Amazon Offers $30 to Offended Customers

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After Amazon’s notorious 1984 gaffe, in which it allowed users to download a book to which it didn’t own the rights and looked dreadful in the subsequent press frenzy, the company has decided it’ll be giving those users effected $30 vouchers.

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All of this comes after Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos issued an apology for the amount of kafuffle it had caused. Of course, during the then ongoing media furore about the situation, it had been practically entirely forgotten than users who had downloaded Orwell’s Animal Farm were similarly nettled, the only problem was that there weren’t nearly as many scary “big brother” parallels to be made with Animal Farm.

The message from the Kindle team sums up the whole business quite nicely,

“As you were one of the customers impacted by the removal of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” from your Kindle device in July of this year, we would like to offer you the option to have us re-deliver this book to your Kindle along with any annotations you made. You will not be charged for the book. If you do not wish to have us re-deliver the book to your Kindle, you can instead choose to receive an Amazon.com electronic gift certificate or check for $30.”

I think the message Amazon is hoping people take away from the whole affair is that, while it was wrong to sell a book it didn’t have the rights to, then later quietly delete that book, it’s trying to make the whole thing as pleasant as possible for users. It seems like the whole point here is to make sure that people aren’t scared away from the Kindle by the whole debacle, which makes perfect sense.

You can read more over at the Wall Street Journal Blogs.

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