“Outsourced” doesn’t always mean that work is shipped overseas. An outsourced call center can be anywhere. Well, anywhere with a low cost of living. What it always means is that the people doing outsourced customer-facing work are stuck reading from scripts and have limited information. That’s what Charles’ wife discovered this past weekend when dealing with an issue with her Scooba floor-cleaning robot. When she tried to order a replacement core for her broken Scooba, she received cryptic e-mails telling her that the company was “unable to complete [her] order” and that they would be “unable to assist [her] with this or future orders,” according to the corporate office. Wait, was iRobot breaking up with her? [More]
Forget 3D TVs, tablets, smartphones, streaming video devices and hoverboards. They might get all the big headlines at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, but they’ll all also be obsolete by next year’s CES. But a robot that not only mops the floor on its own, but can also scrub around the toilet? Now that’s something I want to see in person. [More]
• Amazon is taking pre-orders for the iRobot Scooba, the floor-washing counterpart to the Roomba, for $400. We are unduly excited about this product, but we really recommend waiting until some reviews come out before dropping four bills. There is also some question as to whether or not a Scooba owner will be tied to purchasing only the Clorox-branded cleaning solution, or if something can be whipped up at home. But still, new robot! Coupon code JANCLEAR takes off $25.