Case Study: Charter Oak State College

After originally choosing MBS Direct for textbook fulfillment in 2005, Charter Oak left for another vendor the summer of 2013. However, dissatisfaction with the new partnership was so strong that the school is now back after just two terms away. Since coming back to MBS Direct, Charter Oak has noticed an immediate return to the superior customer service it received during its initial experience with MBS Direct.

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Charter Oak Makes the Switch Back to MBS Direct

An experienced student body

The Charter Oak student base is probably not what one thinks of when discussing a typical group of college students. The average Charter Oak student is 39 years old, and often juggling a full-time job while completing their degree nights and weekends. Charter Oak features students pursuing a variety of different degree options.

"Our latest major that we've launched is Cyber Security. Previously, we launched a Health Information Management major. Health Care and IT are developing niches for our college, because of the workforce growth and opportunity that they present to our graduates," said Charter Oak Director of Marketing, Carolyn Hebert.

With such a unique student body and variety of course options, choosing a textbook vendor that is able to meet the expectations of both students and faculty is extremely important. So despite being happy with MBS Direct's service during its initial partnership, Charter Oak was lured away last year with promises of better options for students.

Back to where it started

When Charter Oak switched from MBS Direct in the summer of 2013, it did so because it believed that the new vendor had access to a broader marketplace for students. As it turned out, their expectations were not met. "What we found was that the provider relied too much on the marketplace to satisfy book demand," said Cliff Williams, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer at Charter Oak. The provider's reliance on marketplace led to a large number of students not getting their books on time due to backorders. "We also didn't like their buyback feature or their refund policy, both of which were very limited," Williams added.

But luckily for Williams and his students, transitioning back to MBS Direct was simple because of the short time away. Reconnecting with MBS Direct has been especially important recently, as both MBS Direct and Charter Oak have been working together to create a new Online Bookstore, which will go live in the next couple months in anticipation of the spring 2015 semester.

MBS Direct offered a much better and more comprehensive program.

— Cliff Williams

Once the Online Bookstore is ready to go, Charter Oak and its students will once again be relying on MBS Direct to take care of everything it needs. In fact, customer service was the main reason the school returned, said Williams. "Even though we originally switched because we thought that [the other vendor's] program would benefit the students the most, we actually found out in the long run that MBS Direct offered a much better and more comprehensive program, which actually provided better student service. That's why we returned to MBS Direct."

About Charter Oak State College:

  • Enrollment: 2400
  • Located in New Britain, Conn.
  • Online degree completion college for students seeking to complete associate and/or bachelor's degrees
  • Over 20 online degree programs

About MBS Direct:

  • Provides schools a branded, Online Bookstore where students can affordably and conveniently get their course materials
  • Backorders on less than 2 percent of total orders once school begins
  • 24/7 call center with email, live chat and phone options
  • Variety of purchasing options for students (rental, new and used books, Marketplace, eBooks, etc.) that allows the students to save in whatever way works best for them