Amazon is pulling some dirty tricks to rope people into signing up for their Kindle Unlimited program. When you are setting up a Kindle e-reader for the first time and registering an account, users are cornered into a free 30 day subscription to Kindle Unlimited. There is no text or arrow to bypass the screen, the only way to complete the registration process is to sign up for Kindle Unlimited or hold the power button down for five seconds and a window will ask if you want to restart or power down. Once the Kindle has rebooted users are directed to the home screen and the Kindle Unlimited signup process is aborted.
Kindle Unlimited is an e-Book subscription platform with around 700,000 titles available. Users pay a monthly fee and can basically read as much as they want, similarly to what Netflix does for video and Crunchyroll for anime. Publishers opt into the program and there aren’t that many bestsellers on the platform, the vast majority of content is from self-published authors or Amazon’s own imprints.
Once you signup for Kindle Unlimited, accessing the content on an e-reader is difficult. There is no Unlimited Flag on e-books enrolled in the program, the ones that are say “Read for free,” instead of “One Click Checkout.”
I think Amazon should not be forcing new users to signup for Kindle Unlimited, or rebooting their e-reader to abort the signup process. They need to be able to have an option not to enroll in the program, instead they force people to reboot the e-reader, which is not very customer friendly.
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.