locked woman out of Kindle purchases for a month

Kindle (photo:

E-books are fun to use away from home but you don’t own the books, as a woman recently found out.

In a story reported on The Consumerist, the woman purchased a book, was locked out and then told by to merely purchase it again. She did but was still locked out, despite numerous emails.

“I am having major amazon issues. A month ago I bought a kindle and was really excited to use it on vacation. I bought a few books and when I was done, I bought another. Then they froze my account, so I called in and logged a case.
Within 48 hours I got a call back, saying it was an error on their side and they’d unfreeze it for me, but I’d just need to re-order the book. I thought no problem, thanks for the help. So I bought the book a second time and it automatically freezes me out again. I call in and log another case, but get no phone call back as promised from an account specialist.”

“Then, I continue to call 3-4 times a week, along with a few emails too, for the next 4 weeks. Amazon probably has about 20 calls or emails to return to me at this point. I have heard NOTHING back from them on this, other than one automated reply on creating a new account instead. I don’t want to create a new account b/c it has none of my kindle information or any of my other personalized information.”

“I just want my account unfrozen and whatever I say to customer service doesn’t get through. Any advice? Thanks!” The Consumerist

In reality, she doesn’t own the book, as if she had it in her hand. She has a license to view it on Kindle or Kindle’s software on her PC. That’s it.

Electronic copies of music, movies and books all carry long complex licensing restrictions that essentially tie you to the licensor.  They make the rules and you must live by them.

Digital is not forever

Bob Dylan's LP Freewheelin' Bob Dylan still have the album and it sounds great (image Sony/Columbia Records)

The current love of all things downloaded over the internet, whether it’s iTunes or is going to hit the reality that digital documents are not permanent.

I started working on an IBM 360 computer then an IBM 370, IBM 5120, PC, PC XT etc.  None of the documents from those computers are still readable or available today.

Most of what I did in the 1990’s has already been lost. I try to back up my computers regularly but someday I know more data – videos, songs, books, and pictures – will be lost.

In the mid-1990s I had a digital camera. Where are those pictures? Gone forever.

However, I still have most of my LPs from the 50s and 60’s. I have every novel from my teenage years forward, except the one’s my roommates took.

I have movies from the 1980’s, 1990’s and the last decade. I have them physically in my possession to read, watch, look at and enjoy without asking anyone.

My mother gave me a box of family pictures from the 1930’s that still look good.

How many iTunes songs have already been lost? Apple is constantly making it hard for me to keep what I purchased.

The latest update to the iPad operating system warns me it will delete my purchases.

Which is why CDs are still nice to own.

With story suggestion from TechDirt