Monday, April 13, 2015
We bought a Neato robotic vacuum from Woot! as scratch & dent sale. Supposedly in "as new" condition with possible cosmetic issues. The only thing we could see was a scratch on the small round top piece. We loved it for the first few monitored runs. Alas, it died after a week. Troubleshooting with Neato tech support, batteries were ID'd as the issue. Rather than wait for them to warranty them in 14-18 days (first warning!) we bought replacements off Amazon with Prime 2 day shipping. Indeed, that solved the problem for another 3 cleanings (second warning!) at which point they said we needed to pay $26 to have them ship us up a replacement and ship this one back. The replacement they sent is a model down. No big, we already bought extra filters and brushes, we'll just upgrade them on the one they shipped. Alas, this one dies in less than a run after a full day charge. As in, fully dead. Won't charge, won't respond at ALL. Faint green light when docked but otherwise utterly unresponsive. They offer to ship the replacement at their expense after we pitch a complete fit that they shipped a ****** defective piece of work. Mind you, this takes 10 days. They are a 1 day UPS and FedEx from my HOUSE. I can drive to their doorstep in 6 hours in zero hurry dealing including dealing with bad traffic. It still takes them 10 days to get us a refurbished replacement that is again a model level down from the that refurbished model we purchased. The last one they send is the uh.... absolute worst of the whole bunch. It staggers around for two minutes and then stops. Stuck wheel. There are forums for this, but nothing doing on the advice those offer. We watched it, physically monitored our awesome new toy. It got a total of 17 sq. ft. of floor cleaned across all of the resets we did before it finally begged to be put to bed. And the 1.8 sq. ft,. it cleaned the following day, under supervision. Mind you -this is on nearly spotless hardwood floor. Also, to be very very clear on the above technical support: there are levels of ridiculousness that defy belief when dealing with Neato! support staff. Absolutely brain-dead questions and instructions from their call center team. It is literally ridiculous. They do not understand even the simplest questions you ask. And when they do try to answer them, the answers they provide are even worse. Calling the Neato support staff worthless would be an insult to those who actually deserve the effort to label them as such. To be so sensitive and kind to such completely inept call center people, and then be treated like we aren't capable of being their customers is pure craziness. What does Neato say about the stuck wheel? To quote from a supervisor when we had to escalate it "Neato will refund you for this vacuum and is ending the relationship with you. We will send you a check and a call tag to return the vacuum." A week passes. Neato customer service denies the above conversation occurred. They offer to submit a request to review the offer and see if they can get someone to "approve it". Zero record of this occurring, apparently. Calling back reveals that even the conversation immediately prior (2 days time) has not occurred and the rep this time offers to try to get someone to approve the return. Oh, he can confirm that we've been fired as customers, but he can't tell me why. He's nice enough about it. Since we are "fired as a customer" he's "definitely gotta send out a call tag." Two more days pass, we're still in limbo. And this is with a promise, once they FINALLY get the vacuum back, that they'll refund us TWO MONTHS after that, assuming they don't find ANYTHING wrong with the busted garbage refurbished Neato that they sent us. Called again, they have confirmed they are going to send a call tag. That was a week ago and we've had radio silence from them since. Woot at this point denies any responsibility. The warranty for defective vacuums through Woot! is 21 days. And I believe that's from the time you purchase, not the time you receive it so we're totally out of luck now. You get 60 days warranty if you pay with a visa debit as we did, but we weren't "fired as a customer" until 64 days had passed so Woot is just "sorry for your experience, there is nothing we can do." Finally, assuming that Neato DOES offer you a refund for their LEMON GARBAGE VACUUM REFURBISHED RETURN RIPOFF SCAM HASSLE OVERPRICED UNREPAIRED DEFECTIVE WARRANTY POLICY VOIDED and many other keywords I think should be associated with Neato and their vacuums, be aware: It takes SIX to EIGHT WEEKS for them to process the refund. Again you need to bear in mind that is from the date they receive the returned broken refurbished Neato vacuum which you send them. To be clear, when all is said and done, they keep our $160 for 2 months in their bank account, plus the cost of the batteries and the first and last return shipping costs. Nice. That's a great scam, you jerks. Woot! could at LEAST give some sort of escalation path for this issue, that's all we are asking... You sell enough of the worthless broken refurbished Neato vacuums that you can spare a few keystrokes to make this whole thing disappear? That's the amazing mod staff of the old woot, not the deaf, corporate mumbo jumbo ears that we get now. For all future purchasers, your credit card warranty is definitely something to look at before you ever make a purchase from Woot! or Neato or of a substantial appliance in the future. All we wanted was a working vacuum. Hardwood floors and a small bit of tile with cats here. This vacuum worked good, WHEN it worked. Don't buy from Woot! unless you've got some solid backup through your credit card company because to us it appears they have screwed us over in favor of Neato. I make it my mission now to tell others - Neato will screw you. Definitely avoid their products, they will try to buy your silence with refunds and then they will resell your old broken vaccum (refubished or not) to the next sucker down the line. Very unethical, as is the new Woot! Disclaimer: - We are both smart people. - We are not about the money. The money is not the issue. We do okay financially but having some jerkwad company sit on our money for TWO MONTHS because they don't WANT to send us a working flipping vaccum? Again, this is not about the money. - We sanitize our house for the vacuum, before it ever runs. - We read the manuals. Literally RTFM. All of them. And we likewise try and grok the spirit in which they were written as well, because assuredly not all of them own English as a native tongue. Vacuum is a language a couple of OCD people speak. Never mind the three cats. - Neither of us is anything above sub-passive when working with technical support or customer service staff on the phone or in person - we are the least aggressive folks towards the service industry that you can imagine. That said, sorry for the long ramble, others need to know how about this. I say this to mean people AT WOOT! and/or Amazon need to step up and fix this bullshit. Literally hours of my life on the phone with them, just trying to get a working robotic vacuum after giving Woot! our money! The least I can do is some expository review of their company policies and processes so others can learn to avoid Neato products (and especially avoid buying them through Woot!) else they will likewise have a very NEGATIVE experience with Neato.