One of the season’s hottest gifts has become the center of a customer service issue. Customers are complaining that purchasing items through Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) from the Kindle Fire is just too easy, which is leading to children charging up parents’ accounts and even bogus charges from thieves who are stealing the e-readers.
Kindle Fires arrive at customers’ doorsteps already pre-loaded with their Amazon account information enabling them to make Amazon purchases with just 1-click. The device does not require any type of password or further account verification, which can be a mess if the e-reader gets into the wrong hands.
In response to customer complaints, Amazon has said that it does have some parental controls. The retailer told Reuters, “We do provide customers with parental controls for purchasing in-app items.” Amazon continued, “We’re also working on adding additional parental controls.” They also said that they have had few issues with the e-readers being preregistered with account information. “Customers tell us they love that Kindle Fire arrives registered to their account and ready to go. Those who prefer to have their Kindle Fire arrive unregistered can select ‘gift’ during the checkout,” Amazon said in a statement per Reuters.
Analysts doubt that the security concerns will have any real bearing on consumers’ decisions regarding whether to purchase the e-reader or not. Research firm IHS iSuppli estimates Kindle Fire sales will be close to 4 million units by year’s end, which is less than a quarter of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) tablet sales expectations, but three times that of Barnes and Noble’s (NYSE:BKS).