Online Book Stores

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Re: Online Book Stores

Postby grewgirl » 06 Jan 2012, 18:39

"Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Bernard Baruch
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Re: Online Book Stores

Postby FranW » 06 Jan 2012, 20:26

Thanks, GG!
No on H8
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Re: Online Book Stores

Postby Baker » 07 Jan 2012, 05:53

:hide: <-- our credit card
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities ~ Voltaire
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Re: Online Book Stores

Postby deej » 07 Jan 2012, 06:03

Don't be picking on the lovely lady, after all she lets you buy all the gizmo's you want for you computer. rofl rofl rofl
Raise your hand if someone you know is alive today because you can't afford a hit man.
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Re: Online Book Stores

Postby Baker » 08 Jan 2012, 07:52

;)
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities ~ Voltaire
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Re: Online Book Stores

Postby Baker » 19 Jan 2012, 15:02

I wasn't sure where to put this, but rather than starting a thread called "Ebooks Shops that have Pissed Me Off", I thought I'd include it here as a datum about an online ebook shop. (Not that there will be many offline ebook shops.)

I bought a book from Books On Board. I used Fran's account, since she already had one with them. The book I bought was $18.99. As an overseas customer of USA web vendors, I am well aware that the amount quoted may not be in my currency, so I always log in and check the price that way. Sometimes what happens is the default currency is USD, but when you log in and their software picks up I'm in NZ, the currency changes to NZD--hence the change in quoted price.

The price shown for this book was the same when I logged in: $18.99. This was the price, incidentally, the ebook is listed as selling at by the publisher, Random House.

Problem was, I was charged $27.93 on my PayPal bill. Now, that's not $NZ27.93. No, they charged me $US27.93. I go: WTF?

As part of my catharsis, here is my correspondence with BoB support.

I had no way to lodge a complaint except through their onscreen facility for people who don't know how to download ebooks. My bits are in blue.

This book is advertised for $18.99. I have a screenshot showing that.
Yet, myPaylPal account has been charged $26.43. I'd like to know why I have been charged so much more for this title.



BoB wrote:Hi Fran,

Thank you for shopping with BooksOnBoard. International purchases (non-U.S. as we are based in the United States) can be a higher cost because it costs us more to sell them. When logged in the price should have changed to the correct price for your distribution region and allowed you to confirm before purchasing. Are you saying that the cart reflected the lower price?

Please let us know if this did not happen.

Regards,
Jack

BooksOnBoard Support



The price did not change when I logged on, as you can see from the attached screenshot.

I have bought books from BoB before, and in no case was the price I was charged in my Paypal account different to that listed when I browsed the books. Which is why your claim that international books cost more to sell (!) doesn't align with my previous book buying experiences with BoB. And why it never occurred to me that I would be charged more than the listed price.

It probably isn't great business practice to advertise one price but charge another on some items and for some customers. This is definitely something I will warn people about in regard to BoB.


Bob wrote:Hi Fran,

Thank you for your reply.

I am sorry if this experience left a bad taste in your mouth. There are various reasons why eBooks may cost more or less in differing countries, part of which has to due to publisher restrictions. Differing prices for geographical reasons is not just a BooksOnBoard issue, it affects many retailers. Our website is designed to only show you books that are available to your specific region, and with the prices that are set for your region. However if you are not logged into your account when you are searching for books, the website is not able to tell where you are coming from so it has to default to US prices and restrictions. For this reason we recommend always logging into your account before searching for books.

Despite this, when you did log into your account to purchase, the correct price would have been visible in your Cart. We do ask our customers to check over their Cart thoroughly before purchasing to make sure there are no mistakes. If you do find an error and you don't know what's causing it, stop with the purchase and contact us so we can look into it.

I apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused. Please let me know if you have any other questions and I will be happy to assist.

Regards,
Michael
BooksOnBoard Support


Yes, this really has left a bad taste, and it's not getting any better.

Your website showed the price as $18.99 when I was logged in. The screenshot I sent showed this. I was logged in and the price is clearly listed as $18.99.

As for publisher restrictions, the price for this book is listed as $18.99 at the Random House website (http://www.randomhouse.com/book/85579/m ... berg/ebook) which gives BoB as one of the links of where to purchase the book. At the publisher's website there is nothing to indicate this price is ONLY for purchases made in the USA.Just like there was no indication from BoB that I would be charged more than the $18.99 quoted while I was LOGGED IN AND BROWSING.

Neither your site, nor the publisher, gives any indication the price I would be charged for buying this book is anything other than $18.99. That is what I expected to pay. If BoB had warned me while I was browsing that I would be charged more, I would've followed those Random House links to buy it from someone who would charge me the advertised price of $18.99.

And I repeat, on none of my other purchases from BoB was I charged anything other than the advertised price. I can't remember being warned when I registered with BoB that my non-USA location would mean some prices I would be charged would be higher than the advertised price.

I'm actually wondering if this practise is in violation of any commerce laws


BoB wrote:Hi Fran,

Thank you for your reply. I do see in the screenshot you were logged in, however when I test this issue out in the catalog using a New Zealand account, the price correctly changes to $27.93. Were you logged in with a different account at the time this screenshot was taken? Also, if you return to the catalog now and look up this title when logged in, do you still see the $18.99 price?

Regards,
Michael
BooksOnBoard Support


No, I was not logged in to a different account. I have only one account with BoB. It was my account with my New Zealand address. No, I was not using anyone else's account. No, I had not fabricated an account with a fictitious USA address just to try to get BoB to charge me the advertised price. No, I didn't do anything other than log on with the account I have bought books from you before with. No, I am not mucking around taking screenshots and complaining to support because I enjoy it so much and want to waste time for the sake of a few dollars. I just want to have been charged the price I was quoted.

Now I have just logged on and the price is showing as $27.93. So, yes, your software is working correctly now.

That was not the price it showed yesterday when I browsed and bought the book. As you saw from the screenshot, which clearly shows it as $18.99 when I was logged in. If it had showed that price, I would've shopped elsewhere. I would not have paid for it and voluntarily entered into these emails complaints afterwards.


BoB wrote:Hi Fran,

Thank you for your reply. I apologize for any frustration but I just wanted to be thorough. Here's what I can do: The difference between $27.93 and $18.99 is $8.97. I'll round that up to $9 and add another $5 on top of that, and credit that much to your account in Rewards Dollars which you can apply toward any future purchases.

If you encounter any other books with a price that behaves similarly to this one, please let me know. I don't get many complaints of this nature so I think it's safe to say this sort of error is rare. Again I apologize for any inconvenience. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards,
Michael
BooksOnBoard Support


Fran questioned why I persisted for the sake of a few dollars, but when it got to the point where he was implying I wasn't telling the truth or I was so computer illiterate that I couldn't tell the difference between being logged in or not, then I got pissed.

Yes, I have apologised to Fran for making BoB think she is a stroppy bitch.

This illustrates a problem that may be hidden from most online buyers: costs can vary depending on where you are buying from, and the vendors do not always warn you of that. Random House comes out of this rather badly, too, because if the increased cost BoB charges is due to the publisher, then they ought to be honest on their website where they quote the cost. It should be clear that is the cost for USA customers and everyone else will have to pay substantially more (in my case, around 50% more.)
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities ~ Voltaire
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Re: Online Book Stores

Postby ElaineB » 20 Jan 2012, 05:35

Baker wrote:Yes, I have apologised to Fran for making BoB think she is a stroppy bitch.

lol

Oh, but you have my sympathy.
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