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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
J.D. Robb's newest book "Promises in Death" arrived today as scheduled. However, I am not happy with the formatting. Basically, there are HUGE gaps between each paragraph (this issue isn't present on any of the other Robb books I have on Kindle). It makes reading through it a massive chore.

When I previously complained about formatting issues, Amazon pulled two of the books and never brought them back, and did nothing with two of the other books.

What should I do here?

I know I have seven days to request a refund, no questions asked, so that isn't my issue. But I want to actually read this book, and soon! And I want Amazon to actually fix this problem. I'm irritated paying $9.99 (or any price really) for formatting this unprofessional and shoddy. (Just for the record, this is no fault of the author and should not be held against her.)

BTW, Akw4572 said he experienced the same thing with a recent Clancy book (LINK). Does anyone know what ended up happening there? Did they correct the issue?

UPDATES:

1) To start with, I e-mailed Amazon customer service informing them of the issue. We'll see what they say.

2) Grrrr... They issued me a $10 credit (which has yet to appear), but it seems they didn't even read my e-mail. They apologized for the errors in "Silent in the Sanctuary" (What?!). I just fired up a follow-up e-mail. I was tempted to use the "call me back" option, but at this rate, I'm not in the mood to have to re-explain everything. If I get another canned form response though, I'll be calling.

3) Amazon CS has been AWFUL so far (which is surprising, considering their good track record).

This time, they said that Kindle books are electronic versions of paper books, and the paper book is the same way. Erm, no, it isn't. ;)

I e-mailed them again because they got back to me within minutes (which is good, at least), so I'm hoping they'll respond just as quickly now. Hopefully, they'll give me a proper response this time. If not, I'll definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY call.

4) So far, Amazon has ignored my latest e-mail. I guess I must've p*ssed them off by asking for a response from a real human being. ;) Then again, yesterday was the Kindle 2 launch date, so they were probably swamped. I'll cut them some slack for that, as they're usually excellent. They were beyond awful yesterday though, and they offered me a credit I've yet to receive. Not that I ever asked for it or wanted it in the first place (I'll probably just request a refund), but still.

I'm down sick today, so I'm not gonna waste my time/energy calling them. If anyone else is upset with the formatting of this book, please take up the mantle for me and contact customer service about getting this fixed.

As it stands right now, I don't think they've even put this on a to-do list to fix. First they identified the wrong book and then they claimed the horrible formatting of the Kindle version was identical to the paper book (erm, no). Obviously, I was just getting computerized form responses. Really lame.

If anyone else is as unhappy with the shoddy formatting of "Promises in Death" as I am, please do something about it.

-- Quick update: I did get the promised credit (which I never asked for, but it was nice to receive anyway) and a refund.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
To start with, I e-mailed Amazon customer service informing them of the issue. We'll see what they say.
 

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It seems that fixed versions of a book file are not automatically available to owners of previous versions. When I last spoke to Amazon about it, they said the only way it could be done was to refund the original sale and buy the title again. That's a poor solution if the price of the book has gone up, and a whole lot of trouble.

[rant]I suppose they want to avoid the possibility of authors writing ongoing serials or creating alternate endings but I think they should address that in the contract with publishers rather than punishing readers.[/rant]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jeff said:
It seems that fixed versions of a book file are not automatically available to owners of previous versions. When I last spoke to Amazon about it, they said the only way it could be done was to refund the original sale and buy the title again. That's a poor solution if the price of the book has gone up, and a whole lot of trouble.

[rant]I suppose they want to avoid the possibility of authors writing ongoing serials or creating alternate endings but I think they should address that in the contract with publishers rather than punishing readers.[/rant]
Yeah, it's pretty lame. Depending on what Amazon says, my next step will probably be to request a refund and just re-buy the book later. Hopefully it won't go up from its $9.99 price.
 

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I'll read it anyway and then delete it.  The formatting may be bad, but I want to read the book.  The question is will it look better on a K2?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
chynared21 said:
I would call them...you'd get a faster answer to your concerns.
E-mail is pretty fast too though. They usually get back to you within a matter of hours, and it sure beats waiting on the line, listening to canned elevator music, and having to struggle through a convo because the CSR might be overseas (not sure if that's the case with Amazon, but it's the case everywhere else).

Gables Girl said:
I'll read it anyway and then delete it. The formatting may be bad, but I want to read the book. The question is will it look better on a K2?
Doubt it'll look any different/better on a K2. I don't see how. (I mean the formatting, which has nothing to do with the K2's improved e-reader screen.)
 

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CS said:
E-mail is pretty fast too though. They usually get back to you within a matter of hours, and it sure beats waiting on the line, listening to canned elevator music, and having to struggle through a convo because the CSR might be overseas (not sure if that's the case with Amazon, but it's the case everywhere else).
LOL, I hate when calls are rerouted. Don't get me started on the 4 1/2 hour call to India over 2 days...but they solved the problem :)))

The last time I called CS for a refund...it was pretty darn quick, less than a minute of wait time and definitely on the homefront :))
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
chynared21 said:
LOL, I hate when calls are rerouted. Don't get me started on the 4 1/2 hour call to India over 2 days...but they solved the problem :)))

The last time I called CS for a refund...it was pretty darn quick, less than a minute of wait time and definitely on the homefront :))
I e-mailed CS because I figured it would be easier to explain the formatting problem in writing. I haven't requested a refund yet, but that's probably my next step. I'm well within my seven day window, so I'm not worried.

I am annoyed though. I was really looking forward to reading this, and there's no excuse for such shoddy formatting on a new book. I suppose I could just accept the imperfections and slog through the badly spaced paragraphs, but why should I settle for less when there's no reason I should have to?

People are too quick to accept laziness and mediocrity IMO.
 

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The last time I contacted Amazon CS, there was a line to have them call you back.  They said they would call me right back ... promise.  I clicked and my phone rang.  I almost fell off the chair.  It was Amazon CS ... really ... they kept their promise. 

As opposed to HP (not Harry Potter) CS who are now on my S*** List. 
 

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gertiekindle said:
As opposed to HP (not Harry Potter) CS who are now on my S*** List.
That's a list I try to avoid at all cost. :)

My experience with Amazon customer support was almost identical to yours, Gertie. I, very skeptically, clicked the "Call Me" button and the phone rang before I navigated off the page. After about twenty seconds of a recorded message (which I expected to hear for an hour) a real human came on the line and called me by name. It can't get much better than that.
 

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I found formatting problems with Kate Jacobs' Comfort Food.  I emailed CS just to make them aware of the problems.  I did not even request a refund, but they did so anyway.  I was still reading the book, mess that it was and the next time I turned on Whispernet the book was removed from my Kindle.  I figured that it was done so that I could repurchase.  The book was gone from the kindle list.  Now I am awaiting it's return, halfway through reading it!  Paperback is supposed to be released this spring, so I am waiting, maybe Amazon will have the kindle edition for sale again.

So, if you love the book struggle through and don't turn on your Whispernet until you reached the end.
Good Luck!
 

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While it *is* a bit annoying to have the extra space between paragraphs and yeah it'd be nice if it had "perfect" formatting, so far I've really only found it slightly annoying, resulting only in a little extra hitting of the next page button due to there being less text on a page. I can handle that, and I've seen worse-formatted books. *shrugs* As with most books, once I started reading it during lunch, I quickly got into the story and didn't even really notice the extra space or the extra button-hitting all that much. But I know others may be bothered by it more.

Too bad I had to stop reading and go back to work... :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Grrrr... They issued me a $10 credit (which has yet to appear), but it seems they didn't even read my e-mail. They apologized for the errors in "Silent in the Sanctuary" (What?!). I just fired up a follow-up e-mail. I was tempted to use the "call me back" option, but at this rate, I'm not in the mood to have to re-explain everything. If I get another canned form response though, I'll be calling.
 

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CS said:
Grrrr... They issued me a $10 credit (which has yet to appear), but it seems they didn't even read my e-mail. They apologized for the errors in "Silent in the Sanctuary" (What?!). I just fired up a follow-up e-mail. I was tempted to use the "call me back" option, but at this rate, I'm not in the mood to have to re-explain everything. If I get another canned form response though, I'll be calling.
That's not good. I just downloaded a free copy of Silent in the Sanctuary yesterday. Now it sounds like the formatting may be messed up. LOL

If it makes you feel any better, I sent an e-mail to CS last week asking about whether or not downloading screensavers/wallpaper will void the warranty. The response I got only told me what file formats the Kindle would read. I never asked about the formats for reading, so I don't know why that was the response I got. They never did answer my question. LOL
 

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Jeff said:
It seems that fixed versions of a book file are not automatically available to owners of previous versions. When I last spoke to Amazon about it, they said the only way it could be done was to refund the original sale and buy the title again. That's a poor solution if the price of the book has gone up, and a whole lot of trouble.

[rant]I suppose they want to avoid the possibility of authors writing ongoing serials or creating alternate endings but I think they should address that in the contract with publishers rather than punishing readers.[/rant]
So does this mean they have multiple versions of the same book on their server. That seems like it could cause more problems down the road. What if you deleted it from your Kindle and re-downloaded it? Would that get you the updated version?
 

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I bought this book and was looking forward to reading it. I haven't seen it yet. Keep us informed if you hear from CS. I hope they don't pull the book and not reissue it. I'll have to wait until later tonight to see if I won't to keep it. Thanks for the update.
 

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I don't remember having purchased a book for the Kindle from Amazon that didn't have some sort of formatting issues. These are the sort of errors that I have never/rarely seen in printed editions. I could conclude from this that the publishers consider us to be second-class citizens in the book world and not worth of spending any proofing time on, and that we are so desperate for material to buy that we will accept anything and be grateful for it.

Oh, wait. That's what I do conclude.

Never mind.

Baen books is one of the few that take proof-reading seriously. I don't remember every having found an error in a book I've gotten from them.

Mike
(not normally a cynic, but in this case. I'll make an exception) ;D
 

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Brian said:
So does this mean they have multiple versions of the same book on their server. That seems like it could cause more problems down the road. What if you deleted it from your Kindle and re-downloaded it? Would that get you the updated version?
My understanding is that there is a copy of every book you buy in your own "personal" library on the Amazon sever and then there's also a "master" library. When publishers update the book, the change is made to the master library, but not to individual personal libraries.

I've updated my own books several times fixing typos that readers have mentioned. As far as I know, no one who already owned a book has been able to get the latest edition. Coincidentally, I've just been through this again in the last few hours with an author who updated his book with new information and suggested that his readers download the new file. I deleted the existing version from my Kindle then downloaded a fresh copy of his book from Amazon. The book on my Kindle does not have the newly added information.
 
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