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Archived Author Help > The difficulty of fixing problems at Amazon

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message 1: by Ken (last edited Jun 13, 2016 09:27AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Wow! It's like pulling teeth. Here is my recent exchange with Amazon concerning the problem of updating a book to the latest version. I don't think it's hard to understand, but they keep either misunderstanding, or saying it can't be fixed. Any suggestions?

"This is the 4th time I've reported this problem, and either no solution is offered, or the wrong solution is offered.

Here's my earlier request: "Amazon.com is displaying the wrong hardcover version of my book, "To Summon The Blackbird." This is the correct page to display when a customer pulls up the hardcover format of my book: https://www.amazon.com/Summon-Blackbi...

This is the page of an obsolete version that is currently displaying on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Summon-Blackbi...

This old version has no sold or printed copies and is not available either new or used. Continuing to display it is a disservice to both me and to any customer who tries to order it. I have tried to resolve it, but so far I'm getting nowhere.

Amazon.UK, Amazon.CA, Amazon.FR, and all other foreign Amazon sites have already updated to this version. What do I need to do to get the proper book displayed?"

This was the response: "I've updated the cover of "to Summon The Blackbird", ISBN-10: 1312919469 as requested to show the same cover as the other two editions.. These changes will appear online in 3-5 days.

Thank you for contacting Author Central and I hope you have a beautiful day!

We'd appreciate your feedback. Please use the links below to tell us about your experience today.

Best regards,
Tracy K"

My response: "This is an incorrect solution. It isn't the cover that's wrong; it's the wrong book. ISBN 978-1329377660 is the update for this book. ISBN 1312919469 has been discontinued and is no longer available. ISBN 978-1329377660 should be the book that appears when the customer clicks on "hardcover." The prices of these two books are also different. ISBN 978-1329377660 carries the correct price. Please don't change the cover; just change the display so that the more recent one shows. Thanks."

Yikes. The biggest problem in communicating with them is that there is no possibility of a two-way here; you always have to start over after you get a bad response. That might be part of the reason that they can't seem to grasp the problem.


message 2: by Joe (new)

Joe Jackson (shoelessauthor) When I released my third book, I had to contact them to add it to my series. At first, they deleted the series page altogether, but they got it fixed in about 4 days total. They're definitely very hit-or-miss on getting things fixed and in a timely manner. I guess I've been lucky both times I've had to deal with them.

Good luck.


message 3: by P.D. (new)

P.D. Workman (pdworkman) In my experience, companies (Goodreads, Createspace, Amazon) will not delete a book just because it is not available. Even if you've never printed or sold any. If an ISBN number has been assigned, they live forever. They just won't be available for customers to order.


message 4: by Ken (last edited Jun 13, 2016 09:40AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) P.D. wrote: "In my experience, companies (Goodreads, Createspace, Amazon) will not delete a book just because it is not available. Even if you've never printed or sold any. If an ISBN number has been assigned, ..."

The difference here is that while Amazon.UK and other non-Amazon.com sites (including Barnes & Noble) display the correct version, Amazon.com displays the old version. You can pull the correct one up if you know how to do it, but I'm pretty sure most people don't know how. And even if they do, they'll see the cheaper price of the old book and order that instead. When they can't get it, they will likely get ticked off and order something else entirely. It seems to be in the best interest of even Amazon to get this fixed, but it seems impossible to get them to understand it. On the other hand, I'm not likely to sell any hardcovers, anyway, so it's not an earth-shattering mistake, but I would like for it to be correct.


message 5: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Ah, they fixed it. Fourth time was the charm.


message 6: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Gienapp | 45 comments glad you finally got it done, Ken.
I had a similar nightmare going back and forth between IngramSpark and CreateSpace.. where neither of them seemed to be able to understand what I wanted to do (and both of their sites made it clear that I SHOULD have been able to do what I wanted to do).. and then finally, after more than two weeks, it just 'happened'.

who knew you had to have a degree in persistence, in order to publish??!!


message 7: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments Ken wrote: "Ah, they fixed it. Fourth time was the charm."

My experience with Amazon/KDP customer support has been mixed. Anything that falls outside the basic issues will typically get you a scripted answer that doesn't address the problem.

What I've found to work, in these situations, is to mark the e-mail "not helpful" from the feedback link in the message, and then request that the issue be escalated. That will typically get you someone at the manager level who can fix the problem.


message 8: by J.D. (last edited Jun 14, 2016 07:27AM) (new)

J.D. Cunegan (jdcunegan) | 240 comments I can't help but wonder if I'm the only one who's never had an issue contacting Amazon about issues with my book listings or pages, lol. Maybe I just luck out and get the good reps when I submit an inquiry.


message 9: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Cunegan (jdcunegan) | 240 comments Ha, I do not.


message 10: by Owen (last edited Jun 14, 2016 01:13PM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Glad you got it fixed. I've only had a problem like that once and I did the same thing Ken mentions: marked the response "unhelpful" and replied that my emails were not being read and/or understood. I requested they give my query to a person who would read the entire email and respond appropriately. Got a nice email back promptly and the problem fixed within a day.


message 11: by Ken (last edited Jun 14, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) The funniest one I ever encountered was when I tried as a customer, not an author, to report a bunch of books by well-known authors being republished by one person claiming to be the author. The plagiarizer even published her own Stephen King books. They kept asking me if I was looking to buy a Stephen King book. I finally said to one, "Did you read the actual complaint." He said, "No," paused for a moment to read it, and then bumped me up to the next level. I think the first ones I talked to didn't know what "plagiarize" meant.


message 12: by Alan (new)

Alan Ford | 2 comments Hello J Riley
Heaven's above! And I thought I was the only one. In dealing with them may I also suggest keeping a bucket of suicide pills handy. Oh, and a very sharp axe. If you're really techno savvy I also suggest sending them a death ray. If none of this works try swallowing some of Jeffrey Archer's books. At least you will be able to throw up.


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