Conan O’Brien parodies Jeff Bezos…and I tell you real complaints people have with the Kindle Fire
First, let me assure my long-time readers…I’m not just writing about the Kindle Fire. One of my readers whom I especially respect brought that up to me in a private comment, so I did some analysis.
It may seem like I’m writing about it a lot, and certainly, it is the individual model which is getting the most attention in the blog right now. My analysis showed me that I am doing quite a few posts of global (to Kindle owners) interest.
However, I always try to keep this blog eclectic. If you don’t like the subject of one post (and I figure every post is disliked by somebody…not my intent, but that’s just recognizing the diversity of the human mind), just wait for the next one (or the one after that). I try to make sure all of my subscribers get their ninety-nine cents a month worth.
That said, Conan O’Brien (or at least Team CoCo) has posted a mock commercial of Jeff Bezos apologizing for problems with the Kindle Fire:
Conan starts out by calling the Fire “Amazon’s answer to the iPad”, and then says in part:
“…a lot of customers are complaining about a bunch of problems they experience with the Kindle Fire.”
They then go into a fake statement from Jeff Bezos.
I have to say that Conan has done some great comedy in the past…but I wasn’t crazy about this one.
For one thing, the actor playing Jeff Bezos was nothing like him. Jeff is a distinctive personality…he wouldn’t have been hard to parody a lot more closely. Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory could have nailed it (with a partial bald wig). I’m sure he could do Jeff’s laugh.
I like Jeff, by the way…I think he’s charming. Amazon’s CEO seems to have the kind of enthusiasm for life I admire.
They mention one real complaint people have (about the power button being easy to hit by accident), but the rest of it is…unrelated to reality.
It’s a coincidence, because I was considering writing something tonight about what complaints I really am seeing. I’m going to go ahead and do that…even if you don’t have a Fire, I think you’ll find this interesting. It’s not all technical.
I should start out with my having gotten two Kindle Fires now (I returned one because the screen was scratched…not sure if we did that or it came that way), and it hasn’t been hard to set them up on my network.
That is one of the big complaints I’ve seen, though. People (understandably) angry because they got the Kindle Fire for Christmas for somebody, and they couldn’t get it to work.
The first thing that stands out for me about those complaints is that many of them had been frustratedly trying to get it to work for hours.
That tells me that they aren’t experienced with Kindle Support.
I wouldn’t sit there with an unworking product from Amazon trying to fix it myself while somebody was waiting.
I’d contact Kindle Support through
button on your right.
You can e-mail them, call them, or have them call you.
People were going to send the Fire back without calling Kindle Support first.
I would guess, in many cases, that Kindle Support could have talked them through the process in just a couple of minutes.
I’m not sure how Amazon could promote their superior service better. I suppose many people don’t want to call a Customer Service line because they’ve had bad experiences with them elsewhere.
Here’s another thing: people are getting the Fire with no idea what it is or how it works.
They don’t know if they have a wi-fi network in their homes, for example.
That’s a bit like buying a car and the returning it because you don’t know how to drive. That’s not an unreasonable decision, but it does say something about the buying process.
The 3G Kindles actually did set up very easily, with no need for technical knowledge.
Wi-fi Kindles require knowing how to put something on your home wi-fi network (to use them as most people will), and many folks don’t know how to do that. It probably seems simple to many of us, but we’ve done it before. We know where the wi-fi password is, how to scan for a network, and so on.
A 3G Kindle Fire would resolve all that, but that’s pretty complicated to do. You’d likely then be dealing with a data plan..;paying a monthly fee. We don’t pay one with 3G RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles), but an e-book requires a tiny bit of bandwidth, compared to a movie, for example.
This also applies to RSKs…I’ve seen people complain about getting on the network with their new Kindle Touches.
The other major complaint would require reworking the way Kindles are used and viewed by Amazon…but I think it may be coming.
The Kindle Fire is clearly being given to a lot of children.
RSKs were given to children, too, but I’d guess that the percentage of Fires going to children is much higher than the percentage of Kindle Touches going to children.
That means that content that might not be appropriate for children is an issue.
This is more than just parental controls. Maybe one parent/legal guardian gets romances, and the other one gets shoot-em-ups. They might want to keep both of those away from their kids.
The long-term solution is something I’ve been talking about for some time…device specific archives. Those would have to be set up at
It would require a lot more active control by the account “Manager”…allowing certain content but not other content.
That Manager is just a customer who has the username and password for the account.
Again, that would be a major change…but I think something like that is inevitable.
In the mean time, they could simply lock the Cloud (archives) on the Fire with a user set PIN (Personal Identification Number). You wouldn’t see it without entering the PIN. Enter it, download, and lock it again.
That’s not as sophisticated as I picture device specific archives. With those, you designate a number of books for a device, and the user of that device can download those (and only those) when they want to do that.
Those are the two main complaints.
I also see a lot of confusion about the Kindle Owners Lending Library…people don’t get how it works, and I’ve seen people say they ordered several books expecting them to be free. I’ve run into a couple of people whose Kindle (the $79/$109 model that I call the Mindle) has gotten switched so that the menus are in a different language. I’m not at all sure how that would occur…it’s not something you could just change with one accidental click.
Anything else you’d say you are hearing about a lot? If so, let me know…I’ll see if I can give you an answer.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.