Q: My kid stepped on my Kindle, and now half of the screen is completely destroyed. Have I lost all of the books I bought? Is there any chance that Amazon will replace it?
A: Sorry about your Kindle! Right now might not be the best time to mention it, but you should really consider getting a hard cover for your Kindle. Some of them cost a bit of money, but replacing your Kindle all the time will cost you more money in the long run. Besides, they have some really cool covers that can even make your Kindle look like an actual book.
The good news is that Amazon provides a limited one-year warranty on all new Kindles. Depending on how long ago you bought your Kindle, Amazon might replace it for free. Go to http://amazon.com/kindlesupport and click “Contact Us” on the right-hand side. From there you'll be given an option to contact Amazon by email, phone or chat. If you're lucky, they might give you a free replacement Kindle. They've also been known to occasionally replace them for half-price if you’re out of warranty. Here's something for you to keep in mind, though. Technically, Amazon doesn't have to replace your Kindle because the warranty specifically excludes damage from accident, misuse and neglect, but Amazon's customer service is rivaled only by Apple's in the tech industry. They'll often replace it even though they don't have to. It probably wouldn't hurt to be nice to the customer service rep, though.
I have more good news for you. Your books are safe. All of them are waiting for you to redownload once you get a new Kindle. In the interim, you can also read them on the Kindle app on any iPhone, iPad or Android phone or tablet, and you can even read them on the web at http://read.amazon.com. Amazon may be considered by some to be a vast, evil empire, but they are a convenient vast, evil empire, and they have great customer service.
ABOUT RAY HOLLISTER
Ray Hollister co-hosts the call-in help show Deemable Tech. Each week, he and his co-host, Tom Braun, answer questions submitted by users and provide helpful tips about computers, tablets, mobile phone, the Internet and technology in general. Need tech help? Call 1-888-972-9868 or send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen to the show on their website, or subscribe to Deemable Tech's podcast by clicking here, searching for "Deemable Tech" in iTunes, or by entering the RSS feed, http://dmbl.co/pod, in your favorite podcast app.