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Old 08-10-2010, 01:15 PM   #1
jenifer.ezread
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Announcement from EZ Read/Astak Team

To Our Valued Customers:

As many of you know, we have had some recent changes here at EZ
Read/Astak, Inc in regards to our eBook Business. We appreciate your
continued support while we work through all of these changes and finalize our
future plans. We would also like to inform you that Robert Barry has
retired from Astak. Robert has built a strong relationship between our
customers and our team throughout the years, and we appreciate his
hard work and enthusiasm. Robert has recently required a break for
health reasons, and we hope that his knee troubles will be alleviated
very soon. We also wish him the best of luck in the future.

Our eBook content specialist position will be filled by Jenifer Avery.
She has been with EZRead for a little over four months now and has
been managing our eBook content category very well. Jenifer and her
team will moniter/respond on Mobileread forum from now on and provide
the same services as Robert. You are also welcome to interact with our
team via our Facebook (www.facebook.com/ezreadbookstore) and Twitter
(www.twitter.com/ezreadbooks). We, as a team will continue to provide
our very personal support to our friends and loyal customers.

We would also like to announce the creation of our new EZ Read forum, at http://connect.ezread.com .You can also direct questions there to receive a response from our team.

If you have any technical questions, please feel free to contact with us at
866-368-8788 or support@astak.com. Our service hours are 9-5 (PT).

Best Regards,
Astak/EZ Read eBook Content & eReader Team

Last edited by jenifer.ezread; 08-10-2010 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:20 PM   #2
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It's too bad to see Robert go. Best wishes for him and for Astak.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:33 PM   #3
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The EZReader forum here at mobileread works pretty well, I honestly don't see any reason to create a new EZ Read forum - at least not Astak should be focusing on at the moment, especially with so many dynamic changes in the industry and seeing Astak slow in responding them.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sylver View Post
The EZReader forum here at mobileread works pretty well, I honestly don't see any reason to create a new EZ Read forum - at least not Astak should be focusing on at the moment, especially with so many dynamic changes in the industry and seeing Astak slow in responding them.
Our forum will a small part of a much larger site and Beta project we are currently working on. We are tackling a number of new challenges, recruiting new team members, and also trying to be a few steps ahead of our competition in the eBook industry with our new project. "Slow and steady" no more!
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:44 PM   #5
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Bon voyage Robert! It's been great knowing you!
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:17 PM   #6
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Well, don't know what to think of all of this..

For most, if not all, of us (and maybe Robert in particular), this is a rather drastic change..
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cloggy View Post
Well, don't know what to think of all of this..

For most, if not all, of us (and maybe Robert in particular), this is a rather drastic change..
Our team wants you to know that we will still be working hard to respond and interact with you all on Mobileread.

And I would like you to know I will do my best to answer questions and keep you updated with announcements, although there will be a sharp drop in our company use of exclamation points. Robert will be missed by all, but his priority right now is his health and wellness.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloggy View Post
Well, don't know what to think of all of this..

For most, if not all, of us (and maybe Robert in particular), this is a rather drastic change..
I agree WOW.

Robert was the reason I bought a Pocket Pro instead of a Kindle.
He was helpful and very friendly. He will be greatly missed.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:42 PM   #9
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Well, between the total lack of response from Astak two weeks ago Friday when my PPro broke and I happened be within 30 miles of San Jose hoping to make contact, and now Robert "retires" silently with his last post announcing the Plus going on sale 8/14, I think I'll be holding off to see how things progress before spending any more money at Astak.

Be interesting to see if it really appears on the website on Saturday, or if we get some excuse that Robert didn't have all the facts, etc, etc.

I agree. Robertb's helpful and enthusiastic presence on these forums is what tipped me to shop at Astak. Not sure if I want to replace the broken PPro with the Plus, now, or not...
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by eGeezer View Post
Well, between the total lack of response from Astak two weeks ago Friday when my PPro broke and I happened be within 30 miles of San Jose hoping to make contact, and now Robert "retires" silently with his last post announcing the Plus going on sale 8/14, I think I'll be holding off to see how things progress before spending any more money at Astak.

Be interesting to see if it really appears on the website on Saturday, or if we get some excuse that Robert didn't have all the facts, etc, etc.

I agree. Robertb's helpful and enthusiastic presence on these forums is what tipped me to shop at Astak. Not sure if I want to replace the broken PPro with the Plus, now, or not...

I'm sorry to hear you've recently had problems contacting Astak support. Please send a message to support@astak.com and I will personally make sure our tech team responds to your Pocket Pro issues. While we always welcome visitors at our office in San Jose, often the tech staff is not able to fit customer meetings into their schedule. And a visit with me might be friendly, but I am no tech expert.

Robert's silence on the forums is likely due to the personal time he is taking at the moment. His retirement is a very personal issue, and was discussed thoughtfully and at great length with our bosses, I am sure.

The new EZ Read "Plus" is actually available for sale right now at www.astak.com. You were right, Robert did have the facts wrong: the device is actually available now.

I am sorry to hear you'd like to take your business elsewhere in the absence of Robert. I will do my best to be just as active on the forums, in the same ways I have been vigilant on our Twitter and Facebook pages. As I mentioned, I'm no abuser of exclamation points and I'm not very windy, but I do really love our customers and want to help everyone out here.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:19 PM   #11
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Well, this was written by Robert on August 4 after he returned:
"For those who do like me, luckily the vast majority, I arrive at work tomorrow in the afternoon and have a few appointments but will soon have the time to set this forum right again."

..and this was announced today to justify his "retirement", 6 days later:
"Robert has recently required a break for health reasons, and we hope that his knee troubles will be alleviated very soon. We also wish him the best of luck in the future."

I'm not questioning your best intentions, but for me..it smells fishy..(and as this is a public forum, I'm afraid you cannot remove Robert's "return" message.)
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:37 PM   #12
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Wow... I hope everything's alright with Robert. We'll definitely miss you! I hope you're able to drop by the forums now and then to say hello... but if not, I think we understand... anyway, best of luck, Robert, and I hope you can continue to recover from your surgery!
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:31 PM   #13
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Sad to see Robert go, hope all is well with him privately and professionally, I wish him only the very best, he and so many other helpful souls make this forum my second home.
Well, as the warm and helpful people we are, let's welcome Jenifer to our community!
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:34 PM   #14
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Hi Jennifer,

Welcome. You are going to have to put in some time proving to everyone that you are indeed going to provide the same levels of service, understanding, and friendliness that Robert did before you earn back a level of trust back for Astak and EZ Read on this forum. Everything might be exactly as you stated it happened, but given how firings are often done these days having you annouce Robert's retirement instead of him makes it very suspicious for many of us who like Robert. I hope very much that at worst it was a mutual decision for Robert and Astak to part ways and that as he adjusts to the change he will at least come say good-bye. He has spoken well of you and the efforts you have made to the EZ Read website to have it become real competition for B&N and Amazon. But again, given the abruptness of the change it will take a while for to earn back what he had with us here. For all his faults like lots of exclamation points and broad statements, Robert worked very hard to support customers with products that people want to buy instead of settle for. That made me and I'm sure other people willing to overlook things and embrace his honest mistakes that showed he was real rather than the polished and impersonal press statements of other companies.


Jennifer, good luck to you in the coming weeks. I really hope you can make this transition work and stick it out with us.


Robert, I will miss your presence here very much. I had been waiting for Astak to have a device that really said "I'm it" to me and not really looking seriously at other devices. That was totally because of you. Now I won't play favorites and the hardware & firmware will have to prove itself against Pocketbook and other such competitors. No device locked to a vendor, like Amazon or B&N, will get my money though and that is thanks to the first posts you made back in April 2008 and my first clues that a device supported in the US would be available. Thank you for your service.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:07 PM   #15
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You are going to have to put in some time proving to everyone that you are indeed going to provide the same levels of service, understanding, and friendliness that Robert did before you earn back a level of trust back for Astak and EZ Read on this forum.
Robert was a valuable and extraordinarily friendly member of the Astak team, but I do believe our whole team shares the same values and desire to help and communicate with our customers.

I am primarily an eBook specialist, or rather, I have been creating content for the site via reviews and interviews of indie and mainstream books. Anyone who follows EZ Read on Twitter or Facebook knows first hand how diligently I respond to comments and recommendations. I have monitored both of our social networking sites in a similar way that Robert had helped customers on the forum.
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