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Old 06-20-2014, 09:36 PM   #1
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Defective Aura - Kobo shipping replacement but not sending return shipping label???

So Kobo is sending me a replacement Aura but is refusing to pay return postage from the US for the defective unit. This is completely unacceptable! They sent me an item that is not fit for purpose and expect me to eat the return shipping? Anyone else had this experience? Anyone had them pay the return shipping or provide a label? This is complete f-ing BS.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:50 PM   #2
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Out of interest, did you buy the Kobo from Kobo, or from somewhere else? If from a local shop, I'd look for an exchange from them, not from Kobo. But I'm not sure what legal consumer protections you have over there, so it's worth taking that with a grain of salt.

If Kobo shipped it to you, try a different CSA, then escalate to kobohelp on twitter or to Executive Care.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meeera View Post
Out of interest, did you buy the Kobo from Kobo, or from somewhere else? If from a local shop, I'd look for an exchange from them, not from Kobo. But I'm not sure what legal consumer protections you have over there, so it's worth taking that with a grain of salt.

If Kobo shipped it to you, try a different CSA, then escalate to kobohelp on twitter or to Executive Care.
I bought it directly from Kobo.

What is 'Executive Care'? Thanks.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:38 PM   #4
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I just double checked, and I paid for returning mine. But mine was out of Kobo's warranty, though still under store warranty, and the store was going to replace it with a different brand. I'd originally reached out to Kobo to see if it was possible to repair myself (it had a software problem). So I thought Kobo was being generous when they offered to replace it (and they gave me a glo instead of the touch that I had, upgrade!).

So I didn't mind putting it in a small box with some bubble wrap and paying to ship it to a processing center nearby. It cost me about what a latte would. They'd gone above and beyond for me.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:28 AM   #5
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rayhigh,

No offense, but you'll probably live a lot longer if you stop sweating the little stuff. I think I paid under ten bucks to return my Glo with insurance... Would it have been nice if they paid for shipping both ways? Sure. OTOH, they replaced my Glo with what appeared to be a brand new unit, after the lighting died, with maybe only a week left in the one year warranty -with nary a quibble. Granted it was still in warranty, but a new unit and a less than $10 "rental fee" on a unit I'd used for almost a year seemed pretty accommodating to me...

Considering the "prorated" world we live in it seemed pretty decent to me despite having to answer a bunch of questions, take photos, etc. I guess perspective makes the difference. You really do have to decide to be happy in this life. Good luck.

Last edited by TechniSol; 06-21-2014 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:38 AM   #6
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Defective Aura - Kobo shipping replacement but not sending return shipping la...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TechniSol View Post
rayhigh,

No offense, but you'll probably live a lot longer if you stop sweating the little stuff. I think I paid under ten bucks to return my Glo with insurance... Would it have been nice if they paid for shipping both ways? Sure. OTOH, they replaced my Glo with what appeared to be a brand new unit, after the lighting died, with maybe only a week left in the one year warranty -with nary a quibble. Granted it was still in warranty, but a new unit and a less than $10 "rental fee" on a unit I'd used for almost a year seemed pretty accommodating to me...

Considering the "prorated" world we live in it seemed pretty decent to me despite having to answer a bunch of questions, take photos, etc. I guess perspective makes the difference. You really do have to decide to be happy in this life. Good luck.

Except this is brand new and arrived defective. Just arrived days ago. A completely different circumstance than days away from an expiring warranty.

So what if they keep sending me defective ones? At 10 bucks a pop pretty soon I'll have paid double.

If they don't give me satisfaction, I'll take It up with my credit card company. If that doesn't work, I'll keep after them night and day on social media and anywhere else I can think of.

I own four of their devices and I like them except for the defective one. If they want to piss off a loyal customer and make a stubborn enemy who will post crap about them 50 times a day from 20 different accounts on twitter and Facebook using automated scripts, so be it. I'm not a Kindle fan but whenever I've had a problem with anything I've bought from Amazon, Apple, or, for that matter, any other retailer large or small on the net, they have paid shipping. Kobo are acting like fourth rate, slimy salesmen with no regard for their customers. Nope, I'm not gonna take it lying down. Kobo will fail if this is how they treat their customers.

Oh, and of course the BBB has tons of complaints against Kobo: http://www.bbb.org/kitchener/busines...483/complaints Looks like I'll be adding one soon.

Last edited by rayhigh; 06-21-2014 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:20 AM   #7
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Creating automated scripts is not, in my opinion, the mature way to work through this process.

1) Contact them again and chat with them - calmly.

2) If there is no satisfaction from the first course (#1), then you may wish to send it back and contact your credit card company and get the sale removed and the money back in your account.

I totally agree with you that they have an ethical right to pay for this shipping.

My advice, however [again] is to calm down and challenge their behavior - and to be better than they are.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayhigh View Post
Except this is brand new and arrived defective. Just arrived days ago. A completely different circumstance than days away from an expiring warranty.

So what if they keep sending me defective ones? At 10 bucks a pop pretty soon I'll have paid double.

If they don't give me satisfaction, I'll take It up with my credit card company. If that doesn't work, I'll keep after them night and day on social media and anywhere else I can think of.

I own four of their devices and I like them except for the defective one. If they want to piss off a loyal customer and make a stubborn enemy who will post crap about them 50 times a day from 20 different accounts on twitter and Facebook using automated scripts, so be it. I'm not a Kindle fan but whenever I've had a problem with anything I've bought from Amazon, Apple, or, for that matter, any other retailer large or small on the net, they have paid shipping. Kobo are acting like fourth rate, slimy salesmen with no regard for their customers. Nope, I'm not gonna take it lying down. Kobo will fail if this is how they treat their customers.

Oh, and of course the BBB has tons of complaints against Kobo: http://www.bbb.org/kitchener/busines...483/complaints Looks like I'll be adding one soon.
I think attitude can affect the outcome here. Listening to the folks who have an easy time with Customer Support, we all seem to have a few things in common:

* not sweating the little things
* not getting our knickers in a twist easily. for instance: yes, they make you go through lots of form questions to get your answer. i just answered them and waited for the next set a day later. some people get really upset to not get a quick final answer.

i suspect you'll get faster, better results asking nicely rather than waging a war against Kobo. If you start screaming about how you'll switch to Kindle and Kobo's horrible, they'll probably be glad to see you go.

You have a valid point, that you should not pay for postage. When the new one arrives, then ask them for a prepaid label. Done. No muss, no fuss.

No reason to get emotional (or "pissed off" as you say) about it.
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:26 PM   #9
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Ray,

I hear you. But, again, consider the worth of your time before you allow yourself to get worked up, take the high road and contact them, inform them that they are going to pay for shipping as the item sent was also defective. Be nice to a fault, ask for contact information and infirm them that the script of the chat that they just sent out will be going to their VP Sales and VP Marketing as well as the Chairman of the Board. Do a little digging and you'll find a physical corporate address or email addresses, occasionally a phone call suffices.

One upon a time, in the days of yore and just after the MS-DOS era, we had a brand spanking new Panasonic Laser printer get killed less than a month out of warranty. Pan's local(a mere hour away by car) service told me we had to eat it.(Laser printers in those days were apparently made of unobtanium and cost in the neighborhood of $2K!) I wrote the VP Sales and Marketing & CEO, told them my problems and casually mentioned a copy of my letters would be posted in the "Letters to the Editor" sections of Byte, Compute, etc. if I received no reply within 14 days. Long story short, they sent a technician in from two states over and repaired the printer on premises. Carrot and the Stick. But, be a nice fellow and offer the carrot first. You always have to be cognizant of the fact that the average customer service rep reads from a script and can only operate within narrow constraints. Be nice, but go to the top if you can't get results.

Last edited by TechniSol; 06-21-2014 at 07:34 PM. Reason: damned auto-mistake, I spend more time correcting than typing!
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:39 PM   #10
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I took all of your advice, TechniSol, Dr. Drib, and dakini. Basically, I contacted: Kobo on Twitter, Kobo Executive Care via email, and Michael Tamblyn via Twitter. Michael tweeted me his email address, and we had a very pleasant exchange. A short while after our conversation, I got an email from Executive Care through Kobo support that they were waiving the return shipping fee in my case, told me I didn't need to bother returning the defective device, and that they were sending me a replacement unit free of charge. They also supplied me the tracking number on request, it has already shipped.

I am extremely impressed that Michael Tamblyn personally got back to me and took care of this. That shows a level of attention to detail/personal responsibility that is quite surprising coming from someone in his position.

In his email, Michael Tamblyn alluded to device returns being one of the most difficult things to get right in this business. I suspect, although he did not say this, that this is because of Kobo's lack of physical presence in the U.S., and the costs, therefore, incurred in shipping. As I said to him, I would love nothing more than for Rakuten/Kobo to establish a strong presence in the U.S. in order to more effectively go up against the ‘deathstar’ in Seattle.

In any case, I'm extremely pleased with the outcome, as it is well beyond the call of duty, and above and beyond what other retailers, even the deathstar, have done to make things right for me.

Hopefully, the replacement reader will be flawless. Gulp.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:00 PM   #11
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Excellent news! Let us know when the new one arrives.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:03 PM   #12
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Excellent news! Let us know when the new one arrives.
I will indeed, thanks.

Last time, I had to chase the postman all over town, because he delivered the reader to the wrong address - very nearly got kept by someone else, they'd already opened the parcel! If I hadn't been tracking it and hadn't known it was 'out for delivery' I'd never have gotten it.

The USPS isn't what it used to be....
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:26 PM   #13
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I took all of your advice, TechniSol, Dr. Drib, and dakini. Basically, I contacted: Kobo on Twitter, Kobo Executive Care via email, and Michael Tamblyn via Twitter.
(meeera <------ chopped liver)

Glad Kobo helped you out Enjoy your new device.
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:32 PM   #14
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Hmnn. I wonder if the shipping fee thing is due to your being in the US. I'm in Canada & in the process of returning my Aura HD. They're including a free return mailer by default; no pushing necessary.
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Old 07-04-2014, 04:44 PM   #15
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There's an interesting article on CNet called "Hate paying for return shipping? There's a subscription service for that"

The article mentions:
Quote:
His company checked the return polices of the top 100 Internet retailers (of which Amazon is at the top of the list) and found 62 percent require still customers to pay for returns.
So it seems that it isn't standard practise for all retailers to pay return shipping.
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