September 8, 2009
If someone steals your Kindle, don't expect Amazon to help
You can add this story to the recent bad press about Amazon's Kindle (i.e, the public relations snafu in July over Amazon's unilateral decision to delete certain titles from the device) - if someone steals yours don't expect Amazon to help locate it even if the company knows the thief is using it to download content. The New York Times is reporting growing consumer anger at an Amazon policy that refuses to help reunite stolen Kindles with their rightful owners absent a police subpoena.
Samuel Borgese, for instance, is still irate about the response from Amazon when he recently lost his Kindle. After leaving it on a plane, he canceled his account so that nobody could charge books to his credit card. Then he asked Amazon to put the serial number of his wayward device on a kind of do-not-register list that would render it inoperable — to “brick it” in tech speak.
Amazon’s policy is that it will help locate a missing Kindle only if the company is contacted by a police officer bearing a subpoena. Mr. Borgese, who lives in Manhattan, questions whether hunting down a $300 e-book reader would rank as a priority for the New York Police Department.
He began to see ulterior motives when he twice sent e-mail messages to Amazon seeking an address to send a police report and got no reply.
“I finally concluded,” Mr. Borgese said, “that Amazon knew the device was being used and preferred to sell content to anyone who possessed the device, rather than assist in returning it to its rightful owner.”
As the article points out, one solution is for Amazon to automatically generate an email to the original owner asking her to confirm that the device has been sold before others can download content. You can read the rest of the article here.
September 8, 2009 | Permalink