Kobo Vox – Poor Customer Service and a Poor Product

In Dblackkoboecember of 2011, at Christmas, I received a Kobo Vox e-reader. I was very happy. This was a gift from my wife and was what I had asked for. It is Canadian, and Kobo had a good reputation, as did it’s parent company Chapters-Indigo.

Sadly, this thing has turned out to be a waste of money, and a frustrating customer experience. Not even two months after receiving the gift, activating it, and purchasing about $100 worth of books for both the kids and myself, it died. It needed a factory reset. Several hours back and forth on the phone with Kobo’s support number yielded a “Sorry but you need to hit the reset button on it.”

That lasted for all of two days when it quit again and would boot into a loop and just keep rebooting… and rebooting… and rebooting… and rebooting (you get the point). More time on the phone with their customer support and… “we’re going to send you a new Kobo sir.”

Except it was not a new Kobo I received two weeks later, it was a refurbished one. Now this product was new on the market so ok, all of them are about the same age I figure. The replacement had another problem though. The screen was separating from the frame, lifting up. So another phone call, emails back and forth, photos taken because the support agent didn’t believe me when I said the screen you could lift up and slip a quarter in.

Replacement sent. Same issue. Replacement sent again, all other ones returned. No issues. Except once every 4-6 weeks I would have to wipe and reset the Kobo.

I wanted the Kobo because it was an android e-reader, so I could also watch video, play Angry Birds and read my email. It became very clear to me that the only thing this Android e-Reader could do was read books.

The warranty ran out in December 2012. And since then still the same issues until a month ago. The Kobo will not boot any more. It only does the reset and loop issue. I emailed support about repairing the unit. They asked if it was still under warranty. I said no it was not.

I asked if I could purchase a reconditioned Vox, no. I asked if I could send it in and get it repaired by their repair center. I was told they do not have a repair center.

The person on the other end of the phone said, “You need to go buy another e-reader.”

That was it. No “I’m sorry” or “here maybe we can help you with this”. Nope. Just “You need to go buy another e-reader.”

Blunt and borderline rude on the phone this person was.

In the two and a half years I’ve owned the Kobo Vox, I have bought about $300 worth of books and several Android apps. Plus my wife paid $199 plus tax for the e-reader. The Vox has been a problem from the get-go but I tried to weather through it. I am not saying that electronics should last forever, nor was I asking for a hand-out or a freebee. But I was asking for a company to stand by their product, especially when I have spent a lot with that product. A loyal customer who was looking for a little loyalty from the manufacturer.

If the customer support people tell you that you that you need to buy a new product, then that is a sign.

Currently I am using a free Kobo app on an iPod Touch to read from. Once I pick a new tablet, I will be purchasing one. But it will not be from Kobo. I will still use a free Kobo App to read what I already purchased from Kobo, but I won’t be spending more.

Poor customer service and a poor product. No more to Kobo.