A Frozen Kindle Screen and Amazon Support

When I got my Kindle Paperwhite, I did not retire my previous Kindle, the keyboard version. The older Kindle is perfect for bathtub reading, because there are buttons on the side to click. In a zip lock bag, the older Kindle is my faithful bathtub buddy, and thanks to Amazon’s Whispersync, it is always ready to pick up from whatever spot I left off reading on my Paperwhite. I am a voracious reader. I read everyday, whenever I can, but ALWAYS in the bathtub, and ALWAYS for a good while before bed.

In other words….. my Kindles do not gather dust!

I have never had a moment’s trouble with my Kindle Keyboard until yesterday. It had warned me that the battery was running low, so I plugged it in to charge. Hours later, when I unplugged it, I was surprised to see the screen frozen with the battery warning message still in place over the text that I had been reading.

My first thought was “no problem” with a pat on my own back because “I know what to do.” Smug, I was.

I knew a re-boot of the Kindle would fix it right up. (I thought)

To re-boot the Kindle Keyboard, you unplug it, and slide the on-off switch to the right, and then hold it for a full 20 seconds. The screen blinks, and the Kindle restarts. Ready for more reading goodness.

So I set about my task. I held the button. 20 seconds. Nothing. 30. Still nothing. A full 60 seconds. The frozen, unresponsive screen was still there. No change. Sigh.

I had no idea what to do next. Smugness > gone. 😦

I turned to the internet and was instructed to do exactly what I had done. But after that simple “to do” suggestion, the advice from Kindle users got scary. “Take off the back, and…. ” What? No, no! Take off the back? An absolute last resort (maybe) just before sending it to trash, but certainly not as a trouble-shooting task.

I didn’t think to call Amazon at first, because “I knew what to do.” I knew they would have me slide the on-off switch, and I had already done that.

But soon I realized that with no options left, I may as well take the time to call Amazon Support. I was not hopeful.

Their “contact us” screen was clear and easy to follow. I made choices via drop down screens about my problem, narrowing it down to the frozen screen on the Keyboard Kindle.

The next choice, their “preferred” choice, was for them to call me.

I clicked the box, and got up to leave the room. Before I got to the door (of a very small room!), my phone was ringing, and a very pleasant support person was cheerfully ready to help me. Wow.

I explained my problem, and told her that I already did the re-boot and I was prepared to hear that my Kindle had died. But cheerful-support-lady would have none of that.

She asked me questions, we flicked switches, we counted seconds, we checked the colors of the lights on the bottom, we plugged and we unplugged.

Then she told me to plug it in for a half hour and she would call me back. (Really?)

About 40 minutes later my phone rang, and the pleasant-cheerful-hopeful support lady was eager to get back to work. I went to my Kindle… and …. drum roll …. it was perfectly fine!

I have no idea what combination of button pushing, light checking, plugging and/or unplugging did the trick, but the trick was done, and the Kindle is ready for more reading-goodness..

My support experience was awesome. Remember they called me. Twice.

I have nothing but good things to say about this interaction with Support. For such a HUGE company, I am amazed at how personal the experience was.

Bravo, Amazon!

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28 thoughts on “A Frozen Kindle Screen and Amazon Support

  1. When, shorty after Kindle’s arrival in the world, the miraculous iPad was born, Amazon had to do scramble. They stayed focused. Amazon stayed strong, and…to this day….has not wavered or lost reader sales. An, just how did they manage to accomplish this feat. All the original Kindles were b/w, which meant they were not back-lighted (as iPads/Nook color). You could take to the beach. iPads and were useless in sunlight. But, the NUMBER ONE reason for Amazon’s holding their reading lead was (and, obviously, still is) Customer Service!

    noohttp://welcometobarbarasworldofeducation.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/e-readers/ks

  2. I almost burst out laughing…
    “In a zip lock bag, the older Kindle is my faithful bathtub buddy”
    From one very techno lost individual to you who has such a great appreciation of all things techno; this sentence brought such a great smile to my face….
    One day….. one day….! 😉

    • The Kindle is the best bathtub reader! No techy anything required. They just work. (unless, as my post describes, they don’t, but then Support is there to help 🙂 ) But they usually just work. 🙂

  3. Word (((HUGS))) says:

    My Kindle’s a bathtub buddy, too! I learned a lot by reading this post. It’s good to know there is still great customer service out there for the receiving. Nice blog!

    • Ah, a kindred spirit! Thanks so much for stopping by! Isn’t the Kindle just perfect for the bathtub? You don’t have to try to hold pages open, etc. The touch screens are a bit tricky in a zip lock bag, tho, that’s why I held on to the keyboard version. If they would make a Kindle with BOTH the touch screen AND a real button, people like you and I would have the perfect device! 🙂

  4. Ohhhhh, I think you have me almost sold that I need a Kindle. I have slowed down on my reading because my eyes get so tired I can’t see. I love books – I love having the books I have read lined up on my bookshelves. But I am also feeling myself letting go of my love of holding the book and wanting to move to a life with less things. Thanks for helping me think through this major! transition. 🙂

    • The same thing was happening to me … the slowing down part. But once I started reading on the kindle, it was all so much better and I never looked back. The larger fonts, not having to hold a heavy book (who would have ever thought that HOLDING a book would be a problem?), and the ease of buying a book and reading it instantly…. all so good! Be sure to let me know what you decide!

      • Well, my husband got home today and I asked him if he wanted me to order my Christmas present from him. He had asked me previously if I thought I wanted one so I knew what he would say. I order the Paperwhite because of your review on an earlier post. Thanks so much for taking the indecision out of this decision. I think it is so neat that we can make changes as our bodies change so we can maintain the quality of life we like. We’re good!

  5. My kindle seems to be experiencing the same thing – I came across this page because I thought Amazon would not be that helpful and it would just be faster to figure it out myself. Thanks for giving me hope! (Definitely calling amazon now)

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