the Roomba saga

I had a protracted e-mail discussion with iRobot‘s support people in the US. They asked where I’d bought it, I said “Costco in Avonmouth, UK”. They asked for my shipping address – “this looks hopeful”, I thought.

And when they got the address, it dawned on them that I was in the UK [doh], and referred me to their UK agents.

So I e-mailed _them_ – “out of warranty”, they said. Return to us for quotation/repair.

I was miffed – £160ish to last only 16 months didn’t seem right to me. I e-mailed Costco – “bring it back for refund”, they said. So I did – no box, no receipt, no problem. They looked up my account on their computer-y thing and gave me a refund there and then.

It’s a tribute to the thing that I just want to get another RIGHT AWAY, even though it broke.

However, Costco don’t sell them any more, so a replacement costs quite a bit more. The best price I could find was £210, inc delivery. That place did the next model up, with scheduling and clever room management stuff, for £235, so we thought we’d go for that.

I paid by PayPal (I usually do if I can, saves the credit card number being in the possession of various varmints), and paid £3.99 for next day delivery.

I got an automated e-mail saying there was a problem with the PayPal a/c not being verified. I e-mailed and said “yes it is”. I got no reply. I e-mailed later in the day to ask if it had been despatched – I got no reply.

Next morning I checked the order tracking page – not despatched. I checked the PayPal a/c – money transferred previous day. I phoned the expensive number, to find a call centre; I was Polite.

Half an hour later, a refund of the delivery charge hit my PayPal account. Later in the day, I got a tracking number for ParcelFarce. We quaked, expecting the Roomba to arrive late, if at all, and in pieces. But it’s here! And it’s charging up. This one is black and looks quite fierce compared to the old 530 (which was silver and pale grey) – I think I shall call it Darth.

In other news, I have a temperature, aches and pains, a headache, and am utterly exhausted. I’ve never had flu in my life, but I do wonder …

Death Match! – Roomba v Squid

Well, it’s not actually a squid, it’s a sort of pluth mouse with very long legs. We use it to serve the Tribe’s catnip on. I know, I know …

You may note that the Roomba is a tad battered; this is because one day it took it into its head to zoom out of the patio door and hurtle itself down the patio steps. Pete says it was confused by the sunlight, but personally I think it lost the will to live, faced with all that cat fur to vacuum.

Who won? Hard to say. The Roomba made its mournful noise, and Pete went and disentangled them. A dead heat, I reckon.