Amazon technical problem stalling ILMK delivery to subscribers

Amazon technical problem stalling ILMK delivery to subscribers


Back on December 5th, I wrote about a technical glitch at Amazon that was preventing the delivery of this blog (ILMK) to paid subscribers. While that resolved fairly quickly, we are back in a similar situation.

There really isn’t anything I can do about it, except alert Amazon.

That is frustrating for me, of course…I like to fix things. 🙂

Oh, not physical things…I’m terrible at that. My Significant Other says that the Calvin way to fix things is that we just stop using them. 😉

Classic case: the side door to the garage (not the big one through which you drive) on our old house broke. We actually bought a door, and we tried to fix it…but the hole for the latch didn’t end up in the right place. I think we just left that door leaning in the doorjamb for a few years.

The part that is good about this is that my readers are nice enough to inform me of issues like this (and typos…and news).

I think regular reader and commenter D. Knight was first, then others (Norma, Jim Colvin) followed…thanks, everybody!

It appears to not just be ILMK…D. mentioned another blog, and not having a way to alert them. I’m glad I have the kind of open relationship with my readers that I can get this sort of information quickly.

I did write to Amazon. They said in part:

“I apologize for the inconvenience caused in this regard.

We are facing technical issues at our end. Our technical team is currently investigating the issue.

We will provide you an update within 2 – 3 working days.”

While blogs have been part of the Kindle contentverse for many years (this one has been running for more than five years), I don’t think we are really front burner for Amazon. Admittedly, they can’t be making much money on them. ILMK is one of the top selling blogs at Amazon, and I know what they make from subscribers in a month on it. Let’s just say that books, magazines, and newspapers are probably more lucrative for them.

However, they do have a motivation to keep things working smoothly on blogs. One of the biggest costs for an organization like Amazon is Customer Service. It’s absolutely the proper thing to contact them when you are having a problem (like the non-delivery of the blog), and I’ve generally found them helpful and friendly. (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

It is an expense for them, though…one which makes sense if it retains a customer who then spends on more profitable items (“diapers and windshield wipers”, as I like to say).

Customer Service is definitely a case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Better not to get those calls if you can avoid them…especially on a relatively inexpensive item. Amazon has very highly-rated Customer Service, and they want to keep it that way.

If a representative is dealing with a problem with a ninety-nine cent blog and that delays them getting to a problem with a thousand dollar computer, well, that’s not a good thing.

Why have there been two problems within two months?

I don’t know, of course, but there are some basic possibilities:

1. They are updating or changing something. That’s always a risky thing to do (although it can have great rewards)

2. Demand has increased…I think that’s unlikely to be a significant problem

3. They aren’t doing necessary maintenance on a system, so there is an entropy issue

4. Devices have changed, so that their bandwidth is no longer sufficient when it was before

I’m hoping it’s number one, and that we get something good out of it. I know that some of my readers would pay for ILMK to have it delivered to their Fire tablets, if Amazon would make that an option. Again, I doubt that it…but we can dream, right? 😉

I’m sorry some of you are being inconvenienced, and I hope this gets fixed quickly.

Thanks again to the commenters who let me know, and thanks to all of the subscribers! You are part of what makes it possible for me to justify the time I spend on this. 🙂

Join more than a thousand readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

14 Responses to “Amazon technical problem stalling ILMK delivery to subscribers”

  1. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I subscribe to four blogs (one of which is yours). I have multiple ways of getting them — so I didn’t notice until this post that I have received no blog updates since Wednesday, Jan 7 2015. So whatever the problem is (from my perspective at least), it appears to be a more global blog problem.

    Yours (and one other) also come to me via email, and both of them tend to have new posts every day — which I have been getting via email, but not via the blog subscription delivery to my PW2.

    Just saying …

    • Lady Galaxy Says:

      I’ve had so much trouble with blogs over the past two months that I’ve pretty much given up on them. I keep the Amazon Daily blog because it’s free. The last time it updated was Thursday, Jan. 8. I moved this blog to my Voyage, but I rarely use that one. I meant to return, but I left it go until too close to the 30 day deadline, and bad weather prevented me from getting to the PO to send it back. When I tried to start it up to check when this blog last updated, the battery was in need of recharge. Since I usually check this one online, I didn’t notice it had stopped again!

  2. Lady Galaxy Says:

    While browsing in the Kindle Storefront from my K3 this morning, I noticed a change that probably isn’t affecting the blogs, but indicates that behind the scenes work is going on. The Prime checkmark has been restored to books that are eligible for both Prime and KU. This will be an improvement for folks who have prime but don’t subscribe to KU. Unfortunately, they didn’t add a button that would allow KU subscribers to choose whether the book will be selected for the Prime book or a KU borrow. And having 10 books from KU still doesn’t bring up a Prime option. However, I did manage to find two books that were Prime only, so I was finally able to trade out my old Prime book that had been hanging around for months, and I put the “spare” in my wish list. The one I chose does not have text to speech enabled, so I won’t link it here. I had to go about 80 pages into the KOLL list to find it. The “spare” does have text to speech enabled, so I’ve put the link below. Neither book would have been a first choice, but since they were my only choices, and since they sounded interesting, I’ll give them a look. I know it’s silly, but I felt as if I lost something when I subscribed to KU because I lost access to my monthly Prime book.

    Here’s the link:

  3. D. Knight Says:

    Hi, thank you, Bufo, for working on this. It’s harder for the subscriber to get CS attention on this because you can’t really “prove” that a blog update went out that you didn’t get.

    Just FYI, here is some info on my situation–maybe it will help in your dealings with CS if you have more data.

    In my case, I subscribe to 4 blogs, yours (of course!) and 3 AP News blogs (AP World, AP US, and AP Strange). AP World and AP US News are updated several times each day, so it’s really noticeable when they drop out. Of these four, only yours and the AP US News blog has stopped being delivered (since early Jan 7), so it isn’t universal.

    I’ve been subscribing to these blogs since late 2010, and never had any problems until the AP US News blog dropped out the end of last August. I tried calling CS about it then, but CS just assumed it was a problem with the blog creator and I couldn’t convince them otherwise, nor did I have any evidence to show them that the blog was still being delivered. So I just unsubscribed and re-subscribed, which fixed the problem with that blog until this week.

    Then ILMK stopped in early December (which you got fixed, thank you) and now both ILMK and AP US news have a problem.

    All this to let you know: if this doesn’t resolve soon, I’ll unsubscribe and re-subscribe and see if that works. But first I’d like to see if it will resume on its own.

    • Lady Galaxy Says:

      Amazon’s own Amazon Daily blog isn’t updating either. I’ve had the same frustration when trying to report blog problems to Amazon. Awhile back, I tried to report that the TV Guide Breaking News blog wasn’t downloading. They referred me to TV Guide. TV Guide said their blog was handled by Zinio. Zinio claimed to not know what I was talking about and had no clue where I should go next. At that point, I gave up and unsubscibed and resubscribed. The past two months have been so bumpy that I finally gave up on TV Guide, AP US News and NY Times. The only one I really miss is NY Times because of their limited number of articles you can read online. For the others, I find full content online.

      • D. Knight Says:

        I just prefer to read the blogs on my e-Ink akindle. It’s easier because I always carry it around with me and it is easier on my eyes.

        BTW, I just got a Voyage for Christmas–and I really like it. (I also got the Origami cover; I think I’m the only person in the world who likes it, but I really like it). Why did you want to return yours?

    • Lady Galaxy Says:

      Would knowing that I named it Kobayashi Maru give a hint? It was a huge leap forward in technology from my K3, and the learning curve was very steep. Bufo was a big help in figuring things out. The biggest downfall for me is that it’s really uncomfortable for me to hold. It cramps my hand. I tried to order an easel cover for it to see if that made it easier to hold, but they were on back order until February. Since I wasn’t sure the cover would solve the problem, I decided at that point return it, but fate got in the way. I have to remember that I really didn’t like the K3 when I first got it, and now it’s my favorite Kindle.

      • D. Knight Says:

        My progression was K3 -> PW1 -> Voyage, so it wasn’t too bad for me. Holding it is no problem for me; maybe you’re holding it too much like the K3? I had to learn how to hold the K3 and I had to change for the PW.

        Here’s how I hold the voyage: (using left hand) let the bottom left corner rest in your palm near the “fat” part of the base of the thumb. That is what holds the Kindle. Then I place my fingers fairly loosely just to stabilize (not hold) it. My thumb is near the page turn button. I can hold it a long time this way, but if a surface is nearby, I do just prop it up on the “easel” of the Origami cover–which is why I like the cover so much. The other two reason are: it’s very light, and the magnet holds it in firmly but the Kindle is still very easy to pop out of the cover so you can hold the very light Voyage by itself.

      • Lady Galaxy Says:

        The problem is that I have a condition called “trigger finger” in my left thumb. The condition was probably a result of over use of my Kindle because it started after I finished a marathon reading session with a very long, very interesting book. My doctor joked that maybe we should call it Kindle Thumb. Though it eventually got back to the point where the joint no longer locks or snaps, the area where the thumb meets the hand is tender. Holding the Voyage the way you describe is one of the things that triggers the trigger. I have an easel style cover for my K3, and I hold it by sliding my hand between the front and back of the easel leaving my thumb free to work the controls. Because the Voyage doesn’t have the extra space at the bottom where the keyboard is on the K3, I’m not sure if having an easel cover will bring my thumb at the correct spot to work he controls. Tapping is a problem for me because I tend to double tap.

  4. D. Knight Says:

    Just wanted to let you know; delivery of both blogs has resumed. 🙂

    • D. Knight Says:

      Another, just to let you know, update. First, I am still getting the blog delivered, but with an idiosyncrasy: I always have to hit “Sync and Check for Items” twice, and just for your blog. This has happened every time for the last 2 or 3 weeks, and it doesn’t seem to be related to how many things I have to download (most of the time, it’s 2 or 3 of the blogs waiting). For example, today I had 7 things to download: all four blogs (3 AP news and ilmk), 2 Kindle First books, and 1 KU borrow (which I had just requested, so it should have been last in the stack). When I synced, everything but the ilmk blog downloaded and I did wait a bit (I actually walked away for a few minutes). I came back, synced again, and then your blog downloaded. I don’t mind clicking sync twice so I’m not complaining for myself, but I thought if this is affecting anyone besides me, it might be hurting your subscriptions, so I thought I should let you know.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, D.!


        I appreciate the heads up. There isn’t much I can do except tell them…and I’ll do that.

      • D. Knight Says:

        Telling them worked. It’s no longer happening. (It stopped this weekend, but I didn’t have a chance to reply before now.)

        Thank you!

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, D.!

        I’m glad it’s working for you!

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