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Amazon kindle – what a nightmare

My sister has a new Amazon kindle which she was showing me at the weekend. It looked really good, and reminded me that there is a kindle app on Christopher’s iPad, that even has some e-books loaded onto it. I thought it would be worth giving it a go and seeing what it was like to use – it would be lighter to take on holiday than my usual stack of paperbacks. But it is registered to him – attached to his email account and his (now very defunct) credit card. But trying to de-register it from his account and set it up on mine instead turned into a Kafkaesque nightmare.

First, I tried emailing kindle customer support. They mailed me back and said that they couldn’t do anything without speaking to me “for security reasons”. They told me to log on to using his user name and password (thankfully stored as cookies on the iPad – otherwise I’d never have managed even that first step) and ask for customer support to phone me.

They did – a transatlantic phone call at their expense thankfully. They seemed completely flummoxed by my request. I got passed from one department to another – having to explain what I wanted each time. I got so fed up of saying “It’s my husband’s account AND HE IS NOW DEAD”. Finally, the third chap I spoke to seemed capable of grasping what I wanted to do – but said that while he could deregister Christopher’s account, I would need to speak to UK customer services to get my password updated so that I could re-register it to mine.  He was just giving me the number when we got cut off.

I’ve given up for the evening. I’m not feeling strong enough to explain yet again what I want to yet another set of service droids. Maybe I’ll try again later in the week if I have more energy. Why do they make these things so difficult? People die every day – so why does it always seem to come as a complete surprise to companies that their customers aren’t immortal?

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Veronica | 11 August 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    It does seem extraordinary that so many companies do not have any simple protocol for dealing with this sort of enquiry. As you say, Gillian, it is not unusual, and the amount of unnecessary distress caused is unreasonable.

  2. PaulD | 12 August 2011 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Sounds just like Orange customer services. If you are lucky to get through to uk call center its not to bad but if their busy and you get diverted to india, just forget it !