Friday, 16 August 2013

Poorly Kindle

A couple of months ago I got a new Kindle. It was an upgrade of sorts, I'd had the Kindle Touch for just over a year and loved it, but my Mum-in-Law was keen for a Kindle and I'd just got a place on a new team at work, as well as having completed my OU course so in need of a treat. Long story short: Mum-in-Law got the Kindle Touch, I got a shiny new Kindle Fire HD.

And I love it.

It's taken me a little while to get used to the backlit screen, but once I realised that the sepia option was the easiest on my eyes it was all fine.

Until just this last week when I got an IVF hypnotherapy CD which I transferred to the Music folder on the Kindle. Until this point I'd only had The Hobbit soundtrack which I'd downloaded direct from Amazon themselves and I'd only ever listened to through my Kindle 's speakers (which sound amazing by the way, all the more so if you're just used to listening to music through the little iPhone speakers).

The problem struck when I tried to listen to music through earphones. I couldn't. At first I thought it was a compatibility issue between the iPhone earphones and the Kindle so I tried the earphones I use for my MP3 player to no avail. At this point I have up and listened to the relaxation track on my phone instead.

When I still couldn't get it to work with Mr Click's super duper headphones the following day I knew there must be something wrong. I can either get sound out through the internal speakers or through the right side of the headphones/earphones, but I can't get it out of both sides.

This coupled with my suspicion that the volume control buttons on top are just for show because they don't actually seem to do anything prompted me to get in touch with customer services. I sent in an email explaining the problem last Friday and within a few hours had a reply asking me to get in contact via phone or LiveChat so that they could do some realtime troubleshooting.

Not trusting the internet connection at home (mainly because it conked out when I tried it before emailing them) I waited until last Sunday to get in touch. It was an interesting conversation. I explained the above in a fairly condensed way and asked for help. The first thing the guy asked me was for all my details for the account (which I assumed would enable him to see my email, but it obviously didn't because I had to explain everything I'd said in the email again).

He suggested turning it off and back on again; I explained I'd done this several times since the fault reared its ugly head. He explained that the speakers stopped working when headphones were plugged in; I said I was aware of this but that surely when headphones were plugged in some sound should come out of them. He asked me to try another set of headphones, I pointed out that I'd already tried four different sets with two different results; either no sound or only sound in the right side. We also established the thing has never been dropped, trodden on or had anything spilt on it.

At this point it was nearly time for lunch and we'd been doing this for about half an hour - I'm guessing that since it was a Sunday afternoon he was probably having to do LiveChats with multiple people because the responses were fairly slow. I threw out there the fact that the volume control buttons don't actually seem to do anything. I'd always just assumed that this was the apps that I was playing with, sometimes I thought they were working, other times they haven't seemed to.

Then he told me he'd get a new Kindle sent out to me and the returns info emailed out to get my 'old' one sent back. It took a while to get to this point, but I'm glad they seem to think there's a fault on it and it's not just me being a dork. As frustrating as the LiveChat was, the guy was very helpful and I understand that they have a script they have to follow to narrow down what the problem might be.

We had a bit of a challenge because the method for return was to be with Collect Plus, where you take your parcel to a local shop who is signed up to the service and Amazon collects it from there. Unfortunately the nearest one to us is on the mainland so it would've been tricky to actually get somewhere to drop it off.

Luckily Amazon came through again and told me to post it back recorded and have sent me the details for reclaiming the cost of this. Suits me just fine.

And after going through the chat on Sunday I had a nice surprise on Tuesday when my shiny new Kindle arrived. The first thing I did when I unpacked it was download some of my music from the Amazon Cloud. The Hobbit soundtrack played perfectly and I was able to alter the volume without any problems. I even got a little pop-up on the screen to show me the volume changing - I'd never seen that before!

More importantly, the headphone sockets work. And I can get audio in both lugholes! Perfect. I was kind of worried about how this return would work as I've never had to do it myself before, but Amazon did a really good job and I'm pleased that it's definitely a fault with the original and not just me doing something stupid.

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