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Old 05-24-2010, 01:27 AM   #1
Roy Hinkley
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Angry My frustrating Kindle experience. Sigh.

Well, here's my Kindle & Amazon story for what it's worth.

A friend purchased a Kindle 2 for me as a gift. What a wonderful gift!

I received it and a few days later, a tv remote was dropped onto the screen. I called Amazon and paid $161 to have it replaced. Ok, not the Kindle's fault. I received the replacement which was "new" according to customer support and my invoice.

It arrived with scratches on it and was a previous version. It frequently locked up when turning pages. Amazon replaced this one, so now I have 3 of them. egads.

One day after having it, I was reading in bed. It slid from my hand, and landed on a metal bar at the side of the bed. The total distance was 4". I picked it up and looked - not a single scratch, scuff or mark on the plastic or the screen. I breathed a sigh of relief. I turned the page and 1/2 of the screen updated.

As an aside, I had purchased a cover for it, but it still hasn't arrived.

I called Amazon and they said that it should not have broken at that distance, and that they would send a replacement for free. Two hours later I get a phone message stating that if I want a replacement I have to pay full price plus shipping. I've had several calls and emails back and forth with Amazon. I sent an email yesteray with the tracking number, which confirms they have receive all 3 of the units. I also asked why they could not replace it and if they would, I would still like one.

They contact me and ask if I could do a few steps on the Kindle to determine if it is actually broken. Hmmm, they have the unit, but want me to test it?

I just got off the phone with them and they are refunding my friend the purchase price. While the original support went well, it seemed to fall apart quickly. Everyone I talked to or emailed had a different answer and it seems that nobody knows what is going on with it.

I've read about many people who have had the Kindle 2 for a long time, some have dropped them, and nothing has broken. I've also read the opposite. It seems that it depends upon how it impacts, and if it just happens to hit the wrong way. Bad luck of the draw, so to speak?

However, in my personal experience, these things are just too dang fragile. I've used electronics for 30 years, laptops, LCDs, etc. and I've never had a problem like this before.I've had laptops which, in all honesty, have taken a beating.

I do believe that the Kindle has some of the best features I've seen: text-to-speech, very fast loading of books, page turns, all-in-all, I was very happy with it. It was great. But, I lost confidence in it. In my feeling, it's not rugged. I wouldn't trust it to take it out of the house. There is no way that I would take it with me when travelling. I realize that many people have had different experiences, I'm just saying how I feel about it.

And, with my recent experience with Amazon customer support, I have to ask what the heck is going on. Nobody could explain why I couldn't get another replacement. They don't know.

In the end, I'm really happy to be rid of the Kindle. It was a bad experience for me. Very bad.

I feel bad for my friend who gave it as a gift, though. What a wonderful gift and an expensive gesture. He will get the refund, however. At least, I'm told that he will. It takes 2 weeks to process the refund, according to Amazon, so I'll see.

The nook isn't available in Canada, so that's likely off my list. I guess my search continues, but I can't help but wondering if any eInk screen is this fragile?
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:58 AM   #2
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Well, I've been hyper-careful with my Sony 505, so I can't say whether it's fragile or not. One of the things that decided me on the Sony over the Kindle, though, when I was researching the purchase, was that the Kindle felt flimsy. The Sony felt more like a serious piece of electronics in my hand (the steel case no doubt having a lot to do with that). So, that's another direction you might want to look.
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:31 AM   #3
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My Kindle has accompanied me for over 7 months now - traveling and going to work. I always carry it with me in my purse, read it on the plane, in the subway, waiting for the bus. And it works beautifully for me. Not one little problem, so far. But then, I never dropped it
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Hinkley View Post
The nook isn't available in Canada, so that's likely off my list. I guess my search continues, but I can't help but wondering if any eInk screen is this fragile?
ALL the current eInk screens are just as fragile. The Kindle is actually the most robust, because of the large bezel around the screen. However, direct impact on the screen will often break it.

The problem is that the current eInk screens use a very thin glass substrate for the electronics that control the individual pixels. Glass is obviously prone to shattering, especially through twisting (not so much a problem with the kindle) or direct impact.

eInk screens with plastic or metal substrates are promised for later this year, but no-one (except Plastic Logic) have announced such a reader yet.

I've had the screen break on two CyBooks, and I currently have a Kindle and a Sony-505. I certainly won't be buying another eInk device with a screen with a glass substrate.
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:00 AM   #5
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What's the timeline for these incidents...? Amazon has got fantastic customer service, as far as I know..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Hinkley View Post
Well, here's my Kindle & Amazon story for what it's worth.

A friend purchased a Kindle 2 for me as a gift. What a wonderful gift!

I received it and a few days later, a tv remote was dropped onto the screen. I called Amazon and paid $161 to have it replaced. Ok, not the Kindle's fault. I received the replacement which was "new" according to customer support and my invoice.

It arrived with scratches on it and was a previous version. It frequently locked up when turning pages. Amazon replaced this one, so now I have 3 of them. egads.

One day after having it, I was reading in bed. It slid from my hand, and landed on a metal bar at the side of the bed. The total distance was 4". I picked it up and looked - not a single scratch, scuff or mark on the plastic or the screen. I breathed a sigh of relief. I turned the page and 1/2 of the screen updated.

As an aside, I had purchased a cover for it, but it still hasn't arrived.

I called Amazon and they said that it should not have broken at that distance, and that they would send a replacement for free. Two hours later I get a phone message stating that if I want a replacement I have to pay full price plus shipping. I've had several calls and emails back and forth with Amazon. I sent an email yesteray with the tracking number, which confirms they have receive all 3 of the units. I also asked why they could not replace it and if they would, I would still like one.

They contact me and ask if I could do a few steps on the Kindle to determine if it is actually broken. Hmmm, they have the unit, but want me to test it?

I just got off the phone with them and they are refunding my friend the purchase price. While the original support went well, it seemed to fall apart quickly. Everyone I talked to or emailed had a different answer and it seems that nobody knows what is going on with it.

I've read about many people who have had the Kindle 2 for a long time, some have dropped them, and nothing has broken. I've also read the opposite. It seems that it depends upon how it impacts, and if it just happens to hit the wrong way. Bad luck of the draw, so to speak?

However, in my personal experience, these things are just too dang fragile. I've used electronics for 30 years, laptops, LCDs, etc. and I've never had a problem like this before.I've had laptops which, in all honesty, have taken a beating.

I do believe that the Kindle has some of the best features I've seen: text-to-speech, very fast loading of books, page turns, all-in-all, I was very happy with it. It was great. But, I lost confidence in it. In my feeling, it's not rugged. I wouldn't trust it to take it out of the house. There is no way that I would take it with me when travelling. I realize that many people have had different experiences, I'm just saying how I feel about it.

And, with my recent experience with Amazon customer support, I have to ask what the heck is going on. Nobody could explain why I couldn't get another replacement. They don't know.

In the end, I'm really happy to be rid of the Kindle. It was a bad experience for me. Very bad.

I feel bad for my friend who gave it as a gift, though. What a wonderful gift and an expensive gesture. He will get the refund, however. At least, I'm told that he will. It takes 2 weeks to process the refund, according to Amazon, so I'll see.

The nook isn't available in Canada, so that's likely off my list. I guess my search continues, but I can't help but wondering if any eInk screen is this fragile?
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:20 AM   #6
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Yes, I was wondering about the timeline too.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:01 AM   #7
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Wow. HE broke two of the 3 devices. And he wants Amazon to replace them when he breaks them. Just WOW.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post

eInk screens with plastic or metal substrates are promised for later this year, but no-one (except Plastic Logic) have announced such a reader yet.
.
can't wait for readers like this:
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:08 AM   #9
Roy Hinkley
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Yes, I was wondering about the timeline too.
3 weeks.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by vaughnmr View Post
Wow. HE broke two of the 3 devices. And he wants Amazon to replace them when he breaks them. Just WOW.
No, you're missing the point. The first time I had no problem paying for a replacement. The second time, IMHO, was not entirely my fault. In other words, it should be more robust. The problem was not that they wouldn't replace it, it was that they said they would, then said they wouldn't, then kept giving me a runaround and finally asking me to do things to it when they have the device. All I wanted was a little consistency from Amazon.

The device is too fragile.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Hinkley View Post
The device is too fragile.
:shrugs: I guess it depends on what you're doing with it, but the majority of users don't seem to have a problem. I've been using eInk devices since '07 and have had a K2 since they were released and haven't had any breakage issues and I've take them pretty much everywhere I go.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:24 AM   #12
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Wow. HE broke two of the 3 devices. And he wants Amazon to replace them when he breaks them. Just WOW.
Actually, no. As I read this:

1. He broke one -- and paid for a replacement.

2. The replacement was a different model, used, when they promised a new unit of the same model.

3. He then broke another in circumstances in which Amazon said it should not have broken.

He's definitely hard on Kindles, but at most he only broke two of them.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
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:shrugs: I guess it depends on what you're doing with it, but the majority of users don't seem to have a problem. I've been using eInk devices since '07 and have had a K2 since they were released and haven't had any breakage issues and I've take them pretty much everywhere I go.
You have been lucky. The current eInk screens are fragile, and cannot withstand sudden shocks, pressure or twisting.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
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You have been lucky. The current eInk screens are fragile, and cannot withstand sudden shocks, pressure or twisting.
I suppose, but I'd say the majority of users haven't had a problem or we'd be hearing more about it. No doubt glass is fragile and hopefully the plastic substrate screens will take care of that.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:38 AM   #15
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You have been lucky. The current eInk screens are fragile, and cannot withstand sudden shocks, pressure or twisting.
Yes, that does seem to be it. In my post, I did say that some people haven't had a problem, some have. But compared to other devices, I agree with you completely: the eInk is extremely fragile. And since it's used in an electronic book, you would think they would be engineered to be a bit more resistant to normal bumps, wear and tear.
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