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Old 11-22-2012, 03:45 AM   #1
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BoB selling books they don't have?

Yesterday I bought four books on Books on Board, but I could only download two of them. I opened a support ticket.
This is their reply
------
Hello,

Thank you for shopping with BooksOnBoard. Unfortunately, I was unable to
establish a link to these files. I have issued a credit to your Rewards
Dollars. Please let us know if we may be of further assistance.

Regards,
Jack
------
Isn't Jack saying that BoB put out books there they can't supply?
In other words, they are selling books from someone else's server. Or am I missing something_
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:52 AM   #2
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Maybe it means that they've calculated that the cost of actually investigating the issue and correcting it will cost them more than just refunding your money.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
Maybe it means that they've calculated that the cost of actually investigating the issue and correcting it will cost them more than just refunding your money.
Hmm, for my personal case, you might be right, but this would happen to others trying to buy those books too, I assume.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumabjorn View Post
Isn't Jack saying that BoB put out books there they can't supply?
In other words, they are selling books from someone else's server. Or am I missing something_
Why not reply and ask for further clarification about the cause of the problem? That's what I'd do.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumabjorn View Post
Yesterday I bought four books on Books on Board, but I could only download two of them. I opened a support ticket.
This is their reply
------
Hello,

Thank you for shopping with BooksOnBoard. Unfortunately, I was unable to
establish a link to these files. I have issued a credit to your Rewards
Dollars. Please let us know if we may be of further assistance.

Regards,
Jack
------
Isn't Jack saying that BoB put out books there they can't supply?
In other words, they are selling books from someone else's server. Or am I missing something_
Could they be region restricted?

That is, the publisher won't sell those particular ISBN's into Sweden and BoB didn't action that until download - instead of at time of purchase, or earlier.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynx-lynx View Post
Could they be region restricted?

That is, the publisher won't sell those particular ISBN's into Sweden and BoB didn't action that until download - instead of at time of purchase, or earlier.
Then why don't they just do like Amazon and not show them as available?
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:12 AM   #7
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I guess we'll just have to wait and see what they say in response to you questioning further.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:42 AM   #8
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Their database seems a bit slow to react on occasion, it there a copy of the book from a different publisher on the site? if so they will generally switch the title.

I've had it a few times (an incorrect listing normally, but also when sfgateway pulled some titles).

For some reason they seem to list the US titles of books for some publishers although they usually download fine.

At least BoB respond fairly quickly to questions.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumabjorn View Post
Then why don't they just do like Amazon and not show them as available?
They do.

I've got a feeling that BoB has been doing some housekeeping lately as half the books in my wish list recently became unavailable overnight (i.e. they stayed in my wishlist but there's no Add to Cart button next to them, just a Delete one).

I haven't gone through all of them but for all of those I tried, I was able to find a different edition of the same titles (in all cases slightly more expensive) by another publisher.

So I guess they have been doing some georestriction-related work lately and perhaps some titles are still messed up because of that? And not every title will have more than one publisher and even if they do, so they may not have a legally available file to switch it with.

It happened to me a few weeks ago that I couldn't download a specific title I'd just bought, and the customer relations person who replied to my e-mail said that they'd switched the download link to another edition (or something along those lines), so I could download the title after that.

I wonder if some publishers have also been doing some georestrictions-related housekeeping of their own? Because I just recently noticed that books by one author, which had been available on Kobo some years ago but were then removed, but which were always legally available for me on Amazon, had re-appeared on Kobo.

Anyway, I'd think it's worth following up with BoB to see if they can give you a straight answer - if it's for example really due to geo-restrictions changing on that book and you just had the bad timing to buy it just as it happened or before some database or another had refreshed, or if it's something else. I love BoB but if it becomes a more widespread problem - that international customers can see and buy specific books but not download them - then it's pretty worrying.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:53 AM   #10
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Or, wait a few days and try buying them again.
If it's a housekeeping issue, it should be fixed by then...
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:23 AM   #11
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I think maybe some (indie or tiny) online ebook stores like BoB, Feedbooks or some others similar share the same content server.
Then BoB didn't know those two titles have been removed from the content server.
When you contact them, oops, they found they can't find those titles in the server, either.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:39 AM   #12
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That seems reasonable. Servers are maintained by some back operation and BoB is simply a store front without actual content then.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:44 AM   #13
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I had a similar problem with Kobobooks. I bought a book from them last night, but it wasn't available for download. I wrote to them, asking to resolve the issue or give me a refund.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:40 AM   #14
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I have had this twice now, and both times the books were published by Tor and are supposed to be without DRM. The initial download was a .epub which was encrypted and could not be read. When I tried again later you get the file not found message.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:17 PM   #15
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Well I learned something.

I had never heard of Books on Board.

What is the advantage of using them?
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