I have contacted Amazon several times about a problem with the FreeTime Unlimited app on my daughter's Kindle Fire HD. I have contacted Amazon using email, phone, and online chat.
The problem is that with the FreeTime app running and parental controls ON the AppStore can be accessed while using a children's game app. All you have to do is open the Ice Cream Drop game, and select the "More Fun" button on the top right of the screen. It is easy enough for me to delete the Ice Cream Drop app, but a lot of apps come with a button/link that forwards to the AppStore to purchase more of the developer's games.
I thought FreeTime Unlimited (a paid monthly subscription) was supposed to block access to the AppStore? While in the AppStore with FreeTime Unlimited running and Parental Controls enabled inappropriate content can be searched for and found. It cannot be purchased because of the parental lock I have on purchases, but I do not want my daughter to be able to get in the AppStore at all. FreeTime Unlimited is the monthly subscription version, and it is set-up for an 8-year old girl.
My parental controls are as follow:
Parental Controls are ON
Web Browser is BLOCKED
Email is BLOCKED
Password protect purchases is ON
Password protect video playback is ON
Password protect Wi-Fi is ON
Password protect LBS is ON
Newstand is BLOCKED
Books & Audiobooks, Music, Video, Docs, Apps & Games, and photos are all UNBLOCKED. I asked Amazon about blocking these, but if they are blocked she will not be able to access her books, movies, and games.
I originally contacted Amazon about my concerns on 1/16/2013. I got a fairly snide brush-off email reply telling me to enable Parental Controls and use a password. So I replied with my FreeTime settings, as above, on 1/21/2013. I received a much more appropriate reply from an Amazon associate who actually read my email and understood that FreeTime Unlimited was running with Parental Controls on and Web Browsing blocked. This associate suggested I chat or call in to discuss.
The evening of 1/21/2013 I chatted and was left on "hold" while the associate investigated for up to 5 minutes at a time. Only to be disconnected. This happened several times with 3 different associates. My internet connection was stable and I did not allow it to idle, but when the associate seemed to have difficulty finding an answer I was suddenly disconnected. I think that was very convenient for the associate.
After being disconnected from 3 different associates. I called in. After explaining to 1 associate who did not seem to understand or speak English (typical). I was transferred to another associate who I had to explain everything to again. Then to a 3rd in the Kindle department. The general consensus from all the associates I spoke with was "I don't know".
The last associate I spoke with said he would investigate and have the technical team investigate and he would call me back in 3 days (that would be 1/24/2013)around the same time of the evening. He did email me on 1/24/2013 to say he was sorry about the trouble I have had with the FreeTime app and that the technical team was working on an answer.
I have heard nothing else from Amazon, and the problem is not fixed. So basically I got the brush off from Amazon. That is not what I expected and it really disappoints me with Amazon customer service. Amazon associates did not perform as promised or follow through with their word, and I am unhappy with the product I have purchased because it does not fulfill the promises Amazon made.
Like I said, I can easily delete this one app, but what other apps have the same functionality? The entire reason I bought my daughter the Kindle Fire HD was the FreeTime app so I could monitor and protect her. I do not mind paying the monthly fee for the app IF it worked correctly. I have spent money on a Kindle Fire, a Case, accessories, FreeTime Unlimited, buying apps, books and movies and I cannot trust the device to work as promised.
Monetary Loss: $350.
Location: High Point, North Carolina