Dirty deeds done dirt cheap. More on ITIL V3 discounting and how TSO screws itSMFI screws local itSMF...

The backstabbing and undercutting going on over the ITIL V3 book sales is good news for consumers, but less so for local itSMF chapters, or for those who'd like to see the ITIL world as a respectable place.

I can confirm that TSO sold direct to one or two of the Big Four vendors, causing orders with itSMF to be cancelled. The discount was reportedly 40%.

Now TSO doing the dirty on itSMF is good for consumers. With a bit of luck TSO might get into a price war with their own channels. It is not much sillier than what is going on now.

Of more concern to me is the news that itSMF International will enjoy somewhere around the same discount but is not passing it all on to the local chapters - they are taking a cut.

First this is divisive: any itSMF chapter with a good number of members (not thinking of any imperialists in particular) would be nuts not to join the general backstabbing by demanding the same deal with TSO direct.

Second, it is hardly working for the greater good of the itSMF community. The itSMF International discount was only possible by speaking as the voice of the worldwide membership. By profiteering in this manner itSMFI is clearly showing itself to be a body separate from the local chapters instead of one representative of them. We already pay a 5% tithe to fund them. If this discount is not passed on in full, then local itSMF chapters will be unable to compete with itSMFI selling direct - which they do now to Global members and it seems they might already be doing somehow via the itSMF UK - nor with all the big booksellers and ATOs who are no doubt already ringing TSO demanding their 40% too. If TSO are this promiscuous, it is only a matter of time before they do a deal with Amazon. itSMFI's margin will knock the local chapters out of the game.

As a consumer I think it is wonderful (well I would if I hadn't already bought my books at less than a 40% discount). As an itSMF member I'm less happy, both because of the lost revenue to the chapters and because of the ethics displayed by some of the major players.

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