Frustrating Amazon Kindle Support

November 25, 2009

I don't know if its just me but I have absolutely no luck reporting what seem like clear and reproducible bugs.

I sent a bug report to Amazon regarding the PDF conversion problem after the 2.3 upgrade. I received a response in e-mail that looks autogenerated or perhaps my report was confusing. Anyway, the e-mail has a very customer focused section asking whether the e-mail resolves my problem and includes a “If not, click here:” Feedback link which I clicked through. I filled out my information in the form and started typing in the Comments text area but I couldn’t type beyond a sentence or two. Looking at the source I found:

<textarea name=”comments” rows=”10″ cols=”23″ maxlength=”50″>

Nice. I have 50 characters to provide feedback. I like succinct as much as the next guy but sheesh.

My original bug report was the following:


Comments:The Kindle 2.3 Software Update has broken the @free.kindle.com conversion service for PDF files.

The User’s Guide, 4th Ed. states:

Tip: You can choose to convert PDF file(s) that are sent to your device by adding the word “convert” in the email subject line.

1) This does not work with user_name@free.kindle.com
2) The @free.kindle.com service by default should convert PDFs to .azw format since the customer already has the original pdf

And the response I received was:

Hello,

I am sorry you had trouble with your Kindle “Software Update”. As you have already tried completing the update manually, I request you to give us a call so we can try some real-time troubleshooting and do the needful. Have your Kindle fully charged and connected to the charger when you call.

You can reach us by phone by using the Contact Us option in the right-hand column of our Kindle Support pages (www.amazon.com/kindlesupport). Contacting us through the website allows you to verify security before a call is placed and ensures we have your account information ready when we call you.

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8 Responses to “Frustrating Amazon Kindle Support”

  1. tom s. Says:

    You know what I don’t like about modern computer companies? The cheery way in which they talk about problems they cause you. Like “give us a call so we can try some real-time troubleshooting and do the needful.” or the Google Chrome “Oh Snap! Something broke” message when Chrome crashes. I don’t know what message they are trying to send, but the one I receive is “we’re too cool and youthful to take tech support seriously”.

    Tom the old and grumpy.

  2. RAD Says:

    RAD the old and even grumpier received another response after sending the following artfully crafted 49 character feedback “Comments limited to 50 chars! Read orig. bug repo”:

    Hello,

    Thank you for writing to us about converting PDF files for your Kindle.

    As PDF Files are now supported natively on the Kindle (Global Wireless), our system will recognize that no conversion is needed. Simply transfer the PDF to your Kindle via USB cord and you will be able to read it on the Kindle.

    Simply connect your Kindle to your computer using the USB cable and drag the file to the “documents” folder on your Kindle using your computer’s file browser.

    I hope this helps. Thanks for choosing Kindle!

  3. RAD Says:

    My “No you did not answer my question” 50 character comment to Amazon, who is apparently “building earth’s the most customer-centric company” was “Bug! “Convert” in Subject supposed to work (docs)” and the response rightfully requests more information:

    Hello,

    I ‘m sorry but we need more information to address your concern.

    Since Amazon.com serves as the venue for third-party sales on our site, in most situations you will need to contact your transaction partner directly to get the information you need.

    You can always find your transaction partner’s contact information through the Your Account page (for buyers) or the Seller Account page (for sellers). Either of these pages can be accessed through the navigation bar of our main page. From these pages, you can view all the details of your transaction, as well as updating information for your account, such as your e-mail address.

    Our Help pages are also a useful resource:

    http://www.amazon.com/help

    Should you need further assistance, please be sure to write from the e-mail address associated with your account, and include:

    * The Amazon order ID
    * Your transaction partner’s e-mail address
    * A brief description of the situation

    Please visit the following link to provide the information we requested:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us/seller-support.html

    Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

    If yes, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-y?c=blah blah blah
    If not, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-n?c=blah blah blah

    Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.

    To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our web site.

    Best regards,

    Ryan S.
    Amazon.com
    We’re Building Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company
    http://www.amazon.com/your-account

  4. tom s. Says:

    This could be epic. I’m awaiting the next instalment with fascination.

  5. RAD Says:

    COMMENTS: bug1: 50 char feedback limit, 2: pdf “convert”

    Hello,

    We’ll have to look into your problem with your PDF conversion a little more deeply. I’d like to get some more information from you.

    If it’s convenient for you, could you give us a call at 1-866-321-8851 so we can try some real-time troubleshooting?

    If it’s not convenient to call, please write back with a description of the steps you took before running into this problem so I can try to see what happened. Please include information such as the specific error message you encountered, the status of your wireless connection and your battery.

    I’m sorry I couldn’t solve this problem right away, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Thanks for choosing Kindle.

    Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

    If yes, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-y?c=blahblahblah
    If not, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-n?c=blahblahblah

    Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.

    To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our web site.

    Best regards,

    David
    Amazon.com
    We’re Building Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company

  6. RAD Says:

    COMMENTS: Can’t phone. What e-mail can I send details to?

    Hello,

    I’m sorry to hear that you are having difficulty getting your PDF document converted and loaded onto your Kindle.

    I was checking your account and did not see that the following information had been provided to you yet. Please take the time to look this over for some possible troubleshooting steps.

    Your Kindle recognizes the following file types: Kindle (.azw or .tpz), text (.txt), Mobi (.mobi, .prc), MP3 music format (.mp3), Audible.com (.aa).

    The PDF (.PDF) format is supported natively by Kindle (6″ Display) and Kindle DX devices, allowing PDFs to be displayed in their original layout. Microsoft Word (.DOCX) is supported in our experimental category for both devices.

    Kindle’s Personal Document Service (via Whispernet) allows you to e-mail approved files to your Kindle’s e-mail address. Then, Amazon can download the file(s) wirelessly in a Kindle-compatible format to the device(s) for a small fee. To avoid a fee, or if you’re not in wireless range, you can send an e-mail to “name”@free.kindle.com and download the files via USB in a Kindle compatible format to the device(s).

    When you email documents for conversion and/or download to your Kindle please do not put anything on the Subject line or into the body of the email. The is the best way to ensure that our system will properly convert your files.

    You can view or update your Kindle’s e-mail address on the Manage Your Kindle page (http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle). You can use the “name”@kindle.com address for wireless delivery or “name”@free.kindle.com for free delivery to the e-mail address associated with your Amazon.com account. If you’re sending multiple files, you can compress them into a single .zip file.

    For the Kindle and Kindle DX, documents must be 50MB or smaller. If e-mailed, no more than 100 attachments can be sent in one e-mail.

    For more information, please consult the User’s Guide for your Kindle. You can download a copy and find additional instructions on our Help pages here:

    http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport

    If this does not work, and you are unable to call us, please visit the following link to provide the information we previously requested:

    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-mi?c=blahblahblah

    I hope this helps. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

    Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

    If yes, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-y?c=blahblahblah
    If not, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-n?c=blahblahblah

    Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.

    To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our web site.

    Best regards,

    Chris G.
    Amazon.com
    We’re Building Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company

  7. RAD Says:

    COMMENTS: This comment area only allows 50 characters….50

    Hello Steve,

    I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing difficulty converting PDF files to AZW files using the free service. I can confirm that we are still providing this service and the software update should have no affect on you using this service.

    If you are still experiencing difficulty with the conversion please follow the link below and give us a detailed description of the exact steps that you are taking and the error message that you are receiving. Alternatively you can reach us by phone directly by calling 1-866-321-8851, or calling 1-206-266-0927 (if you’re calling from outside the U.S.).

    Please visit the following link to provide the information we
    requested:

    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-mi?c=blahblahblah

    I realize that at this point of time asking you to contact us again would be disappointing, however, we would really like to assist you better.

    Your patience and understanding is highly appreciated in this matter.

    We look forward to hearing from you again so we can help you with a quick resolution to this problem.

    Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

    If yes, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-y?c=blahblahblah
    If not, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-n?c=blahblahblah

    Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.

    To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our web site.

    Best regards,

    Richard B
    Amazon.com
    We’re Building Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company

  8. RAD Says:

    COMMENTS: View Source of Comments page. Only 50 characters.

    Hello,

    I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused to you in this regard.

    We do not have any restrictions on character count in comments page. Please write back to us and provide the link which you are using for writing to us and details accurately so that we can assist you further.

    You can contact us by visiting our Help pages. You can click a button to contact us by e-mail or phone from the following Help page:

    http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport

    Contacting us through the website allows you to verify security before a call is placed and ensures we have your account information ready when we call you.

    We hope to you see you again soon.

    Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

    If yes, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-y?c=blahblahblah
    If not, click here:
    http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-n?c=blahblahblah

    Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.

    To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our web site.

    Best regards,

    Anudeep K
    Amazon.com
    We’re Building Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company


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