Amazon is making changes to Kindle’s return policy after a viral TikTok trend taught readers how to, essentially, get books for free on the company’s e-readers.
Kindles are one of the most popular methods for reading books in the modern age. Rather than buying dozens of physical volumes that take up space in one’s home, readers can now simply download any book onto a single device that they can take with them anywhere.
That’s not the only convenient thing about the Kindle, though; recently, readers discovered a ‘hack’ that would allow them to experience a book in its entirety for free.
The ‘hack’ became a trend on TikTok, a haven for viral content of all kinds and a popular home for tips and tricks such as this one.
Viral TikTok hack comes under fire for showing how to get ‘free’ ebooks on Kindle
This is the gist of it: Previously, readers could return a Kindle ebook within seven days if it didn’t meet their expectations and receive a full refund. This meant that, if they read the book quickly enough, they would basically get the entire experience for free.
While it might have seemed like a harmless way to blaze through your favorite series, this wasn’t the case. In fact, authors are charged more for a chargeback than the amount they get paid for a sale, so this ‘hack’ (and any returns) actually cost them money.
Authors across the internet spoke out against the TikTok trend, and the hashtag #dontreturnbooks permeated ‘BookTok’ as both readers and writers sought change from Amazon and consumers at large.
Now, Amazon is taking measures against this ‘hack’ after it became so prevalent that it caused problems for the platform and its authors. At the time of writing, readers can only return an ebook if they’ve read 10% of it at maximum.
This change follows a Change.Org petition urging the platform to make changes to its ebook return system that racked up over 78,000 signatures.
This is just the latest TikTok trend to garner criticism after the ‘Kia challenge’ sparked a rash of thefts after showing that the cars could be started with just a USB cable.