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Old 04-11-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
unicorn1
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Bad customer service experience with Kobo

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Old 04-12-2011, 02:36 AM   #2
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Wait, let me see if I understand this:

Kobo's website glitched and your first gift card was sent while saying that the transaction didn't complete. Without checking your email/account/etc. to see if it went through anyway, you repeated the process. Thus you ended up with two gift cards.

Now, you could have just told your mom "Hey, mom, Kobo borked the transaction and sent your gift card email twice -- only the first one is real, just delete the second one." This would have solved the whole problem. But instead, you wanted Kobo to give you a free $50. When Kobo wouldn't give you a free $50, you came here whining about "bad" customer service (they would only give you what you paid for, or give you a refund, but not give you the gift card plus a refund) ... and bragging that you "stuck it to them" by choosing the most expensive freebie you could find.

I'm not even going to bother writing what I think of the whole thing, because I think you can figure out from the tone of my post what it would be ... and I really don't want to get banned from MobileRead. I'll even let you figure out what word should go after "greedy..."
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:09 AM   #3
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:29 AM   #4
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Kobo handled this unprofessionally, I agree.

But I honestly can't see how it would have been so bad to tell mum that there should only had been one gift card. It's not like you're being "cheap". It can't be that hard to accept that if you get two separate gift cards emails in a short time frame that one of them might be a mistake. After all, if you had intended giving $100, wouldn't you have chosen one $100 gift card?

(And, not that it matters to the topic - so I edited it out...)

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Old 04-12-2011, 09:35 AM   #5
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I agree with Worldwalker. If you went to any store and bought an item and were charged twice because the cashier wasn't paying attention, do you then get credited the amount and given a second item? No. You're given a credit back to your card and you leave.

You're being greedy.

I also don't understand why your mother couldn't possibly understand that you only wanted one gift certificate but charged for two? What's so hard about that?
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:36 AM   #6
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:54 AM   #7
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And when she went to spend the gift card, she wouldn't have known the value in the original case i.e. $50...


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I guess what made it worse was the fact that I wouldn't have been as upset if they hadn't of taken one back after I specifically said that wasn't an option. If they wouldn't have done this then my mom would have been none the wiser but instead it just opened up a whole thing with my dad asking why I took one back you know? So this pretty much let them know that I had only intended on spending $50. And not once was I given an apology or told why they did this. This is what really upset me and made me want to pursue some form of compensation because it was their mistake in the first place you know? To call me greedy when you have no idea who I am or have gone through the situation as I have is just really rude. I have spent alot of money buying their books and am a good customer and I don't think asking them to correct their mistake is being greedy. Period.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:08 AM   #8
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:12 AM   #9
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I think it's ridiculous to have expected Kobo to give you the extra $50 gift card. So there was a glitch, so what?

I'm not sure what kind of family dynamic exists that a daughter can't tell her mother there was a mistake. It also seems a bit odd that a father would call and question a notification from Kobo about an error.

And they offered you a free book to compensate! Seems to me that's more than enough.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:18 AM   #10
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unicorn1 View Post
I'm sorry, what was your title at Kobo?
I disagree with your contention that Kobo should give you a free $50, so I must work there? By that logic, a fair percentage of the population of MobileRead works for Kobo. This leads me to the natural question ... where's my employee discount?

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Why would I have checked to see if it went through when it plainly told me it didn't and to repeat the process??
Because it's a website. Websites glitch. It would be nice if online credit transactions worked as smoothly as in-person cash transactions, but they don't. Acting as though they do just because we want it that way doesn't change that. Knowing this, I make a practice of ensuring that everything I buy 1) really was bought, and 2) was only bought once. In the time I've been buying things online, I've had failures in both ways. Maybe everything should work perfectly every time, but it doesn't, and acting on hope and assumptions instead of facts only hurts me. Taking the time to check ensures that I don't run into future problems.

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Did you even read where I said I kept checking my email for over 15 minutes??
You have an account, yes? Did you check that account? I make a practice of doing exactly that for that exact reason. I buy a lot of things online (these days, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than burning the gas to go to somewhere you can buy them in person). And I always make sure I'm getting what I think I'm getting, and paying what I think I'm paying, because I know how easy it is for one or the other not to be true. I'm not saying that's the way that it should be, but that's the way that it is, and I pick my battles. Trying to insist to the world at large that all websites should always function perfectly is a battle I would never win.

Quote:
And why would I have wanted to let my mom know I was only spending $50 instead of $100??
There is no secret to how much a gift certificate is worth!

She knows that you were spending $50 instead of $100. She also knows you were spending $50 instead of $500, or $5000, or any other amount. Where's the great secret in how much you were and weren't spending? "Kobo's website glitched and sent you two emails" has several advantages, not the least of which is that it's true. "Kobo's website glitched and charged me twice" would also be true.

As a general rule, when people buy me bookstore gift certificates, they buy me one for the amount they intend, not two for half that amount. If someone wants to buy me a $100 gift certificate, they'll buy me a $100 gift certificate. I would find nothing whatsoever unusual if I got two $50 ones and was told that one of them was sent in error; I'd find it far more unusual if one of them wasn't.

If your mother doesn't understand this, or doesn't accept this, or insists that she should get $100 even though you only paid for $50 ... well, I begin to see where you learned "Kobo owes me free money" from.

Quote:
You hit the nail on the head when you said "Kobo's website glitched". BINGO!! Whatever happened to customer service and taking ownership over glitches and mistakes??
From what you posted, it looks like they did. It looks like they tried to make it right -- they gave you a refund for the gift certificate that was issued in error. That's customer service. When you got all unreasonable on them, they even gave you a code for a free book -- which you promptly used, not to get a book that you wanted by way of apology, but to "stick it to them" because you wanted to hurt them (and all their other customers) because they didn't give you free money.

Handing out free money just because someone demands it is not customer service; it's business suicide.

Let's look at it another way: let's say your post was, instead, one thanking Kobo for giving you a free $50. Let's further say that I thought this was a good idea, and immediately went to the Kobo site, bought a gift certificate for $50, and clicked the button twice, or took a look at the page code and generated a spurious second click, so they sold me two gift certificates at once. I then demanded that Kobo refund my money for one of them, but honor both of them. Should they?

If they should, what happens when everyone from MobileRead, all 100k+ of us, does the same? That's five million dollars worth of free money.

And if they shouldn't, how can they tell the difference between us?

Quote:
When you talk to "Shannon", which I'm sure you will as you must work there, you can let her know my "easy" gift giving experience that they advertise was anything but.
And there you go again ... everyone who disagrees with you must work for Kobo, because anyone who doesn't would agree that you deserve to get $100 but only be charged for $50. You're really starting to look childish.

Also, you're wrong. I don't work for Kobo. I've never bought a reader from Kobo (if you'll look to the left, you'll note that I own a Sony PRS-505). I've never bought a book from Kobo (if you'll look down, you'll note that I'm very hostile to the whole concept of DRM). I've never bought a gift certificate from Kobo (the only people I buy those for prefer to read paper books). I don't think I've ever even been to the Kobo website.

You're making too many assumptions. You're assuming that everyone who doesn't work for Kobo would agree that you have a right to pay them $50 for $100 worth of merchandise. You're assuming that everyone believes every detail of your story, without needing to hear Kobo's side (which I'm beginning to imagine, having worked retail) and will therefore support you. And most of all, you're assuming that I'm as unknown to the people reading this as someone who just registered, and I have no well-known positions about anything. That's why I'm chuckling right now, by the way. Assuming that I work for Kobo is kind of like assuming that Steve Jobs works for Microsoft. My hostility to restrictive online bookstores and their DRM-locked ebooks is well known. There are probably people laughing about how you managed to get Worldwalker to say that an ebookstore wasn't wrong about something.

No, I don't work for Kobo. And I don't usually think they're right about things. That might serve as an indicator of just how strongly I feel about the facts presented in this case: this time, I do think Kobo did the right thing. And I think the person who wanted to pay $50 and get $100 is, in fact, wrong.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:40 AM   #12
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:44 AM   #13
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They canceled the gift card, refunded the money, gave you a free book. I'd say they did what they could (even if it took a couple of turns).

I can understand how they could have (mis-)understood your initial contact as a request to cancel the first transaction. Once your clarification that they should NOT cancel it came, it was already too late. Well, mistakes happen, and this was not a very serious one in most people's eyes. I think many don't understand how this can be such a big deal. After all you DID intend to "just" spend $50.

If this is your worst customer service experience ever, consider yourself blessed! (Try dealing with Greyhound bus lines' refund department if you want to try something really frustrating. )
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unicorn1 View Post
No, you must not have ever purchased a gift card for giving. When you purchase one it sends the recipient an email and a picture of the gift card showing the amount. In my case she was sent 2 separate emails showing she had 2 gift cards for $50. It would also show she had a $100 credit in her account. Then when they took one back it sent her another email saying her gift had been CANCELLED. I'm not going to argue with you people. I have one word for the day and it's ACCOUNTABILTY.
So you agree, then, that no matter what happened, your mother would have known you only intended to spend $50, but you refuse to accept responsibility for it? Kobo could, perhaps, have handled things better, but once you took the whiny tone of "I want free money," I'd have refunded the mistaken transaction, too, since it was clearly a mistake and their merchant service agreement requires them to.

If you're concerned that your mother thinks you're cheap, go back and buy her another gift card. But it isn't about how much she gets, is it?
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:48 AM   #15
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