Allow me to begin by stating the following: We love Amazon.com. We buy stuff there all the time and we were both Amazon Prime members long before we met about ten years ago. Let me follow this by saying that right now, I am really pissed at them. I didn’t want to believe all of the hype about how they treat employees and that they cultivate an environment of mistrust and back stabbing competitive between their employees. To be honest, I don’t really care about all of that either way because, I don’t work there.
What I do care about is customer service and when it comes to their devices it has become sadly apparent that they really don’t give a damned about keeping customers in this arena. Let me explain.
18 months ago, I bought the wife a Kindle HD tablet. It works pretty well despite the hoops that you have to jump through to get any decent software loaded on it. Hell even the apps on their app store seem to be plagued with issues and need to be constantly erased and reloaded. Getting the more mainstream apps from the google play store is a complete pain in the ass but then again, I get it. Amazons motive in releasing these devices is to coral you into their ecosystem. They want you to buy everything from them and they make it easy to do so. By creating a device that steers you in their direction by monitoring everything you show any interest in on the web, they make money. I’m ok with that.
What Amazon has failed to realize in their overzealous attempt to coral the universe is that most of us who bought into their ecosystem, were already doing so from all of our other devices made by other manufacturers. I buy from Amazon because it is convenient, not because they are my only choice. I buy from Amazon because I can sit on my lazy American ass and have stuff show up one or two days later without lifting more than a few fingers long enough to hit the “buy now” button.
Anyway, about 6 months ago, the tablet started having charging issues. It would charge if you cradled it carefully and whispered sweet nothings into its microphone port, so it was at least usable.
I wont go into the details of the five or six calls I made and how I was initially told that they would do an out of warranty replacement but then backed down because they didn’t have any of that model available. I also wont go into details about how they constantly tried to get us to upgrade to a newer model with the added insult that the newer models had either a smaller and less vibrant screen, or a larger and more vibrant screen but cost twice as much as the model we had paid a premium for in the first place. And lastly, I wont go into detail about how they do not have any repair facilities for their devices and finally offered us a twenty percent discount on one of the newer and more expensive items in an attempt to keep us in their ecosystem. We limped along for another few months like this until finally we went to ATT at Christmas and took advantage of a deal they had for an Ipad mini added to our plan which still cost less than the Kindle deal that Amazon offering us.
I am normally not a fan of ATT and their prices but WTF Amazon. Apple at least fixes their shit when it breaks. I have head several devices replaced over the years and at several of those times, the devices weren’t even under warranty nor did we have Applecare on them.
The bottom line is that Apple fixes their products, or at least has repair centers. Apple sees that I am a valuable customer and took care of me even at times when they probably shouldn’t have. Are you listening Amazon? I realize that electronics are pretty much a commodity these days, but you obviously have a quality control problem and your solution is buy another one? Give me a break.
The other part of this drama is that last fall, Amazon introduced those seven-inch Kindle fire tablets for fifty dollars. I realize that this item was pretty much a gimmie, but we bought them for the kids as Christmas presents and I bought one for me because, WTF, how bad could it be?
Here is the current status of those three devices. Mine works just great. I should state that it works just fine because I don’t use it. The fire software is a fucking joke, Still the same pain in the ass software availability problems, etc, etc, etc. After trying to use the thing for several months, and after my third factory reset, its been sitting on my desk. I can use it to take notes or watch an occasional movie on Netflix, but why the hell should I do that. My iPad Air with its much larger screen has been going strong for more than two years now. Ill stick to that thank you very much. Two of the units we bought for the kids have lose power connectors and wont charge. Several phone calls to Amazon have resulted in a firm fuck you very much but how would you like to buy a new one. Once again, NO THANKS.
Finally, last summer, after Amazon discontinued the Fire Phone, I grabbed one from eBay because it came unlocked with a free year of Amazon Prime and I figured what the hell, I can use it to muck around with at work instead of banging up my very much working, much larger, and non-problematic iPhone. Nope, piece of crap. Apps freeze, or simply are not available. Apps that are available take forever to load if they load at all, and if you dare to side load an app from the google play store, the phone freaks out and needs to be reset. It’s not a bad-looking phone and it will be sitting on my desk for the next year because it is tied to my Amazon account and if I sell it, I lose the year of amazon prime which was the only reason I bought the damned thing in the first place.
We love your convenience of purchasing, but your customer service sucks. I realize that you designed the fires to be disposable, but nothing should be that disposable after only a few months. Never mind the gazillions of dollars we have spent over the years and that you only wish to push inferior devices out the door but come on, can’t you build a better device?
No more, I’ll stick to Apple or even Google in a pinch for my tablet needs. And you wonder why no one bought the fire phone. Ok, maybe you don’t… It was a crap phone and you knew it when you sold it to us.