Sunday, September 9, 2012

Kindle News: Amazon decides to add a Special-Offers Opt-Out choice ($15) on the Kindle Fire models

UPDATE - 9/9/12 related to the Kindle Forums FAQ on the new Kindles

Blog reader John Sauter sent an alert on the story by CNet's John Falcon that Amazon has decided to offer an "opt-out" for Kindle Fire owners who don't want the "Special Offer" ads that will appear on the locked screens (until they're unlocked to start a session) and a much smaller ad that will appear on the bottom left of the Home screen.

  The Kindle Fire will now include (as the e-Ink models do) an option to "Unsubscribe" from Special Offers if the owner would prefer to pay a bit more and receive no ads or special offers of of any kind, even if the Special Offers system has been seen as a positive by many who had initially expressed an aversion to the idea.

  I'd been one, writing that it was something I didn't want in a device that should be a 'refuge' from the onslaught of ads.

   After watching the forum reactions to the Special Offers program on the e-Readers last year and seeing the increasing number of customers upset that others were offered discounts at Amazon that they couldn't access, I was intrigued that a movement began to encourage Amazon to let people choose to opt into it, especially those with older Kindles that didn't have the 'option.'

  I finally decided to get the Kindle Touch with the SO, to see it for myself, blog-wise, and the sleep-screen ads (in b&w of course) turned out not to be a problem for me because (from my perspective as one interested in photography) they do a good job on the artwork and some of the deals have been ones I've wanted.

  The key, though, is 'opting' in or out.  When Amazon replied in the earlier forum FAQ that the Kindle Fires would have no opt-out feature when this non-optional partial ad-support had not been mentioned during the press conference despite many of us having written that the WSJ reported that an ad-supported Kindle Fire was a real possibility, there was a very negative reaction to the inability to opt out of that.

  They've changed the forum FAQ to reflect that, and I've revised my quoting of it to show the change.  This is their revised answer to the question about an option:
' A: For Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD there will be a special offers opt-out option for $15.  Customers can do this from "Manage Your Kindle" on after they have registered their Kindle Fire.  We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out.  We're happy to offer customers the choice. '
My guess is that there was probably quite a bit of discussion on the cost of the opt-out choice.

  A thanks to John Sauter who sent the alert last night.

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1 comment:

  1. Glad to see that Amazon truly does listen to its customers (well, sometimes, see my next paragraph). Though, of course, now the legions who were unhappy about the ads in the first place are annoyed at $15 to remove them. :) Personally, I've always ordered non-ad'd devices but there are a lot of people who love the ads, saying they pay for the device (over time).

    After reading your previous bloggings on this topic, I couldn't agree with you more on probably the most singularly easy-to-code and impacting update they could make to both the PW and Fire - CUSTOM FREAKING SCREENSAVERS!!! I've hacked my older Kindles for this and love it. I can only hope I'll be able to, at some point, do this with my future PW and Fire HD. Would get me past the tragic loss of page turn buttons on the PW.

    If it cost $15 to remove the ads on the Fire AND have custom screensavers - now, THAT'D be something! :)


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