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Old 10-13-2010, 07:42 PM   #1
mamasue
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Isn't it interesting ....

... how few Kobos are for sale on eBay.

I have just searched 4 diff ebay sites and could find only 3 Kobos offered,

Heaps & heaps of Kobo accessories, but very few readers.

I wonder why this is, given that many people seem to have given up on them ...
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:00 PM   #2
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What makes you say many people have given up on them?
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:19 PM   #3
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What makes you say many people have given up on them?
"many" might have been too strong a word perhaps ... but from the reading I have done ... which is A LOT ... I know there are people all over the world who are frustrated with their Kobo readers and have stated they were going to sell them in order to 'up-grade' to a different brand.

perhaps those people on-sold their Kobos privately.

in the space of 2 hours recently, I spoke with 8 people F2F in a Borders store who had come in to buy the Sony because they were 'fed up' with their Kobos.

just sayin' ...
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:46 PM   #4
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After having to put up with several years of complete indifference by Sony, who not only couldn't be bothered to sell their ereaders in Australia but also couldn't be bothered to even give their local staff any information about their product, I'll stick with my Kobo thanks. It might be slow but at least I know the service and help is there. And I won't be greeted with "What?" and "I dunno???" when I ask sales staff for information.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:13 PM   #5
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"many" might have been too strong a word perhaps ... but from the reading I have done ... which is A LOT ... I know there are people all over the world who are frustrated with their Kobo readers and have stated they were going to sell them in order to 'up-grade' to a different brand.

just sayin' ...
I find that surprising also.

There has been a lot of people with issues but a lot of those had those issues sorted with a replacement device or with a firmware upgrade.

I have a Sony reader, albeit an older PRS-300. It was the first true ereader I purchased and it is a wonderful device. However that will not prompt me to purchase the new Sony reader to replace my Kobo. At $299, it would need a lot of justification to replace the Kobo which is working very well for me.

If though, my Kobo does curl up its toes I "might" consider a Sony PRS-650, but then there is that $300 price tag.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:26 PM   #6
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"many" might have been too strong a word perhaps ... but from the reading I have done ... which is A LOT ... I know there are people all over the world who are frustrated with their Kobo readers and have stated they were going to sell them in order to 'up-grade' to a different brand.
My assumption is that the majority of people who post in forums such as these comment the most when they have problems and are looking for help or commiseration. The ones without problems post less.

It's interesting lurking on Kobo's FB page, and I'm guessing maybe you have too. There's reactions of gushing and of hate, with some demands from the latter for some sort of rebate or trade-in scheme for early adopters. I can understand frustration with Kobo's customer support, not so much the 'early adopters got screwed!' mentality.

Quote:
in the space of 2 hours recently, I spoke with 8 people F2F in a Borders store who had come in to buy the Sony because they were 'fed up' with their Kobos.
Huh. Now this surprises me. Perhaps they had buggy Kobos and thought a more established brand name would be more reliable? For somebody who wants a basic ereader, $120 is a big difference to buy the equivalent 6" Sony model, unless they're content to to get the 5".

In response to the OP, I did think about selling my Kobo on eBay, but didn't because I like Kobo and want to see what the company does with future firmware updates, it's still a perfectly usable ereader (I got my 350 to meet very specific needs), and I'm a gadget geek. I'm content to let my family use the Kobo, and they seem to like it a lot.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:12 PM   #7
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Perhaps they had buggy Kobos and thought a more established brand name would be more reliable?
after speaking with them, this would more than likely be the case I think. I was able to inform them about the .4 upgrade and direct them to this site, so maybe they will give their Kobos a 2nd chance.
I was surprised that these people hadn't gone looking for help online, but this topic & 'mind set' has been discussed in another thread.
I sure was glad that I could help them though

The Borders I was in sells the Kobo for $AUD179 .. which is what prompted me to check ebay sites .. just to see how many Kobos were on offer & at what prices. I was a bit surprised by the lack of them TBH.

Yes, I found the FB group when I first started reading and researching Kobo .. and a lot of the members there were stating they intended to sell their Kobos.
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:46 AM   #8
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What I have also noted on FB is the same people go onto multiple threads with the same expressions of hatred and disgust for the reader and the company. When their problems are solved by updating to the newer desktop or firmware versions or action on the part of the help department at Kobo their vitriolic messages remain there without information about how their problems were solved or that their Kobos were no longer broken/defective/unaccepatable.

The Kobo partners in Australia seem to have done an amazingly bad job supporting Kobo users there. If people in Oz don't know that there is new desktop software or that an update to 1.4 is available, I can only assume it is because Borders there has chosen not to tell their customers about it or that they have, but some users of Kobo readers there are so unused to technology that they do not know that updating is an accepted and expected part of technology ownership and maintenance.

Last edited by taming; 10-14-2010 at 02:54 AM. Reason: added shtuff
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:57 AM   #9
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The Kobo partners in Australia seem to have done an amazingly bad job supporting Kobo users there.
I think the Borders Aust and A&R have not received much training in relation to the product they are selling.

None of the Borders Aust I contacted knew about the .4 upgrade, but they were very helpful & I received excellent customer care.
However, I was not able to get them to understand I was NOT talking about returning my Kobo to its factory settings.

Most of them were not able to tell me if their in-stock Kobos were 1.0 or 1.4 - they were not aware of the difference. My knowledge, as limited as it is, was far superior to that of the people who are selling the product. Wrong way about IMO. Customers need to be informed, but so should sellers!

I had email conversations with CEO of Kobo; as well as the Manager of Customer Care. They both tried to help as much as they could over the 1000s of miles and answered my questions in a timely manner.

I made some negative comments in the FB group, but they were meant as constructive criticisms.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:04 AM   #10
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Problems like this are easier to handle with internet connection and
a bit of search. Some work has to be put into the jar however. Time,
effort... "No pressure, no diamonds."
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:12 AM   #11
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The Australian operation is one of the owners of the Kobo company. From what I can tell the various world-wide partners run their own show when it comes to training people and how they provide local customer support.

A lot of the remarks on FB cannot in any way be seen as constructive criticism. Not yours, necessarily, but review the discussion board and you will see what I mean. I know of at least a half dozen people who did things like complain in various somewhat odd places but never actually open a help ticket or who got in their particular pickle because they searched darknet and decided to load 150 books of unknown provenance onto their Kobos at one time or who complain over and over again about a problem that was solved several months ago by the update to the firmware or desktop software.

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Old 10-14-2010, 03:23 AM   #12
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The Kobo partners in Australia seem to have done an amazingly bad job supporting Kobo users there. If people in Oz don't know that there is new desktop software or that an update to 1.4 is available, I can only assume it is because Borders there has chosen not to tell their customers about it or that they have, but some users of Kobo readers there are so unused to technology that they do not know that updating is an accepted and expected part of technology ownership and maintenance.
I would again have to disagree a tad there. Paul from Borders has been an active participant within the Whirlpool Kobo thread and supplied me the links to the firmware upgrade stickied here.

He has been one of the more helpful and in touch representatives for Aussie Kobo owners.

You are correct though in regards to Aussie Kobo owners not knowing more readily about firmware and software updates. The issue though, was that the USB update was problematic and Aussies were not offered locally SD card updates. Paul from Borders provided links after I suggested it was a good idea to make them available, but he was the only company representative I was aware of, that participated in the very busy Whirlpool forum thread.

for those wanting a ready made SD card, the only recourse was contacting Kobo in Canada. I went down that path and though it took a while, received an SD card from them via Fedex.

Perhaps Kobo need to set up a technical support team here that works with both Borders and A&R. With a similar ethos and setup to the parent body, it would certainly streamline issues that arise.

To be fair, staff in bookshops sell books not ebooks and ereaders. The introduction of the Kobo ereader in local brick and mortar bookshops meant a much wider availability to those who had little or no exposure to the technical aspects of ereaders. Hence the problems begun. A learning curve for all involved.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:44 AM   #13
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I have no idea what the partnership agreement is amongst the various players. I am assuming that everyone involved has learned valuable lessons regarding customer support and the cost of that part of doing business. It may be that Kobo provides training to Borders tech support and they are then on their own when it comes to getting information out to the stores. Who knows, there may already be a Kobo team on the ground in Australia already (though what they actually do there is another issue, one spelled out in the agreement they have with each other, no doubt).

I am pretty sure though that there is not a Chapters store in Canada that does not know about the 1.4 update, so something appears not not to be working well in Australia. Chapters-Indigo owns 58% of Kobo so the relationship between Kobo and chapters and Kobo and Borders AU is probably quite a bit different.

It must be a fine line to walk. I imagine that Borders really wants people in AU to buy e-books from them, rather than the "mother ship" so having Kobo itself keep a relatively low profile there may be viewed as a good thing.

PS: Good for Paul! I imagine he is a bit like Sameer

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Old 10-14-2010, 08:30 AM   #14
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I am pretty sure though that there is not a Chapters store in Canada that does not know about the 1.4 update, so something appears not not to be working well in Australia. Chapters-Indigo owns 58% of Kobo so the relationship between Kobo and chapters and Kobo and Borders AU is probably quite a bit different.

It must be a fine line to walk. I imagine that Borders really wants people in AU to buy e-books from them, rather than the "mother ship" so having Kobo itself keep a relatively low profile there may be viewed as a good thing.
(I am not a Kobo owner btw) but I don't think what you are saying is inherently specific to the Kobo. I personally feel that here in Australia we lack any real great knowledge from sales staff in a retail presence. At rare times you tend to come across someone who really knows their stuff (usually in the smaller privately owned stores) but generally they are pretty poor. I recall when I bought my last laptop from a retail chain that are apparently experts in computers and technology. I had one simple question I asked about a particular laptop "how many cells is the battery?" Simple question in my view. The answer, "Oh you will get 2-3 hours of battery life".

Now in my view an expert would know "oh it's 3-cell, 6-cell....whatever". Part of it would be happening with the Kobo, it is there in retails stores but the sales people are really not that interested in it. I imagine part of it could also be that some A&R stores are privately owned franchisees who may fear once you buy an ereader you'll be buying your books online and they miss out on future sales (ebooks are bought straight from A&R, AFAIK no percentage of the sale goes to the local A&R store).

In my view Kobo would be better off fixing the firmware to allow the reader to update from a fat32 formatted SD card. Save them the hassle of trying to get all retails stores in Australia competent to perform SD card updates on peoples units, instead people could just use any SD card they have and do it themselves.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:03 AM   #15
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Here it seems that most folks were able to download and install the update just fine--but for those who could not (and on one of my Kobos this was true), the store flash did the trick. From what I have read, future updates are expected to be much, much less problematic. I guess time will tell...

I am not sure if the flavor of Linux Kobo uses is compatible with FAT32. Maybe one of the Linux gurus here can tell us a bit about that.
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