As I posted recently I have reconsidered my relationship with the Amazon’s Kindle. Having read the limited warranty that came with the device as well as what is posted on the website it seemed clear to me that after one year there was no guarantee. At the time I was aggravated, unhappy and perplexed. I was wrong too. Sometimes you have to make that phone call.
Of course I did not make it. My wife did since she had originally bought me the Kindle and had worked out the (now) 3 replacement Kindles. She spoke with them (although finding the right customer service number was a little bit tough) about the fact that my Kindle had simply died. They said no problem and sent a replacement Kindle to arrive THE NEXT DAY at Amazon’s expense. It was already loaded with my contact information such that as soon as I charged it up and turned it on it was easy to download the books that I had previously purchased into the replacement device from the content manager.
I am pleased, impressed and yes still a little perplexed. While I still hold that Amazon should send a replacement Kindle to any customer that complains their Kindle has stopped working (which they have done) as long as the customer sends back the old one (still at Amazon’s expense which is the case). But I have two questions.
1) Why don’t they publicize this feature? Possible answer – Amazon does not want to advertise that the device is somewhat fragile since that could undermine overall customer perception particularly in view of the new e-reader devices on the market. Anyone that calls will receive a replacement Kindle but one HAS to call.
2) Did anyone from Amazon actually read my blog post such that they decided to send me a replacement Kindle? I’m hardly one to be over-impressed with my own impact or self-importance so I highly doubt that.
Sales of e-books had reached just shy of $ 100 million as of August 2009 according to the Association of American Publishers. Additionally analysts are calling for sales to triple again over the next 13 months. And the Kindle is Amazon’s best selling item across ALL of its markets.
The Kindle aims to be the I-pod of e-readers. I think Amazon has a good shot there. However I do think they missed an opportunity with me to ‘buy’ up to the newer device the Kindle 2 or large screen tablet. I would have paid 50% (or less) of the purchase price of one of those newer devices. Instead I have a refurbished original Kindle – which I am grateful for but it was an opportunity lost as far as I am concerned.
Of course I could just be being greedy. Amazon continues to prove to be one of the leaders in customer service and satisfaction. And that’s high ground to hold.