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Consumerist’s Lost Kindle Story Smells Like BS

Did you catch the story on Consumerist today about someone’s Kindle that was stolen during shipment? I hope you didn’t take it too seriously, because at least half of the story is fiction. The tale told on Consumerist doesn’t match with what my experiences with Amazon.

I’m going to clip a couple parts of the story and then I will explain why I don’t believe them. BTW, I don’t much like Amazon, but I hate it when people make things up just to attack a company.

So he orders a Kindle, and it does not arrive:

When it didn’t arrive that day, I was disappointed, but understand things happen.

Knowing Amazon usually has exceptional customer service; I called up rather late at night (10:30pm EST) and spoke to a friendly agent. She refunded me my $15 for shipping and explained to me the package seemed to hit a snag at some point and it would arrive within the next two days. Again, I was irritated by the delay but understand things happen and went on with my life.

IMO, his details about his conversations with the CS rep don’t add up. If the package was supposed to arrive that day then by 10pm the tracking info would have been updated.

BTW, when you order something from Amazon you get an email when it ships. That email has the tracking number for UPS, FedEx, or the courier service ( a couple times).

Even a delayed package would have a valid tracking number. When he called Amazon, the CS rep would have pulled up the tracking info and told him exactly why it wasn’t delivered. And it wouldn’t have arrived 2 days later; UPS and FedEx take the next day shipping seriously and they would have gotten the delayed shipment to him the next morning. Amazon pays them  lot of money, and I bet their contracts are performance based.

The story is starting to stink already, and the smell will only get stronger.

Next, if you go read this story I want you to notice that the source doesn’t actually say where or when the Kindle disappeared. Did it vanish from the custody of FedEx? We don’t know. Did it vanish off of his doorstep? He doesn’t say. If this is a true story then the shipment had a tracking number. There would be at least some info on what happened to the shipment.

Wouldn’t you have mentioned this detail if your package had been stolen? I would have, yes.  That would be near the beginning of my article. (A lack of specific details is  sign that someone might be lying.)

I’m going to skip the rest of his conversations with the CS rep; his continued failure to mention the tracking info renders them implausble. I just want to cover one last detail that doesn’t make sense.

Someone else had gotten their hands on the first Kindle lost in shipment and because the Kindle came preloaded with my name, email, address and credit card information, this person(s) was able to make purchases on this Kindle. …  By the time I discovered this, the fraudulent user had made several big purchases of entire TV seasons.

So this waylaid order was for a Kindle, right? It’s not a Kindle Fire, nor is the lost item referred to as a tablet. So how exactly did someone order complete TV seasons from a Kindle? I have my K4 in front of me and I do not see how that is possible. Please tell me if I am wrong.

Folks, now do you see why I don’t believe the story? At least some of the details above don’t add up.


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Tyler January 27, 2012 um 2:06 pm

It has to be a Kindle Fire that he ordered. Does it come with user ID already loaded? I bought one off of another person so I don’t know. He should have changed his password right away though so that the rogue Kindle would stop being able to have purchases off of it. Also who would order and pay overnight shipping? If I needed it that quick I wouldgo into Target or Best Buy or Office Depot or any of the other places carrying it.

Nate the Great January 27, 2012 um 3:45 pm

But he doesn’t say Kindle Fire. Don’t you think he would have named the correct product if he were telling the truth?

Timothy Wilhoit January 27, 2012 um 2:23 pm

A Kindle (Fire or otherwise) has two pieces of personal information: the purchaser’s name and the Kindle email address. (Since the Kindle email address only allows reception from pre-approved addresses, that’s of little consequence.) Neither the owner’s physical address nor his/her credit card number is located on the device. The user’s email address is not on the Kindle, either. I’m suspicious of the entire story because Amazon would have deregistered the device immediately after being notified that it was lost. The Consumerist should vet these stories before releasing them with little or no disclaimer.

Carol C. January 27, 2012 um 3:57 pm

Nate, I’m not sure your reasoning that the guy didn’t mention it was a Fire is all that sound. I do tech support at my library for people with eReaders, and believe me when I tell you they rarely tell you what kind of Kindle they have until you specifically ask them. It can be like pulling teeth sometimes. My problem with the story is this: if he was seeing purchases come through on emails from Amazon, that means the "lost" Kindle was registered to his account, which he could have seen just by logging into his account.

Fbone January 27, 2012 um 5:05 pm

He would have the customer’s name and address from the shipping label.
The customer thought the charges were made by his wife/gf at first.

How would you know if a package was stolen, lost or just delayed? Tracking in my experience is not always accurate and often 12-24 hours delayed with updates.

MikFinkel January 28, 2012 um 8:18 am

And the biggest clue that it is a fake story.
Since when does Amazon charge for shipping over $25?

Bibliotecher January 29, 2012 um 12:40 am

MIKFINKEL, the guy paid for upgraded ONE-DAY shipping, that’s where the $15 fee came in.

It actually does seem plausible. Kindle Fires are loaded with Amazon accounts linked. Look at all of the 1-star ratings, a lot seem to be the lack of security. There were steps that both he and/or Amazon could have taken.

I have lost one item from Amazon in transit, another time using Prime, the tracking said it was delivered but it wasn’t. I e-mailed Amazon a full 24 hours after said delivery, they ended up over-nighting a replacement. After I got the replacement, the original order showed up and I got a call from the 3rd party shipping manager. E-mailed Amazon, and they sent me a pre-paid label to send one back. Amazon does have incredible customer service.

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