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I Just Got an Amazon Refund

June 23, 2016
(image via Wikimedia)

(image via Wikimedia)

Today I found out that I’ve received a small refund credit from Amazon.  It’s not cash, and it’s not worth a lot, but it’s unexpected and I can buy something nice with it.  I like getting a refund when I never asked for it.  If I have to ask for a refund, then there was usually something bad that happened first, and that can ruin the good feeling of getting refund credit.

It’s not that Amazon did anything wrong to give me a refund.  According to the U.S. government, it was the fault of Apple and a bunch of publishing companies.

A few years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice accused Apple and a bunch of book publishers of colluding against Amazon to keep the price of ebooks artificially high.  Since Amazon, Apple, and the publishers have reached a settlement, customers who bought ebooks during that time period of collusion can get refunds for the price difference.

The details are kind of boring. You can read about them here if you want.   I was aware of the lawsuit a few years ago, but it was not as glamorous as other stuff going on.  There was no sex or murder (that we know of), and it involved lots of numbers, so journalists probably didn’t want to deal with the story.  I was aware of it only because I try to pay attention to book news.  Anytime book news is something that is not related to J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, James Patterson, or a celebrity children’s book (or memoir), it catches my attention.

Amazon figured out the refunds for each customer through an algorithm, but I don’t know if I should trust the algorithm.  Sometimes Amazon’s algorithm suggests books that I don’t want to read.  If the algorithm can’t pick books for me to read, then how can it determine my refund credit?  Maybe there’ll be some class-action lawsuit claiming Amazon messed up the algorithm.  I’d hate to sit on the jury for that lawsuit.

I almost didn’t know about my refund.  Amazon sent me a notification through my app, but a bunch of apps send notifications, and I usually ignore them.  I almost ignored this notification too.  I saw the words Amazon and free, but I thought it was just another Kindle Unlimited ad, so I ignored it.  If you’ve been ignoring your Amazon notifications, double check.  You might have gotten an unexpected refund.

If you don’t want to spend it right away, you can wait a year.  It doesn’t expire until July 24, 2017.  At first, I misread the date and thought I had only a couple days to spend the refund credit.  It actually stressed me out because I already have stuff to read and I wasn’t sure how I wanted to spend my credit.  Then I got mad at myself for getting stressed out over how to spend a refund credit.  Then I got mad at myself for not realizing I had an entire year to spend it.  I really don’t get mad at myself very often.  It was just one of those days.

Anyway, if you’ve been an Amazon customer for the last few years, check to see if you’ve received a refund credit.  And if you did, don’t stress yourself out while spending it.

*****

If you’re not sure how to spend your Amazon refund credit, this won’t take much out of it:

Now available on the Amazon Kindle!

Only 99 cents on Amazon!

7 Comments
  1. Credits are also going out via email through your local Brick & Mortar Booksellers as part of the same class action lawsuit, which involves no wrong doing on the part of your local Brick & Mortar Booksellers, either.

    • That’s a good point; it’s not the book sellers’ fault. As much as some people like to blame Amazon for the problems in the book industry, this one seems to be on Apple and the book publishers.

  2. me too!

  3. I got one too. It was a very pleasant surprise!

  4. I have no credit for I do not purchase ebooks. Sadness.

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