kindle paperwhite case reviewI hadn’t planned to review this case. I purchased it because it was cheap, and I returned it because I was dissatisfied. As far as I was concerned, there wasn’t enough of a “story” to make it worth my time to write or your time to read. Then I received an email from the seller that changed my mind.

Let’s start with the case itself. As you can see from the picture, it’s a standard magnetic cover in synthetic leather (which is not clear from the name of the case, but real leather rarely costs $11.99, so I wasn’t expecting the real thing.) It holds the Kindle Paperwhite securely. The auto sleep/wake function works well. It feels good in the hand and looks handsome. I purchased it instead of the official case, in part because of price, but mostly because of looks. The official case has a texturing that makes it look plastic to me, whiile this case, which isn’t real leather, looks and feels like it.

It has a hand strap on the inside cover, if you like that sort of thing. I don’t, but it didn’t get in my way, so it was a non-issue for me.

So why did I return it? Because of the smell. I’ve purchased numerous synthetic leather items before, and I’m familiar with the horrible smell when you open the packaging. Wait a few days, let it air out, and the smell goes away. Not this time. 10 days later, it still stank. As far as I could tell, the smell had been absorbed by the microfiber interior, and, while it faded, it was still enough to bother me.

I really wanted to like the case, but I finally decided to return it. Which led me to another feature or flaw, depending on your point of view. Getting the Kindle out of the case was difficult. I could get it out of one corner, but the other three held on. With the assistance of my husband, we finally did get it out, but at the price of a small scratch in one corner. I say it’s a possible feature because there’s no worry that the Kindle would fall out of this one.

I returned it, left a 1-star review (my first such on Amazon) and didn’t think much of it after that. I did consider leaving a 2-star review since there were things I did like about the case, but I don’t often return items, and I decided that if I was dissatisfied enough to return it, a 1-star review was warranted.

A few days later, I received an email from the seller offering to send me a new case “guaranteed not to smell.” I was dubious of the claim and didn’t want to go through the potential hassle of removing the Kindle again, so I politely said, “no thanks.”

My refund was processed, and again, I figured that was the end of the story of this case.

Until this morning when I received an email with the subject line: “remove the bad review.” In the body of the email, they referenced the text of my review and said:

could you please revise the review to positive 5 star?
As we have already refunded you and help you resolve the problem, could you do us a favor to help us remove the bad review?

Asking me to revise the review wasn’t unreasonable, I suppose. It’s true they refunded me, but I’m not sure that counted as “helping me resolve the problem.” The problem was that the case I bought was, in my opinion, not usable. Giving a product a 5-star review implies I’m recommending it to others, which I can’t do in this case.

Which led to another uncomfortable thought. One of the reasons I bought this case was the number of excellent reviews (over 200 4- and 5-stars). I knew it was inexpensive, but so many positive reviews made me feel comfortable in buying it. Now I have to wonder. How many of them had been negative reviews which were revised later?

I’m aware that reviews can and are purchased, or are used to foster personal agendas. However, I still use Amazon reviews as an integral part of purchasing decisions. I generally read a sampling of good and bad to try to get a fuller picture. The review I wrote was the type of review I look for. I said the case worked as advertised but that I returned it because of the smell. I was polite and had no axe to grind.

I didn’t appreciate them asking me to revise it to 5-star, and, as a result, I haven’t changed my review on Amazon, and I did write this article.

Here’s the case, if anyone wants to keep an eye out for it in the future. [easyazon-link asin=”B00DU65UPG” locale=”us”]Magnetic Leather Smart Case Cover for New Amazon Kindle Paperwhite[/easyazon-link]