Apr 17, 2009

Kindle 2 customer support in Canada

Well, obviously we're talking fiction here.

Amazon's Kindle reader is not available in Canada, for "copyright reasons." Though one has to wonder, what are these copyright issues that are so insurmountable that the Sony Reader is now available pretty much everywhere?

Anyway, Amazon won't ship the Kindle to Canada. You can buy books for it as long as you have a credit card associated with a US address (I've tested this - it's true!), but they won't ship the Kindle to Canada, US credit card or no. Which is makes it time-consuming, wasteful, and expensive to get the Kindle up here. Mine was shipped to my mom in California and then to me in Montreal...so shipping charges and insurance had to be paid twice, the risk of it getting hurt in transit doubles, and all that. And I still have the damn thing, in Canada. I'm American, I live in the US part of the year, I'm totally allowed to have my Kindle (which I love...there's so much to love), but Amazon insists on making me feel like I'm undergoing some sort of criminal subterfuge because I happen to be in Canada on my birthday.

So, I was thinking I'd give them a chance to redeem themselves. I called up customer support and said essentially "Look - it cost me $80 on top of the $360 the Kindle already costs to get it shipped up here. Now I don't have that money to buy Kindle books. Could I have some credit toward Kindle books to make up for it?" The terrifyingly perky customer service lady flat turned me down. Damn.

Obviously they don't have to give me anything, it was my own choice to do things this way. But I thought it would be nice, and good customer relations, and anyway - it doesn't cost them anything! That's the beauty of e-books! They could just say "Sure! In fact, have $100 in e-book credit! We're really sorry for the inconvenience." I'd love them, and it wouldn't cost them anything. Or, it'd cost them a teeny bit in royalties. Totally worth the fact that they'd have a satisfied customer. Alas. They've cornered the market, they know they won't lose my business (though I will certainly work harder to not buy my ebooks through Amazon, for what it's worth), so why do any favors?

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