Thinking Product: Amazon Kindle Support awesomeness

I kept up a product review series for about 9 weeks over the summer before talking myself out of it. I felt I was putting too much pressure on myself and decided to give it a break. As the weeks have passed, I am ready to get back to it. My passion for discussing products and services hasn’t changed. I am still keen to learn how to build great products. And, that means learning how to “see” greatness in products. A part of what made the old series hard to continue was that the “product review” framework felt constraining. So, I’ve decided to keep it more open. Let’s see how v2.0 goes.

The product experience I’d like to discuss today is one with Amazon Kindle support.

One of my recent learning objectives is to get good at Statistics. I was recommended a Statistics textbook by one of my Professors and purchased it on Kindle. I didn’t get to it until Thanksgiving break. When I did, I soon realized that it wasn’t conducive to reading on the Kindle (app on my iPad) because it inspired me to take notes, try out exercises and flip pages to see the answers. I needed to get a physical copy.

This, book, however, was $94 on the Kindle. And, while I’m normally indifferent to education related spending, I felt guilty about making a bad decision and began researching Kindle returns. It turns out that all you have to do is go to “Manage Your Content and Devices,” click on the book and (here’s the catch), if the book was purchased in the past week, you can return it with a click.

Amazon returns

Mine was 2 months old and I’d also read a bit of it on the Kindle. However, I decided to give Amazon’s Kindle support a shot. Here are the emails.


I am a graduate school student who purchased Statistics (Fourth Edition) on my Kindle. However, upon reading it, I’ve found it very hard to “study” this book on the Kindle and purchased a physical copy instead (just purchased a 2nd hand version on Amazon).

I know this is a long shot.. but I was wondering if I would qualify for a return. This would be particularly valuable to me as this is an expensive book ($94!) and I am, after all, a cash starved graduate student.

Thank you for considering this.

Their response came through in less than 2 hours.



I’ve requested a refund of $93.32 for “Statistics (Fourth Edition).” Refunds are issued to the payment method used to make the original purchase and usually complete within two to three business days.

Once processed, you’ll be able to see the refund request here:…

Thanks for using Kindle.

We’d appreciate your feedback. Please use the links below to tell us about your experience today.

Best regards,
Shruti S

Did I solve your problem?
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Your feedback is helping us build Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.


3 quick notes –

1. I was blown away by the speed of response. As a friend pointed out, this means they likely have authority at the customer support level to make such decisions. A $94 for a book bought 2 months ago isn’t a small decision by any means.

2. My only improvement suggestion would be to add the name of the customer next to the name. “Hello Rohan” would have been fantastic. Audible support does a fantastic job doing that.

3. “Your feedback is helping us build Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.” – In most cases, I would scoff when I see a line like that. It is testament of the consistent awesomeness of all things Amazon that scoffing didn’t even occur to me.

Great product experiences mean making sure your users get supported. Thanks, Amazon, for showing us how its done.