I bought a Kindle in April, specifically for the purpose of using it while I traveled. The thought of carrying books, and worst, trying to find books in English at every stop seemed insane. Especially when I had the option of going digital.
When I first opened the box, I was already in love. The simplicity of design and packaging, much like buying an Apple product. But when I turned it on to read, I found the type font somewhat gray, for lack of a better description. Just wasn't as dark and crisp as I would have liked or imagined. Naturally, online I found a group of other disgruntled purchasers, dishing on the issue. Some made returns and claimed their replacement was better - or they thought it was. And there were some hackers who had work-around solutions to install better font. I definitely wasn't going that route. But before I made the stink of returning mine for another (I hate the return process), I checked out my brother in law's to A-B the two. His seemed to display just like mine, so I stuck with what I had. One thing less to think about or do before I left... But, in truth, although I absolutely loved my new gadget, and couldn't believe the number of people I met while traveling, because of their curiosity in checking out this miraculous new toy, the "gray" always bugged me a bit.
Cut to last weekend. Both my father and brother were in town. Both newly dedicated Kindle purchasers, and both raving about it. I looked at my father's screen and saw what I had wanted to see all along - crisp, black font. I didn't see my brother's. But he reported back. Crisp, dark, black.
It had now been 8 months since I bought mine, so couldn't imagine what Amazon could or would do for me. But what occurred, might have just been my most satisfying customer service experience - ever.
I did have to do a Google search for their phone number (very well hidden on their site.) But when I did call, no waiting or hold time. Immediate attention. Explained the issue and was passed to the Kindle department. I "ugghed" thinking I'll have to explain again (think AT&T, Time Warner to name a few..), but nope. The second guy repeated exactly what I had said to the first and immediately determined it was a hardware problem and they would send me a replacement - still under warranty. We tried one thing, a simple reboot. Who knew? But no difference. A few minutes later, I was off the phone and had an email in my box indicating my replacement would be there in two days with a label to print for the return.
Apparently this issue must be fairly common if the response was so immediate. When I called in April reporting on this, they said they hadn't heard any complaints on this. I either had a bad customer service guy then, or it wasn't considered a real issue yet. But it seems like it must be "in their system" now.
Today, I got my new one and opened the box. In about five minutes, I had downloaded my archived files - books I was reading or had yet to read - and grabbed "My Clippings" file manually. And yes, black, crisp, beautiful, easy to read font.
Next thing I did after that? Buy a few more books and download a few more samples. The studies are correct. Reading isn't dead, or dying. Only printing is.
Amazon gets my vote for best customer service. And the Kindle - a 6" display of genius.