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Old 10-28-2011, 10:22 AM   #1
Lordvic
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Thumbs down Yet another Tech support frustration thread

Yes, Another of these.

I"m a kobo fan. I love supporting the local company, and I LOVE my Wi-Fi reader. I've recommended it to several people, who have all bought them and love them. I love the design and the social direction they're going, and the fact they're not afraid to go head to head with the big boys (BN and Amazon). In fact, their global perspective is winning them huge favours since the Amazon and B&N devices are for the most part, not easily available outside America

But here's my problem. Maybe they've gone to big too fast, But the technical support stinks. It's terrible. The more and more I look around, read, and research, the more and more I see a glaring omission in their business. There is great strides taken by them to sell and improve the quality of their software and device, But there is little growth in their support to match the sales.

As i mentioned elsewhere, My Kobo died. Like many, I suffered the screen issue. The device is completely unusable. This itself doesn't bother me so much. I'm a techno junky and have been in IT support for most of my adult life and i realize that technology is fickle and sensitive with failures

But being in support, dealing with downtime, dealing with customers and understanding their frustration, I'm finding the way kobo deals with tickets to be extremely lacking. I submitted a ticket almost immediately via Email. I immediately received a response in the form of an automated reply message. There was no acknowledgement that some living person has read it. Right away, this didn't impress me. Not getting a live person for first response feels cheap and makes me feel like the issue isn't important.

Then I read the message.
"Your question has been received and you can anticipate a response within 24-48 hours."

Wait a second. my device is broken. I cannot use something i paid for due to a possible manufacturing issue, and you're telling me I wont even get a live response from a human being to acknowledge the issue in up to 2 full days? Hello? My device is broken now. If you're backlogged 2+ days in technical support issues, you have a problem. Either too many devices are faulty, or your staff is completely incapable of handling the workload.

I have now hit nearly 48 hours later. I have emailed again with no response. I have posted on their facebook support page, no response. I haven't called yet cause I'm sitting in the office and can't make a call just yet. But this for a company who wants to go head to head with Amazon, isn't winning them any favours.

Now with the release of the VOX, i hesitate to buy. I was gung ho at first. the device itself looks absolutely fantastic. But why would I buy a device from Kobo, when I'm not even sure I'll get timely response if something happens?

I loved my Kobo, I wish it still worked right now. I read 3-5 hours a day, 2 of which i'm trapped on the GO Train to and from work everyday, but I can't help but feel like Kobo itself just doesn't care enough.

TLDR version: I just ranted about customer service taking days to respond to initial tickets and perhaps Kobo's tech support is severely understaff (hey, hire me, i'd be more than happy to work Kobo!)

Last edited by Lordvic; 10-28-2011 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:19 AM   #2
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Look, I understand that your Kobo is dead, and it's annoying that you can't get a response from Kobo tech support right away. Hey, I would be annoyed if my Kobo died too. But honestly, I don't think the response from Kobo is unreasonable. If the device is just plain dead, then talking some first-line telephone answerer with 2 days training and a script is not going to help you feel better. Quite the contrary! What you need is an RMA. It's not going to be repaired or replaced quickly, it's going to take a couple of weeks probably, so a 48 hour delay to get a useful initial response is not unreasonable. I wouldn't want Kobo to waste money keeping support staff sitting around to answer the phone or email right away just to make people feel better. You said it hasn't been 48 hours quite yet, so give them a chance. Complain tomorrow!
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
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Yeah, it's a bit slow to get a response from them. Every additional comment you add will take a few days to get an answer (I.E yes I've tried a factory reset, two days later you'll get your reply)
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:03 PM   #4
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For me it took about 3 1/2 weeks from the time I submitted my request until the time I received my device back.
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:06 PM   #5
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wow. almost a month. Sorry to hear that Terminator.
based on this support so far, I've decided to not buy a Kobo Vox. at least not right now. I understand that with shipping a device, RMA time, and shipping back it might take a week, maybe 2 weeks (i've worked in an RMA department before and know how they sort of operate).

But if their own tech support takes days to just respond, I'm not confident that if i ever had an issue with the Vox, they'd handle it. As i mentioned, I come from the tech sector. I've done IT support as a net admin, and this sort of respond and turn around time would have gotten me fired. There's a serious issue with Kobo if this is the average service level they're providing.

if i don't hear from them by 3:30ish, I think i might take a walk over to their offices and see if I can get a response that way

(We're now at 44 hours since the ticket # was issued)
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:40 PM   #6
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i just ended up calling ... and they were quite prompt in answering and sending the email back.

however, i did what they asked (picture of defect, and copy of receipt) - and it has been 7 days and not so much as a "hey, we got your email" response. i'm about to call them back again.

and being a long time IT support guy myself, i must say, this is HORRIBLE customer service. personally, i was all for Kobo a year ago when i bought one for my wife. now, after trying to get mom's fixed, i'm glad i got a nook.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:59 PM   #7
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OK. i just called again, and they are now processing the RMA, literally 7 days and 1 hour later. I'm not sure that they would have ever replied, had i not called.

so, get the email with your case/ticket number, and call them.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:16 AM   #8
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They pretty much will replace your Kobo no Matter what happened, I've heard of people who sat on there screens and Kobo replaced it.

Last edited by The Terminator; 10-29-2011 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:02 AM   #9
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technical support what support KOBO bailed on Australia when Borders went belly up - now no phone support unless you ring during business hours - oh I forgot, Canadian business hours and what are they?
The automated phone system happily took my call and the machine announced and hung up
Now I am left hanging for up to 48 hours, probably longer with the weekend for what should be an answer to a very simple question - why can't I change my email address?
Why do KOBO problems always turn into great whopping incidents - BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO TECHNICAL SUPPORT - thank god most things wrong with a KOBO can be fixed with a paper clip
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:37 AM   #10
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after i was told on the phone that i would have an RMA confirmation email within 10 minutes, i felt better.

now, 18 hours later, no email ... i am giving up on Kobo. apparently the little guy isn't ready for the big party. Mom has already bought a $89 nook and uSD card. this Kobo is now her backup ... and she reads straight off her laptop at home, using Calibre's built in viewer. If we get it replaced, ok ... if not, screw em.

if anything happens to the wife's kobo, i'm washing my hands and getting her a nook.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lordvic View Post
wow. almost a month. Sorry to hear that Terminator.
That's not unreasonable. He lives in Canada, on Vancouver Island. If you live in the U.S. you are probably accustomed to packages going back and forth in about 2 days. Here we routinely expect 7-10 days.

I totally agree that it's bad customer service not to respond to support email with 24 hours, or to stall an RMA instead of processing it the same day. It happens (even in my own company), but it's never acceptable performance.

Last edited by FJames; 10-29-2011 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:51 PM   #12
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Being on Vancouver Island isn't that much different from Vancouver, it only took one extra day to get from Vancouver to North Vancouver Island. Plus they shipped it out with UPS instead of Purolator which delivers through Canada post, so UPS had to transfer it to Purolator in Nanaimo.

So for Canada Purolator seems superior, my last RMA kit only took 3 days to get from Ontario to my door with Purolator.
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:16 PM   #13
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These ongoing poor CS/TS feedback posts arn't good. I'm ok that things can take time (replies, repairs etc.), but not meeting the timelines expressed in your replies is just really bad, and really first response should be a lot quicker. More than 24hrs is just not good enough in my book. I'm curious where are the CS/TS operations based? are they outsourced offshore, or does Kobo have an inhouse support team in Canada?
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:25 PM   #14
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I'm guessing that it's in Canada because no one I talked to on the phone had an accent.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:43 AM   #15
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KOBo is technically a Toronto based company and as far as I know their tech support is there.
KOBO are supposed to be made in Singapore
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