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Sometimes you may need to send a book back to us. This short FAQ describes how we handle these situations.

eBook Versions of Books and Screencasts and Beta on Paper

You may have noticed that most computer stores allow returns of physical goods but not of software or music CDs. There’s a good (and obvious) reason for that. Although we’d like to break the mold, we’ve had some bad experiences in the past, so we’ve had to make a simple rule:

We can’t accept returns of screencasts, titles in any eBook format, or printed Betas (Beta on Paper). Once purchased, they cannot be refunded. Exception: Sometimes we will refund if it is a duplicate title. See next paragraph.

Duplicate eBook? If you were ‘gifted’ or accidentally bought the same eBook twice, then contact us at with your order numbers. We’ll take a look at it and potentially refund a duplicate eBook purchase.

Printed Paper Books

There are probably two main reasons why you’d want to return a book:

  • It was damaged in transit, or we shipped you the wrong book, or
  • You didn’t like the book when you received it

Let’s take them separately:

Damaged or Incorrect Book Received

If a book is damaged in transit, or if we send you the incorrect book, please let us know. For damaged books, it would be a great help to us if you could send in a digital photo of the book (in its envelope) so we can work out what went wrong. For incorrect books, just let us know what we did wrong. We’ll send you a replacement, and tell you what to do with the original you received.

If you purchased a damaged book from a bookstore or other vendor, you’ll need to contact them for a replacement.

You Don’t Want the Book

We try hard to make the descriptions of our books accurate, and to give you representative chapters before you buy. Despite this, we know that sometimes a book isn’t what you expected when it arrived. If the book’s still in its original condition, you may return printed books purchased from us within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. If it can be re-stocked (it looks unread and does not have any scratches or dents or markings), we’ll refund the price paid on the title(s) returned. We’ll refund the price of the book, but you’ll be responsible for shipping charges.

Please note that printed Beta on Paper books are not returnable.

Send the return with a note explaining the return, your order number, a current email address and a carefully packaged book.

Mail the return to:

The Pragmatic Programmers
Attn: Book Returns
9650 Strickland Rd, Ste 103-255
Raleigh, NC 27615

We’ll notify you via e-mail of your refund once we’ve received and processed the returned item. In most cases, we’ll issue a refund in the same form of payment originally used for the purchase within 3 to 5 business days of our receiving your return.

Refund Fine Print

We can only issue refunds back to the original card, and the refund has to happen within 120 days of the original transaction. If it is beyond 120 days, we will either issue a coupon for a credit or offer an exchange for another title.

Shipping Fine Print

Original and return shipping charges will be included in a refund only if the return was the result of our error (you received an incorrect or defective item, etc.).

Gift Refunds

If you received a printed book from us as a gift, but would like to exchange it, this section’s for you.

First, you can simply return a printed book you received as a gift. We’ll credit the price of the book back to the original purchaser if within 120 days of the purchase.

Alternatively, you may choose to exchange the book for another. Send us the book back, as described above, and tell us what you’d like as a replacement. If the replacement costs less than the original, we’ll credit the original purchaser the difference. If it costs more, we’ll be asking you to make up the difference. In all cases, you’ll be responsible for the shipping charges (both of the returned book and of its replacement).

Books Bought Somewhere Else

Printed paper books purchased from other sellers need to be returned to that seller.

Restocking Fee

Very, very few people have ever returned books to us, so we don’t spend a whole lot of time processing returns. Consequently, we do not charge any restocking fee.

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