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Old 10-12-2015, 07:45 AM   #1
pdurrant
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Closure of Account - Access to digital content

This is a thread for any solid information about the status of and access to digital content bought on an Amazon account (e.g. Kindle ebooks) if Amazon decides to close a customer's account.

I shall be contacting Amazon about this myself, and I shall post any responses I get.

If anyone else has any solid info they'd like to share, please do so.

I feel that this topic is of general interest to Amazon customers, and especially Kindle owners.

Summary of reports:
Some people whose account has been closed by Amazon have reported that
  1. They still have access to their ebooks
  2. They are permitted to add new devices to their account when necessary
I have still not got official clarification direct from Amazon.

Main thread at Amazon that has posts from people with closed accounts.

Last edited by pdurrant; 10-19-2015 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:48 AM   #2
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If you own a Kindle and have your account closed, you will no longer have access to any Kindle content via this account.
Source: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/help/cus...deId=201374060
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:51 AM   #3
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Seems pretty clear-cut. If you can't log on to your account, you can't download content. Answer: don't close your account.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Seems pretty clear-cut. If you can't log on to your account, you can't download content. Answer: don't close your account.
That is if one chooses to close one's own account. The real issue is whether the same applies if Amazon chooses to close one's account unilaterally.

I have sent an email to Customer Services:

Spoiler:
Dear Amazon,

Back in 2012, there was an fuss about a Norwegian woman who claimed that she
had lost all access to her Kindle ebooks when you closed her account. Reports on
the case were all over the internet and even the traditional press, e.g. The
Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/money/201...eletes-account

I had thought that this was just a mistake, and that if you did choose to
close a customer's account for any reason, access to purchased digital content
would be retained, even if the ability to make new purchases was removed.
Indeed, an official Amazon post seemed to confirm this:

http://www.amazon.com/forum/kindle/r...x2L4A0AVZM5WVQ

"Account status should not affect any customer's ability to access their
library.

If any customer has trouble accessing their content, he or she should contact
customer service for help."

However, I recently became aware of an Amazon customer with a significant
Kindle library, who was warned about the number of (physical purchase) returns
they had had on their account, and was worried about their access to their
Kindle library if Amazon chose to close their account. They tried to contact
customer services about this possibility and were told that they would lose
access.

"Once an account is closed, the Kindle library and all the e-books will not
be accessible."

While I hope that Amazon would never choose to close my account with them, I
would very much appreciate official and definitive clarification on this matter,
as it will affect my purchasing decisions on digital content.

regards,

Paul Durrant

Last edited by pdurrant; 10-12-2015 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:06 AM   #5
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Thanks - solid information. But this seems to apply where a customer chooses to close their account, not when Amazon closes a customer's account unilaterally.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:07 AM   #6
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The instances of Amazon actually closing accounts seem to be rather rarer than hens' teeth, and are generally done for returning multiple big-ticket items. ISTR that the last person we had on MR whining about it had returned several expensive Digital SLR cameras and TVs. Ie he was using Amazon as a method of trying out devices he had no intention of permanently keeping. Hardly surprising Amazon would get fed up with him in those circumstances.

Yet another reason to ensure that you have your digital content safely backed-up.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
The instances of Amazon actually closing accounts seem to be rather rarer than hens' teeth, and are generally done for returning multiple big-ticket items. ISTR that the last person we had on MR whining about it had returned several expensive Digital SLR cameras and TVs. Ie he was using Amazon as a method of trying out devices he had no intention of permanently keeping. Hardly surprising Amazon would get fed up with him in those circumstances.

Yet another reason to ensure that you have your digital content safely backed-up.
I am not really interested in the reasons Amazon have for closing an account. They are perfectly entitled to decide not to do business with someone any more.

I am interested solid information about the fate of digital libraries on forced account closure, since in 2012, after some bad publicity, Amazon made an official statement that closure of an account would not affect access to digital content.

If this has changed, I want to know about it.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:16 AM   #8
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An interesting thread at the Amazon message boards was pointed out to me, started by someone whose account is 'on hold' before closure. That person explicitly states in one post in the thead "One point that I would like to clarify is that Amazon has told me that I will continue to have access to my books."

It's the registration of new devices that might not be possible.

And while it's hearsay, another poster in the thread said "Of the 5 people I have known that have had their accounts closed, one had no digital content, and the other 4 could not post in the threads, nor could they make purchases from Amazon, but they did not lose access to their digital content."

Last edited by pdurrant; 10-12-2015 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:20 AM   #9
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It's also interesting to read the link posted in the thread referenced above:

http://www.thepassivevoice.com/11/20...kindle-ebooks/

in which someone reports having had their ability to return products curtailed after returning 60% of the Kindle books they bought . This seems to go way beyond any reasonable return rate to me. Hardly surprising that Amazon take action in such a case.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:57 AM   #10
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If I remember correctly, there was a similar claim of excessively returning bought goods for same customer. Right?
If so, that might be the reason for closure.
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by idoit View Post
If I remember correctly, there was a similar claim of excessively returning bought goods for same customer. Right?
If so, that might be the reason for closure.
This thread is not concerned with the reasons why Amazon might choose to close someone's account, but with the effect of such a closure on their access to their digital purchases (ebooks especially, but also music and audio books).
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:25 AM   #12
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As pdurrant mentioned, I don't really think whether or not Amazon is justified in closing accounts is relevant to the discussion at all. Nor is their reason given for doing so. The question is whether or not a statement issued by Amazon in 2012 (concerning access to digital content) is--or still is--true.

Can those, whose accounts Amazon have closed/banned, still access their digital purchases--as Amazon claimed (in 2012) they should still be able to do? That is the question.
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:31 AM   #13
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According to what I have read, Amazon will not allow the registration of any new devices/programs to an account Amazon closed.
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:35 AM   #14
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According to what I have read, Amazon will not allow the registration of any new devices/programs to an account Amazon closed.
This could be a significant problem in the longer term for a closed account, even if access is provided to the ebooks. If I get a response from Amazon, I shall raise this issue too.

It seems to me that it's not unreasonable to expect to be able to register Kindles (& Fires) bought second-hand or from a non-Amazon retailer to be registered, even to a closed account.

Although personally, if my account got closed, I would make sure I had everything downloaded and then move to a different device. (Thanks to Alf and calibre.)
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:04 PM   #15
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Although personally, if my account got closed, I would make sure I had everything downloaded and then move to a different device. (Thanks to Alf and calibre.)
Personally, (if I had abused a retailer by returning a lot of expensive items that I had not intended to keep in the first place) I wouldn't have the hubris to whine about suffering justified consequences that I had fully earned.

That's just me though.
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