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Kindle Button Failure, Replacement

March 4, 2010

A couple of years ago, I wrote about a screen failure on my first generation Kindle, and how good my Amazon customer service experience was. Comments were mixed, with some other folks having similar experiences, and others having nightmares getting their Kindle replaced.

The other day, just shy of two years later, my second generation Kindle failed. This one was rather goofy. When I first received my 2G Kindle, I noticed a little diagonal “scratch” on the 5-way button. Apparently, this was actually a hairline crack. After having the unit for just over a year, last week I pressed the button, and it fell apart into two pieces, making it very difficult to use, particularly when picking a book from the menu.

I called Amazon, and once again, they were quite helpful. Even though I was slightly out of warranty, they overnighted me a new 2G Kindle, and sent me a link for a pre-paid UPS label to send my broken one back.

Obviously, I’m still very happy with my Amazon customer service experiences, particularly as regarding the Kindle. As always, though, your mileage may vary.

Amazon Kindle E-Book Reader

Kindle Screen Failure, Replacement

April 23, 2008


Gadgets fail. Some more than others, but that’s what they do. Assuming that the failure rate isn’t completely excessive, what separates one gadget (and vendor) from another is often just how well they support their product.

My Kindle has been slowly failing for the past couple of weeks.

I first noticed that the book I was reading didn’t have a title. I figured it was just a glitch in the book file, but it became clear that what happened was that the top quarter-inch or so of the display was just not displaying (or displaying so faintly it couldn’t be read).

Not too much later, I also had a “white line” down the left edge of the page, which was causing the leftmost pixels of the first letter of each sentence to disappear.
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Weber Grills – Great Customer Service

June 7, 2006

Enough car talk for the moment… I had a great customer service experience today, and it deserves a post.

I’ve long been a fan of Weber grills. These things are built like battleships. I’ve had a lot of name-brand grills over the years, but never anything that cooked as evenly or held-up to heavy duty use as well as a Weber.

I’ve got a 6 year old Weber Genesis Silver B propane grill, and a 5 year old Weber Smoky Mountain smoker. The grill gets heavy use for a lot of the year, and the smoker does also in nice weather.

Up to this year, they’ve both held up amazingly well. I had to replace the thermometer in the grill last year, and this year I broke down and bought a replacement set of stainless steel flavorizer bars and a new porcelain-coated set of cast iron grills. Not that I had to, but because I figured they’d be easier to keep clean.

I did have to replace the electronic ignition this year also, but between it and the thermometer, we’re talking maybe $20 of required replacement parts in a heavily used grill over 6 years — and it worked without them, it’s just more convenient with them.

The smoker hasn’t needed anything but fresh charcoal and the occasional cleaning.

Until recently…

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The Universal Constant of Suckage – Verizon

July 8, 2004

It’s reassuring (in some grim sense) to know that a year since I managed to get Verizon out of my life, apparently their “customer service” (and I use the term loosely) still manages to suck massively.

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Store-bought scripts and square wheels

September 3, 2003

I’m reasonably competent with a number of different web development technologies, but I try not to spend a lot of time re-inventing the wheel. 

Sometimes there will be a widget that I’ll need to add to a site that would cost more in terms of development time than it would to go buy a widget script off the shelf and use it.  Other times, crisis or hard deadlines will make it worth spending a few bucks to have something now rather than delay things while I puzzle it out.

In either case, the driving function is the time it takes to get it right…

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