How many replacements did you need to go through?

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How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby Phane7 » February 13th, 2013, 5:16 pm

I've been playing return roulette with an XV-14 I got from costco.com. It's apparently a common issue to end up with defective Neatos. I keep reading posts telling me to keep returning the bad ones and eventually you end up with a good one and that then it'll all be worth it. With my experience so far, I don't really have much faith left. I've had 2 issues with each Neato I've gotten so far. So I'm curious how many returns others have had to go through before getting a good one?

The track record for me so far (edited as of 4/11/13):

XV-14
#1) Came with bad batteries. With some replacement batteries, it worked for the most part. However, it took forever (20-30 mins) to do each room and would eventually get lost and start doing random stuff. In hind sight, it probably was a problem with my black leather furniture but Neato CS thought it was defective and once they shipped a replacement, they refused to let me keep this one.

#2) Turned on for the first time to a battery error. Upon inspection, found that one of the pins on one of the battery connectors wasn't pushed in all the way (classy). Pushed it in myself and then it worked great... for one charge. Then refused to do anything with "My vision was blocked (3000)" errors.

#3) Came without a beater brush (seriously?) Using beater brush from unit #2, it ran fine for half a charge and then refused to run anymore saying it's brush is stuck.

#4) Battery Error 0007 out of the box (same as #2). I was told to disconnect and reconnect the batteries. When pulling one out, the connector on the Neato side snapped and came loose. Returned to get my money back.

XV-11
Found on sale at Walmart.com with a 3 year warranty and I'm a glutton for punishment.

#5) DOA, wouldn't turn on. CSR told me to leave it plugged in overnight to see if it'd "come back from the dead" and it did. The battery was somewhat flaky but the Neato suffered navigation issues like #1. Unlike #1, the issues got progressively worse with each run until the unit started going over magnetic markers without stopping and eventually wouldn't even pass a small bedroom test, endlessly doing random s-turns and spins instead of a perimeter.

#6) Ran for 60 seconds, then needed to go back to the charger and died before getting there. Likely had a test battery still in it from before. Ran ok with replacement battery. Remaining navigation issues resolved with masking tape.
Last edited by Phane7 on April 11th, 2013, 10:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby tstreete » February 13th, 2013, 10:10 pm

My XV-11s have all worked fine out of the box. The first got an RPS error after a couple of months, the second developed a freaky screen after about six weeks. I've had the third since last June and it's still working great. Run it three times a week at least. I bought the two year extended warranty, because these things are relatively fragile; I won't be surprised if I get another replacement or two before the warranty's out.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby Phane7 » February 13th, 2013, 10:35 pm

tstreete wrote:My XV-11s have all worked fine out of the box. The first got an RPS error after a couple of months, the second developed a freaky screen after about six weeks. I've had the third since last June and it's still working great. Run it three times a week at least. I bought the two year extended warranty, because these things are relatively fragile; I won't be surprised if I get another replacement or two before the warranty's out.


So even if I get one that DOES work initially, I can expect to have to play this same game again every few months?
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby vic7767 » February 13th, 2013, 11:26 pm

Maybe not... I've got a couple of the newer XV-21 models that seem to be holding up quite well. Some owners of this same model suffered some issues with defective battery packs but the early failures in the XV-11 and XV-12 seem to have been addressed and resolved.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby Hotcut » February 14th, 2013, 3:49 am

I got my XV-15 almost a year ago.
Worked right out of the box, and have never had a problem with it. It runs 5 times a week.
Battery runtimes are great - have NEVER needed a mid-clean charge. It cleans a mix of carpets and hardwood, in total 110 square metres (1100 square feet).

So not all who are here have problems :)
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby bjarnewarming » February 14th, 2013, 10:47 am

Received my XV-15 1½ year ago, and have never had problems.
Runs 5 times a week.
It runs when I'm not home, so I'm not able to tell about runtimes, but it cleans my entrance hall nicely everyday (20 sqm) - and that's good enough for me ;-)
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby zurk » February 15th, 2013, 12:56 pm

5 over 1 year.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby tmnCA » February 15th, 2013, 2:05 pm

I'm on my 4th - this one seems like a keeper so far!
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby spinee » February 17th, 2013, 7:19 pm

I think there may be some QC issues with manufacturing & assembling a complex little machine. My first one died after 6 months, the replacement had problems within a week, and the third one has been indestructible for nearly a year and a half.

Neato support has always been friendly, helpful & quick to ship out replacements, and have helped me out of a jam of my own making once! I think they're aware of the manufacturing issues, are working to minimize defects (all those replacements can't be cheap for them) and doing what's necessary to try to keep the customer satisfied.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby Phane7 » February 21st, 2013, 2:34 pm

4th one showed up today. Battery Error 0007 out of the box (same as #2). I was told to disconnect and reconnect the batteries. When pulling one out, the connector on the Neato side snapped and came loose. 4/4 defective out of the box... I'm done. Thankfully I bought it from Costco and can get my money back.

Gonna try the Roomba 595 and test my luck with that unit.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby kevco » February 25th, 2013, 2:02 pm

Our first one lasted two weeks and then died with a "wheel stuck" error. We returned it to Costco. The second one lasted about two weeks again and then got the same "wheel stuck" error. I emailed customer service and after a few days with no response (they eventually responded but it took a week or more) we decided return it one more time. Our third one has been going for about a month and so far is working great. The third one was packaged slightly different than the first two, it had a sticker with instructions to connect one of the batteries. The first two had the batteries already connected. Eventually, after very long delays each time I replied to an email, customer service acknowledged that they had issues with older robots and that some costco stores may have older stock but newer stock and/or factory replacements should be more reliable.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby Phane7 » February 25th, 2013, 8:07 pm

If you want to get a hold of them, call them on the phone. Every time I called, I got a live person within 15 minutes or so. I can't say many good things about this company but I can give them that.

As far as old stock is concerned, I got the initial unit from Costco.com. It had one battery disconnected with the stickers on top and bottom telling me to open it up and connect the battery. The other three, I got straight from Neato as factory replacements. The one that had the missing beater brush had the stickers on it and one battery disconnected. The other two had no stickers and the batteries were both plugged in.

All three exchanges came with a letter from Neato apologizing for the problems I had with the previous unit and claiming that "we have charged and tested your Neato to ensure you have a trouble free experience". All three had clearly not been tested, since two wouldn't even power on and the third was missing a rather major part.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby Phane7 » March 13th, 2013, 2:07 pm

Update: I tried the Roomba 595 and it works, but doesn't clean as well as the original semi-working Neato. I saw Wal-mart had a deal where I could get a 3 year warranty on an XV-11 and I guess I'm kind of a glutton for punishment, so I pulled the trigger and decided to give them another try.

The XV-11 showed up today (batteries already plugged in, no stickers, which had me already expecting the worst). I wish I had good news, but it's 0-5. This unit won't even turn on. No lights, no sound, no error message, nothing. Tried using the old battery from #1 that Neato didn't want me to ship back and it still won't turn on. I don't think we can say this is old stock either as walmart.com has been selling out of these units routinely.

So, what are the odds on me going 0-6? :?
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby vic7767 » March 13th, 2013, 4:07 pm

In all fairness, the 600 and 700 Roomba models with the new designed CHM and the Aerovac-2 dust bin are the only robots that should be compared with the present Neato models. Earlier 500 models don't come close to later Roomba models in cleaning performance.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby keybounce » March 13th, 2013, 7:44 pm

I went through ... 4 or 5.

They started off OK to good, but did not stay that way.

Problems seemed to be bad sensors / constantly getting lost on some of the earlier ones. One outright failure.

My current one is behaving very nicely. However, while the others have gotten full charges in about one hour of docking, this new one (needs a new charger station, does not work with older one) takes three hours to recharge. Cleaning time has dropped from 55-70 minutes down to 45 minutes. Instead of usually getting the whole house in one pass, it now always needs two.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby a4refillpad » March 13th, 2013, 9:52 pm

The fact that you stated that your new one does not work on the older dock sounds like you've moved from a gen1 (rev 113) to gen2 (rev 64) neato. The reduced runtimes is well known on the newer neatos compared to previous gen. What hasn't been mentioned before were the longer comparative charging times.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby Phane7 » March 14th, 2013, 12:57 pm

I may have been a bit hasty declaring #5 dead. The CSR told me at the end to charge the Neato overnight and see "if that brings it back from the dead". He didn't seem very confident it would work and I wasn't either, but the unit is turning on and charging now. I'll give it a test run tomorrow and see if it works.

vic7767 wrote:In all fairness, the 600 and 700 Roomba models with the new designed CHM and the Aerovac-2 dust bin are the only robots that should be compared with the present Neato models. Earlier 500 models don't come close to later Roomba models in cleaning performance.


My 595 has the grey CHM (which I think is the newest) but it's the original Aerovac bin, not the Aerovac-2. It did seem to have as much dust/debris in the bin as the Neato did after a single run, but the wife and I both agree that the floors don't look as clean.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby fufu » March 14th, 2013, 7:17 pm

My XV-11 had a broken wheel suspension after three months. Then i bought the vr100 which runs fine for nearly one and a half year. He runs five times a week.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby Phane7 » March 16th, 2013, 3:58 pm

Ran it a few times again. It works, but not very well. It doesn't get lost like the first unit, but it still gets lost. First two times I ran, it ran for two short charges, then when it came off of the base for the third charge, it stopped saying "Recovering my position" right in front of the base, then it turned left, ran a couple of feet then "Recovering my position" again, then "Please clear my path". Neato told me to hold down the orange button for 15 seconds, which didn't seem to do anything, and then do a spot clean saying that that would "clear the error".

Ran it again, it ran one charge and then when going back to the base, it passed in front of the base several times, back and forth as though it couldn't see it, eventually wedging itself into the wall on either side and then said "Please clear my path". Hitting ok, it would repeat the process.

Any ideas?

Edit: Why do the Neato CSR's keep telling me that using the shutdown command and waiting for 5-10 minutes completely drains the fully charged battery? I don't know much about electricity, but I know enough to know how ridiculous that sounds.
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Re: How many replacements did you need to go through?

Postby vic7767 » March 16th, 2013, 4:23 pm

What they should say is when using the shutdown menu choice battery is removed from the MCU and erases all battery status registers so that when power is established the Neato battery status is starting with a clean slate and therefore must begin a charging cycle to update its registers.
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