Posted by: seanoldblog | 2010/09/22

2. Kindle, Amazon’s Customer Service Triumph

When was the last time you had a positive customer service experience?  For me it has been so long that I assumed the worst.  So low were my expectations that I let it go for a long time: four months.  In a sense, you could say I had given up without a fight.  In this case, I am very pleased to admit that this was my mistake.

The screen malfunction on my Kindle was also really my own fault.  You see, I love this thing.  It gets the ‘Best Holiday Gift of the Year Award’.  I would take it everywhere, and I travel a LOT.  I am typically in the middle of at least four or five books.  With the Kindle, I can have them all in my guitar bag leaving plenty of room for the folders of music for the day’s gigs, plus a few cables, etc.  Due to a worn out zipper the big bottom pouch where I keep this stuff is usually open to the elements.  One day while waiting for the bus, it was raining ever so lightly and even around my umbrella, the Kindle got wet around the top where the headphone jack and sliding power button are.

When I got to the backstage area before the show, I went to open up my book and the screen saver didn’t go away all the way:

No matter what I did it wouldn’t go away.  All the soft key combinations, all the holding down the power switch for 30 seconds… nothing worked.

It was damaged and I was heartbroken.  And I assumed there was no way in hell it could be remedied unless I bought a new one.

Months later, a friend suggested I call Amazon.  I laughed.  He insisted, said it would be easy, just log on to Kindle support, get the number, talk them through the problem, and they would make it right.  So wounded am I from past customer service experiences that I still waited a week even though I was hopeful that he was right.

Finally, I logged on to the kindle support page and was asked to enter my phone number.  Huh?  Then click here and answer your phone when it rings.  Huh?  There was someone on the other end of the phone ready to help me.  Huh?  Anticipating an unimaginative reading-from-a-script approach, I asked for their email address so I could just send that picture of my faulty screen.  He did, I did, and within minutes, we had a plan.  They overnighted me a new one – free – with simple instructions of how to make the changeover on my account and return the damaged unit postage-paid.

The interesting thing is I was actually considering getting an iPad next.  The Kindle folks have given me a great deal of customer satisfaction, though.  Would Apple?

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