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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having a severe kindle1 problem and amazon's cs response is pretty tepid.  I'd like to know what you more experienced people think.

I've had my Kindle 1 since Christmas and have really liked it, but since day one it has had an intermittent problem of freezing temporarily at a page turn and then flipping me back to the home page and losing track of my reading location. It also sometimes spontaneously changes the font size on me (not because of any font change in the text.) Sometimes it will get me stuck in the footnotes and refuse to go into the text . Also, it will go for days telling me it is unable to connect to the whispernet, when I have 5 bars of service strength (live near a tower.) These all occur with the battery fully charged, and the jumping back to home page and font changes have happened with whispernet off. It has happened on about 4 or 5 different books. But, some days the Kindle seemed to be fine.

When I finally realized that this was NOT something I was doing by accidentally pushing the wrong button, I called Customer Service. The rep helped me to reset it using the button on the back and a paper clip, saying that should take care of the problem but if not, they might need to replace the unit. It was fine for about a day and then the problems started again. I was traveling then, so did not call CS again until a month later, when the problem got so bad that I couldn't read the novel I was on. 

This time the CS rep talked me through a factory reset, which wiped everything off the kindle. She told me to only download one book at a time and read it, then download one more and read it, etc., and to call them immediately if the problem occurred again. I questioned what was the good of having a kindle if I could only have one book in it at a time, but she said this was just a short-term strategy to see if we could locate a corrupted book. I was skeptical because this had occured on several books from Day 1, but agreed to follow her directions. As soon as we hung up, I downloaded one novel and the problem happened immediately, so I called back. The CS rep I got this time said it sounded like a software problem to him. He had me connect my kindle to whispernet and got some info from it. Then he told me he had to send this to tech support, but they were very busy, so it would be 3 or 4 days before I could expect any response. I asked, "So I have to just put my kindle on the shelf for days until I hear back from you?" and he said yes.

Let me emphasize the extent of the problem again:  it is now not worth the frustration of trying to use the kindle; it flips around so often that I can't follow the thread of what I'm reading.  My kindle is unusable.

I was surprised and confused. Customer service before had seemed so helpful, and other people have reported immediate satisfaction, but now it seems like I may be getting a runaround. Intentional or not, this is really bad advertising for amazon and kindle, because I know several people who are watching my experience with the kindle to decide whether to buy one themselves, and I had been contemplating getting kindles for my husband, daughter, and mother. Now we're all wondering whether kindle is ready for prime time. But, maybe I have unreasonable expectations of CS. 

The last I spoke to CS was Tuesday; this is Friday and I am still waiting.

So, here are my questions for kindle 1 owners: Have you had these problems? If so, how were they resolved? And, finally, what would you expect from CS in this situation?

Thanks. I loved, loved, loved my kindle -- when it worked!  Advice? Words of wisdom?
Cindy
 

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This sounds like a serious problem and being expected to wait days on end, without the use of your Kindle, for a resolution to the problem is not acceptable. At least it wouldn't be to me.

I think you need to call back and get your complaint escalated to the next level of customer service. It sounds like a replacement may be what is needed. I have heard of people with K1's being offered a refurb unit as a replacement. Just to let you know -- I bought a refurb as a gift and it looked brand new. It was certainly not a used Kindle. Many others here have gotten refurbs and have been very happy with them.

Give CS a call and report back. We're rooting for you. You should be able to read your Kindle -- that's what you bought it for, after all.

L
 

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I had the exact same problem.  They walked me through the reset with the paper clip, setting it back to factory default and that didn't solve my problem.  When I downloaded my first book it happened again.  I called them back and they sent me a new one with no more questions. If I were you I would call them back and get a new one. 
 

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Leslie's absolutely right.  Call back to CS and calmly but firmly ask to be connected to someone who can authorize a return.

Betsy
 

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If you've been waiting 3 days with an unusable Kindle, that is unacceptable.  Most people have gotten a replacement shipped out the same day.  I'd call back and try again with another CS rep.  I think you just got one that was under par.
 

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My K1 jumped a few times a couple weeks ago.  My stomach did a couple of flip flops.  I turned my K off, plugged it in and let it charge for the night.  The next day it seemed fine and I've had no further problems.

What everyone else has said is correct, three days waiting is unreasonable.  Time to get pushy.
Let us know how this resolves.
Thanks, deb
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for your quick responses and support.  About 20 minutes ago, I received an email from Tuesday's CS rep saying he was sorry he didn't have any answers yet and that it would be at least 2 -3 more business days!  Well, that was the last straw. 

What everyone said here, plus this proposal of an even longer wait, convinced me to call CS again.  The rep I got tonight was excellent, courteous and helpful.  I was very calm, b/c I just had a feeling they would do right by me this time.  He said it didn't sound like a software problem if it had occurred with almost every book I'd read, and he got permission to send me a new Kindle overnight.  Of course, because I waited until now, Friday night, I won't have it until Monday :-( but I am thrilled at the prospect of having a working kindle again.  Plus, my faith has been restored in amazon's customer service.

Thank you again, everyone, and I hope to return to this board very soon as an avid kindle user.  If the replacement kindle1 experience goes well, soon members of my family may start receiving kindles from me as gifts ;-)

Cindy
 

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Cindy,

Thanks for letting us know what happened. Report back when your new K arrives, okay? Are they sending you a refurb?

L
 

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Cindy, great news!!!!  Sorry you have to be Kindle-less for the weekend, hope the weather is good enough you can do other things!

Let us know when you get the new one!

Betsy
 

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Cindy, glad you got the problem resolved.  Kind persistence works very well.
deb
 

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"Kind Persistence" is an excellent way to put it.  The CS people are, after all, human. . .I tend to assume they are trying to help, but if they're not, really, I have no problem calling back to find someone who CAN!

Ann
 

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Ann in Arlington said:
"Kind Persistence" is an excellent way to put it. The CS people are, after all, human. . .I tend to assume they are trying to help, but if they're not, really, I have no problem calling back to find someone who CAN!
Ditto. Sometimes a different person can make all the difference in the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes, it's interesting to note how four different reps had four different approaches to the problem -- a little like consulting different doctors!  I assume, since they're not manufacturing Kindle1s any longer, that my replacement will be a refurbished one.  That's fine; actually, my original was a refurbished unit, obtained around Thanksgiving 08 because new ones were no longer available (remember the "Oprah shortage?")  I just didn't receive it until Christmas, because it was a gift.

Thanks again, everyone, for your kindness and support.

Cindy
 

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I did telecomm work for Sprint and I can guarantee "shopping around" for reps is a good thing to do.  You'll get vastly different service from one rep to another, some have been there for years and pride themselves on high call volume which means getting you off the line ASAP.  I seriously found myself on the line for hours with some people trying to do my best to get difficult situations handled, once I stayed an hour past when I was supposed to be gone for the evening... that's also why I don't work there anymore.  I can't speak for Amazon, but I know Sprint was more concerned with getting people off the line than helping them.  I got lectured one too many times for actually trying to take my time to help people so I quit.
 
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