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Old 09-20-2010, 05:28 AM   #16
lizlee4
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they are no longer listed on astak.com but are on ezreader.com a site owned by Astak.
Yes, this is correct, but according to that website everything is out of stock and there is no way to do an international order.

And $25 for shipping isn't so bad - it was $45 to get my PP to Australia.

If Astak don't get their act together pretty soon, they will lose sales (if they haven't already). They must have some idea of when the website is going to be back up.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:02 AM   #17
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I know that sometimes a server has to be replaced, but this seems more of updating a web site. Maybe having problems getting a shopping cart installed.

But 10 days does seem rather a long time.

( I have worked for a web host, but I'm not a superexpert on it.)
Well I am an ex Sys Admin so I can speak a little from experience. If a web site is going to be updated, and the existing one currently works, leave it alone until the newly developed site is working, then migrate across. If the existing website is broken and management feel it in their infinite wisdom to build a new one rather than repair the old one (working backup should have fixed the problem) put up a notice to inform visitors the site is under repair.

Astak should have posted a notice on their website and redirected customers to buy.com (or another affiliate) for people who wanted to buy one temporarily.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:22 PM   #18
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Yup, they should use a backup.
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Old 09-20-2010, 06:42 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Joebill View Post
I know that sometimes a server has to be replaced, but this seems more of updating a web site. Maybe having problems getting a shopping cart installed.

But 10 days does seem rather a long time.

( I have worked for a web host, but I'm not a superexpert on it.)
I'm no expert either, but I have had extensive involvement with IT system migrations, and to me this feels very much like a "disengagement" process.

Astak and Ezreader are separate companies, right?

I'd guess that these "technical" difficulties are really the result of the two business units establishing demarcation protocols, basically due to "splitting the business". For Trade Practices reasons they probably need to establish clear lines of separation between the two so that they are not breaking anti-trust regulations.

In other words these issues are more likely related to legal, financial and management constraints, rather than some actual technical issue with the website. Someone, somewhere is waiting for some decision maker higher up the food chain to make a decision, or to sign-off on something...meanwhile, the webmaster and potential Astak/Ezreader clients are sitting around twiddling their thumbs...or are they?

I can hardly blame Jennifer for being circumspect at this time, but I must agree with others here who said that BUY.COM is woefully inadequate as far as international sales to Australia goes. And the suggestion to "keep checking the ezreader.com website" with no clear indication of when it will be ready to accept orders? Well let's just say it's not the way to win the confidence of potential customers.

Personally, I could not wait any longer and I have now purchased an ECO 6" via DA Direct in Melbourne. It was an extremely easy and smooth process. The unit arrived within 4 days, and the total cost including GST, freight and "credit card processing fee" was $217.91.

So yes, in my case at least, Astak are losing business due to these "transition" difficulties.

(sorry for the long post - just my 2cents worth)
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:00 AM   #20
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Personally, I could not wait any longer and I have now purchased an ECO 6" via DA Direct in Melbourne. It was an extremely easy and smooth process. The unit arrived within 4 days, and the total cost including GST, freight and "credit card processing fee" was $217.91.
fragomatik ... I think this will be the route I will be taking also ... Astak are useless.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:16 AM   #21
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fragomatik ... I think this will be the route I will be taking also ... Astak are useless.
If I'd had all the time in the world to wait, I would've waited for Jinke to bring out their 9" model. I'd been looking for a suitable reader in oz for about 6 months. The iPad was overkill, over-priced and power-hungry. The Kobo had too few formats. And BeBook? Well, their inflated prices are the reason I looked overseas at Astak's offering in the first place.

I found MR in early August (I think) and started reading posts and lurking around for a while. I learned about Astak, and robertb and read some of his posts. I thought "...hey that's pretty cool, the marketing dude for the company is helpful, and posts all the time, and he seems to know his stuff...". For me that was a mark in Astak's favour, so...

A week later I go to place an order and their international shopping page shows out of stock for everything! WTF? I come here and find out robertb is gone. That's when I registered here and posted my original query to Jennifer.

I have no doubt that Astak/Ezreader will overcome all their current difficulties in time. I'd certainly consider buying a 9" reader (or two) from them if they ever release one, if it's competitively priced and if the support is there...why not? But right now? Here in oz? It's a no-brainer
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:15 PM   #22
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Is anyone actually happy with Astak at the moment?

Jenifer, serious point to take back to the powers-that-be at Astak; Ok, due to 'tech repairs' the online ordering isn't possible through the website, but seriously telling people to go to buy.com, or if as an international customer to keep checking the forums and website awaiting for them to be put back up?? And I am really interested to know what sort of website repairs take 10+ days still unresolved.

This isn't a reflection upon you, but as an Astak rep you are the person we're talking to. Do Astak seriously want customers? I sent you an email regarding the paint/support issue and I briefly explained some of my thoughts, and Astak are making it rather difficult to recommend the product given support issues and NOW simple issue of not being able to purchase the product.

Jennifer.. If you want to keep you job (as long as possible), play dumb to these (IMHO good) ideas.
I think this is what got Robert axed
Robert was a Salesman, he wanted to sell EZReaders, so he made suggestions to improve Sales and the product.

The evil PM, knew better Americans are obsessed with "names" of things. When I was in the UK, I noticed business name (You called it that) (this from a country that has unique names for groups of animals bevy of: pride of ). Robert knew the American way to sales
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:19 AM   #23
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Astak is a joke. Allegedly they have a product to sell, have a website for it, and yet there's no way to buy it. I don't consider Buy.com a serious alternative because you have no way of knowing which version you are getting due to the scarcity of specs.

I'm out of here. Astak can take a flying leap.... I'm buying another product. Post on Facebook, they don't answer, send an e-mail, they don't answer. Are they serious about this market?
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:04 AM   #24
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It definitely feels like Astak is exiting the eReader market. Time to move on? Since Astak itself is staying in business with other CE devices, hopefully they will continue to support existing ereaders thorough a reasonable period of time going forward.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:50 AM   #25
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It definitely feels like Astak is exiting the eReader market. Time to move on? Since Astak itself is staying in business with other CE devices, hopefully they will continue to support existing ereaders thorough a reasonable period of time going forward.
I am sure they are not exiting the eBook Reader market. They do seem to be trying to reposition their product line to remain competitive in light of the recent drops in prices.

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Old 09-24-2010, 07:51 PM   #26
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Well, ok DaleDe; we can choose to disagree.

I will only add -- as someone in the industry, broadly defined (and not in any way a competitor to Astak) -- that Astak has no credible public business plan to survive the next phase of the eReader/eBook industry. Closing its ebook store will likely happen in very short order.

It is impossible to believe a low volume vendor like Astak can "skip" the end of 2010 sales and survive. They are clearly doing their best to find a soft-landing and cancelled any existing hardware orders in July when RobertB was let go. As a company with integrity, their goal now is simply to adequately service existing customers, and any stragglers, throughout the warranty period without adding any new customers and future liabilities.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:18 PM   #27
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...and cancelled any existing hardware orders in July...
I've seen this mentioned by a couple people and was wondering how peeps outside Astak know as a fact.

Yes, all signs and silence (especially Jenifer's) leads to the conclusion that Astak ereaders ain't coming back, but I sincerely hope that is not the case. I sincerely hope Steven Lake and DaleDe have their stories right.

I'm ready to buy another ereader, and I'd like to be seriously considering the Astak 6+. I would really like to support a quality unit that the Astak has shown itself to be. When you consider you don't have to shop around for a cover or a charger, I don't consider the Astak price to be out of line .

But although I got immediate response from Astak support for my cracked PPro screen once Jenifer got involved, this whole soap opera where no one else seems to get any support, and the website is a continuing slap in the customer's face, really forces me to just sit and wait to see how things pan out.

One of the reasons I have also been considering the nook is because it would allow my wife I to share B&N books between her iPad (w/nook app) and the nook (for me), and to also then share library books between the nook (for her) and the Astak (for me).

While I really would rather not get into the practice of DRM-stripping, I have concluded that for the number of books my wife might actually purchase that we would want to share, I can live with it and buy an Astak Plus. But its not gonna happen if I don't have the feeling that they are going to be in the business longer than it takes to sell their current inventory.

Life would be so much easier if the iPad supported ADE, but I would still be waiting around to see if Astak is really still in the ereader market before making a purchasing decision.

C'mon, Jenifer give us a hint.
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:58 AM   #28
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I've seen this mentioned by a couple people and was wondering how peeps outside Astak know as a fact.

Yes, all signs and silence (especially Jenifer's) leads to the conclusion that Astak ereaders ain't coming back, but I sincerely hope that is not the case. I sincerely hope Steven Lake and DaleDe have their stories right.
DaleD does some product testing for Astak, which was initiated with RobertB long, long ago. After reading here for so very long (all the way back to the original thread in April? 2008) I trust DaleD to be an authority on the Astak devices for the hardware/firmware side of things. If he says a new one is coming I believe something really is in the pipeline and I expect he has already had it in his hands. A thorough write-up will likely be posted shortly after the unit becomes available like it did for the Plus.

With that said, I am currently aiming for a Sony 650 to be purchased Black Friday weekend (traditional kick off to the holiday shopping season with nuts sales the day after the US's Thanksgiving holiday). If Astak has something announced and available before then I will consider it fully against the Sony 650. The same if Asus produces as promised. But this new Sony has pretty much all the functionality I have been waiting for and want to have, but little fluff that I don't want so Astak or Asus will have to come up with something really good to get my money.
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:09 PM   #29
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I just want to clarify for everyone: EZ Read/Astak is not leaving the eBook market. I can assure you, truly, we are not leaving.

There are things that we must legally keep private about the going-ons at Astak, and we ask that all of you respect that this is still a very public forum, albeit with a close-knit group of posters.
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:34 PM   #30
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Thank you for the response, Jenifer.

I, for one, appreciate acknowledgement that Astak is still here. However, we are not asking for secret inside Astak industry information -- merely an occasional word of assurance Astak still intends to be in the eReader market. This is something silence and a website shutdown going on 3 weeks doesn't do.

We are aware this is a very public forum, and as such we would expect a company to address concerns raised by the website shutdown. Thank you for giving some level of assurance.

I, for one, will just sit back and wait for the Astak website to come back before commenting or proceeding further.
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