The Kindle is dead, long live the Kindle!


Word count: 317 words

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

My Kindle died last week. Inconveniently, this occurred while I was out of town, on holiday and, thus, in read-like-a-maniac mode. (I usually try to finish a book a day while on holiday although am sometimes slowed down when I attack a particularly long tome, such as the 656-page Steve Jobs bio.)

When I called Kindle customer support I did not get the sharpest knife in the drawer. My rep was deferential and placating but not very bright. I told him the the little light indicating the Kindle was charging did not turn on when I plugged the device into the charger. “Try charging it for 24 hours and then I’ll call you back,” he said, unhelpfully. When I reminded him that my reason for calling was precisely because the device would NOT charge, he made me try for an hour.

Fortunately, after 60 minutes of purgatory, he called me back and then offered to send me a replacement for free. Because my device was “outside” of warranty (ie: more than a year old) he warned me he had to charge me for it on my credit card but then would immediately reverse the charges. This seemed a bit sketchy to me, but my refund has already been issued.

And now, less than two days later, I hold a brand new Kindle in my hands. Surely the most amazing aspect of this is that they managed to get it across the Canadian border in such record time. (I’m expecting a shake-down from the RCMP at any moment!)

I’m not sure I understand how Kindle’s business plan works. Am I guaranteed a fully functioning Kindle in perpetuity? Surely not! But I’m not complaining. The Kindle may not have a colour screen (unless you’re willing to pay a premium for the Fire model) but it’s significantly lighter weight than the iPad and far easier to read in sunlight.

Call me a fan.

Posted March 22nd, 2012 in Miscellaneous

  • Tim Christian

    I’m not surprised they sent it to you for free. My guess is they make most of their money from the books you buy.

    • But I don’t think it was just me. Weirdly enough, I had a friend whose Kindle died the very next day and he was offered the same deal, too. Hmm, I’m wondering if they monitor your purchasing level and if it reaches a certain mark, offer the Kindle for free?

      • Tim Christian

        I was using the “royal you”. (It’s real…don’t look it up, though.) I love my Nook, but I wonder if they’d respond the same way since I can buy books from many sources.

        • Ah, good point. I don’t know how the Nook would play this game. Let me know if you ever find out!!

          • Stoneyjakes

            I now that Kobo does not react like that. Mine was having problems within a year but I could not find original receipt. Their best suggestion “Best Buy sometimes has a good deal on refurbished ones” – no suggestions on how to deal with problem or even any empathy!

          • So sorry to hear that!

  • Maureen

    Sam got a Kindle recently — the regular one, not the Touch — and has been enjoying it, although it’s very annoying that it will not read all e-book formats. This means it is not compatible with many of the books in the Vancouver Public Library. He refuses to purchase any e-book that can’t be transferred to his other devices, and Amazon’s e-books are DRM’d. For a while, this meant he was only reading .pdfs but now he’s figured out a workaround. His Kindle arrived in a day or two as well.

    Jacob has one of the Sony e-readers and it’s quite amazing. It will not read Amazon downloads unless you can break the DRM, but it will read more textbook formats than the Kindle, and he mainly needs it for texts. It will work for Chapters downloads. It also has Touch capability, so when he went to Boston he downloaded all his maps and MIT info and he was able to touch the map and expand it to the location he wanted. He’s been enjoying reading free classics like Dracula and one of Einstein’s books. Like the Kindle, it has e-paper, which makes it nice to read.

    I’m still happy with paper. Goes well with Geritol. But, seriously, one of the problems with these e-readers is that we can’t share the books. Sam and Jacob have different devices and the rest of us don’t have e-readers, so anything that’s in one of their e-readers is lost to the rest of us. With a household full of bookworms, that’s a serious problem.

    • One solution to the e-readers issue is to get one account. I don’t know how it works with Nook or Sony but with Kindle you can have up to five devices on one account.

      I bought my husband a Kindle for his birthday last year and now we can share all our books. You aren’t limited to doing this with family members but they do have to be linked to one credit card. So you should probably be really clear about who’s going to pay for what before you set up your devices this way.

  • Hester Riches

    Daphne, your post is really relevant to me. I had some Kindle problems this week as well, but was pretty amazed by the customer support response when I reported the issues. Customer response is key to all success .

    • You are so right! Are your problems resolved now? Nothing worse than not having a “book” in your back pocket!