Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kindle Owners' Lending Library Small Print

I'm disappointed in Amazon. I signed up for Amazon Prime a few months ago and just recently started using the lending library. On its website, Amazon breathlessly touts that fact that "With Amazon Prime, Kindle owners can choose from more than 500,000 books to borrow for free with no due dates, including over 100 current and former New York Times best sellers and all 7 Harry Potter books." Cool.

Or not. After I returned the first book, I tried to "borrow" another title and I was told "Monthly limit reached." WTF? Nowhere on the webpage did it say there was a limit. You have to scroll to the bottom of the page, click on the "Questions?" link, then scroll down some more before you see "You can borrow one book from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library each calendar month. You can deliver the book to other Kindle devices registered to your Amazon account." It's more like smallnonexistent print as it's not even on the same webpage. That's really really lame.

Without the lending library benefit, I probably would have still paid for Prime. Typical eBooks are not that expensive and we should support good authors. Luckily, I had access to an old 2nd generation Kindle so I didn't have to buy a new one. I'd be super pissed if I bought a Kindle just for "borrowing" books. I guess I forgot that no matter what a company says (Don't Be Evil!), it's all a marketing ploy to make more money. Silly me... Amazon isn't here to lend you books; they want you to buy a Kindle and pay them $80/year for Prime.

Of course, I wasn't the only one that was irked. There were many complaints online about the same issue. What surprised me was the amount of rude and nasty replies, essentially calling the poster and idiot for not reading every Amazon policy webpage. It wasn't even on the same page! I knew there are many Apple fanboys that "defend" Apple on all sorts of Internet forums; I guess it's the same for Amazon.

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