“The version you received contained some errors that have been corrected.”
You know when your local brick-and-mortar bookstore calls you because you bought a book that had some errors and they want to give you the new, updated version?
Neither do I.
That’s what Amazon does with e-books, though…at least sometimes.
I just got an e-mail from Amazon’s Customer Service Department…and you may have gotten it, too.
I’ve listed this book as a freebie a couple of times:
Why has it been a couple of times? It’s been offered for free more than once. That happens, sometimes.
In this case, it did seem a little odd because it was offered free two weeks apart.
I assume some of you got it for free as well.
This morning, I have this e-mail:
Greetings from Amazon.com.
We’re writing about your past Kindle purchase of Deadly Sanctuary by Sylvia
Nobel. The version you received contained some errors that have been corrected.
An updated version of Deadly Sanctuary (ASIN:B002HE1K7O) is now available. It’s
important to note that when we send you the updated version, you will no longer
be able to view any highlights, bookmarks, and notes made in your current
version and your furthest reading location will be lost.
If you wish to receive the updated version, please reply to this email with the
word “Yes” in the first line of your response. Within 2 hours of receiving the
e-mail any device that has the title currently downloaded will be updated
automatically if the wireless is on.
You can find more information about Kindle related topics at our Kindle support
We apologize for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your business with
Customer Service Department
There are some very interesting things about this.
First, woo-hoo for Amazon Customer Service!
When people ask me about the differences between various EBRs (E-Book Readers), and why I prefer the Kindle, one of the main things is Amazon’s Customer Service. That’s both my experience with them, and their policies.
The Kindle store lets you “return” any Kindle purchase within seven days for a refund. Last time I checked, neither Barnes & Noble nor Sony allowed e-book returns at any time. That’s just one example.
Remember that Customer Service costs the company money. While there are obviously economic motivations to do it (customer retention being among the most obvious), they have to pay to provide it.
In this case, what would I have thought if they hadn’t sent this e-mail? I probably wouldn’t have noticed. The book might have had some problems and if they were too big, I might have alerted Amazon and/or the publisher. It was a free book for me…I wasn’t going to ask for my money back.
You might say that Amazon had a responsibility to fix the book. Amazon does offer that 7-day refund, but they can’t correct the file. Only the publisher can do that. They can tell the publisher to fix it, and Amazon does do that.
So, here’s another question…why don’t they just replace it and not tell me?
This is key…I might not want the new version.
They aren’t just doing something because it’s “good for me” without asking me.
I had a situation some time back where I had bought a book about the Kindle 1. I thought it was great. The book was updated to relate to the Kindle 2…I didn’t want that one (same Amazon Standard Identification Number…ASIN, I believe).
I don’t want it to be changed without asking me
Another good example is Amazon’s Every Word game. It turned out that the game had possibly objectionable words in it.
People were offered the choice to get a new version or not.
Strange as it seems, when you redownload from your archives, you get the version you bought…not the current one in the store. You get to keep what you bought. I have a book in my archives that has been removed from the store by the author. I can downloaded it for devices on my account…you can’t, nyah, nyah! ;)
It seems bizarre that Amazon actually keeps an archive for us…that suggests that they may have millions of copies of the same file in storage. Of course, they might just be able to save versions for each time there was a revision…sort of like a restore point on your computer.
Amazon is really good at cloud storage, though…they even sell it to other people.
I went back to research this particular one a bit. I was curious as to whether the version that came out in January was the corrected one, and whether or not it had the same ASIN.
When I went to my orders at Amazon, I could click on the title in the January order…and it took me to the above referenced ASIN.
The December order? I couldn’t click on the title and go there.
However, the orders didn’t include the ASINs.
Unfortunately, I tend to delete those digital order confirmation e-mails from Amazon, so I couldn’t go back and check those.
If you downloaded Deadly Sanctuary in December and still have your confirmation e-mail, I’d be curious what the ASIN says.
Bottom line: I think it’s great that Amazon offers you an updated version…and gives you the option to say “No thanks, I’ll keep what I have.”
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.