Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Kindle, Amazon and Good Customer Service

A buddy, John W. from New York, purchased a Kindle and received it on January 16. John sent along the following email to me on January 17 with his first impressions:

The Kindle came at lunch time yesterday. Usual detritus in the shipping carton - Gevalia coffee maker ad, etc. They even sent me a free demo Schick razor! LOL. Kindle packaged well. Comes in clamshell type white carton that obviously cost some money.

The unit itself is amazing. After charging it up and turning on the wireless, I got full signal and the Kindle auto populated my owner information and downloaded the titles I had pre-purchased. The leather cover gets a bad rap. It is black leather, with a grey suede interior and leather tabs to hold the Kindle in place. It locks a small tab in place on the back to hold it in. People on-line are complaining because it appears flimsy, but if one takes time to read the directions, it works quite well. An elastic strap is attached to hold the cover closed when not in use. One person in one of the forums even fashioned his own replacement from a modified Moleskin reporters notebook. Ahh, creative minds...............

As for the eInk. Wow. It is totally not what you expect and truly looks like paper. Jeff Bezos has mentioned that the Kindle is white because he wants people to forget they are using it while reading and he is right on. I read one short work of fiction last night and I immediately got used to it. The sticking point is the cover, you have to do some jockeying to get comfortable with it.

I used the NowNow service to ask a question. NowNow comes with every Kindle, you can send a question to an actual team of people and get a real answer. Mine came back in like 10 minutes. I asked if there are any keyboard shortcuts for Kindle, and I got 2 messages back with lists. :) Now, that is service!

The only drawback is the time I waited to get it. I ordered 12/5 and got 1/16. I hear that the eInk displays are in short supply, therefore limiting Amazon. Well, anyway, I guess that is a good thing.

I truly love this device.
I will send you more thoughts as I play with it.....

Overall a pretty good first impression by John. Last night (February 19) he sent me another update:

I have been working 10-11 hr days. Let me tell you how much I love my Kindle. I have a second one waiting at home for me now. My first unit developed a thin line (width of a hair) on the e-ink display when I page forward, so Amazon sent me a new one to replace it. Now, that is customer service! You go on their help page and click on "Call me back ..... really!", enter your telephone number and they call right back! Amazing technology.

I've read 10-12 books on it so far - I am a fiction addict and I absolutely love it! I will write more as I have time....

Excellent first impressions and excellent customer service - I want one!

Thanks John!!

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