Horrible Repair Service Experience

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Horrible Repair Service Experience

Postby joshcjeffr » January 15th, 2013, 1:42 am

My XV-11 is out for repair at ProTech Robotics and I'm stunned at how poor the service is. I will never use them again and I recommend anyone looking for repair options disregard Neato's suggestion to contact them.

The robot's right wheel became stuck and I'm uncomfortable disassembling the device, so I called Neato. They recommended Pro-Tech Robotics for repair service, so I went to their site, purchased the repair service through the online store and sent it during the third week of November in careful accordance with their instructions. Their site is peppered with prohibitions against calling them and warnings of this and that sort. But I'm sure I must've missed something critical because I've never had a customer service experience this negligent.

The shipment tracking indicated they received my robot the next day, but ProTech Robotics did not acknowledge receipt of my unit until over a full week after they received it. Even then, it was an automated update that came two days after I logged in and requested confirmation they had it. And yes, there was a holiday in there. But not even an acknowledgement over a week later?

December came and went without further word. I was annoyed, but it was the holidays. I waited over a month to request a new status via my order record and I received an automated reply that my order had been changed to 'Repair-Diagnostic Evaluation in Progress.' Another week has passed since then.

I don't consider this to be professional quality service. I understand holiday closures. Their notices site informed customers on 12/1 that they would be closed for 2/3 of December, and that's their business. But at the same time my equipment has been in their custody for over 8 weeks now and I've only received the courtesy of a status update when I specifically request one. Over 8 weeks later and as far as I know the repair hasn't even begun. How many more weeks or months must I wait, wondering? If I'm not to call them looking for information and they won't proactively provide it, how am I to feel like I'm getting the repair service I paid for instead of just being insulted?

If the repair process is this slow, ProTech Robotics did a terrible job of setting my expectations. And if this is typical, Neato should not be recommending ProTech's services to their customers. This experience reflects upon Neato as much as it does on ProTech robotics.

I will be calling Neato's customer service at the conclusion of my repair, however long it takes, to let them know they should recommend against this provider. And I will be looking for other online opportunities to express my displeasure with ProTech Robotics and their incredibly poor customer service.
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Re: Horrible Repair Service Experience

Postby JEfromCanada » January 15th, 2013, 4:00 am

Current robots:
Roomba Discovery 4210 (not connected)
Roomba 560 (not connected)
Neato XV-11 SW version 3.1.17844, LDS version 2.6.15295, with Pet Brush and Vic's filter
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Re: Horrible Repair Service Experience

Postby mfortuna » January 15th, 2013, 7:55 am

That is too bad. At one point protech robotics was one of the most respected contributers to robot reviews. I don't know if the company was sold at some point but it doesn't sound like the same people are running it.
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Re: Horrible Repair Service Experience

Postby vic7767 » January 15th, 2013, 12:10 pm

Chris is still running the ProTechRobotics website and services. That is an unusual delay for maintenance service.
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Re: Horrible Repair Service Experience

Postby ProTech Robotics » January 15th, 2013, 7:25 pm

Yes, ProTech Robotics™ is absolutely still around... we just don't have the manpower or free time in the shop to volunteer / contribute on RobotReview as we did back in 2005-2008.

Since the blog section and reseller ratings was raised, I've never felt that a response was ever necessary for the "too expensive" or "bad customers service" rants by others, if we were wrong then I would have responded accordingly.
What I believe is more relavant to our credibility is what is NOT said... No where has a repair service customer ever claimed that a repair was not done correctly, No where... Never.
ProTech Robotics™ is registered with the USPTO has an "A" rating with the BBB (even though we aren't a paid member) and we are the only repair facility globally for the past 7 years that evaluates and repairs all the iRobot Roomba, Scooba, Mint and Neato Robotics XV series models and we are an authorized reseller for Neato Robotics.


To the immediate post:

Joshcjeffr,

Thank you for your message. Please accept my apology on the length of time that you have been patiently waiting. I will be happy to assist you in any way I can.

here is the timeline on your order;
11/18 - you checked off that you had read and understood both our terms of service and our posted vacation/holiday schedule.
11/23 - USPS tracking show it as delivered
12/5 - the unit was inventoried and updated online as being received and logged into our repair system.
12/14 - we closed from 12/17-1/7 as posted in our vacation schedule.

To date this would put your order at the 21st business day today. The evaluation online is stated at taking an estimated 14-21 business days.

Over the CHRISTmas and new year holiday season we customarily close the shop from 3-4 weeks for rest and traveling to visit family and friends. I do understand that to some customers it may seem overly excessive for us as a business to close for this period of time, but to us, (Protech is a family owned and operated business) it is simply a choice we make and our family time always comes first.

There is one issue that I do want to address, I don't feel that our time frame is off, we're a small shop and service 15-30 units each day with only a handful of service techs to cover the workload so the 14-21 business days is what we've been running for the past 4-5 years of the 7 we've been in business . The discrepency in the announcement board you pointed out as showing a Dec 1st date was an error on my part when I added it. It was actually posted on 11/1 and part of each order since then through the checkout link accepting our terms of service and vacation schedule.

With that being said, our evaluation was completed Friday and is waiting to be reviewed before it is uploaded to your account. I can either upload it and we can go from there or I can approve to have the unit shipped back to you. Normally you would be responsible for the return shipping but under the circumstances of the holiday closure, and the schedule post date being incorrect, I will cover the return shipping costs if that is what you would prefer.


--
Sincerely,
Chris
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ProTech Robotics™
C. R. Home Improvements inc.
http://www.protechrobotics.com
repairs@protechrobotics.com
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Re: Horrible Repair Service Experience

Postby Boomerang » January 16th, 2013, 9:38 am

Chris.....this is not good....wherever I worked we would take turns for vacation time. Never closing down completely. If you must, make it a week and not a month. Put yourself in a customer's position....totally wondering what happened to his robot. He can't call you....you won't allow it....for him a month seems like a year....and then you may come back with bad news after he missed all the discount robot sales. I believe your biz is very important to you but the approach isn't good from a customer's viewpoint.
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Re: Horrible Repair Service Experience

Postby ProTech Robotics » January 16th, 2013, 10:14 am

Boomerang wrote:Chris.....this is not good....wherever I worked we would take turns for vacation time. Never closing down completely. If you must, make it a week and not a month.


I would agree that it would be irresponsible for a business to close all of a sudden for vacation without notice. But in our case, for the CHRISTmas and new year holiday seasons each year we close for 3-4 weeks and each customer is notified during checkout and through our announcement board link at the top of each web page prior to ordering.
Before placing an order from 11/1 - 1/7 each customer must read, understand and accept our posted schedule, without this acceptance the order is not processed or approved.

Boomerang wrote:He can't call you....you won't allow it


Our phone number is posted on every page of the website below the menu to the left, we simply ask "no phone orders please" because we aren't equipped to handle phone orders. The best and preferred communication method for repair service customers is through their account where they can easily chat, post and email our tech staff and customer service.

Boomerang wrote: ...for him a month seems like a year

Unfortunately, in this case it did seem that way. Definitely not our goal here and unfortunately we just got word that they do want to move forward with canceling their order with us. The evaluation is done but I will honor our word and cancel the order anyways and ship the unit back at our costs.

--
Chris
Administrative Support
ProTech Robotics™
C. R. Home Improvements inc.
http://www.protechrobotics.com
repairs@protechrobotics.com
Find us on eBay at:
liquid-8it
Roomba_exchange
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Re: Horrible Repair Service Experience

Postby Queensu_girl » February 14th, 2013, 2:37 pm

I sent my Rooma into ProTech in Fall 2012. I received a repair estimate for more than the value of the robot and a return shipping quote taht was 3x what I spent to ship it to ProTech in Florida.

They are now selling vacuums like mine on Ebay.

I think this is an obvious scam to get them to sell. :(
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Re: Horrible Repair Service Experience

Postby invenio » March 20th, 2013, 1:59 pm

I just bought an XV-11 and bought the extra 3 year warranty for $28 (unit was XV-11 at $230 with free shipping). I think it's a good investment for anybody, especially when buying something that is going to get a lot of wear and tear. I don't want to hassle with getting charged for shipping and repairs.

As for the ProTech people, I can understand vacations and such, but it seemed like you guys basically got the unit on 11/23 and then didn't do anything for 2-3 weeks, then went on vacation for a month. You may want to look at your business model. Does it really take more than a few hours of work to diagnose and fix a problem with one of these units? If you only charge a few hundred dollars, you can't be putting 80 hours of work into the unit, so why not just try to get it done in a day or two after receiving the item. It will make your customers more happy, and it won't cost you any more work time.
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Re: Horrible Repair Service Experience

Postby JEfromCanada » March 20th, 2013, 4:57 pm

invenio,

I doubt they sit there waiting for stuff to come in for repair, and then have it worked on that same day. It only makes sense that, to be cost effective, there would have to be enough work "in the queue" to keep people busy.

While you're probably right that the actual repair takes relatively little time, there would be an initial waiting time and diagnostic time.
Current robots:
Roomba Discovery 4210 (not connected)
Roomba 560 (not connected)
Neato XV-11 SW version 3.1.17844, LDS version 2.6.15295, with Pet Brush and Vic's filter
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Re: Horrible Repair Service Experience

Postby invenio » March 20th, 2013, 5:03 pm

JEfromCanada wrote:invenio,

I doubt they sit there waiting for stuff to come in for repair, and then have it worked on that same day. It only makes sense that, to be cost effective, there would have to be enough work "in the queue" to keep people busy.

While you're probably right that the actual repair takes relatively little time, there would be an initial waiting time and diagnostic time.


I can certainly understand a little wait time, but this poor guy waited 2 months. If I have a problem with my car and take it to the autorepair place, and I hear "it will take 2 months to fix", I think I would take my car somewhere else.
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Re: Horrible Repair Service Experience

Postby JEfromCanada » March 20th, 2013, 7:01 pm

I'm not saying two months is reasonable. Just that one or two days is a bit ambitious.
Current robots:
Roomba Discovery 4210 (not connected)
Roomba 560 (not connected)
Neato XV-11 SW version 3.1.17844, LDS version 2.6.15295, with Pet Brush and Vic's filter
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Re: Horrible Repair Service Experience

Postby invenio » March 20th, 2013, 7:15 pm

JEfromCanada wrote:I'm not saying two months is reasonable. Just that one or two days is a bit ambitious.


Your right that 1-2 days is perhaps too much to ask for. However, in similar "repair" industries it is done. Auto repair, home appliance repair (ie plumber, furnace issues), bicycle repair, clothing services (cleaning, tailoring, shoe repair), etc.... I have used all these services I just used as examples and the work pretty much got done same day, or few days at most. 2 months is a different ballgame all together. IMHO.

Once again, I don't know either parties, and I'm sure there is more to the story than the few paragraphs above.
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