Customer Support Personnel Wanted: Must be able to cut and paste

Harper Collins had a special on Richard Kadrey‘s Sandman Slim books yesterday.  I have all of them except for “Kill City Blues” so I thought I’d take advantage of it.  I went to the site and clicked on the link, duly entered the discount code, and yes I did wonder why there were no options to choose the ebook format I wanted, but I figured that they’d let me choose later in the process.

Yeah, you know what’s coming, don’t you?  I got all the way to the end, paid for my book, and then discovered that I had to read it on the Harper Collins reader.  I SO want another ebook reader on my computer.  You have no idea how much that thrills me.  So I emailed their customer service immediately — didn’t download the book because I didn’t want them to say “Well you’ve got it now, you’ll have to keep it.” — and I said this:

I want an ebook that I can read on my Kindle.  If this book doesn’t work with Kindle format, I don’t want it. I have not  downloaded it.

Simple, right?  I thought so.  Direct.  To the point.  Said exactly what I meant without actually pointing out that they might have explained that there was only one format and it wasn’t compatible with any known ebook reader.  So today I got this reply:

Thank you for contacting the HarperCollins online store.

We show that your order is complete and ready for download.

To download your program, please follow these steps:

There are 3 main steps to start reading your eBook: 1) Download the App,
2) Register the App, and 3) Download the eBook.

Instructions for obtaining the app will vary depending on the device you
are using the reader your book. Please go to the following URL and use
the instructions listed under your device type:
STEP 2: Register App
When the download is complete, you will be asked to register the app.
Please follow the on-screen prompts in order to complete the
registration process.

If this is the first time you’ve used the HarperCollins App, you may be
prompted to log in with your HarperCollins credentials. Your login name
will be your email address and your password will be the password you
selected during the purchase process.

STEP 3: Download your eBook
Please note that the app needs to be downloaded and registered prior to
downloading the eBook or it may have difficulties locating your
download. You may need to re-download the eBook if you do not see it in
the app after registering it.

To download your eBook, go to:
Look up your order using either your order number and password or your
email address and the last five digits of the credit card used to
purchase. When the order summary appears, click on the Download link
next to the product name.

I used to be nice about stuff like this.  I used to write and say, “I’m sorry, maybe I didn’t make myself clear,” and then restate my issue in different words.  Usually more of them, too.  But this happens all the time.  I mean almost every time I contact any customer service or tech support via email.  So I asked myself, “What would Stark do?”  The answer was very satisfying, but unworkable simply because of the large amount of blood and mayhem involved.  So I settled for this response:

Okay so clearly nobody actually read what I wrote, so I’m going to try again.


I have NOT downloaded it because I’m not sure if it will work with Kindle. Your site seems to imply that it won’t. I think the site could have been clearer about what formats you offer before you get money from people, but I guess that’s as difficult as actually reading a request.

Look, either say “Yes, you can put this on your Kindle, no problem” or give me my money back. This isn’t difficult.

Your move, Harper Collins.


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