The complaints on the retail giant's website date back to September, with hundreds of reviews and blog postings noting issues with the hinges on the K3 non-lighted cover breaking, causing "random reboots," and frozen screens. Some customers said that despite calls to the company's tech support line, they didn't figure out the cover was the problem until they read the Kindle users blog.
"This case is definitely the cause of the Kindle 3 reboot/freeze issue,'' wrote one customer. "I had my Kindle 3 for a while before I got this case and never had a problem with it. It started randomly rebooting (losing my place in the process), a situation which got worse and worse until it actually started to cause the Kindle to freeze and require a hard reset a couple of times."
Besides the frozen screen and random rebooting problem, other reported problems include unusual and rapid battery drain; the Kindle losing track of the user's page; and the device re-sorting books or forgetting a user's folders.
"The problem is believed to be caused by an electrical issue with this cover,'' wrote another user. "It is somehow related to the metal tabs (the tabs may look like plastic but they are really metal with black paint on them) that are inserted into the Kindle to connect it to the cover. Taking the Kindle out of the cover will likely, and immediately, cure all these issues."
The company said it is looking into the problem and will also honor requests to return or replace the cover. "There have been some forum discussions regarding the non-lighted Kindle cover, and our engineering team is looking into this," the company said in a posting to its customer forum. "Regardless, if anyone is having any problem with an Amazon-manufactured Kindle cover, please contact us at [email protected], and 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 cover with the integrated light appears to work fine, users noted. The Kindle cover retails for $35 and ships for free on Amazon's site.