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Frequently asked questions

The following notes are intended to help you reach the people you need to get the fastest and most complete answers to your queries and complaints.

Delivery and charges - worldwide

We deliver anywhere in the world where our carrier goes. To find out what it will cost, put the titles you want in your basket, then go to your basket, select the destination country, and click 'update'. You can alter the contents of the basket as often as you like, but remember to 'update' each time.

How to contact us

Before contacting us at all, we ask you to make sure the answer to your question is not already on this Web Site. There is a lot of information in the online catalogue about all our titles: stock, price, ISBN etc. If you have registered and have ordered from us you can find your order progress data, order history, and account and invoice details in the secure My Account section.

There is more information in the Help and Terms & Conditions pages. And we are constantly updating the information about every aspect of ESB on this site, with the precise purpose of giving you fuller and faster answers. If you have a printer, you can print out the contents of the screen at any time.

We will normally try to respond to queries and complaints by the same medium in which we receive them. However, we ask you please to avoid using the telephone at peak times of year, especially September and October. Communications by fax, email or letter allow us to organise our responses more efficiently. If you absolutely must use the telephone, and wish us to call back, please ensure that you will be available to take the call. We cannot try several times.

All teachers have restricted times of the working day when they can get to the phone, so our telephones are generally fully occupied at those times.

The ESB telephone system

Our telephone system has an automated switchboard. When you call you are answered by a pre-recorded voice giving you various options for locating the right person or department to deal with your query. You can find all our phone numbers here Contact us

Please follow the recorded instructions, and dial carefully and not too quickly. If you find the extension engaged, you will be able to leave a message.

If you are not using a digital phone, or the option you select does not connect, please wait until the recorded options have finished and leave a message with your phone number. We will call you back as soon as possible.

Orders in progress

If you have registered with us, details of your orders in progress will be available 24 hours after they are placed. You can track their progress via the "my account" link on the right hand side of this page.

Please refer to the Help and Terms & Conditions pages for specific information on all aspects of order processing.

Periodical subscriptions

ESB specialises in foreign language periodicals, but in general the publishers concerned give foreign subscriptions their lowest priority. They also tend to deal with orders and renewals in batches at intervals. This can cause delays between receiving our instructions and processing them, sometimes leading to discrepancies between the requested and actual start dates.

Periodicals are normally mailed to subscribers by the cheapest postal service of the country of origin, or sometimes by an even cheaper service offered by a neighbouring country.

Serious or ongoing subscription problems should be notified by letter giving as much detail as possible. Less important queries may be advised by phone or by email to subscriptions.

Your message will be acknowledged and acted on urgently, and you will be given an indication of when to expect a result. Only you can know if and when the problem has been put right, so we have to assume that is the case if we do not hear from you again.

We particularly draw your attention to the section on subscriptions in our Terms & Conditions.


Please email your requests for copy invoices and credit notes to quoting just your account number and the document number(s) required. The telephones in our accounts departments are almost permanently engaged and phoning is not recommended, but if you do you will get an opportunity to leave a voice-mail message.

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