Is the Kindle getting unfair Reviews?

Update: If you want to make a decision on buying the Kindle the data from this post as well as numerous other reviews, posts and articles is collated at The Kindle Decision aka the $400 Question – Should I Buy a Kindle?

[ Update: OK - I can only get through the first 130 most helpful 1 star reviews as after that links don't work at Amazon. The Main thing is only 16 out of the 130 most helpful 1 star reviews are by actual kindle owners]

Reviews by Actual Owners (only 16 of the 130 were actual Kindle owners)

  1. Only 16 of the 130 most helpful 1 star reviews are from actual owners. The main reasons they list for returning the Kindle and/or being unhappy with it are
    1. Kindle failed and customer support was unhelpful. (this came up twice)
    2. Prospect that EVDO wireless internet access will later be charged for.
    3. No whispernet (wireless internet access) in Missoula, Montana.
    4. Kindle editions are abridged (no footnotes for some – which for me personally i don’t care about – however do agree its an issue)
    5. No support for pdf.
    6. Returned and will wait for V2.
    7. Lack of content and new releases are not released on  the Kindle.
    8. Upset ‘cos only one bible is available and it’s not easy to get to specific passages.
    9. It was a gift that didn’t make it in time for Xmas so this future owner will return it the minute he get its.
    10. Hey Amazon !! Listen to me – redesign this thing!! Get some real industrial designers to make a nice high quality device… something at least as nice as the iphone. I don’t know – may be good designers were hired and the heads at Amazon just have bad taste and told them to build something for the TrailerPark crowd.
    11. I ordered this on 12/12 and was not given any indication at the time that the order wouldn’t arrive in time for Christmas. It’s now too late to buy a different gift (i fly out on Sunday), and I was never informed of this delay. I am only finding out now by going to the website to check out the status of my shipment. All in all a horrendous way to treat a customer spending several hundred dollars!!!!
    12. I ordered this kindle on Nov 30 they say it wont be here in time for Christmas and they say they will send me a email with the estimated arrival date but i have not received that email yet. So i double checked my order to make sure it was still active and i checked the email address i put down. Everything was correct so why haven’t I gotten my Kindle yet?
    13. Crashed 7 times in 2 days and tech support sucks – said ” nothing i can do”.
    14. Check wireless service area BEFORE you buy! I am a speech therapist, 48 years old, living in a rural area in Arizona. The nearest decent bookstore is in Tucson, 4 hours away. When I heard about Kindle, I was ecstatic–I love to read, so the ability to instantly buy and read books was a marvelous idea. I read all the blurbs, then bought the device.
      Reader, I sent the device back one hour after opening the box, bitterly disappointed. I am not disparaging the device itself, but rather the fact that service is not available in my area. In fact, the closest area that has service is Tucson. I thought I had read everything, but buried in all the fine print was the service availability map. Pity I didn’t see it first.
      To the people who wrote the advertisement for this device, please PLEASE state in the beginning paragraph that service is not available in all areas and put the map link there, please? And developers–service in the rural areas would be very much appreciated! It looked like a great product.
    15. Arrived Broken Right Out of the Box. Well — I arrived home from work today and found my Kindle had been delivered. Took it out of the box, read the user guide and then plugged it in to start working with it. Unfortunately, it never powered on. Completely dead. So I called customer service and they told me I had to call a different toll-free number for Kindle support (866-321-8851) but that they were available 24×7. I called the number and was told that they were only available during the hours of 6a-10p Pacific (and it was 10:05p). So much for a positive experience with this device. I tried resetting the device and re-seating/re-connecting the battery. Nothing.

Reviews by Non-Owners

Honestly, someone reviewing a product without using it is just an opinion (and an uninformed one). Here are the reasons they list for ‘reviewing’ the kindle as 1 star without even owning it -

  1. Too Pricey++++ (people hung up on the price) (people with a lot of justifications for why it should be cheaper or free)
  2. You don’t own the book. (again a lot of people hung up on this)
  3. DRM and other reasons.
  4. purists – a kindle does not feel, look, smell like a book.
  5. Lack of pdf support
  6. Coverage
  7. don’t’ need a way to carry 200 books
  8. making notes on the sides and highlighting (fixable – would you want to)
  9. Personal Files are .10 each,(fixable via free conversion)
  10. Its cheaper to buy used books, even with shipping.
  11. the texture and feel and smell of a book
  12. Would never buy something DRM’ed
  13. Have apple team redesign it.  
  14. How secure is this thing – could someone hack into my kindle and steal my account?
  15. a good point: The price is a bit high but would be OK if the device accepted other formats. There are many classic eBooks out there for $2.00 plus libraries have regular eBooks for free. I’ve waited a long time for the right device, I can wait a little longer. (need to write a blog post on this)

  16. Will not work outside the US
  17. Being seen reading a book is geeky (wow – that’s a really bad reason – you should do what you want) 
  18.  

4 Responses

  1. [...] about how only 8 of  the 130 most helpful 1 star reviews on Amazon are by actual owners – Is the Kindle getting unfair Reviews?  and more importantly that owners give it great ratings i.e. Analysis of the latest 48 Kindle [...]

  2. Non-owner reviews are normally totally unfair, and also uninformed. Lots of quick judgements without bothering to learn the truth first — but mainly those who have never seen one in person should just shut up.

    To the ones out of Sprint range, you can get along just fine with only a computer to download to, and then transfer to your Kindle via the cable they give you. This is also true for those living outside the US — there are even many places (not Amazon) where you can buy it and have it shipped to you by air. There is even a 2nd non-Sprint way to get wireless delivery, but don’t know about that since I connect to Sprint just fine. I do go to the Philippines for several weeks at a time every year around Christmas, and just use my laptop which I bring with me to get new material for my Kindle. I got my Kindle on Dec. 4th 2007 so had it for this trip. And somehow I am still learning things about my Kindle I didn’t know earlier. It’s a great device — & I love it.

  3. [...] 2008 – Kindle 1 was getting biased reviews – Only 16 out of the 130 most helpful Kindle 1 star reviews were from actual Kindle [...]

  4. [...] 2008 – Kindle 1 was getting biased reviews – Only 16 out of the 130 most helpful Kindle 1 star reviews were from actual Kindle [...]

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