Quick update: Amazon at least agreed to not require me to send the “broken” Kindle back. So at least it won’t go to the next poor sap that gets a “refurbished” Kindle. And maybe I can find a way to reset it to factory settings so it will respond after it’s turned on….what’s upsetting is that it took me ranting and raving over and over and mentioning this blog post before they agreed to that. I’m still out $115 for no fault of my own, so I’m still annoyed, but not quite as upset with them as I was initially.
I have been a customer of Amazon.com for probably 20 years, since back when they just sold books. I continued to buy more with Amazon when they branched out into music, to movies, to electronics and now Amazon Prime and all the “Sold by but actually just sold THROUGH Amazon” stuff they do now. I received the original Kindle e-reader as a gift, loved it, and went on to buy the first edition Kindle Fire. A few weeks ago, I ordered a new video game system. Which was fine until I tried to put a game disk into it and the disk door was broken. I had to return it, buy another one until Amazon received the return to process a credit. Then a game I ordered from them was physically defective and I had to return that as well.
Well, this time, they went too far. I paid almost $400 for an 8.9″ Kindle Fire 32 GB HD a year and a half ago. It stopped charging this February so they sent me a replacement. The replacement was working just fine until I turned it on last night and they “pushed” a software update to it. And it broke it. The update downloaded completely, but the Kindle would not reboot. As a matter of fact, I know it works because when I manually turn it on, the “Kindle Fire” logo displays and even animates: after which time the screen goes completely blank. I called last night and their representative told me there was a known issue with the update and the engineers were working on it. He said they’d have a fix hopefully within 48 hours and he would email me a status update by 9 a.m. this morning. 9 a.m. came and went and I had no information. So I called back today and spent two frustrating hours giving my name, billing address, email address, blah blah blah and telling every subsequent representative the same thing I’d told the previous one. Bottom line, they have no idea what I’m talking about. Or what the representative told me last night. They said they can’t see that any update was pushed to the Kindle and that for some reason, all my Kindles had gotten “deregistered.” I certainly didn’t ask for an update, nor did I deregister my Kindles.
They actually CHARGED me for a “discounted” replacement, which is of course not a new product but a “refurbished” one, AND they want me to return this one! So they get more money out of me because of something THEY did, AND they get a broken Kindle that they can “fix” and resell to some other unsuspecting sap as a “refurbished” one.
Not only do their representatives obviously LIE, but they apparently have no accountability because future representatives can’t go back and see what’s already been said. Oh, you can TRY and discuss everything over an online “chat” so you have a written record, but as soon as they realize it’s something that is more complex than “Did you push the on button?” they immediately make you go to the phone. So there is no record of what is said.
Furthermore, Amazon isn’t standing behind either what they say or their products. I’ve spent a lot of money with Amazon over 20+ years and would have continued if their products and customer service stayed the way it used to be. I’ve cancelled all my subscriptions with Amazon, will cancel the renewal of Amazon Prime, and will not purchase any electronics from them again.
If anyone else is considering buying something more advanced than a DVD from Amazon, I’d strongly urge you to reconsider.