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Old 05-02-2009, 05:26 AM   #1
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Problems with Waterstones UK

Hi all,

Last Friday I bought 3 ebooks from Waterstones UK (not my first choice, but I was given a gift card). Two downloaded no problem, but one came up with an error message and told me to call customer services to get the link reactivated.

I called customer services and was told the problem would have to go to their technical team who would email me when it was sorted. I called again on Monday to find out how long it was going to take to sort out. I was told this usually takes 2 days to sort out and I'd get an email when it was sorted out.

I forgot about it (busy at work etc) and then this morning realised I hadn't heard anything. I phoned again and asked what was happening. The person I spoke to tried very hard to help, but couldn't tell me when it would get sorted. Apparently it seems that the book is corrupted, and they can't tell me anything until their technical team or head office (not entirely clear which, or it might be the same place!) tell them what's going on. Apparently there can be problems with downloading ebooks because they're "quite technical".

Has anyone else had this problem and do you know how long it usually takes to sort out? I've read the other books I bought at the same time, and if it's going to take a while I'd rather have a refund so I can get something else (from somewhere else) or get it from another bookseller.

Sorry for the long post, I'm finding it a bit frustrating as I think of ebooks as an instant purchase!

Thanks.
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Old 05-02-2009, 09:39 AM   #2
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I bought 1 ebook yestrdey and get the error mesage too. It was the first time I buy a ebook. Now I shall coll customer services.This will be fun I only read english.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:23 AM   #3
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This will be fun I only read english.
Don't worry about it.
It is quite possible you will be able to communicate a lot better than thousands of local immigrants who live here for 20 years and don't bother to learn the language neither read nor speak.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:55 PM   #4
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I have my book now.But it was only a urllink that I hav downloaded and with him I downloaded the book.The difference was this time I used Int.Exp. end not Opera.
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:07 PM   #5
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Glad you've sorted it out. I still don't have my book, but I did at least get a refund. I've got lots of free books to read so it's not the worst problem I've ever had!
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:03 AM   #6
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Hi there. I had exactly the same problem. I treated myself to a PRS-505 and read a few of the free books that came with it but wanted to buy Nation by Terry Pratchett. I bought it from Waterstones only to have it fail. I telephoned customer services and they were absolutely dreadful! The girl I spoke to had no clue what I was talking about and kept putting me on hold whilst she spoke to her supervisor. I was on the phone for twenty minutes in total whilst she kept putting me on hold. It culminated in her telling me that I needed to email her the error codes and details so she could email it to her supervisor so that he could email it to their technical department to sort out. I was advised that I would get an email in about ten minutes time to confirm this. Seven hours later I phoned them up again as I hadn't received my email and spoke to a young chap who seemed a bit more clued up on what the deal was but said he would have to do the same thing as the girl earlier had said she was going to do. I advised him that this had already been done but he could find no record of it. He also explained that it could take up to a week for the technical department to sort it out. I said that I wanted a refund and that i'd get it somewhere else and he sorted that out for me (after a short argument from me when he said he couldn't do that until they had tried to resolve the problem).

I then went to WHSmith's online eBook store and purchased it and when I went to download it I got exactly the same error. To say that I was angry is an understatement of humungous proportions. They clearly use the same servers as Waterstones. I emailed them and they have been very polite and friendly but I still haven't got my book and this was on the 7th May.

As this was my first experience of buying an eBook I was extremely disappointed and it has marred the experience somewhat. I also bought another book from WHSmith at the same time as Nation and that downloaded fine, but when I transfered it across to my reader the Adobe Digital Editions software said that there may be some small errors in it. Not the best experience so far. I love the hardware but buying books has been total crap for me so far.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beena;
Hi there. I had exactly the same problem. I treated myself to a PRS-505 and read a few of the free books that came with it but wanted to buy Nation by Terry Pratchett. I bought it from Waterstones only to have it fail. I telephoned customer services and they were absolutely dreadful! The girl I spoke to had no clue what I was talking about and kept putting me on hold whilst she spoke to her supervisor.
As this was my first experience of buying an eBook I was extremely disappointed and it has marred the experience somewhat. I also bought another book from WHSmith at the same time as Nation and that downloaded fine, but when I transfered it across to my reader the Adobe Digital Editions software said that there may be some small errors in it. Not the best experience so far. I love the hardware but buying books has been total crap for me so far.
Presumably you have not forgotten to register both your copy of DE and your 505 with your DE (Adobe) account?

I have bought books from WHS with no problems, but you must download into DE. Also plenty of other places to buy who have fast & helpful cust. S.

I agree! I found Waterstones customer service useless to the point of being insulting. I think the call center staff are contracted out, they have no idea what they are talking about and no power to do anything.
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:41 PM   #8
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Presumably you have not forgotten to register both your copy of DE and your 505 with your DE (Adobe) account?

I have bought books from WHS with no problems, but you must download into DE. Also plenty of other places to buy who have fast & helpful cust. S.
Yes I have registered everything properly and I did download the book that worked into DE. The one that didn't work (Nation) is a fault on their side which they have acknowledged. The second person I spoke to at Waterstones said that they had been notified by a number of customers that this particular book isn't working, which does beg the question as to why they still have it for sale.

I emailed WHSmith again today and they are unable to give me any idea as to when it will be working again. They are very courteous in their emails though:

Quote:
Originally Posted by WHSmith
Thank you for providing that information. Unfortunately this issue isn't just a corrupt download or broken URL. We will notify you once this title has been correct. We are sorry for the trouble and thank you for your patience. Please let us know if we can provide further assistance
or information. Thank you.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:17 PM   #9
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Yes, Waterstones acknowledge they do have books that don't work and the fault is on their side. It only happens with specific titles, so I'm not sure why they keep selling them.

My experience got even worse today - I bought my book which didn't work with a gift card. Apparently at some point during the process of taking my order and then giving me a refund they also managed to remove the remaining balance from my gift card. I phoned customer services who sent me to a store to get the card checked, because the customer services don't have access to the gift card system. The store were very helpful and found out where the problem was, but couldn't sort it out because I had used the gift card online and the stores can't access information about my online orders.

Back to customer services, who had to take all the detail then send it to their supervisor who had to escalate it to head office to be sorted out, which would probably take a few days. After my previous experiences I wasn't full of confidence that head office would ever get it sorted out, so I followed this up with an email. The balance was back on my card in 4 hours, but I had to get a bit angry in my email.

I think that now I've used up my gift card I'm going to concentrate on reading all the free books I've downloaded (as well as the books I bought today) and have a break from buying ebooks.

Nation was one of the books on my list to buy, but I'm definitely going to wait a while before trying to get that!
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Old 05-15-2009, 04:46 AM   #10
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Apparently, the situation is trully appalling (after reading the last two post is trully).
I know now why I never bothered with buying epubs.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:45 PM   #11
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Fictionwise have Nation on sale in LIT format for $7 (when you include rebate) at the moment if you're willing to strip the DRM and convert it.

Or just create a virtual visa card on Entropay.com and buy it from the Sony store.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:19 AM   #12
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Fictionwise have Nation on sale in LIT format for $7 (when you include rebate) at the moment if you're willing to strip the DRM and convert it.

Or just create a virtual visa card on Entropay.com and buy it from the Sony store.
Thanks for the info but I don't want to have to go through the rigmarole of having to strip DRM and set up virtual visa cards just to buy a book.

Technology is supposed to make life easier but I could just wander into Waterstones, pick up a book off of the shelf, pay for it and be reading in minutes. Surely the idea of a book reader is to make this even more convenient. So far I have had to buy it twice, (once on my wife's credit card because one retailer doesn't accept debit cards online even though they do in their stores), email half a dozen times and make two lengthy telephone calls......and I still don't have the book. Awesome! That and the fact that the books are both different prices from both stores even though they are being supplied by the same servers. That price also being the hardback price and not the paperback price even though there is no printing, packaging, shipping etc. overheads. Add to that the fact that some books have a fair few errors in them because they have been produced using OCR technology which is something you wouldn't accept if you paid full price for a paper book. This medium really needs to improve and quickly if it is to become mainstream and really take off. I love the device and despite my whingeing I am glad that I bought it but it isn't by any means perfect yet.

/Rant.

I do love my Sony though
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Old 05-17-2009, 04:33 PM   #13
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Waterstone's handling of gift cards online certainly leaves a bit to be desired.

I attempted to use the remaining balance on a card in conjuction with a credit card for the balance to buy an ebook.

I mistyped my card's expiry date so the transaction failed but it still took the balance off my gift card. After much to-ing and fro-ing, I got it recredited, but you'd think their website would be coded so that a failed transaction doesn't affect the giftcard balance.

Still loving the Reader though despite these little glitches
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:50 AM   #14
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Update:

I emailed WHSmith yesterday and said that I would like my order for Nation to be cancelled and they emailed back saying that it had now been fixed. So I downloaded it and sure enough it is. Nice of them to tell me!

So if you want Nation it is working again.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:06 AM   #15
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I am feeling quite fortunate now. Got my 505 in March & have bought books from Waterstones & WH Smith in the UK with no problems plus from Books On Board & Baen Books in the US.
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