Thanks Wowee will never buy off you again? Rovio is Rubbish

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denodan
denodan's picture
Thanks Wowee will never buy off you again? Rovio is Rubbish

Well Wowee has lost a customer. I will never buy another Wowee Robot, my Rovio has packed up, now one of the motors won't drive at all, or works on minute then another not at all.

 

I won't spend any money on any more Wowee Robots. Spending to get Rovio into NZ with postage customes etc was all up $700, so thanks Wowee for producing Rovio, then worst Rubbish they have made yet.


Reading the forums here there's just to much trouble with them and guess I am one of many who have now decided to never buy another Wowee product.

denodan
denodan's picture

My advice is don't buy a Rovio, just look at all the trouble with them people are experiencing on here. If you get a Rovio you have a very high chance yours will develop a problem.

Rovio is junk I feel and told Wowee that, as I sent them an email telling them what I think of their product.

To have as many failure rates and problems as much as Rovio they should have recalled them, or replace them when they find out the problems and how to fix them, they should be iorning out the problems and not requresting you to return your Rovio but replace it outright. Afterall car manufactures are often doing recalls from time to time as are other electronic compaines that are faulty, why not Wowee?

Nocturnal
Nocturnal's picture

I always love when people respond to their own posts.

In partial answer to your second post, Wow Wee does not control the distribution chain. Wow Wee is not really involved in the distribution at all and definitely not in the same way as Car manufactures are. Wow Wee sells their products to distributors, who then handle the distribution.

Wow Wee is also small, it is not an "electronics company" its a toy company. Most electronic companies (at least in the sense I think you mean) are quite large. The have offices (ie a physcial presence) in probably every country they sell their products, they may also be responsible for more of the distribution chain than Wow Wee is. Wow Wee, has offices in Hong Kong (where it manufactures), Canada (where Wow Wee started out) and now the US.

Now why I am going on about all this? Simple, if you had bought a Wow Wee product that was distributed in your region (rather than importing, which in my opinion means you accepted the risk of being screwed when it comes to support / warranty claims when you bought it), returning it to the point of purchase would be the simpler / cheaper option for you, the customer. Since to return it directly to Wow Wee would require you to ship it to them (Most likely to Hong Kong. In your case, you have to ship it either way). Which will take longer, and in probably 99% of cases, cost you the customer, more.

I am saddened that your experience has not been a good one, and I understand your decision to not buy from Wow Wee again. However, not every Rovio is, as you put it "junk", I am quite happy with mine, and I know quite a few other people who are happy with theirs as well (I even know a few people who have bought more than one).

I think your estimates on Rovio failure rates are over inflated. When I buy a product and am happy with it, I don't then seek out a suitable message board to post that I am satisfied. I only seek out a message board when I have a problem. What you have to ask yourself, is how many Rovio has Wow Wee sold, compared to the number of people who turned up here with problems.

I haven't seen anything yet, that in my mind, would justify a recall. Though if something like this turns out to be a universal issue, rather than an isolated incident, a recall may be in order.

Chris 22
Chris 22's picture

I agree with you Nocturnal, especially the beginning part.

NanoTek
NanoTek's picture

denodan said:
I am one of many who have now decided to never buy another Wowee product.

"I always love" when someone says "Not every Rovio is Junk". Imagine walking in a grocery store and telling the manager that you have heard the packaged chicken was contaminated, only to have the manager reply that not every packages he is selling is contaminated. Just dig through the packages and take your chances.

"Not every Rovio is junk" is a very weak argument and is also worth a thousand words for anyone who can read between the words.

Bottom line is -- WowWee has lost a customer... another one.

Personally, the first product I bought from WowWee was Rovio... I will not be buying from WowWee again. It is also within my power to return it, as I have not made any modifications to it.

@denodan

You have lost money due to WowWee. Loosing you as a customer is where they loose money -- in a struggling economy...

I understand your decision, denodan, and it makes sense.
 

 

MrScott
MrScott's picture

How about this, then.

For sake of example, consider the following statement (which I do not believe is true at all).

Every RoboCommunity member is incapable of keeping a robot healthy and functioning. They cannot put the batteries in right way up, or read instructions regarding proper use of the controls.

What?
There are some that accomplish the task just fine, you say?

How can that be?
Surely, if a handful of community members cannot resolve their own issues, then it stands to reason that none of them can.

We all recognize that the statements above are obviously false, because there are examples of community members that don't have those problems.

Now lets see if we can assign the same reasoning to this Rovio dilemma.

Nobody is debating that there are quality control problems with at least some amount of the Rovio production run.

Not everybody is seeing them, so not all of the robots are born broken.

The same could be said for any particular model from Mercedes, Honda, Ford, or Hyundai.

You pays your money, and you takes your level of risk.
The wise consumer buys from a local vendor so that they can deal locally with warranty concerns.

As has been said before, that's what warranty's are for.

Overberger
Overberger's picture

I will try to be more kind here. I think the Rovio is a very ingenious and clever piece of machinery. I fell that perhaps there may have been some shortcuts that were taken to keep costs down. Low cost power supplies and poor quality control on the beacon assembly.(I suspect that this is why additional room beacons are still not available. I wonder if Wowwee outsourced these components) I'm afraid that these 2 problems have overwhelmed Wowwee's support infrastructure and caused some of the delays experienced by frustrated customers.

The integration of an 802.11 access point, a web cam, and a web steerable wheeled platform (with a nav system..albeit somewhat weak) all for between 200.00 and 300.00 is nothing short of amazing and I applaud the Wowwee Rovio Tech team for a great first attempt. The IP network implementation is excellent with the inclusion of WPA and UPNP. I had no trouble controlling Rovio securely over my home broadband NAT network.

I've had 3 Rovios in the last 6 weeks. I just returned the last one to Sears today for a refund. All had either beacon issues or battery/charger issues. In fact, I was able to just place the actual original Rovio in one of the new bases and operate without any problems..(except for the 2nd one where the IR LEDs in the beacon were non-functional..but the base did charge!) Problem... eventually the power supply dropped to a voltage too low to bring the battery back up. Once the battery drops to 0v, the base charger can't cope. You can apparently remedy this situation by using an external charger, charge the pack back up, and continue normal operation. Once again, this seems to be a base design issue, not a Rovio issue

I'm going to miss my Rovio but I do have a Tri-Bot (13.00 off Ebay) three Bladestars..(I'm working on a swarm project using it's CA system) and a Dragonfly I picked up at Big Lots for 20.00.

When version 2.0 of the Rovio comes out, I will be one of the first to buy one.

The old saying always applies: Just say no to rev. dot 0 !!!

Chuck Overberger

NanoTek
NanoTek's picture

MrScott said:
The wise consumer buys from a local vendor so that they can deal locally with warranty concerns.

Too bad for the RoboCommunity shop, since purchasing from a local vendor would be wiser.

 

Nocturnal
Nocturnal's picture

"I always love" when someone says "Not every Rovio is Junk". Imagine walking in a grocery store and telling the manager that you have heard the packaged chicken was contaminated, only to have the manager reply that not every packages he is selling is contaminated. Just dig through the packages and take your chances.

*Laughs* I love it when people compare apples and oranges, and believe that in some way counters an argument (Though I'm always happy to counter one unrealistic metaphor with another). In life, there are always risks, always chances. I buy organic fruit, there is a chance that the fruit I buy have a big fat bug living inside them, but I still buy them. If I were to say to my grocer, hey! you can't sell this fruit because some of them have bugs living in them, he would look at me like I was an idiot.

Every product in existance has a failure rate, some are higher than others.

I am a proponent of expressing displeasure with you wallet, so if you are unhappy, by all means, take your money elsewhere. I just also happen to be a proponent of realism.

 

NanoTek
NanoTek's picture

Nocturnal said: If I were to say to my grocer, hey! you can't sell this fruit because some of them have bugs living in them, he would look at me like I was an idiot.

Yeah, but if you told you're grocer that you've heard from some people that his fruits were contaminated with E.Coli and he told you that not all of them were, and to go ahead and buy his fruits, and you did... He'd know you're an idiot for sure.

By the way, I buy organic fruit every week and there's no bugs in mine.

We could go on back and forth about this, but the fact remains that time will show how badly WowWee's image has been affected by Rovio's problems and -- by WowWee's poor and inconsistent support.

 

EOT

 

Nocturnal
Nocturnal's picture

NanoTek said:
Yeah, but if you told you're grocer that you've heard from some people that his fruits were contaminated with E.Coli and he told you that not all of them were, and to go ahead and buy his fruits, and you did... He'd know you're an idiot for sure.
By the way, I buy organic fruit every week and there's no bugs in mine.

:) Again your going for apples and oranges. Your comparing a failure in an area that could potentially cost lives, and the appropriate reaction to it, with an area that (baring homicidal maniacs hiding out in you home) is not potentially life threating.

All my fruit and veg is organic (and most of my meat), I take the occasional bug as a sign that the food is good and probably not full of things that are going to kill me.

On this we both agree, time will tell. Though I suspect the econimic downturn is going to have a larger effect on sales than this.

yellowboy63
yellowboy63's picture

Everyone has an opinion and mine is after reading through these forums that WowWee rushed this product to keep up with spykee and left the end consumer to do all the hardware and software testing. I feel most of these issues should have been caught in lab before production. Is rovio even a year old yet? I wonder what the burn in time on these was if any?

NanoTek
NanoTek's picture

Nocturnal said: Though I suspect the econimic downturn is going to have a larger effect on sales than this.

The economic downturn?, oh yes indeed, and that is why the smartest companies provide consistent and above average customer service, and go out of their way to serve their customers... If WowWee was a competitor of mine I'd be laughing all the way to the bank, seeing all the complaints on this forum and elsewhere on the internet; The Rovio syndrome is more than just hardware problems... At the risk of comparing apples and oranges...Wink

 

MrScott
MrScott's picture

It seems very silly to be comparing some percentage of a production run for a malfunctioning toy (yes, it's a toy!) to a public health hazard.

This is more akin to a game system that locks up. It's not a car catching on fire, or a case of Mad Cow Disease.

By all means, folks. Exercise your warranty. Exercise your right to buy somebody else's wifi controlled roaving webcam.

Let's just try to exercise keeping a bit of perspective, too.

The Rovio is a complex widget, built with low end parts. It's not going to take a beating. It is going to wear out.

An intermittent motor, as described in the opening post, sure sounds like a loose wire to me, but if that's all it takes to declare it packed up and ready for the rubbish heap, so be it.

NanoTek
NanoTek's picture

I think it is very silly to see the metaphor I have presented with a knee-jerk reaction and see a life and death meaning regarding Rovio and buyers -- the point is about contamination.


All I can say is that Rovio has been treated by many people as being a contaminated product and they either have returned it or refrained from buying one.

I think people will get the point of the metaphor I was making without taking it literally to a life and death situation.

 

Nocturnal
Nocturnal's picture

The thing about your metaphors is that they are all life and death contaminations. The metaphors are more about a reaction to a life threating situation, not a reaction to contamination. When the element of life and death is removed, they no longer fit your argument (I'm tempted to throw in a metaphor involving the "may contain nuts" message on the back of candy bars, but I think that's straying a bit to far from the topic).

I think its very silly to compare the way we treat situations involving potential deaths, and a situation involving potentially broken toys.

The strange thing is, despite your claim its about the contamination and not life and death, you were awful quick to turn my metaphor about fruit and bugs (which is arguably a contamination metaphor) back into a life and death situation to make it fit your argument.

NanoTek
NanoTek's picture

At this point I will have to say -- whatever... It's been fun though!.

Nice day for it mate!.

android78
android78's picture

LMAO!!!
It's a toy...
It's got a defect...
If purchased through normal, local distribution, you could have taken it back and requested refund. You took the risk importing and, while disappointing, I don't believe anyone's life is threatened by this.
I'm not getting into the argument of total product recall since I'm not aware of the figures on failure rate, and don't know that anyone here has these kinds of figures.

Given the current inoperable state of your toy, if it was mine, I personally would take this as an opportunity to learn and take it apart to see if I can fix it myself. Doing this may give you the reward of knowing that you can troubleshoot, make it better then what wowwee can! Or, possibly realize that it's too complex to consider fixing. Either way, it would be fun... isn't that the point of a toy?

Have fun hacking your toys. ;-)

denodan
denodan's picture

MrScott said: How about this, then. For sake of example, consider the following statement (which I do not believe is true at all). Every RoboCommunity member is incapable of keeping a robot healthy and functioning. They cannot put the batteries in right way up, or read instructions regarding proper use of the controls. What? There are some that accomplish the task just fine, you say? How can that be? Surely, if a handful of community members cannot resolve their own issues, then it stands to reason that none of them can. We all recognize that the statements above are obviously false, because there are examples of community members that don't have those problems. Now lets see if we can assign the same reasoning to this Rovio dilemma. Nobody is debating that there are quality control problems with at least some amount of the Rovio production run. Not everybody is seeing them, so not all of the robots are born broken. The same could be said for any particular model from Mercedes, Honda, Ford, or Hyundai. You pays your money, and you takes your level of risk. The wise consumer buys from a local vendor so that they can deal locally with warranty concerns. As has been said before, that's what warranty's are for.

Thats ok buying Rovio in your own country if you can, but in New Zealand things like this never see  the light of Day in New Zealand, so no choice but to import.

 

Same as my Pleo, an import and no trouble with it at all. If I could have bought Rovio in NZ I would have due to having a warenty, but somtimes you don't get the choice but to import.

All I know is Wowee have lost a loyal customer. I have many of their Robots and Rovio is the only one that's unreliable. So I like others have voted no to no more Wowee products, and I am not the only one either.

I love my Pleo and I-sobot, very reliable Robots unlike Rovio.

denodan
denodan's picture

android78 said: LMAO!!! It's a toy... It's got a defect... If purchased through normal, local distribution, you could have taken it back and requested refund. You took the risk importing and, while disappointing, I don't believe anyone's life is threatened by this. I'm not getting into the argument of total product recall since I'm not aware of the figures on failure rate, and don't know that anyone here has these kinds of figures. Given the current inoperable state of your toy, if it was mine, I personally would take this as an opportunity to learn and take it apart to see if I can fix it myself. Doing this may give you the reward of knowing that you can troubleshoot, make it better then what wowwee can! Or, possibly realize that it's too complex to consider fixing. Either way, it would be fun... isn't that the point of a toy? Have fun hacking your toys. ;-)

Rovio was never designed and marketed to be a toy, but Wowee's first serious Robot, but has never lived up to the Hype. Rovio was never a toy.

MrScott
MrScott's picture

A toy is something you buy to play with that serves no serious purpose.

Barring any serious purpose that has yet been discussed, the Rovio is a toy.

A speedboat is also a toy. So is a Wii. So is a 60" Plasma TV.

android78
android78's picture

denodan said:Rovio was never designed and marketed to be a toy, but Wowee's first serious Robot, but has never lived up to the Hype. Rovio was never a toy.

Either way, toy or not, it is something that you want to be able to have some fun with.  My (main) point is, given the current inoperable nature of your purchase, you may as well have as much fun with it as you can and pull it apart to see if you can find out what's wrong.   You may even find this is more fun then just playing with it as it came in the box.  This way you may also become the rovio expert who can assist others who are having issues with their robots.

Let us know how you get on if you do decide to pull him apart, I don't have one and would be interested in seeing how he's constructed.  

Nocturnal
Nocturnal's picture

denodan said:Thats ok buying Rovio in your own country if you can, but in New Zealand things like this never see  the light of Day in New Zealand, so no choice but to import.

Thats not entirely true. Up until recently, Wow Wee has released their products in New Zealand before the rest of the world (I'm pretty certain they also released in Australia at the same time), including the US. Something about New Zealanders buying more per capita than anywhere else.

As to Pleo, it became available through a distributor in Australia and New Zealand at the begining of Decemeber last year (I also saw it in an actual physical store while doing my Christmas shopping). I wouldn't be surprised if Rovio turns up on sale in stores some time this year as well.

These things usually turn up, it just takes a long time.

Antimatter
Antimatter's picture

I sent the following to wowwee corporate only to have them respond that I should contact support instead. WHOA?????

IÂ’ve been a Wowwee fan for years and have faithfully purchased the following over the years which totals over one thousand dollars.

Robosapien
RSmedia
Robopet
roboquad
Robopanda
Rovio

But I wanted to let you know that I am not a fan anymore and will not be purchasing anymore products for the following reasons.

I had purchased many of the products for my kids because they had long term entertainment value with promises of upgrades, expanded content, downloadable personalities and content changes that have never been delivered. This has happened not once but several times with Wowwee. RSmedia ships with 3 personalities and is now a discontinued product. No new content was ever released by Wowwee and the product is now discontinued. I paid hundreds of dollars for this product. Robopanda came with two cartridges and after 2 days of hearing the same content my kids were board even though I paid $200 for this product. I was watching Mr. Personality with interest but thought appropriately that Wowwee would again never deliver the promised downloads of expanded content for this robot and to date there have been none. I feel that customers would even be willing to pay for expanded content if that is the issue. I feel that expanded content for these devices should be developed and provided because these products are hundreds of dollars and this is advertised and promised as a feature and selling point. If Wowwee does not intend to do this as advertised they should at least provide the source code for the products, provide a USB port and allow a user to create and upload their own content that could be shared on the web community. This would even be preferable. This would certainly increase the value and interest of your products not diminish them. There are many forums devoted to your products and this non delivery does not go without notice. (example robotsrule.com) I have spoken with Robert Oschler the owner of this forum and he agrees. He has even attempted to contact Wowwee several times about his superb program that supports Wowwee robots. This software is called robodance which allows users to control these robots via voice commands, access them via Skype etc and Wowwee has not returned his inquiries. He is not looking for money!! I would not be surprised if Robert is responsible for 10 or 15% of Wowwee sales due to his free software and forums. He like me has lost interest.

I was an early adopter of Rovio and after much hype was sad to see all the problems with battery life, finding way points, docking, video and audio quality etc. This has improved somewhat with the latest firmware but the product was released way to soon and I hope the bugs continue to be fixed in future firmware releases.

My last point is product quality. There have been many complaints on robot forums of Roboquad not working (which I have experienced) and head and torso issues on the robosapien series robots. Good products, some problems, much potential and then they are abandoned for the latest expensive product with some problems, good potential and then the cycle continues.

roschler
roschler's picture

@Antimatter,

I know you are upset and are making some very important points so the following is not a disagreement or a rebuttal, just some factual corrections. I am not the owner of this forum just a guest. Capable Networks owns this forum and have graciously given me a few sections for Robodance. Most importantly, I have not lost interest. In fact, getting a new version of Robodance (version 5) ready for shipment is consuming all my free time these days (and tons of it). I am firmly committed to Rovio and the rest of WowWee's robots like I have always been.

-- roschler

TikaC
TikaC's picture

Good to see you roschler. And you answered my question here that I asked in the RoboDance forum, actually. :) I know how it is with development. Helibot knows all too well as well. He has broke through the USBNet barrier and we now are able to provide a dev kit that includes access to the RS Media's linux console without needing to solder in a Serial adaptor! It's done via the USB port currently on the robot! :)

I got a used RoboSapien V2 recently via eBay. I was well aware of the crumbling insulation problems and other problems the V2 had (except the speaker on mine is not loud and sounds tinny). But I bought it because I like the articulation of the fingers/hands, the overall style and some of the features. I'm happy with it, even though it's used (and seems to not suffer the crumbling insulation problem).

I would not say all WowWee bots are junk. I do agree that WowWee does not answer emails very well, and if they do, they don't answer with very good answers (ie. I was told RS Media is not compatible with Windows Vista and yet they have the RS Media Editor Suite on their site saying it IS compatible with Vista!) However, the support in this forum has kept my interest and has inspired me to help support the bots as well, and contribute to the community.

I admit that the problems others are having with the Rovio made me take that bot off my wish list. But I do still have TriBot on my wish list and RoboRover (when they come out with it, hopefully).

I am overall very happy with my WowWee bots. Even the minis! :)

As with any company, some products might shine while others may have problems. And robots are not meat. ;) You at least have a better chance of knowing problems with a machine before purchase than you would with meat in a market. It's why I like to research what others say about a bot before I purchase one for myself. That way at least I know what I'm up against and hopefully know ways of correcting known problems. I learned to be very careful and look into what others say about a non-food product before buying when I got a Kodak ESP-3 that was nothing more than a waste of money. Many said the same thing. I got one anyway and ended up giving it to a friend as it just never worked right (my friends know of the problems and yet accepted it anyway, thankfully).

Research before you buy. That can save you LOTS of money!

Antimatter
Antimatter's picture

Thanks Robert. I did not mean to speak for you and now that I re-read my post I see I have done that so I apologize.

Ace1
Ace1's picture

as a positive note: I have purchased:
Robosapien 1
Robosapien 2
Rovio

So far I have not had any hardware issues with any of these, I have been impressed with finding upgrades for the Rovio firmware, I have seen the cool mods for the Robosapien 1 and 2 series and the info, etc.

I have rarely seen other companies supportive of mods and upgrades, yet Rovio seems to at least be TRYING to embrace it, even if they need more energy into implementing and supporting it... I am not suprised especially with the financial climate for most companies, that they are trying to play it safe... (especially being such a Niche small company product.... (I mean we're not talking Sony, or Hasbro, etc...) and I hope that as the financial client improves, so hopefully may they... geez there's even a new installer out? a firmware/software update for a product in a month or two?.. impressive...

I have an HP PDA (last and ONLY single recent update/patch was around MID last year.)
I have a VEO webcam... they went out of business 3-4 years ago, and only had 1 firmware update....

I bought a LINKSYS with storage... early last year... they still haven't issued any updates, etc...

On the down side, with the battery issues and apparently some hardware issues apparent, perhaps they rushed it slightly or tried to use some of the cheapest resources in an attempt to cut costs or try to keep up with demand or understimating demand, or whatever caused it... they wouldn't be the first company (even the big ones) to do that.
It is lucky though, that they shipped when they did, shipping decently before the financial collapse, which unfortunately occurred before the christmas season, thereby depressing sales that could have improved their standing and allowed better funding for support and enhancements... I would guess...
FYI- I am in no way affiliated with Wowee, but have a very slight understanding of how financials can affect companies, even as we've all seen the effects/cutbacks it has caused companies... so while this probably shouldn't be considered an excuse, I have not seen other companies actually producing enhancements (aka freebies) to products as much? just my humble opinion..

dingo rovio
dingo rovio's picture

I have one that's never made a move when I got it out of the box it said not to use the cd disk but to load the program off my rovio .com.And when I try this it said the files are cruppet any ideas?

Antimatter
Antimatter's picture

It doesn't hurt to use the CD it ships with to get it configured and get familiar with the setup and configuration process. You can always download the latest installer (I'd do that first) and then the firmware.

At the time of this writing the latest is:
The latest installer is Version: 1.6.4 (PC only)
and the Latest firmware is Version: v5.00

http://www.wowwee.com/en/support/rovio

Make sure the battery is fully charged before doing the install or firmware upgrade.

dingo rovio
dingo rovio's picture

Antimatter said: It doesn't hurt to use the CD it ships with to get it configured and get familiar with the setup and configuration process. You can always download the latest installer (I'd do that first) and then the firmware. At the time of this writing the latest is: The latest installer is Version: 1.6.4 (PC only) and the Latest firmware is Version: v5.00 http://www.wowwee.com/en/support/rovio Make sure the battery is fully charged before doing the install or firmware upgrade.

thank you Ill try that stick with me here I think Im over my head with this thing

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