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Old 01-28-2012, 10:23 AM   #1
thepossum
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Ongoing newspaper subscription problems

They appear to have resolved the delivery problems for the Toronto Star to my Kobo Touch. There are still some niggly issues with the iPhone app, but from what I gather that is somehow specific to my Kobo account, and the fix will be at the server's end. (They managed to replicate it on their end, that somehow only 10 issues out of 14 are being delivered to my iPhone, not including the most recent 4 issues.)

I no longer see any reason to avoid subscribing to newspapers through Kobo at this time.


Quote:
I've been a subscriber through Kobo to the Toronto Star since June 2011. I WAS extremely happy with the service up until October. As I live outside Toronto, I'd have to pay $1.50 daily, $3.50 on Saturday, and $2.50 on Sunday, totalling approximately $54.00 (including tax) for a 28-day month. By paying Kobo $18.08 per month (including tax) instead, it was enough of a savings that I would have paid for my Kobo Touch in full just from the savings in just a matter of months.

However it is apparent that starting in October Kobo's networking infrastructure backend changed, and the systems supporting newspaper subscriptions suffered greatly as a result. Below are my specific complaints:

1- Many issues are missing. While I have been credited (by way of an extension) for most of the problems, I have still not been given any compensation for missing issues for Dec 16, Dec 27, Jan 3, Jan 19, and as of today's Jan 28 issue, it is also either unacceptably late or missing.

2- I also have an iPhone with the Kobo app. We are supposed to be able to read anything we own on any Kobo platform (whether Kobo Original, Wifi, Touch, Vox, Android, iOS, or any other platform). But for some reason the iPhone Kobo app will only download issues of the Toronto Star that I have manually deleted from my Kobo Touch. If I didn't have enough time to finish reading my paper I didn't have to bring my larger Kobo Touch along, I could finish reading on my iPhone, but no longer!

3- The Kobo website for subscriptions clearly states "Store credit lets you purchase eBooks, as well as electronic subscriptions to your favourite newspapers and magazines here in the Kobo Store." I have $61.01 credit, and my subscription only costs $18.08, but they charged my credit card instead of using my Kobo credit.

4- Each individual issue of the newspaper takes up precious disk space on my Kobo Touch. When I first subscribed, it automatically stored a total of 15 issues (two weeks' back issues plus the current day). It is no longer deleting old issues, and I was up to about 23 stored issues before I realized and started manually deleting some off the device.

5- In addition to the 15 stored issues from 4- above, more back issues could be saved longer if I marked them as "Saved" in the iOS app. (Unfortunately there is no way to mark issues as Saved on the Kobo Touch directly.) The iOS app itself would only keep a maximum of TEN issues total, including any issues I marked as "Saved". But not even this works now, and marking issues as Saved does NOT have any effect on either the Kobo Touch or iOS app, beyond removing an issue from the Trash on the iOS device before it gets deleted.

6- My subscription on the Kobo iPhone should be in only one folder. But it has been split into two separate pieces, one with issues up to Dec 4, and one with issues after Dec 4. Each folder has to be manually managed every time I sync. And when I manually delete an issue from one of those folders it needs to stay deleted! But they keep coming back every time I refresh. The oldest issue that keeps reappearing is from back in November!

As far as I am aware from other threads here at mobileread, I am not the only one suffering from these ongoing troubles with newspaper subscriptions. And additionally when I am missing a day's issue, so is everybody else regardless of which newspaper they subscribe to.

I have been in constant contact with help@kobobooks.com trying to get this resolved once and for all, but they are no longer answering my emails, and papers continue to go missing. It is beyond frustration that they continue to take my money but they aren't actually delivering to me what they have promised to sell.

In all, I cannot recommend that anybody else subscribe to any newspapers through Kobo.

If anybody else has any other problems with their newspaper subscriptions that I haven't mentioned, or if they would like to confirm that I am not the only one having troubles with subscriptions on their iOS or other platform, please reply below.

Last edited by thepossum; 03-19-2012 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:59 AM   #2
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Well put post! It seems whatever they did when they "upgraded" their server software around the start of November they broke the newspaper part. It was a rare day that I didn't get a paper before that, but now it's at least once a week on average. Having to delete the individual issues on the KT itself is a PITA. And I'm missing National Post on Jan 28 too.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:54 AM   #3
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January 29 is also unavailable. Nobody from Kobo has responded to any of my helpdesk email requests since January 11. I am being ignored, and these missing papers are costing my actual money.

edit: Jan 30 did not download. Jan 31 is also not downloading. That's four days in a row.

Last edited by thepossum; 01-31-2012 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:40 PM   #4
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No paper today, either. And no response from Kobo. Also, no response yet to a complaint escalated to Tier 2 in November.

These guys are incompetent, thieving a-holes. The can't manage their damn subscriptions at all -- that's technical incompetence -- and they do anything to avoid reimbursing us. Outright thievery.

Frankly, someone should lose their job over this. Screwing customers out of their money should not be tolerated, nor should the inexcusable failure to have this problem fixed after four months.

So, here are two email addresses for their boss, Michael Tamblyn. Feel free to complain to him. Keep in mind, though, that he was posting on this board at one time, and it's possible that he, like the other Kobo employees who have posted here, is simply ignoring this issue, thinking of the subscribers as little people whose money is Kobo's right.

michaeltamblyn@gmail.com
mt@kobo.com

And his Twitter account:

@mtamblyn
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:57 PM   #5
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I should check and see if the word COMMUNICATE is in the dictionary on the Kobo, because it seems to be lacking in the Kobo Customer Service department. It's bad enough to not hear back forever on tickets, when they are now at 4 (or 5 if your subscription has a Sunday edition) days without a paper you'd think maybe they'd at least send out something to acknowledge they are working on it. You can keep people much less angry if they at least feel like they aren't being ignored. Of course fixing the problem at some point in the last 3 months would have been even better.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:33 AM   #6
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Newspaper Subscriptions

Hello,

Please allow me to apologize for the tremendous inconvenience that this matter has caused. Our development team has identified the cause of this error, and we feel that the matter has now been resolved. We will be contacting all of our customers that have been affected by this error, and we will do everything we can to make this right for all of you. We value all of our customers, and your overall satisfaction is of the utmost importance to everyone here at Kobo. If there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at KOBOExecutiveCare@kobo.com


Regards,
Darrell.
Kobo Executive Care.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:39 AM   #7
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The incompetence gets more and more astonishing.

This morning, all those undelivered papers arrived ... but today's paper did not. As of 9:38 a.m. it's still not available.

Nice work, Koboobs. You gave me four papers that are useless to me, but not the one I can actually use. And you're going to expect me to pay for those four papers, since I received them, right?
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:04 AM   #8
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I did get todays and most of the previous ones -- although several of the old ones downloaded last night and were truncated/missing articles. I hope that the problem itself is truly is put to bed at this point.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:32 AM   #9
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Hello,

I am sorry to learn that this has been your experience. Please contact us at KOBOExecutiveCare@kobo.com I will ensure that you are assisted.

Regards,
Darrell.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:17 AM   #10
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Maybe you should look at Calibre for your news sources? I have a few set up and they seem to work very well. There are over 400 English news sources listed in Calibre, the major usage ones are listed here:

http://status.calibre-ebook.com/recipe_stats
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plib View Post
Maybe you should look at Calibre for your news sources? I have a few set up and they seem to work very well. There are over 400 English news sources listed in Calibre, the major usage ones are listed here:

http://status.calibre-ebook.com/recipe_stats
It...never even occurred to me to use Calibre for this. Is there a way to have just the downloaded newspapers sync wirelessly with a Kobo?
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:25 AM   #12
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A small update. Currently things seem much improved, but there is still a bit more work to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thepossum View Post
1- Many issues are missing. While I have been credited (by way of an extension) for most of the problems, I have still not been given any compensation for missing issues for Dec 16, Dec 27, Jan 3, Jan 19, and as of today's Jan 28 issue, it is also either unacceptably late or missing.
The missing issues from Jan 28 on have been restored. An email has been sent out to "credit" us for our trouble, by extending our subscriptions by 5 days. By my count, there is still no credit for the older missing issues dated Dec 16, Dec 27, Jan 3, or Jan 19.

Quote:
2- I also have an iPhone with the Kobo app. We are supposed to be able to read anything we own on any Kobo platform (whether Kobo Original, Wifi, Touch, Vox, Android, iOS, or any other platform). But for some reason the iPhone Kobo app will only download issues of the Toronto Star that I have manually deleted from my Kobo Touch. If I didn't have enough time to finish reading my paper I didn't have to bring my larger Kobo Touch along, I could finish reading on my iPhone, but no longer!
These issues are now appearing on the iPhone app, however there is a several-day delay. Today's newspaper arrived on time on my Kobo Touch, however the most recent issue on my iPhone is Feb 5. That's 4 days!

Quote:
3- The Kobo website for subscriptions clearly states "Store credit lets you purchase eBooks, as well as electronic subscriptions to your favourite newspapers and magazines here in the Kobo Store." I have $61.01 credit, and my subscription only costs $18.08, but they charged my credit card instead of using my Kobo credit.
Unknown, as my subscription has not yet renewed.

Quote:
4- Each individual issue of the newspaper takes up precious disk space on my Kobo Touch. When I first subscribed, it automatically stored a total of 15 issues (two weeks' back issues plus the current day). It is no longer deleting old issues, and I was up to about 23 stored issues before I realized and started manually deleting some off the device.
Without manually deleting any issues from my Kobo Touch, it is again doing the normal thing and only keeping a total of 15 issues, automatically deleting older issues.

Quote:
5- In addition to the 15 stored issues from 4- above, more back issues could be saved longer if I marked them as "Saved" in the iOS app. (Unfortunately there is no way to mark issues as Saved on the Kobo Touch directly.) The iOS app itself would only keep a maximum of TEN issues total, including any issues I marked as "Saved". But not even this works now, and marking issues as Saved does NOT have any effect on either the Kobo Touch or iOS app, beyond removing an issue from the Trash on the iOS device before it gets deleted.
I just tried to Save an issue on the iPhone, one that was about to be automatically deleted (Jan 26), which is also currently the oldest automatically saved issue on the Kobo Touch (ie. with tomorrow's update, also the next issue to be automatically deleted). After going in to the Trash folder, "Saving" it (ie. moving it out of the Trash), opening it to read, selecting "Save Issue" from the top menu, going back to the Library, and pulling down to refresh, the issue was still deleted and NOT saved in my Library for later reading.

Quote:
6- My subscription on the Kobo iPhone should be in only one folder. But it has been split into two separate pieces, one with issues up to Dec 4, and one with issues after Dec 4. Each folder has to be manually managed every time I sync. And when I manually delete an issue from one of those folders it needs to stay deleted! But they keep coming back every time I refresh. The oldest issue that keeps reappearing is from back in November!
This appears to be cured.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:23 AM   #13
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What the freaking hell? I tried syncing my Kobo Touch this morning, and my Toronto Star did not download. As today is one month past my last subscription date (Jan 20) I logged in to kobobooks.com to see whether my 5-day extension had been applied, and saw this instead:

Quote:
Date of Subscription:June 16, 2011
Billing: $16.00/month
Next Billing Date: N/A
Status: Cancelled
THEY CANCELLED MY SUBSCRIPTION WITHOUT TELLING ME!

I have PLENTY of funds in my Store Credit ($61.01), and the credit card attached to my account also has enough funds.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:00 AM   #14
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It is easiest way to stop only your subscription problem until it can be solved for everyone.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:09 AM   #15
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Day 2, the only response I've gotten from Kobo at all was an unofficial answer, a private message here on mobileread.com from SameerH: "That seems crazy. I'll have them look into it right away."
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