Starbucks in the USA offers a free ebook of the week program as part of its relationship with Apple. Customers may be familiar with the iTunes free song of the week, but recently they started to offer ebooks. This new problem is sparking outrage on the Starbucks Message Boards and resulting in much ire.
“Starbucks is featuring an extended sample of the book ‘The Night Circus’ from Erin Morgenstern,” said a blog post about the promotion at Starbucks’ website.
Customers are downloading the eBook that is labeled as FREE on the back of the back the card. When customers download the book and start to read they are being directed to buy the book when they read page 330 of 400.
When you look at the card there is no mention that this is an extended sample at all and customers are outraged.
“The ‘Pick of the Week’ card certainly does not say anywhere that it’s just a sample. This is very disappointing…” wrote one customer on Starbucks’ website. “I agree. I was very excited to see this today and now I’m disappointed too. I understand it it’s only a sample, but the card should say that. it’s very misleading!!” wrote another person.
Starbucks has not commented on this situation, but given this is the first book they are giving away they have some damage control to engage in.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.