The more things change, the more screwed up they get, too.

Amazon, yep going to talk about amazon some more. Let’s start with the kindle for pc; if you get the one that says kindle for pc WITH audio plug in then it has the ability to actually ‘read’ the book vocally to you, IF you have something like Narrator {and in my case also speakonia for further customization}. Sure, you can use kindle cloud, but it won’t do that part. If you use an android tablet or phone, and @Voice Aloud Reader for Android or various other available add-ons then you could listen as well. Not low vision or legally blind? Drive a lot for commute or do other things that you could be listening to a book during? Then you could try some of those. Yes, some of the newer kindles can do that type thing, and possible some of the newer readers, with the right extras, but in the end it’s saving the per book for adding audio or the audio only versions {and am NOT a fan, at all, of Audible}.

A while back my sister’s bank had a possible security breach, so they reissued all the cards with new numbers; that meant that my monthly kindle unlimited could no longer be billed to that, and since had had various other issues {getting billed for books that I KNEW had gotten on ‘freebie’ day and so on} just sucked it up and got a 6 month subscription another way. All was well, for a while. Then, I got sent a $1.00 {USD} gift card, with which to buy a particular book; but all 99 cent books in this state actually cost $1.09 with the tax and all, so the charge would not go through {no card for payment still attached, remember} but would also not let me cancel the order. So, after an online chat with amazon, instead of just being able to click a button to say cancel the order {no button anywhere to do that for that order} got the dollar back, but still no book. Okay, so the writer sends me a gift book, which I had already reviewed with my ku, but it wouldn’t show verified, and in fact wouldn’t let me see much of anything about the order at all. Turns out, if someone gifts you a book that it will never show up on your account in full {the order information} and that it will also never show up as ‘verified’ review, because technically you did not buy the book, although it was bought for you and should be verified but won’t be.

Now, I personally not only don’t pay particular attention to whether a review is ‘verified’ or not, actually rarely read reviews at all, but in my case I go every day to bookbub, freebooksy, a cozy site, and instafreebie, so some of these will never show up verified anyway. Also, Amazon has ‘vine’ reviewers that not only get free books for review but also other products and they are always considered verified, so what’s up with that crap. This, of course, was on top of me threatening to lead the way in a class action lawsuit due to amazon {at the time} having “Kindle Unlimited” at top AND at bottom, sandwiching in the buy price; even if you are not visually impaired, this is b.s. I suggested to them to check with their legal department and the ADA on this matter, never got a response at all {no surprise} but all the sudden things did change. Now between the Vine crap and the gift book not being ‘verified’ and that according to their own media, if someone spends over x amount of money {ever, it doesn’t expire from year to year} that ‘proves’ you are a real person and not a review click farm or whatever, but…I have spent over $250 each year for about 3 years and my reviews still do not show up verified, not for ku and not for any books that did not buy MYSELF and/or through Amazon.

Bigger name writers and publishing houses will not do kindle unlimited; the book {ebook} must be exclusive to Amazon for {at least, I think} 3 months, and ku ‘reads’ IF read all the way through are something like 30 percent for books priced 99 cents and about 70 percent or so for books priced 2.99, etcetera. So writers are caught between, not a rock and a hard place, but between amazon and amazon. How do you know a writer got paid for what your read on ku? You don’t; and not sure if they know much more. Oh, but I did have my roommate go get me an Amazon card for $25 at the Dollar General store {one of the very few places in this area that carry thing, Wal-Mart doesn’t, although some of the larger/chain stores may such as Walgreen’s etcetera. This is so the next book that one writer puts out, I will spend that $1 {plus tax} to buy the book to make it verified. And yes, I did notify her of what would happen/did happen when it was a gift book and not gift card, so NOT verified purchase for me {is for her, but writer’s can’t review their own books so useless to her, but she will get what I call ‘pennies’ for my reading it on ku}.

That card should last me quite a while, what with all the free book sites and such, plus the ARCs I do {Advance Reader Copy}. In the vernacular of kids these days, though, would like to say to Amazon…Don’t start nothing and there won’t be nothing. Of course this is being said about a company that no longer has a way to actually reach them via email, just an online form that supposedly {but rarely does} get an email response back from them, but more than likely will have that option grayed out to only let you choose online chat or call them directly {which is still better than looking the number up on the internet, since the number they put out is not the number you call any more, and if you are not in the States, then it could cost and then some}. I don’t dislike them as much as I do my ex-husband, but close.

UPDATE: my mother let me use her card to get some computer equipment {hard drive for my windows 7 hp pavilion multi media center, the ‘newest’ one that lasted not even a year, still looking for the one version back that the hard drive died on, if hp actually made the fans and cooling and all worth shit on that particular model they would have been decent, until the replacement models which are total pieces of crap. Had to get some things for the chromebook that using until get the windows back up as well. That meant they had her credit card, again, after she had the bank issue her a new one after they pulled their crap last time. I use it mainly for free books and the every once in a while bought for real book {both show ‘paid’ with amazon} and so the roommate has been putting amazon gift cards on there. He’s not blind but amazon seems to go out of their way to sucker people in to getting charged with the amazon prime, and it can be triggered by clicking the wrong shipping option when you buy books and other items, so even if you aren’t blind it can hit your account.

Since my mother doesn’t use it as a credit card, and amazon pulls the amazon prime free out as a debit, the card is not protected from such tactics being used, as in you just can’t get the bank to pop back the charge even though it was bogus because it was debit. This charge supposedly got triggered with amazon prime when the roomie order a physical book and had it shipped, so don’t know if he really selected the wrong shipping type or if amazon was just pulling a different fast one. The reason I have doubts is because there are sites and forums all about amazon prime, including the one thread where they guy’s wife was charged with amazon prime {they have a joint account} but she had not even been on amazon, at all, for months, AND he ALREADY had amazon prime anyway. So anyway, I had already cancelled the amazon prime, they sent back a letter stating that it was cancelled and auto renew had been turned off, to which I replied, would like to know where the auto renew was HIDDEN because I went in myself and made sure everything was cancelled and NO autorenew was in site after SEVERAL pages of multiple clicks. So a few days go by and AGAIN am sent notice that Amazon Prime was activated, and go through it ALL AGAIN. Supposedly it’s cleared up, AGAIN. THEN my mother’s account {remember the computer equipment} is billed for amazon PRIME, SUPPOSEDLY because of a 3rd book, BUT they didn’t notify me or anyone about that, just waited until her SOCIAL SECURITY money came in and THEN popped her acocunt for the $100 bucks or so. I called amazon, waited 20 minutes on hold AFTER going through 5 minutes or more of ‘offers’ {SPAM} just to have to tell the ‘customer service’ over and over and over to pop me up a level. I get popped up, finally, and get some snarky stupid chick who ‘explained’ that it had been activated, but when asked directly HOW said she’d already explained it {well if not at all to badly is ‘explaining’}. Then I wrote the address of the main person over amazon {Jeff something I think} and ended up one of his main exectutives or something, who DID explain {though again still not sure just how he did the shipping but just saying since he did it and not me it’s POSSIBLE but not certain because it’s amazon} BUT she gave me a $50 credit {on my amazon gift card amount} which is good BUT still have to find out, since my mother CANCELLED the account the $$ was taken out of, how she gets it back now as refund to the account on file, that she cancelled the card on. Forgot to call to remind her to call the bank today, but will tomorrow.

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