Is Vital Source Legit: How Reliable Is the Company?

is vitalsource legit

Dr. Robert Todd Watkins founded the vital Source Company in 1994. His goal was to look for any possible ways in which technology could improve learning. 

It has since grown to be among the popular companies that offer different digital learning technologies. Plus, it has made great partnerships with major publishing companies like Macmillan. 

Other than classroom learning, led by lecturers or teachers, students need additional learning materials.  

However, textbooks are usually so expensive. Books take the most significant percentage when it comes to college expenses. 

Vital Source solves this issue by distributing affordable learning materials. You can access several course contents materials without spending hundreds of bucks. What about its authenticity? Is the company more legit for students? Let find out. 

Is Vital Source Legit

Yes, Vital Source is so legit. It ranks as the best digital textbook website. Educators and students can access affordable, engaging, and immersive digital learning content. 

Print textbooks alone cannot offer interactive and analytical learning, which is essential for students. Vital Source provides a wide range of learning materials, from eBooks to videos. 

Additional Information

Before using any website that asks for your details like email, credit card information, etc., you should ensure it’s legit to avoid being a scam victim. 

However, there have never been complaints about Vital Source scamming students. If the company was a scam, I’m sure no major publishing company would want to associate with it. 

Vital Source has made many great partnerships with significant education companies like MacMillan learning, Pearson, and many more. Today more than 8,000 institutions trust and use Vital Source. 

However, there is one issue that bores most students and editors. It is that some textbooks in Vital don’t have the option to own. Most students usually want to own digital or physical books. 

They can be a great source of reference after the completion of the course. Therefore it does not make sense for a student to have a paid subscription for 4-year then buy the book later. 

What Is Vital Source company? 

Vital Source gives students and educators access to different educational technologies. You can access affordable courseware and digital books from their website. 

The website has some great features like the Bookshelf. With the Bookshelf, students can read their favorite books from different devices. 

It allows them to sync between various devices digitally. The Bookshelf also has other benefits like reading out loud textbooks to the educator or student. 

However, you should know that Vital Source does not have any rights over the courseware you buy. The textbooks or videos do belong to the publisher or director. 

Therefore, as a student, you will access and use the official publisher’s website material. The role of a vital book is to allow students to access any learning material that they need. 

But as a student, you will surely use different software for each book you access through Vital Source. You need to have an active subscription to access books using vital Sources. 

There are various rent options; the least number of days you can rent a book is 120 days and a maximum of four years. 

What Does Vital Source Offer?

You can access digital learning-teaching content on a tablet, smartphone, or laptop. Students can download digital textbooks. 

Apart from reading, the students can do annotations, make notes and edit the various reading material. The platform has flexible ownership types: you can subscribe, rent or pay for the eBooks. 

The books are so affordable, and you can save up to 80%. Educators can also use the platform to create educative content with their material. 

Vital Source Return Policy

Like other eCommerce, Vital Source also accepts the return of products. The company has a return policy that you need to meet. Here are the rules in their return policy. 

  • You can only return the books 14 days from the day of purchase.
  • You should not have returned the same book before. 
  • Vital Source has “Return Policy Exception.” If the publisher of the book you bought is on this list, you cannot make a return. 
  • You cannot make more than three returns within 90 days. 
  • You should not print or read more than 20% of the eBook. 
  • The digital textbooks come with access codes to other online resources. If you have already used any of the codes, then you are not eligible for a return. 

You should note that you can only return digital books directly bought from the Vital Source store. 

If you abuse Vital Source Return Policy, the company has the right to deny you refunds and sell digital books to you. 

How To Refund A Vital Source EBook

Refund Self Service Tool 

To use this portal, you have to sign in to the “Order Listing Page.”  Enter the password and email address you previously used to buy the eBook. After successful sign-in, go to your recent orders and select the item you want to refund. 

A request refund button will appear; however, you have to give reasons for the refund and confirm. If you have any additional eBooks that you want to return, repeat the process. 

Contact Customer Support

This is another alternative way to return an eBook. To contact Vital Source customer service, you need to log in with your details. Alternatively, you can call them. 

But you need to have all the crucial information. They might need the information to confirm it’s you. The specialist will help you make the return immediately. 

The Refund 

The refund process begins immediately after Vital Source receives your request. You will receive the money through your original payment method. 

The refund process takes between five to seven days from the time of the request. In case of any delays or issues, contact your card-issuing bank. 

Is The Company Trustworthy And Reliable? 

On reliability, it’s a bit subjective. Not all students like reading or can access digital content. However, students who love reading digital content and have easy access will benefit from the reliability of technology and price. 

The website has got many positive reviews from different sources like, Reddit users, and many more.

The BBB (Better Business Bureau) is the one website that poorly rated vital Source. It gave them a rating of F, which is not great at all. 

However, according to BBB, Vital Source resolves complaints poorly. Allegedly there was a miscommunication between Vital Source and some publishers, affecting the Vital Source users. 

The company did act swiftly and gave a refund to those customers. However, there is no perfect technology or company out there. 

But in regards to the many positive complaints, then vital Source is a reliable and trustworthy company. 

How Is Vital Source Customer Service

The reviews from the previous customers suggest that Vital Source’s customer service is excellent. Vital Source has an average review of 4.5/ 5.0 stars. 

Most of these reviews praise the customer service, how they were helpful. If you visit the website, you will interact with the “help” pop-up. It’s usually in the lower right corner. 

This shows that Vital Source is always ready to hear and help its customers. You can also contact Vital Source customer service through call, fill out a form, or 24/7 instant chat. 

Vital Source Shipping Information

Vital Source only sells digital products. This means there is no shipping, shipping cost, or tracking orders.  You will have instant access to the product immediately after you complete the purchase. 

To access the material from a different device, you will have to download the bookshelf app on that device. 

Vital Source is not country-specific. You can access its product as long as you have internet and a device that connects to the internet. 

The Payment Method Vital Source Accepts 

The company accepts various payment methods, and this makes it more flexible. You can pay using the following methods. 

  • Apple Pay
  • PayPal
  • Credit Card (Discover, VISA, American Express, MasterCard)
  • Debit Card 

The company also accepts payments from students Financial Aid. Under this, it has an option “Pay Later,” which gives 17 days to students waiting for Financial Aid. 

How Can You Purchase a Physical Copy Textbook

Vital Source does not sell any physical textbook copies. This is the only con of the company. 

The online distributor focuses only on electronic books. It sells electronic books in two different forms: PDF (Page-Fidelity) and ePubs (Reflowable Text).

The Pros of Vital Source

The company was formed to help, and therefore it has several Pros. 

  • You can access high-quality digital textbooks at an affordable price. 
  • It is possible to sync it with other devices. This offers flexibility because you can access content from any place.
  • The website offers offline reading. You can read the texts from places that lack or have poor internet connectivity. 
  • You get instant access to learning materials once you confirm payment
  • You can read all the text from the application or website


There are several alternatives to Vital Source like,, etc. However, most students, publishers, institutions, and educators choose to stick with Vital Source. 

This clearly shows that Vital Source is a legitimate company. You can access learning materials from Vital Source at very affordable prices. 

The company might have a few negative reviews but can’t disqualify its legitimacy. No business is perfect. In case you are looking for a website that will offer you digital learning materials. Try Vital Source. 

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