*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Monday 9 June 2014

Kindle Paperwhite Broken - %$#@ Amazon's Response

Short Version: do not buy a Kindle device, and do not use the Kindle App.

Amazon Response:
Thank you for contacting us at Amazon.co.jp. The price for the replacement of your Kindle Paperwhite is 6500 yen. Please contact us again by phone or chat if you'd like your Kindle to be replaced. 

That is completely unacceptable.  Amazon should have reviewed how much I have spent with them before expecting I pay 60% of full price for a device which is broken through no fault of my own.  I am a customer with a long memory, and not only will I not buy another Kindle at any price, nor ebooks from Amazon for other devices, I will divert my purchases in all categories to other vendors.  I will also be sure that everyone I know is aware of how little you value your customers.  As an example, I was going to spend 50000y on an Amazon gift card for a colleague's wedding.*  I had collected donations from my workplace.  This will now be a cash gift and not go through Amazon.  Well done.

Thanks for nothing.

Original Post:

I am not impressed.

Diagram doesn't work and my PC doesn't even recognize the device when plugged in.  No warning.

I have had it for less than a year and a half, which is of course past the one-year warranty, and it's skunked.  I am not even bothered by the expense as I have made my money back on it by getting ebooks cheaper than print (though now, not so much more cheaply).  I am bothered by the inconvenience.  Inconvenience makes me hate devices: once wasted an hour grilled by Dell for a simple power cord.  More devices make my life more troublesome.  Not acceptable.  Here are the inconveniences:

1. Dealt with customer service once by email, to avoid dicking around on the phone/'chat', to see if I can get a deal on a replacement.

2. Got obvious 'trouble shooting' suggestions they expect me not yet to have done; however, I am INTJ, so insulted dealt with as sheeple.

3. Responded to them by email, although they specified phone/'chat', making it clear that I'd done their 'trouble shooting' before I contacted them, and need to know what offer they will make before I take my time to phone/'chat' them.

4. I am sure they will insist I phone/'chat'.

5. They will give me a bullshit offer that will cost me thousands of yen.

6. I will refuse that, and decide to use the Kindle app on my smartphone for my unread ebooks, but buy no more from Kindle, and as little product as I can from Amazon.  I am a vengeful customer: 'Fool me once...'

7. To move my ebooks to my smartphone I have to fuck around with Amazon accounts in different countries still, I think.  Do you think the Amazon app could be registered to any country but the US?  Do you think even the US website could tell you how to move items from a Kindle to an Android phone?

8. Use my smartphone colour-reversed, and buy books from Google Play, if they have the selection.

9. Go back to paper, because it is a better reading experience (especially as I am a spatial thinker), and pretty hard to break.

The lesson I take from this is to buy as little technology as I can.  I require a smartphone and a PC, and will try to avoid having the following, because they are just more crap to manage and pay for:
- TV
- tablet
- eReader
- camera or video
- car...

Oh, my J-wife's getting a Rakuten Kobo.  She'd decided simply for the better selection of Japanese titles, but the decision looks the better now.  If only one could get a version of that Russian phone with a regular and e-ink screen.

*This happens to be true.

More fruitless communication:
My Paperwhite is broken, so I want to transfer the books I have bought from the Japanese Kindle store [for my now broken Paperwhite] to my Kindle App [on my Android phone] .  How do I do this?
The response was how to get Kindle books for my app from the Kindle store.  The method to register an Android device to the Japanese Kindle Store was unnecessarily complicated by having Amazon accounts in three countries.  It is next to impossible to transfer my Japanese account contents to my Canadian account: this is false advertising on Amazon's part.

More of the same when asking them about transferring content to Amazon Canada.  Amazon Canada: get on the phone and fart around with us.


  1. I spend my working days mucking about with the internals of computers, the last thing I need is to deal with some damn flaky electronic devices (and the complexer they get, the more there is to go wrong).

    Books I order from http://www.bookdepository.com/ , they take a bit longer to arrive and are maybe not quite so cheap, but at least they're not hell-bent on dominating the entire global retail industry and supply chain.

  2. Aside from Kathryn's books... I stick to paper. For a tech-geek, I can't do e-books. Not to mention, when kingdom comes I will be able to enjoy Frank Herbert in day light... instead of crying over loss of power to keep my devices for reading juiced. They do take up space but they never fail you...

  3. The Kindle worked well for me in Japan for various reasons, not least of which is that I had little choice but to buy new here, as the fewer and fewer used book stores with English titles in Tokyo charge too much: against that ebooks are a good deal.

    Ebooks have opened up publishing, and that is a fine thing: such as with Kathryn. This is no thanks to Amazon. They've just jumped on a bandwagon, or rather, tried to hijack it and paper books publishing also. They are shitting on the 'golden egg': bad PR with their labour and business practices and less than reliable devices, not to mention issues with the Kindle app.

  4. Thanks Susie :)

    Don't move to Kobo, they are owned by Rakuten! I do think the reason Amazon has the (huge) advantage in the market is that they excel at searching and recommendations. I tried to use Kobo and it's fine if you are the kind of person who knows exactly what you want and can search by title and author but otherwise it's a mess. B&N I've never used but seems to be in constant financial straits.

    If you think dealing with Amazon as a customer is awful, try getting royalties from them. I've been owed money for months, serious 4 figured money! I finally have been dealing with a wonderful woman who actually reads my emails and gives me a customised response instead of the same robotic answers - and she's been slowly unravelling the mess and getting my $$$ to me. Hopefully by the end of this month, I'll have all my lovely money (apart from the ripoff bank charges because Amazon refuse to pay by paypal).

    1. Send that lady a gift of some kind.

      So far as I can tell, nobody does customer service anymore. Before I purchase anything I consider what I can put up with as a problem to solve on my own.

      Loathe Rakuten. Refuse outright to use it for the mere fact that their web-pages encapsulate the worst about Japanese design: fecking clutter. However, the wife uses it happily as she is Japanese enough to take it as the norm. I will not purchase another reader, period.

    2. I've used Rakuten in the past but they sign you up for a shitload of mailing lists and you have to go to various places on their site to unsubscribe. I think Japan has no anti-spamming laws.

      Am also still signed up for private English teacher sites that I can't get off - not only frustrating for me but must also be annoying for the potential students that sometimes contact me.

      My theory is that companies purposely make customer service awful. It's cheaper to lose a few customers than try to keep them. I've got a feeling that Australian companies who advertise that their customer service is in Australia will have a huge competitive advantage here because no one wants to deal with the alternative.