Amazon to restrict e-book return policy

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Following discussions with the Authors Guild and the Society of UK Authors, Amazon will change its e-book returns policy, which to date has allowed readers to return e-books within seven days of purchase (and 14 in the UK) for a full refund, regardless of the amount read.

Amazon will now limit automatic returns to purchases “where no more than 10% of the book has been read,” the Authors Guild said in a statement. In order to receive the return, Amazon e-book customers will need to submit a customer service request, which will be reviewed “to ensure that the requested return is genuine and complies with Amazon’s anti-abuse policies.” The change is expected to come into effect by the end of the year.

The earlier rules, the Society of Authors said in its statement, were “encouraged by users of the social media platform TikTok, with videos on how to return books viewed more than 17 million times,” resulting in lost revenue for authors and their publishers. .”

This is the latest negotiation between the Guild and the Company and an Amazon-owned company over digital product returns; Last year, discussions between the organizations and Amazon’s audiobook company Audible resulted in changes to Audible’s terms of service for users of its ACX platform last year.

“We hear everything you have said in our conversations on this topic and plan to make significant changes,” wrote David Naggar, Vice President of Kindle Books and Content at Amazon, to the Guild and the Company in an email provided in part by the Company, although it added that Amazon has seen “no discernible spike” in Kindle e-book returns, noting that those returns have been low. “In particular, we will disable self-service returns for any book read above 10%, which will add substantial friction to the process.”

“We applaud the dozens of independent authors who have advocated for this change,” Authors Guild CEO Mary Rasenberger said in a statement. “We are also grateful to the Amazon team for listening to our concerns and acting in good faith. The Amazon team also reviews individual author accounts for customer feedback abuse. »

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