Borders FAILs eCommerce 101!

Update, Monday October 11, 2010: You can ignore this post. Borders has now fixed all of these problems! See: Borders Begins To Fix Its eCommerce!. Also see: HowTo: Buy Borders eBooks With A Gift Card.

Having 95% decided that I will now buy a Sony Pocket Touch PRS-350 instead of a Kindle (but while, ahem, still buying Kindle-only books [figure that out for yourself]), I went to see alternative sources to buy ePub eBooks from because, frankly, Sony provides an absolutely miserable shopping experience through its Reader Library iTunes-like interface (not that the Reader website is any improvement).

Having had a very good experience with Kobo’s Desktop software, I decided to download the Kobo Borders Desktop app and see if it would provide an alternative to buying ePub eBooks from Sony (the ePub DRM is “classic” Adobe DRM and compatible with the Sony Reader).

The installation went smoothly. While it lacks the stylistic panache of Kobo’s store, the interface is basically the same. While basic (I’d really like to see a Date Published or Date Added To Store sort option!), it’s easy to zip through book listings and categories. It seemed all WIN.

Until I hit the brutal Brick Wall of FAIL.

I decided to grab a free — let me repeat that: F-R-E-E — eBook. I’d done this with Kobo’s app just fine.

This book:

Click = big

Shut up! This was a test, OK?

So when I tell it I want this F-R-E-E book, does Borders — like Kobo did — just say, “Right! Good! Here ya go! Thanks for stopping by!”?


Instead I get the FAIL:

Click = big

How absotively posilutely stupid is that?!

The book is FREE, dammit! F-R-E-E!

Kobo gave it to me — and a few more just like it — without asking for credit card information!

But wait, this gets even worse.

Because Borders is a brick and mortar store with several outlets here in NYC. And they also sell Gift Cards.

Do you see anything in the above that would accommodate someone wanting to make a purchase based only on a Gift Card they bought or were given as a present?

No, you do not!

I realize that Borders is new to this entire eBook thing, but for God’s sake, if you’re so damned stupid that you can’t figure out how to do it, at least have the damned basic sense to imitate how Kobo does it!

Now, Borders, go fix this damned mess!


Filed under Bookstores, eBooks: General, Friction, Kobo Reader, Marketing, Sony Reader, Stupid

4 responses to “Borders FAILs eCommerce 101!

  1. Pingback: Borders FAILs eCommerce 101!

  2. Pingback: Borders FAILs eCommerce 101! « Mike Cane's xBlog | E-Commerce world news, ecommerce best solution, online e commerce platform

  3. jjmcgaffey

    I just ran into the same thing in the Sony store – create an account for a free book. It didn’t specifically ask for payment info, but the annoyance of having to create an account…the publisher should be yelling at them (it was a sampler from Orbit).

    • mikecane

      You are not understanding the point. Yes, you create an account for a free eBook at Sony, but no, unlike Borders, you do NOT have to have a credit card in order to get a FREE eBook. Nor do you need a credit card at The Kindle Store or Kobo Books to get free eBooks. Only Borders does this. Borders also doesn’t permit payment with Gift Cards, either — because, first and foremost, you must have a credit card to even have a working account. Borders is all-FAIL.

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