Monday, January 9, 2012

Warren Ellis had a great experience with Amazon customer service

Warren Ellis:

At this point, I did not have high hopes, and assumed I’d be buying a new Kindle Keyboard at full price. The device had been out of warranty for well over a year. I pressed the button, and gave them permission to call me to (eventually, hours or days after I’d pressed said happy button) discuss what I assumed would be another hundred-odd quid out of my pocket.

I was surprised at the instant callback. Less surprised at the customer services person who had to ensure I wasn’t an idiot by making me do All The Things again, and then had me describe what you see above. And then she transferred me to another department. Where somehow else had me do All The Things again again.

And then said, “Okay, well, you’re out of warranty, so we’ll send you a new one tomorrow and charge you [a fraction of the price] for it.”

I made her repeat the price again, because I swore I’d misheard it. I hadn’t. The new Kindle is dispatched, being tracked, and will arrive in the morning. The whole process took less than five minutes from pressing the button on
Suddenly in the mood to buy a Kindle?


  1. It's because he is Warren Ellis.

  2. It's not because he's Warren Ellis. I highly doubt the customer support person knows who the fuck Warren Ellis is. Amazon would do this for anyone, and has. I've known a few people who had Kindles that broke from user error (dropping, etc) and Amazon replaced them, often at no charge.

  3. Customer Service recognizing him as Warren Ellis was my first thought as well.

    But I could see Amazon writing off the cost to make customers happy in an attempt to carve a significant market share for the Kindle.

    It also reduces the odds of bad press during the Kindle's initial pushes. People who get a cheap replacement, particularly when they know they shouldn't expect it, are a whole lot less likely to post negative "It broke when it fell, what shoddy design" stories, more likely to post positive "I dropped it. It broke. It was all my fault. And Amazon still sent me a replacement!" stories, and to just be more willing to defend the system if others knock it.

  4. I would have to agree that, at this point, Amazon's strategy with the Kindle is to get a device in every home and keep them working. They're essentially following the video-game-console-profitability strategy of selling the hardware at cost so as to make money via the content. Their assumption being that if people have working Kindles, they will buy things to read/play on them.

    If they'd have known Warren was The Warren Ellis, he'd have gotten the replacement for free.