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Mysterious George Orwell refunds


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Showing 1-25 of 414 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 16, 2009 10:56:00 AM PDT
I've received emails today notifying me of refunds for $.99 for Animal Farm and 1984, and both have disappeared from my Kindle archived items. I didn't request refunds, and I also don't remember purchasing the titles - I'm thinking they were free downloads. It's been several months since I ordered them. Anyone else have any unsolicited refunds lately?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2009 10:57:55 AM PDT
Soapy70 says:
If this happened then it might be that the items in question were illegal copies that someone was selling. There were also some refunds on some Ann Raynd books recently also. But you can check with CS to make sure.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 11:01:52 AM PDT
thinkaboutit says:
How do I get on the mysterious refunds list?

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 12:45:16 PM PDT
bookprincess says:
Most recent case of this was Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (yes, illegal copies actually made it through for all of about an hour here on Monday). That is likely what happened with the Orwell books too. Although I know 1984 is available on Kindle, maybe your version was unauthorized? I know Animal Farm is not available, legally that is. I have been waiting quite awhile for it. I have heard also, however, that books can be pulled for other reasons including text problem and major formatting issues, I have just seen the majority with illegal copies, so that is what I know best, but that might explain your copy of 1984 (my copy is still on my Kindle).

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 12:49:40 PM PDT
Here's the response from Amazon CS:

The Kindle edition books Animal Farm by George Orwell. Published by MobileReference (mobi) & Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) by George Orwell. Published by MobileReference (mobi) were removed from the Kindle store and are no longer available for purchase. When this occured, your purchases were automatically refunded. You can still locate the books in the Kindle store, but each has a status of not yet available. Although a rarity, publishers can decide to pull their content from the Kindle store.

Too bad they were archived, and not on the Kindle itself. If you want to keep a book, don't archive it!

I wonder if Amazon will sent representatives to customers' houses to retrieve dead tree copies? Orwell fans, lock your doors!

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 12:50:39 PM PDT
Edna Mode says:
1984 has disappeared from my Kindle, as well. Darn.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2009 1:06:21 PM PDT
Caffeine Queen says:
Too bad they were archived, and not on the Kindle itself. If you want to keep a book, don't archive it!
---------------------------------------------------

Actually, if you want to ensure that you are able to keep ALL copies of your Kindle books, make sure to ALWAYS download copies of your Kindle book purchases to your computer. That way, even if Amazon removes a book from your Kindle at any point that you have Whispernet on, you can reload that book onto your Kindle via the copy from your computer. Now, if it's a pirated book that should never have been sold in the first place, that's up to your own good conscientious as to what you should do. :)

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 1:47:24 PM PDT
D. Parry says:
Sounds ironically like Big Brother is monitoring our Kindle content.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2009 2:26:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2009 2:30:09 PM PDT
flipoid says:
But if they have refunded you the money for the book, you shouldn't be keeping the copy that's on your computer. You're keeping a book for which you haven't paid, since they gave your money back.

To me, the more logical solution would be to allow people who have paid for a book to keep it (if it was initially a legal, publisher- or author-released copy). If a publisher asks Amazon to remove the Kindle edition later, those people who purchased it in good faith should be able to keep it. Just don't have it available for future purchases if the publisher/author decides to pull it *and it was a legal copy to begin with*.

That would be like a publisher coming to our houses to retrieve copies of now-out-of-print books, which is stupid.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 2:27:52 PM PDT
Pamela says:
I wonder if this will happen to all Orwell books?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2009 2:32:24 PM PDT
I had Animal Farm in my active library on the K2. When I activated whispernet earlier it removed this from the list. My book has been reposessed!

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 2:49:00 PM PDT
fiipoid-- You're missing the point. It's like having Barnes & Noble sell you a book, charge your Visa and then 3 months later change their mind, credit your card and DEMAND their book be returned.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2009 3:01:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2009 3:03:10 PM PDT
flipoid says:
No, Ron, I am not missing the point. My first comment was just disagreement with those people who suggested that you make sure you keep a copy of the book on your computer. If Amazon has refunded your money, you have no right to keep the book on your computer. I'm not saying they are right in doing this, just that if they HAVE refunded your money, you shouldn't be keeping a copy of the book.

My second comment (which shows I was NOT missing the point), is my suggestion of a more fair way that Amazon could deal with a publisher's decision to remove a Kindle book from the Amazon website.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2009 3:09:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2009 3:12:12 PM PDT
That's correct flipoid - "the more logical solution would be to allow people who have paid for a book to keep it (if it was initially a legal, publisher- or author-released copy)", hence my comment. If you paid for a legal copy, you have every right to keep it, at least in my opinion, so rebel against the man, or the Whispernet anyway, and don't let them take your books away in the middle of the night like this.

In all honesty though, Amazon really shouldn't be refunding your money and taking your books away unless they are pirated copies put on Amazon illegally, and that's what most likely happened in this case. If this isn't the case, then I would have a serious issue with what they did, and NO, I would not delete a paid for book off my pc, regardless of whether or not Amazon refunded my money. If I bought it legally, I'm not deleting it just because Amazon refunded my money for some unknown reason that had nothing to do with pirating.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 3:23:59 PM PDT
SerenityFL says:
I've had those books on my WishList for well over a month. I started finding books I wanted to put on my Kindle when it arrived and these were the first two. I didn't buy them at the time and about a week later, (early in June), they were "no longer available" and haven't been since.

If they were illegal, why did it take Amazon so long to start pulling them from Kindles?

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 3:31:51 PM PDT
Jwb52z says:
Most of the time the books that are taken back and refunded are either illegal copies or books reported to be sooooooo bad in either formatting or mistakes, such as types or one book being very abridged without it being meant to be abridged, that they have to take it back whether you want them to or not.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 4:12:34 PM PDT
Sunny Lady says:
This happened to me too. What ticked me off is that I got a refund out of the blue and my book just disappeared out of my archive. I emailed Amazon for an answer as to what was going on and they said there was a "problem" with the book, nothing more specific. I'm sorry, when you delete my private property - refund or not - without my permission, I expect a better explanation than that. And, BTW - Pirated books showing up on Amazon - not MY problem - hire more people to check them BEFORE you sell them to me. I call BS on the "sometimes publishers pull their titles" lame excuse someone else got too.

I like the B&N analogy above - but I liken it to a B&N clerk coming to my house when I'm not home, taking a book I bought from then from my bookshelf and leaving cash in its place. It's a vioaltion of my property and this is a perfect example of why people (rightly) hate DRM.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 5:41:02 PM PDT
DELETE says:
My MOBILE REFERENCE Copy of The Collective Works of George Orwell was refunded. I purchased this through Amazon's web site! MOBILE REFERENCE!!! I thought they were legit? Makes we wonder if my other purchases from them will just vanish one day.

It also would have been nice if Amazon provided an explanation. Instead I just received a refund email with no explanation.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 6:09:25 PM PDT
I was annoyed that the email announcing the refund gave no explanation or indication that the books were being deleted. It's the same email they send if the buyer initiates a refund. Also, I'm concerned now that I don't really "own" any of the books on my Kindle, and that any could be "taken back" if Amazon renegotiates with the publisher. It sounds like that's what happened here.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2009 5:26:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 17, 2009 5:31:54 AM PDT
Bryan L. Wheeler says: "If you paid for a legal copy, you have every right to keep it, at least in my opinion, so rebel against the man, or the Whispernet anyway, and don't let them take your books away in the middle of the night like this."

Not totally true. You have no legal right to keep a product that has fallen under a compulsory recall. Though, I can't think of any reason a book would have one since they are usually done for safety reasons. o_O Maybe theres lead in that one eBook.. lol..

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 5:28:04 AM PDT
Caffeine Queen says: "I was annoyed that the email announcing the refund gave no explanation or indication that the books were being deleted. It's the same email they send if the buyer initiates a refund. Also, I'm concerned now that I don't really "own" any of the books on my Kindle, and that any could be "taken back" if Amazon renegotiates with the publisher. It sounds like that's what happened here."

They were illegal copies. That is the only reason Amazon has ever pulled books and issues refunds. There have been quite a few cases of the publisher pulling a book from Amazon, but those have never been taken away from the consumers who bought them previously.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2009 6:10:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 17, 2009 6:11:39 AM PDT
I disagree Thomas. Unless the book was a pirated, or illegally sold copy, then yes, we, as customers, should have every right to keep the copies of the books we paid for. I'm not buying the idea that Amazon can just refund our money anytime they want too, and then take any book back from us for any other reason other than for illegally sold copies. And, I DID say in my statement about this that it was my OPINION, and not necessarily fact, at least based on what Amazon may believe is its rights in such matters. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2009 6:17:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 17, 2009 6:20:01 AM PDT
Bryan L. Wheeler says: "I disagree Thomas."

Actually we agree. Notice I said that I can't think of anything that could put a book under a compulsory recall. I was only pointing out that in general, there is a form of recall where we don't have the right to keep a legally purchased product. In fact if we kept them we could be fined. But when it comes to books, esp eBooks, we are on the same page. What possible safety reason could put a book under that form of recall? None that I can think of.

EDIT: And remember.. so far illegal copies have been the sole reason Amazon has done this. There have been plenty of books that the publishers have pulled for whatever reason but everyones puchased copies remained in their accounts. Only these few cases of illegal ones have been refunded and pulled from accounts.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 6:42:35 AM PDT
You don't buy a Kindle book from Amazon. You buy a license to download it. I will bet that if you read all the fine print in the terms of service, you will see that Amazon says they can remove (or rescind, or revoke, or whatever the legal term is) the license if the book in question has been put up in violation of the copyright.

If you buy something that turns out to be stolen, it can be confiscated and returned to the legal owner with no compensation to you. You could try to get your money back from the vendor, but that would be something you would have to pursue yourself; the police wouldn't do anything about it.

Consider how many posts there have been here where people rant and rave because Amazon doesn't do enough to help owners of lost or stolen Kindles get them back. Now there are complaints because Amazon does make the effort to get stolen (and that's what unauthorized books are) books "returned" to the copyright holders. Talk about a no-win situation. . .

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2009 6:54:28 AM PDT
My apologies Thomas. Selective reading syndrome sufferer here. :)
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  162
Total posts:  414
Initial post:  Jul 16, 2009
Latest post:  Nov 3, 2012

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