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My first taste of Pono customer service for Kickstarter supporters


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Here is the sequence of the conversation, as it were. Note that my support ticket was considered by Pono to be resolved without the requested downloads being made available to me. Mahalo indeed.

 

 

 

Type: Backers

Reason: Free Music Resolution Upgrades Subject Request upgrade to 24/176.4

Description: I purchased American Stars and Bars and On the Beach at 24/88.2 resolution(order #_) and they were subsequently released at 24/176.4. As a kickstarter supporter I am requesting download availability of the 24/176.4 music files. Thanks.

 

Esau

 

*************************

Hello Esau,

 

Thank you for contacting Pono Support.

 

Sometime in 2015 there will be a chance for kickstater to receive a free upgrade. This upgrade will be given to those who have purchased a song or album at lower quality and the store has release a high quality. Therefore the kickstart backer will have the best quality song as soon as the Pono Music store releases it.

 

Mahalo

 

**************************

Okay, but the Pono Music Store has already released a higher resolution for download and, yes, it is already 2015. What stands in the way of releasing the better quality version to me now? I'm (certain) that this is something that Pono Music easily has the ability to do now.

 

Esau

**************************

 

The key term in your reply is "as soon as."

 

Esau

 

**************************

Hi Esau,

 

Thank you for reaching out to PonoMusic Support.

Support Ticket # _: "Request upgrade to 24/176.4" has been resolved. Log in to the Pono Community and view your Support Ticket.

 

Should you need any further information do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Mahalo,

The PonoMusic Support Team

[email protected]

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According to Wikipedia, "Mahalo" is a Hawaiian word meaning thanks, gratitude, admiration, praise, esteem, regards, respects, or go F yourself.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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At least they didn't say "16/44.1 is all you need."

 

No, it's just all you will get for now in some cases until some unspecified date in 2015 when I suppose they can hire someone to scan the Kickstarter supporter database and give said supporters what they promised. They are obviously opting to, at some future date, deal with Kickstarter supporters en masse(a setup for a customer service bottleneck and many ruffled feathers) rather than simply dealing with us on a case by case basis right now.

 

If I were cynical I might think that they were hoping that the majority of us would eventually forget about it and move on. I deal with this all the time in medicine wherein the insurance companies ask doctors to submit prior authorization requests with justifications for more expensive, typically brand name medications, knowing full well that only a minority of those physicians who would like their patients to receive those medicines would ever go through the trouble of the extra legwork and submit paperwork.

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If I were cynical I might think that they were hoping that the majority of us would eventually forget about it and move on. I deal with this all the time in medicine wherein the insurance companies ask doctors to submit prior authorization requests with justifications for more expensive, typically brand name medications, knowing full well that only a minority of those physicians who would like their patients to receive those medicines would ever go through the trouble of the extra legwork and submit paperwork.

 

Another example would be making consumers fill in a form and send it in with their original receipt and the UPC off the package in order to get their $10 rebate. How many people actually do that?

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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Another example would be making consumers fill in a form and send it in with their original receipt and the UPC off the package in order to get their $10 rebate. How many people actually do that?

 

After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans FEMA asked the then newly displaced and, in so many cases, financially impoverished victims to go online to complete forms to submit claims for their losses.

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Here is the sequence of the conversation, as it were. Note that my support ticket was considered by Pono to be resolved without the requested downloads being made available to me. Mahalo indeed.

 

 

 

Type: Backers

Reason: Free Music Resolution Upgrades Subject Request upgrade to 24/176.4

Description: I purchased American Stars and Bars and On the Beach at 24/88.2 resolution(order #_) and they were subsequently released at 24/176.4. As a kickstarter supporter I am requesting download availability of the 24/176.4 music files. Thanks.

 

Esau

 

*************************

Hello Esau,

 

Thank you for contacting Pono Support.

 

Sometime in 2015 there will be a chance for kickstater to receive a free upgrade. This upgrade will be given to those who have purchased a song or album at lower quality and the store has release a high quality. Therefore the kickstart backer will have the best quality song as soon as the Pono Music store releases it.

 

Mahalo

 

**************************

Okay, but the Pono Music Store has already released a higher resolution for download and, yes, it is already 2015. What stands in the way of releasing the better quality version to me now? I'm (certain) that this is something that Pono Music easily has the ability to do now.

 

Esau

**************************

 

The key term in your reply is "as soon as."

 

Esau

 

**************************

Hi Esau,

 

Thank you for reaching out to PonoMusic Support.

Support Ticket # _: "Request upgrade to 24/176.4" has been resolved. Log in to the Pono Community and view your Support Ticket.

 

Should you need any further information do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Mahalo,

The PonoMusic Support Team

[email protected]

 

Hi Esau,

 

I'm assuming you logged in and viewed your support ticket and it did not include a link to download the higher res version? From my experience of the optimistically (euphemistically?) named Pono Customer Support, they are certainly capable of closing the ticket without doing this, but just on the odd chance they might have....

 

(I was the first, or at least one of the first, customers to bring to their attention a still-ongoing firmware bug that results in some AIFF files not being shown on the player's playlist after being transferred. I provided a clear description of the problem, including some AIFF files showing up and not others, no file being partially transferred - a file either showed up or it didn't, and the same files failed to show up consistently - and the fact that there was no problem if the files were converted to FLAC. Their suggestion was that I check to see if the USB cable between the computer and the player was securely inserted.)

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans FEMA asked the then newly displaced and, in so many cases, financially impoverished victims to go online to complete forms to submit claims for their losses.

 

Not surprising. I've heard so many horror stories about the response to Katrina.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

Link to comment
Hi Esau,

 

I'm assuming you logged in and viewed your support ticket and it did not include a link to download the higher res version? From my experience of the optimistically (euphemistically?) named Pono Customer Support, they are certainly capable of closing the ticket without doing this, but just on the odd chance they might have....

 

(I was the first, or at least one of the first, customers to bring to their attention a still-ongoing firmware bug that results in some AIFF files not being shown on the player's playlist after being transferred. I provided a clear description of the problem, including some AIFF files showing up and not others, no file being partially transferred - a file either showed up or it didn't, and the same files failed to show up consistently - and the fact that there was no problem if the files were converted to FLAC. Their suggestion was that I check to see if the USB cable between the computer and the player was securely inserted.)

 

Jud, that was the first thing I did when I read the notice that they had closed my ticket. I suppose they actually punched my ticket. Do you know a good lawyer? ; l

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Not surprising. I've heard so many horror stories about the response to Katrina.

 

To be fair, we're only talking about downloads here. The folks at Pono are sweethearts many times over compared to the federal government's response to Katrina(just to keep things in perspective).

 

When Oprah Winfrey asked Matt Damon how he saw himself as different from the character he played in The Talented Mr. Ripley, Damon initial reply was "Well, I've never killed anybody."

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Jud, that was the first thing I did when I read the notice that they had closed my ticket. I suppose they actually punched my ticket. Do you know a good lawyer? ; l

 

I've forgotten - does the page allow you to re-open the ticket? If not, I'd open another ticket and copy-and-paste everything into it. If you don't mind being politely persistent, that is.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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When they gave me an unsatisfactory answer to a complaint, I responded. After a week, they haven't answered. The ticket is still open. I don't know if they are just sloppy or deliberately ignoring it.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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No, it's just all you will get for now in some cases until some unspecified date in 2015 when I suppose they can hire someone to scan the Kickstarter supporter database and give said supporters what they promised. They are obviously opting to, at some future date, deal with Kickstarter supporters en masse(a setup for a customer service bottleneck and many ruffled feathers) rather than simply dealing with us on a case by case basis right now.

 

If I were cynical I might think that they were hoping that the majority of us would eventually forget about it and move on. I deal with this all the time in medicine wherein the insurance companies ask doctors to submit prior authorization requests with justifications for more expensive, typically brand name medications, knowing full well that only a minority of those physicians who would like their patients to receive those medicines would ever go through the trouble of the extra legwork and submit paperwork.

 

Hi, I remember reading something very recently that the Kickstarter upgrade will begin in Feb.

 

I've found the support quite helpful, I called the support number (not email, I think they are being bombarded with support tickets) and I got help right away. I think we have to remember they are a new startup less than a year old, so there is going to be bumps along the road, but I don't think they've changed their stance much from the beginning.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I reopened my ticket and was told that the kickstarter upgrades will be honored once they develop the appropriate tool. I'm assuming this means that there is software coming down the pike whereby a kickstarter supporter can log in, identifying himself or herself as being a early backer, and then receive access to the higher resolution files without having to open a ticket or otherwise call customer service. I would be perfectly happy with that solution so long as it doesn't take too long for the tool to materialize.

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I reopened my ticket and was told that the kickstarter upgrades will be honored once they develop the appropriate tool. I'm assuming this means that there is software coming down the pike whereby a kickstarter supporter can log in, identifying himself or herself as being a early backer, and then receive access to the higher resolution files without having to open a ticket or otherwise call customer service. I would be perfectly happy with that solution so long as it doesn't take too long for the tool to materialize.

 

February 15 but may slip was the information posted on the forum recently.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pono Promise tool (free resolution upgrade for backers) still supposed to be out this week some time, according to announcement from forum mods a couple of days ago.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

Link to comment
Pono Promise tool (free resolution upgrade for backers) still supposed to be out this week some time, according to announcement from forum mods a couple of days ago.

 

I wonder if the free resolution upgrade goes with the device, stays with the supporter or vanishes.

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I wonder if the free resolution upgrade goes with the device, stays with the supporter or vanishes.

 

Supposing that you might have to sign in to the store under an ID and pass to download the higher res tracks, only if you gave your password to someone else!

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

Link to comment
Supposing that you might have to sign in to the store under an ID and pass to download the higher res tracks, only if you gave your password to someone else!

 

Yeah, I get that. But let's say I bought your Pono. You could delete your credit card info and then change your user name to my email address and the deed would be done. Or maybe the store identifies one as a kickstarter supporter by the serial number on the Pono itself. Probably the main question is what their TOS allows.

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