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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 12/05/2011

Kobo Inc

Phone: (416) 977-8737Fax: (416) 977-2889

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Customer Complaints Summary

88 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 15 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues1
Billing / Collection Issues7
Delivery Issues4
Guarantee / Warranty Issues36
Problems with Product / Service40
Total Closed Complaints88

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (88)
03/21/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
I was to be issued a store credit of $7.99 for an e-book that was missing all pages. Order # XXXXXXXXX, placed 2/19/16. No store credit issued.
I purchased an e-book entitled "Too Pretty to Live" from the Kobo website on 2/19/16. When I opened the e-book, all of the pages were missing. I then chatted with one of Kobo's customer service reps, a person named ********, who confirmed that the e-book was defective. She opened a ticket or incident number, Incident #XXXXXX-XXXXXX, for my problem. ******** said I'd be issued a store credit for $7.99, or the purchase price of the item. It is now March 13th and no store credit has been issued. Since chatting with ********, I have chatted with at least another two representatives and nothing is done. This business has very poor customer service and they play dumb when dealing with customer problems. My money should have been refunded to me long ago. Please revise your rating because Kobo definitely does NOT deserve a A+ rating.

Desired Settlement
Refund me the $7.99 that you owe me. I have been a customer for a long time, but after all of this, I probably won't buy e-books or e-readers from Kobo. I will be switching to one of your competitors who treats customers more fairly and courteously.

Business Response
Hello,

We have refunded the purchase back to the customer's credit card and provided the customer with an additional store credit that they can use towards the purchase of Kobo content.

Thank you

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
I've received the funds for the defective book back in my account. I'm very grateful to the BBB for your help. Had it not been for you, I'd still be waiting for the funds.

02/08/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
No way to repair or replace my Kobo.
I received a Kobo Glo HD for Christmas. After less than a month, I took it out to find that there were horizontal lines on the screen.

I submitted a ticket on KOBO and promptly called them with my ticket number. I was guided through a factory reset, which only added more lines. I was then told that the device was physically damaged and that there was nothing they could do about it. There was no offer of replacement and they told me there was no place that I could send it to be repaired (even if I wanted to pay for it).

I'm very disappointed and heartbroken that their devices are so fragile. Don't buy a KOBO!

Desired Settlement
I would like Kobo to replace my Kobo Glo HD as I have only had it for a month and I don't ever remember physically damaging it. Tablets that are mobile shouldn't be so incredibly fragile. I can't believe you can't even send it anywhere to get it repaired.

Business Response
Hello,

We have contacted the customer and as a good will gesture we have offered to replace the device for.

Thank you

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
I have received a replacement Kobo Glo HD.

02/01/2016Guarantee / Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
My Kobo Aura eReader screen stopped working after only two months. Kobo refused to cover this under warranty.
I purchased a Kobo Aura from Kobo's online shop in October of 2015 (order US4491). Unfortunately, a mere two months later the screen became unresponsive and the device unusable. I spoke to Kobo's customer service, and sent them pictures of my device. They claimed that because there were some jagged lines on the screen, that it was physical damage and not covered by their warranty.

However, my device has always been safely kept in my bag or on my shelf. There are no external scratches or scuffs on the device. My device was working fine until one day I took it off my shelf to find it not working. Even if my device is truly physically damaged, it seems that Kobo makes a device which is far too delicate. Or perhaps a manufacturing defect left my device more vulnerable. It seems wrong to me that Kobo would sell a device that within two months of normal use would no longer work.

Desired Settlement
A replacement device if Kobo has actual confidence in their work. Otherwise a refund.

Business Response
Hello

We have contacted the customer via our ticketing system. As a good will gesture we have decided to replace his device for him.

Thank you

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
Kobo contacted and me and offered to replace the device. They sent me a refurbished Kobo device in about seven days, and then instructed me to send my device back to them (I had to cover the shipping). I found this acceptable, it was as if they were repairing the device for a warranty covered defect.

01/26/2016Guarantee / Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Kobo Aura H2O broken in a backpack three weeks after purchase
I received a Kobo Aurua H2O as an early christmas gift a week before christmas (December 17th, 2015) so that I could bring it on a trip with me. The first day of my trip, the Kobo was in a backpack that was carried around with me all day. Later on, I tried turning the device on, and the entire screen had lines horizontally across it. I tried many times to do a factory reset, but nothing would work. When I got back home to Canada on December 23rd, 2015, I returned to the store it was purchased at, but they could not do anything for it since the device had what looked like physical damage to the screen (from being in my backpack) so they gave me the number to Kobo customer service. My boyfriend had purchased the device on December 2nd, 2015, so I figured I wouldn't have too much of a hard time having my device replaced since it was purchased within the month. The first person I spoke to kept stumbling on her words and not even giving me an excuse as to why my device couldn't be replaced, so I asked to speak to a supervisor. When he came on the phone, he was very rude and told me I shouldn't throw my things if I didn't want them to break. Really? It somehow broke in a backpack. He told me that their policy is not to replace devices broken by physical damage (Which is fair, if that was the case here!). I told him how upset I was that a device worth over $200 that was purchased not even three weeks ago could break so easily. They proceeded to email me a write-up about what physical vs. software damage looks like on an e-ink screen. Based on this, the damage on my Kobo looked to me like software damage. I called the company back and spoke to a new representative. She was more helpful, providing me with an email address that I could send photos of my broken device and a receipt to for assessment. Not even 20 minutes later I received a reply stating that there was nothing they could do because the device suffered physical damage. I'm a little confused as to how 1. it received physical damage amounting to the device being completely broken by sitting in a backpack, and 2. how they could assess this information through a photo sent by email. I was also quite upset by the very unfriendly customer service I received while speaking to a company that I have been loyal to for over ten years, especially during the holiday season.

Desired Settlement
I would like my device to either be replaced or I would like to receive a complete refund on the device. I would also hope that customers calling in to their customer service departments would receive much friendlier service than I received.

Business Response
Hello

We have reached out to the customer and as a goodwill gesture we have offered to replace the device. However; if the same issue occurs again we will not be able to replace the device.

Thank you



Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)


09/08/2015Guarantee / Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Faulty Kobo Aura, company refusing to replace it saying it is physical damage when it isn't.
Purchased Kobo Aura on 18/07/15 for £79.99, serial number514aXXXXXXXXX-b.
First used on 30/7/15 to download books and took on holiday.
I noticed when changing screens that there was a faint outline of previous screen, but put this down to the device warming up.
On 7/8/15 after reading I put device in sleep mode and left it in it's protective case on a table. I returned half an hour later - the device was in the same place and went to continue reading. However the device had frozen and a wide horizontal white line had appeared along the centre and a few vertical lines. The book cover partially stayed on the screen.
I contacted Kobo help and followed their instruction to reset device and then factory reset it, but the only effect this had was that more vertical lines appeared.
I emailed Kobo Help and they sent me a standard response saying I had physically damaged device, I replied saying this was not possible as it was in a protective case and left on a table but they just email me back with same standard response. I have also rang them and spoke to a supervisor who said he would get back to me but then received an email saying, again, it is physical damage.
I have done a lot of research on the Internet and have found my problem is a common one and their response is always the same.
What upsets me is that I know the device cannot have been damaged due to where I left it. All I want is a replacement, I had this one less that 3 weeks before the fault occurred. I wish when I noticed the screen imprint when I first got the device that I had exchanged it but as I was going away, I thought it would be fine. I have spent the last 48 hours trying to resolve this and it is all very upsetting - I do not have the money to just go out and buy another. Please, please help. ******

Desired Settlement
I would like either the eReader to be fixed or a replacement sent

Business Response
Hello,

We have contacted the customer via email and informed them that we will make an exception and replace her device for her.

Thank you

Consumer Response
Thank you for your support. I have received an email from Kobo stating that they will make an "exception" in my case and have offered me a replacement, although they are still saying I have physically damaged the eReader, which I haven't! I have packaged and sent the faulty Kobo Aura and it has been received in Germany. I was told to wait 3 weeks for a replacement, so this should arrive by the middle of September.

All I wanted was a replacement item so I will be happy once I have received my replacement. However I do believe that the manufacturer should be investigating these products as they seem to damage very easily.

Thank you for your support.


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04/11/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Followed Kobo's website troubleshooting instructions now I'm told due to the factory reset software no longer compatable?!
I have had a Kobo Wifi for some time now and normally not much issue with it until recently I was reading a book and device froze. I was able to get device to work again but all books were gone and wifi no longer connects. I attempted to connect using the cord to KDA and KDA does not recognize the unit thus followed Kobo's website troubleshooting instructions word for word without success. I then went on to follow Customer Service Help instructions twice and basically in two different ways was told...there is nothing that can be done for my device. Kobo does not do repairs, unit cannot be replaced as to old (I do not want a replacement just fix firmware/software) and all this because after the factory reset completed on the device as per all the troubleshooting steps outlined on the kobo website the KDA software is no longer compatible with the device. To connect to KDA i must connect using the computer or WIFI but these do not work because the software is no longer compatible to the device. I am outraged...i followed Kobo's troubleshooting which led the unit useless?!?! A factory reset led to uncompatable software between the device wifi and connecting to KDA. To fix i need to connect using wife or connect to KDA which is uncompatable?!?!?! This is not a consumer issue this is a software issue i now have due to instructions on the kobo website and customer service but now there is nothing to be done and i am out the device... I just want it fixed but Kobo doesn't do repairs...i don't need a physical repair just a software fix!

Desired Settlement
My Kobo Wifi being an older model should not be an issue as the issue is software. I followed instructions detailed by kobo which led to the device being useless...I want the software/firmware on my unit fixed/made compatible...this is not my fault and an issue with kobo inc. My unit should be software updated by kobo. the kobo original and kobo wifi of others works yet mine no longer does...is not my fault when i followed kobo's troubleshooting instructions thus it's fix/repair is not my responsibility but kobo's and if the instructions on the site are incorrect or incomplete they should be updated or removed. If my unit cannot be fixed...it's age or model should not matter when the issue is software which is the company's issue not a hardware problem which would be mine.

Business Response
Hello,

The customers device the Kobo Wi-Fi is no longer manufactured by Kobo and has been discontinued 3 years ago. We no longer provide software updates for the device. As well the device is outside the warranty period and we cannot replace the device or provide an upgrade.

Thank you



Consumer Response
I have heard from Kobo and their response is "Please know Kobo has not manufactured the Kobo Wi-Fi in four years and unfortunately, we no longer support the device." This is is ridiculous...when one is plugs a device into the device app on a computer which prompts it to be updated which then does not work nor any of the troubleshooting...the response should never be "the device is no longer supported". Don't require an upgrade or provide instructions to plug a unit into the app if the upgrade will leave a device unusable/unsupported.

Final Business Response
Hello

As we have explained previously, the device is no longer manufactured and we no longer send out updates for the device. As well, the customer's device is pass the warranty period. Device's that are past the warranty period are not eligible for replacement.

Thank you

03/04/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
Defective Arc 7 HD. USB Port comes dislodged resulting in not being able to charge the unit.
I purchased a Arc 7 HD in Decemeber 2014 to give as a Christmas gift. In May 2015, it stopped charging. Kobo replaced the unit as it was only in use for 6 months at the time it broke. It was always kept in a case and was carefully used. The replacement is now having the exact same problem with the USB port detaching inside the unit form normal use. The unit no longer charges and Kobo has stated that they will not repair or replace the unit. I corresponded with **** on January 22, 2016 as the unit stopped working on January 21, 2016. I then spoke with the supervisor, ******* J, who also told me that they would not do anything for me. She then sent my complaint to the Executive Escalations department. ***** S responded on January 28, 2016 stating that my warranty was up in December 2015 and that they would not replace or repair the unit. My ticket number was XXXXXX-XXXXXX.

Desired Settlement
I'd like to see Kobo acknowledge that they are selling a defective product and replace my defective Arc 7 HD with a newer model that is not a piece of garbage.

Business Response
Hello,

The customer has been denied a replacement device because they are outside the warranty period. Once the warranty has expired we cannot replace the device. As well Kobo complies with all laws and regulation and Kobo does not sell defective product.

Thank you

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
This response is unacceptable. Kobo has sold me 2 Kobo Arc 7 HD units and they have both broken in the same way in a similar amount of time. My warranty expired 21 days before the second unit broke. This product is clearly defective not matter what Kobo thinks or says. If the product was not defective I would still be able to use of my nine month old Arc 7 HD. Kobo should not call me a customer. I will never purchase anything from them again because of their lousy "customer" service and defective products.


02/16/2016Guarantee / Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
Device stopped working, no physical damage. Multiple answers given by customer service
I was given a kobo arc 10/hd for Christmas 2015. It was purchased Dec.1/2015 by my husband. I opened it Dec 25/2015. On Dec 25/2016 the device would not turn on. We assumed an issue with the charger so tried to use alternate sources but nothing worked. Contacted customer service and yhe person I spoke with said that we were out of warranty, however that they would likely be able to make an exception as it was so close to the purchase date. He asked that i email pictures of the laptop and my reciept. I did so and shortly after got an email stating the warranty waa expired and basically i had an extra paper weight now. I calles support again and explained that the previous agent had stated there was a chance at an exception. He stated he would email his supervisor and see what could be done. I shortly after that got an email stating nothing would be done.

Desired Settlement
I would like to either have the device replaced or repaired as was stated by the agent. Or at least an option to pay to have it repaired. It was an expensive item that I would assume would last longer than a year, also there are pictures that cant be recovered. And books/apps purchased that are now useless.

Business Response
Hello,

We cannot find any interaction the customer has had with our support team. In order for us to investigate further we will need the reference number the customer received when she contacted our customer support.

thank you

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I am adding the case Id
XXXXXX-XXXXXX

Final Business Response
Hello

As per the receipt the customer provided the date the device was purchased was December 1, 2014. The customer contacted Kobo December 31, 2015. After the warranty on the device has expired. As the warranty has expired we cannot replace the device.

Thank you

11/27/2015Guarantee / Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
A new Kobo e-reader stopped working 3.5 months after purchase. The company refuses to repair or replace it.
I bought a Kobo Glo HD online, directly from Kobo, on April 27th 2015, at $129.99 plus tax. This is their latest model, released May 1, the day I received it by mail. I also purchased a protective case for the reader, at $29.99 plus tax. I was charged $179.86 after I returned a second reader ordered in error and received a credit May 11. Reviewing the accoutns now I also see that Kobo charged my card $13.79 on May 19, I do not know why.
In early August the device froze and would not respond. I was unable to re-start the device, and contacted Kobo on Aug. 15. There was a series of email exchanges and phone calls until Aug. 31, denying responsibility for the problem; Koba decided that the device must have suffered physical damage and refused to honour the one-year warranty.
Kobo requested a photo of the device, then claimed that there is physical damage is based on the ways lines appear on the screen. Here is the response sent Aug 31, repeating the same basic positi0on they took Aug 18:
"Thank you for contacting us and for sending us the pictures. Unfortunately, the screen appears to be damaged, and since that is not covered under our Standard Warranty we will be unable to replace or repair it for you.
The standard warranty covers only the manufacturing defects of the device itself, and, in the case of the screen, it means that the lines have to run either vertically or horizontally from side to side or top to bottom.
When the lines are not horizontal or vertical but diagonal or bending, this is a clear indication of physical damage rather than a manufacturing defect, and as such it is not covered under the One Year Standard Warranty that we offer on our devices."
There are faint lines that run diagonally. There are no bent lines. The diagonal lines appeared after repeated attemtps to do a factory re-set of the device as requested by the Kobo support person.
The device has not been damaged in any way, such as by dropping or getting wet. There are no scratches or cracks, and other than not working it appears like new. The device was kept in its protective case and treated with care. If there is damage to the screen, it is because of a problem with its manufature.

Desired Settlement
I would like a refund of all amounts taken by Kobo - $179.86 for the e-reader and the case plus the $13.79 taken in May, total $193.65. I would accept a repair or replacement of the reader.

Business Response
Hello,

The damage to his device is consistence with physical damage which is not covered by the one year standard warranty. Also the customer has not informed us about the charge to his account. He will need to contact our help desk in order for us to investigate the charge.

Thank you

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The company is repeating its refusal to accept respnsibility for a product which has failed under normal use.
The part of their response about need to contact them to "investigate the charge" to my account is just strange. I bought the device directly from Kobo, and would like a refund or replacement. I don't see anything unusual or needing investigation in that. I made no cokmplaint about charges to my account; there is nothing about the payment itself that is in dispute.

Final Business Response
Hello

We cannot provide the customer with a refund or a replacement device because the device suffered physical damage which is not covered by the warranty.
In regards to investigating the charge, the customer mentioned in the case description that he was charged $13.79 by Kobo and he does not know what that charge is for. We can investigate this for the customer however; they will need to contact our help desk and open a ticket. We will need certain information in order to find the charge.

Thank you

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The company again refused to honour the warranty for its product. That is no surprise - it is a product with a flaw the company refuses to acknowledge or take responsibility for.

But I did get a refund for an unexplained charge, after several email exchanges with their customer service, which made several requests for information they already had. They provided no explanation for that charge ($13.79) nor an apology for taking the funds from my credit card without authorization.

09/28/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
Plug in adapter in device broken
Kobo Arc 7 purchased June, 2014 i know its off warranty but the adapter where you plug in is broken and has fallen off motherboard, have made calls and emails to kobo for a resolution, wanted a repair center or something, any resolution gotten was sorry cant do anything, in researching this problem it was noted over 300 of the same complaints and kobo did nothing to resolve, if anything kobo should be taken off market for its crappy workmanship and repair, all i want is to know how to get fixed and they wont help, this is terrible and i was stupid enough to have bought this as a second one as this also happened to the first one,

Desired Settlement
Contact by the business.

i just want to get my kobo repaired so i can use, again it has been a waste of my money not once but twice

please have kobo contact me XXX-XXX-XXXX

Business Response
Hello,

We have contacted the customer via email. Unfortunately, as they are outside the warranty period we cannot repair or replace their device.

Thank you

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