Thursday, January 31, 2019

Lies, lies, lies

Amazon is telling a LOT of lies today. I received this transcript of a conversation today from a reader.
CUSTOMER: I wanted to buy the kindle version of the book Jordanetics by Vox Day. Yesterday I saw it in your site, today I cannot find it anymore. Can you find out what happened and maybe send me the correct link to buy it.

AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE:  I have gone through your query. Let me check on it.

AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE: I have checked with my leadership team and the Kindle version is removed due to some missing content. No worries, it will be back with in 4-6 hours. And then you can order it.

CUSTOMER: what missing content, was there a technical fault? I know somebody who has it, and he said he got it a few weeks ago from you. He did not say anything about a problem..

AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE: The publisher has removed to update the content.

CUSTOMER: And the publisher told you the update would be finished a few hours from now?

AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE: Nope, but the updates are always done with in 4-6 hours. So it will be available soon.
I've been receiving a number of these exchanges today. Be sure to use the customer service chat so you can catch them lying on the record. Go ahead and email them to us, these exchanges could prove useful if Amazon is inclined to get defensive and stonewall instead of simply rectifying the situation.

Just for the record, the publisher did not remove Jordanetics to update the content.

UPDATE: I'm noticing a certain theme here:
CUSTOMER: I wanted to buy the Kindle version of "The Last Closet" by Moira Greyland, but found that it is no longer available on Amazon. Why was it removed and how can I purchase the e-book?

AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE: : Hello, my name is Mary. I'm here to help you today.

AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE: I'm sorry to read that "The Last Closet" is not longer available on its Kindle Edition.

AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE: This is something that we cannot control to be honest with you, it depends on the publisher. We do have an option for you to request the publisher to have this book available for kindle :)
To be honest? Really, Amazon?

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Blogger Nate73 January 31, 2019 2:55 PM  

I still have Jordanetics on my desktop in the "Kindle Cloud Reader", so at least they haven't deleted it from people that bought it already. I'm afraid to click on the Update button since clicking the link to the kindle book itself says it doesn't exist.

Blogger Rigel Kent January 31, 2019 2:56 PM  

I have Kindle Unlimited and Corrosion is one of my borrows and I can still access it to read, but if I try to get to the books page I get an error message. Don't know what that means, if anything, but thought I'd pass it along.

Blogger Warunicorn January 31, 2019 2:57 PM  

They're going to have to do a lot to get my confidence back, if ever. I can't wait to find out who started all this bullsh*t.

Blogger Wraithburn January 31, 2019 3:01 PM  

Are the Amazon payments to Castalia House broken down based upon products? A payment with line items for Kindle books would prove Castalia House existed previously.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 31, 2019 3:05 PM  

This is what happens when you hire Hindoos to do your tech support.

Blogger Markku January 31, 2019 3:06 PM  

No, they are not. That's the most immediate problem. They have made a lump sum payment to us for which they have removed our ability to tell what author should get what royalties. That forces our hand in dealing with this as rapidly and aggressively as possible. I'm sure you can see our legal predicament here.

Blogger SciVo January 31, 2019 3:07 PM  

More evidence, if any were necessary, that SJWs have exactly as much concern for their employer's well-being as the Bug in MiB had for Edgar.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 31, 2019 3:08 PM  

My reviews are still there, for books that no longer exist.

Blogger Barbarossa January 31, 2019 3:12 PM  

@7 And that raises a really interesting question. We speak of an entity like Amazon or Microsoft as if they were monoliths, but nothing that large can be. Is this an officially sanctioned decision taken after consulting with the firm's legal staff? Or is it rogue SJW employees deciding to enforce their own literary code of standards, knowing their higher ups don't have the spine to tell them to back down?

Blogger Russell Newquist January 31, 2019 3:25 PM  

AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE: Nope, but the updates are always done with in 4-6 hours. So it will be available soon.

What is this bullshit? As another publisher, I can tell you that updates most assuredly are NOT always done within 4-6 hours. Updates that should be nearly instant can take weeks sometimes.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 31, 2019 3:31 PM  

Russell Newquist wrote:Updates that should be nearly instant can take weeks sometimes.
Support contractors are paid (per call) x (customer satisfaction). Their major incentive is to get you off the phone and not angry. When you contract out your customer support to India, this is what you get. This sort of evasive, deliberate lie is endemic to Indian culture.
have you ever noticed how aggressive and dismissive Indians get when things get hot? This is why. They expect this sort of response,a nd will not accept that answer, because they know it's a lie.
Indians are amazed that Americans and Europeans will actually accept it and wait a week before calling back.

Blogger PragmaticTroll January 31, 2019 3:31 PM  

This is why I'm still waiting on the hardback copy of On War... to read by candlelight when China EMPs the United States.

Blogger James Dixon January 31, 2019 3:33 PM  

I'll forward the full email I quoted to Markku to you Vox. As you say, it should prove useful.

Blogger DJT January 31, 2019 3:33 PM  

Amazon is garbage. I have to deal with them and their systems at my workplace, and without fail it's always a bad experience.

I hope this means the books will be back online soon though. But that's probably a lie as well.

Blogger daeth January 31, 2019 3:34 PM  

Sadly my browser crashed and I didn't get my transcript as I was waiting for the third customer service person, supposedly a manager named Alit, to read my "prior correspondence". I was told repeatedly that I could trust Amazon because they were not the ones that removed the book, but the publisher had. They claimed they couldn't access the link to the Castalia house blog that I posted, so I told them that they removed the books and I didn't know if I could trust them to not remove the books from my account. I didn't get offered any credits.

Blogger Russell Newquist January 31, 2019 3:35 PM  


That's an interesting cultural commentary on it. I've always used e-mail support for the convenience factor, but I think you've just given me the incentive to use phone support from here on out.

Blogger Shadowfax January 31, 2019 3:36 PM  

I just contacted about MAGA mindset; it would have been the next book I would have bought. I think the woman answered in good faith that she can't find out that it has ever been for sale as an e-book on amazon. The problem was: I'm not really 100% sure this particular book was available before. I told them I'd check with the publisher.
So: was it? If yes, I can do part 2. What 'publisher's answer' should I give them? Or is German amazon not worth the trouble? As I can't get kindle-books from, my going there will make little sense.

Blogger Ken Prescott January 31, 2019 3:38 PM  

If China EMPs the US, the US will exterminate the Chinese. That's because the only difference in death toll between a full strategic laydown and an EMP is that the EMP death toll will be substantially greater.

Blogger Gregory the Tall January 31, 2019 3:39 PM  

you can tell them it is agift for a US friend

Blogger Markku January 31, 2019 3:40 PM  

I can't remember right now whether we published the Kindle version of MAGA Mindset too, or if this was just one of those hardcopy deals. Vox will know because if we did, he will have the original file. But hold your horses until he sees this.

Blogger daeth January 31, 2019 3:43 PM  

I believe you did. I had purchased it from Amazon, and its product page is currently missing as well.

Blogger Shadowfax January 31, 2019 3:45 PM  

Gregory the Great wrote:you can tell them it is agift for a US friend

How does that work? In my experience, it's impossible to gift kindle content to someone else; only solution seems to be gift vouchers.

Will gladly do this if I know how.

Blogger Markku January 31, 2019 3:45 PM  

Ok, that combination means that yes, we published it, and it got disappeared.

Blogger Out of Nod January 31, 2019 3:47 PM  

I second MAGA Mindset - just verified it in my Kindle app

Blogger Gregory the Tall January 31, 2019 3:48 PM  

well then you could say okay I will send my friend a voucher, but first I need to know if the ebook is available.

Blogger Gregory the Tall January 31, 2019 3:49 PM  

get Owen Benjamin to sing Los Desaparecidos by Victor Jara with a Castalia theme.

Blogger S. Thermite January 31, 2019 3:51 PM  

I have a copy of MAGA Mindset in my Kindle library and downloaded from the cloud to the Kindle app on my phone this morning.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 31, 2019 3:54 PM  

Mike came through.

Blogger  Trust Ted get misled. Gamma secret kings reddit January 31, 2019 3:59 PM  

I'm done with any Amazon shopping -

The post following post is CH being removed from Amazon? Who are these people, its outright deception and I hope tonights DS will include updates as Amazon promised!

If its going on 4pm east coast, wouldn't the content or ITEMS FOR SALE be purchasable soon today?

10 Amazon is "pulling a Roosh", pulling his book a while back now this. What else as of today was pulled for updating, who else. I want to know.

Searched "Amazon Jordanetics" and page not found. 3;58pm.

Blogger Shadowfax January 31, 2019 4:05 PM  

Ok: so MAGA mindset was available, good to know.

I'll wait whether any recommendations about 'what the publisher answered' come overnight. (I'm in Germany, it's 10 pm.)

If there's any value to it, will continue tomorrow.

Blogger Markku January 31, 2019 4:07 PM  

Once again, this only affects Kindle Direct Publishing. All the hardcopies are currently available because they are a different branch of the Amazon company. You do not see the Kindle edition among the editions of MAGA Mindset.

Blogger  Trust Ted get misled. Gamma secret kings reddit January 31, 2019 4:09 PM  

OT: Youtube can't be next.

OT: IIRC very recently someone mentioned they placed the book in JP's possession.

Blogger maniacprovost January 31, 2019 4:10 PM  

OT: liberal cities block construction of day cares and 3 bedroom housing, fertility drops

Blogger Balkan Yankee January 31, 2019 4:12 PM  

FYI: Just did a quick check of my Kindle Reader. All purchased Castalia House and Arkhaven publications are present and accounted for. If this changes, I will let you know.

Additional FYI: I am not on Kindle Unlimited. And never have been. (Still prefer to read books in hard copy for some odd reason.)

Blogger Jeroth January 31, 2019 4:13 PM  

I'm interested to see how this plays out for someone who fights with VD's tenacity.

Blogger Markku January 31, 2019 4:16 PM  

Still actively refreshing the mailbox. Still no reply. Not even a "we're dealing with it, and will get back to your later" such that I always receive. I've dealt with dozens of Amazon communications, and they always do that if it's going to take time.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch January 31, 2019 4:17 PM  

IF this is corporate aggression, then I expect more censorship very soon. This stuff happens in clusters.

Blogger Rocklea Marina January 31, 2019 4:20 PM  

I had purchased Ship of Fools when it came out. I rarely download to mobile as I have a kindle. I just successfully downloaded to mobile. They have the files still.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 31, 2019 4:22 PM  

Why nothing on the facebook or twitter pages?

Blogger Balkan Yankee January 31, 2019 4:25 PM  

@37: They may be shit testing Vox to determine ease or difficulty of doing the same to other bad think authors and publishers - namely to those who do not have Vox's capability to hit back as quickly or as hard.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 31, 2019 4:26 PM  

checking of gab to see if there's any buzz.
My God, what a piece of shit their website is.

Blogger Balkan Yankee January 31, 2019 4:28 PM  

And of course, no sooner do I post than this hits my inbox: "Amazon Reports Third Record Profit in a Row"

Do Tell!

"Amazon reported its third record profit in a row, capitalizing on a strong holiday retail season and its growing, high-margin businesses like cloud computing and advertising."

"The Seattle-based company reported a profit of $3.03 billion, or $6.04 per share, up from $1.86 billion, or $3.75 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue grew 20% to $72.38 billion."

Blogger Shadowfax January 31, 2019 4:29 PM  

Jeroth wrote:I'm interested to see how this plays out for someone who fights with VD's tenacity.

I'm hoping for an earthquake here. If I can contribute in the smallest way to a slight tremble on the sidelines, I'll gladly do so.

Blogger Balam January 31, 2019 4:38 PM  

Die Amazon die. I know Vox said don't feed the beast (ie don't use Amazon if I disapprove of them) but it wasn't until this incident that I have seriously started to take steps towards it. Managing many accounts over several websites, or shopping at a local place, will simply have to be the new status quo. I mean, the previous generations managed it. Who knows, maybe the proceeds and manpower from suing Indiegogo will go into extorting even more from Amazon.

Blogger Jack Ward January 31, 2019 4:39 PM  

Getting replies from Amazon resulting from my exchanges with customer services re Castalia and marooned funds in gift card accounts. Prime was from the highest, apparently, manager, who, was obviously in an overseas call center. He wanted to know if I had had my problem solved. Gave me another chance to vent and fume. Now, where is more ice for the Knob Creek?

Blogger SDaly January 31, 2019 4:54 PM  

This has made it to legal at Amazon by now, I suspect. It had to because of the data deletion. They are trying to figure out a way out of the mess, and it will take many billable hours to come up with the best legal response.

Blogger Difster January 31, 2019 5:00 PM  

Men of the West is doing their part:
Step Up And Support Castalia House

Anonymous Anonymous January 31, 2019 5:01 PM  

Even Dalrock's posted a column about it now, too.

Blogger Markku January 31, 2019 5:01 PM  

Yep, we've heard at least one of our authors tell us that Amazon is stonewalling him too, and that this has never happened before to him.

Blogger Markku January 31, 2019 5:08 PM  

What absolutely stuns me about how inept this was, is that they went out of their way to say in the termination message that the issue with Corrosion is a COPYRIGHT issue. The one thing in their terms of service, that they say can be taken to arbitration OR court. ONE. Thing.

They didn't have to write that in the email. But they did. Seemed like a good idea at the time, I suppose.

Blogger Difster January 31, 2019 5:09 PM  

I voiced my concern to Amazon and they offered to refund all my CH books on Kindle (and of course they would then remove them). I refused that of course.

What I'd like to know though, is had I accepted, would they try to claw back that money from CH?

Blogger  Trust Ted get misled. Gamma secret kings reddit January 31, 2019 5:14 PM

It didn't take a day or even hours to bring support, arkhaven was given support/props/bravos too.

Blogger Silly but True January 31, 2019 5:14 PM  

How this ends inside an office at Amazon:
“The Overlord briefly pondered the unexpected information.

Then it ordered the humans out, and exited the room itself.”

Blogger tz January 31, 2019 5:21 PM  

@51 refund them from Amazon, repurchase on ArkHaven.

Blogger SDaly January 31, 2019 5:23 PM  

You've got more leverage over them than most. I want this to work out peacefully, without litigation, but you should try to get some advantage, like being subject to clearly defined rules, not Amazon's nebulous "terms of service" and a restriction on who can mess with Castalia House's account. That would have to be confidential, though, because they wouldn't want anyone else to think they gave an inch.

Blogger Madpiper January 31, 2019 5:29 PM  

The disappearance of data will not be a comfort to those firms migrating their data to the Amazon Cloud or using their Snowball.

Blogger Kat January 31, 2019 5:36 PM  

Yep, the official story seems to be that only the publisher can pull content like that and that Amazon had absolutely nothing to do with it. I got the story twice even after confronting them.

Oh well. I forwarded the lying transcripts. If there's anything else we can do I'll try to pitch in.

Blogger Maorio January 31, 2019 5:59 PM  

now it's only the ebook of jordanetics that's unavailable... if you are interested in more transcripts let us know

Blogger Markku January 31, 2019 6:02 PM  

Yeah, about those lies... Here's how our control panel looks like

Blogger  Trust Ted get misled. Gamma secret kings reddit January 31, 2019 6:10 PM  

Support rolls in;

and this;

That is just one search in the last 45 minutes.

Blogger CM January 31, 2019 6:10 PM  

Is there some way to support a legal fund? Even through Castalia house? I can't afford much, but I'd like to help.

Blogger Diana Isabella January 31, 2019 6:10 PM  

I buy in paperback from Castalia direct anyway...

Bye bye, Amazon

Blogger Nikephoros II Phokas January 31, 2019 6:11 PM  

I think it's more likely that the reps are simply making up an answer rather than actively lying.

Amazon outsources most of their support to the Philippines now, and as someone else pointed out their job is just to get you off the phone without making you angry. They make shit up all the time.

I immediately ask to speak to a rep in the US anytime I talk to one of these companies.

Can you request a supervisor through the chat? That would be a better gauge of Amazon's "official" position.

I know you can do it on the phone, but you'd have to record it, the legality of which depends on where you are.

Blogger wahr01 January 31, 2019 6:29 PM  

I see tweets from Trump weekly disparaging Bezos and Amazon.

I wonder if this case could be what he needs to take a nice big chunk out of them for backing WaPo's hitpieces?

Blogger Markku January 31, 2019 6:34 PM  

Still refreshing mailbox. Still nothing.

Blogger Solon January 31, 2019 6:38 PM  

As far as legality of recording conversations go...

Most tech support places tell you they'll be recording the conversation for customer service purposes. If they tell you they're recording it, they shouldn't really have a legal defense if you also record it.

Single party consent state: you don't need their permission to record. Two party consent: by staying on the phone you agree to be recorded, and as such they by default agree to be recorded as well, since they're on the phone too.

No idea about third party consent (hello, NSA!). Should be illegal, of course, but we've got that pesky old Patriot Act still in place.

Blogger weka January 31, 2019 6:45 PM  

Cancelled amazon prime and asked for refund. Go and do likewise.

Will move books onto alternative reader tonight. (Am out of shelf space)

Blogger FUBARwest January 31, 2019 6:47 PM  

I just now received a support email saying "the author account was under verification. The process will be resolved in 3-4 days"

Will it be helpful if I send this email to someone and if so where?

Blogger Warunicorn January 31, 2019 6:48 PM  

So I finally got a response. A snippet:

"This is to let you know that the publishers are the one's who give us the access. I totally agree with you . I certainly understand that having this option will be great help and useful to our customers.

James, To help you with this, I've now forwarded your comments in the form of a feedback to the publisher."

It is to laugh. lol

Blogger FUBARwest January 31, 2019 6:49 PM  

I only ask because I've gotten a different response than what's been posted.

Blogger David The Good January 31, 2019 6:58 PM  

I just did a Goodstream covering the issue. My favorite comment "COMPOST JEFF BEZOS!"

Blogger  Trust Ted get misled. Gamma secret kings reddit January 31, 2019 7:00 PM  

Philippines and India is something I've enoucouaterd over the years.

DS to start now.

Blogger  Trust Ted get misled. Gamma secret kings reddit January 31, 2019 7:00 PM  

71 the wife might in their divorce

Blogger Gregory the Tall January 31, 2019 7:15 PM  

enoucouatering that sounds like a lot of fun

Blogger David The Good January 31, 2019 7:26 PM  

Amazon is back - Vox talking about it now:

Blogger James Dixon January 31, 2019 7:49 PM  

> Amazon is back

Excellent. I'll have to catch the beginning later.

Blogger David The Good January 31, 2019 8:55 PM  

LP999-16 wrote:71 the wife might in their divorce

You win the thread.

Blogger Jail Cussox January 31, 2019 9:09 PM  

I will start buying my books direct from Castalia. I don't want to see my library of purchases unavailable or offline.

Blogger The Depolrable Podunk Ken Ramsey January 31, 2019 10:52 PM  

I would have liked to go to war with Amazon, because, hey, who doesn't like to bite in the bone marrow and extend torture to our enemies?

But I defer to sound leadership.

Eagerly waiting for the proper hill to die on!

Blogger SirHamster February 01, 2019 1:06 AM  

The Deplorable Podunk Ken Ramsey wrote:Eagerly waiting for the proper hill to die on!

Remember that it's the hill they're dying on.

IGG is dying on the hill that they have the right to retroactively cancel completed crowdfunds.

A hill to die on for every SJW-converged organization!

Anonymous Anonymous February 01, 2019 4:58 AM  

I didn't read through all the comments, but I'll say this: If you're not downloading your books from your Kindle and saving them elsewhere, you're putting yourself at Amazon's mercy.

You can also convert them to epub using Calibre, and use them on another ereader (I've been using a Kobo Clara recently; I like it). And you can remove DRM protection too.

Blogger Gregory the Tall February 01, 2019 7:50 AM  

@80 "A hill to die on for every SJW-converged organization!"
Or rather "a swamp to drown in".

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