back to article Amazon hails 'beautiful' new Kindle DX screen

Amazon has improved the Kindle DX screen with a 50 per cent boost in contrast and darker fonts to make for easier reading. Amazon Kindle DX At the same time the company is slashing the price to $379, down from $489. By most accounts, the Kindle DX with its 9.7in screen is the best e-reader around - the screen upgrade will …


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Now they just need to show confidence in the product and respect for the (overseas) customer

It'll be interesting to see if Amazon make a sincere effort to sell this internationally. At the moment, it's so badly done that they seem to be paying lip service to international demand.

I've three reasons for saying that.

The first is that they're making little or no effort to be transparent about pricing on the product page. I'm talking here about the page for the model that is intended to be sold overseas. They know that any customer visiting that page will encounter their infamous customs deposit later in the process, and the obvious solution would be to let the customer select their country from a drop down list, so they can be shown how much that'll be for them. If the customer has followed a link to amazon.com from amazon.co.uk, it might even be worth the risk of preselecting that country (still allowing the customer to change it). But when the price is jacked up with a customs deposit later in the ordering process, the customer gets annoyed. US consumers might be used to finding out the tax later in the ordering process: EU ones aren't. Price we see is the price we pay.

My second reason is similar, though it's closer to dishonest advertising than the previous one. I am viewing the page for a Kindle for international despatch, so obviously I won't be selecting a US despatch address. I'm offered free super delivery: great! But wait, later in the process, a delivery charge is added. Click the link to find out why, and it's because I've selected a delivery address outside the US. Well, I would, wouldn't I, for a product listed specifically for delivery outside the US? Now the customer is getting more annoyed.

So now I've had two instances of things that Trading Standards here would jump on (advertised net of tax to a consumer, and free delivery offered that is taken away if an order is placed). Now I start to wonder, why is it that they're only selling from the USA, and not from any EU country? Couldn't be to avoid the Distance Selling Regulations, could it? Yep, I angrily decide, that must be it, and that's my third reason: they must believe that if they sold it from here, they'd have too many returns from disappointed buyers. Forget it. Cancel order.

When Amazon start to sell the Kindle DX from the EU, with free delivery, at about the present price but inclusive of tax, I'll bite. But while they have neither enough confidence in the product to bear the Distance Selling Regulations, nor enough respect for their overseas customers to list a transparent, delivered price on the product listing page, I'll bide my time, ta very much.

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