Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Embarrassing customer support at iRobot.

It is really rare for me to yell at a customer support representative. I actually can't remember the last time I did. Even though I've had some truly horrible customer service experiences.

Plus, I used to work that field. So while I can be upset at the company, I understand it isn't usually the fault of the person trying to solve my customer service needs. I go out of my way to not not yell at the reps, and let them know I'm upset at the company. Not them.

Today, however - I lost it on iRobot.

It started this way:

I've been waiting 5 weeks for a cleaning head assembly and wheel module for our new Roomba 560.

This model was just released, and ours arrived at the beginning of September. After two months of use - the machine became really loud and stopped picking stuff up. Even accumulated dust. So we logged a trouble ticket on 11/24/2007 01:52 PM. At the time there was known known ship date for the replacement parts. After Christmas, I started to become cranky. So we ping'ed them. Again - no known date for replacement parts.

Today I decided to call them. My machine has been unusable for 5 weeks!

I started to become irritated pretty quickly. Their automated menu system makes it almost impossible to get to an operator. If you try to "Operator Out" - it actively prevents you - by saying that it will transfer you to an operator after you've made a selection from the menu system. Most people who "Operator Out" do so because the menu system doesn't accommodate their need - or they are pissed enough they just want to get to an operator.

At any rate, after navigating 5 menu levels I was put into the hold queue. Listening to this for 20 minutes. Honestly.. listen to the whole thing and imagine what 20 minutes of this is like.

When I got the rep, I immediately asked for a manager. Who promptly said she would need to know what the issue was - so she could see if a manager was available.

In my head I thought "she'd better make a manager available". But I did manage to give her a rundown of my problem. I'd been waiting 5 weeks for a part, and had been on hold more than 20 minutes to find out where my part was.

She proceeded to try and transfer me to a manager, but clearly didn't know how. She tried a couple of times. At one point saying "oh crap". It took her 4 more minutes to try to transfer me. And! She wasn't even sure she had successfully done it - because as I was unloading on the manager - the original support rep was leaving me voicemail saying she thought we got disconnected and letting me know how to get in contact with the them.

By the time I got transferred it had been over 30 minutes. And... I... was... hot.

I told him I'd started out just trying to do a status check on a part. But now I wanted to know what the hell is going on over at the company. I told them the menu system made it almost impossible to talk to anyone. The amount of time I'd been on hold. And have they even listened to their hold music?

He said they'd been understaffed because of the holidays, and they were trying to get items out due to that. So I asked "when do you plan to get stuff out for your current customers"?

He said they had been doing an inventory, and it was completed on January 3rd. Again, I asked "so when can I expect my part"? He didn't want to give me an answer, but said for my trouble he would send out a brush set which normall would cost something like 17 dollars.

I was so mad at this point.

I told him I would rather he keep the brushes and have the company save that money and get peoples items out. I just wanted to know when he expected I could receive my part. He finally relented and said 12-14 days. Which will make it almost 2 months with a roomba that doesn't work.

And the thing that makes me oh so livid - is we were some of iRobots first customers. We have spent a lot of money with the company. The first 2 roomba's lasted 3 years. The third lasted a year. Our scooba needed to be replaced within the first 3 months. Story Here.

So - product quality has definitly been going downhill.

Now, this is how they treat their customers? It isn't like they are a new company anymore.

Tell me iRobot - why should I ever spend another dime at your company? After all these years, I don't even think I would refer their product to anyone I know.

1 comment:

  1. PLEASE DITTO me in this setiment. Thank you for writting about your experience. My has been "crappy" too. March 17, 2008

    own two dirt dogs-one in exchange warranty

    one scoooba--returned several

    Customer Support needs some real technicians on the end of the other line.