A little over a month ago Amazon created a stir when they deleted George Orwell books off their Kindles without notifying the users of the Kindle and in the process deleted any annotations they might have had for school or other purposes. I wrote about their delay in properly addressing this issue in the post Amazon’s Social Media Strategy to Address Orwell Book Deletions from Kindle? Ignore it.
Jeff Bezos later issued an apology for their handling of the incident and it appears that today they have taken a final step toward resolving the issue. Pogue in the NY Times reports that Amazon has redelivered the books to the Kindle along with any lost annotations. This is the right step but should have been taken much earlier. Pogue gets it right when he says:
The Kindle store already sold a different edition of those books that did NOT have rights problems; it should have offered that swap from the beginning.
There is no reason why Amazon couldn’t have found a way to serve their important Kindle early adopters earlier and turned a crisis into an opportunity for superb customer service. For many people this might be a case of too little too late.