When Script Driven Support Goes Wrong

Today, I took delivery of my shiny new iPhone X. Everything from my old iPhone 6 transferred flawlessly except the Amazon Kindle App. It wouldn’t allow me to log in to my Amazon UK account.

The following is a transcript of the chat conversation that I had with Amazon UK support. I’ve replaced the names of the customer service representative and supervisor and tidied up a few typos that I made. Otherwise, it’s presented as it happened.

It’s a clear example of how badly things can go when your service is script driven and your employees are unable to deviate from the script even when the facts plainly contradict what they are saying.

There were a couple of times when I wondered if this was actually a bot, but some of the grammatical mistakes seemed to suggest that there were humans on the other end.

Ironically, I initally contacted support via email only to be told, very politely, that chat was a much better medium for this type of issue. Of course the conclusion of the chat is “we’ll email you a solution”.

The background is that I’ve been living in China for almost 9 years. I still have an Amazon UK account and an Apple UK Appstore account. I’ve been using iOS devices since the first generation iPad in 2010 and I’ve been reading Kindle books on the Kindle app since Amazon launched it.

Initial Question: Unable to login to Kindle App on new iPhone X
Get “Internal Error: Please try again later” message
09:58 AM GMT ServiceRep (Amazon): T​hank you for contacting Amazon.co.uk Kindle support. ​My name is ServiceRep​. I’​ll b​e h​appy​ to help​ y​ou ​toda​y.​​​
May I have your ​​name, plea​se?​
09:58 AM GMT fraser smith: fraser
09:58 AM GMT ServiceRep : Thank you, Fraser.
09:59 AM GMT ServiceRep : I can understand that you cannot login to new Kindle app on iPhone X.
Am I right ?
09:59 AM GMT fraser smith: that’s right
09:59 AM GMT ServiceRep : I’m sorry to hear about this problem with your device.
10:00 AM GMT ServiceRep : I’ll help you, in this. 
10:00 AM GMT fraser smith: I hope you can :-)
10:01 AM GMT ServiceRep : May I know from where you have downloaded the Kindle app, either from Kindle store or iStore ?
10:01 AM GMT fraser smith: It’s an iPhone. You can only download from the app store.
10:02 AM GMT ServiceRep : Yes.
10:05 AM GMT ServiceRep : May I know your current country location please ?
10:05 AM GMT fraser smith: I’m currently in China but using a vpn with UK host to access my account.
10:05 AM GMT ServiceRep : Okay.
10:06 AM GMT ServiceRep : Please let me know are you able see the Kindle app under your iTunes.
10:06 AM GMT fraser smith: What does that even mean?
10:07 AM GMT fraser smith: I have the Kindle app, it gives an error when I try to log in.
10:08 AM GMT ServiceRep : Thanks for the detail .
10:11 AM GMT ServiceRep : Please to be informed that Kindle app for UK is available only at UK.
10:12 AM GMT ServiceRep : I’m sorry for this,. However I’ll take this as feedback and forward to concern team. I’m really sorry for the inconvenience caused. Please accept my heartfelt apologies. 
10:13 AM GMT fraser smith: What are you talking about? I have a UK Apple account, I have a UK Kindle app, I have a UK ip address. Please try to solve my issue.
10:13 AM GMT ServiceRep : To get the Kindle for UK physically you should be in UK.
10:13 AM GMT fraser smith: Rubbish.
10:13 AM GMT ServiceRep : Please accept my heartfelt apologies. I’m really sorry for the inconvenience caused.
10:13 AM GMT fraser smith: Can I talk with somebody who knows what they are talking about?
10:14 AM GMT ServiceRep : Please wait.
10:14 AM GMT fraser smith: You obviously don’t.
10:15 AM GMT ServiceRep : Please be on hold I’ll transfer this to our supervisor.
10:15 AM GMT fraser smith: Thank you.
10:21 AM GMT ServiceRep : As per your request, I’ll transfer this chat to one of our supervisors who will assist you further. Please stay online while I complete the transfer.
    •••
10:26 AM GMT Supervisor(Amazon): Thank you for contacting Amazon.co.uk Kindle support. My name is Supervisor, I am one of the supervisor available on duty. I am happy to help you today.​​
Please give me a moment to read the previous conversation.​
10:26 AM GMT fraser smith: Ok, apologies if I was rude to your colleague, I’m just a bit frustrated with this issue.
10:27 AM GMT fraser smith: The basics:
10:28 AM GMT fraser smith: I am an amazon.co.uk customer, I regularly purchase Kindle books with a UK bank card. I am an Apple UK customer, I use the Apple UK App store.
10:28 AM GMT Supervisor: Thanks for waiting.
10:29 AM GMT fraser smith: I have installed the Kindle app from the Apple UK App store, I’m unable to login.
10:29 AM GMT Supervisor: I am sorry to hear that you are unable to login to the Kindle app.
10:30 AM GMT fraser smith: I am currently overseas, but I have a VPN that uses a UK server so my ip is also UK based. I’ve been using the UK Kindle app from the UK apple store on several Apple devices for years. :-)
10:32 AM GMT Supervisor: Please be informed, Kindle books can’t be purchased from Kindle IOS app due to apple restriction. However, you can able to purchases the Kindle book from the safari browser on your device.
10:32 AM GMT fraser smith: Please, I’m not talking about purchasing books in the app
10:33 AM GMT Supervisor: I do understand you are unable to login to your device.
10:33 AM GMT fraser smith: I’m explaining my situation. Your colleague tried to tell me I wasn’t allowed to use the app at all, because I’m not physically in the UK
10:33 AM GMT Supervisor: It’s a general information, I’ve informed.
10:34 AM GMT Supervisor: I can see that you have migrated your Amazon account from Amazon.com to Amazon.co.uk. This may have not reflected on your Kindle app device. In this case, I suggest you to deregister and re-install the app under your account so that you can able to login to your device.
10:35 AM GMT fraser smith: No, I have not migrated my account.
10:35 AM GMT Supervisor: I can see that the your account marketplace has been changed from Amazon.com to Amazon.co.uk.
10:36 AM GMT Supervisor: No need to worry, I’ll help you with that. Please deregister and re-install the Kindle app on your device under your account.
10:36 AM GMT fraser smith: I have always been an amazon.co.uk customer
10:36 AM GMT Supervisor: In order to resolve this issue, Please deregister and re-install the Kindle app on your device under your account.
10:37 AM GMT Supervisor: To deregister by logging out:
1. Start the Kindle app.
2. Tap the More icon in the lower right-hand corner.
3. Tap “Settings.”
10:37 AM GMT fraser smith: How can I deregister the app on my device? If I can’t login on my device?
10:37 AM GMT Supervisor: 4. Tap the name associated with your Amazon account under Registration
5. Tap “Deregister this Kindle”
I’ll help you with that.

10:38 AM GMT Supervisor: It’s a basic troubleshooting steps, this will resolve this issue. Once you have deregistered the device, please uninstall the app under your account. To uninstall the application, press and hold your finger on the application icon until a black circle with an “X” appears in the top left corner of the icon. Tap the black circle and this will uninstall the application.
10:42 AM GMT fraser smith: Ok, this is a new phone. I’ve just installed the Kindle app, I cannot login so the app has never registered. I’ve also deregistered all iPhone devices via the amazon.co.uk website. Consider the device “not registered”
10:43 AM GMT Supervisor: Please uninstall the app and re-install it then try.
10:44 AM GMT fraser smith: I’ve already done that, but I’ll try again.
10:47 AM GMT Supervisor: Thank you.
10:47 AM GMT fraser smith: It didn’t work
10:48 AM GMT Supervisor: May I know the error message, please?
10:48 AM GMT fraser smith: “Internal Error: Please try again later”
10:50 AM GMT Supervisor: Please disable Amazon’s Two-Step Verification.
1.Go toYour Account and select “Change Account Settings”.
2.Click “Edit” in the Advanced Security Settings.
3.Click “Disable Two-Step Verification” and you will be prompted for the security code.
4.Enter the code that was sent to your phone number or generated through the authenticator app and click “Verify code”.
10:53 AM GMT fraser smith: I don’t have Two-step Verification enabled.
10:53 AM GMT Supervisor: The Two-Step Verification is a default enable under your account.
10:54 AM GMT Supervisor: Have you checked under your account it has been disable?
10:55 AM GMT fraser smith: Yes I have. As far as I know, I have never enabled it for Amazon.
10:57 AM GMT Supervisor: Please disable the two steps verification under your account by following above steps. Please reset your Amazon account password and then try to register the device.
10:58 AM GMT fraser smith: I don’t have Two-step Verification enabled.
10:59 AM GMT fraser smith: I’ll reset the password
11:00 AM GMT Supervisor: Thank you.
11:01 AM GMT Supervisor: Once you done, please let me know.
11:02 AM GMT fraser smith: Ok, I changed my password. When I tried to sign in, I then got to a captcha. After entering the captcha, I got the same error again.
11:03 AM GMT Supervisor: Are you able to login to your Amazon account from your computer?
11:03 AM GMT fraser smith: Yes, I’m currently logged in on my computer
11:04 AM GMT Supervisor: Now, please uninstall kindle app from your device.
11:05 AM GMT Supervisor: Once you have done, please let me know.
11:05 AM GMT fraser smith: done
11:09 AM GMT Supervisor: Now, please Visit the App Store on your device or through iTunes.
2. Search for “Kindle” or find it in the alphabetical list of applications.
3. Follow Apple’s install instructions.
When your installation is complete, simply launch the Kindle application to start accessing or building your Kindle books library.
Once you have done, please let me know. 
11:09 AM GMT fraser smith: I’ll try that again
11:10 AM GMT Supervisor: Thanks for patience and understanding.​
11:11 AM GMT fraser smith: Same error
11:12 AM GMT Supervisor: In this case, I’ll forward this to our technical team.
11:13 AM GMT fraser smith: thank you
11:14 AM GMT Supervisor: We will investigate this issue and send you the solution via email.
11:15 AM GMT fraser smith: Ok, thank you
11:17 AM GMT Supervisor: Is there anything else I can do for you today?
11:19 AM GMT fraser smith: Nope, thanks for your help.
11:19 AM GMT Supervisor: You are most welcome.
Thank you for contacting Amazon.co.uk. Please click the “End Chat” link to close this window.
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