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 Amazon.com 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.