Amazon Changes Ebook Return Policy

Amazon has announced changes to a controversial policy which allowed readers to return ebooks for an automatic refund within seven days of purchase, whether they’d read the book or not. Once the new policy is implemented, automatic refunds will be limited to books where under 10% of the book has been read.

A statement from the Authors Guild said,

The Authors Guild is proud to report that our discussions with Amazon’s senior executive team concerning the platform’s policy… have resulted in a major breakthrough…. The planned change will go into effect by the end of the year. Any customer who wishes to return an ebook after reading more than 10 percent will need to send in a customer service request, which will be reviewed by a representative to ensure that the return request is genuine and complies with Amazon’s policies against abuse. This process will create a strong deterrent against buying, reading, and returning ebooks within seven days, and readers who attempt to abuse the return policy will be penalized under Amazon’s policies. The Authors Guild and the Society of Authors, its counterpart organization in the U.K., had taken up this issue with Amazon’s senior executives earlier this year. We applaud the scores of indie authors who advocated for this change.

We are also grateful to Amazon’s team for listening to our concerns and taking good faith action. The Amazon team is also reviewing individual author accounts for customer returns abuse.

Society of Authors chief executive Nicola Solomon said,

This is excellent news for authors, and a perfect example of what unions can achieve through lobbying together…. Thank you to the many self-published authors who first brought this problem to our attention.

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