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Your Rights and Deadlines Under the Price Fixing Settlement

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Introduction

This post is to help ebook buyers understand their rights and deadlines in the price fixing settlement.  Minnesotans, this post is not for you. Nor does it apply to those in DC  or one of the five Territories or Commonwealths  It’s about the ebook price fixing settlement and for some reason, your state or territory is not included.  This post is also not for those who live outside the U.S. and its territories.

Who is this post for?

  • If you are a resident of the US (but not in MN, DC, or one of the five Territories or Commonwealths).  The billing address determines your residency for purposes of this Settlement.
  • If you have purchased ebooks between April 1, 2010 through May 21, 2012 from Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.

Why?

You may be eligible for a payment from Settlements reached by the State Attorneys General with E-book publishers Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.

What will happen?

The Settlements create a $69 million fund for payments to consumers who purchased qualifying E-books from April 1, 2010 through May 21, 2012. If the Court approves the Settlements, eligible consumers will receive payments. The amount of your payment has been determined based on the qualifying E-book purchase.

I don’t want cash, but I do want to know how I will receive a credit.

  • Amazon will apply the credit directly to your account.
  • Kobo, B&N, and Apple will provide credits in the form of an electronic gift certificate sent via email. Once you receive your gift certificate, you can register it at the retailer, for up to one year.  The actual certificate will not have an expiration date.

I want CASH

You will need to go to THIS WEBSITE and enter your request for cash.  You must fill one out separately for Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.  You must do this by December 12, 2012.

What’s this about my Settlement ID number.

If you received a notice by email or postcard, you purchased at least one qualifying E-book and are included in the Settlements.  In that email or on that postcard, an ID number was provided.  Mine began with SN.

How to Receive your Benefit if you did not buy from Apple, Amazon, B&N, or Kobo.

You will need to file a claim with your name, address, and your Settlement ID Number.  You can file a Claim Form either online or by mail.  Here is the CLAIM FORM.

  • If you purchased from Google or Sony, you do not need to have a list of your purchases. You will need to provide your Settlement ID number (sent to you in an email or postcard), account email address and mailing information.
  • For every other retailer, you will be asked to enter the following information for each E-book purchased when filing a claim form online:
  1. Date of purchase
  2. Purchase price
  3. The unique International Standard Book Number also known as the ISBN number. The ISBN number is typically found with the copyright information.
  4. Publisher
  5. Billing state *This is the state in the billing address of the users Credit or Bank Card, or the address state of the account on file with Paypal or Google Wallet. i.e. Customer Billing Address, Your Address of billing.”

 

What’s my deadline?

Claim Forms must be filed online or postmarked by December 12, 2012.

I want to sue those price fixing son of a guns myself!

You can choose to exclude yourself from the Settlements and keep your right to sue on your own. If you exclude yourself, you can’t receive any benefits from the Settlements.  Your written Exclusion Form or objections must be postmarked by December 12, 2012.

The Court will hold a hearing on February 8, 2013 at 10 a.m. to consider whether to approve the Settlements. You or your own lawyer may ask to appear and speak at the hearing.

When are we getting our money?

The notices indicate that if the Court approves the settlement (and she has already given a pre approval) then the credits and payments will be issued in the spring of 2013.

I need help!
Call 1-866-621-4153 or Visit www.EBookAGSettlements.com

 

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

18 Comments

  1. romsfuulynn
    Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:27:20

    So I buy a lot of ebooks (I had about 900 from fictionwise and ereader prior to April 2011) and I got a Nook in 2011, plus bought stuff in Kindle format from Amazon for my husband or myself. (He’s a Kindle person.) My

    Occasionally I would buy stuff elsewhere – I only had about 10 books from Books on Board – I didn’t buy from them even though their prices were lower, because of convenience of having stuff available via 3g. So I’ve got about 1230 nookbooks and 250 books purchased from Amazon.

    I went ahead and took care of the books from Books on Board, but they have completely lost future business of mine unless there is no other alternative. I would even have been willing to do the entry in order to keep competition alive, but you have to do a search on each title to find the ISBN – you can’t link from your purchase – they could have at least made the titles “searchable” or linkable from the order history. If I had had to that for hundreds of books? I’d be really upset.

  2. Las
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 09:12:47

    Who sends the id number? Is it the retailers?

  3. Jane A
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 10:20:20

    I bought primarily from BOB and started to go through this process. I can provide numbers 1 – 5 outlined above. However, at the end of the BOB process, they ask me to provide copies of my receipts, which are long gone.

  4. Tinabelle
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 10:53:16

    @Las:

    I own a Kindle and make all of my purchases from Amazon so can only speak for them. On October 13, 2012 I received an email from Amazon explaining the proposed settlement and what to do. Unless you instruct them otherwise, you will automatically get a credit to your Amazon account. At the very end of the email in the last line is the Settlement ID Number.

  5. Meoskop
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 11:11:37

    Jane A – this stumped me for a moment, but your receipts are not gone. Go to Books on Board, log in to your account and choose your history. On the side of each item line is a green arrow. Open that for each individual date of purchase and you will get a list of that days book along with purchase price. Save. That page as a PDF and voila, instant upload able receipt.

    Is this time consuming form worth it monetarily? Of course not. This is absolutely a principle of the thing action and I was determined to finish it.

  6. Darlynne
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 15:26:24

    I received notices from the Attorney General and both B&N and Amazon, but not from Kobo, Sony or Fictionwise. Since Fictionwise is moving over to B&N, does that mean those purchases will come under B&N?

    I’m so glad you brought up this topic, Jane, because I was thinking I didn’t have to do anything and would have missed the December 12 deadline completely.

  7. Wahoo Suze
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 20:36:38

    Wow. I’m kinda glad that I’m not USian, and I’ve been unable (or unwilling to go through the hoops necessary to be able) to buy agency-priced e-books.

  8. Las
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 20:42:32

    @Tinabelle: Thanks. I checked and I actually did get an email from BN but had forgotten about it.

  9. Susan
    Dec 02, 2012 @ 22:38:33

    Maybe my reading comprehension isn’t what it should be or I’m not paying close enough attention, but I was under the impression that if I bought eligible books from Amazon and was OK with a credit I didn’t need to do anything further to have it automatically applied to my account when the settlement is approved. Is this saying I need to do something by that Dec. 12 deadline?

  10. Jane
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 09:13:27

    @Susan – No. You are correct. If you are satisfied with receiving a credit to your account, there is nothing that you need to do so long as the books that you purchased are from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple or Kobo.

  11. MrsJoseph
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 09:36:26

    @Jane:

    I received an email from Kobo with a link to this site: https://ebooksagsettlements.com/FrequentlyAskedQuestions.aspx

    The site is giving me the impression that there will be a refund for books purchased via 5 of the publishers. It’s a little circular to me, however. Is this true?

  12. Jane
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 09:40:48

    @MrsJoseph:

    There are only three publishers participating in the settlement at this point. The money for the settlement comes from the publishers and I think all of the notices sent out by the retailers have tried to emphasize that the refund is being funded by the publishers and retailers are facilitating the refund.

  13. MrsJoseph
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 09:50:05

    @Jane:

    That’s the problem, then. My email says the exact opposite :-( It’s confusing because the email says one thing – but the site is like a gigantic circle. And now I’m left feeling conflicted.

    Dear Kobo Customer,

    This notice is to inform you of a recent settlement by the State Attorneys General related to a lawsuit brought against publishers regarding eBook pricing. We are providing notice to our customers about your ability to receive a credit as a service to our customers.

    As a result of this settlement you are eligible for a partial credit based on select purchases from eBook publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin, MacMillan and Simon & Schuster that were purchased through Kobo.

    You do not need to do anything to receive your credit. It will be applied to your Kobo account automatically and you’ll receive another email letting you know when it’s available.

    If you prefer to receive your credit via a check please record your settlement ID: XXXXXXXX and click here to learn more.

    To read about your rights under the settlements or if you’d like more information on this settlement, click here or contact us.

    Thank you for being a Kobo customer.

    The Kobo Team

  14. Jane
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 09:57:25

    @MrsJoseph: I don’t think that is correct because as far as I know the only party to the settlement are Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster.

    The rest of the notice looks correct to me.

  15. MrsJoseph
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 10:19:49

    @Jane:

    Thanks! I’ve been trying to figure it out but it’s a huge mess to me. And I’ve decided against going through my library to try to figure out what book was purchased where.

  16. Meoskop
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 12:02:57

    You don’t need to go through your library! Just go the e places you buy ebooks and look up your account, easy to see what you should file. Filing says this matter to consumers, and IMO not filing supports the publishers. Look at it as protest.

  17. Jena Briars
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 20:36:47

    IF ANYONE LIVES in the Commonwealth of VA – go here to see what OAG Cuccinelli did – and then go here for the Oct. follow-up.

  18. henofthewoods
    Dec 04, 2012 @ 22:10:37

    The AG claim form says all five publishers should be listed on the claim. I just went through and only got the 15 Harper Collins titles. Ugh. I don’t want to redo this over and over. Plus the form that you print only gives five spaces for books. What weirdo only buys five books in two years?

    1. You purchased an E-book that was published by Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster,
    Penguin, or Macmillan (as well as all other names under which these publishers also publish
    E-books), and

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