered orgs were allowed to profit? If this is the case then maybe it could be supportive for US players to shop through them (if they can afford it).
I know it sucks to get conned or be misled by an offer though, I really hate it and if I feel like someone scammed me that's it - I'll never do business with them ever again.
It was definitely misleading. And true, they don't always have the best prices, but the organization MUST make money to pay for its expenses. There is a difference in "making a profit" and generating revenue to cover expenses. While I don't agree with everything the USCF does, they have always treated me fairly and courteously. The main thing to me is, if the USCF did not exist, there would be no organized chess in this country. That would be sad.
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