Old Kindle forums closed, redesigned help forum unveiled

As I wrote about last week, Amazon announced that it would be closing its Kindle discussion forums. The original closure date was listed on a banner as October 6, 2017.

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Amazon later posted that the forum would actually close on October 13, 2017:

When announcing the discussion forum closure, Amazon had promised a new, improved experience in the Kindle Help forum on October 9, 2017. As I noted in my last post, the main difference between the two is that the Kindle customer discussion forum included off-topic discussions and was a separate forum from the official Kindle help forum.

Amazon actually closed the forums on the original date, Friday, October 6th. Amazon did the same thing to the forums on IMDB.com, announcing one date and then closing the forums in advance of the deadline. (And, no, users were NOT happy.)  Amazon seems to have closed ALL of customer discussion forums as of Friday.  All of my bookmarked pages are returning error messages.

The newly redesigned Kindle Help forum is now up and running. It has a very different interface that the old one and includes sections for the Kindle, Fire, Fire TV, Echo and Alexa, and Digital Content. The forum also has its own unique (and easier to remember) URL: amazonforum.com. For now at least, the old forum URL still works and redirects to the new domain name.

Have you checked out the new forum design? What do you think?

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Update to the Fire reset issue

fire HDXThere’s been a lot of interest in the post I wrote last night about the reports of owners of Fire tablets suddenly discovering their device had been deregistered without their knowledge.  I did try to call Amazon today, but had technical problems and got disconnected. Here’s the latest on the Kindle Fire deregister/factory reset issue that I can glean on the situation at this time:

Amazon is aware of the problem which seems to be particularly affecting the Fire HD 8.9″. This seems to be a bug or a glitch in software, at least as far as the 8.9′” devices are concerned. If you go to contact Kindle support, you will see the following:

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The message under the ‘Call me now’ button says:

If you’re experiencing an issue with your Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, make sure your device is registered to your Amazon account. You can check your current registration status by swiping down from the top of the screen, selecting ‘More’, and then selecting ‘My Account’.

There was an estimate of  twelve minutes wait time to talk to Kindle support. That’s longer for Amazon in my experience. Given the long wait time, I think it is obvious that Amazon wants people to try to re-register their devices themselves before calling.

Several people reported the following response when they email or chat with customer service:

“We are sorry for the inconvenience you are experiencing. This is not we want our customers to experience.

In this regard, I would like to inform you that, the deregistration of your Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ Tablet is a known issue. As this is happening across many Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ tablets due a bug and our technical team is working to eliminate the bug.

This issue will be fixed in next 2-3 days. You need not worry about the content on your Kindle, as it will be safe in your cloud library and you can download them, once this bug is fixed in our server.

Thanks for your patience and understanding in this regard.”

One customer posted a different support response:

“Our servers were updated yesterday which seems to have introduced a bug causing devices to de-register, device which were connected to Amazon during this time got de-registered. But now the issue has been fixed.”

Some posters on the forums reported that they were instructed to re-register and then sync the device so that their content would reappear on the device. Others have reported being told that that they would have to manually download their books again. Some have reported being told that their libraries and apps would return within the next few days.

Many people have reported losing all their personal content, bookmarks, app data and email. Needless to say, a lot of people are upset with Amazon right now!

Amazon Kindle support definitely seems overwhelmed by the call volume. When I tried to  call earlier, I was transferred to a support rep, then the call was disconnected. Amazon did not call me back (generally,they do if that happens) and it took an hour and a half for the ‘Did I solve your problem’ email to arrive. The follow up email read like Amazon thought I hung on on them, so it may be an indication of just how widespread this issue is. If re-registering doesn’t work, you may need to try to call Kindle Support.

Safety PSA: If you have to call Kindle Support,use the ‘Contact us’ button on the help pages to initiate your call. There have been a number of scams perpetrated where people Google Kindle support and get the phone number for a fake site. They are then told they have to pay for support for their device. Amazon does not charge customers for customer service.

My own personal issue was with a Fire HD 6. I am not sure if the other Fire device resets are caused by the same problem, because other than the device setting resetting to default, most of my data is now showing on the device. I am still investigating the problem, but will probably wait until Monday to contact support again.

Do you have any info to share on the issue?

Update 2: Amazon has posted an announcement on this issue. Post here.

Related: Did your Fire tablet just de-register … again? June 17, 2016