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Old 09-24-2010, 07:26 PM   #1
PlainBobMax
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Beware Fictionwise

Earlier this year I purchased Under the Dome and Pirate Latitudes from Fictionwise. Even though I was not ready to read them, I purchased them in order to get the Micropay rebate while they still appeared on the NYT Best Seller List.

Instead of downloading them, I left them on my FW Bookshelf. Yesterday I tried to download them but got an error message saying the was a problem interacting with the retail site. I tried a number of times, then emailed support at Fictionwise informing them of the problem.

Today, I received NO reply from FW, but decided to try downloading the books again. I logged on and lo and behold, both of those books have been deleted from my bookshelf AS WELL AS my $34 Micropay balance.

So, I paid $47 for two books which FW has stolen back from me with no explanation.

Beware purchasing anything from this company.

***UPDATE***

Just to set the record straight on a couple of things. First I did not purchase these items 9 months ago as a lot of people seem to think (not sure how they would know when I purchased something)

Second, the Fictionwise site DOES SAY that the bookshelf is there to "store" the users books and from there they may be downloaded "as needed," which is what I attempted to do. Granted the terms of service do say something different. Lesson here: Don't necessarily go by the Help pages, go by the Terms of Service.

Third, my frustration was not necessarily the fact that after reporting the error both of the books in question were wiped out as well as my micropay balance, but the fact that it was done almost immediately after reporting the error and with NO explanation. I even wrote back asking why this was done with no explanation. I was not as nice in the second email as I was in the first.

WITH THAT SAID: It is now time for me to eat some crow:

I eventually received an email from support which said that they would refund my purchases on the books that disappeared. Where I need to eat crow (though not completely my fault) is that a couple of days later, I found in my SPAM folder an email they had written after my very first email saying that they were sorry the books could not be downloaded and that they were going to refund the purchases.

So, they did offer explanation as to why the books and the micropay disappeared, but I never saw it. I feel like the aunt in Sleeping Beauty who realizes her invitation had been lost under the carpet only after she cast her evil spell.

I've already written an apology to the support team at Fictionwise for my misunderstanding.

Last edited by PlainBobMax; 09-28-2010 at 12:25 AM. Reason: Fix Typo
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:41 PM   #2
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I'm sorry, but the blame resides with YOU! If you had read the fine print they tell you to download the book right away. They cannot guarantee that it will be there later on. Since you didn't want to take the time to download the book even though you were right there to do so, you shouldn't blame FW for YOUR not wanting to make a couple more clicks on your mouse at the time of purchase!
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:45 PM   #3
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What format and publisher were these books? Fictionwise may not be entirely to blame. And, I agree with cfrizz: one needs to be an alert consumer. FW has been very str8-forward during 2010 as it shifts its model. Ultimately, the consumer is responsible for back-ups, not a vendor.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:48 PM   #4
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On this point, Amazon is a much better e-book vendor. However, you have to buy their device.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:00 PM   #5
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Fictionwise really got screwed in the Agency5 price-fixing fiasco in April, and B&N is not supporting them. I have books on my bookshelf that I can't download either, but because I followed the Agency5 issue here and elsewhere online, I knew ahead of time. I only "lost" one book.

However, that doesn't explain your microbalance "disappearing". Fictionwise has always dealt above-board with its customers, even though sometimes its communications are...lacking. I'd suggest trying again with the email address: support@fictionwise.com if the web-based contact form isn't working for you. I've also received emails from info@fictionwise.com. You could try either of those.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:12 PM   #6
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On this point, Amazon is a much better e-book vendor. However, you have to buy their device.
Actually you don't. There are Kindle apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Blackberry; all of which are free and will read Amazon's Kindle content.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by PlainBobMax View Post
Earlier this year I purchased Under the Dome and Pirate Latitudes from Fictionwise. Even though I was not ready to read them, I purchased them in order to get the Micropay rebate while they still appeared on the NYT Best Seller List.

Instead of downloading them, I left them on my FW Bookshelf. Yesterday I tried to download them but got an error message saying the was a problem interacting with the retail site. I tried a number of times, then emailed support at Fictionwise informing them of the problem.

Today, I received NO reply from FW, but decided to try downloading the books again. I logged on and lo and behold, both of those books have been deleted from my bookshelf AS WELL AS my $34 Micropay balance.

So, I paid $47 for two books which FW has stolen back from me with no explanation.
Fictionwise have not "stolen" them from you. When you buy a book, it's your responsibility to download it. Fictionwise don't store books themselves; they are downloaded from the distributor's server, and if the publisher has to withdraw the book for some reason, it then becomes unavailable for download. That's why FW explicitly TELL you to download, because they cannot guarantee that it will remain available.

It's unfortunate, but I'm afraid that it really is your own fault, not that of FW.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:54 AM   #8
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However, that doesn't explain your microbalance "disappearing". Fictionwise has always dealt above-board with its customers,
FW pay the publisher at the time that a customer buys the book. If the customer doesn't bother to download it, do you really think that the publisher will refund FW that money? It seems rather unfair for FW to end up out of pocket due to a negligent act on the part of one of their customers, don't you think? I'm sorry, but to my mind FictionWise have done absolutely nothing wrong here, and they are under no obligation whatsoever to refund any money to the customer.
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:43 AM   #9
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I'm sorry, but to my mind FictionWise have done absolutely nothing wrong here, and they are under no obligation whatsoever to refund any money to the customer.
Surely the disappearance of the Micropay balance is an error though? The OP paid for the books, and received the Micropay rebate. That should still be available to use against further purchases, regardless of whether the books were downloaded.

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Old 09-25-2010, 05:47 AM   #10
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Surely the disappearance of the Micropay balance is an error though? The OP paid for the books, and received the Micropay rebate. That should still be available to use against further purchases, regardless of whether the books were downloaded.

Graham
I thought that the OP was saying that the $34 he'd paid for the books had gone. I may of course have misunderstood.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:25 AM   #11
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I've realised that there is an alternate explanation for this.

If the publisher pulled those two books from distribution yesterday, Fictionwise may have acted in good faith and refunded the money to any customers who had not downloaded those books (even though they do not have to do so under their Terms and Conditions). This would also explain the missing Micropay rebate, as Fictionwise would remove that as it was received as part of the original sale.

It's possible that the notification from Fictionwise got trapped in the OP's spam filter. I'd suggest checking the filter and the credit card used for the purchase.

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Old 09-25-2010, 06:37 AM   #12
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I think we've got a bit complacent with FW's bookshelf, and so used to our books staying there - despite the warning message that does state they will not guarantee to remain available - that an issue like this jolts.

But I agree with all the others, they advise downloading after purchase.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:38 AM   #13
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Sorry PlainBobMax, but FW is not at fault for your not having downloaded your eBooks on time. You blew it. It is 100% your fault. FW is not to blame. Asking for a refund is just wrong. If you do ask for a refund, I sincerely hope that you get denied.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:41 AM   #14
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I'm getting more convinced that Fictionwise have actually refunded the money. Note that the OP says that the books and Micropay rebate disappeared after an email was sent to support.

I suspect a recalcitrant spam filter, or perhaps a Fictionwise notification problem - given the other thread mentioning that these seem to have dried up.

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Old 09-25-2010, 06:43 AM   #15
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I think we've got a bit complacent with FW's bookshelf, and so used to our books staying there - despite the warning message that does state they will not guarantee to remain available - that an issue like this jolts.
I've just checked, and pretty much all my Mobi books at FW now say "NO LONGER SOLD" alongside them. They seem primarily to be Hachette books; probably a consequence of the agency thingy.
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