I was going to make this a pass-protected entry but I’m really not in the mood and now that my anger has subsided I think I can keep my head over this incident. Maybe. We’ll see.
Any-hoo…on Sunday I put out the news that those six stories (plus a bonus story if you can find it) are FREE on Smashwords. I made them free over there at a friend’s suggestion and it happened to coincide with Read An Ebook Week, which is Smashwords’ big yearly promotion. I put the info up on FB, tweeted it, and sent it out to my mailing list. I also told them that they would need to enter the coupon code upon checkout. I knew people would get freaked out and pissy if I told them it was FREE and then they saw the ‘list price’ but, of course, not the coupon code listed right below it.
Downloads were going well. People were coming in left and right to get their free stories. No problems. Then I get one message from Smashwords regarding an actual purchase and I thought; that’s odd, I guess they didn’t see the code. Keep in mind no e-book retailer tells you WHO bought your books just that they were purchased and when and, in the case of Smashwords, whether a coupon code was used.
A short time later I get a nasty email from a list member absolutely BLASTING me because she had to pay for the books that were supposed to be free. Well, she’s ‘furious’ and I’m committing ‘fraud’ with the ‘old bait and switch’.
Ok, calm down, relax. Take a breath. I answer her and tell her the books ARE FREE.
She answers me back with another blast again accusing me of fraud and threatening me with ‘negative reviews’ if she doesn’t get her way.
Another breath. Relax.
I go to my Gmail and plug in her email address to see that she already received a free copy of “The Heart of War”, she asked for and received the “Daughter of the Gods” series, she asked for a free book in conjunction with a promotion but was a day late with her request and was denied, finally she just received a free copy of “Fifty Shades of War”. I begin to wonder just how many books of mine she’s actually purchased or if this accident is the first one. I look at those emails and think to myself; give this history, what right/reason does she have to accuse me of fraud?
I go to the single purchase from Smashwords because, let’s face it, it has to be hers. “Genesis” and “Obsession” were purchased and “Obsession” without a coupon code, either she didn’t enter one or she entered the wrong one (and I think there’s a back-up for that which will let you know you’ve entered a faulty code).
I paste it in an email and explain to her where she made the mistake and tell her that even though her oversight is not my responsibility I’m willing to give her a partial refund out of my own funds because Smashwords doesn’t normally do refunds. I offered to give her $4.68, the amount I was going to receive out of the deal. I point out to her that at no time was any fraud committed against her or anyone else.
No response. The emails were flying fast and furious from her up to that point. I waited and waited knowing in my heart that I wasn’t getting a response because she wanted her last $.58 back as well.
Yesterday afternoon I get a very short email from her telling me Smashwords is refunding her money because the ‘code didn’t work’ (that’s crap, it worked for everyone else! She didn’t enter it.) and she’s ‘sorry about the fuss’.
Yep, that was it. ‘Sorry about the fuss’. That pissed me off more than anything else, what kind of back-handed apology is that? So I asked her; Is that your way of apologizing for accusing me of fraud? I haven’t received a response yet.
I understand that she was miffed. I also understand she made the error on her own then she expected me to pay for her screw up. On the off chance I wouldn’t pay she had the nerve to threaten me with ‘negative reviews’….most likely left for books she’s never purchased and never read. Sweet, huh?
I don’t know what you would have done but I unsubscribed her from my mailing list. She’s gotten her share of free stuff from me and given me enough grief in return. Keep in mind, I can’t find a single review by her for “Heart” anywhere and part of her receiving the book was that she would leave said review. If I can’t find any reviews by her for any of my books…good or bad. She’s never even once been in touch with me to tell me that she read a story of mine or that she liked it or anything at all. What am I losing by getting rid of her? Not much. She can follow me on Twitter or FB or whatever but I don’t have to deliver the news right to her inbox regarding promos and new releases.
I have the sneaking suspicion it’s going to be a while before I run anymore free books after the end of this promo.