Saturday, December 02, 2006

It's Standard Business Practice to Screw Customers

I got a reply to my earlier angry post about shoddy textbooks.

The main points:

The back cover and preface make that very clear as does a flickthrough the textbook that the solutions are not supplied.
It's a little to hard flick through on Amazon, isn't it.

It is not meant as a casual read to help one understand accounting. There are thousands of other books that do a better job at that because they are designed as such. A quick perusal on any large bookstore website would alert you to that.
Are we implying I could not understand the subject matter? Or that people shouldn't buy this book if they intend to understand accounting?

Access to solutions for university textbooks is never allowed to students or non students. This is because we give the solutions to lecturers and they decide when they will release the solutions to their students.
The cited reason on the phone was because it 'overlaps with exam questions'. I would find it very disturbing if a lecturer was too lazy to write their own questions for an exam.

Lecturers want students to read the text, practice answering the questions and then hand out the solutions so they can see where they have gone wrong.

But god forbid someone purchasing the book outside of a university context wanting to be able to validate their work
If we were to give out solutions to textbooks the lecturers would not adopt the text for their course. No higher education textbook publisher provides solutions directly to students - it is standard business practice to only supply them to fact our site where you requested the solutions makes that very clear.

Where exactly does it say that? Not here, that's for sure. The closest thing I can come to it is:
Notice to students:
The password-protected resources on this site provide lecturers with the flexibility to either restrict or time the release of solutions etc to their students. The names of students posing as instructors to obtain access to these password-protected lecturer resources will be passed on to the university at which they study for appropriate action by his/her lecturer.
What a startlingly clever business plan.
  1. Start out selling our textbooks only to universities; because shit, that's a market with unlimited growth.
  2. Assume anyone who doesn't send us email from a .edu account or something else we consider proof of 'legitimate university lecturer' wants to cheat on an exam or their coursework.
  3. Make it impossible to prove to us that the above is false.
  4. If a member of the public buys our book(s); screw 'em: they should have gone to university. Joke is on them - they should have bought someone else's book.
  5. We'll make education easier, because the lecturer can just include our questions in the exam direct from the book. That way we can be sure we're properly giving students who buy our book the tools needed to solve these problems - all accounting problems are the same, every year, every edition!

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