Thursday, November 10, 2022

Amazon's Catch 22

The email from Amazon/KDP telling me that they had terminated my account said:

We are terminating your account effective immediately because you have multiple accounts, which is a violation of our Terms and Conditions. Also, this account is related to an account that was terminated due to violations of our Content Guidelines.

As part of the termination process:
• We will close your account
• You're no longer eligible to receive any outstanding royalties
• You'll no longer have access to your accounts. This includes, editing your titles, viewing your reports and accessing any other information within your account
• All of your published titles will be removed from sale on Amazon

Additionally, as per our Terms and Conditions, you aren't allowed to open any new KDP accounts.

You can find our Terms and Conditions, here:

(bolding mine)

I cannot find the terms and conditions there. When I go to it says:

 a link to all rules and policies for participating in the Program provided on the KDP website at and ("Program Policies");

When I click on it takes me to a page that wants me to sign in. When I click on the sign in button, it takes me to a page which says "This account has been closed" and contains no information on terms and conditions.

As best I can tell, KDP terminated my account with the claim that I had violated their terms and conditions and once my account is terminated I can no longer see what those terms and conditions are.

Which I think justifies the title of this post.


Anonymous said...

Worked on my phone without a login. Takes me to

Anonymous said...

Seems to me .... a fair justice system would include loser pays; and this inability to download the rules they claim you violated, or to provide any data related to the alleged violations, is perjury to my mind; an official misrepresentation, a clear inconsistency, I don't know what lawyers would call it.

But that doesn't help in the real world.

David Friedman said...

Anonymous: I can't connect to that site, probably because it is in Europe and I'm not.

Joey said...

Just to make sure: have you tried accessing it in incognito mode? It might be that it refuses to show it to you while you're logged in, but will show it to non-logged-in users. I tested in incognito mode just now and got the file just fine.

Mike said...

I was able to access and I put the contents in a pastebin. You should be able to view that.

David Friedman said...

Thanks. That worked. I am emailing back to KDP:

The relevant passages (5.4.8) are:

• If we terminate this Agreement because you have breached your representations and warranties or our Content Guidelines, you forfeit all Royalties not yet paid to you.

I have not breached my representations and warranties or your content guidelines. You have not even claimed that I have done so — your claim, I think false, is that I had multiple accounts, not that my books had some content you objected to. Further, you have refused to provide any information supporting the claim you have made. You have not even told me what terminated account you claim mine was "related to" or what "related to" means. Unlike the later passage this is not "at our sole discretion."

• If we determine in our sole discretion that deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity has occurred with respect to your Books or your Program account, then we may permanently withhold payments to you, and we may offset any payments previously paid against future payments or require you to remit them to us. We will use these funds to offset the costs of Amazon’s enforcement efforts and/or to compensate third parties harmed by deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal conduct.

This one is at your sole discretion. But, as your emails to me make clear, you are not claiming that deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity has occurred with respect to my books or account, so it is irrelevant.

I believe, therefor, that if you are withholding royalty payments from copies of my books that you sold you are in violation of your contractual obligations.
Terminating my account they can do at any time. It is stupid but not in violation of their contract.

David Friedman said...

Amazon has now restored my account, apparently because the wife of someone who reads this blog, who has an Amazon connection, intervened on my behalf. It looks as though they have now paid me the money for books sold before the termination — at least I got a bunch of payments from Amazon, one each for each country the books are sold in, a day or two ago.