Second reaction: Why did it take them six weeks to get around to it? Has Amazon learned nothing in its 14-plus years of existence about customer service? It's one of the truisms in the customer service racket: If you screw up but make up for it well (and quickly), people like you better than if you'd never screwed up at all. Making up for it months later when everyone's moved on to other things is unlikely to have the same effect.
Then there's the bigger question of how Amazon will treat similar situations in the future. All Bezos said about the matter is that Amazon will "make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission."
If Amazon really does want to become "Earth's most customer-centric company," it's got to do a better job of explaining its DRM policies. Do Kindle users own the books they've paid for, or are they just renting them at Amazon's largesse? Why can't people who've paid for digital books sell them, trade them, or give them away, as they can when they buy books from Amazon made from dead trees?
If publishers are afraid "used" e-books will cannibalize sales of "new" ones (because you can't dog-ear a digital book), why not create a marketplace that lets Kindle owners sell their old e-books -- but just once per copy? Would that really be so hard?
I think Amazon needs to move beyond the obvious restore/refund/rebate option and define what rights it thinks its customers actually have. That process should include asking customers what rights they think they ought to have. That's what "customer-centric" means.
And not just Amazon. It's anyone who sells or publishes digital content -- books, music, movies, and so on. They need to stop thinking they can continue to dictate to consumers and start listening instead. Because without us, they're nothing.
Does Amazon's make-good make you want to buy a Kindle? What rights do you think customers should have? Post your eloquently expressed opinions below or e-mail them to me: firstname.lastname@example.org.