Wheel Encoder Problem

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DaveL
DaveL's picture
Wheel Encoder Problem

The right rear wheel of my Rovio always spins at full speed and does not stop when executing a spin. I believe this has been reported here before and seems to be caused by a failed optical encoder.

I reported this to Wowwee over 3 weeks ago. They said at that time they are "working towards a solution" and would get back to me in a week. Since then they have been uncommunicative and have provided no additional info. My Rovio is in warranty (at least it was when I reported the problem) and I have been unable to use it all this time. I would think they would at least offer a working replacement in the meantime but they have not responded to my request.

Does anyone have any more information about this problem or insight into what Wowwee is doing about it?

Thanks.

--Dave

NanoTek
NanoTek's picture

WowWee is exhibiting symptoms of a company who is in trouble. I wish you the best, but it may no be a pleasant experience. They do look at this forum, maybe that will help.

MrScott
MrScott's picture

The information the community has on this issue is posted in this nearby active thread. I suggest you read it, and follow up with question there, rather than start a parallel discussion that will fracture the information across multiple threads.

http://www.robocommunity.com/forum/thread/15351/New-issue-Rovio-spins-et...

DaveL
DaveL's picture

MrScott said:
The information the community has on this issue is posted in this nearby active thread. I suggest you read it, and follow up with question there, rather than start a parallel discussion that will fracture the information across multiple threads.
http://www.robocommunity.com/forum/thread/15351/New-issue-Rovio-spins-eternally/

Whoops! I don't know how I missed that thread in my search. Thanks for the link, MrScott.

--Dave

MrScott
MrScott's picture

That thread's so large now that it may actually be sucking light into it, and keeping people from seeing it as anything other than dark matter. Laughing

Michelle C
Michelle C's picture

Hi all,

We're aware of the issue with the IR-based encoder with some fixed rotation commands on some Rovios, and for all those interested in replacing the three hardware encoders themselves without voiding your warranty (if still valid), please contact our Customer Service department.

Please note that requests are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and it is still up to our discretion to replace components.

For Rovios that qualify for replacement parts, we can provide them you with instructions when they are made available (and as long as you contact our Customer Service department (within your warranty period, you won't be penalized for tardiness in shipping, for instance...).

Note that functions besides certain rotation commands should not be affected by this issue.

Hope this helps all those who have been inconvenienced by this problem.

Mark4
Mark4's picture

Hi Michelle,

Is this the same for us European customers?

Having contacted wowwee support they advised me to take it up with the Wowwee European support team.

Will they be willing to do the same?

Thanks

Michelle C
Michelle C's picture

We're working on distribution for European customers! Thanks!

Hubba
Hubba's picture

Michelle C said:
We're working on distribution for European customers! Thanks!

 

I am also located in Europe and would be interested - are the instructions available online? - I would like to see if I am able to do this myself before I order them - I don't mind ordering from the US either if the shippig cost is not too high.

 

On a side note - I did try to contact customer support in the past about this but never got a response :(

DaveL
DaveL's picture

Hubba said:...On a side note - I did try to contact customer support in the past about this but never got a response :(

Well, I'm approaching almost 2 months since I reported the problem to Wowwee and almost 3 months of not being able to use my expensive toy. I am very patient working through technical issues and willing to spend my time installing the parts, but Wowwee customer service is almost completely unresponsive and I'm losing patience now. I finally got a response a almost 3 weeks ago in which they said I would be getting the parts very soon. They have not responded at all to my inquiries since then; not even a courtesy message explaining the delay. Absolutely terrible customer service. --Dave

cneisme
cneisme's picture

I have the exact same story. Since I have been complaining here heavily the board moderator has asked someone with tech support to look into my case. While being a persistent loudmouth is not for everyone, and I would not recommend it as a normal course of business, there could be hope for me yet. But I am not holding my breath.

DaveL
DaveL's picture

I suspect we are not the only ones with this story. Over 4 months now since my Rovio broke, and over 4 weeks since WowWee tech support claims they shipped the parts with a 2-3 week delivery estimate. It's never taken over 2 weeks to get deliveries from that part of the world so their claim that it's "in the mail" is pretty hard to believe.

cneisme
cneisme's picture

I have that same exact story. I got a email from them today, not addressing my questions, just saying that if I do not get the encoder by Friday they would send another one. To me that would imply they are stalling. I hate to think bad of someone, but they are doing everything but being direct, thus leaving me with the impression they are not telling the truth.

cneisme
cneisme's picture

To be fair, I just gave Wowwee a call and they are a much different company to talk to in person than over their support site email. While I do not have a solution in hand at this time, I got a better feeling on what is going on. Please, everyone who is in the same boat as I am in, give them a call and talk to them. It might help ease your frustration and give them some help understanding the problems that a lack of candid communication can cause.

I have to say I should have just called them sooner. It might not have solved the problem any faster, but the communication is better.

DaveL
DaveL's picture

I've tried calling several times since this problem began. I always get transferred to a message system that says they will call back within 24 hours and then they never do. I gave up but maybe I'll try that route again. Thanks for the good advice.

DaveL
DaveL's picture

I just sent another web inquiry and actually got a quick reply. Unfortunately though, they are now saying the package was shipped on June 15th and should arrive no later than July 7th. No mention of the fact that they confirmed in an earlier message that the package had shipped on May 25th. Confirms my suspicions in my earlier post and certainly does not give me much confidence in this latest info. Still hoping though.

cneisme
cneisme's picture

To follow up, the customer service representative I talked to on the 23th said I should have them by the 26th. That did not happen. I suspect they never did ship it and were stalling all the time.

Stalling = Liar

The details told by many here show the company for who and what they are: mismanaged and morally challenged. Mismanaged is forgivable and understandable - everyone make a mistake.

MrScott
MrScott's picture

As we learned in a nearby thread, the promised package arrived on the 27th.

Bad news travels fast. Good news deserves some air time, too.

cneisme
cneisme's picture

Replaced the encoders and it was a rather simple and enjoyable process. Rovio is running on all three wheels and tracks straight. The instructions are very good and most of all it works.

I wish get to this point was simple and straight forward - it could/would have been a rather fun experience.

DaveL
DaveL's picture

cneisme said:
Replaced the encoders and it was a rather simple and enjoyable process. Rovio is running on all three wheels and tracks straight. The instructions are very good and most of all it works.
I wish get to this point was simple and straight forward - it could/would have been a rather fun experience.

Excellent! Hope to get mine on Monday.

DaveL
DaveL's picture

Finally got my encoders and they seem to be working. Poor communication from tech support was a real shame since in all other respects WowWee seems to be a good company and the Rovio seems to be a well built device. Can't ignore this aspect though since tech support (both phone and online) seem to have learned nothing from this over all these months. Both R&D and sales people stepped in and intitiated communication when they learned of the problem which shows real commitment given it is not their job to make up for lack of customer support.

BTW, for those of you still waiting for your encoders, make sure you note which connector is for the left wheel and which is for the right wheel before removing them. The instructions were very clear except for this point.

--Dave

Mark4
Mark4's picture

Just like to say thanks to Michelle C for her help and Maxime Vyncke of Wowwee Europe for sending me the replacement wheel encoders.

I didn't get any instructions but that didnt matter, it was a very simple process to unscrew and unplug the old wheel encoder and plug in and screw in the new one.

Be warned, if you attempt this that when you come to unplug the old wheel encoder from the circuit board it maybe a bit stiff.

You shouldn't pull on the cables as they will come out the connector. You have to pull on the connector, I found using some needle nose pliers will do the trick nicely.

flowersrj
flowersrj's picture

Hi,

Rovio is starting to go into unstoppable spins. How does one contact support?

Thanks,
Rich