My New Best Friend Joan…from

Right.  Hi Joan, Goodbye Joan.  It’s not like you can ask for a particular person again…But for this particular instant in the space/time continuum, I like Joan.

Needless to say, I had a technology woe again, namely, the Kindle Fire died yesterday afternoon.  I mean really died.  It just sort of froze in the middle of things.  So I decided I would be smart and turn it off, and turn it back on.  Except it wouldn’t come back on.  Then I plugged it into the charger…and the LED light wouldn’t even come on.  (It’s red when it’s charging, green when it’s charged, and nothing when it’s dead.)

I was at work.  I tried plugging it into a different outlet.  No response.  So my employee Kitty said, “See, that’s the advantage of a real book.  You don’t have to charge them.”  I raised my eyes to the heavens.  Lord, I prayed, When will you change the U.S. employment laws so that I can legally smite her?  Just kidding, of course, especially because she was right.

So when I got home, I plugged up the Kindle and at least I got a light…a green one even, which would stay on for about 10 seconds and go out again.  After 8 hours of charging…same thing.  Visions of nightmares, rather than sugarplums, were dancing in my head.  I would have to send it back.  It’s amazing how attached you can become to an inanimate object.  So I decided this morning that I would take the plunge and chat with whoever I got on chat.  Ergo, Joan.

Joan said, do you have a USB cable?  Well, yes I do.  I bought one.  They don’t give you one, because it takes a geologic era to charge your Kindle Fire with a USB cable.  All the other Kindle versions come with a USB cable.  But it turns out you can download stuff onto the Kindle Fire with the USB in the absence of WiFi, which is why I got it.  So Joan says, plug it up to the USB and just see if the LED comes on.  Yes.  I said, are you suggesting the charger is bad?

Then she says, I’m not sure yet.  Do you have a cell phone charger that will fit the Kindle?  What? What about all those warnings that say that absolutely under no circumstances are you supposed to try to charge your device with an unapproved charger, otherwise you will void your warranty, the Kindle will blow up, and all your children will be born deformed?  She was like, you have my permission.

And guess what.  That worked too.  Another icon shattered–so it really DOESN’T matter what charger you use?  As long as it fits?  Boy, do I feel stupid.

So the end result is, they are sending me another charger, free.  When it quits working, next time I know what to do without calling on Amazon.  Or, well, I will still have to call them so I can get it free.

But I still like Joan.  She took me through the steps to figure out if it was the charger or the Kindle itself (its battery, actually, or so I figured.)

I generally hate it when I have to talk to Customer Service for any big company…mostly Sprint or Comcast.  I have a Sprint cellphone, and I used to tell my employees they might want to go home for the day because I was about to have to call Sprint.  They would be like, Oh Nooooo.  But Sprint has completely changed direction.  It’s no longer an ordeal to call them.  And Amazon has never been that way, so they didn’t have anything to overcome.

There is an internal culture in every company I know of which values everything but customer service.  The smart people are the ones who get the business–the engineers, the software designers, the marketers, etc.  But the customer service people are the people who keep the business for you.  In the long run, failing to value that will kill you.  So…thanks, Joan.

4 responses to “My New Best Friend Joan…from

  1. But remember, use only GENUINE Toyota parts because if you don’t… then Toyota won’t make any money from you.

  2. It might make a difference what charger you use, depending upon the voltages. Maybe cell phone chargers are safe Kindle-wise but various laptop PCs may not be interchangeable with one another.

  3. Welcome back to the civilized world Fakesister 🙂 The charger, by the way, is on sale for $20, down from $27,and shipping is…$7. Sheesh. But my BFF Joan waived that too. And I (dimly) understood that about the chargers, Fakesister. I suspect the cell phone charger is lower voltage, so that anything with lower voltage that fits is okay, it will just take longer to charge. But they don’t want you to go trying things out on your own, then blaming them when you truly do blow up your Kindle.
    One of the nice things about the conversation with Joan is that I discovered I’m not nearly as dumb as I think I am about devices. Or I am, but I learn fast. So she started out our conversation as if I were the dumbest, lowest common denominator–which I’m sure they have to do. So I was not offended in the least. So her first question was, Is it charged? I said No, but give me a minute to explain here. So I took her through the events, step by step, and she instantly knew what to do next. It really helps to know a little bit about what you’re talking about. It saves a lot of time.

  4. I’m reminded of that classic joke about the computer user who calls customer service, has a long conversation with the rep about the fact that his computer won’t come on, ending with the rep telling him to put the computer back in the box and ship it back, because he was too stupid to own one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s