Apple has set the gold standard for warranty and customer support with its successful AppleCare program, and now Amazon apparently wants in, having filed a trademark for a service that sounds suspiciously like, well, AmazonCare.
GigaOM reports that on December 13, Amazon filed a trademark application for the term ‘Kindle’ with this description of associated goods and services:
“Maintenance, repair, updating and installation services for computer hardware, computer peripherals, computer networks and consumer electronic devices; consulting services in the field of physical maintenance of computer hardware, computer peripherals, computer networks and consumer electronic devices; technical support services, namely, troubleshooting in the nature of the repair of computer hardware.”
The wording, GigaOM correctly notes, is almost identical to the wording of Apple’s AppleCare trademark.
It’s no surprise Amazon wants to get into the extended warranty business: it’s a billion dollar industry. And since Amazon often sells gadgets at razor thin margins, offering extended warranties at checkout would likely be pure profit.
Can Amazon actually match Apple’s customer service, though? It’s doubtful. For one thing, Amazon lacks a nationwide chain of stores, or Apple’s iconic Genius Bars. What kind of extended warranty would you prefer: one where a broken laptop can be brought to your local shop and exchanged without fuss, or one where you have to dump it in a box and ship it off back to Amazon?
Of course, it’s not an either-or proposition. AppleCare only applies to Apple products, while Amazon would likely offer warranties for a larger variety of gadgets. One wonders, though, if Amazon cares enough to get AmazonCare right.