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I have a situation I liken to the Bill Gates fiasco and I am…

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I have a situation I...
I have a situation I liken to the Bill Gates fiasco and I am needing help and legal terminology to represent myself against my college.

Recently my college decided to go digital on books. They went with a outfit called Vital Source to produce school books digitally for them. When you purchase books from this company you get to use them for 5 years. They are not yours to keep. The school is charging us a technology fee of 70.00 a book because they say this is the average cost of a book. We do not have the option of choosing digital or hard copy. If we want hard copy it comes out of our pocket and we pay the technology fee for the book anyway.

The thing that bothers me most about this is it is the worse way to read an extensive amount of material. The second thing that bothers me is when I pay for something I should have access to it forever. It should be mine. The third thing that is bothersome is it strips you of the ability to get your school books cheaper, and thus resulting in less being paid back to the Federal Government in student loan. I have never paid anywhere near the 70 per book. Isn't this just like what Bill Gates did back when the government slapped him around? I think this forced purchase is illegal. This is a for profit college, and it appears to me people are trying just like myself to get their education and save where they can. Every penny counts in my budget because we live on my husbands social security while I am in school. My husband went blind that is why he gets it. The school forcing me to pay higher cost for books than budgeted does cause a hardship. The second worrisome factor is that I use my books all the time. I have used books as a reference that I got several years ago. I want my books on design. Losing my investment in five years is not an option in my eyes. If I paid for it I should be able to look at it any time I want. It is not possible to store the material and reference it with this companies software. So i pay for nothing.

I want the choice of hard copy to remain my choice without being forced to pay for the same material twice. What is going on here is the school is seeing a loss of profit in the bookstore and is seeking to force students into purchasing these digital books without option. This should be illegal. I want your help proving it is illegal.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Answered in 3 hours by:
6/22/2010
Consumer Protection Lawyer: N Cal Attorney, Attorney replied 8 years ago
N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 9,883
Experience: since 1983
Verified
This sounds like an illegal tying arrangement, and may violate the antitrust laws, but you need to consult a local attorney.

You can get a free consultation from some of the Virginia antitrust lawyers listed by location at
http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/Antitrust-&-Trade-Regulation/Virginia

I hope this information is helpful.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I need the antitrust wording to write a letter to the Director of Academic Counseling. That is the answer I need and a case to reference and why it is illegal. This option of contacting an attorney is not an option. That is why I paid money for using this site. My husband and myself live on his social security until I get my degree from the college trying to swindle me.
Consumer Protection Lawyer: N Cal Attorney, Attorney replied 8 years ago
http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F3/133/133.F3d.860.96-1432.96-1416.html
has a federal court opinion that states:
See, e.g., Northern Pac. Ry. v. United States, 356 U.S. 1, 5-6, 78 S.Ct. 514, 518-19, 2 L.Ed.2d 545 (1958) ("For our purposes a tying arrangement may be defined as an agreement by a party to sell one product but only on the condition that the buyer also purchases a different (or tied) product, or at least agrees that he will not purchase that product from any other supplier." ) (emphasis added); Stephen Jay Photography, Ltd. v. Olan Mills, Inc., 903 F.2d 988, 991 (4th Cir.1990) (stating that for an unlawful tying to exist, "the seller must coerce the buyer into purchasing the tied product") (emphasis added).

It sounds like you and the other students are being coerced into paying for a tied product that you do not want or need, since you can buy it cheaper on the open market.

The link I posted before includes antitrust lawyers who offer a free consultation and I again urge you to consult one of them. They might be able to take this case and win their fees from the defendant.
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