Amazon’s impressive customer service

I bought my Kindle DX two months ago and have read 20 books on it. Now it has a broken screen – the upper right corner part of it is frozen – and a hairline crack in the plastic bezel surrounding it.

My Kindle DX: Broken screen – the upper right corner part of it is frozen – and a hairline crack in the plastic bezel surrounding it.

My Kindle DX: Broken screen – the upper right corner part of it is frozen – and a hairline crack in the plastic bezel surrounding it.

The crack is due to a poorly designed leather cover. I’m not sure what got the screen broken, but I had the device protected by the cover and it was transported inside a backpack at the time of failure.

It was like doing a «cold turkey» not having all those books within reach. I have thought about getting the smaller version – the Kindle 3 – as a backup[ref]The reasoning for choosing the Kindle DX, the bigger version: I thought it would be better suited for technical literature, with all the drawings and code listings.[/ref], so I ordered it right away[ref]I have an iPad 2, and the Kindle ebook reader works fine on it, but the bright screen makes reading hard on the eyes for longer period of time. [/ref]. The one that broke was provided for me by my kind (or smart, or probably both) employer, so I had no problem persuading myself into buying a replacement for the single most used technical gadget I’ve ever had[ref]I have been a heavy user of computers for the last few decades, but have been slow in getting into mobile computing, arguing to myself that I need some offline hours. So until recently it was an old Ericsson mobile and all the literature came in form of paper. Now I have 1 Dell laptop, 1 Asus EEE netbook, 1 iPad 2, 1 Kindle 3, 1 Kindle DX and one Samsung Nexus S Android smart phone. All of them capable of mobile internet connectivity.[/ref].

Then I googled «kindle broken screen» and figured I wasn’t alone. And many of them reported that Amazon replaced the device under warranty.

So I logged into my Amazon account and clicked into the customer service chat. 30 seconds later I had a support person online, and I explained the problem. This is the conversation going on from there, all in all done in five minutes:

Daniel B.: Hello there Bjorn, my name is Daniel. I’m sorry about the trouble with your Kindle. I’ll be happy to help you out. Please give me a few moments to pull up your account information. Your kindle is still under warranty, so I think our best option would be to replace that for you. Are you in Norway now?

Me: In Norway, yes.

Daniel B.: I’ll be sending out a replacement Kindle to you as soon as possible. However, to avoid any delays in customs I need to charge you for the replacement order. Once you are charged I will refund your original order in the same amount of the replacement order to ensure you will not be out any money. I’ll also include confirmation for you in an email that you are being refunded. I’ll just need you to confirm the last 4 digits and expiration date of the card on file that was used on the original order for the Kindle and then I can begin creating the replacement order for you.

Me: Last 4 digits:[ref]All the text inside inequality signs are my masking of some personal data (not very sensitive, but …)[/ref] Expiration date:/. Where do I send the broken Kindle?

Daniel B.: I will send you an email in a moment with the address. We will also be reimbursing you for that return shipping. Is, a good address to send to?

Me: Yes, that is the correct address.

Daniel B.: There we go! I’ve got your replacement order created for you and have it shipping out via international priority Shipping. The estimated delivery date is/ -/. I’ll send you an email with order information.

Me: Thanks a lot! That is some impressing customer service!

Daniel B.: Thanks! Glad to help! You will get that email in a moment. Is there anything else I can help you out with while I have you online with me, Bjorn?

Me: Not now, but thanks for asking. Have a nice evening (or whatever it is where you’re at).

Daniel B.: You too! Thank you very much for contacting Kindle support! Have a great day! :)

And that was it, five minutes, no questions asked about if I had done anything like dropping my Kindle from the roof top of a building  ( just an example).

Amazon have the logistics of a finely tuned online shopping mall: The ease of shopping, the blistering fast and smooth delivery, handling of customs declaration and taxes, and then having all the Kindle books in the world one click away wherever you are (bad for the wallet, good for the brain; the free 3G might cost Amazon some dollars, but I’m confident they rake it back in plenty through book sales).

They may not be the best in class in making durable products, but they do know how to sell.

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