Amazon Listens To Reason, Replaces My Second Defective Kindle For Free

No one likes when their brand-new electronics purchase goes on the fritz almost immediately after they buy it. Luckily, there are usually manufacturers’ warranties to cover when this happens. But what about when that replacement device also craps out?

In April 20111, Consumerist reader Mike purchased a Kindle for his daughter. Within three months, there were strange lines showing up on the screen and Mike had to use his 1-year warranty to get a replacement device.

But then last week, Mike’s replacement Kindle started showing those same strange lines. Figuring it had been less than one year since receiving the replacement, Mike called up Amazon to see about getting a replacement.

“I was informed that the 1-year warranty only applied to the original Kindle, and that the replacement Kindle only had a 90-day warranty,” Mike tells Consumerist. “This means that the warranty on the replacement actually expired before the warranty on the original.”

The rep offered to let him purchase a new Kindle for a discounted price, but he argued his case that the warranty should cover the replacement device because the one year should have restarted when the second Kindle was shipped, especially since he had two defective devices with the same exact problem.

“After a long time on hold, the CSR came back and said they would send me a replacement for free!” says Mike. “Thank you Amazon for being reasonable. I just wish I didn’t have to argue my case to get good service.”

Whether or not you agree with the Amazon rep that the warranty should cover the replacement device, it’s in Amazon’s best interest to keep Mike as a customer. The Kindle is really just a device to allow the company to sell e-books. Driving a customer away over an arguable, nitpicky point — especially since he was only two months past the warranty on the original purchase — would be bad business for Amazon.


Edit Your Comment

  1. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    …is there any sort of regulation or something that requires the full warranty period of the original device to be upheld…or that requires a certain amount of warranty covereage on the replacement?

    Say the original device died with one day left on the warranty, and Amazon ships him a replacement…which functions for 2 days, and then dies itself…could Amazon say “sorry, but your one-year warranty is over. Suck it!”

    • phsiii says:

      No, but there should be. Consider the number of warranties that aren’t transferable — or Kia’s, which is cut in half if you sell the car. WTF?!

  2. CrazyEyed says:

    Funny how you have to point out reason to receive experience that should come standard.

    Maybe the CSR didn’t like the way Mike was Nooking at him/her.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      I did it all for the nookie.

    • qwickone says:

      I don’t like it, but it’s really in a company’s best interest to at least try and make you go away without solving your problem. I expect better from Amazon, though I’m glad to hear they did the right thing with only limited prodding.

  3. Jacquilynne says:

    I don’t think the warranty should necessarily restart on the replacement (especially as replacements are often refurbs and not new units), but it certainly shouldn’t get any shorter as a result of a replacement being issued. If the replacement failed while the original was still under warranty, it should have been replaced. Since it failed after the original warranty expired, I think Amazon was probably right the first time.

    I wonder if the 90 day warranty in this case meant ‘if you get a replacement in the last 3 months of your 1 year warranty, we’ll extend it a bit so you’ve got 90 days on the new one’, rather than ‘if you get a replacement in the first 3 months of your 1 year warranty, we cut your warranty in half’ — it would be a fine distinction without the actual examples, and it might not have been communicated well.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      “Since it failed after the original warranty expired, I think Amazon was probably right the first time.”

      …not sure how you got that from the article. Might try that again.

      • blinky says:

        Probably from “In April 2011” and then “But then last week”, which would be the end of may, 2012.

        • blinky says:

          Oh, and “1-year warranty.”

          Math. Can’t live with it. Can’t do it.

          • YouDidWhatNow? says:

            Indeed. I will now accept your public mockings. Although, the whole year 20111 thing threw me off.

  4. blinky says:

    Mikey got a 13 month warranty for the price of 12? Perhaps he could talk to Electrolux about getting a replacement refrigerator for that other guy…

  5. shadow67 says:

    “In April 20111, Consumerist reader…” back from the future??? They are still using Kindle…

  6. homehome says:

    I don’t agree that the 2nd one should only be 90 days, it should at least finish the original warranty

    • jimbo831 says:

      It does. These warranties are always 90 days or the original warranty, whichever is longer.

  7. elangomatt says:

    That reminds me, I need to email Amazon and see if they have any way for me to purchase a new screen for my out-of-warranty kindle with lines on the screen. Last time I did that they just simply offered to replace it for free.

  8. Emily says:

    I think it’s the extremely magnetic climate of 20111 that is damaging his Kindles.

  9. glitterpig says:

    I’m on my third Kindle – the first one they replaced for free, even though a) my kid totally broke it, and I told them that up front and b) it was out of warranty, so I didn’t really push it when they “only” offered me half off on the third one. (The second was also out of warranty when it stopped working.)

  10. rdclark says:

    If replacements came with new warranties, people would just break things that are 11 months old. The total warranty would have been 12 months, and should have run out in April 2012.

    As usual, Amazon has offered the OP service above and beyond. If he had to argue his case, it’s because asking for a 13-month warranty is unreasonable.

  11. RayanneGraff says:

    Cell phone companies play the warranty game too. I had to get a defective phone replaced last year & was informed that since they were sending me a refurb device(THEIR choice, NOT mine), it only had a 90 day warranty compared to one year on a new device. Um, why should *I* get screwed because YOU chose to send me a refurb?!

  12. CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

    Yet today I had 2 ladies come in with defective Kindles & not only did they get them replaced under manufacturer warranty, but they start the 1 year all over again. Maybe the OP shouldn’t have bought from Amazon.