On a recent camping trip I had my Kindle on my sleeping bag and momentarily put my knee onto it's screen causing it to make a slight cracking noise, after which the display would no longer refresh correctly. Le sigh.
When I got home I went to Amazon.com's Kindle Help pages looking for instructions on getting it repaired. Their "Contact Us" form informs me that for Kindle hardware issues I'm best off calling Amazon. I'm still given the options of email or phone so I click phone and a form element appears that allows me to enter my phone number. Amazon will call me, saving me an international call to the US. Great.
My phone rings immediately and within 60s I'm talking to a CSR. The CSR asks for my name and after that she asks me if it's ok to use my credit card on file with Amazon as collateral for the replacement Kindle she's about to send me. What?
She informs me that they will send out a replacement, and also provide me a mailing label which I can use to send back the broken Kindle. Wait, so I get a replacement Kindle for free, and Amazon will pay to have me send back the broken one?!
Amazon seriously gets customer service. I had considered buying other e-readers but with this kind of service why would I even consider it...
As an Australian resident there's a lot of angst from local retailers relating to Aussie shoppers buying more and more goods online. Price is obviously an important factor in this trend but I also can not fathom any Aussie retailer putting this amount of effort into customer service.
There's a lot of talk from retailers about building relationships with customers. Amazon actually does it. Maybe it costs them $50+ to ship me a free replacement Kindle but long term I'm going to be a more loyal Kindle customer than ever, one who will continue buying Kindle books for many years to come.
And if I ever have a choice of buying something from Amazon vs any other retailer ... I now know which vendor is going to give me great support.