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Old 08-10-2010, 06:14 PM   #16
JSWolf
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So what's the real reason Robert is no longer there?
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jenifer.ezread View Post
I'm sorry to hear you've recently had problems contacting Astak support. Please send a message to support@astak.com and I will personally make sure our tech team responds to your Pocket Pro issues.
Well, if you followed the forums as closely as you imply you do (and which Robert most assuredly did), You would already know what I'm talking about.

On Friday, Jul 30, at the start of my vacation, I awoke to find my PPro screen acting pretty weird. I searched for similar problems on the forum, did all the tests mentioned (reset, repower, pull the battery, reinstall the FW), and even posted a picture of the screen. Then I noticed a little indent in the screen and realized most of the pattern in that area did, indeed, look somewhat like a shattered window. Apparently it was somehow bent between the evening before and the A.M. when I turned it on.

Okay, problem figured out, so I called the "support" number and left a message at 11am asking for help. I noted the Astak address on the website was in San Jose, mere miles and minutes from my location, and since I was to be in San Jose on Saturday, I called the second number inquiring whether Astak might be open on Saturday.

By late afternoon, I finally discovered the "support" email hidden away at the bottom of the FAQ page with no link to it. (Yes, I did notice later that the email address is at the bottom of all the web pages).

By then, it had been 6 hours since my first call to "support" with no response. I noted in the email that in order to send the unit in for repair, I needed an RMA, but had been waiting for 6 hours for a response giving me that RMA, or an answer on the Saturday question.

Despite TheDucks having indicated they might not be open on Saturday, I went ahead and stopped by to confirm it.

On TUESDAY I finally received an email from Astak "support" listing a bunch of excuses -- but not providing any information whatsoever what my next step is. My response was answered politely by Elliott telling me to call or respond to the email, as was my response to him. This was over a period of days because I was in Yosemite National park with a wifi connect not much better than 56k.

Being on vacation, I abandoned the whole mess, until I got home late Friday night (Aug 6) so I got to wait until Monday to call. At that time, Elliot asked me to send an email with my contact info so he could issue an RMA. Wow, I was sooooo thrilled. Why couldn't that request been emailed to me in the first place so I could have sent the unit in a LOT earlier?

NOT what I would call good service.

But I'll tell you one thing: The main reason I didn't buy a nook on the way home thru Oregon (saving $15 tax) is because of Robert. Robert has been an enthusiastic advocate of Astak on this forum, and I was perfectly willing to pay the extra to replace the PPro with a Plus to help hold of the elephants in the room for a little longer.

Quote:
Robert's silence on the forums is likely due to the personal time he is taking at the moment. His retirement is a very personal issue, and was discussed thoughtfully and at great length with our bosses, I am sure.
Perhaps. But I don't think there is a person on this forum that believes Robert wouldn't have already given us at least a hint he was considering "retirement" so we'd be prepared for the change if he made the decision.

While one might take an extended leave of absence to recover from surgery, "retirement" seems a bit of a reach.

Quote:
The new EZ Read "Plus" is actually available for sale right now at www.astak.com. You were right, Robert did have the facts wrong: the device is actually available now.
Well, it may be available, but your website must be as bad as your support, because I don't see it listed anywhere either on www.astak.com or www.ezreader.com.

Yes, I see it is there in a banner, if the customer knows to wait around for the banner to appear. Wow, that sure makes Robert look bad. And the lower price makes him look a like big fat liar, so I guess we should all be glad he's gone, what with all these errors on the side of caution that kept people from buying a nook on the way home thru Oregon.

Quote:
I am sorry to hear you'd like to take your business elsewhere in the absence of Robert.
It's not the absence of Robert. Its the silence of Robert.

I wouldn't be surprised to find that after it was "discussed thoughtfully and at great length with our bosses" it also included a boot full of money with a gag order tied to the laces.

Robert had already indicated we would be seeing you on the forums more. Would have been better if you and he had been posting simultaneously before he "retired" so it would look more like a transition than what it appears.

Tell you what. I was actually going to wait to see how many weeks it would take your "support" to send back a refurbished PPro and claim they had actually replaced the screen before I ordered a Plus, anyway.

My PPro went in the mail yesterday. How about you give me $50 credit toward a (Black) Plus and you keep the PPro with its broken screen and peeling paint.

Took me 8 months to break the PPro, so that should give us time to see if you can really replace Robert in the forums.

Last edited by eGeezer; 08-10-2010 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:25 PM   #18
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Jenifer, are you the Renegade Intern?
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenifer.ezread View Post
.....I do believe our whole team shares the same values and desire to help and communicate with our customers.....



Sorry. Just speaking from recent experience. I'll shut up now.



Oops. Slipped out.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:35 PM   #20
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Jenifer, are you the Renegade Intern?
Yes, that is true!
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:48 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by eGeezer View Post

Despite TheDucks having indicated they might not be open on Saturday, I went ahead and stopped by to confirm it.
To clarify, our office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

Quote:
On TUESDAY I finally received an email from Astak "support" listing a bunch of excuses -- but not providing any information whatsoever what my next step is.
Can you please forward me the email you received from Elliot to my address, jenifera@ezread.com?
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:10 PM   #22
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Well bugger me, Robert has retired. So damn sorry to hear that, he really made this forum the great place it is. Hope he drops by for a visit from time to time to say g'day.

eGeezer, I've been reading with deep interest in your dilemma, and I know their emails go unanswered regarding the ereaders (can't count the number I have sent with no response, though Robert would respond to a PM within 24 hours - damn happy with that). If you are reading this Jennifer perhaps Astak should setup a support email address for the ereaders so they don't get lost in the system amongst all other support issues.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:20 PM   #23
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To clarify, our office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.
Might want to have someone put that on the website somewhere (visible and easy to find).


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Can you please forward me the email you received from Elliot to my address, jenifera@ezread.com?
Sure
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:34 PM   #24
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Robert had already indicated we would be seeing you on the forums more. Would have been better if you and he had been posting simultaneously before he "retired" so it would look more like a transition than what it appears.
Not sure how it works in the US but in Australia we are required to give a period of notice, usually somewhere between 2-4 weeks. Never does one announce retirement and then are gone that afternoon (unless they have been shown the door).

I guess we can all speculate, but until Robert comes back and tells us, we're in limbo.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:50 PM   #25
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Jenifer, I wish you good luck but I'm hoping you make a comeback after a very slow start with me today. Repeatedly speaking ill of the absent Robert with snide insults is most unattractive, and I get the sense it may be less attributable to unfortunate diction and more to revelation of character. The thinly veiled derision and banked hostility in the choice of words like "windy" and "abuser of exclamation marks" is uncalled for and by juxtaposition seems to make Astak's and well-wishing announcement look like insincere corporate cant. Robert may not have done the job as the Astak brass or its factory overlords in China (yes I'm in high dudgeon) demanded of him, but more importantly, I believe he was a sincere, trustworthy, and nice person. I cannot say that about you or Astak's corporate values right now. Sorry we have gotten off on the wrong foot,

As for my bona fides, I don't login or comment much, but since 2008 have checked in the Astak forum on an almost daily basis, and early on I bought a first gen 6" EZ Reader on the strength of a) my trust of Robert, and b) the non-proprietary, non-point-of-sale virtues of the device.

Now to onto business. Is Astak still evaluating whether it will come out with a large-screen e-reader, or has the decision been made to do so, and it is a matter of waiting on the factory? All I'm waiting for is a large-screen e-reader with e-ink or equivalent screen that isn't a proprietary POS devics to its maker. I don't want to get a tablet with LED and other wireless battery-drainage and radiation assaults on my body (though by all means feel free to add the features to an e-inkish device as long as I can turn them off). But it looks like e-reader makers are going to force me to.

From an industry perspective, why is there no decent, reasonably-priced linux or android or other such large screen ereader available in the USA? $800+ devices like the large Iliad or proposed PlasticLogic devices is insane, and I'm one of the large numbers of people who refuse to indenture my soul to the Amazons/B&Ns,/Apples of the world. Make a non-buggy, decent feature-set one for around $400 and I'll probably snap up 3 or 4 for me and a couple of loved ones. Can you provide some insight into my questions?

Thanks, and look forward to the evolution of a mutually rewarding relationship between the forum and you.

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Old 08-10-2010, 08:08 PM   #26
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I like Robert and hope he is well. He will be missed, but hopefully he will continue to visit often as a happy retiree and fellow ebook enthusiast.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:15 PM   #27
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Lets all PM Robert and ask what really happened.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:18 PM   #28
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Lets all PM Robert and ask what really happened.
What if he doesn't want to (or can't) say? But hopefully at least he knows he's got the support of all of us here at MobileRead.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:23 PM   #29
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First off, I wish Robert all the best in his retirement, he will certainly be missed around here.

Second, Welcome Jenifer, best of luck in your new duties.

I'm going to give this the benefit of the doubt that he TRULY retired to focus on his health.

He has been hit with a lot lately, major surgery, he had to quit smoking before hand, and we have NO idea what kind of toll the surgery took on him.

He's not a young man with the ability to quickly bounce back from something like this and it might take a bit longer than he expects.

In the meantime, Astak, has a business to run and needs someone in place who has the energy in which to do so.

We don't like it, but unfortunately business is business. So we adapt to the change or not.

Last edited by cfrizz; 08-10-2010 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:23 PM   #30
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I wish Rober Well!
I would have liked that he would have posted an announcement himself and possibly passed the Baton, so to speak.

Sorry,
but I hear the sound door smacking him in the backside as he left.

Evil PM,
Robert had his finger on the pulse of the market, and was trying to make this product line succeed. I feel the messenger got shot (again).

Robert, I will definitely miss you and best of luck.
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