Kindle case defect, users sue Amazon for $5m in damages

Kindles are fragile little creatures, and so Amazon offers a spiffy little protective case. However, for a group of angry Kindle users involved in a new class action suit, the case itself was a source of damage.

Cracks began to show, pun intended, when customer Matt Geise purchased the $30 case and began to notice cracks at points the cover attaches to the device.
The Kindle began to malfunction and eventually, stopped working
entirely. When Geise spoke to Amazon, he was instructed to pursue a
couple hundred bucks worth of repairs. Um, yeah, no. He did what most
of us do: he got online and starting talking about his issue and
finding others with similar issues. And then, the angry group with
useless Kindles took it one step beyond and filed a five million dollar
class action lawsuit.

Is anyone else questioning the customer treatment as an issue here? I
mean, let’s take a minute and look around at the mobile phones and
laptops around us. Stuff gets beat up. I’m not saying the lawsuit is
bogus, just that mistreatment is going to be hard to ignore as a

Personally, I would have been satisfied with a new Kindle. But, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Filed under: new v. old media, news

Tags: amazon


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  • Apple dealt with something similar in their first generation iPods. The batteries are unremoveable and at $400, they suggested the customer just replace them when the iPod would no longer hold a charge. The customers carved a blazing path of internet flame and Apple made their iPods cheaper and their batteries last longer. $5M does seem outlandish. I imagine it has more to do with the cost of suing a large corporation than any real reparation on the part of the consumers, though.

    This strikes me as another example of how not-smart it is to screw with a very communicative and connected consumer base. They could have cheaply solved the problem by yanking the cases and replacing the Kindles with "refurb" ones like Microsoft does with their troublesome Xbox 360's. People will settle for a mediocre solution if the company at least makes an effort to meet them halfway. If they don't, though, the claws definitely come out. Maybe one of the strengths of the internet generation is that we're inadvertantly creating and enforcing a diffuse, popular neo-politeness to fill its oft-pointed-out vacuum in American culture.

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