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Old 02-23-2011, 04:06 PM   #1
montealan
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Problem with KOBO purchase

I have been dealing with KOBO since last fall and have purchased quite a few books from them. Then I had a problem with one of their discount codes. I tried to resolve the problem through their online customer service to no avail. I sent the following to the CEO of KOBO through the customer service route, so I don't know if he will ever read it.

Basically their customer service stinks. And as I noted in my email below I will take my business elsewhere.


TO: Mike Serbinis, CEO
RE: Request #196448

Mr. Serbinis

As a reader who has purchased 42 ebooks from KOBO during the past few months, I thought you might be interested as to why I will never purchase from KOBO again.

On Friday February 18, I purchased an ebook utilizing the 25% coupon code emailed to me from KOBO.

Upon receiving the email invoice I noticed that I was charged the full price of $9.09.

I notified the help desk by email and explained that I put the code in but did not receive the discount. The response I received “unfortunately, the promotional code must be entered at time of purchase to qualify for this discount” did not address my situation. I resent my response noting that I did enter the code. Again I received back “unfortunately, the promotional code must be entered at time of purchase to qualify for this discount.”

It appears that the people providing customer support do not bother to read the stated problem.

Clearly, since all ebook providers pretty much have similar pricing, the main factor which sets them apart is customer service. KOBO is sorely lacking in this area. I will now be purchasing all my future ebooks from Amazon (who excel in customer service), SONY, B&N, ebooks.com etc.

Although the price difference in my above mentioned purchase is minimal, around $2.00, there is a principal here which I feel must be addressed. And since it appears KOBO will not deal with it I will resort to blogging my dissatisfaction on MobileRead and Teleread forums, and any other mode of appropriate online discussion sites.

I lost $2.00, but you lose a loyal customer and possibly the good will of many other readers who will be reading my blogs.

Thank you


If anyone knows how I can get in touch with Mr. Serbinis directly I would appreciate that info.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:01 PM   #2
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Is $2 that important to expend so much energy? Are you certain your credit card was actually charged the full amount?

What did the Kobo rep say when you called them on the toll free number?

Anyway, I wish you luck: I applaud everyone who stands up for their rights when they are wronged but there is still a matter of proportion. Would you demand the CEO of Sears personally respond to a refund of $2 on a package men's underwear?
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:13 PM   #3
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It sounds like they use the same customer support teams eBay does. Scan for keywords and press button 'A' for this keyword and 'B' for that keyword. Unfortunately the response sent has nothing to do with the question asked.

It's highly possible that the discount code did not work for the book you were purchasing because of the agency thing. I tried using a coupon code once and got that response. Perhaps you did too and didn't notice the discount wasn't applied.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:20 PM   #4
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They've changed the system so now it tells you outright when a book can't have a code applied. You do have to click the "I've got a code/gift card I want to use button" to get to it, but it's a distinct red-outlined warning with no box to enter the code.

If for some reason coupon discounts aren't going through on the final price after the customer's clicked all the "apply this code" buttons and checked the proposed total to make sure it got subtracted, then that's definitely a problem which needs to be addressed.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:57 PM   #5
montealan
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Response to SP:

The $2.00 is not at issue here. It is the fact that I was sent a coupon code which was accepted on their ordering page but did not register, whether it was my fault or their fault should not be at issue here.

What irks me is I could not get a straight answer from them (via email) and they refuse to accept that a mistake was made. It's like they crap on the customer. Even if it was 10 cents I would fight, just for the principle.

Verizon was bashed by the NYT for charging small inappropriate charges on their subscribers bills which, individually, went unnoticed by most. But there was a principle there too, which ended up as an investigation into the practice.

As far as contacting the CEO, my guess is he has the most vested interest in his organization and should be aware of the practices being conducted by his people.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:27 PM   #6
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I ran into this too, where I was offered a refund, but then not given the refund.

For me it is $6, probably not worth the time, but it's an aggravation nonetheless.
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