Monday, September 7, 2009

Amazon Kindle: Strike Two

Last month or the month before, I wrote in general about the reasons I don't use an eBook reader like Amazon's Kindle, in a response to the controversy surrounding Amazon deleting eBooks remotely (which they weren't authorized to sell in the first place). Aside from that silly mess, my main gripe is that you must pay full price for a book, you can't buy it used, and you can't sell it secondhand when you're done, or even loan it to a friend without loaning out your $300 Kindle, and if you do, obviously you yourself can't read on it until your friend is done. It's a mess.

Now there's a new controversy around the $300 device (and yes, I love going on about how expensive the bloody thing is). If they get stolen, Amazon has the technology to see who stole it, and even to shut it down completely, but in the name of good business (as in, the thief paying for books), they're protecting the thieves' personal information, until ordered to release it by court order.

Talk about stabbing customers in the back, eh? $300 for the device, $25 for books (or whatever hardcovers cost these days, I know they vary), and if it gets stolen, even though they know who did it, they're just going to leave you hanging like that?

Enough's enough, people who have had this happen really need to lawyer up and sue Amazon. They're charging an insane amount of money for a service, basically encouraging theft ("if you steal one, you're just as good a customer as if you'd bought one"), protecting thieves, thereby encouraging it more, and basically they're obstructing justice. Sure, they comply with a court order, but if they know who has your Kindle and they're not telling you, they're an accessory, and at the very least, they ought to replace the Kindle, if it is such a big deal to them to keep the thieves' business.

Seriously, if your Kindle got stolen and Amazon won't help you, call your lawyer. At the very least, file a claim in small claims court. It's under five thousand dollars. If Amazon doesn't send a rep, they forfeit the case... at least, I believe that's how it works. And if they do send a rep, that rep's gonna have a hell of a time explaining to a judge why they're protecting a criminal and, at the same time, why they won't compensate you for your stolen property, when they make millions of dollars, and they're profiting from a crime against you.

...And this is coming from a fan and loyal customer of who has spent probably a few hundred dollars there on books, music, movies, games, Microsoft Points cards, and other stuff! But hey, I gotta call 'em like I see 'em - and this is bullshit.

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