Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tragical aspects of relying on technology

Despite my love of hand crafts and my yearning for Back to Basics living, I have to admit that I'm very much attached to some technology. Take, for instance, the Kindle. I love to read. (I love to hold a book and feel it in my hands and the Kindle still provides that experience in its own way.) When I first heard about eReaders, I was sure I wouldn't be enamored of them in any way. Then I spent some time with my brother and his family in Florida. They're all Kindle folks. My niece let me use her Kindle while I was there. By the time I came home, I was thinking on how to justify buying one for myself.

So... in February I did buy one and quickly became attached. So many books in my hand at one time! So many free books available for the Kindle! There are still some types of books I would prefer to have in hard copy but the Kindle is great for so many reasons. It has even been a big influence in falling asleep quickly and naturally so the benefits have extended beyond my reading entertainment.

Alas, this past weekend brought all of my dependency on the Kindle into a new light. I had been reading my Kindle on Saturday morning while I had my morning coffee. (Yep, there's even a free version of the ESV Bible for the Kindle - yay!!) I keep my Kindle in a cover so I closed it up when I was done reading and went about the housekeeping. Later in the day when my chores were done, I picked up the Kindle to enjoy some more reading. I opened the cover and this is what I saw:
Anyone familiar with a Kindle will instantly recognize that this is NOT a good thing to see.

I tried doing a forced reset and then turned it on...
Still not right. Hmm...
It turns out that Amazon has an amazing customer service setup for Kindle customers. I went to the Amazon website to research the support that was available. I've grown used to finding options of having a live chat, emailing support or calling their toll-free number. But Amazon has an option of "Call Me Now". Notice that's not for ME to call THEM, it's for Amazon Kindle support to call ME. I decided to try that option. I clicked on the button and my phone immediately started ringing. I thought, "what bad timing - I've asked them to call just at the same time someone is calling me." I picked up my phone and the Caller ID said it was Amazon calling me. How could that be? I'd barely clicked the "Call Me Now" button when the phone started ringing. I answered and there truly was a real person on the other end.

Long story short, Reilly of the Amazon Kindle Support Experience was very nice but was unable to rectify the problem via the phone. He said they'd replace my Kindle and it would arrive by Wednesday. He emailed me a label to return the defective Kindle via UPS at Amazon's expense. I'll have to spend time reloading books onto my new Kindle but that's small beans compared to my original fears that I'd lost it forever and wasted the money I'd spent to buy it. Happy Ending, indeed!!

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