IoT vendor objects to "rude" review, renders complainer's device inoperable


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/05/you-are-the-product.html


#2

in this case only a crapget and a guy who probably shouldn’t do anything customer-related (don’t know if he has other qualities, he could be otherwise a brilliant manager or developer).

it gets more interesting when personal, uh, quirks are part of the culture of larger enterprises - like Musk canceling a Tesla car order over a bad review


#3

It’s not like a review like his is uncommon. If I were that person I would still return the device. That company that would pull that has no integrity.


#4

A crapgadget like that is totally unnecessary, but if one was interested, they could do it themselves. Here’s an idea: instead of making single purpose crapgadgets, make something that can report the status of any sensor when queried remotely. Then you could see if your garage door is open, your coffee maker is on, your faucet is running, whatever, without having to buy multiple crapgadgets.


#5

I notice the tag, “The end of private property” on this story. I’d like to out that this is only the “end of” private property in that it’s the logical conclusion of private property. It’s our ideas about private property and people’s unfettered right to accumulate it that created the situation. After all, it’s not that no one owns the right to turn that device on and off, the company owns it. It’s just the company chooses to extract rent instead of selling.


#6

On the one hand, I want this company to fail asap before they ensnare any new customers.
On the other hand, if the company fails then every existing customer of theirs automatically looses their money.

No win situation?

Fortunately they’re not yet ‘too big to fail’…


#7

This is one of the reasons I’m intent on making all of my devices not reliant on outside service providers. I do have some devices that require a service to be maintained, like my Wink smarthome hub, but nothing that is connected to it (other smart home devices) is only compatible with Wink, so if Wink ever goes out of business, I’ll just have to replace the hub, not every device in the house.

When it comes to smart home devices like this garage sensor, and other devices like lightbulbs, outlets, etc I think it’s best to look for things that have standardized interoperability like Z-Wave and Zigbee, since these standards will outlast many companies or the support they provide.

I do have one device on pre-order that I’m a little worried about; the Spinn coffee machine. It is an IoT device that relies on a service provider for at least some of its functionality, though it does have hardware buttons on the device that should make it run even without that service at least for basic function. I’ll have to see when (if) it arrives sometime in the next few months.


#8

Technically it is the end of personal property. Private property, such as things protected by DRM, will continue to exist in the hands of the rich.

(I don’t know why I quoted @LearnedCoward there. Sorry)


#9

One of the best defences against slander and libel are the truth. Did he have problems? Check. Did it not work? Check. Is he not satisfied? Check. Did he feel the response was not timely? Check.

As long as he didn’t make up any statements in his claims - he is legally protected.

At least this is what I learned watching Judge Judy - who is knowledgeable in these things.


#10

Wait 'til IoT is Internet of Trump.


#11

I support this company’s actions, 100%. That customer was rude as hell and the company chose not to work with them. It is not because of the 1 star review, it was because of the user’s intolerable behavior. The company did not “steal” anything from the customer. They told them to get their money back and move on.


#12

As they teach in law school, truth is an absolute defense. But that doesn’t mean someone can’t retaliate in other ways, as apparently this asshat Grisak did. What’s more worrysome than just deactivating the device is that these people have actual control over your home - nothing stopping Grisak from just opening this guy’s garage door at will or… well, I don’t know, but I guess it could get worse.


#13

I was thinking along the same line. Do you think there’s a market for selling kits to do just that, plus optionally configuring the whole stuff, all with free-software tools? With the possible addition of maintenance contracts?
I’m asking because I’m currently jobless…


#14

No.

I spent a long time at Compaq/HP fixing servers that really didn’t want to work - I mean “really didn’t want to work” as in “technical support and field service couldn’t fix it, not even with a replacement.” Prima donnas come with the turf, and you come very quickly to realise that even they can have very real cause for discontent with your product, all drama aside.

That being the case, you have three legitimate courses of action, in descending order of preference:

  • You fix the problem. If the problem is bad enough, you even co-opt the customer to help (as your eyes, so to speak). You would be surprised how often that gets even prima donnas onside. It tells them that you are taking the situation seriously.

  • When an equivalent (or better) is available, you replace the product.

  • You give a full refund, swallowing any shipping and/or labour costs required to return the product.

You do not brick the product and force the customer into a refund. Never. That is the very definition of unprofessional.


#15

Well, this seems like a superb advertisement for both this guy’s product (and anything else unfortunate enough to have him involved); as well as a useful reminder of the glories of the cloud, where you remain at the power and mere pleasure of your vendor forever.


#16

Yes, and I think that’s the way to go. The individual crapgadget approach seems antithetical to IoT.


#17

Wait, so it tells you if your garage door is open or not and that’s it?

I’m not even going to get into the usefulness of this kind of thing but just suggest a better solution by a vast margin:
Get a webcam. Point it at the garage. Go for tacos.


#18

cautionary tale about how the IoT is full of what we used to think of as “products” (garage-door openers) that are now “services,” subject to the ongoing goodwill of the vendor to continue working.

Indeed. A cautionary tale more about “The Cloud” or “Saas” than IoT. Don’t buy IoT devices that require an external cloud service to function. I sort of get the appeal, though. Saves the customer the work of setting up NAT and DynDNS, but at the same time there’s gotta be a better way.


#19

When will fools like this guy learn that doing things like this exposes them to thousands of staring eyes. Many of whom will make the decision that they will buy this guy’s products now when hell becomes an ice skating venue?

I certainly note such things and won’t spend a dime towards anything that clown sells now and pretty much forever.

People need to learn what their parents’ (hopefully) taught them: “Your reputation is the greatest thing you own and you can ruin it in a second with something foolish.”.


#20

Which part of his interaction was rude?

It must have been his one-liner Amazon review:

Junk - DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY - iPhone app is a piece of junk, crashes constantly, start-up company that obviously has not performed proper quality assurance tests on their products.

Nope, not rude. Was it his support forums one-liner?

Just installed and attempting to register a door when the app started doing this. Have uninstalled and reinstalled iphone app, powered phone off/on - wondering what kind of piece of shit I just purchased here…

http://community.garadget.com/t/iphone-app-will-not-stay-open-just-flashes-when-trying-to-launch/1706

Still not rude, abusive, or anything more than frustrated. Unless you consider the word “shit” abusive, in which case I advise you not to watch broadcast TV after 9pm.