Last year I visited the Walmart museum in Arkansas. The museum showed how Sam Walton began his business and how it grew larger and larger with each passing year. The part of the museum that I liked the most showed some of the most ridiculous items that were returned for a full refund. As most of you probably know, Walmart has one of the most lax return policies ever instituted. The reason was because Sam Walton wanted to make the customer happy. As the old adage goes: A happy customer is a repeat customer.
Here were some of my favorite reasons for returns:
A fishing pole was returned because “it didn’t catch no fish.”
A tennis racket was returned because “it didn’t strain the spaghetti good enough.”
An iron was returned because “my husband likes more starch.”
Amazon has a return policy much like Walmart’s. They view the customer as king. If you buy an ebook and decide you want to return it—you can. As long as you return it within seven days of the purchase. The problem with this is the people who aren’t honest. A lot of people are buying an ebook, reading it, then returning it for a full refund. This means the author isn’t getting paid for that book.
If you’re an author who doesn’t like this policy, I suggest writing Amazon a letter. I’ve always received timely responses from them. And they won’t change a policy unless enough people ask them to.
For those of you who have a hard time composing letters, below is a template. Copy and past it if you like.
Hi! My name is _____________ . I am an author and my ebooks are sold through your company. I have noticed an unusual amount of returns on my titles. I believe that your return policy is being abused by some very dishonest people. They are reading the complete book then returning it for a refund. When this happens I am not being paid for my work and you aren’t getting paid either. I am requesting that you review your return policy in an effort to keep this dishonesty from happening. Perhaps you could institute a return policy that doesn’t allow refunds after a certain percentage of the book has been read?
Thank you in advance for looking into this matter.
Self-pubbers go to your KDP dashboard and click on “help” in the top right corner. Scroll all the way down the page and click on “Contact Us” button on the bottom left. Click on “Publishing” and fill out the box. Click ”send.”
Hopefully, if enough of us send a letter, our voices will be heard!