Amazon has a great return policy: don’t like a book because of the formatting, grammar, or a bad plot/sucky characters? Did you just buy that copy of that book only to discover that the author is a BBA? No probs, you have seven days to return your kindle copy for a full refund.
I’ve used this a couple of times. Once, because I purchased a Wedding Planner ebook, only to find that it was probably the worst digital wedding planner ever. And I’ve returned probably three or four Audible books because I couldn’t stand the narrator and/or the story.
Amazon is reportedly banning user accounts in Germany, according this article at The Digital Reader. The users getting banned are what Amazon deems “serial returners,” or those who return items much, much more than the average user.
Amazon has the right (and is right) to do this.
Before you get mad at me, hear me out. Amazon has a generous digital return policy. Seven days is plenty of time to read a book and then return it, basically treating the service like a personal library (abusing it). There are basically two good choices here: ban the abusers of this return policy, or punish all Amazon customers and rewrite the policy because of a few bad apples.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid in school, I always got super-pissed whenever my class got punished as a group, rather than the teacher taking the time to discipline the students actually doing something wrong. It felt unjust to be punished for something I didn’t do, and I think that applies here, too. Instead of punishing everyone, Amazon is punishing those who abuse their policy.
If Amazon is like most large companies, they have data analysts looking at reports and all that fun Excel and math crap those guys do to determine who is abusing the system. Some might say “well, Amazon hasn’t given clear cut rules as to how many returns is too many.” Yeah, that’s true, but I don’t think they should. If they give an arbitrary number, those users abusing the policy will still run all the way against it, until they reach the wall and only then will they play by the rules. Those really aren’t the kind of people you want as customers anyway.
Sometimes you gotta fire customers. I don’t want my Amazon & Kindle user experience tainted by the users who choose to abuse a good system. Do you?
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