Is the Amazon Refund Email in My Inbox Legit?

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Attention readers! Any E-book purchases made between April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012, may qualify you for a refund. And lucky for me I’m getting a whole $2.19 back!

According to the Alaska Attorney General’s Office, “Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Simon & Schuster Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, d/b/a Macmillan, and Penguin Group (USA) Inc. [have] settled the claims against them for a total nationwide payment of $166 million, of which approximately $750,000 will be distributed to Alaska residents.”

Oregon and Washington were not formally involved in the multi-state litigation process; however, residents of those states who made eligible E-book purchases are still entitled to refunds.

The case claims that the major publishers colluded—or secretly worked together in order to do something dishonest—to fix and raise the prices of digital books, which is illegal. The publishers deny the allegations but have agreed to settle the lawsuit. Note: Amazon is not a party to these lawsuits and is issuing refund credits on behalf of the publishers.

Better Business Bureau has received multiple inquiries from consumers across our service area about unexpected emails informing them of credits to their Amazon accounts. Being wary of phishing scams, many customers have reached out to BBB for verification. While BBB cannot guarantee that every email purporting to come from Amazon is legitimate, this settlement is real and refunds are being credited in March 2014.

An example of a legitimate notification email is pictured below; reports indicate that emails are also arriving from Barnes & Noble. Remember, these notifications are intended as information-only and although there may be links within them, recipients should avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments.

Amazon Settlement Email Large

A thorough FAQ from Amazon is available here. For more information on this settlement or your refund eligibility, visit ebooksagsettlements.com.

Alaska Attorney General Geraghty reiterated that “consumers are entitled to a fair, open and competitive marketplace. When a company violates the antitrust laws, consumers who have suffered as a consequence of that violation are entitled to compensation.”

Refund credit amounts are $3.17 each for New York Times Bestsellers and $0.73 each for other titles. All I can say is that this refund is perfectly-timed; I still haven’t read the latest Twilight book…

Full Disclosure: Amazon.com is a BBB Accredited Business headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

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