Originally Posted by robko
My post was meant to be directed to those claiming that Kobo was obviously doing no testing because they have problems with firmware updates on some individual devices. I'd be bitter too if it was my Kobo that was bricked, but realize there is ZERO chance that you're ever going to get a firmware that doesn't cause a problem for someone somewhere. My other point was that at least Kobo is trying their best to fix the problem as soon as it came to light, unlike some other companies (Sony) who wouldn't even acknowledge it was an issue initially. In a perfect world it wouldn't have happened at all. In the imperfect world we live in, at least be happy they've acknowledged some people have a problem and seem to be working as hard as they can to fix it.
I agree that Kobo are trying to do something about it and are fairly responsive and involved in trying to communicate their response. In the past I've actually talked to personnel at their head office in Toronto and they have been polite, responsive and as helpful as they could be. From that point of view they are undoubtedly better than Sony, although that's not hard to do. You have to be careful if your standard of care in any way involves a comparison with Sony. It's a bit like saying "I may not be perfect but at least I don't torture little kittens". They also get major kudos in my book for continuing to develop the firmware and listening to/interacting with their users, on some fronts at least. That said I think the dumbing down of the upgrade process is a bad idea. I don't automatically upgrade anything, from Windows, to programs to router firmware. I ensure I'm aware of upgrades and then review what they are and if I need them. The trend towards "all users are idiots so we'll just do their thinking for them" annoys me. Which brings me to what does annoy me about Kobo.
My problems with Kobo over this update are not over their tech problems. Those are extremely annoying for anyone affected, there appears to have been holes somewhere in the development and testing process, and they may have lost some existing or prospective users as a result but at least they seem to be addressing the problems and I agree that in the overall scheme of things there are a lot worse reactions to similar situations out there.
My real beef is the addition of marketing/advertising pushes to a product which was bought without them and, even more, the tone of the way these are justified e.g. on their blog where they're touted as "improving your reading experience". They don't improve my reading experience, only an idiot, or a liar, would think that they do. They've let the liars, marketing, drive the process. They let the liars talk to their customers as though they're idiots. And somewhere in Toronto some marketroid, who's not nearly as smart as he thinks he is, is ticking off their customers, their best referral source of new business, every time he opens his mouth or insists on perverting the development of new firmware. Then the apologists come out and say "they have to have this if they're going to survive". They don't. The best way to survive, as proven over and over again by countless businesses, is to listen to your customers and provide them with what they want with the best customer service you can manage. Research has proven many times that gaining a new customer is many times more expensive than retaining an existing customer, and that the best source of new business is existing, satisfied customers. Piss them off at your peril.