The Amazon Kindle Fire launched with great success this holiday season. Sales have outpaced Amazon’s forecasts, and manufacturing has stepped up. But the iPad competitor has quality issues with more than 30% of buyers rating the device negatively to neutral (1 to 3 stars).
The New York Times ran an extensive piece about customers many Fire foibles. In it, Amazon promises an over the air update this week (one that has yet to arrive).
My 3 star experience with the Fire matches these less than thrilled customers. A suddenly dead Fire in the middle of a road trip prompted a tour of the Amazon site and resetting the device. Further issues include its movie watching capabilities, in turn turning me back to the iPad as the preferred, portable, long-form viewing device.
As Amazon seeks ubiquity with its less than perfect Fire, the negative reviews continue to rack up on the site. And now more media are reporting about it. When you see the product on Amazon, it is listed as a 4 star product, not at all representative of the significant minority of dissatisfaction.
Negative reviews are left unanswered by Amazon’s customer service team, with no private email or interaction, something social media users are quite familiar with as half of corporate brands ignore comments on their own pages. Amazon seems to have taken a software product attitude of we’ll fix it later or as we go, and you’ll have to deal with it.
One has to wonder if Amazon’s slow response can succeed in the face of the negative undercurrent. If the Kindle marketing strategy is all about ubiquity through low-cost sales, then the fastest way to ensure success is not just to sell a lot of Fires, but to quickly address customer service issues to enhance and strengthen word of mouth marketing. That means respecting your customers, even the ones who have had a negative experience.
What do you think about the Kindle Fire?