My state Playaway representative Mark rang this morning, in response to last week’s post about Playaway Woes. This was after a blog comment response that I’d actually planned to respond to via email this morning, so it was very timely.  We had a very interesting and, hopefully, productive conversation.

Mark wanted to know specifically what was breaking and I was happy to give him an earful. We’re having trouble with the volume randomly ceasing to go up–making it impossible to hear the story, the device buttons failing for no apparent reason, the LED display borking without notice–and no way to fix these in an all-in-one device.  I had already made a point of a conversation with Acquisitions Man about only ordering directly from Playaway so we get our year warranty for replacement but the reality is that the product is not living up to expectations under regular use by patrons.

Mark was very receptive to my criticisms and open to working with us both presently and in the future to make sure that we would have Playaways available, that we would continue to consider the format, and to determine what exactly was breaking.  We’re going to work on getting some replacements and making sure that communications are very open between us for the next few months so that if there are further issues, he is speedily made aware of them.

I’ve also reached out to our adult services selector and acquisitions people, who have faced similar frustration and encountered some customer service issues on top of that.  One of them will also be speaking with Mark to hopefully further facilitate a positive experience.

I appreciate Playaway’s active response to my earlier post and I do sincerely hope that things improve. Not just because they responded to me but because parents and kids do like the product.  I would like to be able to keep having them available–particularly for the series in which I have already invested. I am still somewhat skeptical of the functionality of the product and I expressed that to Mark. If a Playaway is going to keep breaking 3-6 circulations into our ownership, then it’s not a good value. These are supposed to outlast books on CD.  But the effort to reach out has been made on their part and that’s worth a bit of my time.

I’ll try to remember to report back end of the year and see where we’re at then.