Returning customers eligible for $6.95/3 month Audible deal

Audible is currently running a holiday promotion for new customers offering 3 months of Audible for $6.95 per month¬† (instead of the usual $14.95). That 53% off the regular price for first three months of the membership. The good news is that former Audible members who don’t have active memberships are also eligible for the promotion. ūüôā

In order to take advantage of this special pricing, you must have an existing and active Amazon Account. Amazon defines this as having spent at least $1 in transactions in the 6 months prior to redemption of the offer.

The offer includes:

  • 3 titles each month: 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals.
  • The ability to roll over any unused credits for up to 4 months.
  • Easy exchanges. Don‚Äôt like your audiobook? Swap it for free.
  • Cancel anytime, your audiobooks are yours to keep forever.

Membership to Audible includes discounted prices for additional audiobooks and access to special sales and members-only audiobook deals.

There is an audible app available for Apple, Android, Amazon and Windows devices. You can also have Alexa play your audiobook on Echo devices.

The fine print:

A paid membership renew monthly at $14.95 (after the promotional period expires), unless you cancel. The Gold plan gives you one credit each month, which you can use on any audiobook regardless of length or price. You can roll over any unused credits for up to four months. Offer limited to one per customer and account and may not be combined with other offers

This offer is available until December 31, 2018

I’d been thinking about re-joining Audible, so at this price, I definitely took advantage of the deal. What do you think?

An amazing price for this Paperwhite Audible Bundle for audiobook lovers

Amazon is offering a special bundle just for audiobook lovers! The special Audible bundle includes a Kindle Paperwhite (8GB, Wifi, Special Offers), over ear wireless bluetooth stereo headphones, and a 3 month free trial of Audible, all for just $139. (The 32GB model bundle is also available.)

It is the headphones by POP Design that make this bundled price such a great deal. These are lightweight (185 grams), boast a 16 hour battery life and have a recharge time of 2 to 3 hours. There are built in features for Kindle Audible and Audible Audiobooks App controls,  as well as the standard music and calling features. An audio cable for a wired connection is also included. So far, the headphones are getting five star reviews on Amazon.

Amazon sells the headphones with a case separately for $79.99. Since the Paperwhite alone is regularly $129.99, when you add in the 3 month Audible subscription (normally $14.95 per month with a 30 day free trial), this bundle offers significant savings, especially if you are planning on using the device for audiobooks.

The fine print regarding the Audible subscription:

Redemption instructions will be sent via email after your order ships. No obligation to redeem. After 3 mos., subscription will auto-renew for $14.95/mo.

Amazon lists this bundle as a $255 value. The deal is available until Dec 22, 2018.

All New Paperwhite ereader on sale for only $99

If you have been on the fence about one of the All-new Kindle Paperwhite ereaders, this might be a good day to decide to pick one up. The 8GB WiFi version of the ereader is on sale today for on $99 and you can get the 32GB version for only $20 more. There is also a WiFi plus cellular version available at discounted pricing.

The All-new Kindle Paperwhite is thinner, features more LEDs, and has more storage than previous generations. It also has a flush bezel and an IPX8 waterproof rating.

This version has also added Audible and Bluetooth capability so the device can be used with Amazon proprietary Whispersync for Voice feature that allows you to switch back and forth between the ebook and Audible versions of a book.

At $30 off, this is the lowest price yet for the newest Paperwhite, with the price lower than those offered on Black Friday. And, it ships in time for Christmas!

Amazon releases new update for FreeTime Oops problem (But it may not work)

Here is another update on the “Oops! Something went wrong with FreeTime” problem. Prior posts on the problem are¬†here¬†and¬†here.

Amazon has released what they say is “a fix for¬†many of the issues that lead to this error.” They are asking customers to¬† update to the latest version of the FreeTime app (FreeTimeApp-fireos_v3.17_Build-1.0.210214.0.26452).

Per Amazon’s post, here are the instructions for updating:

Please follow these steps:

  • Confirm that your device is connected to a wireless network.
    • Connected devices have a Wi-Fi or 4G LTE icon with signal bars near the battery indicator.
  • Sync your device.
    • Swipe down from the top of the screen to open the quick actions menu and then tap the¬†Settings¬†(gear) icon. Tap¬†Sync Device. Large files may take time to download.

If you want to ensure FreeTime updated to FreeTimeApp-fireos_v3.17_Build-1.0.210214.0.26452, go to:

Fire OS 5 Tablets (4th – 7th Generations):

  1. Settings > Apps & Games > Manage All Applications.
  2. Find the Downloaded tab (yellow bar), then swipe the entire screen to the right (see All tap).
  3. Scroll down until you find the FreeTime app. All apps are in alphabetical order.

Fire OS6 – Fire HD 8 – 8th Generation:

  1. Settings > Apps & Notifications > Manage All Applications.
  2. Scroll down to FreeTime app.

Amazon added several troubleshooting tips, according to the post on the Kindle device forums:

If the issue continues after updating,please follow the below troubleshooting steps:

  1. Reboot/restart the impacted Fire Tablet, then check if the issue is resolved.
  2. If the issues persists after a reboot, clear the application data for FreeTime.

Please note:¬†Clearing the application data may delete customers content on customer’s FreeTime profiles.

Be aware that this fix may not work for all customers and additional improvement will be released in the next few weeks. [Emphasis added]

One person already posted on the forum that the update did not work for them.

The frustration level on this issue seems to be off the charts. Tech issues are aggravating enough, but the primary users of FreeTime are small children, who neither have the skills or the patience to deal with the issues. As a parent, seeing my kids repeatedly upset by this would make me extremely angry. Amazon needs to come up with a working fix for this, ASAP.

UPDATE: Oops! Something went wrong with FreeTime

Someone from Amazon posted an update on the Amazon Device forum on Monday to the “Oops! Something went wrong” error message problem for FreeTime. Note that this is NOT a permanent fix, but is meant to allow people to use their tablets while Amazon is working on the fix.

First Measure: Device Reboot

  1. Press and hold the power button for 15 seconds
  2. Turn back on the device

Second Measure: Clearing FreeTime App Data

  1. Switch to adult profile on the tablet

  2. Tap on the Settings icon

  3. Tap on Apps & Games row

  4. Tap on Manage All Applications

  5. Swipe right to see all applications (ALL will be underlined in orange)

  6. Scroll down and select FreeTime

  7. Tap CLEAR CACHE

  8. Tap MANAGE SPACE

  9. Tap OK on the Are you sure you want to clear data from Amazon FreeTime popup window that appears

More to come on this story!

You can no longer give the gift of Kindle Unlimited

Each year for the last couple of years, my husband has given me a 12-month subscription to Kindle Unlimited as part of my Christmas gift. This year, however, it seems that particular gift will be missing from under the tree: On Saturday, I noticed that Amazon is no longer offering ANY pre-paid or gift subscriptions to the service.

In the past, you used to be able to pre-pay your Kindle Unlimited subscription in increments of 6, 12 and 24 months. Or, you could buy a gift subscription for someone by going to a special gift landing page. Now, that page shows a message stating that gifting is unavailable is blank.

Is this a permanent change in the way Kindle Unlimited subscriptions are handled? The Amazon page says that they are “working on getting it back as soon as possible.”

The Purchase a Kindle Uimited Pre-Paid Subscription help page still indicates that you can buy pre-paid and gift subscriptions for terms of up to  24 months. The Manage or Cancel Your Kindle Unlimited Membership page still refers to pre-paid gift and bundles. There is just no longer a link to purchase those subscriptions. Now, the only option on the sign up page for Kindle Unlimited is to pay $9.99 per month for the service.

I was going to try to contact Amazon today to ask about the pre-paid plans and, as the picture below shows, found that there is no option for any kind of support for Kindle Unlimited, even under the digital services tab.

It seems odd the that there is no help available for gifting options for KU, especially during the holiday season.

Amazon has gone back and forth on the idea of gifting some of its services: There was a time when you could not gift Amazon Prime, and Amazon Music Unlimited still cannot be purchased as a gift.

I can also understand that Amazon might not want the hassle of customer service support for Kindle Unlimited during the busy holiday season. Amazon’s servers already tend to be swamped with people registering their new devices and buying content with their gift cards.

It may also be the case that the no refunds policy for gifts and pre-paid subscriptions may be a factor. While the service boasts over a million titles, most are by indie and Amazon’s own publishing imprint authors. People looking to read the latest bestsellers may prefer a different gift after sampling the service.

It will be interesting to see if the gift and pre-paid options return after the holidays. (I, for one, liked the convenience of the option.)

What do you think?

Oops! Something went wrong with FreeTime

Users on the Amazon device forum are complaining about issues with FreeTime on their devices. Users are reporting getting the “Oops! Something when wrong” error message. This issue has been going on for the last few weeks.

Several common threads among the complaints:

  • The problem seems to have started for most people after the most recent update for FreeTime and the latest Fire OS update.
  • Sometimes, rebooting temporarily fixes the problem, but it keeps coming back.
  • Amazon is recommending a factory reset (which does NOT seem to be fixing the problem.
  • Several people have noticed that they get the error message when WiFi is not available or has disconnected.
  • The FreeTime app is also causing a severe battery drain problem.

Amazon has been working on the problem. A user on the device forum was given the following fix by Amazon support (NOTE: there seem to be reports that this does not work for everyone):

I opened a chat with customer service a few minutes ago. Apparently there is a patch that gets pushed out if you do the following. It’s similar to what outnumbered_by_boys posted above. I can’t confirm it fixes the problem yet but it seems promising.

1. Swipe down from the top of your Home screen and tap “Settings.”
2. Tap “Apps & Games,” then “Manage All Applications.”
3. Swipe left until the “All” tab is displaying.
4. Tap “Freetime.”
5. Select “Force Stop” and then “Clear Cache.”

Please sync the device.
1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to open Quick Settings, and then tap the Settings (gear) icon.
2. Tap Sync Device.
Please sync both the devices and keep still for 2-3 hours and connected to WiFi.
It will auto update the new patch files and the freetime will work on both of the devices then.

Some people are saying the above fix worked for them while others are continuing to experience problems.

This is not the first time an update has caused a problem for FreeTime users.

More to come on this an more info becomes available. You can follow the discussion on the topic on the Amazon device forum here.

Note that because of the similarity between FreeTime (a free app) and FreeTime Unlimited (a premium app), it is unclear which app is having the problem.

SEE AN UPDATE ON THIS STORY HERE WHERE AMAZON HAS RELEASED A TEMPORARY FIX.