Back in January I bought A Murder Of Quality from iBooks.
Like a number of John le Carré’s novels it has since changed publisher and I’m no longer able to re-download it without paying again.
On the surface that probably sounds quite fair, it’s easy to argue that the currently listed version isn’t the one I bought and I just have to be ultra-careful about backing up my iPad in case I ever need to re-add the book to my app.
However, the other le Carré books which have been republished since I bought them DO show as previously purchased and so are available to download without further charge.
For some reason iBooks treats A Murder Of Quality differently than it does Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (don’t forget to check out the trailer for the new film) or Smiley’s People.
Is this an oversight? Did someone within Apple mean to link the new edition with the old so customers who’ve already paid could re-download if they need to?
If that’s not how things work why are other titles showing as purchased despite being ‘newer’ editions than the ones I bought? Maybe that’s the error and the system is treating A Murder Of Quality correctly?
iTunes/iBooks support have been pretty helpful and suggested if I re-buy the book they’ll refund the charge but this solution will be a one-off exception.
Help is always welcome but without knowing if iBooks is mishandling ‘Murder’ or the other titles it’s hard to know where I’d I stand in the future.
Should digital titles remain for download even when the publisher has changed? Are there industry or retailer rules for how this should work?
Apple makes a lot out of the ‘download it again’ nature of their stores so it seems fair to expect them to ensure the rules are easily understood and their implementation consistent.