Well, today I contacted Amazon’s support via chat to see about upgrading the firmware on my Kindle, in the wake of my previous attempt not going over so well. The front-line Amazon representative, Ero, walked me through the upgrade process (Error 006 again) and had me reset the Kindle and try again. It failed again, just as before.
Then he transferred me to Vanessa from the Kindle support team. She took me through the same process step by step, including having me try connecting the Kindle to WiFi and registering, putting it in sleep mode for ten minutes, and waiting to see if it downloaded any updates.
After that, she started gathering information from the device, including syncing its log files for their technical support team to take a look at. However, we hit a snag when we got to fetching WAN information. I was supposed to enter “;611” in the search box and hit enter, and it was supposed to give me some information to read off. However, instead the screen just flashed and nothing else happened.
At that point, Vanessa told me that demonstrated that the Kindle was sufficiently broken that it would need to be replaced. While the Kindle itself was out of warranty since 2012, she extended several offers from the Kindle replacement team:
Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High Resolution Display (212 ppi) with Built-in Light, Free 3G + Wi-Fi (Previous Generation – 6th) for $188.10
Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High Resolution Display (212 ppi) with Built-in Light, Free 3G + Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation – 6th) for $170.10
Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High Resolution Display (212 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi (Previous Generation – 6th) for $125.10
Certified Refurbished Kindle Paperwhite 3G, 6″ High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Free 3G + Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (B-spec, ATT) for $152.15
Given that I’m not full-time employed right now and having to watch my money, none of those really appealed to me. (And I wouldn’t get much use out of their 3G anyway, since you can no longer use it to surf random web pages.) I explained I was looking for something considerably lower-priced than that, such as a refurbished version of their current $79 Kindle model. So Vanessa put a $20 credit on my account to be used against any Kindle I chose to order instead.
So now I’m flipping through the selection of Kindles on Amazon, looking at the available devices on offer. There’s a refurbished current-generation touch model for $64, which would become $44, which would certainly be within my budget. But is that what I want? I’ve heard good things about the Paperwhite, after all, and it would be nice to be able to review it for TeleRead—but I’m not sure if they’re good things that would be worth an extra $50. Any readers out there have any thoughts on this?
At any rate, there’s no rush. Screwed-up software update or not, this old Kindle still works well enough for reading e-books.