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Old 10-12-2009, 05:33 AM   #1
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Sony? Great machines -- rotten reader service

I love my Sony PRS-505 ... just wish the Sony Store and Sony Library and Sony 'help' was 1% as good as the reader itself.

My library has lost the left panel (many here report a similar fault), so I can't drop downloaded books into my reader.

That aside, I thought I'd risk the software flaw when I found that Sony Connect was offering the ebook version of Margaret Atwood's *Year of the Flood* at $9.99 -- a good 60% less than elsewhere where the ebook costs three times as much as the hardback.

Problem one: No longer do I get 'add to basket' when I hit on the chosen book in the store, I get 'do you want this book?' Of course I do. Click that. Then I'm told I need e-Library software, which I already have as a returning customer. I click it anyway, update the software, which takes forever (vital left pannel still absent) and try again ... only to be told -- you guessed it -- 'do you want this book?' ''Download e-Library software'.

So I go to Sony's live-chat help service. After some minutes, an adviser called Lindsay asks me to wait while my question is 'escalated' to another adviser. Ten minutes later: He calls himself Douglas and he tells me 'I am sorry the software isn't working properly. How can I advise you?'

I'd really like to tell my new friend Douglas all about it. Unfortunately, though, the Sony chat-help software isn't working either, so I can't respond.

But why bother anyway? I'd lay odds on the fact that, even if I can fix the problems, Sony will tell me that this particular ebook is not available outside the USA.

I am now about to remove the Sony e-book library from my three computers and never attempt to buy books from Sony ever again. I've just wasted about four hours (which at my hourly rate for work means the time I've just thrown away could pay for this book many, many times over).

My PRS-505 is still the tops for me -- probably the best reader on the market -- but Sony's store, its library software and its shoddy support system outside the USA can do what Kurt Vonnegut suggested about taking a flying f*** at a rolling doughnut, go take a flying f*** at the mooooon ...

Neil
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:56 AM   #2
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Hi Neil, I am not a technical person, but is this happening on all three of your computers?

Did you remove/uninstall the old program before reinstalling? This thread had some info on what to get rid of first:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...ing+left+panel

Has the line separating the left panel and the library list/order screen been moved so you can't view the left panel? Of course this doesn't explain why you can't order. How did you get to the store if you can't see the left panel? I assume the link there shows you have the program installed and not trying to order directly thru your browser (of course you can't order from there).

Hopefully someone more experienced with these problems will come along and you can order your book!

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Old 10-12-2009, 08:19 AM   #3
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Mille thanks, Goldi: The missing left pane is something many here have come across (for me, it happens on my PC, laptop and netbook) and there seems no easy fix -- and Sony 'help' outside the US is about as much use as an ashtray on a Harley. The store I get through to easily -- either from the library or just by going via a browser and logging into my account. Useless.

I do appreciate your thoughts, Goldi, but I've had it up to here with Sony. Love the machine, hate everything else -- and there are alternatives for that 'everything else' so I ain't about to waste any more precious time trying to jump through hoops backwards to get to grips with Connect and the Sony library. Life's far too short.

With this particular book for instance, it was false economy yo try the Sony store. I could have paid three times as much for the same thring from, say, Waterstones and had no problem. As it was, I got so darned involved that I lost nearly four hours working time.

Very best. Neil
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:34 AM   #4
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This might be a dumb question, but when you are trying to buy the book are you in the eLibrary or just a normal web browser?
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:52 AM   #5
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Tried both ways, Jive. Snookered. As I say, though, there are alternatives to the Sony store and Sony library, so it ain't no big deal.

Also, as I mentioned before, even if I got as far as being able to attempt to actually 'buy' this book (heaven forbid that a retailer should let just any Tom, Dick or Harry buy their goods), the chances are that -- although the author is Canadian -- there will be geographical restrictions that make it unavailable to anyone outside the US.

It's like opening an old Woolworth store in Scotland, fully stocked, well advertised, but keeping the doors locked.

I've come to realise that it's all about getting a good reader (and Sony certainly fits that bill) and acquiring content independently of the recommended source. One of the reasons I wouldn't touch Kindle as a gift is that this freedom is impossible on that overrated wee gizmo.

All these good folks should make up their minds as to whether they are electronics manufacturers, retailers, diustributors or (as is becoming probably) actual 'publishers' of content. They should not be encouraged to be all things in one. That, I think, is called monopoly -- and that's when the consumer becomes a victim rather than a customer.

Hoots. Neil
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:24 AM   #6
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I love my Sony PRS-505 ... just wish the Sony Store and Sony Library and Sony 'help' was 1% as good as the reader itself.


Neil
I am sorry that you have had this experience, but I've found Sony help (via email) to be very useful and quite prompt. I had an issue with having used up my authorizations while not having access to all of the computers on my account; they were able to de-authorize the old computer remotely. They also helped me resolve a strange issue with one of my credit cards. Both times I recieved an actual personalized e-mail from CS within a few hours of having sent my original e-mail; the problems were resolved within 24 hrs.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:31 AM   #7
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You can only buy books from within the Ebook Library software, not via your normal web browser.

I've gone back to v2.5 of the software, which is much more stable and faster.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:34 AM   #8
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The huge difference, Luc, is that you have the good fortune to live in the USA. For the rest of the world, it's a grab-bag and service is ... well, let me put it this way ... you do not simply 'buy' a book and 'demand' help, you 'apply'. Far too often the answer is a flat refusal or dead air and white noise. If your reader is good, though, there's always a way, as I say. But surely we outside the US shouldn't have to plead on bended knee to buy stuff, pay a heck of a lot more for it (if we can get it at all) and then feel grateful to the grubby-fingered shopkeeper who was kind enough to accept our custom. Peeves me a bit does this. Neil

Last edited by neilmarr; 10-12-2009 at 09:38 AM. Reason: to remove a swear word I couldn't resist first time around
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:06 AM   #9
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The huge difference, Luc, is that you have the good fortune to live in the USA. For the rest of the world, it's a grab-bag and service is ... well, let me put it this way ... you do not simply 'buy' a book and 'demand' help, you 'apply'. Far too often the answer is a flat refusal or dead air and white noise. If your reader is good, though, there's always a way, as I say. But surely we outside the US shouldn't have to plead on bended knee to buy stuff, pay a heck of a lot more for it (if we can get it at all) and then feel grateful to the grubby-fingered shopkeeper who was kind enough to accept our custom. Peeves me a bit does this. Neil
There are ways to bypass those idiotic barriers.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:17 AM   #10
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Sure, Juliette, but surely we shouldn't have to jump through hoops backwards to buy something someone openly advertises for sale. All I wanno do is buy a book honestly for gossake. I'm sick of being told that my hard-earned money ain't good enough. Because racial prejudice ain't kosher these days, even I -- as a blatant Scotsman -- am welcome anywhere ... as long as I don't have the sheer audacity not to live in Podunk, US of A. It really pisses me off. I can understand geographical restrictions on some titles where there are copyright problems, but I cannot understand the support system of a device I buy being unavailable to me because I happen to have bought that device (from an authorised dealer) in an undesirable country ... like any country outside the US. Neil
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:58 AM   #11
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. . . do what Kurt Vonnegut suggested about taking a flying f*** at a rolling doughnut . . .
Words to live by . . .

I, like Sony support, cannot help you in the slightest, Neil, but I found your posts delightfully amusing.

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Sony 'help' outside the US is about as much use as an ashtray on a Harley.
If the rantist thing doesn't work out you ought to consider a career in comedy writing. Ha!
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:00 AM   #12
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Sure, Juliette, but surely we shouldn't have to jump through hoops backwards to buy something someone openly advertises for sale. All I wanno do is buy a book honestly for gossake. I'm sick of being told that my hard-earned money ain't good enough. Because racial prejudice ain't kosher these days, even I -- as a blatant Scotsman -- am welcome anywhere ... as long as I don't have the sheer audacity not to live in Podunk, US of A. It really pisses me off. I can understand geographical restrictions on some titles where there are copyright problems, but I cannot understand the support system of a device I buy being unavailable to me because I happen to have bought that device (from an authorised dealer) in an undesirable country ... like any country outside the US. Neil
This is too true. I guess I'm a bit machiavellian but the point is that you're right.

One point: maybe it's the slack Italian customs, but if I order a pbook from Amazon.com they will ask me a lot of money for shipping, but I won't pay a cent for taxes. So why should I be penalised because I get my text through the internet and just the internet?
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:29 AM   #13
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One point: maybe it's the slack Italian customs, but if I order a pbook from Amazon.com they will ask me a lot of money for shipping, but I won't pay a cent for taxes. So why should I be penalised because I get my text through the internet and just the internet?
I believe this is because the EU does not levy VAT on paper books.
However, ebooks are categorised as software, so are liable for VAT (unfortunately).
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:30 AM   #14
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I believe this is because the EU does not levy VAT on paper books.
However, ebooks are categorised as software, so are liable for VAT (unfortunately).
Software? Silly politicians.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:10 PM   #15
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I had a similar problem with the 3.0 software; no matter how many times I removed and reinstall it, it would come back the same with the missing left panel. I was able to fix it by uninstalling 3.0 library software and I then installed the 2.5 library software and then updated to 3.0 without uninstalling 2.5 software.
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