Customer Support for frozen Kindle 3, a 15 second fix to hard reset

I wrote about having the Kindle 3, and I use my Kindle 3 much more than my Kindle first generation.  But, it froze on me last night at 9p.  Wouldn't turn off, reset didn't work.  Plugged it in to make sure it had a full charge, within 5 minutes the green light when showing full charge.

Note I have had over 1,000 views of this post, and I wrote a follow on about the users and web analytics here.

And for you Kindle 3 fans, I have the first Kindle signed by William Gibson which was actually the first Kindle he held.

Signed very first Kindle at Microsoft. Actually, *touched* very first Kindle. Appealing unit, IMO.36 minutes ago via Twitterrific




Kindle screen frozen or Kindle unresponsive.

Possible cause:

  1. Unplug Kindle from power adapter or computer.
  2. Slide and release the power button. The LED light that surrounds the power button will display green for two seconds.
  3. Shut down Kindle by sliding and holding the power button for five seconds. The LED light will blink three times. Wait for the screen to go blank, then release the power button.
  4. Turn on the Kindle by sliding and releasing the power button.
  5. If Kindle is still not working, you can perform a hard reset by sliding and holding the power button for 15 seconds.
  6. If Kindle is still unresponsive, try charging Kindle before trying to restart the device once again.
If you continue to experience problems, please contact us.

It took me a while (3 minutes) to figure out how to contact technical support.  Which now I know is easiest to do based on going to my order history and reporting an issue with an order.

July 29, 2010 / 105-2727168-6118645


Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite - Latest Generation

Issue Details:


- Kindle (U.S.)

- Frozen/defective/damaged Kindle

Within 15 seconds of pressing the submission, my cell phone rings putting me in the tech support queue.

I get told the wait is less than one minute.  Tech support was quite friendly and helpful.  I assume the support person was in the comfort of their home office given it was 9p on Saturday night and I didn't hear the background noise from an offshore customer support center.

Within minutes the tech support person told me I needed to have the exact timing of sliding and holding the power switch for 15 seconds exactly, then release.  I did this and the KIndle 3 reboot.

Now the instructions were not totally clear to hold for 15 seconds only and release for a hard reset.  I thought I would hold for at least 15 seconds, then release.

Overall how much better could it have been. I was frustrated, tried on my own for 5 - 10 minutes, contacted tech support, within 15 seconds my cell phone rings, after a couple of minutes, I am told how to fix the problem with an exact 15 second hold and release which triggers a hard reset.

Don't you wish other customer support organizations worked this way?

In fact, I am going to add some of these ideas to what a green data center should do for customer support.  How much better would the experience be if you had the option of registering on line with your support issue, and someone calling you within a period of time?

Allowing interruptions to occur at any time is highly disruptive. Even if you can put them off for a few minutes, it can make the overall system work much better.

Anyone who has studied Queueing Theory knows this.

Queueing theory is the mathematical study of waiting lines, or queues. The theory enables mathematical analysis of several related processes, including arriving at the (back of the) queue, waiting in the queue (essentially a storage process), and being served at the front of the queue. The theory permits the derivation and calculation of several performance measures including the average waiting time in the queue or the system, the expected number waiting or receiving service, and the probability of encountering the system in certain states, such as empty, full, having an available server or having to wait a certain time to be served. has this in their DNA, the same way Disney Theme Parks understand queues for lines of people.  If you focus on customer service you need to think of how you manage the queues.