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Amazon Offers Apologies & Refund For Deleted 1984 Orwell Book

Online retailing giant Amazon has extended its apologies for deleting copies of George Orwell novels from its Kindle users’ libraries, and agreed to compensate by either redelivering the copies, or offering a gift cheque of $30.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, apologised in person to the Kindle users for the deletion of some of the popular George Orwell novels, including “1984” and “Animal farm”, back in July.

He said that the manner they tackled the situation was “stupid, thoughtless and painfully out of line with our principles”.

Amazon said it yanked the books from the platform because it found that a third party publisher had added the novels to Amazon’s catalogue, without having the rights to sell them.

The hasty and rather illogical move drawn severe criticism from the online community, and Amazon was even sued by a high school student who claimed Amazon removed his copy of “1984”, along with the “copious notes” he had taken on the book.

“This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we've received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission”, Bezos wrote in the apology email to the customers.

Our Comments

Nice that Bezos actually penned a letter to the customers. It shows at least that even if Amazon is the world's largest online retailer, it hasn't forgotten where its success come from. That said, some might say that it is too little too late and that it shouldn't take nearly two months to write an apology email.

Related Links

Amazon apologizes for deleting Kindle e-books (opens in new tab)


Amazon offers to replace deleted copies of 1984 (opens in new tab)


Amazon offers restitution for Orwellian Kindle moment (opens in new tab)

(The Register)

Amazon makes up for '1984' snafu but the chapter isn't over (opens in new tab)

(ZDNet) Offers to Replace Copies of Orwell Book (opens in new tab)

(The New York Times)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.