Thursday, July 9, 2015

read read ready read

I finally bought a Kindle.

I hadn't really wanted one, or known I wanted one. We have a Paperwhite in the house, but the text has been just a bit too jaggy for me, and I already have an iPad and iPhone...

Amazon released the Kindle Voyage, which has some new experimental features (apparently you can press the edges to turn the page, and it vibrates?), but also has a 300dpi e-ink screen, which eliminates the jaggy-font problem. While I was hesitating because the Voyage is expensive and weird, Amazon upgraded the Paperwhite to the 300dpi screen, and I was so excited I had it sent to my in-laws' in Washington so it would arrive while we were there and I wouldn't have to wait.

The Kindle is totally awesome and I'm chewing through all my library books on it. After a couple days, though, I noticed it was doing this thing called spotlighting, where you can see the effects of the individual LED backlights. I would never have heard of it, except there was a generation of Mac laptops that had it quite severely:

It doesn't prevent me reading stuff, but I'm returning it anyway.

When I told Amazon's return process on the website that I wanted a replacement instead of a refund, they directed me (without comment) to Customer Service. Customer Service, it turns out, were themselves a bit confused about why I was talking to them, but they sent me to a "specialist," who via typing-chat walked me through her script of rebooting the Kindle and then facilitating the return.
"A specialty team will be in touch within 24 hours to schedule a pick-up of the device."
This is not normal. I've done a lot of Amazon returns: they give you a shipping label, you package the thing up and drop it off at the UPS Store, you're done.

It turns out all the extra hoops are because Amazon Engineering wants the broken device themselves.

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