Friday, December 3, 2010

Crown Offers Refund to Disappointed Decision Points "Limited" Edition Buyers

by Stephen J. Gertz

We received this note from one of our readers:

I had spoken with David Drake earlier today after seeing the number 2,374 in my copy of the Bush book.  I followed up with an email asking Drake how he planned to make things right for customers who were deceived by the outsize print run of the signed, limited edition.  His response – pasted below – is that anyone who desires can have a complete refund (including shipping costs).


Dear Tim,

We understand and respect your disappointment. As I mentioned when we spoke earlier today, while we originally planned on a print run of 1,000 copies, in response to enormous demand from consumers the one printing of the limited edition was subsequently increased to 4,500 copies.

We regret that we did not announce this decision at the time it was made. It was a mistake on our part, and one for which we sincerely apologize. If you believe that the book you purchased no longer has value for you, we will refund your purchase amount in full and cover your shipping costs for returning the book.

We will communicate this policy to other customers who have purchased the limited edition and also notify our retail partners that carry the limited edition.

David Drake
Sr. VP, Exec. Director of Publicity
The Crown Publishing Group

A refreshingly forthright and responsible response. Yet limited in the truest sense: keep the book and swallow the price or return it, take it or leave it. The limited edition does have genuine value to those  who bought it for patriotic, political, and sentimental reasons, out of respect, or even as a valued souvenir, something special - at 4,500 copies that  is what this edition should have been marketed as, a Souvenir Edition - and they don't want to return it for a refund, even though at 4,500 copies the limited edition is not quite as materially precious as originally advertised. 

Some consideration should be given to folks who bought it for all those reasons but also believed that $350 was not an unreasonable price to pay for one of only a thousand copies. A rebate  might be another, more equitable option to make things right for those who feel that $350 was a lot to pay for one of 4,500 copies and wish they'd known sooner about the 450% increase over the originally announced print run.

Our coverage of this issue began with

followed by


12/04/2010 IMPORTANT UPDATE: We have received a note from David Drake of Crown Publishing with new information.

"We received updated information very late on Friday that the print run size for the limited edition of Decision Points was 4,700 copies, rather than 4,500 copies.

"Regrettably, this information came after we had already sent a communication to customers in which we notified them of our error in not having communicated a larger print run and in which we offered a full refund for purchase price, plus shipping costs.

"I can confirm that 4,700 copies is the full extent of the limited edition print run as well as that there will be no additional printings. I can also confirm that each and every copy of the limited edition run was personally signed by President Bush and that no autopen or surrogates were used. 

"President Bush was not informed that the print run size had been increased without notification to customers, and Crown Publishers takes full responsibility.


David Drake"


  1. I have no objection to the jump from 1000 to 4500 copies. In a country with almost 300 million people, it is a great privilege and honour to own one of 45000 copies signed by the President. $311.50 is a bargain for a piece of American History! Those malcontents unhappy with it: GET OVER IT!

  2. ive got #4616... go figure.

  3. I am an attorney in Texas and I also got hosed. I originally purchased based on Crown's promise and representation that only 1000 would be printed. Under Texas law, this is called a deceptive trade practice and it is illegal. I am a supported of President Bush, but not of Crown for deceiving the general public. Perhaps Crown might see it differently and offer a full refund, plus allow the buyer to keep the "limited edition" book, when faced with legal action for fraud and deceptive trade practices. I am especially interested to see evidence that Crown published more than 4500. Anyone interested in perhaps joining a legal action against Crown may contact me at

  4. My book is marked #4693. I am no mathmetician but I do believe that is more than 4500.

  5. 'scuse me...are we supposed to believe that HE signed all those copies? these are autopenned right? so who was dumb enough to buy one?

  6. Hi All,
    I ordered a limited edition (1000 print run) from Barnes and Noble in April 2010. I paid $212.62 with all the B/N discounts. I seem to have a recollection that the book was originally $250. I was a bit surprised to find out the print run was 4700 books. I'm sorry that there were others who paid more than I did. Since I collect presidential memoirs and autobiographies, this is a nice edition to my book collection.

  7. I also ordered 2 limited editions on Nov. 26 from Barnes & Noble
    One is numbered 557 and the other 4547
    I'm a little angry because Crown didn't notify anyone of the print increase, but they are signed by Bush (right?, lol)and are valualbe regardless, considering the high demand.

  8. I ordered through and they just gave me the option (email) to get a $300 refund. My total was $350. Makes me feel a lot better.

  9. i received my rebate check today.
    a signed copy for $50 is more than fair.
    thank you crown.

  10. People that have not yet received their refund, may be interested in knowing the initial fax number Random House provided for people to send the rebate form was wrong! The correct number is (866) 924-1396.


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