Michael tells Consumerist that he’s disappointed in his Amazon Kindle, but really disappointed in Amazon and their lack of support for his problems with the device. The company admitted that his Kindle malfunctioned because of a product defect…but want Michael to pay the $89 fee for having his Kindle serviced out of warranty anyway. He’s not really interested, since he could buy a new Kindle for almost twice that.
I just wanted to write in to say that I am somewhat surprised by the positive feedback I see on your site re: Amazon Kindle’s customer support. I have had the 2nd generation Kindle since it became available in late February 2009 and still cost $359 (I believe it is now $189). For the most part, it worked well for the 17 or so months that I had it. But the screen started freezing recently, and completely froze last night. I was sorely disappointed by the response I received from the Kindle support team.
I was told that the screen was defective – obviously outside my control – and that I would need to send in my Kindle for service. I was also told that since I am outside my 1-year warranty, I would be responsible for the fee of $89, almost half of what they are now charging for a brand new Kindle, for having it serviced. I would think that since the product is defective – the word used by their customer service contact – that they might offer to fix it at no cost. Or am I completely delusional? When I suggested it might be time for me to move on to a different device, I was reminded that I could access the Kindle app on several other products. That response made me think that they don’t really stand by their product, and that it might therefore be somewhat futile to have my Kindle fixed anyway. Would I be asked to pay a fee again in 6, 12 or 18 months when the ‘defective’ product breaks down again?
I am the publicity director for an imprint at a large publishing house, and have been in the industry for about 15 years. Although I prefer reading physical books, I love being able to download submissions and manuscripts to an electronic device. But I also love customer loyalty and a company’s willingness to fix a faulty product that doesn’t require me to dig deeper into my pocket. I guess I will not be getting my Kindle fixed, nor will I purchase books from Amazon, electronic or otherwise.
He could try escalating matters to Amazon’s executive customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org, but if that proves fruitless, what should Michael do?