Let me tell you a sad story of hope betrayed and bitter disappointment and let it be a warning to you, especially if you’re considering buying a Kindle Paperwhite.
I’m an avid reader of ebooks and audiobooks. I’ve been buying them from Amazon for more than a decade. I have more than 600 Kindle books and thousands of audiobooks. Until last year, I listened to my audiobooks and read my kindle books on my Samsung phone or my iPad mini.
I’ve never had a problem using the audible app or the kindle app on my Apple or Android devices. I still don’t. If only I had remained content with that, this whole sad series of events could have been avoided.
Alas, I gave in to temptation. I had always known that the E Ink display on a Kindle would be easier on the eye than my iPad or my phone but I stuck with them because I used them for my audiobooks. When Amazon brought out a version of the Kindle Paperwhite that was waterproof, weighed very little, had great battery life and also played my audiobooks, I decided to buy one.
On 23rd April 2021, I ordered Kindle Paperwhite | Waterproof, 6″ High-Resolution Display, 8GB-without Ads-Black. When it arrived, it was everything that I expected. Amazon had a happy customer.
On 18th June 2021, it stopped working. I would press power and the Kindle would give a message saying ‘Waking Up’ and then nothing would happen. I called Amazon. They asked me to attach the device to a power source and hold down the power button for a while. When nothing happened, Amazon sent me a new Kindle Paperwhite to replace the old one. Amazon had a slightly disappointed but still happy customer.
The replacement Kindle worked well. I grew to like it.
On 24th June 2022, it stopped working. I would press power and the Kindle would give a message saying ‘Waking Up’ and then nothing would happen. I called Amazon. They asked me to attach the device to a power source and hold down the power button for a while. When nothing happened, Amazon told me that, as my device had passed its one-year warranty, they couldn’t send me a replacement but I could trade in my old one, even if it didn’t work, and get a replacement at a discount of about 20%.
I wasn’t happy. I was a few days outside warranty. I was looking at a machine that had failed for the same reason, twice. I reasoned this must be a known fault that Amazon had chosen not to fix. I reminded Amazon that I’d been a customer of theirs since 1999, that I bought hundreds of books from them a year, and that a device as simple as a Kindle shouldn’t fail without suffering a trauma. I was told that there was no flexibility but that I really should use the discount available to me via the special link that they sent me.
Well, that was three weeks ago. My poor Kindle is still giving me its overly-optimistic Waking Up message and it still isn’t working. I haven’t sent it back and I haven’t used the discount. I’m now using Amazon’s free apps to read my kindle books and audiobooks on Apple and Android devices. Unlike the Kindle Paperwhite, they’ve never failed me.
In case I haven’t made it clear, Amazon now has a very unhappy customer, all for the sake of not replacing a device which, even at retail price, costs £159.99.
Until I see that Amazon has acknowledged that the Paperwhite has a fault that sometimes causes a catastrophic failure and that they’ve done something about it, I won’t be buying another Kindle.
If you’re about to buy a Kindle Paperwhite, I can tell you it’s a great machine BUT when you’re thinking about the price, remember that you can’t depend on it lasting more than a year before you have to replace it.