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PhD Student Gets A Poor Grade For Buying A Pirate Book Copy, Starts A Pro-Revenge Investigation, Makes The Bootleg Shop Shut Down
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Funny, People2 months ago

PhD Student Gets A Poor Grade For Buying A Pirate Book Copy, Starts A Pro-Revenge Investigation, Makes The Bootleg Shop Shut Down

Not too long ago we covered a viral AskReddit thread where people listed things that have absolutely no reason to be as expensive as they are. And one of the top submissions in the list was college textbooks.

Needless to say, if you’re a student, you know just how taxing on the wallet textbooks can be, so of course you’re gonna go looking for cheaper alternatives.

Enter Reddit user u/AbortRetryImplode who shared a problem they had with a textbook they ordered and how they decided to get some very pro revenge enacted upon the textbook distributor.

More Info: Reddit

No doubt we’ve all had to fight for a good grade, but this PhD prospect had to fight for it on several fronts

Image credits: Jennifer Woodard Maderazo (not the actual photo)

So, Implode prefaced their story by saying that it’s “two years in the making,” and while it has seemingly been concluded, you can bet the scheme had not only a lot of effort put into it, but OP also has a lot of patience.

Anywho, Implode got into a PhD program that started off with academic basics like research methods and whatnot. For one of the assignments, they had to write an abstract. Sounded easy enough. So, they pulled out their recently purchased APA formatting guide and breezed through the assignment… only to get a D– because, as it turned out, the book was wrong.

After getting a D– because of poor instructions provided in the APA guide, this Redditor took it upon themselves to teach the book distributor a lesson

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

How wrong? For starters, there were just too many typos to count. Which very soon led OP to believe that these were so-called OCR, or optical character recognition, errors—the book was scanned, shoved through a character recognition solution, and printed as is without any editing whatsoever as a counterfeit.

Before this, they did contact the professor, but the professor shrugged it off and stayed with the D–; and also contacted the APA, but they weren’t cooperating either. But now, after this realization, they decided to do something.

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

First, they started marking every single mistake found in the book—everything from spelling to semantic errors to things that don’t even make sense (“lie cops right owner”, I’m looking at you). Afterwards, they contacted the seller saying that they had been duped with a counterfeit copy.

But this is where things begin to get interesting. While OP thought the seller was being taken advantage of, and even got in touch with them about it only to be yelled at, a little bit of internet journalistic work later led OP to discover that the seller had a semi-secret project of bootlegging books and reprinting them at an extremely cheap price. Quality assurance not included.

OP provided some visual examples of what they meant by optical character recognition errors: “This is a scanned and reprinted counterfeit textbook”

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

They didn’t have to be rude, or a pirate, but that only fueled OP’s desire to take some pro revenge on the seller. They scoped out the store’s online presence on multiple websites—Amazon, AbeBooks, Biblio, eBay, you name it, they found it—and started reporting the heck out of them. Hell, they even reported the store to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.

And that was that for the time being. But after a while, OP remembered this little adventure and checked on the progress only to find that the store had been completely obliterated from the internet.

At first, they thought the poor seller had been taken advantage of, but a short investigation revealed they were the ones committing the crime

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

No seller profiles on any of the said sites, the website was taken down, even their physical presence seemed to have been sold off. The original owner had switched jobs, and had confirmed (with spelling mistakes intact) to a commenter inquiring about the business that it had shut down operations.

And hey, the professor raised the grade to a B+, so that’s the cherry on top.

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

There were several updates provided in the post for more context and in response to people’s questions and comments—things like explaining what in particular got them the bad grade and people not believing them—all leading to the post getting a bit over 10,000 upvotes.

Several reports later, OP kinda forgot about this whole thing, until some time later they revisited the matter

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

Turns out, the store went out of business—all thanks to OP (who even got a B+ in the end) doing their civic duty

Speaking of people not believing, OP provided ample screenshots showing the various bits of communication they had with various distributing channels regarding the quality of said print, as well as pictures of the book and its linguistic glory.

Here are some screenshots and transcripts of letters they sent to various distributors, publishers and other venues

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

Image credits: AbortRetryImplode

So, what are your thoughts on this? Check out the full post here, and let us know your opinions and experiences in the comment section below!

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Russ Kincade
Community Member
2 months ago

Counterfeit products on Amazon??? That's never happened before! /s

B-b-bird
Community Member
2 months ago

loooool :))

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olx
Community Member
2 months ago

woah thats totally wild. they did a solid job at bringing down the pirates tho lol.

B-b-bird
Community Member
2 months ago

guy should be a detective :)

eliff
Community Member
2 months ago

I thought the op is a woman! How different we each see :)

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Russ Kincade
Community Member
2 months ago

Counterfeit products on Amazon??? That's never happened before! /s

B-b-bird
Community Member
2 months ago

loooool :))

Load More Replies...
olx
Community Member
2 months ago

woah thats totally wild. they did a solid job at bringing down the pirates tho lol.

B-b-bird
Community Member
2 months ago

guy should be a detective :)

eliff
Community Member
2 months ago

I thought the op is a woman! How different we each see :)

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