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Does your Kindle Keyboard have fading letters? Amazon might send you a free replacement

on February 4, 2012 1:00 pm

Gadgeteer reader Sandee Cohen writes in with some potentially good news for Amazon Kindle Keyboard owners:

Julie,

You might want to write this up as a post.

I got a Kindle Keyboard model Christmas 2010. ByNovember 2011, some of the letters on the keyboard had started to fade. (I play a lot of word games that require typing on the keyboard.)   By the end of January 2012 the “I” “O” and “A” were completely blank. And it was very hard to read the “S”.

I wrote to Kindle-feedback@amazon.com and told them how disappointed I was with the situation.   Almost immediately I got an email back telling me to contact Amazon by phone. (They have a cool way of entering your phone number on their web site and then your phone rings and Amazon is on the line.)   After explaining the situation, the fellow told me that “your machine is out of warranty, but we make an exception for this issue.”   I take that to mean that this is a known problem with the Kindle Keyboard versions. And although Amazon doesn’t sell the keyboard models anymore, they do have ones available to exchange for damaged ones.

The new machine arrived and indeed the letters on the keyboard are raised from the plastic and look like they will last much longer.   I think this information should be made more public so those who are struggling with faded letters can get a new machine.

Perhaps you will use the Gadgeteer to publicize it.

Best,
Sandee Cohen

Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.

I asked Sandee to send me some close up images of her old Amazon Kindle Keyboard reader and the replacement she just received.

Old Amazon Kindle Keyboard New Amazon Kindle Keyboard

In the image on the Left, you’ll notice the I, O and L keys are worn pretty badly. Sandee commented that they look much worse in real life than they do in these macro shots.

It’s good to know that Amazon will replace this older model eBook reader even when it’s out of warranty. That’s great service!

Thanks to Sandee for sending in this info. Hopefully it helps someone else.

Comments

  1. 1
    Cyrano says:

    I wish Kindle support staff would be as attentive in responding to the hundreds of complaints about disintegrating power cords.

  2. 2
    Nicholas says:

    Just to note. Amazon does still sell the keyboard model, for $139. U have to put up with ad based screensavers, but no big deal.

  3. 3
    Navin says:

    Thanks Sandee and Julie. I have an Oct 2010 version Kindle and had exact same problem. After reading you note, I can contacted Amazon since it was annoying not being able to read the keys. Amazon sent a brand new replacement Kindle Keyboard. Just FYI, the Kindle Keyboard is still available for sale (for $159 regular / $139 with Special Ads — Both being 3g+Wifi).

  4. 4
    Mary says:

    I had the exact same problem, called Amazon, and they told me to buy a new one. I called back another day to speak to a different rep, and, once again, I was told to buy a new one because, “things wear out.” I am NOT happy!! I think their response was very poor, and they provided no help whatsoever. I am quite angry, especially when I read things like this, that they sent it to others even when the warranty had expired.

  5. 5
    Mary says:

    Now, I’d like to retract my last comment. I called Amazon for the 3rd time, spoke to a 3rd rep, threw in a little “I LOVE MY KINDLE KEYBOARD” for good measure, and she’s sending me a replacement. I did request the white one as I’ve read that the white keys don’t fade like the graphite ones do. I am now a renewed customer!

  6. 6
    Heather says:

    I am actually on my 5th Kindle. They keep replacin it because of the buttons. I’m about to call and complain again. None of the cases i’ve bought hep. Has anyone had any luck requesting a white Kindle instead?

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