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Old 11-08-2011, 05:18 PM   #1
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Kobo sold to Rakuten for $315M

Interesting...

http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/08/r...purchase-kobo/
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:33 PM   #2
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Ah, I hope the customer service improves.. :P
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:40 PM   #3
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Ah, I hope the customer service improves.. :P
They need to clean house in that area. It's run like a mom and pop business. No accountability at all. There's no reason they can't have live support staff 18 hours a day. Allow folks to telecommute to make this feasible if you can't have a physical location open during these hours. Give folks access to the necessary systems to satisfy customer needs the first time they call in. Simple problems can't be resolved when you call in. You have to wait for an email before you can proceed to the next step. I can't believe executive management accepts the way the show is currently run. It's appalling. Hire some consultants to direct your steps and establish some corporate goals in this area. Please, do something. Take the time to read the customer service complaints on GetSatisfaction.com. These aren't anomalies.

Last edited by SCION; 11-08-2011 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:31 PM   #4
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They need to clean house in that area. It's run like a mom and pop business. No accountability at all. There's no reason they can't have live support staff 18 hours a day. Allow folks to telecommute to make this feasible if you can't have a physical location open during these hours. Give folks access to the necessary systems to satisfy customer needs the first time they call in. Simple problems can't be resolved when you call in. You have to wait for an email before you can proceed to the next step. I can't believe executive management accepts the way the show is currently run. It's appalling. Hire some consultants to direct your steps and establish some corporate goals in this area. Please, do something. Take the time to read the customer service complaints on GetSatisfaction.com. These aren't anomalies.
I agree with what you're saying Scion. In some ways, that's what makes Kobo such a great company, though (kinda has a 'mom and pop' vibe) - so there's bound to be some trade-offs.

They get to keep their current headquarters and employees, so it's hard to say what changes will be made - and if they are, how quickly they will be made....
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:46 PM   #5
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Another thing they could do is seriously clean up their online storefront and searching tool, in my optinion just about everyone elses store is nicer , i can fairly easily sort and find books on B&N and amazon, and Books on board alot better.
Also they do actually have a decent self tech support page wich would seriously cut down on the live support needed. ive liked thier devices over the last 2 years but thier lack of support and painful website interface has prevented me from ever owning one.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:07 PM   #6
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wow!

With annual sales of over $4 billion and a market cap of over $15 billion there could well be a new Gorilla in the room.
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:24 AM   #7
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With annual sales of over $4 billion and a market cap of over $15 billion there could well be a new Gorilla in the room.
Assume that is Rakuten not Kobo?

Interesting, I'd never really looked at Rakuten Group before. It's hard to get a sense for their presence outside of Japan thought they do seem to have a range of properties (buy.com etc) and to be slowly acquiring bits and pieces here and there all over the place. My understanding was that Indigo/Chapters had a stake in Kobo? I wonder how this will work out for them as surely they must see that digital is the future if your playing the long game. I just can't see why they wouldn't want to be in the game. I'm also unclear what this gains Kobo in the near future.. are there any synergy’s to be had?
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:25 AM   #8
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Another thing they could do is seriously clean up their online storefront and searching tool, in my optinion just about everyone elses store is nicer , i can fairly easily sort and find books on B&N and amazon, and Books on board alot better.
Also they do actually have a decent self tech support page wich would seriously cut down on the live support needed. ive liked thier devices over the last 2 years but thier lack of support and painful website interface has prevented me from ever owning one.
The Search functionality sucks on the Kobobooks website. It's almost as bad as when I have to search for books on the BC Online Library. I searched by ISBN a couple of times on the Kobo site and got NOTHIN - even though the book was on the Kobo website. There area also browsing issues. It needs an overhaul. It's like they've never heard of tagging or taxonomy!

I complained to a higher-up at Kobo about this, and they are aware, and have 'plans' to refine it. But what that means, who knows?
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:15 AM   #9
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let hope the new owners give the Kobo site a big makeover. it doesnt need to be flashy at all. it just needs to be somewhat organized, with self support database and a much better search engine .... i want them to worry less about hardwar specs on devices and more about making the store a pleasent experience.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:02 AM   #10
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I searched by ISBN a couple of times on the Kobo site and got NOTHIN - even though the book was on the Kobo website.
Books can have different ISBN 10 & ISBN 13 numbers for each publisher & format (hardcover, trade paperback, mass-market paperback. ebook) combo of a book, which is probably why you didn't find it.

For example, the Ballantine Books mass-market paperback of Anne Rice's classic "Interview With the Vampire" (used because that was the nearest book to me on my shelf that I knew was on Kobo) has ISBNs of 978-0-345-33766-5 & 0-345-33766-2 while the Random House ebook version (what Kobo sells) has ISBNs of 978-0-307-57585-2 & 0-307-57585-3.
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:34 PM   #11
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I've never liked the 'search' on the kobo site. You end up with results that have you going, "huh?"

This move by Indigo is a surprise, especially considering that Indigo itself is losing money. Why sell off a division that could be profitable? The sale of ebooks is outstripping that of paper books now.

Oh, well...I've had some personal dealings with the Canadian Kobo staff and they've been really good. I hope their jobs are safe because some of them have really gone above and beyond in providing customer service.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:53 PM   #12
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Books can have different ISBN 10 & ISBN 13 numbers for each publisher & format (hardcover, trade paperback, mass-market paperback. ebook) combo of a book, which is probably why you didn't find it.

For example, the Ballantine Books mass-market paperback of Anne Rice's classic "Interview With the Vampire" (used because that was the nearest book to me on my shelf that I knew was on Kobo) has ISBNs of 978-0-345-33766-5 & 0-345-33766-2 while the Random House ebook version (what Kobo sells) has ISBNs of 978-0-307-57585-2 & 0-307-57585-3.
This is true. We're required to provide different ISBNs for different formats or editions. In fact, most publishers have different ISBNs for different ebook formats -- MOBI and EPUB versions will have different ISBNs, for example.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:27 AM   #13
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Talking

There is something talking about "TARAD in Thailand" at that article. I'm Kobo Touch user in Thailand. Sound very good news indeed.

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Old 11-22-2011, 02:12 AM   #14
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This move by Indigo is a surprise, especially considering that Indigo itself is losing money. Why sell off a division that could be profitable? The sale of ebooks is outstripping that of paper books now.
That could be the very issue. They don't have the cash/cashflow to take Kobo where it could go. I am surprised they didn't retain an stake in it though. 10-20% or something.
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