These days it's great that most big electronics retailers have very fair returns policies, some even taking gear back if you just don't like it, however, one Kindle owner found Amazon's interpretation a little more narrow than he must have hoped.

The MobileRead website carries the unfortunate tale of a member known only as Ian who says Amazon locked him out of his Kindle newspaper subscriptions and e-book purchases after he had paid for both them and the hardware.

Refunds a problem

He explains: "I have been a loyal Amazon.com customer for many years, but today I received an email stating that I have been banned from the site and my account has been closed, because I apparently have an extraordinary rate of requesting refunds due to a variety of factors."

Apparently, Ian had bought then returned non-Kindle items in the past, which likely spooked Amazon into thinking he was into something against its terms of sale.

Happy ending

Whatever the truth, he found himself unable to access Kindle contend he'd already paid for. "In effect, I now have a $359 brick, not covered under any warranty, not able to be used the way it was meant to be [and] not able to be returned (not that I even want to, I just want to keep reading!)"

After protracted discussions both online and with Amazon directly, Ian was allowed access to his own purchases again, but not after a rather stern warning from Amazon.

Warning sounded

A rep known only as 'Account Specialist' told the unhappy shopper: "Please note that if a higher than acceptable number of concession incidents occur in the future, your account will be closed."

In other words, "Keep quiet and you won't get any more trouble from us."