Kindle Catastrophe

Two posts in a row from Tom. Must be some kind of record!

It’s no secret that we love the Kindle. We’re carrying two of them on our travels, and they’re almost always in use. And while the battery life of a Kindle is quite impressive, it unfortunately does need to be charged on occasion.

That’s no problem when you have a charger. But, in the interest of saving space in our luggage, we decided to bring just one Kindle charger.

And then, we broke it.

So, here we are, in a small town in Patagonia, with another month of traveling ahead of us where we will only be venturing to even smaller and more remote towns in Patagonia, facing the prospect of watching our Kindles slowly fade to black, with no way to revive them until we return to Buenos Aires.

Unless we can find a replacement charger.

I began the search by sending an email to Amazon’s customer service with a plea for help. Amazon’s customer service is rightfully held in high regard, and I’ve always had good experiences with them, but in this case, they just fell down on the job. Their email reply was short and to the point; We can’t send a charger outside of the US. We can’t recommend any charger other than the two available in the the Kindle Accessories store, but one is out of stock, and we probably wouldn’t send the other overseas anyway.

But, the accessories store wasn’t a complete dead end. It contained a clue. The third-party Kindle charger they offered was the iGo charging system, which has a “power tip” that works for the Kindle. And, from reading the iGo Web site, I learned that that very same power tip is also compatible with a long list of cellphones.

Which meant that all I needed to do was find a charger for one of those cellphones and our Kindles would be back in business.

So, armed with the printout of compatible devices, we visited the cell phone shops of Bariloche and started rooting through their replacement chargers. Soon enough, we found the cargador viajero from Tecnocel. This quality piece of Chinese engineering has now recharged our Kindles successfully several times, and has thereby saved our vacation. Or, at least the parts with the really long bus rides.

Hopefully, any other Kindle users who are stranded outside of the US without a working charger will find this information useful. It sure would have been nice if Amazon’s customer service had spelled out this possibility in their original email response.

9 Responses to “Kindle Catastrophe”

  1. DaVe

    Glad to hear that you found a fix for your Kindle problem. Do the wireless features of the Kindle work in Argentina? I considered getting one, but was not sure if this would work here or not.

  2. Tom


    No, the wireless features of the Kindle don’t work in Argentina. Instead, you have to download all Kindle purchases to your computer, then transfer the files from your computer to your Kindle via a USB cable. It’s not as convenient as Amazon’s “Whispernet” in the US, but it’s pretty easy to do…and it’s still way better than carrying around a stack of paperbacks on your travels!


  3. Sara King

    you found a way to “rekindle” the kindle. good thinking!

  4. Tom


    “Rekindle the Kindle”…Now, that’s the post title I should have used!

  5. DaVe

    Tom, did you see that current Kindle 1 owners get first dibs on the new Kindle 2? Place your order before midnight on February 10 and you’ll get the new Kindle 2 first. I’m still debating ordering one myself!

  6. Tom


    No, I had no idea that us Kindle 1 owners got preferential treatment. The Kindle 2 does look nicer (especially the faster screen refresh), but so far, I can’t see any compelling reason to spend $359 to upgrade. I still love Kindle 1!


    Hola, soy de Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina. Alguien sabe donde puedo adquirir un Kindle? Desde ya gracias por su ayuda.

  8. Michele

    Hola! Ahora mismo, creo que puedas comprarlo solamente en EU. Si un amigo Americano lo obtiene uno para ti, entonces todavía hay problems con comprando libros. Amazon no vende a clientes sin una tarjeta de credito Americano con una dirección para facturas en los Estados Unidos tambien.

    Pero quizas hay esperanza! Hay una explicación en Ingles aqui de una persona de Singapur que ha comprarlo el Kindle y los libros del Kindle.


  9. Felix

    El Kindle según la página de Amazon se puede comprar para Argentina directamente. Hay que ir a la página de Amazon, hacer click en uno de los dos links de Kindle (139 o 189 dólares) y justo en la parte derecha, bajo la “caja” donde usualmente está el carrito aparece un link que dice:

    “Live Outside the U.S.?
    To ship Kindle outside the U.S., view important information specific to your country.”

    Desde Argentina se puede comprar y lo mandan, lo que no me queda claro es cuál es la seguridad de que te llega. O sea, yo siempre temo que me terminen afanando las cosas. (Ciertamente que mi miedo no está fundado porque he traído otras cosas por correo, CDs, DVDs y libros y jamás me faltó nada, pero nunca traje nada electrónico por correo).

    Espero que te hay aservido Patricia.


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