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Lose Your Amazon Account and Your Kindle Dies

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the just-give-us-the-money-and-nobody-gets-hurt dept.

Books 419

Mike writes "If you buy a Kindle and some Kindle ebooks from Amazon, be careful of returning items. Amazon decided that one person had returned too many things, so they suspended his Amazon account, which meant that he could no longer buy any Kindle books, and any Kindle subscriptions he's paid for stop working. After some phone calls, Amazon granted him a one-time exception and reactivated his account again." Take this with as much salt as you'd like.

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419 comments

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Just another reason to not support DRM (5, Insightful)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601753)

This is just another reason why DRM is not a benefit to the consumer and why consumers should *not* support DRM.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (-1, Troll)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601791)

WTF? No it isn't. The guy was being a dick and lost his account, I think Amazon had a right.

As for his kindle stuff not working, that sucks, but he got them back in the end. Admittedly it shouldn't have happened in the first place.

Stop Karma whoring.

A right to do what? (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601845)

So you are saying if I buy a lawn mower from Home Depot and then I go in the next day and streak the place and get banned, they should also have the right to re-possess the lawn mower I legally purchased?

How is this any different? He bought a kindle, he bought books for it, then did something totally unrelated Amazon did not like, and they essentially remotely deactivated his device.

Re:A right to do what? (0, Troll)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601913)

False analogy. Consider this to be more like buying a Costco membership, and frequently returning merchandise, and having your membership canceled.

Re:A right to do what? (5, Insightful)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602045)

No, because the stuff you bought at Costco will still work, even if your membership is canceled.

Re:A right to do what? (1, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602625)

No, it won't. The photos you have stored on their photo server will be deleted when your account is trashed.

Re:A right to do what? (1, Funny)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602047)

But... but.. but... we love false apologies on /.
The only thing the Parent did wrong use a false analogy about lawnmowers instead of a false analogy involving cars.
Joking aside you analogy is more accurate.

Re: False Apologies! (-1, Offtopic)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602451)

I'm really sorry if you can't accept that Jesus Christ is the only salvation since the Wages of Sin = Death.

Re:A right to do what? (2, Insightful)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602049)

If you lose your Costco membership you still get to keep all of the goods you had previously purchased.

Part of the Kindle's service is that Amazon keeps your books on file for immediately download, whenever you want them. I wonder what their service agreement says about shutting you off from it.

On the other hand, a company has the right to refuse service to anybody.

On the third hand, if your ebooks are already on the Kindle they cannot be removed by Amazon. So they're removing the privilege of buying more from them. Oh no!

Re:A right to do what? (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602129)

On the third hand, if your ebooks are already on the Kindle they cannot be removed by Amazon. So they're removing the privilege of buying more from them. Oh no!

But DRM ensures that just because you have a file doesn't mean that you can use it. Depending on the scheme (I have the Kindle Software for my iPod Touch but haven't used it so I'm not really familiar with it), losing your account can make the file you purchased stop working. DRM applied to subscription music services works that way (ie, if you cancel your service the music that you downloaded might still be on your computer, but it won't play), but in those cases it was understood that it was a SUBSCRIPTION service and losing access was to be expected. In this case it appears that Amazon cut him off from using PURCHASED content. That IS an "oh no" situation.

Re:A right to do what? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27602303)

That isn't the case here. The DRM scheme Amazon uses ties the ebook to a specific device, but without expiration or cancellation ability. They aren't selling subscriptions after all. I have a Kindle and have 'experimented' with the DRM quite a bit.

Offtopic - sig (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602495)

You could "fix" him for that in Spaydes.

Re:A right to do what? (0)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601965)

Erm no, that's exactly the opposite of what I'm saying. As I stated, clearly:

As for his kindle stuff not working, that sucks, but he got them back in the end. Admittedly it shouldn't have happened in the first place.

And it's not the same as them remotely deactivating his device, they canceled his account and it was probably due to human error that his subscriptions were canceled, hence the reactivation.

The kindle's a BIG thing for Amazon and it's in their interest to ensure any such issues don't receive too much bad press, which again is why he got them back.

Re:A right to do what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27602223)

by ilovegeorgebush (923173) *

That's a tough nickname to pick for these parts of the intarnets, son. And a subscriber at that!

Re:A right to do what? (5, Interesting)

HiThere (15173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602459)

However note that they COULD deactivate books he had previously purchased. That means that in the future they could do it intentionally for whatever reason suited them at the time.

In the past week they have demonstrated the ability to censor a large swath of publications and now to deactivate the right to read already purchased works. I.e., they have intentionally built the capabilities to do such things.

You can think whatever you want about the particular events that caused these capabilities to become evident, but they WERE revealed. Publicly.

Perhaps these two times were accidents. Next time it might not be. Next time it might be removing the ability to either read or purchase politically inconvenient items. Or religiously inconvenient. Or commercially. Or any other reason that suited them.

Decide for yourself if you want to trust a company that has intentionally implemented such capabilities. It's up to you. But if they've built the capability don't be surprised if they use it.

Re:A right to do what? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602219)

If you are going to streak, why do it at the Garden dept of Home Depot?

Safety first... (3, Funny)

Qubit (100461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602405)

Because there are sharp sawblades, knives, chisels, and all kinds of other genital-unfriendlies in the Tool Department!

Re:A right to do what? (2, Funny)

clem (5683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602471)

They were having a sale on azaleas. A really great sale.

Re:A right to do what? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602393)

You don't "own" anything anymore. Don't you get it? You 'rented' a lawn mower from Home Depot. As long as you don't run through the store naked they allow you to keep renting it. Even if the rental fee is just a 1 time up front fee, you're still just renting.

Welcome to the Future....

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (3, Informative)

zebslash (1107957) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601861)

Why do you say he was a dick ? I quote him:

The only things I HAVE returned were some large electronics - but honestly, ONLY when there were defects or flaws in them. If it works well, I keep it. Period.

That's completely legal and fair.

Anyway, this shows once

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (4, Interesting)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602431)

I wonder what the Office of Fair Trading or Trading Standards would have to say about Amazon UK banning people's accounts for returning defective goods.

I know companies are free to serve people or not at their own discretion, but that right is not absolute (racial discrimination etc.).

If a company were explicitly banning a person because they were a victim of that company's repeated shipping of defective goods, I'd like to think that would be unlawful. Perhaps I'm being too idealistic.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (5, Insightful)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601939)

Can you show me somewhere that the guy was being a dick? He returned some items. Apparently there is an unwritten policy at Amazon that if you return X number of high-ticket items (regardless of whether the CS rep says to do so or not) you are banned. No warning, nothing - just banned.

Regardless there is no reason his Kindle should be effectively bricked. Yes, he can use the content he has already purchased, however he can never (legally) obtain any new content for that Kindle; a "feature" designed into the Kindle by Amazon. This sounds like a fundamental problem with DRM to me. Where do we draw the line? Also, not only can he not purchase new content, he cannot even use the warranty on the Kindle should he need to. All at the whim of Amazon.

As far as karma goes, mine is excellent and I don't need it. Why don't you quit being an asshat and go read the article?

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (4, Informative)

sfbanutt (116292) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602153)

Actually, not even that's true. It's perfectly possible, and not even terribly difficult, to put non-DRM content onto a Kindle. Fictionwise will tell you how to do it, as will Baen books. Basically, losing his Amazon account just made it difficult (but not impossible) to put DRM'ed books on the Kindle. I'm not sure that's a minus..

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (3, Informative)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602427)

Very interesting, however from Fictionwise FAQ [fictionwise.com] :

I Have Seen Blog Articles On Methods That Allow DRM Mobipocket Books To Work On Kindle. Can I Use That Method On Fictionwise Secure Mobipocket eBooks?

We do not support the use of such methods to transfer Fictionwise Secure Mobipocket eBooks to Kindle. For one thing, Amazon could take steps at any time to disable such methods from working. So you might purchase a book thinking it will work on your Kindle when it does not. We have to pay the publisher as soon as you download the eBook, we can't refund you if this transfer method doesn't work.

It is also not clear whether such methods violate your Amazon Kindle terms of service, which might mean you could void your Kindle warranty by using such methods.

Our Kindle-compatible Multiformat eBooks are in unencrypted Mobipocket format and the Amazon Kindle documentation expressly allows those kinds of file to be used on the Kindle. However, the Amazon Kindle documentation specifies that encrypted Mobipocket eBooks cannot be used on the Kindle.

For these reasons, Fictionwise strongly discourages the use of any such methods, and we will provide no support for them. Fictionwise only supports our MultiFormat eBooks for use on Kindle, not our Secure (DRM) Mobipocket eBooks.


So you *can* use non-DRM'd ebooks, but there isn't a legal option for the DRM'd ebooks at Fictionwise. I suspect that has a serious affect on title selection :D All of Baen Books [webscription.net] , on the other hand, appear to not be DRM'd.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (2, Informative)

Thraxen (455388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602351)

His Kindle wasn't bricked and I doubt he lost any books. I think he just got cut off from subscription based content (newspapers, magazines, etc...). That still shouldn't happen, but it's quite clear that many of the comments are comeing from people don't have any experience with a Kindle.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602497)

Is it true that he could continue to use the material that he has already purchased? If so that would put a slightly less ominous tinge on the affair. (Still nothing that would inspire me to purchase a Kindle, but better than my original impression.)

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602575)

Yes, he can use the content he has already purchased,

FYI, he couldn't use all of the content he had bought. According to one of his posts he apparently had some content he purchased that was "archived", and thus couldn't be un-archived without accessing his account. Also sounds like he couldn't request files to be converted for the kindle any longer, which would be legal content that he had purchased the right to (a right purchased with the device.) Their are tools to get around that, but apparently Amazon claims those tools are illegal to use.

It didn't say if his access to wikipedia, etc was also taken away.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601941)

What are you talking about? The guy bought books for his Kindle. He *bought* them. Say what you will about, "No, this is licensing," but check Amazon's website and there's a button that says, "Buy now with 1-click". *Buy*.

So he bought these books, and now because Amazon doesn't like his behavior, they're denying him access to books that he bought. Of course this is an example of why DRM is bad. Imagine you went out to Barnes and Noble and bought physical books. Then, later, because you returned too many purchases to Barnes and Noble and they didn't like that, they went into your house and took back the books you previously purchased without giving you a refund. After complaining, they said, "Ok, we'll return these books, but just this once!"

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (2, Funny)

SBacks (1286786) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602247)

What are you talking about? The guy bought books for his Kindle. He *bought* them. Say what you will about, "No, this is licensing," but check Amazon's website and there's a button that says, "Buy now with 1-click". *Buy*.

Yes, he *bought* the licenses. What is it with you slashdotters? You actually expect to receive tangible goods in exchange for your hard earned dollars? That just doesn't make any sense.

On a related note, many of you are unaware that I am the owner of all paper money, and I've just granted all of you the license to use it. The next person to demand an actual good will have their money license revoked and will have to return all cash to me. Thank you.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (2, Insightful)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602359)

While I know you were making a joke, technically our money (the paper or metal) belongs to the Treasury. (Or something like that, as far as I remember.) Could the government 'revoke' cash from people?

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602511)

They own the paper -- the instrument of trade -- but not the wealth it represents. So they can take paper notes in exchange for paper notes of equal value.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (1)

bami (1376931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602583)

Sort of. Bank notes are basically "I owe you" notes from the government/treasury to you (to keep from pressing large amounts of coinage), but they remain owners of both the bank notes and the actual coins. That's why it's against the law to modify currency (although not enforced).

They can't say "give me back ma money", but they can revoke any value to it. That happened in the eurozone after the grace period of the Euro. I still have some old banknotes and coins, but they have technically the same value as a piece of metal or the cost of a piece of paper (I think it's linnen or something, not real paper).

Speaking from an euro country, can't say this also goes for the states.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (5, Insightful)

mikec (7785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602269)

Not to defend Amazon, you have misstated the situation. They books he bought are still on his Kindle and still readable. He can't buy any new ones, and his subscriptions are canceled -- meaning he doesn't pay for them, and he doesn't receive them. The stuff he *bought* is all still there.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602475)

Sorry, if that's true, then I must have misunderstood. I didn't intentionally misstate the situation.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (2, Informative)

yamfry (1533879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602319)

FTFA: "I called customer service several times today; the supervisors there explained that I cannot use the Kindle store but "I can get content onto the machine different ways.""

They did not cut off books he already owns (those are stored locally on the machine). He just can't buy any new books from the Amazon store. He can buy books from other sources, download books from free sources (legitimately or otherwise) and put those on the Kindle -- most formats require conversion using a free utility. A closer analogy would be B&N banning him from the store for whatever reason so he can't buy anything else from them, but they did not take his books back.
As far as subscriptions he's paid for, Amazon should probably refund anything he paid for those if they aren't going to allow him access to future issues.
Not knowing the full story I can't say if Amazon was right to ban him, but it's really not as big a deal as he makes it sound.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (2, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602327)

Then, later, because you returned too many purchases to Barnes and Noble and they didn't like that, they went into your house and got blown away when you defended your life and property

Fixed that for you ;) Barnes and Noble can have my books when they pry them from my cold dead hands!

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (1)

Markimedes (1292762) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602613)

False, It says his subscriptions stopped working.
You pay for those monthly for publications such as the New York Times etc.

Why would he continue to get those delivered if he can no longer pay for them?

The books he BOUGHT already will continue to work, nowhere in here does it say that they will not.

In fact in TFA it says he can put books onto the device by other means, implying that the books will continue to work.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (5, Insightful)

pleappleappleap (1182301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601921)

Indeed. I was planning on buying a Kindle (I read a LOT), but now I'm not going to. This is inexcusable, even if the complainant in the thread is in the wrong.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27601937)

This is more of a reason to not support software as a service. If you think this guy losing a few books is bad, wait until some corporation loses all of its invoices, or customer contacts, or company db.

This is exactly why PCs became mainstream, and exactly why Larry Ellison and friends concepts of "trust *me* with *your* data" are a complete failure.

Now, let us never say "cloud" and "computing" in the same sentence ever again.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (3, Interesting)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602003)

This is just another reason why DRM is not a benefit to the consumer and why consumers should *not* support DRM.

Which reminds me, anybody know the status on TechCrunch's open source tablet? [techcrunch.com]

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (1)

ewenix (702589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602489)

This also shows good reason for you to think twice when someone is offering you a SERVICE instead of a tangible product.
In this case there was both, but loss of service made the tangible product significantly less useful.

Re:Just another reason to not support DRM (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27602587)

What does DRM have to do with this? The previous books he had bought would still be accessible. I have wireless turned off all the time on mine, sometimes months at a time, only when I buy something from the kindle store do I turn it on. Never has a file been unavailable.

The problem he had was the account was disabled. IE: There were no files being delivered. At all. He wouldn't have gotten books, mails sent to his @kindle account or subscription. The account was disabled, ergo it couldn't be accessed.

Or in other words: DRM is not the root of his woes.

tagged as follows: (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601767)

Defective by design

Not Entirely True (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601787)

Maybe he should have followed the link [mobileread.com] of the first reply's signature? From that site:

Myth:

If you buy a Kindle, you are locked into Amazon's Kindle store.

Truth:

There are many sources for books that can be read on the Kindle.

Some Free Sites (Public Domain / Creative Commons)

MobileRead.com [mobileread.com] (look for .mobi books you can download to your computer or download the MobiGuide and get your books via Whispernet) Feedbooks.com [feedbooks.com] (books can be downloaded to your computer or if you download their Kindle Guide you can get your books via Whispernet - they even have a video on how to use the guide) Manybooks.net [manybooks.net] (when you download to your computer, look for Kindle format or Mobipocket) 1001Books [1001books.com] (download books to your computer or directly from your Kindle browser)

Some Pay Sites

Fictionwise.com [fictionwise.com] (look for .mobi books but NOT Secure Mobipocket books) BooksonBoard.com [booksonboard.com] (register your Kindle's PID and you can download any .mobi from their Overdrive servers - to learn more about this see the Visual Kindle Guide [slashdot.org] wiki) Baen.com [baen.com] (great site for Sci-Fi books which offers free as well as low cost books)

So your Kindle is still somewhat useful. I would hope that more competition arises and Amazon removes its Kindle services from its e-book services so as to avoid a nasty inevitable anti-trust suit.

Re:Not Entirely True (4, Informative)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601831)

In addition, you can back up your books from your Kindle, transfer the Kindle to a different account, and restore your books to it.

KindlePID deletion (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601897)

register your Kindle's PID

How do you find your Kindle's PID when Amazon makes sites delete information about KindlePID [mobileread.com] ?

Re:KindlePID deletion (1, Redundant)

HexaByte (817350) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602357)

None of which would be an issue if you had physical books. No matter how much the seller decided he didn't like you, he could never legally take back books you've bought and paid for. By forcing users to tie a book to a specific machine, you cut much of the value of that book. If I have a physical book, I can give it to another person when I am done with it. My wife and sisters trade books all the time. Any e-book that you buy with DRM that ties it to a particular device is crap.

Re:KindlePID deletion (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602379)

Like takedown notices have ever stopped information from getting out, before..

Amazon's intent (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602699)

Like takedown notices have ever stopped information from getting out, before..

But Amazon's attempt to cover up KindlePID does signal Amazon's intent that owners of Kindle devices not buy DRM works from other providers.

Kind-le? (0, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601799)

More like Annoying-le.

Re:Kind-le? (4, Funny)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601859)

Sw-indle?

Re:Kind-le? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27601919)

Bannedle?

Online accounts and other devices - G1, etc. (4, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601847)

This makes me wonder what would happen with my G1 if for some reason I lost access to my Google account. (You basically can't do anything on the phone without being signed in, though you can create a new account from the phone itself.)

I suspect I could just link it to another account and re-sync contacts, calendar, etc. But then there's the question of purchased apps. Are they linked to the phone, to the cellular plan, or to the Google account? It's something I hadn't thought about before.

Lose data on ReiserFS... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27601851)

...and your wife dies.

Re:Lose data on ReiserFS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27601883)

Too Soon....

I bet the guy is a bad customer (-1, Troll)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601867)

From TFA:

"This is patently not true: I have only returned items that were defective, in complete accordance with their policies. I was not trying to game the system, I was not trying to get things for free - I just wanted products that worked properly, and if they didn't, they went back."

Ummm, a Kindle book is an ebook. How can it be defective?

Then later, he says he's never returned a Kindle book. He's returned other things, but not Kindle books. So they banned him from the Amazon Kindle.

I think that this guy is yanking our chain. Some customers are never satisfied, and they should be just cut loose ASAP.

Re:I bet the guy is a bad customer (2, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602089)

He returned items to Amazon.

Amazon banned his Amazon account.

The Kindle is tied to an Amazon account. If the Amazon account to which the Kindle is tied is banned, then you lose all download access to Amazon, including the ability to download the books you have already purchased.

Basically, the guy claims to have returned only defective items - none related to the Kindle - to Amazon. They banned his Amazon account, which also happened to cripple his Kindle.

Re:I bet the guy is a bad customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27602313)

Thank you for clarifying what has already been stated in both the summary and in many posts above this one. /sarcasm

Re:I bet the guy is a bad customer (1)

pleappleappleap (1182301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602375)

He was clarifying for someone (Profane MuthaFucka) who didn't seem to understand. Why do you have a problem with that?

Re:I bet the guy is a bad customer (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602589)

I understood perfectly. Nowhere has anyone even tried to argue my main point - the guy was a lousy customer and Amazon was right to cut him off.

Re:I bet the guy is a bad customer (3, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602199)

I believe they suspended his Amazon account because he had returned several purchases made on Amazon.com, not because he wanted to return eBooks. Since his Amazon account also serves as his Kindle account, he was then locked out of purchasing books for his Kindle.

Poor policy on their part but if you are really worried about this you could always just set up a separate account for your Kindle. If you never use it to make regular purchases I don't think you would ever have to touch it except to update your payment information when necessary.

Re:I bet the guy is a bad customer (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602705)

Yawn. I understand the article, you don't need to explain it for me.

He was a worthless customer, so he got cut loose. We can't even trust him in this article, because we've got only his side of the story. He could be the worst customer in the world, and is just making shit up to get sympathy in his action against Amazon. That's my point.

Read through his posts... (5, Interesting)

PrimalChrome (186162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601873)

He clearly states that he regularly returns big ticket items because they're 'defective'. I know a number of people that utilize this same exploit on a regular basis. They only shop at places with excellent return policies. They order big ticket items and when they realize they maxxed their CC or decide the novelty has worn off, they return them because suddenly they notice a defect. Most of the time this defect was either imaginary or simply the result of several days/weeks of playtime.

As this becomes a hit to company profits, they will have to be much more careful on returns....making it much harder on those of us with valid returns. Too bad they reinstated his account.

Re:Read through his posts... (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602145)

Same reason department stores make sure they place the price tag on clothes in an area that is not easily hideable.. too many people were "buying" clothes, wearing them once or twice, and returning them as unused.

Any good faith effort a company makes at being consumer friendly will be abused by a few asshats and ruined for everyone else.

Re:Read through his posts... (2, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602337)

And Amazon has every right to refuse to sell him anything further, including additional books for his Kindle. However, they have to support his ability to use books he has legally purchased. (Yes, purchased. Not rented or licensed.)

I suspect their web R&D team is hard at work today on a way to "suspend" an account that prevents future purchases but continues to support authorization for past purchases.

Re:Read through his posts... (4, Insightful)

barik (160226) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602227)

It's one thing to tell someone that they're no longer welcome to order anymore, but it's quite another to retroactively disable anything that they've previously purchased. That's the distinction.

Many people abuse the flexible Costco return policy. Some of these people get their memberships revoked. At no time does Costco come in and say that they can no longer use items they've already bought.

Re:Read through his posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27602239)

So you seriously believe that if he returns stuff too often, Amazon has the right to deny him access to books he has *purchased*?

Thank God you're not King!

Yep (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602275)

Also you get people who are extremely picky and abuse return policies to return things that aren't defective, but just aren't perfect. Displays are a big one people do that with. It is extremely rare to have a perfect display. There are always some minor imperfections. Well you get people who will just return and return displays trying to win the lottery and get the perfect one.

This has led many places to have a "no returns" kind of policy for screens.

I can fully understand Amazon getting sick of this kind of behaviour.

Re:Read through his posts... (2, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602279)

It is also abused by the unscrupulous for products which decline in retail value over time (electronics, etc). Costco changed their policy on computer items to combat these losers.

Re:Read through his posts... (0, Redundant)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602385)

Amazon is completely within its rights to deny further service to this client because most probably he had abused it. I completely understand and support Amazon there.

_BUT_ it doesn't give Amazon right to revoke the license to the content which the client had _already_ bought.

Re:Read through his posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27602411)

Yeah look at these snippets from his posts:

There was no warning; in fact, when I asked a question about the lightness of my Kindle's e-ink, a cs rep said "no problem, I'll send you a new one" -- and even after I told him "don't bother if it's going to be the same, mine is OK" -- he sent a new one anyway.

So he's asking a question about the "lightness of the e-ink" then says "mine is OK."

The only things I HAVE returned were some large electronics - but honestly, ONLY when there were defects or flaws in them. If it works well, I keep it. Period.

That makes me question the severity of any "defects" that might have existed in any of the goods he returned. What sort of "defects" were they? Single unobtrusive stuck pixel on a big screen TV? Tiny almost non-visible scratch on the case? 0.03% variation in screen brightness that required laboratory equipment to measure? Power-cord not perfectly round along entire length? Tape closing packet of instruction manual and warranty card was not applied exactly perpendicular to edge of packet?

Bottom line is he returned enough stuff with or without good cause (I'm leaning towards without good cause) to make Amazon say enough it enough and cut him off.

Wow now if amazon... (0, Troll)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27601959)

owned compusa I would be screwed. I have returned and exchanged a ton of the stuff I buy there and they never even charge restocking fees.

Good thing they can't suspend people that easily xD

Take this with as much salt as you'd like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27601991)

Unless Mayor Bloomberg gets his way.

So what? (0)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602025)

Consumer's relationship with Amazon is voluntary. If Amazon does too much of this, consumers will avoid them. The Kindle would not be selling if this was a reasonable concern shared by lots of consumers. It is not, so Kindle is selling. This is only happening because Amazon has a good record of customer satisfaction, established through years of effort to put the customer first.

Re:So what? (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602273)

Saying the relationship is voluntary is meaningless. I buy a lot of stuff from Target. If the manager follows me out into the parking lot, claims that I've been returning too much, then snatches my purchases out of my hands and runs back into the store, it's not enough to say "Oh well, if they do it to enough people, people just won't shop there anymore.". No, in this case a customer's rights are clearly being violated and action beyond market forces needs to be taken.

I can completely understand cutting him off and not selling to him anymore. Disabling his previous purchases crosses the line though.

Re:So what? (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602503)

Actually, after this event and the last "glitch", I'm leaning toward Barnes and Noble and simple Google Product Search for the rest of my needs. Amazon was already reeling from the "we hate gays lol (but we actually don't, it just looked that way)" uppercut of a few days ago, and this last jab was just enough to send them to the mat.

As for the individual returning items - maybe he was a legitimate asshat, maybe he was not, but revoking his access to the products he's already purchased is, in my mind, no better than theft. After someone steals something that you lawfully paid for, you no longer have access to it. After Amazon revokes your access to something that you lawfully paid for, you no longer have access to it. The only difference here, to me, is that you can't toss Amazon in jail for doing this, even if the access were only revoked for a few minutes. (Would you feel it acceptable if a thief snuck into your home, stole your HDTV for a day or two, then returned it? Or would it still be theft, even if they did have at least a minor modicum of decency to return it after it was done?)

Even if this was a mistake on Amazon's part, I frankly don't give a damn. This is something that flat out cannot happen.

Re:So what? (1)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602573)

It could also be the case that most people buying it don't know about policies like this (they bury this sort of thing in pages and pages of legalese after all), or just don't think this will ever happen to them. Taking the number of purchases as an endorsement of the practice is ridiculous in general, but even more so because purchase numbers for the Kindle have been pretty tightly controlled.

This guy was most likely being unreasonable with his returns, but they should have just cut off future purchases. He'd still be in a bad position because some content only comes DRMd and so only through Amazon, but at least Amazon would be holding up their end of the transaction for items previously purchased.

Dont be a dumbass (4, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602065)

If your account is flagged for returning shit, you're just dumb. Don't buy crap and then return it and expect to stay in a company's good graces for long. I think I speak for all people who ever retail when I say this to people who return more than 1 item every 6 months: Eat Shit And Die. You wouldn't abuse your friends and family like that, so why harrass stores and their employees, even if they're owned/employed by a soulless corperation. Something like 15% of items are returned (dollar amount perhaps), which significantly cuts into profits and drives up prices for everyone else. Fuck You.
 
/rant off.
 
i would kill myself before working retail again.

Re:Dont be a dumbass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27602175)

so we're supposed to keep non working and broken/defective items ?
huh ?
are you retarded or just clueless ?

Re:Dont be a dumbass (3, Interesting)

dstar (34869) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602539)

So you clearly never shop at Fry's. I have roughly a 50% failure rate for things I buy there -- and there has been more than one case where I had to exchange something several times before giving up and asking for my money back.

I don't shop at Fry's if I have a choice anymore, but my returns didn't make _me_ a bad person.

iKindle (4, Funny)

janwedekind (778872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602121)

Any device which comes with this much DRM should be prefixed with "i".

mod 0p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27602207)

FrreBSD had long of FreeBSD Usenet ops or any of the

Re:mod 0p (1)

pleappleappleap (1182301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602473)

Epic troll fail.

Allow me to respond in your native tongue... Idea of the is learn Anglaish the

Defective by design indeed (2, Funny)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602225)

To me this demonstrates the tradeoff between the convenience and concepts of 'property' issues that emerge when content is moved from a real-world media (book) to a digital one. Where in this transition is it implied that the original content creator has the right to demand how the product is to be used? If I buy a [real] book from Amazon, am I to expect that if Amazon cancels my account--for a legitimate reason or not--they have the right to come to my house and take back all the books I've bought (or been gifted by friends/family) from them? That word "unacceptable" is not near forceful enough to express how wrong that is. But somehow if I buy an e-book for the Kindle, suddenly that same exact behavior is greeted with, eh, whatever, it's just DRM.

My parents actually ordered me a Kindle for a graduation present, but fortunately it had not arrived in time for them to give it to me at graduation. I had them cancel the order. (They got me an iPod Touch instead.) There's no way in hell I'm willing to accept ridiculous levels of DRM for the benefit of being able to read a book on an electronic device. BOOKS ARE CHEAP and they do not NEED an electronic delivery mechanism! I don't quite understand why on earth a product like the Kindle needs to exist.

Re:Defective by design indeed (3, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602423)

BOOKS ARE CHEAP and they do not NEED an electronic delivery mechanism! I don't quite understand why on earth a product like the Kindle needs to exist.

Whats worst is that not only are books already cheap, but they're often CHEAPER in physical form than on the kindle. I was in the supermarket the other day and saw that they had Twilight as a mass market paperback. IIRC the price was $6.99 (cover - no store discount). The same darned book in eBook form, which is just a collection of bits costing many times less to reproduce than the book, is priced at $9.99. There is just something wrong with that. Plus, as a failsafe, books don't need a device that can break, or needs power, etc. Call me paranoid but with the current economic climate the world of "Mad Max" is looking like a possible eventuality, and the regular books will be useful far longer into that period than an ebook.

Re:Defective by design indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27602555)

Why was this marked as funny? I'd say it's interesting, insightful, or informative, not funny.

Re:Defective by design indeed (1)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602637)

Thank you! Was wondering that myself ....

Re:Defective by design indeed (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602605)

There's no way in hell I'm willing to accept ridiculous levels of DRM for the benefit of being able to read a book on an electronic device.

Yeah, I'm right with you there. Just say not to DRM!

(They got me an iPod Touch instead.)

Wait, what?

It doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27602263)

If he's a terrible customer. If you want a good analogy...

Let's say you go to Target, and you open up a Target Redcard (their credit card). Let's say you return too many things, annoying them to no end (they have to accept all returns done in less than 90 days). Let's say that store bans you from their location. Based on what Amazon did, they would now be perfectly within their rights to cancel his credit card without a warning.

Yep, sounds reasonable and fair.

Re:It doesn't matter (0)

pleappleappleap (1182301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602487)

That isn't a good analogy. A better analogy would be if Target canceled his credit card and repossessed anything he had ever bought with it.

Rentals (2, Insightful)

MasseKid (1294554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602295)

If there was any one still believing that any media that includes DRM is anything but a rental, take note. This should be even more fear inducing as this isn't an issue over a 3 or 4 year old game, this is just a customer that the seller decided they didn't like anymore.

Product placement rules (0, Offtopic)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602301)

Amazon gets their name of the front page yet again. What is this place? Amazon/Twitter/Microsoft/Apple Dot? Why is this here if the story sounds so fishy? I mean I know why, but I see plenty of submissions that are much more newsworthy, but they aren't selling anything and offer no fiscal return. The old adage of, "No such as thing as bad publicity" certainly holds true. Just make sure to spell the name right... Why not rename "submissions" to "Place your ad here"?

He deserves it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27602373)

I work in an industry where I see people ordering things all the time, LARGE items, only to turn around and say "eh, it doesn't match my other furniture" or "I don't like the way the drawer slides on this" or "I bought this two months ago, didn't pull it out of the box until today and the item is broken" and return it.

Fuck him. And fuck anyone like that. You can look at a person's account and see "credit, credit, return, credit, credit, return, return, return" and you don't even have to question whether they're full of shit, it's obvious. The chances of that many damaged/defective items going to the same customer in that span of time, I don't care how much they order, is fucking impossible.

Now, who wants Corporate Express brand coffee?

A fair and just political response would be (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27602409)

Ban the use of the word "purchase" when permanent ownership is not transferred.

Leasers or renters can then advertise with "License a copy of XX, only $19.99!" or "Lease e-books with the Kindle!". If you wish to hold a "sale, 50%", just ensure that no products are included which is really "50% off license fee" instead. The term "one-click purchasing" would naturally be banned, and Amazon would have to change this to "one-click licensing".

Banning false descriptions is neither anti-business nor unfair.

Wow. (0, Redundant)

Maladius (1289924) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602421)

Looks like I'll never be buying electronics from Amazon again.

a taste of the future (1)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602443)

Expect to see much more of this as cloud computing takes off. Every application you use will be licensed to you and subject to the whim of your vendor. Eventually we'll talk about the good old days when we owned our computers and everything on them.

Lose account and convert... (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602479)

...kindle to kindling?

The Kindle works without Amazon. (0, Troll)

GigG (887839) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602481)

Let's see the guy orders e-books and keeps them long enough to strip the protection off of them and then requests a refund. I think I would have canceled the account too. Add to this the fact that every e-book I've seen on Amazon allows a free trial. Where you get some amount of the book.

Baen (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27602521)

Hi,

i cannot praise Baen [baen.com] as much as they deserve. Their ebooks come in the format of your choice, completely free of any kind of DRM and some even any without charge (Baen Free Library [baen.com] with books like David Webers "Honor Harrington: On Basilisk station" or Lois McMaster Bujolds "Miles Vorkosigan: The Mountains of Mourning").

There is even a popular SF&F Author (Eric Flint) ranting against DRM, whose words most of you will take directly to the heart. There is still hope as there are publishers and authors who can read the writings on the wall.

Sincerely yours, Martin

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