Amazon has annoyed Kindle owners by appearing to sign them up to a paid-for bi-weekly magazine subscription they hadn't requested.
After receiving an email informing them of their new subscription to Kindle Compass, their first billing date and the number of the credit card they'd be "charged" on, confused customers turned to forum boards to complain.
The email reads:
Your free trial to The Kindle Compass (bi-weekly) has started - you can begin reading on your Kindle. If you enjoy your free trial, do nothing and your subscription will automatically continue at the monthly subscription rate.
Subscription name: The Kindle Compass (bi-weekly)
Current Price: $0.00 per month
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Start Date: 01/05/12
Free Trial Length: 14 Days
1st Billing Date: 01/19/12
Payment Method: Card ending in xxxx
To change your payment method, cancel your subscription or see further subscription details, please visit http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindlesubscriptions
If you have any questions or require assistance, please visit http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport Thank You. We hope you enjoy your Kindle subscription to The Kindle Compass (bi-weekly)
Best regards, The Amazon Kindle Team
Note: This e-mail was sent from a notification-only e-mail address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply directly to this message.
It turns out that The Kindle Compass magazine is a free service that Amazon was trialling to a randomly selected group of Kindle owners. Customers can opt out, or in, at any time.
Amazon has apologised for the confusing phrasing of the first email which suggested that money was involved and stressed that the magazine is free and optional.
Amazon released this statement:
This morning we sent you an email regarding The Kindle Compass, a new free publication built by the Kindle editorial team that we’re piloting to a small number of Kindle customers.
This email incorrectly referred to The Kindle Compass as a subscription with a free trial. We built it to always be free for customers, and you will never be charged for it. We apologize for any confusion.
We've asked Amazon whether any UK Kindlers were involved, and for more information on the mysterious Kindle mag. We'll update when they get back. ®