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Just a couple of hours ago, I got an email from ACX stating as follows:

"Hello,

Your ACX account has been flagged due to unusual activity concerning the use of your ACX promotional codes. While we support the legitimate efforts of our users to promote their audiobooks, attempting to manipulate the ACX platform and/or ACX programs is not permitted.

As a result, we will no longer provide you with promotional codes to use to promote your ACX projects. Please note that our evaluation process takes multiple criteria into consideration when deciding to place restrictions, and we take action based on those criteria. Going forward, please also make sure that you observe ACX's guidelines.... Failure to meet ACX's guidelines or agreements may result in restrictions against your account, up to and including termination.....

Please be advised that this is our final decision and we won't be offering further insight or action on this matter."

Given that I can't even remember the last time I used my promo codes, there is literally no way they could have been abused, unless my account was hacked. Which is a disturbing possibility in and of itself. I called ACX right away, and while the support team was nice, they made it clear that there is nothing they can do except make a note that I called in hopes the internal team that handles such matters may see it and decide to reconsider the decision. What is really unbelievable is their statement that there is no possibility whatsoever "for further insight or action on this matter." What does that even mean? So they have exclusive rights to distribute our audio books, but can't be bothered to provide any recourse in case of an error on their part? Like I said, I haven't been using the promo codes, so this decision won't affect me in the short term. But it's the principle of the thing - not to mention the fact that if I have no way of finding out what kind of problematic activity supposedly triggered this decision, I have no way of preventing further "unusual activity" that could conceivably get me terminated!
:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
 

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I just got the same email and the same reply when I asked them to look into it. Considering I haven't used promo codes from ACX in over a year, I don't know what the strange activity is and they won't tell me. I'm worried there might be further repercussions for my account.
 

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I'm glad I have found this thread. I received the same email today, too, although I have never used their promo codes. What's more interesting: after I received the email, I opened my browser and visited the Promo Codes dashboard that said:

Total Codes Generated: 0
Redeemed by Listener: 0
Available for Distribution: 0

I printed the page as a PDF and sent it to them, but got the same reply as everyone:

We understand you're seeking additional information regarding revoked access to your promotional ACX codes. Pursuant to our previous communication, your account was under review for unusual activity. After a full investigation, we can confirm fraudulent use of the promotional codes for your ACX audiobooks.

As a result, we are upholding our previous decision to revoke your promo code access.

Please know that all ACX users are responsible for abiding by ACX's Legal Agreements. Failure to meet these guidelines can result in restrictions against your account, up to and including termination.

If you would like to review our Legal Contracts and Guidelines, please visit (https://www.acx.com/help/legal-contracts/200485430)

The ACX team has no further information to disclose. This will be our final communication on the matter.

Sincerely,
The ACX Team
ACX.com
 
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alex283 said:
I'm glad I have found this thread. I received the same email today, too, although I have never used their promo codes. What's more interesting: after I received the email, I opened my browser and visited the Promo Codes dashboard that said:

Total Codes Generated: 0
Redeemed by Listener: 0
Available for Distribution: 0

I printed the page as a PDF and sent it to them, but got the same reply as everyone:
That's just beyond ludicrous. There must be some sort of glitch going on. Although I note they've gone to the bother of setting up an auto-reply to emails on the matter, so they're willing to double down on the glitch it seems!

I'm another one who got hit with the same email. We have used our promo codes, but only in the specific ways outlined on the ACX site as the ways promo codes should be used. Sigh.
 

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alex283 said:
I'm glad I have found this thread. I received the same email today, too, although I have never used their promo codes. What's more interesting: after I received the email, I opened my browser and visited the Promo Codes dashboard that said:

Total Codes Generated: 0
Redeemed by Listener: 0
Available for Distribution: 0

I printed the page as a PDF and sent it to them, but got the same reply as everyone:
You never used them in the past either, before the promo tab was available, when they used to email them out?

I got the same email. I sent out promo codes 3.5 **years** ago. 23 US and 3 UK to mailing list people.

I see some people speculating on other boards that some people join author mailing lists just to get codes to resell. Others are speculating that audiobook boom is the cause of it.

Crazy if bans are being handed out to people who've literally never used a promo code ever.
 

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I just posted this in the other thread that deals with this from back in July but I thought I'd add it here. I'll be persisting in trying to sort this out and I'll report back what happens each step. ACX does have glitches because remember back about a year ago, where some of us had our books enrolled in Kindle Unlimited free audibles without permission. They called that a glitch and asked us to forgive them for this error. So not perfect ACX. Here's my post from other thread. Maybe we can combine the threads, wonderful moderators.

POST:

I just got the same email. But I have been sending out codes and it's part of my marketing, so it is a hit for me.

However, I'd never do anything fraudulent. I do pretty well with audibles and I wouldn't risk that. I don't even know how you'd use them fraudulently. Not the new ones anyway. I've never heard of them being sold.

They did seem to give me an extra hint at what the issue might be in my case by adding this sentence in: "Going forward, please also make sure that you observe ACX’s guidelines (http://audible-acx.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8887). "

I have recently published a collection of novellas, which included a novella that I'd previously produced on its own. I didn't realize that this breached their codes of conduct as I've seen people talk here about publishing boxsets on audible and how you should wait until the sales of our book slow down before combining them because it will affect the single books' sales. I've written to them in reply telling them I didn't realize this based on what I'd thought of as general knowledge in the author world and normal practice for eBooks and paperbacks. I told them I'm happy to take the book down now that I know, but just want to confirm it all. If it is this, why wouldn't you just write and say that this novella is included in this other novella, please take it down?

I've got lots of codes out there through sheer hard work and marketing, and I haven't used any other platform to distribute them. I'd copied some onto a spreadsheet for ease of use to distribute them, and I've only just sent some out in the last forty-eight hours, so I don't know if those will be redeemable or they are canceled as well. They don't mention any of that.

I'm wondering if this has anything at all to do with the expiring codes, which expired on the 9th. I sent out an email to my mailing list offering these, especially to UK people because I hadn't used any. So, I've recently had a lot of codes redeemed. However, they told us to do that in the email advising us they were expiring.

It's very distressing but if I don't get a good reply, which from reading here, I probably won't, then I'll use the Jeff Bezos email and persist with it. I need those codes for reviews on my books and my launching strategy.

I haven't had anything like this happen before. It's very upsetting, for sure.
 

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Another thing I did want to ask of those who've been affected: Did you notice high sales in your account previously?

I did experience very high sales for six days back on 10/27 to 31/10. They were normal on the 26th and then after the 31st dropped back to normal again. On these days sales quadrupled. However, I just thought it was some kind of promotion my book must have been in through Audible or Amazon and jumped for joy. It's happened before with eBooks. Now I'm wondering was it some kind of cloaking done by scammers like they were doing with Kindle Unlimited.

My husband did theorize when I explained how codes worked a while back that it looked like a scammer's paradise with a 30-day free account and a free couple of audibles. However, I've been an indie author since 2011 and even if I worked out a scam, I sure wouldn't do it because the audible payment comes out of a pool, just like KU does. I'd never do that to fellow authors and I'm honest to a fault. Now, as I'm writing this, I'm really wondering if that is what this is. Although, if others haven't experienced high sales for a period, then maybe not.

I'm just going to add in the email I received today. It actually isn't from anyone at all. There's no sign off at the bottom like they usually have, so it does seem to be an auto-generated one. What I've put in the quote box is exactly what I've received. I thought I'd add it in because maybe it varies from other people's. Now I look at it, my earlier hypotheses that it's got something to do with the duplicated story in a collection can't be the reason, as they clearly say it's due to the use of promotional codes. And I certainly haven't done anything manipulative except do what they suggested.

Hello,

Your ACX account has been flagged due to unusual activity concerning the use of your ACX promotional codes. While we support the legitimate efforts of our users to promote their audiobooks, attempting to manipulate the ACX platform and/or ACX programs is not permitted.

As a result, we will no longer provide you with promotional codes to use to promote your ACX projects. Please note that our evaluation process takes multiple criteria into consideration when deciding to place restrictions, and we take action based on those criteria. Going forward, please also make sure that you observe ACX's guidelines (http://audible-acx.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8887).

Failure to meet ACX's guidelines or agreements may result in restrictions against your account, up to and including termination.

If you would like to review our Legal Contracts and Guidelines, please visit: (https://www.acx.com/help/legal-contracts/200485430 )

Please be advised that this is our final decision and we won't be offering further insight or action on this matter.
 

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SusanMayWriter said:
Another thing I did want to ask of those who've been affected: Did you notice high sales in your account previously?
I had a bump of about 50 sales last month but I attributed it to Facebook advertising of a boxset. My audiobooks are under a name I no longer write for and so sales have been steadily declining over time. The only thing that moves the needle these days is advertising as I have no new releases.

This is the marketing spiel from ACX about where to use your promo codes:

Send your promo codes to professional audiobook reviewers.
Get early reviews from your street team or beta readers.
Run a social media giveaway for fans and newsletter subscribers.
Swap codes with your peers and trade reviews for each other's books.

-- Sounds like a joke now. I sent mine to the "street team". Don't even think it appeared online anywhere. Just mailing list only.

Look at that last line too - swap codes with your peers and trade reviews! I would have said that was a TOS violation any day of the week.

I'd love an answer but what will ACX say? Someone in the 23 US codes you sent out sold one? Or they did something else?
 

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........ said:
I had a bump of about 50 sales last month but I attributed it to Facebook advertising of a boxset. My audiobooks are under a name I no longer write for and so sales have been steadily declining over time. The only thing that moves the needle these days is advertising as I have no new releases.

This is the marketing spiel from ACX about where to use your promo codes:

Send your promo codes to professional audiobook reviewers.
Get early reviews from your street team or beta readers.
Run a social media giveaway for fans and newsletter subscribers.
Swap codes with your peers and trade reviews for each otherÂ's books.

-- Sounds like a joke now. I sent mine to the "street team". Don't even think it appeared online anywhere. Just mailing list only.

Look at that last line too - swap codes with your peers and trade reviews! I would have said that was a TOS violation any day of the week.

I'd love an answer but what will ACX say? Someone in the 23 US codes you sent out sold one? Or they did something else?
I'm wondering if this is it. The bump in sales. If all of us who received this email had a bump in sales over a period that wasn't normal, we could have been used as a smokescreen. Were yours during the last five days of the month, like mine? I usually sell according to my marketing. So, after not marketing as much the last four weeks, my audible sales for this particular targeted book, had dropped much lower, then on the 26th I had a big surge that was the most I've ever sold. However, I did start advertising in the UK specifically at Audible listeners, so I thought, it could be that. Then it continued for the next five days, but at about half the amount. So I thought, audible has sent out an email or Amazon featuring my book. On the 1st November, it reverted back to normal sales for the amount of advertising.

I thought its just some 'thing' that I don't know about happening. Exact same thing happened with my ebooks January 2018 and one book sold hundreds a day and that lasted two weeks and then returned to normal. But that's sales not KU reads or anything.

Maybe, this might be the common denominator, that our books were used in a scam with codes or new registrations for audible listener scams. I don't know how with these new codes that you could scam. They are linked to the book. I had read those suggestions of using the codes and I did think that last one was really funny and not something I'd do anyway. I'd much rather give my codes to genuine reviewers and get the review and goodwill of giving a reader a free book.

So what days did your bump occur?
 
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I think that line about following the guidelines is a standard part of the form letter they sent to everyone. I am not aware of having violated any of their guidelines at any time, and I have no audio box sets or bundles. They also don't appear to be reading replies, just sending out auto responses, so I doubt anyone will even read your reply about your bundle.
 

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The one with all the big dresses on the covers said:
I think that line about following the guidelines is a standard part of the form letter they sent to everyone. I am not aware of having violated any of their guidelines at any time, and I have no audio box sets or bundles. They also don't appear to be reading replies, just sending out auto responses, so I doubt anyone will even read your reply about your bundle.
Yes, I've realized now that mine the same as the OP, but different to the letter on the other thread. It's definitely something to do with the codes, but I've done nothing wrong either. I mean, I have had a lot more activity because for the first time I mailed out to all my newsletter subs, of which there is 30k, and then I suddenly got about 150 people wanting codes. But they actually tell you to do this. And that's not being manipulative. That's promoting audible.

My other theory now is this jump in audiobook sales of a book that I have been advertising heavily. Did you see any jump in your audibles sales that surprised you?
 

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SusanMayWriter said:
I'm wondering if this is it. The bump in sales. If all of us who received this email had a bump in sales over a period that wasn't normal, we could have been used as a smokescreen. Were yours during the last five days of the month, like mine? I usually sell according to my marketing. So, after not marketing as much the last four weeks, my audible sales for this particular targeted book, had dropped much lower, then on the 26th I had a big surge that was the most I've ever sold. However, I did start advertising in the UK specifically at Audible listeners, so I thought, it could be that. Then it continued for the next five days, but at about half the amount. So I thought, audible has sent out an email or Amazon featuring my book. On the 1st November, it reverted back to normal sales for the amount of advertising.

I thought its just some 'thing' that I don't know about happening. Exact same thing happened with my ebooks January 2018 and one book sold hundreds a day and that lasted two weeks and then returned to normal. But that's sales not KU reads or anything.

Maybe, this might be the common denominator, that our books were used in a scam with codes or new registrations for audible listener scams. I don't know how with these new codes that you could scam. They are linked to the book. I had read those suggestions of using the codes and I did think that last one was really funny and not something I'd do anyway. I'd much rather give my codes to genuine reviewers and get the review and goodwill of giving a reader a free book.

So what days did your bump occur?
No bump for me. 50 copies over a month is only one or two more per day, which is how it looks roughly.

I'm seeing this turn up on other forums now and it looks like another Amazon dumb smash. Hopefully if enough of us argue back and get some publicity on it, they'll reconsider. I'm utterly astonished that my paltry 23 US codes and 3 UK codes could land me a ban, 3.5 years after sending them out.
 

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........ said:
No bump for me. 50 copies over a month is only one or two more per day, which is how it looks roughly.

I'm seeing this turn up on other forums now and it looks like another Amazon dumb smash. Hopefully if enough of us argue back and get some publicity on it, they'll reconsider. I'm utterly astonished that my paltry 23 US codes and 3 UK codes could land me a ban, 3.5 years after sending them out.
Well, it's pretty unbelievable for you since you haven't sent any out recently. That kind of rules out it being because of recent activity or having a lot of codes redeemed, in my case.

Other thing I've just learned is that codes that I had sent out and hadn't been redeemed yet are now coming back to users as "expired." Now I'm having to write and apologize for the inconvenience. No notice to us about something that now impacts reader/listeners who are also customers of Audible. Pretty poor behavior on ACX'S PART. Have you written to [email protected]?
 

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SusanMayWriter said:
Well, it's pretty unbelievable for you since you haven't sent any out recently. That kind of rules out it being because of recent activity or having a lot of codes redeemed, in my case.

Other thing I've just learned is that codes that I had sent out and hadn't been redeemed yet are now coming back to users as "expired." Now I'm having to write and apologize for the inconvenience. No notice to us about something that now impacts reader/listeners who are also customers of Audible. Pretty poor behavior on ACX'S PART. Have you written to [email protected]?
I just wrote back to the ACX. I figure given the spread of this that they'll have a flood of complaints and some publicity. If I get the autoresponse then I'll escalate it.
 

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SusanMayWriter said:
I did experience very high sales for six days back on 10/27 to 31/10. They were normal on the 26th and then after the 31st dropped back to normal again. On these days sales quadrupled. However, I just thought it was some kind of promotion my book must have been in through Audible or Amazon and jumped for joy. It's happened before with eBooks. Now I'm wondering was it some kind of cloaking done by scammers like they were doing with Kindle Unlimited.
Susan and everyone else, it really, really blows that this is happening, and I suspect it has something to do with their old system of codes phasing out/expiring and tripping up a whole bunch of false flags for everyone. I'm sorry to hear this and hope it's resolved for everyone soon. ACX needs to pick up the slack for something which I'm pretty sure is a problem on their end.

As for the sales spike on the 27th, I can confirm that I had one too, in the region of the thousands. You must have been placed in Audible's 2 for 1 sale, same as my book. I would never have known if I hadn't posted about it in shock on Facebook, but an author friend commented to say she saw it in an Audible newsletter. It couldn't have been that. After looking through my emails I'm 100% convinced at this point that this is their fault. Here's an email sent out on October 29 to anyone who requested codes through customer support in the past:

Dear Rocket Punch,

You're receiving this email because our records indicate that you've requested promotional codes from our Customer Support team in the last year. This email is to notify you that any Promo Codes you received by email prior to May 9, 2019 will expire at 11:59PM ET on November 12, 2019. After that, you'll need to exclusively use the Promo Codes generated from the Promo Code tab on your Sales Dashboard. If you've recently distributed old Promo Codes to fans or reviewers, you may want to alert them to this deadline.
The date hangs together with when these autogenerated punishment emails started getting reported. I'd try calling ACX if at all possible, and would very much hope for a mass apology email explaining the situation going out in the weeks to come, because this sounds like an enormous pain in the ass. Best of luck to everyone affected.
 

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Thank you RocketPunch for letting me know about the 2 for 1 sale. Actually, someone I gave a code too told me about that.

Now this might make sense in my case because I think that person might have got my book and another book with my old code, so she was really happy. I was just clearing all the old codes, and as you know, those codes could be used on any book as they just became a credit in a users' account.

I had it in my head that the use-by date of the old codes was the 9th, but you might be right and I got it mixed up because it mentioned codes received prior to May 9. So, this could be a huge balls up and glitch. It's just funny that only some of us received the email and that the reply is a 'we will not respond further.'

I hope it is just a glitch, however, it has happened to someone before as per the other thread on this matter, that is now active, and that was back in July.

What is annoying now is that I'm getting emails from people I've sent codes to who have now tried to redeem them are now told they are expired. I've got no idea who hasn't redeemed the new codes I've sent out and how many of these emails I'm going to get, which is more work and a little embarrassing. I hate disappointing readers.

My big concern is that the scammers are clearly now in Audible/ACX territory and this is going to be an ongoing issue, where before I felt it was a good place to put my marketing efforts, far away from KU and the scamming and unfairness. I'm not against KU. All my books are in it, but I just saw Audible as the new bright horizon and I've put a fair bit of money into my back catalog recently producing audios. One is in production now. And now, I can't even give out codes to get reviews, unless I pull them out of ACX and go with someone else. And I really didn't want to do that because I'm going very well with Audible. Thanks anyway for solving a mystery for me about the 2 for 1. At least I know it wasn't a scammer using me.
 

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I too got this email yesterday and have written back and received nothing more than a confirmation of the first message. I'm livid. Guilty of something isn't how I expect a modern company to operate and I have written telling them if they persist, I'm taking all my books down. I won't allow a firm to profit from my sweat and tears that can't be arsed to tell me what I am accused of! I have only used 5 codes and that was in October. Talk about treating your partners with blatant disrespect!

I too have compilations and was unaware that this is something not allowed - compilations are normal after all. But I'm not sure that is it as this relates only to promo codes.

Here is the reply I got..

Dear Gary,

We understand you're seeking additional information regarding revoked access to your promotional ACX codes. Pursuant to our previous communication, your account was under review for unusual activity. After a full investigation, we can confirm fraudulent use of the promotional codes for your ACX audiobooks.

As a result, we are upholding our previous decision to revoke your promo code access.

Please know that all ACX users are responsible for abiding by ACX's Legal Agreements. Failure to meet these guidelines can result in restrictions against your account, up to and including termination.

If you would like to review our Legal Contracts and Guidelines, please visit (https://www.acx.com/help/legal-contracts/200485430)

The ACX team has no further information to disclose. This will be our final communication on the matter.

And the original email sent 11 hours ago...

Hello,

Your ACX account has been flagged due to unusual activity concerning the use of your ACX promotional codes. While we support the legitimate efforts of our users to promote their audiobooks, attempting to manipulate the ACX platform and/or ACX programs is not permitted.

As a result, we will no longer provide you with promotional codes to use to promote your ACX projects. Please note that our evaluation process takes multiple criteria into consideration when deciding to place restrictions, and we take action based on those criteria. Going forward, please also make sure that you observe ACX's guidelines (http://audible-acx.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8887).

Failure to meet ACX's guidelines or agreements may result in restrictions against your account, up to and including termination.

If you would like to review our Legal Contracts and Guidelines, please visit: (https://www.acx.com/help/legal-contracts/200485430 )

Please be advised that this is our final decision and we won't be offering further insight or action on this matter.

Tis disgusting behavior and as I ust told them, I too ave a choice as to where I sell my books...
 

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SusanMayWriter said:
My other theory now is this jump in audiobook sales of a book that I have been advertising heavily. Did you see any jump in your audibles sales that surprised you?
I have not experienced any peak in sales. Normal 1-2 copies per day. I have only one audiobook which is exclusive with ACX and which was eligible for these codes.

The Promo Codes tab is now not available for me once I refreshed the page, but was available after I received their email and it clearly showed that I generated 0 codes as of November 13.
 

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Yes, Gary, I do think now that this isn't related to duplicate sections in another book. I thought that before I saw there was a blanket email.

It's also not new as somebody pointed out in the SPF group on Facebook that there was a thread on Reddit a month ago where this happened to an author.

https://www.reddit.com/r/audiobooks/comments/dioyfu/ban_on_acx_codes/

There's also a thread from that thread to do with gifting, where listeners are gifting each other books and literally swapping like a library. I think authors still get paid for that, but that sure looks like a way of scamming somehow and a pretty silly practice to allow. https://www.reddit.com/r/audible/comments/drzx9c/audible_gifting_thread_november_2019/

From further investigation and discussion behind the scenes, there is a particular 'caught' KU scammer involved in an ACX code distribution businesses. If that is the case, and I believe it is, then this emails is a net thrown over innocent authors, just like the KU fiasco, which seems to have died down once a few of the scammers (not all of them) got shut down. So, I've got no idea whether this will be resolved or not. However, I suggest every person with this issue write to [email protected] Our only hope is that with a barrage of emails coming in about the same thing, they will look into it.

Pretty damn rude. I've now got my reviewers that I've sent codes out to in the last twenty-four hours telling me that their code is showing as "expired", when, of course, it's not. Embarrassing and time wasting and so unfair, when you are doing exactly what ACX suggested... emailing your list and offering the codes to reviewers. I've had a big push in the last two weeks on codes because of the expiring old ones.

Anyway, that's my latest info. Will check back when I hear anything else. :( Boo hoo.
 
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