Scooba Fears The Consumerist

Jennifer invokes the name of The Consumerist when Scooba customer service starts back talking, and gets ‘em to bend over like lil’ robo bitches.

    “Those assholes left me on hold for more than forty minutes with the worst possible recordings, so I was already pretty steamed when they picked up. So after going through every possible step in their script the damn thing still wouldn’t operate, so they asked me to send it back for a replacement. I ask her if she needs my email for the shipping label and she gets real quiet for a moment, and says “we don’t do that…” So I ask her if they’re going to compensate me for the shipping -after all, it is their defect, right? She tells me, oh, yes, we’ll send you coupons for scooba soap as compensation.”

Oh no she didn’t! What happened next?


Jennifer continues:

    “Which would be great if I wanted eighteen dollars worth of overpriced soap (it’s just surfactant, and you can use vinegar instead), but I don’t. So I remind her (not so politely) that the thing weighs like forty pounds, and that it’s their responsibility, and they have to pay for the shipping. She puts me on hold for a moment, comes back, we can’t do that, we don;’t do that. So I decided fuck it, it’s worth a try, and I told her- “You guys sold me a defective robot, and if I don’t get a shipping label, I’m going to write it up for the Consumerist, and it’s going to be everywhere,” really laid it on thick- and she puts me on hold for about two seconds before getting on and saying “we’re sending a label, you should have it within two weeks,” and then just starts laying on the “have a wonderful day” stuff. You gotta love it.”

To be fair, it was probably the tirade surrounding the use of The Consumerist that compelled Scooba to bend more so than the mighty power of our name, but hey, we’ll take it where we can get it. — BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. homerjay says:

    NIIIICE. I tried that once with (of all placed) National Wildlife Foundation catalog. I didn’t have such favorable results, but this site is evolving SO quickly into an 800lb gorilla that its not a surprise that call centers are starting to worry.

  2. RumorsDaily says:

    I like how the threat works regardless of the fact that people write up the experience either way. Even if you do what’s requested, you still get punished with the bad press.

  3. WindowSeat says:

    Its been my experience that most companies will send you a shipping label, but they’d rather you sent the product yourself and save them the extra money. By the way, is the Scooba actually worth the money when it is functioning properly?

  4. rideon says:

    The Scooba is my favorite thing in the world.

    Even if it wasn’t, my (currently) irrational fear of Cylons prohibits me from saying otherwise.

  5. VA_White says:

    I am a rabid Scoobavangelist. I love my Scooba like a pet dog. I got it on Woot.com – worth every single cent.

  6. Felix the Cat says:

    I’ve owned a dozen of these things. They break very easily. I just go buy another one, wait a week or so and return the broken one in the ‘new box’. Works every time.

  7. SharkJumper says:

    I’ve been pretty happy with iRobot’s customer service, myself. I ordered a top-of-the-line refurbished Roomba from Amazon for about 1/2 price. Based on a tip from Consumerist of all places. I saw some reviews that said people were having battery troubles with the refurbished ones, but iRobot would replace. So, I purchased it. Sure enough, I only got a few minutes vacuum time out of the little bugger.

    Called iRobot, went through their checklist, then was told to send the entire Roomba except for the power brick. The lady told me that they normally sent back new replacement parts. I did so via FedEx at – what I thought – a reasonable price.

    At some point I realized that I had sent back the power brick as well. Called them to let them know. No problem, they’ll just replace that as well.

    Roomba comes in. All parts look to be brand new. Runs great. I’ve been very happy with the purchase. Got a new Roomba at 1/2 price. Of course, since I was expecting to send something back based on the reviews, and the price was so low to start with, the shipping didn’t hurt so bad.

  8. voodoodle says:

    at first i hated the companies. next were the callers. then i hated the consumerist. i thought the caller went back on her word. i thought the consumerist was committing bad pr and getting shameless self-promotion. then i realized that the consumerist was being transparent and honest. They received a relavent tip and they published it. it shows the power of the consumer: a shopper biting back. the consumerist is letting everyone where their loyalties lie. if that consumer wanted her letter published, she got it. f’ the company.

    but really, the company didn’t get hurt, did it? it got a warning slap. they know there customers are consumerists now. they have a chance to get better, but they haven’t suffered. so if nobody got hurt, is nobody at fault?

  9. moejuda says:

    bunkl, that is exactly the kind of garbage that forces these companies to institute policies that punish the rest of us. Thanks.

  10. I’ve owned a dozen of these things. They break very easily. I just go buy another one, wait a week or so and return the broken one in the ‘new box’. Works every time.

    That sounds pretty unethical and illegal. I hope that the next one you buy is one of the broken ones you returned.

    Kudos to iRobot for making things right in the end, even though it required namedropping the Consumerist.

  11. rich815 says:

    I’m not so sure it was the name Consumerist as much as explaining exactly what she was going to do and what was meant by “the Consumerist”. I highly doubt they know this site by name.

    As she says: “…if I don’t get a shipping label, I’m going to write it up for the Consumerist, and it’s going to be everywhere, really laid it on thick…” So the phone rep went on hold, likely just explained to her manager that the customer is pissed off and is going to post it all on some online consumer complaint website unless we send a shipping label, and the manager said, just send her one.

    I doubt it was like……..THE CONSUMERIST!!!…..and angels sang and the sky parted or something….

  12. darnellymdu says:

    My comment concerns the foul language and bad attitude displayed while making a poor attempt to correct the problem. I think it is fair to assume that the nasty attitude was apparent early into the conversation described. If the consumer/customer tries that tactic, rarely will the desired result be achieved.

  13. Felix the Cat says:

    Kudos to iRobot for making things right in the end, even though it required namedropping the Consumerist.
    ===============================

    Consumerist had nothing to do with it. I only came across this site about 3 mos ago. The initial runs of these 229.00 turkeys were pretty much junk, they were put on the market before they should have been and slight modifications were made every month to get them ‘right’. In effect the company used ma and pa consumer as their testing lab and based on consumer gripes they made little changes here and there.

    In my opinion it was the roomba firm which was ripping off consumers by putting out a vastly overpriced piece of junk.

    I’m sure that most consumers AKA: Sheep, just wrote it off and tossed them out when they broke. I simply bought another and returned the ‘old’ one. This is how I know that these things went through so many minor changes, I saw most of them first hand.

    So if anyone is doing anything illegal/dishonest I think you can lay that right at the door of a corporation that used poor dumb sheep/consumers to do their market testing on.

    If you don’t like how I do things, you can just get a pail and shovel and go to the beach and pound sand.

  14. infinitysnake says:

    Well, before it just stopped working, I liked it. It was a little noisy, but we were really impressed by its movment..it seemed completely rtandom until we watched it scootch all the way around a table leg. But after only one cycle, the ‘check tank’ light came on and would not be appeased.

  15. krunk4ever says:

    With things that have a tendency of breaking or where I heard many reports of it breaking, I tend to buy from Costco. Even though it may cost a bit more, it’s like paying for extra warranty, but without the hassle of trying to convince them it’s broken and that it’s covered under their warranty.

    Just bring it back, they’ll refund your money, and you walk out with either the money or purchase a replacement for the item that was broken.

  16. infinitysnake says:

    I agree, I love Costco for that…although last time I was there, they shorted me 20 bucks…

  17. Christopher says:

    I can wholeheartedly agree with your stance. I’ve always thought that it’s utter BS when a company expects you to pay shipping when their product becomes defective under warranty. I’d understand if, say, the product were out of warranty or if the user was the cause of the problem. But when it’s the fault of the manufacturer, they should cover 100% of all the costs. Good job!

  18. Plasmafire says:

    Just goes to prove the Consumerist truly does help consumers. Thanks Consumerist. :)

  19. So if anyone is doing anything illegal/dishonest I think you can lay that right at the door of a corporation that used poor dumb sheep/consumers to do their market testing on.

    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you here, but explain to me how committing fraud by returning broken used goods as though it were an unused new product is not illegal? In your first comment it certainly sounded that way… Or are you saying that the retail store accepts the broken Scooba and issues you a refund?

    If iRobot didn’t have a warranty return, then returning the broken item surreptitiously to the retail store that sold it doesn’t help anyone. If you are returning it broken and the store accepts the return as such, then thats another story.

  20. infinitysnake says:

    “My comment concerns the foul language and bad attitude displayed while making a poor attempt to correct the problem. I think it is fair to assume that the nasty attitude was apparent early into the conversation described. If the consumer/customer tries that tactic, rarely will the desired result be achieved. “

    I’m not sure wher you might have gotten ANY information on that account- I am always unfailingly, polite to csrs, no matter how obnoxiously I am treated- but my correspondence is another matter, and I’ll use any attitude/language I like. (So bite me!)

  21. infinitysnake says:

    I should also add that I have never, ever been denied a ‘desired result.’ Persistence and a little (or a lot, depending) attitude is what gets a resolution.

    Courtesy is expected in most human interactions, especially where there is potential friction. That aside, the attitude of a customer is simply irrelevant when it comes to a company’s obligation to make good when they screw up- there’s a basic expectation that someone might be a little peeved at poor service, rude csrs, or being left on hold for hours(or being asked to clean a robot with a q-tip and an air compressor).

  22. Felix the Cat says:

    If iRobot didn’t have a warranty return, then returning the broken item surreptitiously to the retail store that sold it doesn’t help anyone. If you are returning it broken and the store accepts the return as such, then thats another story
    =================================

    Of course returning the ‘broken item’ to the retail store helps someone. It helps the consumer and that is the ONLY person I am interested in.

    The iRobot piece of junk breaks, you buy another one and a few days later return the ‘broken one’ with the ‘new receipt’. YOU are in fact helped, the store returns it for credit to their supplier and he in turn sends it back up the food chain.

    In ‘my way’ the consumer, who is the one usually stuck with the crapola product, is the one who is not in fact stuck, a welcome change for the consumer I think.

    I could not care less about someone who opines that this course of action is ‘fraud’, I just don’t care – got it?! You don’t want to do it then don’t, for the rest of us, well some of us at least, we do it and guess what I don’t loose any sleep over it.

    There are a load of products out there that just crap out on consumers. We pay good money for it and use it a few times and it breaks. Not all of us manage to hang onto our receipts and even those who do might find that it is past the 90 days (or whatever) that the store guarantees the item for. So then it is time for a bit of consumer gurilla warefare as outlined above.