How NOT to buy a digital text book

Cengage is a company that have a massive resources on the domain of education, they have tons of textbooks, which been used all over the world.

But what if Cengage meet a bad platform called WebAssign?

That’s the exact way how NOT to buy a ebook.

As a computer science student, I personally prefer to do almost everything on my electronic devices, including reading textbook.

iPad for textbook, Windows Tablet for note-taking, and calculation using Maple

So I bought 2 card for the digital book. Theoretically what you need to do is just redeem the code on the UM Bookstore’s website.

These 2 cards cost me approximately C$ 120, which MATH 1500 dominated C$ 80. Expensive!

i successfully redeemed the book for MATH 1300, from a website called Vitalsource. Their ebook are in proprietary format and encrypted, which can only be read by their proprietary software called Vitalsource Bookshelf, available on almost all platform.

Screenshot (27).png
Vitalsource Bookshelf running on Windows. User experience still needs improvement.


iOS version on iPad looks very nice

But when i redeem the second card, i found something wrong and I probably been frauded.


what if you follow the instruction…..

On this page you cannot find a tab called “student”, because there are no tabs for this page at all!

And on the whole site you even don’t have a way to sign up, the only way to sign up is ask your teacher a class code, which my teacher don’t know about it at all.

I wasted a whole day on it and i found it just impossible to work.

Good! the i sent them a complaint email, but…….. they put my request on hold!

Give it up! After that i went to UofM bookstore and ask for a refund.

After TWO WEEK of wait and inquiry, they finally give my money back.

Fortunately, later I found the same book on Vitalsource and rent it for 180 days for C$45.

Cengage, you really did a good job. i do believe what if other people trapped in your fraud they will even give up using their computer.