Surprise! If Your Amazon Account Dies, It Takes Your Kindle With It

If you've read why you don't own your digital books anymore, you're probably not shocked to learn—unlike one unfortunate Kindle owner—if your Amazon account is suspended, your Kindle loses half its functionality.

Ian had a bad habit of returning stuff too often, according to Amazon, so they suspended his account. When he went online to manage his Kindle, he couldn't get access. Then, he discovered he couldn't even buy new books—half of the reason the Kindle is a superior ebook reader is the fact you can download any book, anytime, anywhere—leaving him with a semi-bricked device.

Ian did manage to successfully appeal to the benevolent gods of Amazon, explaining it was only defective merchandise he sent back, and got his account reinstated. With the warning that they could kick him out again at any time if his return rate goes back up.

That's a pretty excellent threat, I have to say: If you don't keep the broken merchandise we send you, we're going to remotely break your $359 reader. Ah, life in the digital age. I guess that's the karmic balance to rampant file-sharing: We don't actually own anything we buy anymore. [Mobileread and ChannelWeb via Consumerist]