When I turned on my Kindle before going to bed last night my heart sank when I saw the screen wouldn’t redraw properly and that my screen was probably broken. Yesterday my Kindle was involved in an unfortunate accident. I take full blame for what happened. I called Amazon’s customer service today to see what they might be able to do for me even though the broken Kindle was my fault. The problem was certainly not a manufacturing error but an error on my part.
First Customer Service Rep
The rep on the phone took the information about my device and what happened. I told her that the Kindle was in a box that got hit by a large object. The Kindle was the only thing in the box that was damaged (thankfully my computer survived) and there was no physical evidence that the device was harmed in any way other than the screen would not redraw.
The kind rep (who spoke fairly good English) said that Amazon would allow me to buy a replacement device for $65 (which is 1/2 the price of a new Kindle Keyboard with the same features). To me that was more than fair since I am the one who broke the Kindle. It was not a manufacturing flaw in any way. However, I don’t have $65 at the moment and told her that. She said it would be flagged in my account if I wanted to buy a replacement at any point in the future I could get the reduced price.
Amazon was more than fair and the story should have ended there.
Second Customer Service Rep
However, I searched my account and found out that my device was out of warranty by 5 days. Certainly that should not make a difference. They had no obligation to do anything for me, yet they offered me a 50% discount on a new unit. But…seeing that it was only 5 days out of warranty, I wondered if it would make any difference if I pointed out to them that the warranty just expired (knowing full well that even under warranty my mistake should not be covered).
I jumped back onto the Amazon site and, instead of calling this time, I used the live chat feature. I quickly explained my scenario to the rep. Upfront I told him that I thought Amazon was more than fair to offer a new Kindle for 1/2 price and that the problem was one that I caused. At no point did I try to hide the fact from them that I was at fault. Then I asked him if it would make any difference if my Kindle was still under warranty. Without answering my question he asked me to do a couple of tests on the device to determine if it was really broken (if he could see it he wouldn’t question its brokenness). I patronized him.
I then said that I knew Amazon had no obligation to replace the device and that 50% reduction for a new Kindle was more than generous. But I also knew that Amazon was a kind and thoughtful company. Would they consider replacing the unit for me.
My Pleasant Surprise
Without hesitation the rep said he would send me a new one. He just needed a few bits of information to proceed. I excitedly provided the info he needed and he told me that a unit would be delivered by Monday. I got an email from Amazon later in the day today (Thursday) telling me that my new Kindle had shipped and that it would be delivered at my house tomorrow (Friday before the proposed Monday delivery).
Amazon is amazing!
Will they do this for you? I don’t know, but if you have a broken Kindle it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask. I think the biggest thing in my favor was that I didn’t demand anything from them and I didn’t try to pretend that the screen just broke on its own.