What the hell is going on over at Amazon lately? After repeated phone calls concerning my Kindle locking up on me, they finally admitted that the black leather cover without the light was the problem and offered to allow me to return it. About the same week, it hit the press that the cover was causing issues for more than one million customers and that they would issue a full refund regardless of when the product was purchased. Here is a direct quote from them on their forums.
"There have been some forum discussions regarding the non-lighted Kindle cover, and our engineering team is looking into this. Regardless, if anyone is having any problem with an Amazon-manufactured Kindle cover, please call us at 877-453-4512 or 206-922-0844. We will be pleased to replace it for free with a different cover or accept a return for a full refund, no matter when the cover was purchased."
However, the initial return under this policy was charged a 20% restocking fee. Once that partial credit was received, I called them back. They emailed stating, "I've requested a refund of $7.00 to your credit card. You'll see the refund in the next 2-3 business days.". They then issued a partial refund of $4.98. By my math, there is still an outstanding balance of $2.02. Note that they never offered to return the shipping costs until this phone call.
[Update: They are refunding the amount of the cover plus shipping in full with no restocking fees, and giving both my parents and myself a $30 Amazon credit to use on any purchases. I will keep this article updated should I ever receive either of those.]
By the way, I did replace the cover with a Dodocase from http://www.dodocase.com. This is a quality handmade product that is slightly more expensive, but it does not use the defective prongs in the Kindle to attach and it feels and looks much more like a book. I highly recommend this cover to anyone having the problem. Don't waste the extra money or Amazon credit on the lighted cover which supposedly does not have the same problems. According to reports, the light on the cover only illuminates half of the screen. Instead, I settled on a Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 found at Barnes & Noble. It was cheaper in the store than online and does a more than sufficient job even on the lowest setting of illuminating the full page.