First, being a naturally messy person and slightly ashamed of this, I worried that because I'd peeled the protective sticky film off the front before realising, they might not accept it as a return. I emailled them to ask, and got a generic reply that quoted the standard terms and conditions saying item must be returned 'with packaging'. OK, I had the packaging, but the sticker was not pristine as, as any sticky item in this house quickly does, it had acquired a few cat hairs on the exposed sticky side. Would this be a problem, or could they put a new film on? I crossly hit the 'you didn't answer my question!' button on the reply - and was impressed when instead of giving me a generic 'thanks for your feedback' message, it sent me to a 'we will call you back' form which immediately got the phone ringing with a call from a customer service rep who was an actual human and told me that returning it without the film would be fine
So, I looked at Amazon's return info, which told me that I could 'return a gift'. But, you need the order number for that, which I did not have. So I contacted them again, and explained the situation.
This time I was told that as the item hadn't been bought through Amazon's own gift system and posted direct to me, I couldn't 'return a gift'. But they could give me the order number and return the item and have the credit sent to the original purchaser. Hmm. Not ideal, but if there's no option.... So, I spoke to my generous benefactor and explained (with some embarrassment) that I wanted to exchange the Kindle.
Then I went back to the Amazon site, armed with the order number, to organise the refund. But, no! Although I had the order number, the site next asked me to log in as the original purchaser of the item. Which, of course, I could not do, for the purchaser was not me.
So I contacted Amazon again, this time by email, and explained that all I wanted to do was return the thing and be able to use the credit to buy a 3G Kindle. And this time the rules seemed to have mysteriously changed. They sent me a custom link to the returns system with the important details all encoded, so I didn't need to log in as anyone else or give an order number, AND they said that I didnt' even have to have the cost of the item refunded to anyone else - they would send me a gift certificate instead.
Even better, once I'd hit the magic button to say 'yes, make this happen' the site then took me direct to a courier website, where I was able to arrange for them to collect the thing and take it away free of charge!
So, all was well until I discovered that I'd * failed to put the Kindle manual back in the box before packaging it up for the courier*. Drattitude! I thought.
But it looks like 'manual' is not part of 'packaging' as I did indeed get my gift certificate by email this morning. Phew.