Here are the results of talking to a courteous Kindle representative:
Me:My Kindle 3g (keyboard) has developed a crack - about 3/4 of an inch, along one of the letters on the keyboard. T
Prashant:Hello Donald, my name is Prashant. I'm sorry to hear that your Kindle keyboard is damaged.
Me:Thank you. To be clear: I did not, however, damage it.
Prashant:Can you remember if the Kindle was dropped anytime or any physical pressure got applied on the device that might have caused this?
Me:No. I guard this thing very, very carefully. This is a KNOWN problem. (Also, if you'll check my history, you'll see that I've purchased plenty of Kindles - and with no previous problems.)
--- The only physical pressure is holding the device.
Prashant:Physical damages to the keyboard are very rare issues.
We will still be happy to replace your Kindle.
Even though your Kindle is no longer covered under the 1-year warranty, we will be able to create the replacement for a discounted price plus shipping.
Me:They may be very rare, based upon the millions sold. However, I am a Moderator at Mobileread.com, and we have a thread on this known issue.
Prashant:Also, you can have your replacement upgraded to a Kindle Touch, with 1-Year warranty.
Me:I HAVE a Kindle touch - a Paperwhite. Again, please check my purchase history. I'm not one to casually want replacements. This one, however, is faulty.
Prashant:I've checked your account and we do appreciate your business, Donald.
Please understand, the device is currently out of warranty, hence, we are unable to issue a free replacement.
Me:Kindle needs to do something about this stress cracks that have developed on Kindles.
I simply want a replacement for this device.
Prashant:I'll make sure to forward your feedback to our Kindle Team.
Me:I'm afraid I need more of a guarentee (spelling) than that.
Prashant:Would you like me to provide you with the replacement options?
Me:Yes. What are the options available for something that is not my fault?
Prashant:1. Certified Refurbished Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers - $74
2. Certified Refurbished Kindle Touch 3G (ATT), Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers - $104
Me:This is very unsatisfactory. I shall report this conversation fully with my MobileRead.com readers. --- Remember: this is a known problem. Perhaps you are too new to realize this?
Prashant:Alright. Let me just discuss this with my supervisor, who has been working with Amazon since before me, and check if this is indeed a known problem.
Could you please give me a couple of minutes?
Me:That would be appreciated.
Yes. Thank you.
Prashant:Thank you for being on hold, Donald.
Me:Additional purchase information: My Kindle 3g (with WiFi) was purchased for $250. It includes NO special offers and advertisments, which is certainly more desirable to me.
Prashant:I just discussed this issue with my supervisor and I'm sorry but this is not a known problem with the devices and we are unable to make any exceptions with the replacement.
Me:As I mentioned, I am a Moderator at MobileRead.com. THIS IS A REPORTED KNOWN ISSUE. I will make this conversation available for dissemination and further discussion. Your supervisor - frankly - is in error.
You've been very courteous, and I appreciate this fact.
I do realize this may be disappointing for you and I wish I had better news.
Me:Thank you for your time. Have your supervisor (or the person above him/her) to take a look at our website: MobileRead.com. ---- The Kindle forum is the busiest forum for ebook-reading devices.
Prashant:I'll make sure to forward the forum to our Kindle Team.