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Old 10-17-2006, 10:28 AM   #1
Bob Russell
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How can Joe Blo buy me a Connect e-book gift card?

If someone wants to buy me a gift card for the Sony Connect e-book store, is there a simple way to do it without having the Sony Reader software?

The store help information has the following:
Quote:
Question:How can I give someone an eBook as a gift?
Answer:CONNECT eBooks uses gift certificates that you can send directly through your CONNECT Reader.
Click on "Gifts" in the menu list and fill out the Gift Card form.
You can purchase gift certificates for $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. You can decide if you want to send your Gift Card right away or at a future date. You can also include a personal message with your Gift Card. Once you have filled out the form simply click on "Add to Cart" and then finalize your purchase in your Shopping Cart or click on "Buy Now" if that feature is enabled.
and
Quote:
Question: How do I redeem the gift certificate that I received?
Answer:Launch the CONNECT Reader, go to eBooks Store, and register to create an account. If you already have an account, please login with your existing username. Click on "Gifts" in the menu and click on the "Redeem a gift certificate" link on the bottom of the page. Enter the gift code that you received and click on "Submit". This will automatically add the amount of the gift certificate into your account. Now search for your favorite books, download and enjoy.
Surely you don't have to have the Sony Reader Connect software to buy a gift card! But there doesn't seem to be an easy way for someone who has never heard of a Sony reader or the Connect store to go buy an e-book gift card. Shouldn't it be the receiver that needs the Sony Reader software, not the buyer!?

Am I missing something here?
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:36 AM   #2
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There was a theory that they would be available at Borders but since most Borders still have no clue that the reader exists I'm not going to hold my breath...
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:38 AM   #3
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Terms of Service
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Please note that if you purchase a CONNECT Gift Certificate from the Service for an individual that resides outside of the Territory, is under the age of 13, or is otherwise unable to comply with or agree to these Terms of Service, that individual will not be able to redeem or use the CONNECT Gift Certificate on the Service.
...
CONNECT Gift Certificates are not refundable, exchangeable or cancelable once purchased and are subject to all CONNECT Gift Certificate Terms and Conditions available on the Service.

Last edited by Slava; 10-17-2006 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 10-17-2006, 11:41 AM   #4
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I submitted a help ticket with the Connect store. That process was kind of a confusing annoyance also, so I think it doubles the frustration if you already have a problem!

But it's in their hands, and hopefully we'll know what can/can't be done soon.
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Old 10-17-2006, 11:41 AM   #5
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Well, it sounds like the gift certificate buying for non-U.S.-ers ought to be tried for a very small amount first!
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:50 PM   #6
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:08 PM   #7
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Here's what Sony Connect store support promptly provided me with.
Quote:
In order to purchase or redeem a gift certificate you would need to install the software that comes with the Sony Reader. You can also purchase a Gift certificate from best buy specifically for ebooks. For more information please go to the link below and use the FAQ's listed for solutions.

http://ebooks.custhelp.com/
I will follow-up to ask what they mean by "best buy" -- is it really the electronics retailer "Best Buy", and how/where to buy the gift cards? (Now the Best Buy site is down!)
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:33 PM   #8
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I think that Best Buy is part of the Sony empire.

Hmm, I wonder if BestBuy.com ships overseas....

Last edited by NatCh; 10-17-2006 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:45 PM   #9
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Breaking News! It looks like you really can buy gift cards at Best Buy for Connect ebooks.

From a very helpful gal at Sony Connect support. Check out the front page post.

I'm surprised they aren't shouting it loudly to all Sony Reader buyers. Sounds very convenient. Just in time for Christmas also! ;-) Maybe that's a stopgap plan, and they really prefer people to buy gift cards in other ways in the future. After all, if you get a Best Buy gift card, there's always the chance you might spend it on that other electronic gizmo you've been wanting!

UPDATE: This information seems to have been incorrect. I wonder if those gift cards are taken in the music store. That might have been a source of confusion for the Connect support people.
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:07 PM   #10
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I also contact the connect folks about dowloading the software in order to buy someone a gift card. They told me the software only comes with the device and cannot be downloaded. I then asked how a non reader owning person could buy a gift card for a person who lived some distance away. They said too bad, so sad, they can't.

Hurumph.
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:16 PM   #11
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Folks, it's barely past the middle of October, they still have a couple months to fix this issue.

Let's also not forget that their incentive to fix this is quite low. I'd estimate that less than 5,000 Sony Readers will have been delivered before Christmas.

Anyway, if they don't find the motivation, someone will just have to volunteer to run a Paypal to Sony Connect Book Store gift card program. :-)
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:34 AM   #12
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I understand that Borders is supposed to have gift cards eventually, but I'm not sure if they're supposed to be dedicated Connect Store cards, or if they're just regular Borders cards.

Last edited by NatCh; 10-19-2006 at 12:39 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:13 AM   #13
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Dug up a bit more detail -- they are supposed to be Connect Store specific GC's not the standard Borders ones.

Hopefully, they'll show up fairly close to the time the Readers start appearing in Borders stores....
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty1024
Let's also not forget that their incentive to fix this is quite low. I'd estimate that less than 5,000 Sony Readers will have been delivered before Christmas.
I don't know if I see it that way, scotty1024 -- I see what your thinking, I just don't find it convincing.

I think that showing themselves to be responsive (particularly with a vocal community like MR taking note of whatever level of responsiveness they show) will help them sell more Readers.

Also, every little thing they do to make the whole Reader/Connect Store system easier and better can have an influence on those who have avoided e-reading in the past due to its complexity. I don't mean to suggest that they'd all jump like lemmings, but those who are on the edge might see enough improvement to take the leap. And they do want to sell these things after all, regardless of how many they might be supplying the direct sales folks with at any given moment.
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