Report: Amazon Wipes Woman's Kindle Without Explanation

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While I agree that there exists no small possibility that this lady was something worse than a completely innocent victim, what concerns me is the lack of an answer from Amazon about why. Assuming she is telling the truth about no response, we are now in the position of Amazon saying "we will close your account and remote wipe your devices whenever we feel justified in doing so. You can trust us. We are a big company and rarely get it wrong." Only I DON'T trust them. They DID get it wrong. Isn't that exactly how they wound up selling copies of Orwell's books when they didn't own the rights to do so in the first place? This specific company got it wrong in this specific area.


Aug 5, 2009
[citation][nom]hellwig[/nom]Don't know about the laws in Eurpoe, but unless this woman received a full refund for her purchases, Amazon has a massive lawsuit on its hands. Unless this woman "bought" books then canceled the charges through her credit company she's gonna win. Imagine if you paid-in full for your car, and the dealer had it repo'd anyway.[/citation]

lets say you rented the car (really thats what digital only and things really are, glorified renting, even with games and on disc software)

lets say you were caught eating in it, and that was clearly said in the agreement.

are they entitled to give you the car, or any of the money back because you broke it?

i wont say she did, but i want to know what they think she did.

[citation][nom]groveborn[/nom]Whether they got it right or wrong, it doesn't matter. Nobody has the right to take back what they've sold you. Amazon doesn't control distribution rights after the product is sold. They can't choose to maintain those rights even if you agree to the terms. Once a product is sold, it belongs solely to the person who purchased it. They can delete the accounts, they can delete the stuff held in storage on the accounts, but there is simply no excuse for deleting the stuff stored on the device. That's the same as breaking into a remote computer.[/citation]

no, they aren't selling you the books, they are selling you the licensed to the book, BIG difference there.

[citation][nom]spectrewind[/nom]Right... She must have been holding it wrong (Apple reference)?Big companies get things wrong all the time... then they just cover it up as best they can as a form of damage control, possibly factored in originally in their risk analysis.Big pharma has med FDA recalls constantly. Auto recalls happen a lot too. Just two examples, not even in the same industry.[/citation]

i think they mean in the case of customer relations. different from customer service. they may have a crappy call line, but they rarely eff up as big as this, mostly because the pr needed if they screw up would out weigh 1 person gaming a system.

[citation][nom]timw03878[/nom]Totally agree.Ignorance is not an excuse.people are so quick to shell out money for houses without reading the fine line..they certainly aren't bright enough to do it for a kindle...[/citation]

yea... adjustable loans that can go from low to cant pay it weren't the problem in any way.

and you read 20+ pages written in legalieze every time it pops up and tell me how long you keep doing that for.

[citation][nom]freggo[/nom]This is exactly why I will not buy any Amazon tablet.I will not have a company reserve the right to remotely mess with what is on my machine without so much as a court order and me having an option to state my side of the dispute (if there even is one).[/citation]

so you no longer buy and software or computer parts?
really you own nothing that is on dvd or digital, you own the rights to use it, and because no one would accept an endable term to those rights just yet. you own lifetime rights, unless you break eula,


Apr 23, 2008
Was looking towards buying a cheap tablet I think I wipe the Kindle Fire permantly off my list now, don't want to deal with a company that can wipe your entire device. I buy something I want to know it's MINE and they won't interfere with that ownership.


Jul 23, 2012
[citation][nom]assasin32[/nom]Was looking towards buying a cheap tablet I think I wipe the Kindle Fire permantly off my list now, don't want to deal with a company that can wipe your entire device. I buy something I want to know it's MINE and they won't interfere with that ownership.[/citation]

When I spend my money on items, I stay as informed possible.

Yes.. I would read 20 lines of text if I were buying a house.

You'd be an idiot not too...


Oct 16, 2011
Can other companies do this on their tablets? Wipe them and disable them?

Is it just ereaders?


May 11, 2007
so you no longer buy and software or computer parts? really you own nothing that is on dvd or digital
I don't remember the person who i bought my computer from being allowed to remotely delete data from my home PC. Nor the shop I bought my dvds from coming back to claim them without needing police intervention.

You may not have freedom within the law to do whatever you want with certain media due to patents and owner rights, but that is far different to this case.


[citation][nom]bllue[/nom] If I'm not mistaken the policy is if you're a Norway customer you must use Amazon UK, not Amazon US...for tax reasons [/citation]

UK Charges VAT on ebook purchases at 20% of purchase price

Amazon force retailers / publishers to reimburse them the 20% of purchase price

Amazon UK's financial headquarters is in Luxembourg, where the VAT on ebooks is 3%. So Amazon UK pays 3% of price to Luxbourg treasury, nothing to UK treasury and trousers the difference of 17% of the purchase price coughed up by the publishers.


also managed to pay no corporation tax at all in the UK on sales last year of £3.2 Billion


I paid more tax last year than Amazon did. Will I buy anything from Amazon again? Nope


Oct 23, 2012
Despite her best efforts to obtain additional information regarding the other account in question or the apparent abuse of policies, she received no explanation. In the end, Amazon told her the action was permanent and that it couldn't 'offer any additional insight or action."



Apr 20, 2009
Stuart72, the EU is / ought to be looking at VAT rates I think. The arguments used against Amazon in the UK press for its corporation tax position always strike me as rather lacking - in that I haven't seen much more than "they sell £Xbn and pay £2 corporation tax" etc; in itself there's absolutely nothing wrong or illegal about that.

If you genuinely carry out a business in one country selling into another then for the most part the country where you're running the business will be where you report your profits and have them taxed. Issues come in if you're fibbing about where your business is run and/or transferred your business out of the other country without paying any taxes due on the true value of the transfer. Without backing themselves up with arguments on the latter parts (perhaps assuming we all know the inner workings and history of Amazon's various entities?) the newspaper / other commentators sound like they're just whinging, if they have a point to make they ought to make it properly.


Apr 7, 2010
[citation][nom]bllue[/nom]For no reason or because no one's bothered to read the entire policy? With services like this sort (or any subscription type) you should really the policies so you're not violating anything and end up in these situations. If I'm not mistaken the policy is if you're a Norway customer you must use Amazon UK, not Amazon US...for tax reasons and publishing rights (some publishers only allow Amazon to sell in certain territories for example).[/citation]

In nearly all cases I would agree. In most countries however the law can override a contract. Account cancellation would not apply but remotely reaching in to a device and destroying previously purchased materials would fall under:

Even if the above doesn't apply there is a high enough risk that a jury would decide against them that they will settle for a large sum. To do otherwise and get found guilty would then have consequences for every Amazon customer.


Jun 4, 2012
I've dealt with Amazon quite a bit and I can tell you for sure that Amazon doesn't take this kind of action lightly. From reading between the lines it sounds like the person she bought the Kindle from was banned from Amazon due to abuse and kept trying to open new accounts under different names/alias's. Amazon's pretty good about picking these up and cancelling them as well. My guess is Amazon unintentionally linked this woman's account with the abusers since her billing/shipping address's don't match. At least they fixed it.

I would say the big lesson here is Caveat Empor if you buy used electronics. Your account could be linked with someone doing illegal/banned activities if your not careful, this isn't just limited to Kindle's but also iDevices, Android devices, etc. Kinda like buying a stolen car.


Jun 30, 2008
If you do any purchase in full and in a legit way those products or services should always be available to you regardless. Just because your account is "linked" to some other account that apparently was abusing should not mean your legit purchases should be wiped out, and considering Amazon's past faux pas's I am less inclined to believe them anyway. Especially since they gave no reason. At least give a reason by not doing so it just makes you look more the bully, no matter how lame or justified it might be at least the person knows why.
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