Wow, Pearson has some strange ideas about commerce! To buy this popular textbook as an ebook, you have two choices, both conveniently linked from the front page of the author’s website:
- Go to Amazon. Buy it, in any country / price you want. Get it immediately. (unless this is your first purchase … see below)
- Go to Pearson. Not allowed to buy it, unless you’re American (especially funny given that Pearson was originally English, IIRC)
- Get taken to a page listing 100 random URLs, with bizarre domain-names, grouped by country.
- Guess which one (out of several for your country) is appropriate for you.
- Manually search for the product YOU’VE ALREADY SELECTED
- Get quoted a price that is MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH for the IDENTICAL download
And publishers *still* complain that people use Amazon? Hmm…
Which means Amazon is able to get away with treating the consumer like crap – because it’s *still* less insulting and obstructive than what the original publisher is doing. If you haven’t already surrendered your private data – which is nothing to do with buying a book – to Amazon, you’ll be prevented from buying a book at this point. Here’s the screenshot:
And, yes, Amazon.co.uk ensures VERY carefully that I cannot buy this book, until I’ve gone through this process:
- I want to buy this eBook
- “No: you haven’t yet given our Secret Police full access to all your computer hardware”
- But … wait, what? … I want to give you MONEY for something you’re SELLING, and you’re telling me you want access to my hardware? What’s that got to do with the price of fish?
- “Not until you voluntarily destroy some of your civil rights. Your government wouldn’t let us do this, so … you know … we have to get you to do it ‘voluntarily’. LOLZ”
- WTF? Apple’s currently the defendant in a billions-of-dollars court case in USA for doing exactly this. Aren’t you even slightly worried?
- “It’s OK. We know that the book’s publisher is going to treat you so badly that even our bad behaviour is mild by comparison. Let me know when you’ve ponied-up your privacy, and I’ll let you serve me. That’s what we mean by “a service company”: it’s a company that you serve. Have a nice day! Yours, Amazon”
Net result: use someone else’s hardware, sacrifice it to Amazon, rip the evil DRM off there, and give Amazon less money in future (since there will only be a “fake” account on their system).
Treating consumers like idiots – in the age of Internet literacy – is a net loss … for all of us. And it continues to drive the younger generations further and further away from paying for stuff, and closer and closer towards pirating it.
When I think of media corporations today, this image comes powerfully to mind, from back when Swine Flu broke out. Guess which one sits on the board of directors of a corporation (I grant you, it’s not easy to be sure) :