Some additional sleuthing by Simon Phipps turned up a bit more context. And indeed, it is a more complex story than it appeared at first blush, as these things usually are. Phipps reports that Linn lives in Norway but bought her Kindle in the UK. And then, being a good daughter, gave that Kindle to her mother and bought another one. Which subsequently broke. Twice. Amazon agreed to ship her a replacement, but insisted on sending it to address in the UK, as opposed to where Linn resides in Norway. All of this maternal gifting, device replacement, and international back-and-forthing apparently kicked up some sort of flag in Amazon’s systems resulting in the account shut down.
After the story appeared on Doctorow’s and Phipp’s blogs and was written up in the Guardian, Phipps reports that Linn’s account and e-books were just as mysteriously restored. Hooray. Case closed? Not so fast.
While in one sense this may be a minor customer service snafu on the part of the Amazon brought on by an admittedly complex (but in no way unusual) chain of events, it serves as a useful lens into the train wreck that is e-book distribution today:
Full report at Scholarly Kitchen