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Amazon Offers Kindle-Cover Refunds After Complaints

The Inc. Kindle
The Inc. Kindle electronic-book reader. Source: Amazon via Bloomberg Inc. is offering refunds or replacements on a type of cover for its Kindle electronic-book reader after customers complained that the accessory was interfering with their ability to use the device.

Engineers are looking into the matter, Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Seattle-based Amazon, said in an e-mailed statement. He didn’t disclose how many products are affected and said a “small number” of customers had contacted the company.

Users in the company’s online forums complained that a leather Amazon-branded cover, which costs $34.99, was causing the Kindle to freeze and lose track of pages. The Kindle is Amazon’s best-selling item and the refunds come during the holiday shopping season, the company’s busiest time of year.

“There have been some forum discussions regarding the non-lighted Kindle cover,” Amazon said in a blog posting yesterday. For those with the problem, “we will be pleased to replace it for free or accept a return for a full refund, no matter when the cover was purchased.”

The Kindle and e-books will account for about 8 percent of Amazon’s revenue this year, according to estimates by Sandeep Aggarwal, an analyst at Caris & Co. Amazon doesn’t disclose Kindle sales.

The cover, which fits the $139 Wi-Fi-only version of the Kindle, weighs 13.4 ounces (380 grams), according to the Amazon site. It comes in seven colors, including black, chocolate brown and hot pink. introduced the Wi-Fi-exclusive Kindle in July, promising a higher-contrast screen, faster page turns and as long as one month of battery life.

The company slipped 46 cents to $177.58 at 4 p.m. New York time in trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The shares added 32 percent this year.

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