Wednesday, just before leaving the office, I remembered I wanted to buy Andreas Kyprianou’s book, on Lévy processes. A second edition is coming soon, but I just need a simple introduction to Lévy processes, so I thought that this first edition should be complicated enough for me. And when a second edition should appear soon, you can get a discounted version of the (almost) old one. So I went on Springer’s wesite to purchase the book. I did pay for the book, and finished packing, in order to go back home. I did receive my confirmation order, which is standard, and I opened it,
Wait! “eBook“, “Download PDF“? What does that mean, I thought I was buying a book, like those we can hold in our hands… Indeed, on Springer’s wesite the default version seems to be that eBook, and you have to look, in the back, to get a Softcopy, which should mean a hardcopy with a softcover. I have to admit I started to freak out. I never buy eBook! I am extremely old fashion! Those who know me know that I even print pages from the internet to read them! Anyway, I sent emails to all possible contacts I could found on Springer’s wesite, trying to get in touch with someone who can cancel my purchase. I mean, I did not download to PDF, so, from a technical point of view, each customer does have a dedicated link, and they should know I did not download it! So, until I download the PDF by clicking on the link, somehow, I do not have it, right? So I did ask them to delete the link, refund me, and then I will get back on their website to purchase the book (after two days of discussion by emails, they keep telling me I did buy a book, so I have to admit that I do not know which word I should use to describe that antique object made of paper). Actually, when I said that I made a mistake, that I just wanted to return the product I did not consume (I do not know how to return a link actually), that I wanted at the first place to get a paper copy of the book, I got that legendary answer,
Dear Arthur Charpentier,
Thank you for your email and interest in our products.
This is to inform you that it is irrelevant for us to proceed with your request, because it has already been entered into our database/system.
However, when you have downloaded the PDF copy of the E-book. You can print manually through your printer.
If you want a paper copy of a book, “you can print manually through your printer.” At first, I thought it was some kind of misunderstanding. Or joke, maybe. But no. You cannot cancel a purchase when you order eBooks. And to make sure that I got the book, they did send me the full pdf in my mail box. What I am supposed to do with that file? This is not what I wanted! I wanted a book! a book with paper you can hold in your hands! with paper, made from trees that died so that I can learn stuff!
Anyway, I gave up… I will ask colleagues if I can borrow their copies. Now, I have to fight with Dell since I ordered a laptop (yes, the Ubuntu version), and it did arrive at the office in a wet box. Looks like the computer (at least the box) has been staying in the water for a very long time! I don’t know if people around still believe that researchers actually do research when they have time… trust me, they don’t! They discuss with Customer Services… and it can take a while!