I have read your recent review of the Elonex 511EB with considerable interest and was astonished that so many of the comments you received mirrored my own experience. On Tuesday, 2nd. March, I visited Waterstones with a view to purchasing a Sony Ereader Touch Edition. Like you, I found a display case containing working models of Sony Readers but only a cardboard copy of the Elonex 511EB. A girl assistant knew nothing about them and called over a salesman who seemed to know what he was talking about and steered me away from the Sony to ‘the best bargain available in ereaders (i.e. the Elonex 511EB) and buying this could save over £100 ‘(to spend on ebooks presumably!). I was not allowed to see the Elonex because ‘once the package was opened the reader could not be re-sold’. At this point I should have smelt a rat but, being in an expansive mood, I bought it.

Arriving home I opened the package only to find minimal help by way of a small pamphlet. As it was pre-loaded with some very old ‘classics’ I switched on and found it very easy to use but most irritating in that many words were joined together making smooth reading most difficult. I also tried the male and female ‘talking voices’ and was appalled at the foreign sounding, flat and monotonous voices attempting to read works by Charles Dickens and Shakespeare.

After sorting out Adobe Digital Editions I tried to download a newly purchased ebook. It was at this point I discovered that my computer was not compatible (I have an Apple iMac). I hurriedly arranged for a family member to lend me a laptop which was configured to Windows. (The subject of compatibility of computers was not mentioned by Waterstones). I was becoming despondent but determined to press on for a solution.

I finally succeeded in downloading an ebook two days later after many ‘phone calls to Adobe, Waterstones and Elonex. In the process I also managed to ‘update’ and eliminate the ‘no licence’ and the word joining problems.

Sadly, the ebook went through the ‘processing’ bit interminably (I switched off after 30 minutes) Elonex advised that the new update promised on 2nd. March was delayed but it would sort out my problem sometime next week when the long awaited update became available (possibly).

Another ‘phone call to Waterstones stating the 511EB was ‘not fit for purpose’ produced a prompt: ‘Once sold these units cannot be returned’.

Meanwhile, I am £130 poorer and back to paper books Is this the way to treat an 82 year old disabled pensioner – or any customer come to think of it? Waterstones had better be ready for a very strong reaction!!

Brian Miller