Kobo is working internally on developing its own support forums that will rival Amazon Kindleboards. This will give users a chance to talk to other people who own the same e-reader they do, find support, and get tutorials. This will be a nexus of all things Kobo and there will even be virtual bookclubs that people can join to share the love of reading.
Kobo experimented with forum interactions this year with the Mobileread community. Many of the company’s customer service representatives, developers, and programers have become fixtures. They interact with the general population and invite select users to test beta firmware updates for their e-readers and tablets. The company wants more control over the user experience and is developing the official Kobo Forums.
One of the main reasons Kobo is starting the forums is because of its customer service coming under fire. Many users in 2012 were quite vocal about long-wait times on the phone and email support being non-existent. We regularly hear from users that their problem has been elevated to a tier 2 representatives and then never hear back. A forum would solve many of these problems and allow users to help troubleshoot each other’s problems.
There is no word on the exact launch date, but it should occur during Q1 2013, when device sales normally start to falter. It is a savvy move for the company to start its own support forums because it will bring all of its markets to one place, and give customer service reps a singular forum to patrol.
Update: Kobo has reached out to us and verified they are NOT launching their official forums in Q1. They are evaluating internally the viability of the platform and it is far from a certain thing. In the meantime, you can visit the Kobo Help Section, petition them on Twitter or check out Mobileread, where most of the CSR’s and development team lurk.