Amazon has dispatched eBook refunds to millions of readers living in the USA. Anyone who has purchased a digital book from Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin or Macmillan between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012 gets a credit of $3.17 if that book was a New York Times bestseller and a credit of $0.73 if the book was never a NYT bestseller.
Amazon is the first company to begin offering credits to customers. The Seattle based e-commence giant has begun to send out emails today, informing customers that they have refunds are available. Customers don’t need to do anything special to get the credits, they are automatically available in your account. Under the terms of the agreements, you have until March 25 2015 to use the credits to buy content.
Canadian customers that purchased eBooks from Amazon, before they opened their dedicated .ca store, now have credits available. The credits are only available if you basically bought eBooks from the main .com address between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.
Why is there credits available between these particular dates? This is primarily due to “Agency” pricing, which had published collude with Apple to have a fixed price. This model was best for competition, because Amazon lost the ability to undercut the competition into oblivion. Last year all major publishers agreed to settle with the Justice Department, instead of fighting it out in court. Sadly, when agency was abolished, Kobo and Sony abandoned the US market and B&N saw record loses.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.