Follow-up Session for the Thomson Reuters Boston Listening Session

As written in earlier blog posts (January 29, 2018 and July 13, 2018) several Boston area law librarians, from both firm and academic law libraries, began a collaborative project to improve customer service and billing with Thomson Reuters.  Due to internal restructuring within TR, progress on the initiatives were delayed, but I am happy to report that the project is still alive.  In April we reconvened as a group and listened to the many steps TR has taken to improve service.  These steps have been taken in consultation with the original group and through vendor-survey feedback from hundreds of TR customers.

Many thanks go to our vendor partners at TR for their commitment to develop these improvements and the librarians who have contributed to this project.

Follow-up Session

April 3, 2019

AGENDA (attendees listed below)

  • Review actions and status from identified pain points
  • Customer feedback and input on various topics
  • Open Discussion 

Summary Notes from Follow-up Discussion:

  • Status of actions being taken based upon the November 2017 meeting and subsequent follow-up session input was shared – see below:
  • Refund Check Documentation

Additional refund information was provided on checks beginning in March 2018.  The before and after view of the refund check was shown with the new views including adding customer’s original check number, invoice reference numbers, and reason for refund.  Feedback: Positive and liked the additional information

  • Improved Customer Returns

Feedback from customers was that they do not receive credit for returns unless they contact Thomson Reuters representative and/or that their return is not processed timely.  Improved customer return process was launched in February 2019.  It is a simplified process that will drive more automated return processing (e.g. issuance of credit) and to reduce the likelihood of errors.  It also provides us the capability to proactively communicate with customers the acceptance or rejection of a return via email.  Email notifications are sent to the Billing contact noted on the customer’s account.  Feedback: Wanted to understand how the Billing contact could be updated.  Informed that this could be managed through MyAccount / MyTR as part of the User Management feature.

  • Revised Credit Memo Documentation

Feedback from customers was that they did not understand what their credit was for and that they would like to see the credit memo documentation if they are issued a credit.  Thomson Reuters shared new credit memo documents with before and after views that was launched late 2018. The new view shows invoice numbers, title and reason for credit.  Feedback: Positive and customers are excited to see the new format.

  • Alignment of Invoice Product Descriptions:

Feedback from the November session was to tie the invoice product descriptions to the book title page.  Random surveyed customers provided us with an approved list of words that will be abbreviated consistently and words that will need to be abbreviated to adhere to our 120-character limit.  We are dedicated and committed to improving the product descriptions for our customers.  Feedback: Customers are seeing a difference and appreciate the work going into this initiative.  This is important.

  • Collections

Feedback from customers indicated that Collections is calling for payment when they’ve already noted an issue with the invoice.  They also feel Thomson Reuters is too aggressive when asking for payment.

We have made significant improvements with the communication and notification of our dunning letters.  We have also provided our Collection staff with additional and ongoing training in order to provide an improved quality engagement with our customers.  Finally, we are in the early stages of designing an engagement model that will utilize relationships already in existence, such as with Customer Service representatives, as well as provide a single-point of contact.  Feedback: Appreciate that we are taking these steps and that we hear them.  Also noted that they are already seeing a difference.

  • My Account Training

In the November session, there was a desire to understand how customers could get training on My Account and what was included in the tool.  Thomson Reuters presented to this group that MyAccount provided a random, disjointed experience including different login experiences, performance issues, limited training content, and required customers to contact us to manager their own users.  Now, we are migrating to a more predictable experience via the MyTR platform.  The MyTR design concepts include focus on four areas: Consistency, Intentional Focus, Usability, and Alleviating Pain.  Thomson Reuter’s goal is to provide a seamless experience.  Feedback: Excited.  Curious when transition from MyAccount to MyTR will happen for this group.  Interested in seeing and understanding more of the MyTR functionality – maybe at AALL conference?  We are looking into this as an option.

Invitees:

Ellen Walsh                                           Mintz Levin

Robert DeFabrizo                                  Goulston& Storrs

Andrea Rasmussen                                Ropes & Gray

Bryan Petit                                            Suffolk Law

Karen Green                                          New England Law

Rachel Bates                                         Northeastern

Linda Boucher                                       Boston University

Caroline Walters                                    Harvard University

Elke Piontek                                          Harvard University

Maria Tina Woods                                 Harvard University

 

TR Representatives:

Rachel Torgerson – Customer Success Strategist

Paul Bland – Global Head of Customer to Cash

Timothy Hoffner – Vice President Customer to Cash Operations

Kendel Kirk – Senior Director, Billing to Pay Process – Customer to Cash

Armando Fagundes – Head of Credit Management – Customer to Cash

LaTasha Sims – Omni-Channel Customer Support Director – Customer to Cash

Kim Hurley – Information Management Advisor

Tommy Williams – Sales and Client Management Lead – East

Lea Harpster – Legal Customer Support Lead

Michael Elert – Customer Support Quality & Process Manager

Jeff Fournier – Team Manager, Customer Service

Michele Best – Director, Law School Sales & Account Management

Regina Wiggins – Regional Field Manager

Ben Verrall – Product Specialist

 

The question of who owns the law heats up.

Friday, Carl Malamud, founder and President of PublicResource.org, urged the Supreme Court to take up this question.  Read more about this and the claim by the lawyers for the state of Georgia that Malamud’s efforts are deemed a “strategy of terrorism” here.

Thomson Reuters and CRIV Bi-Annual Call

Thomson Reuters and CRIV Bi-Annual Call

Nov. 9, 2018

Present: Caroline Walters, Harvard University, CRIV Liaison; Lori Hedstrom, National Manager, Information Management Advisors, Thomson Reuters; Rachel Torgerson, Customer Success Strategist, Finance Group, Thomson Reuters; Jeff McCoy, Communications, Thomson Reuters; Vani Ungapen, Executive Director, AALL

Notes submitted by Lori Hedstrom

Issue: Accounts Receivable – Dunning notices, timeframe for communications

Caroline submitted several member questions and comments regarding individuals’ experiences with their accounts. We are unable to address each one individually on this platform, but we can share information about how the system works so customers know the timing and processes at work.

Our systems are based on the net 30-day model and please understand that notices are automatically generated based on activity in the account, or lack thereof. There may be times when customers pay the majority of an invoice, but a partial amount may still be outstanding. Our system shows that residual amount as unpaid and generates a notice. Customer Service can walk customers through the system, with specific information on when their invoices are generated, when they are mailed, and when customers should expect to receive them each month.

Regarding copying directors and others in administration, dunning notices come out of our system addressed to the contacts listed. If the technical services librarian, the library director, and the dean are listed, they each will receive a copy. It is difficult to say why each individual was added – sometimes an administrator wants to know if payments are not being made timely and asks to be notified, or a librarian is promoted but not removed from the notification, as examples. If customers desire to remove contacts from the systems, they should work with their account manager to contact the Credit Management Team to ensure the appropriate contacts are in the system. Here is the general contact information for the Credit Management Team at Thomson Reuters for US Legal:

Email: WestAccountsReceivable@thomsonreuters.com

Phone: 1-800-522-0552

Fax: 651-687-4601

 Issue: Westlaw Edge rollout questions

Q: When will “regular” Westlaw sunset? For firms? For academics?

A: For the academic community, Jan. 1, 2019, is the date academic institutions will switch to Westlaw Edge. For law firms, we currently do not have a “sunset” date for Westlaw, but that will likely be around 2025.

Q: Will firms be able to choose between Westlaw and Westlaw Edge at renewal or for new customers?

A: Yes. Firms may choose between Westlaw or Westlaw Edge, but accounts will only have Westlaw or Westlaw Edge, as adoption is organization-wide.

Q: Can academics have access to both platforms for pedagogical purposes? There is concern among law schools that their students will only know how to use Westlaw Edge. Many of them may get jobs in firms that don’t have Westlaw Edge.

A: Students, similar to legal professionals that may change organizations, will still be able to use and benefit from Westlaw if their employer has yet to upgrade to Westlaw Edge. They may notice some of the efficiency tools such as the advanced search and analytics capabilities are not included, but they will still be able to conduct their legal research on Westlaw without disruption or feeling as they have to learn a new system.

Q: What if a professor is at a school that was an early adopter of Westlaw Edge and needs to grade their students’ work on Westlaw. Can they have access to Westlaw?

A: If a professor has transitioned to Westlaw Edge but need to grade on Westlaw, the professor can reach out to the Academic Account Manager and request a temporary password to get through this semester.

Thank you as always for the opportunity to meet and talk through members’ concerns. Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Lori. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Lori Hedstrom, MLS

National Manager, Information Management Advisors

CRIV/Thomson Reuters Spring Call: June 12, 2018

CRIV/Thomson Reuters Spring Call: June 12, 2018

In attendance:  Lea Harpster (TR), Kendel Kirk (TR), Lori Hedstrom (TR), Kate Hagen (AALL), Caroline Walters (CRIV Liaison)

This call was primarily dedicated to the ongoing work and collaboration between Thomson Reuters/West and a group of Boston Acquisitions Librarians that began in November, 2017.  The original intent was to organize a “Listening Session” to hear a list of concerns regarding billing and other customer relations issues.  The notes from that original meeting can be found here.

Since the initial meeting in November, the two groups have met twice to fine-tune solutions and Thomson Reuters sent a survey to over 100K customers to get input on how Thomson Reuters can better describe product descriptions on their documents.   Approximately 300 customers completed the survey.  With the direction of the original Listening Session librarians, and the results of the survey, the following enhancements and improvements in billing are currently underway:

Product Description:  All titles will be listed on invoices as they appear on the title page.  While abbreviations and eliminations of portions of titles will be needed, as some titles exceed the 120 character field available, those changes and the abbreviations will be kept to a minimum and, in consultation with librarians, will be standardized and consistent.

Timing:  Customers should start to see this change in their mid-August invoices with the changes being rolled out based upon publishing schedules with the focus on codes products first

Refund Check Documentation:  Improved descriptions on refund checks. Timing:  Implemented in March 2018, but will explore additional presentation improvements in next phases.

My Account Training:  Enhance Customer Training on My Account

Timing:  Shared librarian relations contacts to customer group in Feb Follow-up session.  Hosting a My Account booth at AALL Baltimore.

Credit Memos:  Improving credit memo descriptions.

Timing:  Expected to be available in Q4.

Invoicing Prior to Shipment, Followed by Collection Calls:  Thomson Reuters is currently seeking examples of this problem.

Timing:  TBD 

Improve Descriptions on Account Statements:  Account statements being modified to be more descriptive.

Timing:  TBD

Add PO’s on the Invoice at Line Item Level:  A new process to add PO’s at an invoice level has been identified and is in queue for determining system changes needed and prioritization.

Timing:  TBD

Tax on Invoices When Account is Exempt:  Implementing monthly audit process including review of tax exempt status.

Timing:  New audit process began in June.

*Abbreviations that will be implemented consistently:

  • Postal code for State Name
  • Anno = Annotated
  • Consol = Consolidated
  • PP = Pocket Part
  • Supp Pam = Cumulative Supplementary Pamphlet
  • Bk = Book
  • Sec = Section / Secs = Sections
  • Rev = Revised
  • = Volume
  • Sub = subscription

**Abbreviations that will be implemented only on a as needed basis:

  • Prof = Professional
  • Vol = Volunteer
  • Unif = Uniform
  • Proc = Procedure
  • DR = Disciplinary Rule
  • Govt = Government
  • Resp = Responsibility
  • Alt = Alternative
  • Admin = Administrative
  • Stat = Statute

Next steps:

Thomson Reuters has received input on the abbreviations and guiding principles for the product description changes from two sets of customer groups

  • Additional titles are being reviewed for any added needs for abbreviations
  • Product Descriptions will be implemented with a new process involving both TR editorial and manufacturing teams
  • Customers will be pro-actively communicate that the description changes will be coming
  • Updated description changes will occur based on publication schedules focusing on code products first
  • Post abbreviation and guiding principles on My Account
  • Thomson Reuters would welcome input from customers on the effectiveness of changes post launch

Other Issues:

Another topic for discussion ensued after the spring call.  A member was concerned that they would not be allowed to purchase ProView eBooks if they were not Westlaw subscribers.  Below is their response:

“Thomson Reuters recognizes the needs of some customers who want eBook functionality without having Westlaw.  In cases where a customer is a non-Westlaw customer,  they can get ProView eBooks on a per-seat license basis.  The customers client managers can work directly with the TR ProView team on solutions.”

Thomson Reuters Listening Session in Boston

As mentioned in last week’s CRIV Blog about the Thomson Reuters/CRIV Biannual Call,  a group of Boston-area Acquisitions Librarians, a representation of both academic and firm libraries, met with TR executives to discuss billing problems and other customer service issues and concerns.  As promised in the last CRIV Blog post, please find the notes captured during our discussion here.

These notes constitute the issues that were raised during the meeting.  The TR executives were there to listen and learn with an aim to create better efficiency, coordination, and communication.  Since this meeting, they’ve identified team members and are appraising feasibility for some of these changes and will be working with the original participants of this gathering for further direction.

Thomson Reuters/CRIV Biannual Call

Thomson Reuters/CRIV Biannual Call

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Attendees:  Kate Hagen (AALL), Lori Hedstrom (Thomson Reuters), Caroline Walters (CRIV)

Agenda #1:

To address a member’s concern about the scheduling of editions for Wright and Miller’s Federal Practice and Procedure, Lori Hedstrom had a lengthy interview with the editor of that publication to get the background and history.  The issue regards a recent decision to publish the newly revised Vol. 30B as 1st edition.  For many years it had been published as a hardbound interim edition.   Yet older editions within the Evidence Unit were labeled 1st editions in the 70’s and 2nd editions were published in 2005.  The timing of the new 1st edition Vol. 30B, published in 2017, was therefore confusing to catalogers and serials inventory.  This is what Lori learned in order to illuminate and explain the irregular publishing schedules for Wright and Miller:

Unlike other West publications, Wright & Miller is primarily written by the work of outside authors, specialists in their area of interest.  Material within the set is updated as needed when the law evolves and also when a subject specialist contributes new scholarship.  This is why individual volumes within Wright & Miller have, for quite some time, taken divergent paths as far as how often they are revised between one edition to the next.

With respect to volume 30B’s recent publication as a 1st Edition, until recently, the subject of this volume (the hearsay rules) were not covered in Wright & Miller by an independent author.  While an original analysis of the hearsay rules was being written by Wright & Miller’s original authors, this subject was covered within the treatise by material that was largely copied from the Handbook of Federal Evidence.  The volumes that contained this material were labeled as “interim” editions for many years.  Recently, a new author was retained to independently research and create a wholly original analysis of the hearsay rules, for which a new chapter was created within the treatise.  This is why the new Vol. 30B, which replaces the last of Wright & Miller’s “interim” editions, is labeled as a 1st edition.

Agenda #2:

Thomson Reuters Listening Session in Boston:  This fall Thomson Reuters agreed to send high-level executives to meet with a group of Boston-area Acquisitions Librarians, a representation of both academic and firm libraries, to discuss billing problems and other customer service issues and concerns.  It was a very productive meeting and a first step toward meaningful change.  During our call, Lori offered to summarize the meeting for CRIV which will then be published with a wider audience.  She hopes to schedule follow-up meetings with this same group to report their progress and get feedback for further development.  A separate blog post will follow detailing the results of this meeting.

Books from 1923 to 1941 Now Liberated!

Read on to learn how the Internet Archive has employed an obscure copyright law to release these titles: http://blog.archive.org/2017/10/10/books-from-1923-to-1941-now-liberated/