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Change in Paperwhite return policy.


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Showing 1-11 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 13, 2012 7:46:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 13, 2012 8:33:58 AM PST
Doc Mark says:
I waited to order my Paperwhite until late November. I am always hesitant about being the "first" to buy a new device until some reviews are in. With all the hub-bub about the "pink-green" screen issues, I was glad that I waited. But, I wanted the PW enough that I couldn't wait any longer, so I took the chance that the newer shipments might have the problems solved. No such luck! I've kept using my new PW for a week and I am trying to ignore the pink-green syndrome as much as possible. However, in certain ambient light situations, it is just too distracting. So yesterday I pulled the trigger and called Kindle Customer Service and explained the problem.

I was quite surprised to hear that the service rep. "had never heard of any such screen problems.". Huh! After all the internet buzz about the screens being "blotchy" she was unaware of the issues. Now this was not on of the "offshore" reps but a "local" rep and supposedly not a newbie. Well, after she checked her computer files, she saw that this was indeed a common problem and offer to send me a new PW via 2 day free shipping. Then she said that this is a "one time deal", Amazon will replace the PW ONCE and then if the problem is found in the replacement unit "I would get the choice of keeping the defective unit and getting a $30.00 refund. or returning both units for a full refund." So no more multiple returns until you get the unit without problems.

I can understand Amazons situation, they were inundated with a bunch of imperfect screen Paperwhites and they were unprepared to keep up with the multiple returns from the same customers. I do feel a bit disappointed that I may have to accept a defective unit or not have a Paperwhite at all. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed till tomorrow and hoping that the new unit will be, if not perfect, at least much improved. Even though I've only had my PW a week, I'm spoiled and am not willing to go back to the non-lighted Kindle!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 8:04:32 AM PST
That sounds more like BS than a change in "policy." Personally, I'd call back and talk to someone else, and plan on refusing the replacement unopened. It's one thing for Amazon to sell those at refurb prices but only in the case of a customer who chose to buy a refurb. Getting stuck with one at any price is a whole other thing and while one CSR may think that's an appropriate way to do business, I highly doubt Amazon is actually in agreement on this.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 8:26:56 AM PST
Wayne says:
Amazon publishes their policies in writing on the website. If they change their policies, they have to post them. They can't come up with a policy that you know about only because a rep told you or one that somebody who made the exchange on line would not have known about.

An exception would be the ability for reps to make special offers or one time exceptions. Perhaps the rep was authorized to offer you the #30 refund one time, but beyond that you'd have to go by the regular return policy. The items come with a warranty independent of Amazon's return policy, and Amazon handles the warranty, which means that warranty service is handled almost the same as returns. But it's still warranty service. The rep can't change the terms of the warranty.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 8:38:11 AM PST
MommaCat says:
When I get a bizarre response like that one I ask to talk to a supervisor. I think it would be an excellent idea to call back and ask to talk to one now.

Every time I have had a problem Amazon uses next day shipping and has never come up with funny responses. Something is fishy here.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 8:44:40 AM PST
Unfortunately Doc, the Paperwhite's lighting system is not, nor will it ever be (at least not in its current iteration), completely perfect. Amazon realized this shortly after releasing the PW, and posted this addendum to the PW's product page regarding how the screen should be expected to look: http://tinyurl.com/b8peo56

I can clearly see pinkish/greenish splotching is the images posted by Amazon.

Some Paperwhite screens will be better, some will be worse. Some won't show any unevenness or discoloration in lighting at all. It's pretty much going to be a throw of the dice as to whether or not you'll get a replacement device that will have a perfect, or near perfect screen. I think this is simply due to the limitations of this relatively new technology, as well as a limitation of the amount of money (or lack there of) that went into designing and building the Paperwhite, which is a fairly cheaply built device in almost all respects. This is a good thing for affordability of the device for Amazon's customers, but not so much in terms of how well the device performs (or looks in this case), or in how it may stand the test of time.

Personally, I just accepted my PW's minor screen flaws, and have been enjoying it ever since. I realize that some Paperwhite devices' screens may be so flawed that they're simply unusable, but if you're expecting perfection in a replacement, just be prepared that you may not get it. You might get a device with a screen that's markedly worse, or, only slightly better. Then again, you may receive one that shines on all accounts.

I highly doubt that your CS experience was the "norm" when it comes to Amazon's handling of Paperwhite returns, but, it may very well be that based on average user experience with the PW, and based on the fact that Amazon has clearly acknowledged the fact the Paperwhite's screen is not perfect in several respects (as can be clearly seen by the images that Amazon posted on the product page), Amazon may very well be putting the brakes on multiple returns of Paperwhite devices over certain of these "screen issues" simply because Amazon may not see them as actual issues.

My advice, call back and speak to another CS rep. From there, escalate the matter higher up if you get the same initial response.

Good luck to you!

Posted on Dec 13, 2012 8:54:17 AM PST
Doc Mark says:
Thanks for the support guys and gals! When I get the new unit tomorrow, I'll make the decision to keep either of the units. I WILL definitely call Customer Service again to see if this is indeed a true policy change or a smoke screen. If push comes to shove, I can live with some minor screen issues for the convenience of having a lighted e-ink screen.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 9:03:51 AM PST
Wayne says:
Cheaply built is a relative term, and I wouldn't say it's cheaply built relative to its selling price. If you compare this to earlier Kindles, the price is still good. And although you get this alternative to turning on a lamp, you still have the option to turn on a lamp. I don't wish to imply that they are justified in adding features that work poorly. They added a back light that's not as good as an external light source. It's an advantage over older models, albeit a possibly flawed one. Or perhaps it's simply the level of technology available at this point for back lights with e-ink systems of this type.

I hate it when product fans post "it should be that way" responses when somebody brings up a negative point, so we may have to live with the fact that this is one of the product's negative points.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 9:04:36 AM PST
Wayne says:
Make sure to keep us posted.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 9:08:48 AM PST
MommaCat says:
Doc, if you want to see what a perfect PW looks like you can go to Staples. While they probably don't have any in stock, they do have one one display (or should). I saw one there. I also bought one for my daughter and hers was perfect as well. So they do exist...and I don't see why you shouldn't have one. I think with all the thousands (hundreds of thousands?) sold, that the good far outweigh the bad and yours was a fluke.

But you still need to call. That CSR was a bad one.

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 2:16:34 PM PST
Doc Mark says:
Well, you wanted me to keep you posted, so here is the latest info. The second Paperwhite arrived on Friday and it too has screen issues. The screen is somewhat better in that the discoloration (Pinkish this time) is more evenly spread across the screen. Only the upper right quadrant is "normal". This makes reading a bit easier as there are fewer "patches" of color to distract you. However, this overall "tonality" makes the screen look "dirty" and somewhat unpleasant. After reading on both Paperwhites this weekend, I contacted Kindle Customer Service today and asked for another replacement. This time the representative said that there should be no problem replacing both Paperwhites with a new unit. She is to call me tomorrow to give me the details. The hold-up seems to be because they failed to send me a return tag with the 2nd PW, so she is getting that sorted out first.

I'll let you know what transpires over the next few days.

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 3:05:52 PM PST
bookcrazy says:
i had a total of seven paperwhites all with blue splotches before I just asked for a complete refund. I waited a couple of weeks and called Kindle CS to see when the splotchy screen would be fixed. I was told that they would be when the second wave of paperwhites were shipped in late December. Based on that, I ordered a new paperwhite. It shipped a month early and had the same blue splotches. I returned it for a full refund because CS was only offering a refurbished one.

Again, I was told by CS that the problem would be fixed in the second wave. I re-ordered with a ships in 3 to 4 weeks message. Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning with an e-mail stating that it was preparing to ship.

I spent over an hour on line with CS. The story THIS time is that the blue splotches are caused by the oil in my skin. If I clean the screen, the splotches will disappear. I told him that no, they had not gone away. He told me that the second wave of paperwhites were going to be exactly the same as the first wave: meaning they did not fix the problem because there is no problem.

He did tell me that if the screen was splotchy, I could return it......again.

I honestly do not think any of the Kindle CS reps are on the same page. I guess time will tell. I should get this new one in three or four days.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  6
Total posts:  11
Initial post:  Dec 13, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 17, 2012

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