17 July 2012

Kobo Touch eReader : Useless

Replacement unit : Unable to charge
  • 06Dec11 : Bought online via Swindon Books in HK. When it works, it's a fantastic e-ink reader, absolutely no complaints whatsoever.
  • 28May12 : Touchscreen died. Unable to navigate, apart from "Home" and "Power" buttons.
  • 29May12 (day 1) : Contacted Kobo Helpdesk to request for replacement unit as still under warranty. Much frustration dealing with them - nitpicking over sufficiency of proof of purchase, have to answer same questions to different people, uncoordinated and different response from different people, refusal to ship to Singapore even though I wanted to pay for the shipping charges. Finally, many emails later, they agreed on 06Jul12 (day 38) to ship via Swindon Hong Kong (why?) for onward forwarding to me in Singapore.
  • 17Jul12 (day 49) : Finally received replacement unit, 49 days after my first request. Guess what? New unit is a dud, a lemon, a defective piece of junk from the getgo. Cannot charge at all so I can't even start the reader. Tried charging via connection to PC, MacBook, using different micro USB cables, iPhone wall charger, hard resets. All failed. Don't they check before shipping?
  • DO NOT EVER BUY ANY KOBO DEVICES. Helpdesk sucks. Hardware unreliable. The unit I have which worked for 6 months is made in China. The replacement lemon is made in Taiwan. All the same, no QC.
  • I buy most of my ebooks from Kobo. But the way they are handling this makes me feel as if they are trying their level best to drive me away as a customer. Certainly seems like they are unwilling to fulfill their warranty in providing me with a working replacement unit.
  • 17Jul12 : Email to Kobo requesting for help with faulty (right out of box) replacement unit. Complete radio silence apart from auto-generated acknowledgment of receipt of my email.
  • 26Jul12 (day 58) : Finally run out of patience so called Kobo long distance to US just to have Help desk tell me again that they escalated case to Tier 2. 
  • 30Jul12 (day 62) : Still the silent treatment from Tier 2. Would appear that Kobo strategy is to ignore complaints and hope dissatisfied customers will quietly go away on their own from sheer exhaustion and frustration dealing with the Kobo Help desk. Can vomit blood dealing with them.
  • 31Jul12 (day 63) : Give up on Kobo. Just placed order for Kindle 4 here.
  • Kobo Tier 2 email on 01Aug12
  • 01Aug12 (day 64) : Finally, 15 days after initially being told that my case has been escalated to Tier 2 on 17Jul, I received a response from Tier 2. This is obviously a standard email asking me to provide information that I had already provided right at the beginning (on 29May). Clearly the guy writing had not even bothered to review the email exchanges earlier and thinks I am Sharon, the girl at Swindon who so kindly agreed to act as my post box in Hong Kong as Kobo refused to ship direct to me in Singapore. If a higher level customer service officer cannot even get the name of their customer right, how good can the company and their products be?
  • 02Aug12 (day 65) : Since I had completely written off my Kobo Touch and given up hope on the company, I took the faulty replacement unit to an electronics engineer to have it opened up to see if he can repair it for me. While googling for its schematics, came across this Kobo website and put up link to this post there. Lo and behold, immediate response from Kobo. Seems like public shaming is what is required to catch their attention. Another replacement unit on the way, so they say. Let's see.
  • 07Aug12 (day 70) : Received 2nd replacement unit, this time in good working order. FedEx'd from Taiwan direct to Singapore. Much impressed by high level of service when they want to provide it. Only regret that it has to take a complaint in public forum to get it.


Taichiseal said...

Just realized .. I am not the only one with the touchscreen problem.


Taichiseal said...


Taichiseal said...