As a community college student, clearly I'm not swimming in money; I'm TRYING to complete a simple 2 year degree at a community college to go to a University so hopefully from there, I can complete a degree in a Higher Education, giving me the opportunity to make some money or at least enough to pay off my debts :)
4-6 classes PER SEMESTER =is considered a full-time student
2-4 classes PER SEMESTER = a part-time
Semesters run on 16 week classes or 8 weeks
When the books you buy; with a financial aid voucher, or with your Fed Assistance Loan to go to school, which has interest rates in addition to the total tuition but also the allotted money allowed to students through the generous PELL Grant Program.
Grant is given $ Loan has interest attached.
If a text at the very least (depending on the class) the harder the class the more money the books.
Community Colleges avg. 600 a class, when your buying lets say 4 books for a 16 week semester you either have the choice to rent or used, this is through the school bookstore, who is not officially owned by the college, but the bigger publishing companies like eFollet & McGraw Hill & so on.,,
These companies are making 425 million dollars a year just to publish a textbook and re-sell it for years & years until they change the "addition" or change a page # they have to republish the book, incurring printing costs and so forth.
Now let's do the math, because I certainly can't.
I have a 4 classes this semester, 2 of these classes are 16 weeks & run from Sept 2- Dec 23
Est. cost of textbooks anywhere from $150-$300 NEW (you can highlight, take notes & keep) USED is half that, however you can not highlight it damage it or you buy it and needs to be returned the day after your last final Dec 24, happens to be this year. Okay fine
2 of my 8 week classes are Math classes, I guess they no longer do TEXTBOOKS for math classes, they're e-books. One day your in a lecture hall the next day in the computer lab. You literally purchase some 10 digit PIN and YOU GET TO CHOOSE one computer to complete your work. The Est. costs for these e-Books are about the same.
With these access codes you have the option to buy NEW or USED, well no brainer seeing these access codes are about the same new & used, so I rent the USED e-access code, seeing you NEED to I paid $88.50 & $94.50 for these used e-books = $183
Not bad, add in the costs of the other two classes, ya I'm paying about $400-500 dollars a SEMESTER, actually all students are, and; oh ya by the way... I didn't even mention students DON'T even have the option to purchase these required texts from another publisher. So whoever the school chooses to contract with in order to provide these books, gets the contract for however long and to all the students in their school. If you don't return a RENTED book within something like 72 hours your automatically charged full price.
That's not even the issue though! the issue is: when your taking two 8 week math classes, and you have a problem with the USED e-book, that's not only messing with my time but also the probability of me graduating on time. The schools not affiliated with the bookstore, the bookstore says contact the publisher. Now the publisher so happens to be the same publisher for both these e-books PEARSON EDUCATION
THE ONLY WAY TO CONTACT THEM IS THROUGH THERE WEBSITE, NO PHONE NUMBER, BUT YOU HAVE TO REGISTER AN ACCOUNT, JUST TO TALK TO CUSTOMER SERVICE I didn't even mention how I found out they weren't re-usable codes, that was the 1st week of my 8 week course BUT WHEN I FINALLY DO GET IN CONTACT WITH THEM, not only is the original login of the or set up of the account good enough, you need to register at a customer service website. Fill out your problem or complaint, your given some confirmation code, and they "ideally want to communicate via e-mail & chat" but I wasn't have that.
Simply because the time it takes to resolve a computer login issue, when you can't even login. It's like trying to dial 911 with using SOS doesn't make sense.
So I play their game, I register a separate account to get some CUSTOMER SERVICE I first fill out the problem, I go further and explain, providing documentation, saying the problems resolved through your live chat, which was dated for Feb 2 2013 but shows some kid firstname.lastname@example.org is the owner of the book and my name is on the receipt!
I finally get a call from one of their awesome IT guys in Colorado, 2 time zones away, anyways I try re-explaining my problem, he gets snippy cause I'm a student and he's got a job, BFD, so I present the facts and simply state; what is the probability of me receiving 2 different books for 2 different classes REGISTERED to the same person email@example.com.
The IT guy retorts, "Well e-texts are just like textbooks we re-use access codes all the time." Okay I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, he knows more about this topic then me, BUT then he says, "I don't know why your contacting us this is a school bookstore issue."i
So I pull out the e-mail, why isn't it registered to a school address???? Just like a work address it has it's own domain firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, last time I checked yahoo.com isn't a college. This guy just brushed up on his math skills, or HE WAS SMART AND KNEW TO REGISTER ON ONLY ONE COMPUTER. I don't know. But what I do know is this, I read him the access codes, I show him My name on the account but Brian Peterson already resolved this SAME issue on Feb 2, 2013, but he's already completed one of the classes!!!!!!!! The guy hangs up on me. I had to drop the classes. You can't possibly make up 3 chapters a week when you just missed a whole week trying to resolve a technical issue.
I got my money back because I dropped the classes in time. But the opportunity cost associated with it, is disgusting; what I could have been doing to achieve my goals and graduate is priceless and absolutely gone.
And I have a feeling I'm not the only one, actually I know I'm not the only one. The other students getting screwed just don't have the time because they're still trying to get to customer service!
Product or Service Mentioned: Pearson Education Program.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.