A couple of days ago, I blogged about emailing Customer Service on the six device limit and what to do when I reach the 7th Kindle device. Just so you know, I am up to 3 devices, a Kindle 1, a Kindle 2 and an iPhone. I’ll be at 5 with one more iteration of each, so I’m a little worried.
Well, of course, Amazon did not get back to me even after two additional email follow-ups, so I contacted them today; I had another question to ask about the iPhone sync so was looking to kill two birds with one stone. I spoke to a nice man named Maurice.
Book Licenses – 6 Device limit
Basically, I was told that this limit was put into place because of potential book club abuse. I guess since they couldn’t get away with telling you what you can and cannot do with a book you purchased, they have to limit the number of devices that you can put it on. I can understand the sentiment and appreciate their dilemma, but think that their execution sucks big-time. Amazon is taking the lazy route.
I don’t think many average Kindle owners have a problem with the 6 devices at one time limit. We have a problem with the license being forever tied to a device that we a)sold to someone who is using a different Amazon account, b)threw away because of age, etc. or c)have replaced with the newest model. Like I said earlier, I have been a Kindle owner for one measly year have 3 devices by Amazon’s count and could be at 5 devices by this time next year. When I mentioned that to Maurice, he quickly assured me that there was no date for the Kindle 3, to which I reminded him of the statements by Amazon about (less than?) 6 months ago that there was no date for Kindle 2; that doesn’t even take into account the possiblity of a new iPhone in the near future. Riiiiiight….
I was assured that all Amazon has to do is “look at the logs” to figure out if someone was abusing their licensing and that when I got to my 7th device, a phone call would be able clear things up and I would be able to pull my books down to that 7th device. Okay, but what makes them think I want to go thru a long list of my books with some Customer Service guy to have them manually released? Amazon was quick enough to automate the deletion of a book that I returned and received a refund on–why would it be hard to do so on a device I de-register?
I am a little insulted by the policy. As it stands right now, I can’t delete any book that is in my purchase list (currently at 123 books), but I only own them up to six times. So even if I read and delete, keeping only one book at a time on any Kindle/iPhone pair, two licenses go up in smoke. This is a prime case for the Kindle hack that allows purchasing of non-Amazon content–at least I OWN those for any device I want to upload them to.
So there’s the answer; its not very satisfying.
I have gotten so tired of this trend to legislate against the few rule-breakers while inconveniencing the majority–and not just with Amazon.
Oh–the iPhone sync issue? I’ll write about that later. One problem at a time.
Edit 3/19/2009 - I followed up this morning with a phone call to clarify a point: if 6 devices means a book currently downloaded on 6 devices simultaneously or if it means downloaded 6 times, whether it is currently on one of your Kindles or not. The latter is my sticking point, the former seems to be related to Amazon’s desire to restrict ‘book club’ malfeasance. A not very polite CS rep advised me that it is total devices, not simultaneous devices.