Having just written a glowing review of the Kindle which I was going to post on the blog and on Amazon when I landed, I decided to relax and read for a little while. I was five pages into my book when I noticed that in the upper left hand corner of the page several words seemed to be “printed” on top of each other. Hitting the next page button crashed the reader and has since rendered it useless. I can browse the device and select a book or newspaper, but trying to read it brings up a dialog box that says “Unexpected Error” and a close button. I can still see my newspaper subscriptions showing up in the directory (including a note from the San Francisco Chronicle about being late today), but nothing can be read.

An email to the Kindle support team resulted in a reply the next day saying to call them. When I called, I was transferred around and literally told they did not know what to do with me. They needed to discuss at Amazon and determine if my device needed new software or if they would have to send me a replacement. They offered that they would call me back within 24 hours. If I need a replacement, I am hoping they retained some stock so that I don’t have to wait until after the holidays. I had planned on using the Kindle a lot to read papers and books while away for Christmas. I also hope they credit me for my newspaper subscriptions as the three I subscribe to are worthless to me if I can’t read them the day they are released.
Ironically, in a few weeks of owning the Kindle, this is the first time I was really relying on the device as I am on travel to the west coast. My Sony eReader was unstable enough I used to pack a real book as backup, but I didn’t do that with the Kindle. I hope I hear this is something that can be fixed with a remote software or firmware push so that I don’t have to buy a book at the airport for the trip back.

If anyone else has had this issue, please leave me a comment.

Update:  It turns out that posting about my troubles on Twitter and the TWiT channel on Jaiku is better than calling Amazon support.  They had the problem solved by the time I woke up.  Thanks all!