My biggest disappointment with Amazon to date

My biggest disappointment with Amazon to date

I haven’t agreed with everything Amazon has done over the years. Overall, though, I have felt like they have had reasonably good motivations…oh, sure, they’ve been clunky and awkward at times, like the famous time when they deleted George Orwell books from people’s Kindles. The copy wasn’t authorized for the market in which it was sold (the USA). From what I’ve read, the most likely scenario seems to be that the company had intended it to be released in Australia, where the books are in the public domain, and Amazon accidentally released it in the USA, where they aren’t.

Amazon recognized their error. They apologized. They more than compensated people for the loss. Jeff Bezos called it “stupid”,  and the company said they would never do the same thing again.

While they don’t always give everybody everything they want, they eventually seem to come around to something which recognizes desires, and respects their customers’ beliefs, while not advocating for one position over another.

I believe that they will eventually resolve this current issue…I am disappointed that it is taking so long, because it is a simple fix and Amazon is clearly aware of it.

What’s the problem?

Amazon’s newest iteration of the Kindle, the Kindle Oasis, sounds very intriguing to me. People I respect have written of their great impressions of the device.

However, you can only buy it with an animal leather cover.

I mention “animal leather”, because many covers at Amazon are “synthetic leather” (they’ll often say they are “all man-made materials”, or something like that.

I don’t use leather.

I’m not the only person. On the device’s Amazon product page (I’m not linking to it, similar to the way I don’t intentionally link to books which block text-to-speech access), the third highest question has to do with the animal leather issue.

There are a number of reasons people choose not to use animal leather: it can be moral, ethical, religious, ecological (raising cattle takes a lot of land, and in some parts of the world, that land is made available through replacing forests and jungles, as I understand it)…it’s a variety.

For myself, I don’t have an objection to other people using leather. It’s a choice.

My choice is not to do that.

So, I don’t want Amazon to stop offering animal leather covers for the Oasis.

I just want the choice to buy an Oasis without a leather cover.

I would actually pay full price for it, with no cover at all.

People say, “Well, can’t you just buy it, throw away the cover, and buy a non-leather cover?”

The issue is that I don’t want to encourage the production of leather covers by buying one. I think I may actually be unusually calm around dead bodies. I’ve dealt with deceased pets, found dead wild animals (and disposed of them, when appropriate), been to funerals, and so on. It’s not handling the animal skin for me, it’s the production of it, and if I pay for it, I’ve rewarded and encouraged (for the future) that behavior.

Another less important thing is that the super long battery charge life only works with the cover…and Amazon hasn’t produced a non-animal leather cover yet with the battery capabilities.

I’d be fine with no cover…I’m interested in getting the Oasis and writing about it, even with the relatively shorter battery charge life.

I am not asking Amazon to produce a non-animal leather cover, or even to allow other companies to do so (although the latter seems to make a lot of sense to me…there are manufacturers who sell covers on Amazon who are already quite good at non-animal leather covers). I just want the option to buy this evolution of a device I love without something which I don’t buy.

I think I’ll eventually get that choice…it just feels like Amazon is so set on having this perceived as an elite item that they don’t want to sell it without something which has been associated with luxury.

I feel like some of Amazon’s customers are being ignored…and again, this doesn’t seem like a complicated fix. Just offer the Oasis without a cover.

We can already buy “vegan” leather covers that will fit the Oasis from Amazon:

USA Kindle store search (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I’m not leaving Amazon over this, certainly, and overall, they are still best company with which I’ve had a relationship.

I’m not mad.

I’m disappointed.

They’ll  fix it eventually…I’m just sad that it is taking such a long time, and with no acknowledgement of the issue.

Just my opinion, of course…

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* 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! :)

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.

13 Responses to “My biggest disappointment with Amazon to date”

  1. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Two points: I don’t believe you can charge the Oasis onboard battery directly — I believe you have to plug into the cover to charge & when the cover is attached, the onboard battery will also be charged.

    I can’t see any meaningful reason why Amazon couldn’t make a battery cover with synthetic leather or some such (:grin).

    The availability for the Oasis with the merlot cover is September — for the other two it is July — I guess raising merlot colored cows is more involved (:grin).

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      My understanding is that you can charge the battery without the cover. The cover needs to be charged through the Kindle…as I understand it, you can’t charge the cover without the Kindle, but you can charge the Kindle without the cover.

      “I’ve never seen a purple cow…”🙂

  2. Jennifer Martin Says:

    I agree with you, Bufo, that Amazon should fix this problem, and pronto. Maybe they don’t realize that a significant number of people feel as you do about leather. I’m not one of them, as I used to make my living with leather, making and repairing saddles and horse tack. However, I certainly respect your decision to not use it. I think Amazon has their head in the sand.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Jennifer!

      I appreciate your understanding! We actually used to own a horse (when I was a kid), and we had a “tack room” in the barn. I respect your artistry and expertise…not an easy thing to do. That’s why I just want it to be a choice…I have no problem with Amazon selling an animal leather cover, or with my readers buying one.

  3. Man in the Middle Says:

    Seems like they helped you dodge a bullet here. I’m not seeing anything of interest in the new model, and not much even in the Voyage I bought last year. I AM kind of interested in the new Paperwhite with text to speech adapter option. THAT is the feature that should have been in both the Voyage and the Oasis. Amazingly, the Oasis appears to lack the one distinctive I DO like about the Voyage – the automatic light level sensor. In short, the Oasis may have longer battery life – if and only if you use it with an added cover, but otherwise seems a step down from a Paperwhite with TTS.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Man!

      Well, it’s a bullet I would have taken for my readers, if that’s the case.😉 I’m quite satisfied with what I have now (a Paperwhite and a Voyage), but even for myself, I’m always interested to see were things are going.

      As I understand it, without the cover, the battery life is a lot shorter in the Oasis than in the Voyage…I’d still like to try it. It’s hard to judge what the “feel” is like, and how much that is worth, without having one.

  4. cardinalrobbins Says:

    I’m with you 100% on this. You stated your case very eloquently and I sincerely hope they listen to those of us who make it a point not to use leather (for whatever reason). I always find your blog informative, well-written and educational, Bufo. I wouldn’t get nearly the enjoyment out of my Kindles (Touch, Paperwhite and original) without reading what you have to say. Thank you.

  5. David Williams Says:

    I’m glad you wrote this article.

    I too would not buy a Kindle that came with a leather case.

    I’d much prefer it if the Kindle did not come with a case at all. They could perhaps have a bundle deal if you do want the case, with a discounted price for buying both.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, David!

      I would guess that without the cover, it might be $199…most people would buy an additional cover, but it would be worth that to me. I don’t think they could really market it as a discounted bundle, just because the cover doesn’t work with any other device, so it doesn’t really “exist” as a separate item.

  6. Margaret Staeben Says:

    Thank you!!! As a vegan, I too, am very upset that there is no alternative currently offered. I hope someone with some decision making ability is reading your posts!!!

    On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 11:39 PM, I Love My Kindle wrote:

    > Bufo Calvin posted: “My biggest disappointment with Amazon to date I > haven’t agreed with everything Amazon has done over the years. Overall, > though, I have felt like they have had reasonably good motivations…oh, > sure, they’ve been clunky and awkward at times, like the famo” >

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Margaret!

      I do know that some people at Amazon read this, but I’m not sure who.🙂 I did write to Amazon about this, and I recommend that to you as well.

      You can e-mail kindle-feedback@amazon.com, or leave a comment on the Oasis’ Amazon product page.

  7. Good E-Reader: Amazon releasing color EBR perhaps this year | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] My biggest disappointment with Amazon to date […]

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