My Late Mother’s Broken Kindle Leaves Me Brokenhearted, Amazon Goes Above & Beyond

Consumerist reader K. had one very important reminder of her late mother — her mom’s beloved Kindle. She says her mom treated it like a sensitive piece of electronic equipment, and really loved it. Every night when K. went to bed, she would read a book on the device and says it always made her smile and think of her mother. But when that Kindle broke, it seemed those sentimental moments would be over for good.

K. writes that although she had put the Kindle away carefully after using it one night, away from foot traffic and heat and inside its protective case, when she turned it on the next day the resolution was all mucked up. The usual cover picture of a random author (in this case, Louisa Mae Alcott) was shady and blurry, and there were ominous, “Etch-a-Sketch” lines on the screen.

After trying a 20-second reset recommended in the Kindle Help section, it still didn’t work. So K. called customer service and spoke with a rep who insisted that the Kindle was out of warranty, so he couldn’t do anything about it. Furthermore, he said “that they would not even consider accepting it for repair, and that according to his technicians and developers, I MUST have done something to damage it. I must have dropped it, stepped on it or gotten it wet.”

Her assurances that she hadn’t done so fell on deaf ears, that she had “put the Kindle in the place it had safely lived for almost a year and it had spontaneously done this itself.” All he offered was to sell her a new Kindle at “a very good price.” That wasn’t going to work for K., but luckily, she came to Consumerist.

I did a bit of research and found a couple of sites, outside Amazon, where owners of Kindle Keyboards had had the exact same experience as I had. (Whether Miss Alcott is implicated here is not clear.) Their screens had frozen, the lines showed up. So, I came to Consumerist.com, searched EECBs, and managed to compose what I hoped was a direct email to Amazon’s CEO. I used two different addresses, and then, per Consumerist’s advice, I waited.

I didn’t expect even a response, or, at minimum, some auto reply claptrap. What I got, to my surprise and great delight, was a response!! It was from a woman named [redacted], who told me that while she could not replace my Kindle Keyboard, she was going to credit my account for the price of a brand new base model Kindle, which I could use to purchase the base model, or apply it to a different model.

She had kind, compassionate words for me, and seemed to realize my situation was not one that would be best ignored. So, while I had really become broken-hearted over losing my mother’s Kindle, Amazon really came through, with that EECB, and responded generously and kindly.

It just goes to show that even in the face of what would seem like a dead-end situation, if you can reach even one kind-hearted person at a company, your efforts could be rewarded. Much better than simply ranting and raving over the injustices served upon you by a customer service rep.

We’re glad K. will still be able to read and think of her mother, so way to go, Amazon.