Peter 'Happy' Thomas (happypete) wrote,
Peter 'Happy' Thomas
happypete

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Some reasons why I love iRobot

As some of you may remember, the first time I contacted iRobot, I had "challenges" getting support for our Scooba which had a "DOA" cleaning solution pump. Challenges so great, that it looked like I would be left out in the cold with no support. [The issue was that even a "new-in-box" factory sealed unit was considered used if you purchased it from an "unauthorized" eBay seller. In my case I bought from an individual who had received theirs as a gift that they didn't need]. Though it was frustrating, that story did have a happy ending. I finally "worked my network." An acquaintance in the iRobot government division whispered in the ear of one of his friends in the consumer division. All of a sudden the log-jam broke and I got what i needed. I'm here to tell you, though, that those bad times are over! Today, I have nothing but good things to say about iRobot, and particularly their customer suppor department.

I just had a problem where two batteries stopped taking a charge. By this point, I'm definitely out of warranty on the original purchase date of the Scooba, but not on the additional charging stand. It's been less than a year since I purchased a 2nd battery, but almost noone warrants "consumables." Batteries are usually considered consumables, even if they are rechargeable. Add to this, that this issue was probably my fault for not taking the batteries off the charger or out of the Scooba. [For some reason, I had read the documentation as saying that it was preferable to leave them on the charger because they applied some sort of periodic refresh if you did. Apparently that's true--but only to a point. If you're not going to use the Scooba for more than a couple of weeks, you're supposed to take the batteries off the charger and store them in a "cool, dry place."]

I wrote in to customer service and explained the situation and received a near-instantaneous, favorable response. It's clear to me that iRobot's customer support has "picked the ball back up." Even though this may have been my fault, since some Scooba's have had software or hardware-related battery problems, they gave me the benefit of the doubt. They are sending me, at no-charge:

  1. two new batteries to replace the ones that no longer can be charged,
  2. a new charging stand, just in case mine is one of the ones with problems, and
  3. a software update "dongle" [they call it an OSMO] to make certain that my Scooba has the latest on-board charging software.
Understand that Scooba batteries are not simple store-bought rechargables. The retail cost of a Scooba battery is about $70! Accessories like the stand are not inexpensive, either. Beyond the cost of parts, they're paying a fair amount just in shipping alone to get all of this to me.

Needless to say, I gave them a "firewall 5 [very satisfied]" rating on all aspects of their customer satisfaction survey. I also wrote the following comment, which I think is worthy of sharing publicly:

Thank you. It is top-notch post-sales support like this that will keep me coming back to iRobot for years to come, and referring my friends. You guys are a class act, with a great product. Your support "keeps it great" even when something does go wrong.
Tags: customer service, gadgets, satisfaction
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