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Old 03-06-2018, 11:44 AM   #1
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Fun with Amazon: Defective PaperWhite

I've had a PaperWhite for a few months that intermittently locks up. Usually responds to long-power-button-push reboot. But not last night. Had talked to Amazon a couple of times before on this, they were helpful and nice, and I kept using it, trying to collect additional data for them to troubleshoot with (how frequent lock-ups occur, what I was doing when it locks up, etc.) But all my collected information pointed to total randomness in the end.

Bottom line: Amazon is replacing the device. My best guess is a defective battery. Battery goes from 2/3 full to empty in a heartbeat sometimes. Then from completely empty to full after only 10 minutes in the charger. I think that's a big clue that the battery is whacko.

After 20 minutes of chat with tech support, I found out I wasn't really talking to tech support. No telling who I was talking too - maybe the janitor was standing in. Finally got transferred to tech support. I asked that he re-read my chat history with the janitor to familiarize himself with my issue. He said he did. Then he asked me to go to the Home screen and do blah, blah, blah. I responded, "How am I supposed to do that, it's frozen? Did you miss reading that part?" Then he asked me for the SN. I replied that there is no SN on the exterior of the device, and I can't look it up via software since the device is frozen. Next he wanted me to hold down the power button to reset the device. I asked him if the six times I had already tried this was insufficient, and also asked if he had failed to notice the conversation (with the janitor) talking about this very thing in my chat history. Next, he said "I have reset your device from my end". I replied with, "OK. But I would like to know how you did that. The thing is frozen, not plugged into anything, and is not connected to WiFi." Silence. Then he asked for my shipping address (finally, this was a hint that I might be getting somewhere!) I told him that my shipping address was the same one that is listed on my Amazon account right in front of him, but I gave it to him anyway.

Nice enough guy. But maybe not the best trained, or the best at listening/understanding. As I was about to end the chat, I asked if there was anything else that I need to do now, other than mail back the defect Kindle (he had sent me a mailing label). He said to remove the SD card. I reminded him that the PaperWhite does not have an SD card slot. He thanked me for that information.

It was humorous, but I got through it, and supposedly will have my Kindle replaced.

But wait! I got up this morning to an email from Amazon saying that my Prime membership had be canceled at my request! ??? Neither the word "Prime" or the word "membership" were never mentioned even once in our chat the night before. The Amazon person who I called today said that the chat tech had canceled my membership. I said, "Well then, since I never asked for that, reinstate it." Oops. No can do per this new Amazon person. She said the best I could do was sign up for a new Prime free trial. I told her that no doubt this would be problematic, because somehow I suspect that Amazon might have a problem with me signing up for a new free trial only a few hours after I allegedly canceled my previous membership. She was silent on that one. So I said "I think it's time for you to escalate me to your supervisor." She did.

It took about four repetitions of "I did not ask for my membership to be cancelled!" before that concept sunk into the supervisors head. After she finally comprehended what I was saying, she was able to get me re-enrolled. A new Prime membership, but with a refund for the unused part of the original membership (which had been paid up for the year in advance). She also gave me a generous credit on the new membership, which was thoughtful.

In the end, I'm happy (I think). Supposedly I'll be getting a new PaperWhite, and will continue to have my Prime membership, with a credit towards the cost of that (which I did not ask for). Amazon did step up very nicely in the end. But only after having fallen three or four times along the way.

p.s. - Update: Just spoke with my wife and told her we need to look for the Amazon credit on our CC ending in 4900 (the one that Amazon person said she crediting things to). The wife pointed out that this card was canceled months ago and a new on issued (one of those bank anti-fraud things I guess). The Amazon rep had previously told me that the credit had already gone through. I wonder how it did, to a defunct card? So I guess this Amazon saga has a few more iterations to go through before it's finally resolved...

They are trying to help. I do believe that. But it appears they have a bit of incompetence to deal with, either in their employees, or in their software systems.
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:30 PM   #2
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Most customer service personnel work off a script. If there's an issue that doesn't match the script...
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:38 PM   #3
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Using the CHAT feature at least gives you a transcript of the conversation. It also takes away the possibility of any language/accent issues.

You should get a follow up email as well, asking about your experience. It's been a long time since I've needed to use CS support, but seems to me their CS and support have taken a downturn from what it used to be.

As an aside, hubby called Sirrius support the other day, because they drop the price if you call every six months. The support person started the conversation with, "So, you're calling because you want a lower cost, correct?"
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post
Most customer service personnel work off a script. If there's an issue that doesn't match the script...
And it's so funny how many of them do not even know what their scripted items entail.

Them: "Can you reboot your computer?" (which doesn't have a whole lot to do with a frozen Kindle, BTW)

Me: "Sure, I'll do that now." (0.72 seconds later) "Done." (they have no clue what a typical reboot time is evidently)


For the really stubborn ones who keep insisting on ridiculous, redundant and unrelated things to try, I'll strike back with some techno-babble:

Me: "Now that I've changed what you said, it's prompting me to reconfigure the TCP/ISP pre-handshake packet fault re-transmit limit ratio because it's now incompatible with the init sequence. What should I set that to?"

Them: "???, let me transfer you to our tier 2 tech support, just a minute please..."


I realize that probably most customers who call in are clueless and need the hand-holding of a script reader. But I wish they'd train the script readers to at least recognize an incoming customer with a brain, and respond accordingly (which probably means immediately transferring them up a few rungs of the support ladder). When the customer starts out the conversation with "I have the latest firmware installed, tried the factory reset, de-registered/re-registered the device, and just now tried the long-power-button reset again..." they shouldn't start over from the beginning and tell you to re-do all that stuff again.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:03 PM   #5
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I've usually gotten first rate service from Amazon. I have gotten a couple of duds but in both cases I asked to be transferred to someone else, I was and the someone else handled my problem just fine.

I think the key with them is to just quietly go along with their suggestions so I don't confuse them. It usually works.

I've also found that if I get impatient and say I'd just like to get it replaced they'll go along. I haven't done that with a Kindle but I have with other things I've bought from Amazon.

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Old 03-07-2018, 06:02 AM   #6
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I recently used the Chat on Amazon to ask how to re-download a book I'd already bought when I don't have wifi. The first person I spoke to found it hard to comprehend that I don't have wifi, and her eventual solution was to refer me to the Cloud Reading device. I did ask her how to download from there, but she had no answer to this.

After playing with the Cloud thingy for a while, trying to redownload the book (which I'd been told to do while trying to open it in the Kindle 4 PC software), I realised this wasn't going to help. So I recontacted them.

The second person I chatted to was much more tech savvy. He immediately understood what I was trying to do and told me where in the Manage My Devices thingy to choose Transfer Via Usb. Apparently I'd been looking at the wrong set of 'buttons'. Problem sorted.

There does seem to be various levels of expertise depending upon the issue. I think the janitors are there to ascertain the issue; the problem is that they don't then pass you up the chain when it's something they can't handle.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by haertig View Post

p.s. - Update: Just spoke with my wife and told her we need to look for the Amazon credit on our CC ending in 4900 (the one that Amazon person said she crediting things to). The wife pointed out that this card was canceled months ago and a new on issued (one of those bank anti-fraud things I guess). The Amazon rep had previously told me that the credit had already gone through. I wonder how it did, to a defunct card? So I guess this Amazon saga has a few more iterations to go through before it's finally resolved...

They are trying to help. I do believe that. But it appears they have a bit of incompetence to deal with, either in their employees, or in their software systems.

It will, believe it or not your credit card company keeps track and will actually credit the new account. Having been through this fraud thing numerous times I have quite the experience on how credit card companies link things. In fact, I forgot to change the credit card once of an automatic billing for a utility and the credit card approved it anyway to the correct account. They even notified the utility of the change.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by haertig View Post
And it's so funny how many of them do not even know what their scripted items entail.

Them: "Can you reboot your computer?" (which doesn't have a whole lot to do with a frozen Kindle, BTW)

Me: "Sure, I'll do that now." (0.72 seconds later) "Done." (they have no clue what a typical reboot time is evidently)


For the really stubborn ones who keep insisting on ridiculous, redundant and unrelated things to try, I'll strike back with some techno-babble:

Me: "Now that I've changed what you said, it's prompting me to reconfigure the TCP/ISP pre-handshake packet fault re-transmit limit ratio because it's now incompatible with the init sequence. What should I set that to?"

Them: "???, let me transfer you to our tier 2 tech support, just a minute please..."


I realize that probably most customers who call in are clueless and need the hand-holding of a script reader. But I wish they'd train the script readers to at least recognize an incoming customer with a brain, and respond accordingly (which probably means immediately transferring them up a few rungs of the support ladder). When the customer starts out the conversation with "I have the latest firmware installed, tried the factory reset, de-registered/re-registered the device, and just now tried the long-power-button reset again..." they shouldn't start over from the beginning and tell you to re-do all that stuff again.
FWIW, most customer service first tier are instructed not to turn you over to either a supervisor or the next tier unless you ask if at all possible, so ask if you think they aren't understanding the situation
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:37 PM   #9
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Well here's my Tale!!

The other day my PW3 Froze Again so I got on chat to see what to do. In the end They decided I should Return for a Replacement. The PW3 got there 11am I was just checking for my New PW3 status.... Instead of them sending me another PW3 they are Now saying I sent it for REPAIR! This will take 10 DAYS! IF its Not covered under warranty I will be Charged for ALL Costs Including Shipping!! What the Heck is Amazon trying to Pull on it customers??? I cant seem to remove my Credit Card! What can I do??
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:16 PM   #10
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Well here's my Tale!!

The other day my PW3 Froze Again so I got on chat to see what to do. In the end They decided I should Return for a Replacement. The PW3 got there 11am I was just checking for my New PW3 status.... Instead of them sending me another PW3 they are Now saying I sent it for REPAIR! This will take 10 DAYS! IF its Not covered under warranty I will be Charged for ALL Costs Including Shipping!! What the Heck is Amazon trying to Pull on it customers??? I cant seem to remove my Credit Card! What can I do??
That's why the suggestion to use not phone but chat so you get a transcript.

Did you check the transcript?
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:20 PM   #11
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Of course I did.

Well Finally got some one on chat, again. Promised to send me a New one then chat closed E-mail came its a Refurbished PW3 UGH! Hate Refribs! Only thing the guy did correct was to remove my Credit card information! Going back to using Gift cards! Where I Never had these problems.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:45 PM   #12
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Of course I did.

Well Finally got some one on chat, again. Promised to send me a New one then chat closed E-mail came its a Refurbished PW3 UGH! Hate Refribs! Only thing the guy did correct was to remove my Credit card information! Going back to using Gift cards! Where I Never had these problems.
On the plus side, I received a refurb when they opted to replace my original Kindle Keyboard in 2010 (I damaged it, I told them I damaged it, but they replaced it anyway). I've had 8 years of daily use and it still works, although the on/off button is starting to get a bit funky. So, not necessarily a bad thing.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:14 PM   #13
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I loaned a Paperwhite to a neighbor a few years ago and her dog scratched the screen. I called Amazon to see if I could get some credit on it toward a new one. I told them how it got scratched. She insisted on replacing it under warranty anyway. Amazon is just like that.

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Old 03-07-2018, 08:51 PM   #14
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And yet this Site & Forum are Full of folks getting Bad Refribs time after time.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:33 PM   #15
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I'm glad I covered the bases in my chat. And saved the chat itself. I even reiterated my concern about refurbished, so that it would be clear in the chat in two separate places, since the Amazon guy tried to contradict himself at one point. Can't let them get away with weasel words like that, ... make them restate exactly what will happen with perfect clarity.

The relevant parts of the chat regarding refurbished (btw, my PaperWhite was purchased in Oct 2017, so it's still under warranty):

Quote:
Once we get the Kindle, you'll get the replacement with in 2-4 business days.

08:58 PM PST Ravi: In rare cases, if your Kindle device is repairable, you'll Kindle will be repaired and delivered to you with in 2-4 business days.

08:59 PM PST Me: If my Kindle cannot be repaired (probably not cost effective to do so), do you plan on replacing it with a NEW Kindle, or somebody else's reject/refurbished model?

09:00 PM PST Ravi: You'll get a new device

But our technical team will make sure you get the one that is working perfectly.
They mostly send a new one if yours can't be repaired,but we can't assure you on this at the moment.

(Huh? Wait. That is contradictory to what he said previously. So I'll restate my position and expectations, and make him restate that I will not get a refurb...)


09:01 PM PST Ravi: It's depends upon our technical team.

09:03 PM PST Me: It is perfectly fine if you can repair mine successfully. My concern is getting somebody else's return/reject/refurbished Kindle that may itself have a significantly deteriorated battery. Batteries have a fixed lifetime. So I either want MY device back, or a NEW device. That is the only way I'll know the battery history. NEW is fine, or MINE is fine. Somebody else's is NOT fine. I just wanted us to be clear on that.

09:04 PM PST Ravi: Okay

I'll made note of this to our technical team.
rest assured, if your Kindle is replaced, then you'll get either new one or the newer one than yours.
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