AN ELECTRONICS firm that provides IoT products for the home has deliberately borked a customer's product after they left a potty-mouthed review on Amazon.
Garadget, a remote garage door controller (because apparently some people are stupid enough to leave their garage door open accidentally), was causing problems for a customer by the name of R. Martin, who left a rather blunt complaint on the company's discussion boards.
"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 sh*t I just purchased here..."
This was followed by a one-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."
This kind of talk is quite a big deal for a vendor, and given that the whole thing happened on a Saturday night, the company wasn't given right of reply. Until they did.
"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."
The internet went up in arms about this, with differing views as to whether or not borking a device is justified. Even Elon Musk got in on the act. Eventually, Garadget boss Denis Grisak conceded, restored server access to the customer and wrote a slightly bizarre response.
"Technically there is no bricking though. No changes are made to the hardware or the firmware of the device, just denied use of company servers.
"Ok, calm down everybody. Save your pitchforks and torches for your elected representatives. This only lacks the death threats now.
"The firing of the customer was never about the Amazon review, just wanted to distance from the toxic individual ASAP. Admittedly not a slickest PR move on my part. Access restored, note taken."
Then some drivel. Then a plea for Barbara Streisand's phone number. Then an addendum: "Yes, it was about badmouthing the product that I spent nearly 2 years working on, in the community that I'm trying to foster before giving me any chance at resolving the situation."
Uh. OK, dude. We think you both need to take a chill pill. And possibly a reality enema. µ
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