“Smart” Garage door opener bricked after negative review

2 min read
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bricked

People on the internet, particularly angry people on the internet, say mean things. Its exacerbated when said people have exchanged their cash for a product under the assumption that said product actually works to expectation. It’s something we see often in video games. If a game doesn’t quite live up to expectations, you can expect digital pitchforks, as we saw with No Man’s Sky and more recently, Mass Effect: Andromeda.

The same happens for physical devices. If something doesn’t work as expected, you can be sure people will react with negative user reviews. It’s natural even if a little toxic. How companies deal with those complaints is what’s important. In the case of No Man’s Sky, Hello Games went silent for months, before finally stepping up to make No Man’s Sky a better game. Bioware’s already laid out plans on how it’s improving Mass Effect: Andromeda. Samsung should be commended for how they handled the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

Want to know how to not deal with criticism? Ban them. That’s precisely what the makers of Internet-connected garage opener Garadget did to a user who got a little feisty. Here’s a comment said customer left on Garadget’s user forums:

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…

Soon afterwards, after not getting a response, he left a 1-star review 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.

Instead of trying to engage in a way that resembles customer service, Garadget’s Denis Grisak bricked said user’s device remotely – essentially turning the poor fellow’s garage door in to a wall.

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.

While I agree that the customer’s attitude wasn’t the friendliest, bricking his garage is just, in technical parlance, a dick move.

Beware the Internet of Things, folks.

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Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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