Getting help with your Kindle questions

Getting help with your Kindle questions

“Hey, pal…you ever think about getting some professional help?”

I love answering your questions.  That’s one of my favorite things to do in life.  I can’t always answer everything, of course, but it’s great when I can.  When I can’t, I often learn something myself in the process…whether my search is ultimately successful or not.

Amazon does have a highly-rated Customer Service department, and they have a special group that deals with Kindle questions.

I’ve used them myself, and generally had good results.

In this post, I’m going to go over the various ways to get help when you have Kindle questions.  I see a lot of people saying it’s hard to contact them, and I suppose they could make it easier.  It is in the User’s Guide, which is sent with your Kindle.  I think it might make sense for them to put it into a menu, maybe in Settings (or just in the general menu).  I know the negative for that is that they could only really give you a phone number effectively on the Kindle.  Calling a toll-free number costs Amazon money, of course, and they’d probably rather you had the option to contact them by e-mail (I’ll go through all that below).  Still, I think it might make sense for them.

Telephone

Advantages: it’s easier to discuss an issue, especially if you are going to troubleshoot a problem, when you have somebody “voice to voice”. 

Disadvantages: you won’t have a record of what was said…although they do.  I had a Customer Service rep cite other times I had contacted them and why.  If you are calling from outside the US, it isn’t a free number.  They don’t charge you for the service, but your telephone service provider may charge you.

In the US: 1-866-321-8851

Outside the US (toll charges may apply): 1-206-266-0927

Have your Kindle and your power cable when you call.

You can also have them call you, which is a really cool feature.  You start from your computer (you may have to log into your Kindle account) to make the request:

Contact KCS

You can do this in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, or the Virgin Islands.

You put in a reason, and most people say you get the call in seconds.

E-mail

Advantages: you have a record of what was said.  There are no toll fees.  It can be done from anywhere in the world.

Disadvantages: you don’t get an immediate answer.  If the agent has questions for you, you’ll have to go back and forth over possibly days to resolve the issue.

You can also send them e-mail, starting at that same spot:

Contact KCS

You’ll see tabs there for e-mail or phone.

They say they answer most e-mails with in 12 hours.  I’ve had that happen, although I’ve also heard about people saying that they never got an answer.

One funny thing: they don’t let you say you have more than one Kindle version.

I would explain as explicitly as you can.  Tell them exactly what you were doing and what you saw.  Tell them what model of Kindle you have (they have a dropdown).  Tell them if the Kindle was plugged in or not (if it’s a Kindle operation issue).

Self service

You can search for answers on your Kindle, since you probably have the User’s Guide there.  On anything except the K1, I’d open the UG first before you search, so you don’t search the entire device. 

You can also search online at:

Kindle Online Help 

One other quick tip: when in doubt, try the Menu button.  :)

Kindle Customer Service Q and A forum

This is honestly something I think Amazon has done poorly (for those of you who think I never say anything bad about them).  ;)

In early October 2009, Amazon started a new forum on the website.  It’s called the Kindle Customer Service Q&A Community.  I think most people assume from that customers are going to ask questions and Customer Service is going to answer them.

That’s not what happens, though.  Amazon Kindle Customer Service posts announcements from time to time.  They initially said that was once a week.   It doesn’t seem like it has anywhere near that often.  When they do post, it is good information, typically.

Otherwise, customers post questions, and generally, it is customers that answer them.  I want to especially single out Fool for Books.  Fool (and I don’t mean any disrespect when I say that…I usually treat people’s screen names like they were real names…mine is both), has a 97% helpful rating, which is huge, and often answers the questions.  In case you are wondering, my rating is only 81%.  :)

So, if you ask a question in this forum, you’ll probably get a good answer…but it won’t be from Kindle Customer Service.  They almost never directly respond. 

That’s not what seems to be suggested by the “ad” for this forum in the main Amazon Kindle community.  It says,

“Find answers to your Kindle questions from Amazon customer service representatives…”

Yes, you may be able to find the answers from CS, and you can ask questions, but you can’t ask a question and get an answer from CS, usually.

Most people would be better off just asking the question directly in the

Amazon Kindle community

That’s a much more active place.  Now, the disadvantage is, well, it’s a lot less on topic and a lot meaner, sometimes.  Typically, I think people who want to denigrate posts want a larger audience, so they don’t tend to hang out in the Q&A forum. 

Now, I want to be clear: the Amazon Kindle community is overwhelmingly positive, and people almost always get good help.  However, sometimes, there are threads or posts that are just…not nice.  It’s not moderated…anybody can post anything.  From time to time, Amazon will go in and delete something, or warn somebody, and there are Guidelines.  If people don’t follow those guidelines, there can be consequences…but they won’t happen right away.

This is where I recommend you ask your questions, though, if you are happy with unofficial answers.  It’s generally useful and often fun.  :)

There are other Kindle communities as well.  I don’t know as much about them, honestly, and they are not hosted by Amazon (which you may consider a good or bad thing).

 One of the best known one is:

KindleBoards

You can search there.

I do like and use:

MobileRead Wiki

You can also search there, and they do have information on other EBRs (E-Book Readers) as well as Kindles.

One other thing: you can try searching this blog, or asking me a question.  :)  If you aren’t sure where to ask, just comment the About page.  I get an e-mail notification on every comment, and tend to get to them pretty quickly, I’d say.  You will need to do that from the website version, at http://ilmk.wordpress.com.

Do you have any other resources you find particularly helpful?  Feel free to let me know!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.  If you are reading this blog for free and would like to support it, just click here and then shop at Amazon.

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6 Responses to “Getting help with your Kindle questions”

  1. tuxgirl Says:

    Amazingly enough, I recently got a phone call from kindle support based on a forum post where I had mentioned having problems with getting an update to work on my kindle. A couple other people have mentioned similar experiences. So, from what I can see, the Amazon Kindle Discussions seem to be at least partly monitored by kindle support. My guess is that with the number of posts, they aren’t able to join in on every discussion, but they are there watching for problems that aren’t yet known.

    I think this is actually the best way to do it. Many of the questions on the forum *are* things that others in the forums can help answer. I’m glad that we can help each other, keeping the support costs for the kindle slightly lower, and learning more for ourselves. I just wish that people were generally more kind to each other…

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, tg!

      I’d noticed that story about the phonecall on the forum…that’s great!

      I think they use the forums partially to get information about what people are saying. If that’s the case, it’s not just the questions people ask, but the way they ask them. I don’t mind that at all…I think what they are doing helps shape the Kindle experience for us, and having the forum is so great! My guess is the business justification includes the data mining.

      That kindness thing comes and goes…I think it was particularly difficult after the release of the DX, as I recall. My feeling is that it isn’t the most fun place to be mean, so people who like it mellower are more likely to stick around.

  2. guzu2 Says:

    I have a kndle question that I’d like answered–How do I schedule a free promotion in KDP? step by step instructions would be appreciated.
    guzu2

    P.S. I am a newbie

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, guzu2!

      First, sign into the KDP site:

      https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin

      Then, you want to be on the Bookshelf tab (at the top of your screen).

      Click or tap the title for which you want to schedule the free promotion day.

      Click or tap Promotions Manager.

      Click or tap New, and enter the information (name of the promotion, start date, finish date).

      Click or tap Save, and that should be it.

      If you have more questions about it, let me know. :)

  3. mona alvarez Says:

    i am having problems buying books at the store on my kindle….nothing appears when i click on store……i also can’t pinch fine print to appear larger…it’s like all of a sudden, it’s giving me problems I didn’t have before…please help.

    Mona

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Mona!

      I’m sorry to hear that! Since you are talking about pinching, that suggests you have either a Kindle Fire or a Kindle Touch.

      If it’s a Kindle Touch, try this:

      Disconnect it from any power source (wall or USB)

      Home – Menu – Settings – Menu – Restart

      Give it a minute to restart by itself.

      If it’s a Kindle Fire:

      Unplug it from any power source

      Hold the power button in until it shuts down (even after it asks you if you want to shut down)

      After the screen goes dark, leave it off for a minute or so, then start it up again. It will take a bit to go through the process.

      If that doesn’t work, contact Kindle Support at

      http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport

      You’ll see a

      Contact Us

      button.

      I’d call them or have them call you.

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