So long, Kindle. It's not me, it's you

23 October 2012

Dear Kindle,

I’m not a pirate. I don’t want to be a pirate. I want to support the authors and publishers who write and produce the great books I love. And I really wanted the convenience of carrying around a small and light ebook reader. So as I’ve been a happy Amazon customer for over a decade I bought a Kindle device and dozens of Kindle books. I loved that device and those books.

When friends said “What about the DRM? What about when they deleted 1984 from everyone’s Kindles?” I defended you. I’m not naive about how you work, either technically or commercially. But I trusted you. I trusted you not just to act in your own commercial self-interest but do the decent thing by your customers because it is right. Sure, the rules say that you can close a customer’s account and take away all the Kindle books they’ve paid for. But I trusted you not to act like a high-handed arsehole.

Well, you can fool me once but it won’t happen again.

Unlike you, I was looking for a long-term relationship. For me, a library is for life. I read for work and for pleasure and in both cases there are books that I want to go back and re-read or refer to. So I need an ebook store that’s going to stand by me over the long term, not just on the honeymoon.

I don’t want to have to read through the small print of our licence or contract to see whether you’re entitled to be this much of an arsehole. By the time I’m doing that the relationship is already stuffed.

I don’t want to need a post on Boing Boing to get me the kind of customer service I expect. If you’re going to limit or withdraw the service I expect you to explain why you’re doing it and give me a reasonable opportunity to put my side of the story.

So have fun explaining things like “customer lifetime value” and “giving a shit” to your customer service team and supplier publishers. I’m off to find an ebook store that treats its customers with respect. If I can’t find one, it’s back to the print books. Not through Amazon, obviously.

So long.