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Old 09-18-2013, 09:58 AM   #1
Katsunami
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Kobo website library very buggy

Because of the 50% coupon code, I've been buying some books at the Kobo website. As most people will know, prices can be far apart in different countries.

I've bought two series, one of which was MUCH cheaper in the Netherlands (in Euro's), and the other was MUCH cheaper in the US (in USD). Therefore I actually bought one with my account set to Netherlands, and the other with the account set to US. The 50% coupon code applied on all purchases.

All books bought when the account was set to the Netherlands are in the library, and the Adobe DRM EPUB ASCM file can be downloaded from there. However, of the books purchased while the the account was set to the US, only the last one is in the library.

First: directly after buying I got the option to download the book / ASCM file, so I did that for each book. So I *do* have the books. (De-DRM-ed already.)

Second: I *CAN* see all US-bought books in my purchase history including order number (and I got a paypal receipt), no matter if my account is set to the Netherlands or to the US.

Third: If it is set to US, and I click on one of the books in my purchase history, the site takes me to the page of that book. There, it says: "View in Library" as the only option. So, it actually is in the library (at leeast the site thinks so), but after I click on the button, I indeed end up in the Library, where the book can't be found. There is only one page, saying book 1-7 of 7. (I don't buy a lot from Kobo.) It should say: 1-9 of 9, as two books are missing.

However: if I set my account to Netherlands, and then click on a book in my purchase history, I'm taken to the book's page as well, *but* that page immediately has an Adobe DRM EPUB download button, which the US site does not have.

As I do have the books, de-DRM-ed and backed up already, it is of little consequence what is, or remains in the Kobo library. I do not rely on online storage. However, for the sake of completeness, I'd like the books to be in the Kobo library as well.

Would it be useful to contact Kobo on this issue, or will they just say that I "bought books out of my own country, and if the site is buggy doing that, then it's not their problem" or something?

(BTW: It seems the Netherlands still has the old site, which has much more information (it still has the format information, as debated in another thread) and it has more options, such as the download button directly on the book's page if you have it in your library. One wonders why a company would create a new site and launch it before it's done...)

Last edited by Katsunami; 09-18-2013 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:55 PM   #2
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There are three sections of the library, "I'M READING", "PURCHASED", and TRASH". When you first enter your library it only shows the "I'M READING" section. Have you checked the "PURCHASED" section? (If you don't use a Kobo device or app then it doesn't really make any difference which section they are in, but you can bookmark a book in the "PURCHASED" section to make it appear in the "I'M READING" section if you like.)

FWIW all of my books show in the "PURCHASED" section with a download button, regardless of which address I used to buy them, even if they are books that are not available in my current geographical location. But I have noticed that sometimes the book I see from my library is not exactly the same book as seen when browsing the website. I think this is usually because the publisher has updated the book, but the one in my library is still the old version. (Kobo won't update the book in your library unless you complain that there is something wrong with the old one).
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
There are three sections of the library, "I'M READING", "PURCHASED", and TRASH". When you first enter your library it only shows the "I'M READING" section. Have you checked the "PURCHASED" section?
Of course. Not there.

Quote:
FWIW all of my books show in the "PURCHASED" section with a download button, regardless of which address I used to buy them, even if they are books that are not available in my current geographical location. But I have noticed that sometimes the book I see from my library is not exactly the same book as seen when browsing the website. I think this is usually because the publisher has updated the book, but the one in my library is still the old version. (Kobo won't update the book in your library unless you complain that there is something wrong with the old one).
I understand; but I don't really care about updates. The books seem to be fine. I just want them in the library for the sake of completeness so I *can* download them again easily, should it ever be necessary (which probably won't be the case, with my number of backups).
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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So... I did e-mail Kobo, and got a fast response from their (out-sourced) helpdesk.

It's like every helpdesk I ever contacted: they only read the first three words of the e-mail subject, therefore identifying the problem incorrectly, and giving you the wrong, canned response.

I sent them a message in which I stated that books are missing in my library, making me unable to download them using the "ADOBE DRM EPUB" button. I also said that the books *are* in the purchasing history, and even gave them the order numbers.

I requested Kobo to put the books into my library.

This was the subject line of the return e-mail:

"Puchasing & Billing: Missing Purchase History"

Then the e-mail proceeds to explain how to bookmark books in the library and how to download the books into the Kobo Desktop Application.

"Have a wonderful day!"

I don't.

First, I have no problems with the purchasing history. The problem is with the library.
Second, you are giving me steps to follow that cannot be folowed. The books are not in the library, so they can't be bookmarked. They're NOT THERE, just like the Mystery Cat MacAvity.
Third, I have not asked for information about the Kobo Desktop Application, so I don't expect to get any information about it.
Fourth, the books are still not in my library.

"Kobo Customer Care – Tell Us How We Did!"

Badly.

When I worked at a helpdesk many years ago, I made it a point to *ACTUALLY READ* what people were asking. The result was that every e-mail that coudn't be answered with a canned response eventually landed in my inbox (mostly after a history of being handled wrongly by people sending out canned responses).

I answered the fewest e-mails of everyone in a day, but after *I* answered one, it *NEVER* returned except to say "Thank you". Despite answering the fewest e-mails of everyone, I often had the highest number of solved inquiries at the end of the month, and also the highest rating of customer satisfaction. Not because I'm some helpdesk god that knew so much more than others, but because I actually read what people were writing.

So, doing less, gets done more.

Answering an e-mail quickly with a canned response so you can do more in one day invariably gives you more work (because you *WILL* get a return mail if the canned response is the wrong one), less solutions (because you need more mails, so your mail vs. solution ratio becomes worse) and lower customer satisfaction (giving customers the wrong answer invariably irritates them).

Maybe someone at Kobo will read this and contact their helpdesk to have some stuff changed there, but I doubt it.

Last edited by Katsunami; 09-19-2013 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
It's like every helpdesk I ever contacted: they only read the first three words of the e-mail subject, therefore identifying the problem incorrectly, and giving you the wrong, canned response.
how very true!
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:58 PM   #6
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After the third e-mail (starting with: "It is not possible to follow the steps you have provided"), the Kobo helpdesk finally realised that it's impossible for me to bookmark books that are not in my library.

They have added them manually, and the issue is resolved.

Summary:
The Kobo helpdesk was polite, and responded promptly.
The people there were able to resolve the issue, in the end.
If the first rep had actually read the first e-mail, in which I said that the books were missing in the library, requesting that they add them, the issue could have been resolved with their first reply.

Ah well. It did end well, at least.

Last edited by Katsunami; 09-21-2013 at 05:03 PM.
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