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.

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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.

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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.

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Vitalsource Bookshelf running on Windows. User experience still needs improvement.

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iOS version on iPad looks very nice

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

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what if you follow the instruction…..
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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.

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