Tip: When Amazon won’t cancel an order that’s “dispatching soon”

Occasionally you may need to cancel an Amazon (UK) order that’s “dispatching soon” – on doing this Amazon say they’ll “attempt” to, but then a short while later you get an email telling you in fact they can’t, and to refuse delivery or print a return label.

The solution in this case is to change the delivery to go to an Amazon Hub locker rather than your home address. This avoids you having to print a return label, then take it a shop (though, for the record, there are now printers in the some of the shops which are easy to use, and the shop will package it for you – in reality in my experience this means put it in an envelope – they don’t have a full selection of packing materials for fragile stuff).

Sending to a locker it means if the item is not collected within 3 days, Amazon automatically take it back again. Arguably this should be better from the merchant’s perspective (in the case of Fulfilled by Amazon orders) because the package hasn’t been opened, and Amazon are aware of this, so it should be able to go back on sale without further intervention or cost to them.

Curiously, in the UK this doesn’t appear to be possible from the website yet, only from the iOS app. But as soon as the order is visible there you can change it from your home/business address to an Amazon Hub.

Kindle Paperwhite 2018 detailed review

Updated 4 May 2019

This is only after a few day’s ownership – but I’ll keep it updated.  I’m comparing this (a Paperwhite 10th generation) to my previous (refurbished) Kindle basic 7th generation which I used for ~ 2 years.

– The 300dpi screen *is* worth it. Text is sharper at lower sizes.  Individual characters are less ‘damaged’ and faded after screen refreshes or actions like requesting and dismissing the dictionary window etc. Photos and illustrations (still black and white obviously) look great, compared to ‘ok’ on the lesser screen.
– The Paperwhite case is much more comfortable to hold than the harsher, more sharply edged plastic in the previous design.
– Page turns are definitely snappier than the Kindle 7. (In comparison, this has a next generation display, greater RAM and a newer processor).
– It doesn’t crash as often when reading The Times (which I don’t read everyday, but it has crashed once, so there’s clearly still some problem there, my theory being it’s the size of the paper: the .pobi file – the Kindle periodicals format – is ~ 25MB compared to roughly 5MB for the New York Times and much smaller sizes for books.)

Update Feb 2020: it hasn’t crashed in months (software version 5.12.3, Dec 2019)

– Battery life seems a little better (it takes longer to charge, which is always a good sign) – at best my old Kindle was lasting 4-5 days between charges (with heavy use).
– The white front light is better than I expected (very even, works well at night at levels ~7,8,9,10). It’s especially good indoors during daylight where you have an average or low amount of light coming through the window: in these situations it genuinely does boost the background to “paper white”, and helps reduce unwanted shadows from your hands cast on the screen, without you thinking you are looking at an illuminated display.
– The “Invert black and white” option (see Settings, Accessibility) is less good than I expected (the grey background is too prominent).
– The entirely flat screen takes a little getting used to – it’s quite easy to slide your thumb over the next article link at the bottom of newspapers / magazines by accident. However you don’t have the issue of false infra-red triggers by other objects.
– There’s a power save feature on these models.  I believe it’s activated after one hour in standby – the ‘Waking up’ period each time is 3-4 seconds.

When you get it:

– You need to login to Amazon manually
– You need to enter wifi credentials
– It’ll likely not be running the very latest software (mine seemed to update after I’d connected it to a charger)
– You receive a new @kindle.com email address, so you will need to change address books or 3rd-party services such as Instapaper, otherwise documents will continue to go to your old device.

Things you need to do on Amazon site (‘content and devices’ section):

– Change your default Kindle device
– ALSO you have to edit the ‘subscription settings’ for any newspaper or magazine (Change the ‘Deliver future editions to’ setting) – this doesn’t happen for you, even after changing the default device.

Other caveats:

– Vocabulary builder, My Clippings etc. starts from scratch on a new Kindle
– A short USB charging cable I’d been using for my old Kindle, which I chose to plugin through an Apple wired keyboard (the keyboard has 2 USB sockets of it’s own) didn’t work properly with the new Kindle – macOS complained the power drain was too high and kept shutting the ports down. However as soon as I connected the new supplied lead, it worked correctly.

The lesson is to not always trust cables or assume all micro-USB to USB are created equal.

If anyone would like my old (fully working) Kindle or can suggest a good place to recycle in the UK, send me an email.