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Old 07-17-2014, 12:50 AM   #1
bvz
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Avoid Kobo

I just purchased over $200 worth of e-books on kobo to download to my sony ereader.

Now, on my Mac (after updating to the latest version of both the desktop software and the latest firmware for my reader) I cannot download any of my books. It just says "error".

But when I try to contact Kobo, they ONLY have an email form you can fill out (with a 48-60 hour return email policy). No phone number. No live chat. Nothing. I managed to find a single phone number on the web (and I really had to search hard) on which there is a recording that says "We have improved our help! Go to Kobo.com and we look forward to hearing from you!"

Now isn't that just special.

I am leaving tomorrow morning for a 3 week trip and it looks like I just wasted $200 on these shysters. My job has been a nightmare for the past two months. I have been working over 75 hours a week. The only thing I have been looking forward to is a nice long vacation during which I can sit and read for hours on end. Now... Well it looks like I'm not going to be able to do that. Thanks Kobo. You guys are the best!

So here is my recommendation. When looking to buy a new ereader I would strongly suggest avoiding any company that thinks 48-60 hour turn around customer support for a technical device or service is actually "customer support". My recommendation is to avoid Kobo.

Edit: Finally managed to get the books to download directly to the device after powering it down several times (4 cycles). Still can't download to my desktop.

Honestly, their software is terrible and customer support - as noted - beyond the pale. The only good thing they have going is allowing me to buy from a local bookstore, but even there it is only marginal at best. I spoke with the owner of my local book store and they say they barely get anything when I buy from Kobo through them. Really doesn't seem worth the effort.

Last edited by bvz; 07-17-2014 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:57 AM   #2
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This forum is about which devices people should buy, not what ebook vendor they should use.

I'm trying to wild-arse guess what you're trying to do, and my assumption, based on reading between the lines, is that the books you've tried have an ADE download option available. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

If you want help with this problem, I suggest posting a proper thread asking for help, and including all the apps and software versions you've got, the exact steps you have tried, and the exact errors. I have no problem downloading Kobo ADE DRM epubs with my Mac and Adobe Digital Editions, so it's not an across-the-board problem. (You don't need the Kobo Desktop software at all, by the way, in case that's the software you've been trying.)

What country do you live in? Phone and live chat support is generally available as an option, but the support here is usually better for general questions that don't require the company's direct input.

Last edited by meeera; 07-17-2014 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:25 AM   #3
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Phone and live chat support is generally available as an option, but the support here is usually better for general questions that don't require the company's direct input.
I've got a feeling that Kobo Support simply has no idea how to handle Sony Reader issues. About three weeks ago I emailed support about a problem I'm having with Kobo Market on the T2. I was just trying out the Kobo market, so downloaded a couple free books and a few samples (just more or less at random, specifically looking for ones with DRM). When I went to delete these books, they would NOT leave my Purchased Content shelf on the T2. They're still there. I've deleted them online in my library -- and then I "permanently" deleted them. They no longer show up online, but they're still on my Reader. If I try to "repurchase" them online, I get the message to go to the book (or something like that). Since they're not online, I don't go anywhere. But I can re-download them and delete them forever on my T2. So it's definitely a syncing glitch.

(Sorry, got off the track a bit). At any rate, I emailed Kobo support about three or four weeks ago about this. Not a single peep from them. So, I'm guessing, my email went down some dark hole never to be discovered in my lifetime. That's my support experience with Kobo so far. As I said, I doubt Kobo's support team is trained to deal with Sony Reader issues. At this point Kobo is definitely not my "go to" choice for buying books for the Sony. I'm guessing Kobo device support is much better.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:14 AM   #4
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If these books have an ADE DRM epub download option, there's no obvious reason the OP wouldn't be able to grab them with ADE, strip them, and load them onto their PRS-T1 with Calibre, if they can't get anything else working in the limited timeframe. Kobo Desktop software is not required, and nor is Sony Reader software, though we still have no idea what the OP has actually tried.

But it appears at this stage that they didn't actually come here to ask for help, so.... *shrug*. I hope they enjoy their rage more than they would have enjoyed their books. Plenty of people here would have helped, given half a chance; that's been my experience of mobileread, anyhow.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:29 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by bvz View Post
But when I try to contact Kobo, they ONLY have an email form you can fill out (with a 48-60 hour return email policy). No phone number. No live chat. Nothing.
You can try that Live Assistance
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:26 AM   #6
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So because you had one bad experience, kobo is crap? Ah !

use Adobe digital edition rather than kobo desktop.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:10 AM   #7
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I am not clear how you bought the books.

Did you purchase the books through your sony reader or through the kobo webiste?

How are you downloading the books? Is it through the Kobo desktop or on the website?

If you live in North America you can try and contact Kobo with these methods:
Phone: 1-855-732-3662
E-Mail: help@kobobooks.com

Last edited by RZetlin; 07-17-2014 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:02 AM   #8
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I had something similar happen yesterday - bought a book and lo and behold, there was no "download" button. Went to their Help page and decided to send them an e-mail rather than try to deal with the local (French language) service by phone. (I buy my books in English, so I want my customer service in English, too.)

Sent them an e-mail (to their French customer service address) late yesterday, and had a reply back this morning. Turns out the book I wanted was only available with that ADE3 DRM stuff, so could only be downloaded to a "Kobo device." OK, it would have been nice had this been noted on the website, but their explanation was perfectly fine.

I asked them to cancel the sale, and they came back (within the hour) to ask if I wanted it credited directly to my credit card or as a credit to my Kobo account. Despite my "disappointment" about the ADE3 protection, the whole thing was resolved quite nicely in well under 24 hours. I've got no complaint about their customer service - and I expect they have no control over which flavor of DRM the publisher chooses to use.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:49 PM   #9
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Unfortunately I don't know of any way of telling in advance of buying a book whether it's a normal ePub, or a Kobo-only kepub. Not a problem if you have a Kobo device, but definitely so if you're buying to transfer to another reader or format.
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:42 PM   #10
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I agree that Kobo customer support still isn't up to par. They've been like that for a long time and it's a shame. Maybe Amazon has spoiled me to a point, but it does take Kobo forever and a day to get back to a customer having issues.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:42 PM   #11
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You do not use Kobo Desktop with a Sony Reader. That's your first mistake. Your second mistake is that you are not using ADE to download the ACSM files. If you have ADE and your T1 registered to the same account, you can download all of the ACSM files via ADE and once ADE downloads the ePub, you can then transfer the ePub to your T1. If your T1 is not registered to the same account as ADE, then you cannot view any of the DRMed ePub on your T1 without first stripping the DRM.

The problem here is that you are not doing the proper steps needed to get these eBooks onto your T1.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:43 PM   #12
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Unfortunately I don't know of any way of telling in advance of buying a book whether it's a normal ePub, or a Kobo-only kepub. Not a problem if you have a Kobo device, but definitely so if you're buying to transfer to another reader or format.
From what I've read, if the listing shows it's compatible with Blackberry, then it is a true ePub and not a kepub. So yes, it's very easy to tell if you know this little trick.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:55 PM   #13
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From what I've read, if the listing shows it's compatible with Blackberry, then it is a true ePub and not a kepub. So yes, it's very easy to tell if you know this little trick.
Nope, when it shows Blackberry it's Adobe DRM and when it doesn't it's drm-free. I just checked the last 2 pages of my kobo library and that holds up. When there's nothing in the Read this On it's a PDF. I've (fortunately) yet to encounter a kepub, but I believe I've read here that there's no way to tell in advance unless you do a Save Preview.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:34 AM   #14
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Wow. Just got off the plane and saw all of these replies. Thanks to all who chimed in. No doubt I will be able to (eventually) resolve the issue with your suggestions. I really appreciate it.

My point in the original post is not to argue that there shouldn't be technical issues (though both my wife and I have plenty ever since kobo bought the Sony business).

The point was to warn people that if you live the United States and run into a problem using a kobo (or a Sony tied to kobo) that you have only one support option and that it is SLOW.

The second point is that the kobo interface is needlessly complicated. I have no idea what drm format each individual book is in and frankly I shouldn't have to. I'm using the latest version of the software they provide. It should just work or they need to spend a little time deciding just what exactly they think their user experience model is supposed to be. No doubt there are ways to solve the issues i am having (and again, thanks to all of your amazing replies and help). But this level of technical fiddling just adds to the problem of there not being adequate technical support.

So I stand by my original post (even though it was written in the heat of anger and now I wished I had tempered myself a bit). Based on personal experiences of both my wife and myself, I would avoid any device that uses the kobo store as a back end.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:41 AM   #15
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The point was to warn people that if you live the United States and run into a problem using a kobo (or a Sony tied to kobo) that you have only one support option and that it is SLOW.
I contacted customer support through their website a couple of weeks ago and got a call-back within 2-hours. It wasn't the 5-minutes they promised on the support form, but it certainly wasn't "SLOW", either.
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