Some fellow authors brought to my attention this campaign for fairness in e-book seller policies.
Currently, Amazon’s return policy for e-books leaves a gaping hole for fraud:
“Books you purchase from the Kindle Store are eligible for return and refund if we receive your request within seven days of the date of purchase. Once a refund is issued, you’ll no longer have access to the book.”
Here are the problems with that:
1. While physical products from Amazon must be returned unopened or packaged or at the very least undamaged, those conditions don’t apply to electronic property; thus customers quite easily could “use” the e-books they buy and return them just to receive a refund.
2. Seven days is loads of time for customers to read most e-books. These include short stories, novelettes, novellas and novels. Customers can return these products like returning a book to the library.
3. Customers already have a mechanism for evaluating e-books at no cost. Through Amazon’s ‘Preview’ feature, they can read the first few pages of a book on-line (sometimes more) to decide whether they want to buy the story; so the seven day “trial” period is unnecessary.
3. The end result is that authors and publishers get screwed because they have to buy back e-book returns, many of which are fraudulent purchases.
Here’s the link to the petition at change.org. Sign it! Thank you very much. 🙂