Making lesbians happy – one book at a time

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.

Sincerely,

Your name

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!

Comments on: "Amazon’s Ebook Return Policy" (7)

  1. I understand your frustration, but I do believe amazon is making at least an effort to stop the habitual abusers. I think writing to them will ensure they take the matter more seriously. Here’s what I commented on Andi’s post about this subject (I’m too lazy to type it twice): The good news is that Amazon tracks returns. If someone appears to be abusing the system, their ability to return ebooks is stopped. All further returns from this individual must be handled through Customer Service personally and by phone. In addition, many “returns” are actually failures with credit card purchases. I did that myself, when the credit card # I had on file had been stolen. I forgot to change it and bought a book. The purchase went through immediately, but it was days before I tried to open the book and discovered the error. I fixed the new card number and repurchased the book. Unfortunately, that did show up as a return for the author. People do try to abuse the system, but they can’t get away with it for very long. Amazon eventually will suspend one click purchase ability of abusers. That makes the game less fun for the “borrowers.”
    I also believe there are organized attacks on authors and this is one of their tools. I love how some of the “experts” on literature attack us and we have no recourse. I’d like to address that “team spirit” rampant in this niche, but then I’m just a “trouble maker” whom people are warned to avoid. Middle-school girls at work. So pleasant, is it not?

  2. Deb Harman said:

    I work in the dairy department of a WalMart.
    We recently received the return of a container of sour cream.
    Reason for return: “Too sour”

    I love your writing!!!

  3. Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention. I lost sales in January due to this policy. I wrote them to protest and I hope all self-published authors will climb on this bandwagon.

  4. Not only did I personally send a letter similar to what you outlined in your blog, but I went another step further, sending a second letter and altered it for ‘small’ publishers who have the same problem with their returns. Perhaps, as we all band together it will help Amazon realize that their habitual thieves that they allow need to be banned from doing so. Next step, trolls leaving one star reviews because they wish to take down the percentages of authors they target…

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