karen_w_newton (karen_w_newton) wrote,

Amazon: how not to look good to your customers

I love my Kindle 2 even more than my Kindle 1. It makes reading convenient as well as enjoyable. But no matter how good a product it is technically, I have to say Amazon has a long way to go in figuring out how their customers are going to feel about what they do.

First there was the literally Orwellian disaster of Amazon realizing someone had loaded George Orwell's 1984 and Brave New World into the Kindle store when they are still covered by copyright in the US. What did Amazon do? They made their wonderful free wireless Whispernet connection into a sinister technology by deleting the books from people's Kindles with no advance warning! Talk about your PR nightmares! Even people who had never heard of Kindles started talking about it. The irony of the specific books involved was lost on no one.

Now, the New York Times has run an article highlighting the fact that Amazon offers virtually no help when a Kindle is stolen. Sure, every Kindle has a unique electronic signal, but no way are they going to help you track down your missing Kindle unless the police come knocking with a subpoena. A copy of a police report filed by the customer is not enough; it has to be the police. Do you know how busy the police are? When my daughter's cell phone was stolen from her locker at school, the county policy politely declined to investigate. Not worth their time.

One victim chalks this attitude up to the fact that the person who is using his stolen Kindle is probably buying books from Amazon. But Amazon needs to realize that if they make it so all the money you invest in buying books for your Kindle is wasted without having a Kindle, then they need to be better about helping you get it back.

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Tags: e-books, ebooks, kindle

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