Profs, do NOT use CourseSmart to get exam copies of etexts. It’s a waste of time. CourseSmart’s Web site is so deceptive that using the site wastes precious time for instructors. First, Web designers need to become aware that there are TWO computer platforms, and Macintoshes are becoming more widespread. If text overlaps or forms aren’t usable in Firefox, Mac users are not served. But while the design is problematic, the content is more so. In several areas of the site, including the “How It Works” page, it clearly states that all that is needed to obtain exam copies of etexts is to locate them and click on REQUEST. Supposedly, the etext will be added to your MyBookshelf area. I attempted to order an etext for examination Saturday. After hitting request, I was taken to a page that stated that my etext had been added to . . . I couldn’t read where it was “added” because the site works only on Explorer; on Firefox, sections overlap. After checking my download folder and MyBookShelf several times, I contacted customer “service” via chat. In connecting to chat, I was asked for the nature of my problem, and I indicated I had problems downloading. I was connected to some untrained, ignorant, useless customer “service” person (which is repetitive considering how useless most customer “service” departments are). I was told I had to contact the sales rep for the publishing company for an exam copy of the etext. I explained that the publisher’s site directed me to CourseSmart or I wouldn’t have know of their existence. I told him what happened and explained that my etext was supposedly added . . . to something I couldn’t read. Again, he repeated that I could not obtain exam copies from CourseSmart and had to contact the publishing rep. I asked why the Web site had a REQUEST button if we couldn’t request copies, and why I got a message saying the etext was somewhere if it wasn’t possible to order an exam copy through the site? I was given the typical corporate “that’s not my job” answer. A supervisor came on the line, but all he did was repeat that I had to contact the publisher. Don’t bother with this site. It’s just another company that provides no service and has no reason to exist.
This review (Vital Source Technologies / Course Smart Review) was originally published at Skeptic Files.
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