Tuesday, April 15, 2008

amazon delivers!

Turns out the new Kindle they promised me to replace the dying one arrived DAYS AGO. (Our doormen pride themselves on being not just doormen but musicians and other creative types who sometimes can't be bothered to attend to mind-numbing details of running a building.) It is BEAUTIFUL. Pristine. And so easy to refill, a boomer can do it. You just go to the amazon site, pull down a tab and press download for every purchased item you want to reload. Mit out vire. Magic, to see the new Jhumpa Lahiri (Unaccustomed Earth-it's great, don't listen to snark talk) and Ha Jin's A Free Life and old faves like Cheever and Woolf appear, unabridged, in the palm of my hand. Yes, I had a question or two along the way (like how to I unsubscribe to Boing Boing which, in my initial kindlemania I thought was a good idea to pay for, when I can read it for free all I want on a Mac.) Each time I called, my call was answered promptly by a speaker of English who never had to take TOEFEL.

Why can't more mega-sellers be so customer friendly? Endured two hours of torture this morning trying to get someone at Belkin help me make their products to talk to each other. Naturally, extended holdtimes (average wait 20 minutes) included torturous recordings (if they value my call so much, why don't they answer it?) which ended in a voice with a dreaded Indian accent which cut me off twice, screwed up my machines until finally I was airlifted to Level 3 which sounded to be somewhere in Texas.

The morning's torture resulted in revelation of a valuable trade secret, though. You know how customer service often has several numbers? Always go with the 800 one. The 866 and 877s are more likely to land you far, far from home where tech "experts" are more familiar with ancient episodes of Friends (used in trainings) than they are with the inner workings of your recalcitrant product.

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