Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The usual territorialism

I've been trying out Barnes And Nobles' ebook software for the iPad, and so I got a promo email from them. And they have a bunch of free ebooks, including Dante's Inferno. "Kool," I thought, "let's get that". So I clicked on it, and they wanted my credit card for any future use. I did not get miffed about that, I actually thought it was a clever idea for building up an eventually-paying audience.

What miffed me though, was that after I had filled out all my detail over two pages, then I was told that I could not get the free ebook because I am not a resident of the USA!

Apart from this being the usual publishing territorialism which should have died when the Berlin wall fell, at the very least they could have told me up front that their shop is only open to US customers. Why does nobody do this?


horace walpole said...

I had the same experience recently with misterart.com and the U.S. post office. Why don't they say that at the beginning?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Maybe the hint is in the fact that the World Series is for all states... in the US.
But really? In the 21st century?

juan hernandez said...

The Little League World Series is more international than the real one. I saw it last weekend, and the teams playing were Japan and Chinese Teipei. I don't know if it was the final.

Robb in Houston said...

I'll have to agree - if they're willing to charge your credit card and charge shipping etc., your product should be able to go wherever the card was charged.

I've into that here in the US too when a vendor states 'not available in NY, TX, AK ...etc.)

As for the World Series - that is SUCH a bogus game, it's not funny. I always refused to play baseball in school and always asked "When does the actual sport start, or are we just going to stand out here?"

Sam Pieter said...

Eloake, when I tried to get a free ebook from BN, I immediately sent them a support mail when they asked for my credit card. Here is their reply:

"We provide free eBooks to enable our customers to test the NOOK software on their device of choice. All publishers require that the eBooks they submit, including free eBooks, are encrypted for each customer.
Currently, the ?unlock? device is the billing name and credit card number of the primary credit card on your Barnes & Noble account.

Please note that for security reasons Barnes & Noble does not store your card information in the eBook or on your device.

I'm not sure what to think of that, but I have a faint smell of BS in my nose.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yeah. For one thing, it surely does not *have* to be the credit card for that. For another thing, why encrypt a book which is in the public domain?