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Users are Reporting the New Comixology App is Missing Old Purchases

Amazon ComiXology_Submit_TMCM_iPadignited a storm of protest when they removed the in-app store from the Comixology app on Saturday, but the story isn’t over yet.

Numerous comic fans have reported on Twitter that the new Comixology app has lost many of their existing purchases. In addition to no longer being able to buy content inside the app, they are no longer able to even read some of the content they already bought!

I have no information on how widespread this problem is, but in the space of only a few minutes I found 5 different tweets complaining about this problem, ranging from a few titles missing to whole swathes of content lost.

If you have not checked your Comixology app yet, I suggest you do so. Based on the pattern of Comixology’s responses on Twitter I am not sure that they are aware of a systemic problem, and I don’t think they will notice until more people complain.

I have of course contacted Comixology with a heads up concerning this post, but I have not received a response.

I must say that I am disappointed with Comixology and Amazon. When the news broke a few weeks ago that Amazon bought Comixology, I expected Amazon to make the Comixology platform more robust and make the apps more reliable. Instead their first move, before the ink was even dry on the contract, was to muck everything up.

Not cool.

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DebbyS April 28, 2014 um 7:26 pm

This is why I’d rather be able to download paid-for comics, probably as PDFs, to my own computer and have them for my very own. I’ll never go the rent-a-comic route.

Nate Hoffelder April 28, 2014 um 7:34 pm

Yep. I never really got into comics, and this is an example of why.

Ingo Lembcke April 29, 2014 um 10:38 am

PDF as Comics are a bad idea, unless there is a better Comic-PDF-Viewer available (is there?). Like scanned Graphics in a PDF – Comic is not text so it not really practical to put in a PDF (& DRM is not always removable from a PDF)!
That is not so say other formats are better.

Kindle for iOS with Comics works only in portrait mode on my iPad/iPhone. This may be new format-comics, normal ebooks can be displayed in portrait and landscape (Cemetery Girl;C Golden & C Harris). But you can tap a picture in a panel to display only that picture zoomed to fit the screen, something that is not possible with PDF.
On a computer I like zip-picture-Archives cbz or so. There are viewers for that.

What I really do not understand is, that I cannot read the Kindle-Comics on the Mac in the Kindle.App, even download there does not work "this cannot be read on this device -error". Some I can download from the Kindle, deDRM and import, but newer ones like Cemetery Girl are some kind of zip-SQL-Archive, not the normal EBook-Format (follow the comments on the blog Apprentice Alf).

Back to Comixology: real bad move from Amazon. And not what I expected.
Then again, I did not by any Comics from Comixology – yet.

Joshua April 28, 2014 um 11:38 pm

I am having the same issue. All of my most recent purchases are missing. Pretty piss poor.

TheSFReader April 29, 2014 um 7:15 am

One more proof that when you’re purchasing something from the web, you need to ensure you keep your own copy even if the failure fails…

Patrick Watson April 29, 2014 um 7:52 am

All my books are there. Most of them are from digital codes from buying the comic from Marvel or from buying the HC with a code inside. Everything else is collections on sale for cheap. Hope this gets fixed quickly for everyone who’s been impacted.

Andrew April 29, 2014 um 9:00 am

I bought eight $1 books (five really paid for by their $5 ecard incentive) recently. This is the first time I have paid for content I could not download. I’m happy with what the service provides, but that’s it, I won’t be buying any more.

I feel badly for people who lost significant investments. For me, this is a reminder of the terrible idea of trusting vendors to keep my paid-for content "in the cloud" in perpetuity.

William Ockham April 29, 2014 um 10:31 am

Did these people follow the instructions in the Comixology app? I have the app (and only two comics). They pretty clearly stated that you had to create a Comixology account, sync your purchases and then, AFTER DOING THAT, download the new app. When I read that, I read it as saying that you will lose your purchases if you don’t do that. Which makes sense, if you think about it. They are switching from Apple’s payment system where the old purchases were recorded. I also assumed that the smart thing to do is to wait and see if the system actually works before trying it out. There was absolutely nothing forcing people to upgrade now.

I’m not letting Amazon/Comixology off the hook here. This is a terrible user experience and substantial business problem. They had to know that many of their most vocal users and best customers would not follow those directions. If they don’t have a backup plan, they are idiots.

Ingo Lembcke April 29, 2014 um 10:44 am

Yup, you are correct, just opened Comixology on the iPhone and got the old App and the instructions. As I have auto-update on, and this App did not update itself (which would be my first guess for such a widespread problem), I guess it is the usual dumb case of PEBCAC (most common virus…).

Nate Hoffelder April 29, 2014 um 10:55 am

I would want to see the instructions before I blame the user. I’m pretty tech savy myself and I didn’t realize the difference between the Apple ID and the Comixology ID would cause a problem.

Frankly, I feel Comixology should have split up this two step process into two separate stages.

William Ockham April 29, 2014 um 11:12 am

I have now gone through the process myself and it is pretty confusing (and as someone who has been writing software and sysadmin’ing for, um, let’s just say a long time, I consider myself a fairly savvy user). As I mentioned above, I have exactly two comics in the app. After resetting my Comixology account password, I followed the instructions they provided. I was logged in to the Comixology website on my PC and in the app on my iPad. Before the sync, I don’t think either comic appeared in my Comixology account when viewed from the web.

The first time I did the sync, one of the two comics I have disappeared from my iPad list. The web list matched the iPad list. It really did look like I had lost half my comics (not exactly a tragedy in my case, but still it sucks). Of course, having written software, I knew not to trust my eyes. I re-sync’ed on my iPad and both comics showed up. Extremely minor disaster averted.

I would advise people who have lost comics to try to resync. And don’t ever delete the iPad app until you have all your comics. That’s the one thing that might be unrecoverable.

fjtorres April 29, 2014 um 8:22 pm

Over at The Passive Voice they have an update:

UPDATE: PG received the following email from a Comixology person:

“Since the launch of the new Comics iOS reader application, there have been reports from a small group of customers who have purchased books from comiXolology that are seemingly not showing up in their account. This problem is occurring because customers have books tied to more than one comiXology account, and/or a separate iTunes account, and/or did not restore their purchases. If you have experienced any of these issues, please contact [email protected] and we will be happy to fix the problem.”

Nate Hoffelder April 29, 2014 um 8:32 pm

Passive Voice picked this up? I missed that post. Thanks!

fjtorres April 30, 2014 um 7:51 am

I suspect somebody at Amazon likes them 🙂

TheSFReader April 30, 2014 um 8:35 am

twas me 😉 (not Amazon at all)

fjtorres April 30, 2014 um 10:15 am

Still, TPV being an author site, Amazon very likely likes them. 🙂

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