Monday, March 3, 2014

Putting the "Fun" in Refund

As indie authors, we tend to do two things faithfully: keep our meals on the cheap and keep a close eye on our book sales. Often those go hand in hand.



And as such, we saw last week that ALL of our short stories and one of our books were bought by a single person in one day. It was pretty exciting. Six instant sales! But then, after a few days, with all of them having been read... they were returned. Every single one of them. For a refund.



And while Amazon doesn't condone this kind of freeloading, they're well known for their lax return policy regarding eBooks. See, you have up to a full week to ask for a refund on eBooks, and even if you read the whole thing, you can send it back for a refund, claiming you didn't intend to buy the book. Which brings us to today's topic: what would happen if you tried to pull this kind of shit at other businesses?











And it's not just food. Would this kind of practice be acceptable in the sex-for-hire trade?






1 week later...


...and 1 week after that...



Of course, we don't have to ask if this kind of thing is acceptable at Wal-Mart, which is basically the landfill of returned merchandise...




So what we're saying is, if you really want to read our books and you're hard up for cash (we definitely understand, I mean, see above), there's no need to rip us off. Go to the tab at the top of the page where it says Contact Us, send us an e-mail, and we'd be happy to send a free copy of one of our eBooks to a financially strapped reader.

Just please don't get our hopes up by buying all of our books, then reading them, and then returning them. That's a pretty big e-kick-in-the-dick.

So, fess up, have you ever returned something you shouldn't have?

Cheers and stay thrifty, folks,

-B&B

Beer: Hamm's (urine, returned and re-canned)
Music: Fats Domino



140 comments:

  1. Why is it that Amazon allows returns on eBooks? No one else does? I buy a book from the iBookstore, it's mine.
    Now I'd like to return this case of beer. I got to the last can and realized it wasn't very good...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We understand Amazon's line of thinking. With their "1-click buying" button, I'm sure people can often buy things without intending to. Even eBooks. But... a full week to decide that? No wonder people are exploiting this system.

      "Yes, I bought this eBooks 6 and a half days ago, and my Kindle will show that I progressed through 98% of it, but... I'd like to return it. Definitely didn't mean to read this entire book. Whoops!"

      Delete
  2. You can do that? Sorry, Muppets for Justice, guess who's getting a fat refund on that e-book I helped you pimp!?! This two-dollar-and-change-onair! Seriously, that is diabolically evil.
    I have gotten a refund on a massage before. It took a lot of complaining. More effort than the $20 I paid and got back. But seriously, that little Thai lady-boy did not provide "full release" as advertised. It was quarter-release at best and my neck was still tense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, now that you mention it, we bought Muppets for Justice's book too. And already read it. Refund city, here we come!

      (And sorry, Addman. Just think of it like paying it forward. Only the shitty, indecent version)

      Delete
    2. Dear Pickleope,

      As a representive for Muppets For Justice, I would be delighted to return your copy, as long as you can answer the following questions to prove that you have read the book:

      1) In chapter 7, what was the name of the Grand Wizard's dog?
      2) Why was Michael lactating after his battle with the Nebulous Gizzard?
      3) What is love?

      Thanks

      Delete
    3. Ooh, I know the answer to #3. It's "baby don't hurt me."

      Delete
  3. I don't think I've ever returned anything that needed returning even. I wouldn't do something like this because, you know, I have moral decency. I didn't know that could happen. I stopped reading my sales charts because I just got too depressed when I made zero sales two months in a row. They should change it to one day, or two days, which is enough time to realise you've bought something you had no intention to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In all fairness, in 3 years of doing eBooks this is the first time it's happened to us. Well, so blatantly. We've had refunds before, but we'd like to think those were genuine purchasing errors and not "I'd like to read your book for free, because fuck you starving Indie author."

      Delete
  4. Somebody probably just cyber copied them. Better watch the Amazon, somebody is probably going to steal your books and release them with slight alterations. Like one time I wrote a short story about a clown and then Stephen King changed stole my idea and rereleased it as "It". But I got him back, I bought a case of books, and then returned them later. I'm sure he's still seething.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That smug bastard stole our story about a repressed high school janitor with mental abilities called "Larry." In all fairness, it may have ended up being a better story using an awkward high school girl and turning her into Carrie.

      You win this time, King.

      Delete
    2. I know you're being facetious, but I still think it's funny as hell that _Carrie_ came out in 1974, and you guys weren't even twinkles in your mothers' eyes yet. ;)

      Delete
  5. Didn't know you could return eBooks. I like how you can't lend eBooks, but it's perfectly acceptable to return one for a full refund.
    Anyway, I returned a McDonalds hamburger that was missing the burger patty inside. It had everything: lettuce, cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickles, tomato, bread. It just didn't have a patty. I understand they were trying to send me a message about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle, but I wasn't interested to begin with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always wonder what employees think in a case like that. "Wait, did I really forget to put meat in it? Or is this asshole so desperate for extra food that he scarfed down the patty, came to show us this empty bun, and is just getting another free patty out of us?"

      You can be honest if it's the latter, Chiz. We won't judge. If anything, because that's just kind of hilarious.

      Delete
  6. That is a CRAZY return policy. How does that even make sense for Amazon?? All of your posts about your great books, and the $.99 price and now the return policy REALLY motivate me never to write one.Or buy anything from WalMart ever.
    I will admit to returning a pair of work pants AFTER wearing them, but seriously my husband wore them ONE TIME and the zipper broke. Kohl's took them back, I don't even think I had the receipt, and let me get another brand new pair. I didn't get my MONEY back, just another pair of mass-produced, marked up just to be marked down pants, so I don't really feel guilty about it. It would never dawn on me to try to return a book. That's diabolical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, we don't understand why they allow it simply because it hurts them too. Though I guess $10 in sales doesn't ding Amazon quite the way it dings us...

      Delete
  7. What the %#@& is wrong with people. I can see having buyer's remorse on buying a diamond ring for umpteen bucks and realizing that means the kids don't go to college but surely e-books weren't such a misbegotten purchase that one would need to rethink it.
    As for your other examples...let's just collectively say EWWWWWW...groooosssss.
    If I ever had considered working at the customer service desk at Walmart (and to be clear I HAVE NOT).... I now have officially taken that off my list of possibilities of employment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard so many amazingly bad stories of returns at Wal-Mart, and one thing I've essentially learned is if you ask for the manager and yell loud enough, you can return anything. ANYTHING. Use your imagination.

      Delete
  8. On the upside, this person read all your stuff! You have a fan for life. A free-loading, cheapskate fan for life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And here I thought we were too early in our career for that. Maybe if we're lucky he'll upload all of our books to The Pirate Bay and give them away to millions of other free-loading fans.

      Delete
  9. BEER BOYZ ~
    It was some of the more subtle touches I liked best about this one...

    Mr. Swagnificent;

    “Thug Life” sweater;

    “…Still 3 stars I guess.” –Necro21;

    Lining Litterboxes Since 1892;

    Hamm's (urine, returned and re-canned)
    [“From the Land of Piss-Yellow Waters”]

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    POSTSCRIPT: Don’t go bad-mouthing Amazon.com (BigBitch.com) now, or you’ll be gettin’ on the fightin’ side of me. I am a HUGE Amazon fan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No mention of the McDongle's, uh... "logo"?

      My apologies. We'll be easy on Amazon from now on. I mean, no sense in biting the hand that feeds us... And then balls itself into a fist and punches us in the stomach and takes that food right back. But still.

      Delete
  10. I usually don't even return the stuff I should. Never keep the receipt (most of the time) and too lazy to go back to the return line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here, especially over something that's 99 cents. Just seems like it costs more in gas and time to make that return. I guess it's good, then, that you can do that so easily on Amazon to return one of our eBooks after reading!

      Delete
  11. You sick bastard, your Yelp campaign is hilarious! But I misread the Denver Post headline as "Mormon with internet access." Actually, that's funnier!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come now, we all know Mormons aren't allowed Internet access.

      Delete
  12. Ah, that sucks! On the bright side, if people keep doing it you could always open up a McDongle's restaurant as plan B. I'd definitely eat there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should try the McDongle's burger. It's 12 ounces of Grade A horse shaft.

      Delete
  13. Loved the newspaper article - Local Moron Shanked by Mexican Wife for Spending Tax Return on Prostitute!

    I'm with Adam, I don't even return the stuff I should, too lazy to go back to the store...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, actually, I think that news story is inaccurate. If I was ever stupid enough to cheat on my wife, I don't think the body would ever be found...

      Delete
  14. That is a crazy returns policy. Does it force the user to give a reason as to why they are returning it?

    I understand that Amazon want to treat eBooks as though they are your personal property. If you buy a normal book, you have a physical copy that is your property, and you can sell that copy if you want. In order to distribute books digitally, unless you can keep that copy on a device and sell it (or in this case, give it back for some kind of monetary value), you don't really own it, you're leasing it. I understand what Amazon are trying to do, but it really needs some work if it can be abused in this manner.

    Perhaps the better option would be for Amazon to buy the copy back for a reduced price, as would happen if you went and sold it at a bookstore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never returned an eBook, but if it's anything like their other returns processes then yes you have to give a reason. No idea what they really deem as an acceptable excuse, though.

      "Dear Amazon, I sneezed and bought 6 eBooks from the same author at once, then didn't notice until 7 days later. Don't mind that all of the progress bars on my Kindle show them reaching 100%. I had to flip through every single page to make sure I didn't really intend to make this purchase."

      Delete
  15. I had so many LOL moments reading this: "Already did, thanks." "No cupping the balls-Reviewer69," brilliantly detailed Denver Post, and the fact that grandpa needed to return tampons. Great stuff.

    That's depressing, almost humiliating, about your books. I didn't know Amazon is so lenient. Like others have commented, I don't even return things that I could/should return. Getting your hopes up about sales, and then smashed a few days later because the books were refunded, seems a whole lot worse than had they not been purchased in the first place. So sorry.

    xoRobyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, it's alright. The only thing hurt is our pride. And our wallets. And our sales rankings.

      Now I'm sad.

      Delete
  16. What a dick move! You should get a max 1 hour to return an ebook. Pretty much only for people who immediately realize they bought the wrong book.

    And for anyone who actually reads this blog and knows that you guys are trying to make a living out of this - suuuuper uncool. I mean that practice is never okay, but I'm slightly less sympathetic towards the big name publishing companies. I'd be pissed too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I know it's super hypocritical to say, but if you pull this shit with Stephen King I'm pretty sure he wouldn't even notice. You fuck us out of $10 in sales, and well, that's an entire week's worth of sales. And lost sales rankings that contribute toward more sales.

      Delete
  17. First, this post was So Damn Funny. I laughed so hard that I snorted, which for the record, I hate. So happy that I was home alone and NO ONE heard it. So unladylike.

    Second, as Stephen T. McCarthy pointed out the subtle stuff was the best in this post. I don't need to rehash that one since he already covered the pertinent bases.

    Third, I don't understand a one-week return policy on e-books. The average person (so that sets the standard low right there) knows they bought the wrong darn book right after they did it. So, a 24 hour return policy makes more sense. You gotta give those less than average idiots a few more hours to figure out they clicked on the wrong thing. Since we all know Amazon is in this thing to make money, I am frankly shocked that they allow this sort of thing. I have a kindle and buy e-books occasionally. It never would even OCCUR to me to return one.

    Fourth, thank you for illustrating (so vividly) this e-book return problem. Try as I might I can't erase those Return Images from my mind. So, thanks for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laughing snorts is a very real problem, second only to laughing farts. Please consult your doctor if laughing snorts or laughing farts last longer than 4 hours.

      And if it takes longer than 24 hours to realize you bought the wrong eBook, just chalk it up as a 99 cent loss. I mean, reading and stealing aside, who needs 99 cents back THAT BADLY?

      Delete
  18. That seriously sucks. No, I don't return unethically. I don't even rip songs off the internet anymore. I have reached a level of maturity and figure I don't want to risk Hell for .99 cents.

    Now, I am off to buy a book...to bring balance to the universe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If that purchase is one of our books, God will give you double karma points toward your music pirating past. Or something like that. Maybe. I don't actually know how karma works.

      Delete
  19. I've done a whoops once or twice, not on amazon but on other sites, where I hit the buy button. One click thing, never returned though, just used it, if i was looking at it, chances are I can make some use of it. So I can sorta see why amazon does it. But you get all these douches who do it time and time again. Then if amazon does ban them or whatever after enough complaints, they just make up another account and do it again, can't win.

    I never return things, unless i spent 100 and up on it and it didn't work or something. But then broke authors don't have that kind of money, so nope, never return things lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, we sent Amazon an e-mail about that guy and they gave us this really generic form letter about how fraudulent activity is not permitted, if it's deemed to be fraudulent their account will be terminated, blah blah blah. But all you ever need to sign up for another Amazon account is an e-mail address and a warm body, so I'm pretty sure our digital nemesis will live to see another swindle.

      Delete
  20. That was disgusting in so many ways. Refunding for an e-book? American business is doomed with this kind of philosophy.

    Next time I watch a bad movie that I get from Netflix or see on TV I think I'll contact the movie company to have them reimburse me for the time I spent watching. I'll even keep my per hour wage quote low--say $50 per hour. Wow, a couple bad movies each day and I could make a living at that. And no doubt there are plenty of bad movies to keep me busy.

    This reminds me. I should take this Kirkland brand Iced Green Tea back for a refund at Costco. Actually Costco is pretty good about refunding money when you're not happy with a product. I hate taking things back, but my wife makes returns to stores fairly often.

    Funny stuff, but sorry about the ebooks. I won't do it again. I'd hate to see you guys not be able to eat.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You joke about that, but I've known people who would go pay to see a movie in a theater, and then complain afterwards to the manager that it was so truly godawful that they demanded their money back. And after enough yelling, the manager would usually comply just to get them to shut up.

      And we wonder why the movie theater charges $20 for popcorn.

      Delete
    2. I heard that this is acceptable in a movie theater. I think they'll usually give you a ticket for a different movie. I think you have to leave in the first 15 minutes or so though. But sometimes you don't know for sure if you've wasted your time until the end. Although for me I can usually tell in the first 15 minutes and being stubborn I'll just sit through it all to see if it gets better.

      I never buy popcorn at the movies. In fact one reason I don't like to go to the movies is that people eating popcorn out of their big old bucket is immensely annoying to me. If you wanna eat go to a restaurant and If you wanna watch a movie then watch the movie and don't be rattling and rummaging through food. Yeah, I'm like that.

      Lee
      An A to Z Co-Host
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
    3. Oh Arlee, I think that was the most crotchety thing I've ever heard you say. I love it. Please never change.

      You won't find me buying the popcorn either. The wife and I are big fans of smuggling meals in her purse. And by meals, I mean genuine meals. Each time is like a personal challenge - what can we bring and get away with eating?

      The current winner: a buffalo chicken sandwich with a side of pita bread and hummus, with cherry pie for dessert. This is all washed down with a rum and coke.

      (And mind you, we usually go to matinees that have been out for a while, so we're not bothering people with our four course dinners...)

      Delete
  21. I used to have a neighbor, long ago, who who buy an expensive dress, wear it once to a swanky party, and return it the next day. I couldn't fathom doing anything that devious, and I certainly wouldn't try to rerun an e-book (that I just speed-read). You should retaliate by sending a dozen pizzas to that address. (With anchovies.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, damn-- I was just joking about having been the culprit, but if you do take Bluzdude's advice and send anchovy pizzas then I am the guy. I love anchovy pizza! Why is it denigrated so?

      Lee
      An A to Z Co-Host
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
    2. Not only can we not afford to eat, but we have to send YOU pizza after ripping us off? Man, you're good at this con artist stuff, Arlee. We're in way over our heads.

      Also, Bluz, apparently many people are this devious, because I love going into a Halloween store and seeing "No returns accepted after October 31st."

      Delete
    3. The trick is finding a pizza place that won't bill you in advance, so that he has to pay when they show up.

      And I only mentioned anchovies because they taste like ass. (That's the technical term.)

      Delete
    4. ----- BLUZDUDE -----
      >>... I only mentioned anchovies because they taste like ass. (That's the technical term.)

      How would you know that?
      WAIT! ...Never mind. I don't wanna know after all.

      ----- 6-B -----
      I loved the story about you and your wife sneaking meals into the theatre (and making a game of it - "Food 4 Flicks"? "Meals 4 Movies"?) - it made me GOL.

      ----- BOIDMAN -----
      My philosophy about movies is this: You should give a movie up to 30 minutes before deciding whether or not to watch it to the end. If it's a well crafted screenplay, it should have a plot point that twists the story in an interesting direction BEFORE the 30 minute marker (ideally, within the first 25 to 27 minutes).

      So by giving it a full 30 minutes, you're allowing for the possibility that the writer was a bit late with a good plot point, but might still be able to pull it out and make the movie "go".

      If after 30 minutes you are not "into" the movie, you might as well cut your loses and save the time, because - in my own experience - I have NEVER found that a bad or boring movie gets so much better after the 30 minute mark that it was actually worth my time to watch. Not once.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    5. StMc-- I'm sure there an exception to this but considering I forget most movies the day after I've watched them I can't refute this. But overall you're probably right.

      There have been films that I disliked very much after the first viewing and then began to like much better with each successive viewing.

      Kind of like you were with "Jingle Bell Rock".

      Lee
      An A to Z Co-Host
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
  22. Not cool returning your books! Amazon needs to have a "you buy it, you keep it" policy in place to protect indie authors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kinda covers Amazon's ass on that one, too. I mean, I know they're making shitloads of money, but this still dings their profits... even just a little.

      Delete
  23. Oh man, oh wow. I can smell the pungent stenches all the way over here, put those nasty images away will you.
    That really is a painful e-kick in the e-dick, but hey, douchebags gonna douche. Still, really weird Amazon just allows things like that to happen. It's a fucking eBook, it cost you a single fucking dollar, why would you ever want to return that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it nice to know that I've used my improving art skills to contribute toward bodily fluids? I guess no one can really be all that surprised.

      And I guess that's what shocks us the most. These stories they refunded were 99 cents each. I don't think I've ever refunded anything under $5 in my life.

      Delete
  24. This is a great one guys! The BryGuy and Necro21 stuff was really funny and I just about rolled when I saw the "Denver Post."

    e-books cost so little I think people should keep them even if it's not the best thing they've ever read. It's called supporting creative writing. To my way of thinking that's a biggie. Without it we would not only have no books, it would be no movies, no TV, no blogs, etc.
    And it's not like people don't waste money in other ways when they shouldn't. I'm willing to bet the same people who returned e-books threw their aluminum cans in the trash.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We didn't even factor whether they liked it into this. I think it's best we not know. It's probably even more insulting if they loved our books and STILL asked for the refund... just because they were a cheap bastard.

      Delete
  25. The Landfill of Returned Merchandise. Now THAT is a great title for a song!

    I definitely agree that there are some things that you just should not be allowed to return once they have been purchased and consumed. You have certainly provided a highly disturbing illustration of that particular point.

    One option that I've found out about that I just can't imagine taking advantage of is this: You get a haircut, you decide you don't like that haircut, and you go back to the same salon that screwed it up in the first place so they can try to fix it for you. What if the damage is so bad that there's nothing you can do for you? Do they just hand you a lollipop and a big hat and say: "Whoops! Sorry about that! Better luck next time, eh?" Some people should REALLY never be allowed to wield a pair of shears, that's all I'm saying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *Nothing THEY can do for you*

      Delete
    2. Ooh! Story time. So one time I went to get a haircut and the usual girl wasn't there, so they had another girl do it. Everything was going absolutely great... until the very last moment. Without even asking, she just sheared off my sideburns. I mean, every last inch. I'm talking, she made me into this fucking nerd.

      http://0.tqn.com/d/menshair/1/0/C/J/-/-/sideburn-temples-no2.jpg

      You know, the adult who still wears velcro shoes and tells knock knock jokes and picks his nose. I was enraged.

      I couldn't even help it, I just blurted out "what the FUCK did you do?" and you could have heard a pin drop in the whole salon. I see this instant look of horror in her eyes. "I didn't ask you if you wanted them trimmed?" she asked sheepishly. "I thought I did, and you said yes."

      "No!" I said back, voice steadily rising. "I didn't tell you to cut them. Or trim them. Or even touch them. You think I want to look like a fucking retard?"*

      *Not something I'd usually say, but in the heat of having my precious sideburns ripped off of my face, I was pretty delusionally angry.

      As I said, she was mortified. Another girl overheard this and was just like, "Uh, so we're not gonna charge you for this, and we're all really sorry. This kind of thing doesn't usual happen."

      The first girl then awkwardly removed my hair-catcher-bib thing, I walked out without saying a word, and I never came back. And it's a good thing they told me not to pay, because I wouldn't have given her a dime after that. Can you tell I'm still bitter about it? Those things took MONTHS to come back in.

      The end.

      Delete
    3. I realize that didn't answer your question in the slightest, but that's what *I* did when some bitch cut off my sideburns and made me look like the rapist that still lives with his mother when he's 30.

      Delete
    4. No, I'm pretty sure you did answer the question. Apparently, when they screw up that badly, they give you the crappy haircut for free. Ugh! That is SO awful! I mean, the only fix for that is to Bic your entire head and wait for it all to grow back!

      Delete
    5. As a thin guy with pale skin that does not often see the sun, I don't think taking a Bic to my head would have been the proper solution. Not unless I wanted people to ask me what stage of cancer I was in.

      Delete
    6. Good point, sir. Very good point.

      Delete
  26. There are people who will return a Christmas tree Dec 26. They don't want to have to put it away... *sigh*

    There are other people who will walk into stores empty handed, grab something off the shelf and try to return it. That is outright theft.

    I don't know what is wrong with people. They just make it tougher for the rest of us. Like when we actually buy something that doesn't fit or work properly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't help that places like Wal-Mart enable this kind of behavior. Managers are just trained to hand over gift cards if customers yell loud enough, simply so they'll go away.

      I knew a girl who worked at Pizza Hut, and she told me about an old man who would order a supreme pizza, eat all of the sausage off in the parking lot, and then come back in to complain that he should get his money back. Eventually the girl recognized his name when he called to order, and showed the manager, here I am putting sausage on.

      Sure enough, he got the pizza, went out to the parking lot, ate all of the sausage, then came back in yelling. What did the manager do? Just gave him his refund anyway so he wouldn't make a scene.

      Yeah, because that solves the problem.

      Delete
  27. Hang on a minute. Of all of the offensive material in this post (all of which I found amusing), grandpa's PENIS got censored?

    Sorry about your e-books; that's low.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, simply because we don't want all of the ladies to get horned up off of grandpa's 13 inch fleshhammer. Don't let the diminutive stature fool you; grandpa was a stud before he lost his hair and started shitting himself daily.

      Delete
  28. FYI, hospitals have a strict no return policy on babies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The dumpster behind my house sure doesn't.

      Delete
  29. I can honestly say that I've never returned anything that I used and was finished with. If I buy something, I intend to keep it. Heck, I didn't even return Snow Crash and, if there was ever a book that deserved to be returned, that was it.
    So far, I haven't really had to deal with very many returns and, when they've happened, they've basically been right away. I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

    Note: You owe me an email. :P
    The first chapter is basically finished except for the part where I get it typed into my computer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prior to this we'd only had a few refunds as well, and all of them pretty quickly after purchase. This one just stung because it was so blatant.

      Also, I wrote you an e-mail but then I returned it for a refund because it was awful. Because almost all sentences started with conjunctions. Words were literally misused. And an abnormally, abundantly, and obnoxiously large amount of adverbs were continually EVERYWHERE.

      Delete
    2. Wait a minute! Should I get to be the one to return it for a refund? I feel somehow cheated.

      Delete
    3. No, no, you owe me for the $14.99 it would have cost to send that e-mail.*

      *This was the general estimate of how much it costs the web man to send the e-mail through the world wide internet.**

      **I learned technology from my grandma

      Delete
    4. No, no... those are tubes. And you just drop stuff in.
      And you, now, owe me $24.99 for not returning the email that you didn't send.
      See, that's how that works.

      Delete
    5. Ohhhhh... okay. Gotcha.

      I put $25 in the floppy drive slot and clicked Send on my Internet.com. Let me know if the money reaches you in 5-7 business days (I don't think the computer is open on weekends).

      Delete
    6. Okay, I'll let you know. Hopefully, it doesn't "get lost in the (e)mail."

      Delete
  30. Holy carp, Amazon; how do you expect poor starving writers to make a buck, or $.99. They certainly don't do much to take care of their sellers.

    I laughed and then went YIKES at some of your returns potential. Those people of Wal Mart will try anything, although I have to say you dressed them up pretty nicely. Glad to see you didn't visit the pharmacy where I'm sure someone would have brought in a defective condom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My first thought for a good gag was returning a used condom, but then Brandon did me one better and said "Why not the whole prostitute that comes with it?" Based on this quip alone, it was easy to see why we went with his idea.

      Delete
  31. Oh my gosh... pleeeeease let me unsee that last image... please...

    You guys. Kill me. Every time. No lie. You had me with the scurvy line...

    I never return things... just not my personality, I guess. Lazy? Never even returned any of the 12 waffle irons I got at my wedding... Figured we'd use them... eventually...

    I seriously am CRACKING up with the user names... Necro21? Wrong! Just wrong! But I'm laughing...

    Are you guys on twitter? I tried to look you up the other day because I bet you guys would have the funniest tweets. But no success... (Though now that I think about it, you've probably done a post mocking twitter!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You got 12 waffle irons? I didn't get a single waffle iron. Not sure if that means my friends suck for not getting me one or they're awesome for knowing better than to get me one.

      So this short, old post with our pre-historic cartoons probably explains everything you need to know about our thoughts regarding Twitter.

      http://www.abeerfortheshower.com/2011/11/tweetle-dee-and-tweetle-dum.html

      Also, we used to use our Twitter, but once we realized that 99% of tweets are the abridged equivalent of a crazy person shouting on a street corner to no one, we gave up and went back to Facebook.

      Evil, awful Facebook.

      Delete
  32. So. About those bloody tampons and shitty Depends that Walmart takes back... ever wonder what happens to all that stuff? It gets sold to Goodwill by the truckload for dirt cheap and Goodwill resells it in their stores. I worked at a Goodwill and know this to be true (shiver). Oh, the things I've seen...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean that underwear I bought at Goodwill was already used? Man, I feel so deceived. I should have known it was unlikely for the factory worker to drop all of that chocolate straight into the crotch like the seller* told me.

      *crazy homeless person who for some reason wasn't wearing underwear

      Delete
  33. Okay, a week is too much, and that's a terrible thing to do, exploiting the system like that but.. I mean, even though it was a douche move, sounds like it was a big fan. Silver linings!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I sure hope it was a fan. In pondering it over, I really don't know what's worse...

      "I didn't like your books, so you don't even get to keep the sale. Fuck you."

      or

      "I loved it. This was brilliant. But I'm a cheap bastard, so instead of supporting you I'm going to take my money back. Because fuck you."

      Delete
  34. I'm broke so I can't buy any books until I have a job. So what do I do? I don't buy any books until I have a job. Being broke does not mean you need to be a cheap jerk who takes advantage of whatever possible. Totally the same person who asks for extra lemons for their water and makes lemonade or gets a month-free trial on Netflix and just clears the cookies and creates a new email address.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People do that? The lemonade thing? I feel like at that point, you should give them a very stern glance and say with utmost seriousness, "Hey, buddy, come on. Lemons don't grow on trees." Then just stare at them awkwardly for a few seconds before walking briskly away.

      Plus, let's be honest, you know someone that cheap isn't going to tip you anyway.

      Delete
    2. Not only do they do that but people also bring in those Koolaid singles and mix it with water. With the lemonade people I would make sure I refilled their glass but never brought more lemons and with the Koolaid makers, I would walk up with a pitcher and be like "Would you like some more water? Oh gosh I'm sorry! I forgot you ordered something else." And state until they were uncomfortable.

      Delete
  35. I haven't read the whole feed, but has anyone mentioned the elephant (or the cotton pony, rather) in the room? Isn't it likely that the de-funder read this today? Do any of the comments stand out as being suspiciously TOO appalled?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, from some of the comments, I can say this. Whether they read it or not, we're really not mad. We're just curious whether they liked it or not. Like, was it a case of "man, I loved these books, I just can't afford them" or was it a case of "I fucking hated these guys. They aren't getting my money. I'm refunding that shit."

      Delete
    2. "Cotton pony" *Snerk. I hadn't thought about that, but today may have still been the wrong day to start commenting. Trust me, I am just as appalled as the rest of you. (I hope this doesn't make me look worse, because I really did not do it.)

      Delete
  36. The more popular you are the more of these you get to. Amazon needs to cut the time limit back to 24 hours at best

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least when we're eventually best sellers we'll have all those other sales to make up for it and the refunds won't be so much of a ding.

      Delete
  37. Um.....seeing you guys are already used to being ripped off, I'm going to steal the name, McDONGLES, and use it when I start up my own sex-for-hire business.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least make sure you use the logo. I spent some time thinking of that carefully crafted gem.

      Delete
  38. That's a really shitty thing to do and I can't believe that a) someone thought of it and b) followed through with it.

    I once bought the ink cartridge that was listed in my printer manual, then once I got it home, opened it up and tried to cram it in, I realized it was the wrong one. I wrapped it up as nice as possible (complete with putting the "so it doesn't dry out" sticky back on) and returned it. I lied when they'd asked if I opened it. I felt wronged. Misled. I didn't want to pay $40 for the manufacturers mistake. Sorry Lexmark.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's okay, it's actually not your fault in that case. I will say, though, if he hasn't already, I bet that printer manual writer is going to get his ass fired. Hard.

      Delete
  39. What the fuck? What a douchebag. Why ebooks are allowed to be returned is beyond me. It's basically theft, no?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, theft is such a sketchy term with this creative stuff. According to the magnificent RIAA, even someone sharing our books is theft (to which we say fuck that, share away).

      For us, it's not so much theft, it's more along the lines of "please don't promise us money if you just wanted to read this for free in the first place."

      Delete
  40. It's pretty disgusting to have eaten all those hamburgers, only to return them. Other then your books, the rest of the returns were perfectly understandable. Sorry that idiot didn't appreciate your gift for storytelling.

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yeah, I felt pretty justified in my return, but Mr. Swagnificent is really hard to work with. I don't know how his ho puts up with him. He seems like a very unreasonable employer.

      Delete
  41. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeesus as if people do this! Can you imagine how stressful it must have been cramming them all into a week, "No love, I'm not coming to bed, I've got to finish this book before midnight so I can return it."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, seriously.

      Wife: "Really, honey? We haven't had sex in weeks."
      Husband: "I know, but I really want my 99 cents back."

      Delete
  42. I am so lazy I don't even return things that should be returned. I just give them away

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? Isn't re-gifting the natural solution to getting something you didn't want?

      Delete
  43. Waitwhat? You can return books? What kind of crap is that? Can I return songs too? I get tired of songs after a week or two, so, I should be able to return them for a full refund.

    Is the "thug life" sweater vest available in all sizes? I'd need a women's small. I roll pretty deep and I think that's a great way to prove it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks, Elsie, you just made me extra sad. From Amazon's MP3 store FAQs:

      2.4 All Sales Final. All sales of Music Content are final and risk of loss transfers upon sale. We do not accept returns of Music Content. We have no liability for Music Content you find to be offensive, indecent or objectionable.

      Nice to know all sales are final on MP3s even if you morally object them but if you download an e-book you can return that shit as you please. WTF?

      And if you want that "Thug Life" sweater, ask Bill Cosby. I got mine from him.

      Delete
    2. So, although I was kidding about the music, because, well, I didn't think you could return it - then again, I didn't think you could return a book either - I'm totally shocked they have this clause for music and not for books. Um, hello, that's stupid! Shouldn't they have equal policies?

      Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm headed over to the Jell-O site to grab Bill's sweater.

      Delete
  44. I just have to say: SERIOUSLY?!

    Learn to live within your means, people. If you can't afford e-books, then don't dash an author's hope!

    -Barb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And if you can't afford 99 cents, then go get a damn job! It's not like these are $30 hardbacks that people are buying from us.

      Delete
  45. Aren't most of your books pretty modestly priced?

    Is someone really spending the time to return a $2.99 e book? Let me know what steam vent they live on so I can send them some change...

    It is not uncommon for me to find two quantities of a CD in my Amazon cart-it seems if you go backwards with the browser button sometimes the site puts more than one in your cart.

    If I do not catch it before I check out, I get two, and Amazon charges a restocking fee to return it.

    Amazon needs some kind of return fee on an eBook (or a shorter return window)...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a fan of the shorter return window. We all make mistakes. And 24 hours is a very reasonable time to figure that out.

      Oh, and that price is a whopping 99 cents. It's the lowest possible price you can set, and apparently this person needed 99 cents more than we do. So be sure and throw a quarter in his cup when you see him on the street.

      Delete
  46. I can't believe people return ebooks! That's the most ridiculous thing ever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People have no shame. My wife would probably call me one of the most frugal people she knows, and even still I can ask, "Who the hell would return a 99 cent eBook?"

      Delete
  47. I've clicked accidentally on a book but immediately (like panicking and short-of-breath immediately) removed/returned it. Heck, if I knew I could return all the crap I didn't like, I'd be rich with how many garbage books I've downloaded over the past few years. And if I'm stupid enough to buy a book I don't like, then I probably don't deserve my own money back.

    Considering how quickly some people read, Amazon needs to adjust its ebook return policy. It's not as if they have to factor in mailing time.

    I can't decide which part of your post I like the most, so I'm going to ditto pretty much what everyone else said and be seen as a sycophant if that's what it takes. I can live with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The worst part is they may not have even returned it because they disliked it. Many people do this with any kind of book just because it's a free loophole. So it's like, "Hey, I just read your book. And it was awesome. But I wanted my money back, so I'm gonna take that back."

      Then they metaphorically punch you in the stomach and rob you.

      Capitalism, everyone.

      Delete
  48. I did not know you can return ebooks and you have a whole week? I am a fast reader....free books here I come!
    Maybe the system should be changed to what the google app store is doing, you can return apps but only after 15 minutes of purchase.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess it's still better than Wal-Mart, where I watched a very angry lady return a toaster that she bought there 10 years ago. Yeah, that's right.

      Delete
  49. That truly sucks. They must be people without a conscience. It's sad in today's times how writers have to watch out to make sure they're not getting poor reviews based on some stupid ass person, ripped off by frivolous refunds, and have their writings posted on the internet. It's a shame. Sorry you guys had some cheap ass shit do that to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's okay, Denise, we forgive you and your guilty conscience. We're just glad you decided to come clean.

      (Kidding)

      Delete
  50. So funny.

    So gross, at the end, but SO funny. I imagine it was a slow news day when they decided to headline the failure of another small business.

    I not only didn't return anything I shouldn't have, but I actually paid $5 MORE for a balloon than I should have. It was the day after Valentine's day, and I was at Walgreen's, where the Valentine's aisle said "Everything 50% off." Mr F, fun kid that he is, wanted to get a mylar balloon that plays "You're The One That I Want" from Grease and is also a balloon, which I was surprised was even still available, and that made me sad because some unlucky girl COULD HAVE been surprised/romanced via a staticky rendition of the chorus from a 50-year-old musical, but obviously HAD NOT. That poor girl, who was clearly not the one that someone wanted (woo hoo hoo).

    Anyway, we went to pay for the balloon and it came up at $11. I was therefore faced with these issues:

    1. Is it possible the balloon was originally $22? That seems outrageous, but, then, I have no idea what kind of licensing fees one pays to get John Travolta singing inside Mylar.

    2. Had the cashier rung it up incorrectly? These are all done by computers, and computers can't be wrong, can they? Or, if they ARE wrong, they are wrong in the creepy "I can't let you do that, Dave," kind of way, and not just overcharging people. All this talk about the rise of the robots and how they're going to get us is overcharging us for leftover Valentine's? WHATEVER, artificial intelligence, we already do that to each other.

    I paid the $11, and then went out to the car and told Sweetie about it, and she said I should have insisted that I pay only $5.50 for the balloon.

    Am I the kind of person who haggles about the price of a balloon in Walgreens? Apparently not.

    What I'm saying is, you could probably just send me a bill for your books and even if I didn't buy them and couldn't read them and in fact was allergic to them, I would just quietly pay the price and then leave some passive-aggressive comment on someone else's blog about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Am I the kind of person who haggles about the price of a balloon in Walgreens? Apparently not.

      I once stood in line at the grocery store as a little old Asian woman tried to haggle with the cashier over the cost of a bouquet of flowers she wanted to buy. The cashier was so frustrated, because she was trying to insist that she doesn't control the prices, but the old woman wasn't having it. She seemed to think this poor cashier was just trying to screw her over. Eventually the old woman got frustrated and said never mind.

      The cashier asked, "So you gonna buy these or not?"

      The old woman said no, and marched out angrily.

      The cost of the bouquet? 9.99. The old woman's demand that she walked out over? 8.99.

      Delete
  51. You've got to be fucking kidding me. Return an e-book? What, did Amazon become a fucking library? (I know prime members can borrow books but it's one at a time and you gotta return it if you want another and it's only select books). Excuse my language but this infuriates me. I mean, fancy dresses, the kind you'd only wear once, aren't returnable, even to the shoddiest of stores, unless the label is still on them. They know people will wear them to say PROM and then just bring it back. Free dress rental.
    What they did to you (and apparently countless other e-book writers) is totally fuck you over. Do they not understand that people will read the book (eat the Big Mac, shit in the depends, use the tampon, etc. -hysterical examples, btw, I should know better than to try to eat lunch and read your blog but I did manage to dislodge the pizza from my windpipe, thanks for asking.) then return it? As in STEAL IT.
    My friend just had a run in with one of Amazon's vendors and it took THIRTEEN emails, four chat sessions, and the supervisor's supervisor to straighten the mess out (I'll spare you the details but she'd ordered a queen sized comforter, they sent king. You'd think that would be an easy mistake to fix but NO, she's had to go an appeal process which will take two weeks. Because they screwed up.) She has vowed never to buy from Amazon again and is telling everyone and so am I.
    I will admit though that even though I now know how much more they suck, I don't think I'm ready to let go of my security blanket yet...for a busy writer-mom-of-teenagers-who-never-has-time-to-go-shopping they are damn convenient. Damn them.
    I do know two people who work for them, at headquarters in Seattle and I'm going to let them have an earful about this.
    I did think of another example you could have used, and maybe you could file it away for another use but imagine this. I get a Ten-Fidy, drink it, take my glass to the bathroom, pee in the glass, and return the beer to the bar. I don't like it. It tastes like Coors Light...

    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
    Co-hosting the IWSG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zing, take that, Coors Light! Don't fuck with Tina!

      Neither of us are going to kick Amazon out of bed either, for books or for buying stuff, but we both know that they're not really going to do anything about this. We wrote to Amazon and they just sent us a generic form letter about how they appreciate our concern and don't advocate fraud and blah blah blah we care, but not enough to actually do much about it. But thanks for making all those book sales for us, bro. Helps keep us in business, ya know.

      Delete
  52. WOW guys, I don't even know where to start with this one. Honestly, didn't know you could return an e-book. Not that I ever would return one. When I purchase books it's always with the intent to just read and relax and enjoy them. If the book is not to my liking, no big. I move on to another. But the thought would never even cross my mind to think of returning it... that's just messed up.

    The cartoons in this were just brilliant. I especially liked the headline of "Local Moron Shanked by Mexican Wife ..." Too funny.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Well, in all fairness, I'm pretty sure that's what'd happen if I A) cheated on her and B) PAID with our money to cheat on her.

      Delete
  53. In all seriousness, Nordstrom's has a nasty policy like that, in which you can return an item, no matter what the condition may be. To top it off, not only do they refund the money to the customer, they take the commission away from the seller.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awful. That sounds like what they're doing to us, except our book commission is probably a lot less than the commission someone's losing on a $50 pair of shoes. Ouch.

      Delete
  54. So, ummm...What if I just buy your books but don't read them but don't demand money back? Would I get a refund simply because I'm a nice guy and you want to do the right thing? Or do I have to go gangta on yo ass and steal your cartoons and and write bad reviews?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now why would you do something ridiculous like buy our books and then never read them? That's like buying a 12 pack of delicious beer and then never drinking it. That's your loss, bud, not ours. :)

      Delete
  55. WTF? Tampons? I can't believe you went there! I'm still laughing like a school kid that just looked up fart in the dictionary. Oh how you you play to a man's funny side!
    I once bought a 30 pack of Hamms. I thought people might come over during the holidays and I didn't want them drinking my good beer. No one came over and I couldn't return it! Once I finished I went right to the hospital and asked to be put on the donated kidney list just in case!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hamm's - its contents may be questionable, and it's certainly pisswater, but it still beats Coors Light.

      Delete
  56. Damn I did not know about the ebook refund arrangement. No wonder I'm not getting any royalties!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Now that is just plan rude. Many years of working in retail has shown me that there are some strange people in this world. You may be joking about those walmart shoppers but my friend had a lady try and return ice cream - she claimed it made her sick. She asked for the refund by shoving a jar full of her own vomit and ice cream in my friend's face. Strange people. Also, if you've read over one third of the book you shouldn't return it. Well, that's my view. Good luck with the publishing and selling. You guys are awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least she had the vomit as proof. I need to remember that next time I eat Chipotle and shit myself so I can get a proper refund. "Sir, if you'll please note the blood in my underwear..."

      (Also, thank you. You rock)

      Delete
  58. Amazon is lax on their return policies for just about everything, I've noticed! Even in the old days, though, you could buy a book from a bricks-and-mortar store and return it after reading it...as long as it was in tip-top shape, they'd take it back. Why don't these people just use the library?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unless it was a book that had been in the bathroom. No returns on those.

      Delete
  59. I don't even have anything funny to say. Just burning rage. That sucks. You should go buy a beer to make yourself feel better then ask for a refund on it when just that piss water is left at the end.

    ReplyDelete