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IoT garage door owner has product bricked

by on05 April 2017

Don’t complain about your IoT device

One of the darker aspects of the Internet of Things is that it places yourself totally at the mercy of companies which believe you have to do what they say and accept whatever poor service they offer.

This week a bloke called R. Martin reported problems with the iPhone application that controls Garadget which opens his garage door.

He left an angry comment on the Garadget community board: "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..."

When Garadget had not replied he left a one star review of Garadget on Amazon: "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."

Garadget did actually reply. It bricked the product remotely. It posted on the support forum: "Martin, The abusive language here and in your negative Amazon review, submitted minutes after experiencing a technical difficulty, only demonstrates your poor impulse control. I'm happy to provide the technical support to the customers on my Saturday night but I'm not going to tolerate any tantrums. At this time your only option is return Garadget to Amazon for refund. Your unit ID 2f0036... will be denied server connection."

After all that is the way to handle a customer complaint with the minimum amount of fuss and not draw attention to your company or products’ problems.

Denis Grisak, who founded the company called SoftComplex to launch Garadget, a device built using Wi-Fi-based cloud connectivity from Particle must have thought he was onto a winner when he launched the product on Indiegogo earlier this year, hitting 209 percent of his launch goal in February.

Now it seems that because they handled only one complaint in this particular way, they are getting the sort of publicity that it really did not want.

Last modified on 05 April 2017
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