Preface to a book review

December 4, 2012

There are a lot of reasons I haven’t been posting lately — a busy time at work, an overwhelming urge to reread all of the Grace Harlowe High School Girls and College Girls series, my lack of an ereader, etc. If you’re following me on Twitter, you already have a rough outline of the Kindle saga, which started when I admired a coworker’s new Paperwhite but admitted I was probably going to stick with my first generation Kindle until it died on me. Ten minutes later I got on the subway, pulled out my Kindle to continue reading the 850-page book I was in the middle of, and found that the screen was badly dented and wouldn’t display a page. Cue a lot of people telling me that you get what you ask for, which, a) no you don’t, and b) that wasn’t what I meant.

Anyway, I ordered the Paperwhite and a new phase of the saga began. The stated lead time was something like five to six weeks, so I resigned myself to a long wait and was pleasantly surprised when it shipped out, like, a week and a half later.

Then it just…didn’t arrive. The tracking page listed it as out for delivery, but it’s my understanding that things aren’t usually out for delivery for more than a day. After my package had been listed as out for delivery for four days, I called UPS. They suggested I call Amazon and ask for them to put a trace on the package. I still, uncharitably, suspect some UPS employee of saying, “Hey, I know what comes in an Amazon box that size,” and making off with it.

I spoke to a customer service person at Amazon, and when I told her that UPS had suggested a trace, she basically said that that meant it was lost, and did I want a refund or a replacement? Obviously I wanted a replacement, although she warned me it might take another month. That didn’t seem to make much sense, but I work with customer support people and I’ve been a receptionist; it takes a lot to make me argue with the person on the other end of the phone.

I waited patiently for a couple of weeks, but I was kind of uneasy about the fact that my account showed no trace of the replacement order. I didn’t know if I was supposed to be able to see a replacement order, so I didn’t do anything, but this weekend I got impatient as I was nearing the end of the 850-page book — I’ve been reading it on my phone — and gave them another call. It turns out that when the first customer service rep told me she would set up a replacement what she meant was that she was not going to do that. Yeah, I don’t know. The service rep I got this time was very apologetic and sent out a replacement with free one-day shipping. It may get to me today.

I’m not upset with Amazon or anything. Multiple people have told me I should have got more out of them, but I just wanted a Kindle and they’re sending one to me as fast as they can. Mostly I’m upset with myself for not calling to check up on the nonexistent replacement sooner. And with my imaginary thieving UPS employee.

So, keep your fingers crossed for me, because I don’t think I really believe it will arrive today. Meanwhile, I finished the 850 page book yesterday — it was When Ghost Meets Ghost, by William de Morgan — and am full of good resolutions about posting about it, and lost of other things. What should I put on my new Kindle when it gets here? What Christmas stories should I read this year?


  1. I’m very glad to see you back. What a terrible ordeal you’ve been through! I think I would have had to rush to a local store and buy one after more than about 48 hours.

    • That’s actually what finally made me call Amazon! I was right by a Best Buy and checked to see if I could just go buy one, but they were out of stock. But just speculating about getting one soon had made me impatient, so I decided to see what was up with my order.

  2. What a saga! Amazon usually has really good customer service. Oh well, who knows what happened there.

    I really like my Paperwhite, so hopefully your wait is worth it!

    • They were pretty good, except for the one point where the first person I talk to didn’t place the order for the replacement. I don’t even mean that sarcastically — in terms of process, there was only one small mistake.

      It arrived last night! So far I’m pretty pleased. The light is kind of distracting when shadows fall on the screen, but it’s great in the dark and I’m loving the touchscreen. Swiping to turn pages is the best.

  3. That’s pretty crappy of that UPS employee! I’m glad you’ve got this settled with as little fuss as possible.

    • It turns out that there’s no outside packaging — it’s visibly a kindle box from the outside. So while the nefarious UPS employee theory started as a joke, I’m beginning to believe it.

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