I’ve just experienced one of the worst usability fails in my life. I was willing to give eBooks a shot. I really was! I’m not in favor of them and I don’t see a market anytime soon for the Kindles, etc. that are fighting it out in the market. I’m an older gentleman and I like books.
But I’ll try anything. Last month a friend gave me a Borders Gift Card, which could be used to order any of millions (apparently) of fresh new eBooks. I had forgotten about it until I read a small excerpt from Robert Jensen‘s “Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity.” Had to have this book!
So, off to Borders to test out the hot new technology. My first discovery was that this book was not available as a download, but could be purchased for $11.95. So…quickly over to Amazon and purchased used for $3.00.
That being settled, back to Borders to use the card. Professor Jensen’s latest book was available for download at a price of $13.09. WoooHoo! I’ll be reading it while I wait for Amazon. But first, it seemed likely that I should install the Borders eReader. And I did. OK, all set. Purchased the download and downloaded.
But wait. This download doesn’t work with the eReader software. It’s some specific form of wrapped pdf that requires Adobe Digital Editions. To be fair, Borders warned me that I might need to install this software when I downloaded. But of course I passed. I have the Borders eReader installed, right? That must be the proper software to use when reading a Border’s download. Right?
So…another install, another “account,” as in “give us your personal details so that we can send you spam every day!”
But that didn’t work. Something else had installed, called the BN.com Desktop, or some such. At any rate, I’ve given out my personal information to three different entities in order to install three different softwares, none of which has displayed the downloaded eBook.
Finally I struck on downloading the file again and opening with the Adobe software. Success! The software opened with…the right title but the wrong book. Something called “Dizzying Heights” by Bruce Ducker. That about did it. I’m in hell.
OK, sent in comment to “Customer Care.” More later.