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Old 05-13-2009, 11:00 AM   #1
jswinden
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Angry Amazon's horrible customer support/service

My first Kindle2 purchased in March had battery issues and Whispernet issues. This week I got a replacement Kindle2. It still has the battery and Whispernet issues, and the screen fades in direct sunlight, which the first Kindle2 did not do. I called Amazon Support to complain and was told that all e-Ink screens fade in direct sunlight. I answered this by telling the guy my Sony PRS-505 has the same e-Ink screen and does not fade in sunlight, nor did my first Kindle2. He again repeated his claim and same as said there was nothing they could or would do about it. I lowered my voice and demanded to speak with his manager. He said he would check to see if the manager was available and put me on hold for a few minutes. When he came back he said his manager was busy, but he would go ahead and send me yet another replacement. I told him that was fine but that I wanted a new unit and not some old returned unit. I mentioned that the forums talked about earlier Kindle2 problems with screen fading that have now apparently been fixed, so I wanted a new unit. He told me I would get a refurbished unit--period. I finally agreed but said that it better work. He hung up on me at that point...

I called Amazon Support again, got a different person, and quickly explained what was happening and that I had been hung up on. She was really nice and processed my order for the second replacement Kindle2.

I am now quite upset with Amazon as my first Kindle2 was a brand new unit, was only 6 weeks old when replaced, and got replaced with a refurbished POS. Now my second replacement is coming and it will also be a refurbished unit. That is a terrible way to treat customers.

And in case you are wondering--my Sony PRS-505 is hands down a better reader than the Kindle2. No more Kindles will be in my future.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:02 AM   #2
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I'm sorry to hear that, I've heard of many people who returned a Kindle that had a screen fade in direct sunlight.

My 505 actually does this, but since it doesn't bother me much and I would be unable to live without my Reader even for a day I haven't exchanged it.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:04 AM   #3
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Unfortuate, jswinden. But all to common a complaint amonst K2 users.

My K1, on the other hand, works beautifully in the sunlight, I was just out yesterday in the Arizona sun, and there is NO fading. I have never heard of the K1 doing this.

You got an unknowledgeable rep the first time. Glad you got the problem taken care of the second time.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:15 AM   #4
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refurbished is a title they have to give to customer returns, could have been nothing wrong with it. Even so hopefully Amazon gave it a good lookover and you'll be fine
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:23 AM   #5
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There's nothing wrong with a "refurbished" unit. Are you worried the previous owner farted on it or something? A "refurbished" unit has had a second going over so it's even less likely to have a defect than a brand new one off the line. And for a K2 it's at most a couple of months older.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:28 AM   #6
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It's more the principle of the matter. A nearly brand new unit with a clear defect shouldn't be replaced with a refurbished one. If you buy a brand new $25,000 car and the engine was defective, would you be satisfied if they replaced the car with one that you [i]could[i] have bought yourself for $18,000 ?

(Personally, refurbs are fine, as long as I have the original warrantee period. Not very many moving parts to wear out on a Kindle.)
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:28 PM   #7
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Well, it sounds like they lived up to their terms of service. You just happened to get a poor customer service rep the first time. The second rep seems to have done a good job. If your new (refurbished) Kindle shows up with the same problem, can you get a refund at this point? Maybe it's time to go back to that PRS-505.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:33 PM   #8
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My Samsung LCD monitor died during the warranty. I called Samsung and they sent out a refurbished unit. You'd never know it's refurbished at all.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirbruce View Post
There's nothing wrong with a "refurbished" unit. Are you worried the previous owner farted on it or something? A "refurbished" unit has had a second going over so it's even less likely to have a defect than a brand new one off the line. And for a K2 it's at most a couple of months older.
That's also standard in the industry.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:45 PM   #10
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Sorry you got a lemon--both in terms of the device and the CS agent. Hopefully your next unit will be a keeper. I'm another one who's had several refurbished products over the years without a problem, and I wouldn't hesitate to take another as long as the warranty remained the same.

While it sounds more common in K2s, there have been a number of reports on other forums of K1s with the same sun fade issue. I think we're hearing about it more simply due to the high volume of K2s shipped in a two month span.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirbruce View Post
There's nothing wrong with a "refurbished" unit. Are you worried the previous owner farted on it or something? A "refurbished" unit has had a second going over so it's even less likely to have a defect than a brand new one off the line. And for a K2 it's at most a couple of months older.
I'm not trying to mean or anything, but that is a bit naive and trusting to expect that a returned unit will actually be fixed or even checked. I'm pretty sure I got a returned unit that someone returned because of the fading issue, and it apparently was not fixed. I seriously doubt Amazon had even checked it, at least not outside in direct sunlight.

To expect a returned and refurbished unit to be top notch is not a good idea, IMHO. I certainly would not buy a car that had been wrecked, then refurbished and sold as new. To me, refurbished means something broken, supposedly fixed, then pawned off on another customer.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
I'm sorry to hear that, I've heard of many people who returned a Kindle that had a screen fade in direct sunlight.

My 505 actually does this, but since it doesn't bother me much and I would be unable to live without my Reader even for a day I haven't exchanged it.
I know what you mean. The one good thing in all this replacement issue is that Amazon shipped the replacement and gave me 30 days to return the "returned" unit so I didn't have to do without the K2. I was able to await the arrival of the replacement, then return the bad one using the same shipping box. The same thing is happening with the second replacement, so I won't be without a K2. The current one is bad, but it is still readable when not in direct sunlight, although the screen is not nearly as clear as the original one..
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:46 PM   #13
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It's entirely possible that Amazon isn't checking for the sun fading issue on refurbs, but that says nothing about whether or not refurbs are better or worse than new ones. You can always keep sending Kindles back until you get one you like; there have been people who have returned 3 or 4 already.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:54 PM   #14
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I did see some screen fade on my 500. But that was using the 1st generation eink screen. No such exists on my 505. if it had, I would have gone to SonyStyle and swapped it for a new one until I got one that worked in sunlight. And I would have gotten a new one.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:25 PM   #15
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It's entirely possible that Amazon isn't checking for the sun fading issue on refurbs, but that says nothing about whether or not refurbs are better or worse than new ones. You can always keep sending Kindles back until you get one you like; there have been people who have returned 3 or 4 already.
I'd be leary about returning it too many times. There is another thread here on Mobileread complaining about being banned by Amazon for a supposed abuse of their return policy. (Sorry, I'm too lazy to go look up the link to that thread.)
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