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Old 06-14-2011, 01:45 AM   #1
hermes
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First experience buying an ebook at Chapters

Short story: A few hiccups, but eventually satisfactory procedure, although book selection leaves something to be desired.

Long story: For me the essential privacy info is as follows - if you buy a Kobo for cash (or presumably anonymous debit card), and pay for the book with a Chapters gift card paid for in cash also (presumably in person), the reading purchases can be anonymous. The only information I was asked for was an email address (and yahoo/gmail ones registered a few years ago don't require telephone verification), and to create a password. No ID required. Using the gift card involves entering the 20-digit card #, scratching off to reveal the PIN (Personal Identification Number) and entering that also.

Regarding purchases, it is not without a few delays and minor hassles. First, one must set up an account. I presumed (wrongly) that one just enters a Chapter store with one's Kobo and goes wild. Chapter's in-store computer terminal interface (what buttons you have to click on the screen to do stuff) and also Wifi (no cable connection to internet) in store is not the very best. But I have had worse. I had to call over a clerk to assist. And he stood by watching me type in my password - something my bank manager never did. If the registered address for the Kobo user is outside of Canada there are ZERO TAXES as I found out from experience. The computer will insist on a zipcode even if the sand dune in the desert of Yemen where your friend lives has no postal code. The computer will insist on a telephone number the same number of digits as one uses domestically in USA or Canada [10 digits] even though the REAL number is 11 digits internationally-speaking, viz. it doesn't consider the '1' for North America. Leave it out. My using an Asian telephone number failed, because that country uses fewer digits. So, I had to b.s. the computer and it didn't recognize it. I explained to the store manager that I did not have my friend overseas postal address and he very accommodatingly suggested I just make something up. It seems to be a corporate habit to ask for information, even if it could be false and therefore useless. I cannot resist a tangent here...

I spoke with a major Canadian bank's mortgage broker today and he informed me that his bank is now expecting staff to turn over the name and contact info of all their friends and relatives. A private contact list becomes leads for profit! Talk about company loyalty - profit before family. This policy is now causing staff to lie to their employers as an organized vocal protest would cause them to lose their jobs. We discussed how the corporate world is now blurring the line between what is personal and what is business and the ethical/privacy implications of this trend.

Back to Chapters... Misinformation from sales staff - One CANNOT use several cards (say one has $5 and another one $10) to purchase a book. Instead one must top up one card (or let balance be wasted). A different staff member made another mistake - it escapes me right now what it was.

Buying the book was not so complicated, but turns out one has to register the account with the device also. So, one cannot use a Kobo without a computer this very one time at the least. I got impatient and let the manager do it for me. She was very helpful.

She said I could change 'my friend's' email address later if I wished.

Software had to be downloaded and updated on the device so she connected it to her own computer. I was very happy to see not my own computer being used for this purpose - as presumably all computers have identifying info. Saved me a trip to the closed net cafe. There was a technical problem (imagine that..) due to faulty piece of equipment, which she replaced.

My book showed up and I tried a second test of one of Chapter's free books. It took a looooooooong time and required me to go to a different place in the store (poor signal). Eventually I got that second book. I have not tried the computer at library, office or home method. Funny, I would have thought that doing so at the bookstore would be the very best. Apparently not so.

Last edited by hermes; 06-14-2011 at 01:56 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:55 AM   #2
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Hey Hermes,

So I respect the whole privacy thing...I think it's a little much but I respect it. Anyhow just to help you out next time, WiFi in chapters typically doesn't come from the store but is from the Starbucks attached so move closer. As well if you are buying books and not getting free ones. You can use the in store chapters kiosks to upload them to your account and then just sync your Kobo at home or elsewhere with WiFi to get the book. Just though that might help for next time.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:22 AM   #3
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I'm just gonna say what everyone's thinking.... WHAT A WEIRDO!!!!

Do you stand in bushes with a trench coat and dark sunglasses and stare at women? Sorry that buying from Chapters almost compromised your secret identity.
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:17 PM   #4
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You can buy ebooks at Chapters? Since when?
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:37 PM   #5
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they have ebooks listed but i think when you try to but something it sends you to kobobooks.com
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:11 PM   #6
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to reply to the OP.

most people that shop at chapters usually are there to buy pbooks, maybe browse the new pbooks and keep tabs on which new ebooks they want to buy. normally people buy ebooks from a pc at home or a friends place or phone online i don't think i've ever seen anyone buy an ebook while i was in a chapters. maybe that's why your experience tends to be on the not so friendly or helpful side, none of the staff had to deal with that in particular. at least you got your book and the staff helped you out as much as possible so you could get your desired book.

i think as ebooks become even more mainstream in the future, kiosks will be set up so you may plug your devices in and download purchases in store but for now they're tailored to the pbook crowd still.
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:26 PM   #7
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So you bought an electronic book reader but still thought you needed/could go to a physical store to buy electronic books? After your ebook purchasing adventure, did you go to an HMV and ask the sales staff which shelf they kept their MP3s on?
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermes View Post
I spoke with a major Canadian bank's mortgage broker today and he informed me that his bank is now expecting staff to turn over the name and contact info of all their friends and relatives. A private contact list becomes leads for profit! Talk about company loyalty - profit before family. This policy is now causing staff to lie to their employers as an organized vocal protest would cause them to lose their jobs. We discussed how the corporate world is now blurring the line between what is personal and what is business and the ethical/privacy implications of this trend.

This is absolute, unabashed CRAP! You need to stop spreading these nonsensical lies and put your bong down. Banks are bound by many, many regulations regarding privacy among other things. NO credible bank, much less one of the 5 major Canadian banks would demand/expect staff to turn over the names of friends and relatives to garner sales.

Utter rubbish!

As unfathomable as it sounds to the sane among us, you are getting more and more ridiculous with each and every post you make. Shouldn't you be on a plane or something by now since you claim to travel so much? buh-bye!

Unfreaking-believable!
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
So you bought an electronic book reader but still thought you needed/could go to a physical store to buy electronic books? After your ebook purchasing adventure, did you go to an HMV and ask the sales staff which shelf they kept their MP3s on?
But wouldn't it be nice to be able to browse in a book store, take a book up to the counter and say, "I'd like the epub version of this one, please." You hand them your ereader and they load it for you on the spot.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:00 PM   #10
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i think as ebooks become even more mainstream in the future, kiosks will be set up so you may plug your devices in and download purchases in store but for now they're tailored to the pbook crowd still.
I do wonder about this sometimes. As great as ebook readers are. They're still hampered by how much the bigger form factors cost (ie. DX).

I think novels are better to read on the ebook reader just because you can adjust the font to your liking. I could see myself going to a bookstore, looking at a novel, and then just grabbing the ebook version since preview programs on the net tend to be not that useful by necessity.
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:11 AM   #11
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no

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shopaholic View Post
This is absolute, unabashed CRAP! You need to stop spreading these nonsensical lies and put your bong down. Banks are bound by many, many regulations regarding privacy among other things. NO credible bank, much less one of the 5 major Canadian banks would demand/expect staff to turn over the names of friends and relatives to garner sales.

Utter rubbish!

As unfathomable as it sounds to the sane among us, you are getting more and more ridiculous with each and every post you make. Shouldn't you be on a plane or something by now since you claim to travel so much? buh-bye!

Unfreaking-believable!
I say many things tongue in cheek. This one was 100% correct. I cannot guarantee this gentleman was telling me the entire truth of course. I can only report what I was told.
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:46 AM   #12
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In our local Chapters, the WiFi is, as someone else mentioned, an open WiFi hotspot associated with the in-store Starbucks. I don't buy anything using public hotspots, even if I don't have to put in my username and password to make the purchase. I might be being overly (or even unnecessarily) cautious, but I don't know what folks nearby might have in the way of technology to peer into my business.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:55 AM   #13
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But wouldn't it be nice to be able to browse in a book store, take a book up to the counter and say, "I'd like the epub version of this one, please." You hand them your ereader and they load it for you on the spot.
No, that would only be nice feature if you can't quite wrap your head around buying something electronically and only managed to find one of them thar new er-eaders because it was a gift from a grandchild.
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:09 AM   #14
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A little off the subject I know but I would never buy using a debit card. Have you ever examined the terms of the card? There are really big fees on them. One of my pals who recently ditched his says that his bank charged a 5% card maintenance fee (5% of the value of the most recent transaction), a 1% use fee (1% of the value of a transaction) and a 1% inactive fee (1% of the value of the most recent transaction when you don't use the card).
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:52 AM   #15
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LOL, jbcohen.
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