Kobo reseller in the UK has good information, especially for the newer models

The Digital Disciple, who works for a Kobo reseller in the US, has a great post on troubleshooting Kobo eReaders.  More specifically, he deals with some of the new ereaders I have not had experience with.  The article and the comments are definitely worth checking out:

http://thedigitaldisciple.net/2013/09/24/troubleshooting-problems-with-your-kobo-mini-touch-and-glo-reader/

Enjoy 🙂

Not that we need more convincing, but apparently Kobo has problems

Here is another nice article about the many problems of Kobo

http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-readers/the-kobo-e-reader-is-having-lots-of-problems

Kobo may have delayed the inevitable (everyone realizing there product AND support suck) by shutting down their user forum, but eventually.  This particular guy is lucky:  his Kobo still boots, loads and displays books.  That will probably not last long though.  He is unable to read his books due to shoddy software that can’t render the book’s text properly.  One would think text rendering would be high on the list of things to test in an eReader, but I guess Kobo has more important things to do with its money, like buy enough advertising to make sure it is more difficult to find information on all their problems.  Choices, choices, choices.

P.S.  The 3 Sony eReaders I bought to replace the crap kobos are still working perfectly.  I have moved on the a Google Nexus 7 tablet, which does not have the advantage of running for a full continental flight, but does let me get my e-mail 😉

Search terms for KoboProblems.com

With the demise of the Kobo ‘help’ forum, KoboProblems.com has seen a huge rise in traffic.  I though I would share the kind of Kobo things people are searching for:

kobo glo frozen 48
kobo problems 29
kobo glo factory reset 25
kobo factory reset 20
reset kobo glo 18
how to reset kobo 16
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kobo ereader wireless problems 1
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problems contacting kobo 1
my kobo is frozen with lines but the light blinks 1
how to basic reset kobo ereader 1
kobo glo screen issues 1
kobo won’t power on 1
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kobo ereader master reset 1
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how to fix kobo glo screen 1
unfold a paperclip and slide an end into the hole on the back of the ereader 1
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Unknown search terms 6,467

Th number of people still having issues should not be surprising.  Its why Kobo is now hiding behind ‘help’ videos, instead of trying to address the problems with their devices.  I guess making each user feel like their issue is and isolated incident is cheaper then fixing the problems.  As you can see above, the problem that brought you here is anything by isolated . . .

Kobo feels the sting of social media

Well, I was checking some links from the blog to Kobo’s “support” forum, and I ran into:

Sorry, the community that you’re looking for has been retired and is no longer available. If you need help, please contact the company you’re looking for directly.

It looks like Kobo has had enough of allowing users to share their experiences in an open forum.  When you have comment threads like this:

* 50 Horrible Customer Service

TracyR reported · 195 replies · Last reply March 18, 2013 10:09 by klaus.wassermann
it is not surprising that something needed to be done.  There are, or course, two things you can do about it:
  1. Work to help your customers, fix your product and admit the problems exists
  2. Batten down the hatches, destroy any open comment systems and only communicate through controlled channels

Guess which one Kobo chose . . .

It is truly unfortunate, as there was actually lots of good information in the forum that is now completely lost.  Looks like I will need to add some more posts and see if at least a small amount of what good, honest users shared can be preserved.

BTW:  Looks like some have found the Kobo facebook page.  Unfortunately it does not allow coalescing of problems like a true forum, but it does show the problems still exists (as if we ever doubted):  https://www.facebook.com/kobo?filter=2

Last Post, I Guess

Hi All,

Well, I guess this is probably my last post as I am no longer a Kobo customer/client/user/victim.  To finish the story, I was escalated and did receive a replacement for the one with the broken power switch (hooray me).  We had two working for a short while, until the screen broke (as they always do) on the first.  The last one lasted a little longer, but also eventually succumbed to being a kobo, and also shuffled off its non-mortal coil.

As we are no longer infested with any Kobo devices, there is not much more I will have to say on the matter.  We are now using only Sony eReaders, and they are great.  All three have been running four months with no issues.  The interface is great, the Windows software is great and I would highly recommend them.

I am going to leave this blog up as a warning to others, a final comment on my Kobo experience.  Hopefully it will help others avoid my experience.  I will continue to approve comments, so feel free to add and vent.

Good Luck, James

Crap, I’ve been escalated to tier two

It is pretty simple.  I foolishly bought another Kobo Glo and the power switch does not work.  The only possible fix is to replace the unit.  I don’t think Kobo is going to send me a new switch and a SMT repair kit to do it myself, but who knows.  Unfortunately after two weeks of emails with tier one, rather then just replace the unit, Team Kobo has sent me on a quest to find the mythical beast that is tier two:

Hi James ,

Thank you for contacting Kobo Customer Care. We have received the
photos as requested and have escalated your issue to our Tier 2 
support team. 

The Tier 2 team will try to provide a resolution as soon as
possible and will contact you if they require additional
information in order to resolve your issue.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,
The Kobo Team

I can only hope and pray that I am deemed worthy of tier two, and that I am lucky enough to receive an email from them at some point in the future.  The fact that even when they do contact me, they will require ‘additional information’ does not bode well.  I can’t imagine what else they would need, unless this is just a ploy to wear me down to the point that I stop bothering them.  Stay tuned . . .

 

Kobo support about as useful as a bikini at the North Pole

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Please note:  Kobo was unable to handle a forum that allowed users to make honest comments on their products, and as such, has closed their forum.  None of the “getsatisfaction.com/kobo” links work anymore.

Another gem from

https://getsatisfaction.com/kobo/topics/kobo_support_about_as_useful_as_a_bikini_at_the_north_pole_incident_120102_000022

Poor renc47 was “still waiting to hear from Tier 3 support. ;(.  As discussed earlier, Kobo Customer Support: Tier 1 is friendly and useless, Tier 2 are mythical, unresponsive, unreachable hermits.  I can only imagine what feats of heroism would be required to actually communicate with Tier 3.

With Kobo, incompetence is now a profit center

Brilliant really.  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  Or in Kobo’s case, when production gives you crappy hardware and software, just take the money and run.  Originally I though Kobo was happy to sell defective hardware, hide behind customer fault centered innuendo and simply make to hard to get a repair or refund.  It seems that have a new business plan, or at the very least another profit stream for the company.  From the consumerist.com (http://consumerist.com/2012/01/03/gifting-an-e-book-from-kobo-no-book-no-help/):

Kris purchased the new biography of Steve Jobs through the Kobo e-bookstore as a gift for his dad, but here’s the trouble with buying an e-book: no one knows where it went, and no one at Kobo is capable of helping him.

This is really impressive.  What do you do when customers can’t purchase your ebooks due to faulty hardware?  Maximize profits from those few that have operation ebooks by selling them ebooks and not actually delivering them!  As the ebook never went to the customers, Kobo does not have to pay the publisher, and as long as Kobo’s tech support is byzantine enough, no one will have the patience to get their money back.  Truly awe inspiring, Kobo.

Faulty power button? Team Kobo says: Pictures, so we can try and get out of repairing it

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The latest Kobo problem is with the 3rd of my 4 Kobo Glos (for those keeping track at home:  2 dead with screen problems in the first few months, one with a non functional power switch since new, one operating normally – fingers crossed).  The problem is that to power switch never worked.  You could wake it up by connecting it to a computer, which brought up the connect dialog, but you could not read with having a computer nearby.  I contact Kobo support, suspecting the worst, but to my surprise they seemed willing to replace their faulty unit.  After getting the standard ‘send us your details, the device details and pictures of the front and the back’, I dutifully filled out the information, took a couple of pictures and sent it off.  I was not at home for all of this, so admittedly, the pictures were of fairly low quality, but it shouldn’t matter, as this was not one their standard ‘you broke our delicate screen, so no warranty for you’ scams, so why would it matter.  Silly me:

A couple of days later I received a note from Team Kobo saying my images were blurry and I needed to send them clearer ones.  Curious, I asked them why they need clear pictures of a problem that was clearly an internal switch issue.  Their response was surprisingly candid:

Hi James,

Thank you for contacting Kobo Customer Care. 

The pictures were requested in order to confirm whether 
or not you would be covered under the standard
warranty, which does not cover physical damage.

Sincerely,
The Kobo Team

Well that clears things up:

Dear customer, you are an untrustworthy punk, and there is a slight chance your power switch is not broken, but rather you are trying to force us to repair one of our known faulty screens!  We will not be tricked into supporting known flaws in out product, so we will not even start the process unless you conclusively prove that our delicate screen is intact.  We only ask this because we find it surprising, and a bit suspicious, that after a few weeks the screen on your Kobo has not failed.

On the bright side, this is the first time I have received a “Sincerely, The Kobo Team” and actually believed the message to be sincere.  Stay tuned for further developments . . .