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Old 06-12-2009, 03:05 PM   #1
DojoPat
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"Cool-er" reader: no hands-on for potential customers

While checking out the website for the new Interead Cool-er, I noticed that their U.S. offices are in Manhattan, just a couple of blocks away from my own office.

So I sent a polite email explaining that I was a potential customer (which is true) and that I would like to see the device before purchasing. I asked if I could come over and try one "hands-on." (Principally I am interested in whether its size/weight compares favorably to the Sony 505 that I normally carry in my pocket.)

Their first response was an automatic "no." When I pointed out that perhaps there was a better way to respond to potential customers they said that the best they could do was to refer me to video reviews on the web like this one:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sciencean...for-books.html

Anyhow, all of this is just FYI. Maybe the Cool-er is a great product and Interead will turn out to be a great company. But they're not making it easy for customers to find out whether this is the case.
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
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OK, fighting to play devil's advocate here - I don't understand corporate think. But wasn't that kind of rude? Not you, them. (please excuse the bad grammar).

I get that it's New York, and I get that most businesses don't like people wandering around their buildings who don't actually work there. But refusing to let a potential customer get a hands on look at a product you're ready to release for purchase just doesn't make sense to me. It isn't like you just showed up and demanded to see the company president or something.
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:33 PM   #3
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odd

Yeah that is a bit odd. However I am not terribly surprised based on how companies that I have worked for in the past have treated employees and customers.

You would think they would have one of the readers at the front desk to show off to people who stop by and show off their product. But that might be too logical.


Amy
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:42 PM   #4
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Yes, even if they weren't going to invite me to their office or give me a review copy to take home, I had hoped they would let me know if there was a trade show or someplace I could go to actually see the device. I have no hard feelings, I just feel that they missed a marketing opportunity to demonstrate good customer service.
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:41 PM   #5
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Standing invitation

Dear ALL:

ANY MobileRead Forum members that live near San Jose, California and want to make an appointment for a hands on, on our devices... send me a private message and we will try to accomodate. We LIKE our forum members and we want to cooperate. Also, as I did last year, all are invited to our CES booth in Las Vegas to play all they want with the devices. I will send you a free guest pass.

I am not at war with the Cool-er... but I am trying to let you make your own decisions as educated as possible. The EZ Reader Pocket PRO comes in colors and has far more speed and finesse and lightness than any product out there.

One thing I will say: ONLY Astak is represented on this forum by a living and breathing person (we hope I am living and breathing anyway)! IF you want to get up close and personal with a manufacturer of eBook Readers, and courtesy matters to you, lets talk!
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:44 PM   #6
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My guess is there is a reason they don't want customers handling the product themselves, given the reviews it has been getting.

The Cooler looks nice but...
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:56 PM   #7
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I don't see any problem with this. An office is an office it's not a store. They can't just have people walking in off the street and playing with their devices. Why don't you ask them which retail outlets are selling their product so you can go try one out and tell them that you won't consider buying one unless you can play with it.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:23 PM   #8
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I don't see any problem with this. An office is an office it's not a store. They can't just have people walking in off the street and playing with their devices. Why don't you ask them which retail outlets are selling their product so you can go try one out and tell them that you won't consider buying one unless you can play with it.
Marketing is Marketing, regardless of the location. As far as I can see, If I had a product that I wanted to sell to the public, you can bet I would not decline a potential client from a hands-on.

You'd get a non-biased view, a point of view that is not on any agenda or hidden agenda from anyone at the company. Also, perhaps you'd get some much-needed feedback as well. Not to mention word-of-mouth/forum chat.

It's COOLers mistake here.
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:20 PM   #9
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With the 505 and other more feature-rich readers now hitting the $199 price point, the low-cost appeal of the Cool-er is about to fade away before it even hits the market.

I wonder if it might end up another one of those products that gets discontinued before it's even properly rolled out. What's the hold up?
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:33 AM   #10
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With the 505 [snip] now hitting the $199 price point, the low-cost appeal of the Cool-er is about to fade away before it even hits the market.
Price is irrelevant if stock only lasts a single day and once they're sold out they're sold out (yes I'm bitter)
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:09 PM   #11
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C'mon man, be realistic. It's a corporate office, not a showroom floor.
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:15 PM   #12
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I work for a publisher. And they have all the books they make on show in the foyer of the building. Especially the big atlas that came out this winter.

If it's something you're proud of, you'll put it on show and want people to look at it...
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:03 PM   #13
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I work for a publisher. And they have all the books they make on show in the foyer of the building. Especially the big atlas that came out this winter.

If it's something you're proud of, you'll put it on show and want people to look at it...
Ditto. it seemed like a reasonable request. their product does not have a store front, most offices I have been at are very open places.

but I can see it from both sides as well. but we all know the cool-er is gonna suck. and its hardly gonna sell at all.
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:40 PM   #14
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For a start I suspect they don't have any to show right now. The impression I get is that they're waiting on the first full production batch from Netronix - and until that arrives the models that we've seen in reviews all appear to have been running pre-production firmware. Secondly it wouldn't be surprising if they've had more than a few people ringing up offering to 'review' the product. If you were in the PR circuit, and spoke to the right person it'd be far more likely you'd get to see it, but if you tried rining up the main switchboard of Dell and asked to have a go on one of their laptops, they'd probably point you to a showroom. As Interead have barely set up, expecting them to be geared up for demonstrations is a bit optimistic.

That said - it does seem that this is a very small company trying to launch itself in a big global marketplace. They could be seriously overreaching themselves putting out a new website, publisher deals, retail agreements and a consumer device all at the same time. There's a slight element of buyer beware, but as the Cool-ER is essentially a slight upgrade of the Cybook at a lower price, even if the company fails the reader should be perfectly up to doing the job it's sold for.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:48 PM   #15
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Not every company runs around shooting their mouth off about their product before it even works or in turn hammering the competition at every turn. Even to the point of spreading LIES/FUD/MISINFORMATION about the competition publicly then having to retract the statements as the lies they were. Rather some companies value controlled release of information and only to really push when they have a tangible product ready. Plus most also value the image they present to the public more, apparently, than others.

Then again a flat NO might be , oh, heck is IS, rude of them...still, it's sort funny if you think about it really. But, given the NYT's review of the device, can you blame them? Perhaps that was also a case of some marketing wonk, overstepping their job description, handing out the sample before it was ready.

I also think this fall will be the year of the $150 (maybe even less) dedicated 5" basic pocket reading device as well the movement toward alternatives to eink which bring a 10" reader to the $250ish price point with ease.

I just have a sense the makers of the Cool-er are a tad skiddish. And really, right now it seems high priced compared to others.
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