iRobot Roomba

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

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Satisfaction Rating

Roomba 650 - We purchased our Roomba about 18 months ago. We have dark cork flooring throughout the house so you can see every speck. Roomba has been a godsend. No problems except the occasional eating of iPhone lightning cords. I empty the bin and clean off the brushes every two days or so. Had a wheel module fail at month 14: diagnosed and ordered new one. Customer service was VERY polite and helpful during this process. Am now replacing the brushes when I noticed all the negative reviews here. I would recommend this product to anyone with the caveat; you have to maintain it. When this one finally dies we'll get another as a second!

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Satisfaction Rating

This is the opposite of a cleaning robot. My carpets might get spotless, in one area, but as Roomba sits and bumps against all possible objects, while dragging every possible object it encounters; shoes, wires, papers, ANYTHING... What I really want to know is who is liable when Roomba pushes its way into a closed room and proceeds to shred sensitive financial papers that may have been on the floor of said closed office.

I walked into my room this morning to find a straight trail from the Roomba station to that closed door, which apparently was only partially closed into the jam, but Roomba found its way in and proceeded to literally shred countless financial papers that I had next to my desk. It shredded the papers, dragged them to every accessible corner of the office (and when I say accessible it found to most inaccessible spot under the desk and then died there, as it shredded my papers and tried hopelessly to find a way out).

Roomba is pure unadulterated **. Either the algorithms programmed into it are not as smart as the Roomba engineers think it is, or the hardware is limited, but this should not be sold as a consumer device until it can do things like actually vacuum a room without creating 10x more mess. I should not have to sit and babysit a GD vacuuming robot. It defeats the entire purpose of the thing. I am very dissatisfied with Roomba and will never purchase an iRobot product ever again.

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I'm glad that my review was seen over 70,000 times. I hope that it has helped other consumers diverge from purchasing iRobot. Here is a current update. I have disposed 2 of the iRobots - they were just taking space and I put them in the garbage. I have 1 iRobot left and the batteries I have last about 1.5 to 3 minutes max regardless how long I charge the unit for. I spoke to the iRobot customer service and as usual very insensitive to the client's problems. They said that I need to spend more money and buy more batteries or a new iRobot. These operators must be trained to strictly get more money out of us consumers and no other help or support is provided. Both my wife and I are very disappointed and I explained to the company about all the problems we had with the multiple units we have had.

The reason they were saying is we did not cleaned them which is incorrect because we kept a log of the cleaning sessions plus a log of every phone call and conversation with managers and operators as we got transferred, put on hold sometimes for almost 1 hr then disconnected. We are sure that you can understand how frustrating that is. Raising kids and taking care of the everyday tasks is difficult as it is. The people at iRobot said that it's normal for them to do that as the call volume is so huge with complaints that it is unequivocally impossible to handle.

The problems we have had were never resolved. All we really wanted is for them to take this robot back and supply us with the one that works as they claim that their robots are the best. The batteries we have are dead now and cannot use the robot any longer, in behalf of my family I hope that the CEO will read this and reply personally and make this right by sending a iRobot Roomba that works. There is always time to concede and make things right. Thank you everybody, keep posting.

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Satisfaction Rating

A few years ago, I had my first robotic vacuum cleaner, a roomba. Can't recall model number but suffice to say it lasted less than 2 years. Customer service at that point confirmed it was not repairable. I had used it maybe 20 times, if that. This year, I gave it another try with a scooba. Same story, lasted less than 2 years and I have used it even less than the roomba before.

Customer service really not very friendly, nor knowledgeable. Very disappointed. While I admire the company's concept as such, using robots to help with household chores, it really seems they focus a lot more on their governmental robots (which must be even more expensive) neglecting customer that pay anywhere from usd 400-700 for a VACUUM CLEANER! I will buy a cheaper, non iRobot model now and it will probably last a lot longer than 2 years. iRobot is DEAD for me, for life.

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After 3 years of light usage and I do mean light, I got the infamous error code 9. The book says to hit the bumpers 20 times to clean the sensors. This didn't work so I called the customer service line. Their standard line was, "Well if you cleaned the bumpers we can't fix it. So you will need to buy a new unit." They offered me a core unit, no battery or aux equipment for $150. I sent an email asking for more ways to troubleshoot the problem but they are standing firm, no fix just replacement. And because I registered the machine at purchase I get a 15% discount. Nice going iRobot, you got me, at least I got 3 years usage out of it. I will not replace it with a Roomba. I will never buy anything from iRobot again and I don't recommend you buying their products.

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I am having a problem with my iRobot Roomba 650. I called customer service. Their representatives are the most not customer oriented people. I purchased the robot at Bed, Bath, And Beyond on January 2015. I lost the receipt and I have purchased it with a gift card so I can't pull out the receipt. Anyway, iRobot customer service insists to get the receipt and not willing to provide me a service without a physical receipt... Who keeps receipts in those days? Why to put more bumpers in front of customers face instead of trying to help them under the warranty agreement?!

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I purchased a Roomba 870 in March and have been very happy with the results. With 2 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats, I program it to clean the living room and entryway every single day. Then, when I get home in the evening, I run it in another room as well - so it sees heavy use. When it was about a month old, it stopped charging on the base - it was completely dead. iRobot sent me an all-new 870, all components. It has worked like a charm for almost 8 months now with no issues. We recently updated our living room area run to a thick shag, which Roomba will not run on. It stops after about 10 seconds. To be fair, I cannot manually vacuum this shag rug with my Dyson upright either. I have to put on the hose attachment and use that occasionally on the area rug. Most of the floor is still wood, and I still use the Roomba daily.

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Over a 12 month period I purchased 4 Roombas, in the 500 series. First one quit working, no help form Support. I tried to replace the battery, and stripped out the screw holding the plastic in place. That one is dead. Then bought another one, which seemed to clean ok, it just would not pay attention to the virtual walls. Bought a 3rd one at Sam's, which never cleaned the entire room. It ran through a tad bit of water, quit working. I cannot get Roomba to equitably fix this. I think I need a new motherboard for each of them, but iRobot refuses to sell me any or to offer any repairs. What they did offer was to sell me robots for $200 each. Really? I think I can sell them for parts and get about that much for the old ones. I think I will investigate a Shark or Dyson instead. That's over $500 for them, and nothing is working. I loved the first one, but the dog baptized it, and apparently any amount of moisture is a death knell. Too bad! I don’t think I will be getting any more. Too expensive a lesson. And from what I read on here, Roomba does not care.

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Roomba 870 - The robot does not hold a charge long enough to regularly complete cleaning of living and dining room areas. It routinely is found dead in the middle of the floor in need of a charge. Irobot has replaced modules, charging station, etc., but problem continues. I'm concerned about what this will cost me once the warranty runs out.

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I own an iRobot Roomba 500 series (pet series) automated vacuum. It is less than two years old and has NOT seen any severe or heavy usage. I only have one dog. I kept getting error messages time you clean the brushes. I went on the iRobot site and found a video that showed exactly what mine was doing. Then it said that I would need to call their support number. I assume that they have seen this problem many times. This assumption is based on the fact that they had a video describing the problem, and the customer service rep who I called went right into a script where she basically blamed it on the fact that I had a dog. Seriously? They were surprised that I had a dog? Why would I ever buy the "Pet series" if I didn't have a pet? This is obviously a design flaw. They said they have totally redesigned the brushes and then they told me that I would have to pay $50 to get them. I asked why I would have to pay to fix a problem that was an obvious design flaw. At that point, the customer service rep immediately gave me a 15% discount and free shipping. Discount and free shipping aside, this is a total rip off. This is them asking me to pay for their design flaw. It should be free.

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I have a 2-year-old 500 series Roomba that I cannot find a place to get it repaired. It runs for about 2 minutes & says "clean brushes." This has been done every time it stops & nothing is on the brushes which, by the way, are newly replaced brushes, along with another new battery. Now the new problem is it won't dock at the charge station at all. Do I have any recourse at all? Does anyone know where I can send it for repair? I just spent over $100.00 on this thing & hate to throw it away.

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I have had problems with iRobot systems and customer service for several years. I have bought about 4 different robots and all of them only worked for a couple of weeks to a maximum of 3 months. iRobot does not have a repair center therefore they make their clients troubleshoot this poorly engineered vacuums over the phone.

I have spent numerous hours going over troubleshooting and nothing was ever fixed. They have gotten to the extent of sending me what I believe was a refurbished unit that did not work either! All of this happened when I lived in California with my family. I'm now in PA and after opening all the boxes from the move, I found the bad Roombas and sparked the interest of trying to see if any of poorly made machines worked, after a full charge given, one went into circles and another went really slow and so long. No carpet or floors were cleaned as usual.

I called Roomba Customer Service and kept an open mind, thinking that maybe I can exchange the four I have for one that works, but now they are out of warranty and conveniently they only have records of what they wanted to keep with only one machine registered. However, they mentioned that one was sent to me in 2007. I told them that it never worked so they asked me again to troubleshoot the unit and of course after using compressors to blow out the dust, it still never worked. The unit is brand new, why should I blow dust out of it? Nonsense In case someone wants to file a class complaint, please let me know. I believe just by reading this post there are thousands of people with similar issues. I will be willing to talk to an attorney if anyone would be willing to pick up the case and get a new system to the people that have similar problems or whatever is necessary to do.

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I am astounded that Colin Angle, as the CEO of a large consumer products manufacturer, would not list an email address so that he could receive emails from his customers. Perhaps, it is because of the point of view engendered by an engineering background that puts things ahead of human beings. When my Roomba 560 began to whine and thump, despite regular careful cleaning after only five months of use, I called Customer Service and was told I needed to replace the brush assembly. When I mentioned that one user on a complaints website mentioned that to clean the 560 thoroughly, the brush assembly has to be removed, the customer service rep told me that iRobot discouraged such a disassembly so I did not do it.

I was then sold a replacement brush assembly, which it was claimed would cure the problem. Upon receiving it, I removed the old assembly and found dog hair around the gears. Instead of installing the new assembly, I cleaned and reinstalled the old one and found that it worked fine and that I did not need the replacement (at least, not yet). In addition, the front wheel fell out of its housing because the plastic gave way after twenty or thirty removals of the wheel to clean it, as the instructions required. I was told by a customer service rep, after complaining that I should not remove the wheel, but clean the axle with it in place. Lots of luck with that! So I had to buy another wheel assembly!

Why hasn't iRobot changed the manual directions so that others would not encounter the same problem? Why hasn't this company emailed its registered users of all their products prone to such failure with the change in maintenance necessary to avoid such a material failure? iRobot does its customers a great disservice and reinforces the experience that not only is this a faulty design, but that the company doesn't care enough about its customers to warn them about this problem or even change do the minimum of changing its cleaning instructions so that the poor design of the wheel housing is avoided.

I was surprised to find that the hair cleaning tool was not part of my Roomba kit. Perhaps, that was another boon I did not receive because I purchased the Roomba as a reconditioned item from its website. Moreover, I discovered that the problems I've had with the Roomba are not covered by the warranty because it is a reconditioned unit. My many years of experience in manufacturing have shown me that reconditioned units are almost always in better working condition than those sent right from the production floor. iRobot's attitude regarding its warranties implies that the opposite is true, and that a reconditioned unit may very well not have the service life of a new one.

My experience of the poor design and maintenance performance with this product makes me fear for the lives and limbs of our soldiers, Marines and Seals if they have to depend on iRobot's highly touted military combat robots, most recently on TV by its CEO, Colin Angle. iRobot does a sizable business with the US Department of Defense. To date, it has delivered more than 3,000 PackBot robots used for bomb disposal, reconnaissance and building mapping, mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, iRobot received a $17 million order for SUGV robots, bringing the total units ordered to date to 229. It started delivering a version of the SUGV last year.

iRobot hopes to get a contract approved for additional 124 SUGVs in the second quarter, iRobot Chief Executive Colin Angle said in a conference call with analysts Thursday. The US Army estimates that it will need more than 8,000 SUGV robots, Angle said. Adding the projected demand from the Marines and others services, international markets and US law enforcement, the overall market demand could be 10,000 to 20,000 SUGV class robots, Angle said.

Let's hope they're of better quality than the consumer product sold to me.

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I purchased an iRobot Roomba 535 brand new from Woot.com in March of '09. About six months after the warranty expired, the Roomba started malfunctioning with the "9 beep error." This is a very well-documented error for this particular model (the 500 series) as evidenced by over 200 posts here: **. Same as the other complaints below regarding this model, I also attempted the "fixes" listed on the website to fix the issue, but to no avail. iRobot stated that there is no way to repair it. I only have to buy a new one for $150. What's a real kicker here is that iRobot refuses to offer an extended warranty for the replacement. I can understand that this is barely out of warranty. However, because this is such a well-documented design defect, I believe that my Roomba should be repaired free of charged or replaced with a non-defective model.

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Vacuum used only a few times even though purchased mid-December 2008--kept it charged up Only used in a small area basically for surface carpet cleaning. Went to use it October 2010 and all it does it spin around in a circle, error message 9 beeps. Bumper is sticking. I already had taken it apart to clean it several times. Customer service told me the same thing as in the manual and to use an air compressor to clean it. It turns on, spins around and then stops and beeps-- uh-oh and then 9 beeps. I will not fix itself. Why are these items still allowed to be sold and why is HSN selling them knowing there are issues with these items?

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I join the ranks of thousands of others who have had problems with their product after a short period of use. My Roomba was used about 12 times over the course of 2 years and the battery went punk. The company said to go punt essentially. I'm out of $300.00.

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I bought the iRobot in July of 2008. The iRobot Roomba only worked once and stopped working. Make a long story short, I have called the call center about 5 times and nothing has been done. The reps don't speak well English at all. They tell me they can't transfer me to a supervisor or manager because they are not available and it takes about 45 minutes to get a rep on the line and another 45 min to an hour for them to understand what you’re calling about. I was suppose to get a new Roomba and to this day I don't have one. I was supposed to get pieces to fix my Roomba and I had to call 3 times before they actually sent them. My Roomba still does not work. They don't get back to emails or phone calls. Don't buy a Roomba. Not worth the money.

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I bought a NEW Roomba 560 from an eBay seller. I register the product in the manufacturer site and the site says it's covered under warranty until November 2009. When I contacted the manufacturer's customer support about a battery issue, they are saying that the item is NOT covered under warranty since it's bought from eBay. They are pointing me to a policy section in their site to show me that it's their policy. If that was their policy, they shouldn't be saying that it's covered under warranty in the registration page. The customer service people are not ready to listen. They keep telling me that the item is not under warranty and there is nothing they cannot do about it. If they found a discrepancy in registration and their policy, they should be taking the responsibility and honoring what is posted in the registration form.

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Our Roomba would work for 2 minutes, then stop again and tell us to clean and inspect the brushes. We were given instructions (for the wrong product) to return the Roomba. We sent the entire machine back including the dust bin because those wrong instructions didn't mention it. Recontacted Cust. Support on 12/19/08. They acknowledged that the wrong return instructions were sent and promised to send us the dust bin. On 12/31/08 we received the dust bin. Then, Roomba wouldn't charge. Now we find out they shipped the new Roomba without the battery! Those faulty instructions hadn't mentioned to keep the battery either. We were told 7-10 more business days before we receive the battery!

We requested overnight shipping since we had waited so long. Our request was refused! I asked to speak with a supervisor. Andrea repeated no overnight shipping. I asked to speak with her supervisor. I was told to wait until Monday 1/5/09. We did not feel that overnighting the battery to us after all this was too much to ask since the original fault lay with them.

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I bought a Roomba Vacuum and there is nowhere to get the thing serviced so anyone who buys this product and has a problem is just out. The public should be warned that you cannot have this product serviced anywhere. I spent $300.00 on each one and now me and my mother and my daughter are all just stuck with junk. Something should be done. I would never buy another product made from this company.

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Roomba 560 series comes with 2 virtual wall / lighthouses. Both of them stopped working. They are still under warranty. I notified iRobot customer service. They have been very non-responsive. I have made contact with over 10 people and only hear from them once, maybe twice and their replacements want to start all over rather than just reading the records. One of the wall/lighthouses works intermittently.

I have 2 open tickets with customer Support. I want the wall lighthouses replaced & I want to deal with someone who has the authority to end this long saga. I have read numerous complaints about their customer service / support

I cannot use the Roomba 560 to clean my floors. It just roams around the whole house at random, the only thing stopping it is a closed door.

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I purchased a Roomba Discovery 4210 almost three years ago but have used it only 20 times or so. I also purchased one of the more original models and used it no more frequently. I had to purchase a new battery for the old model because it stopped retaining a charge after only 10 to 20 uses. The Discovery model recently stopped working after only a few minutes and the battery will not recharge. I have a total usage between the two batteries of 20 to 40 times. The company represents that you will get hundreds of uses from the battery with proper usage.

I had the same problem early on with the Discovery model while it was still under warranty and they replaced everything [I believe the battery as well], so this may make three batteries that I only got that many uses from.

When I called to discuss this I was told I needed to purchase a new battery. I explained that this was not exactly economical at $50.00 to $60.00 per battery. When the subject of my infrequent usage of the Roomba came up I was told that I should remove the battery after charging if I won't be using it every one to two weeks or more frequently.

Everything on their website, including an answer to a question about battery life, in their manual, and on their automated telephone system for technical support tells the consumer to leave the Roomba in the docking station to charge for the best battery life.

Christine apologized for the automated system giving incorrect advice but said it is in the manual [not true with my manual]. She said the company was sending out new chargers and robots to replace this maodel but the battery I would have to purchase myself. She said there was nothing wrong with the charger or robot but the company was replacing them because they were older. They already had my address, telephone number, and email address but I was not contacted to replace the old unit. It was only when I called that they offered to replace it.

My issue here is that I'm spending a lot of money on batteries and I'm following their directions on extending battery life completely. If they are not going to make the correct information available to the consumer in any format, I don't feel the cost of the batteries should ever be my responsability. I can't possibly be the first consumer of this product that has had to purchase new batteries due to incorrect charging instructions. It sounds as though they may make most of their profit through battery purchases. In my last calls to the company no one has ever given me this information. If it is not available through any source to most consumers then they are clearly deceiving purchasers to sell batteries.

I am hoping that with this new information I will purchase a new battery and never have any complaints. I hope to accomplish by contacting you, the company putting out the correct information and I believe they should be paying for batteries that have to be purchased by consumers who followed their directions. As I mentioned, they have my contact information to update their manuals as I'm sure they do with many other purchasers.

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We purchased a Roomba Discovery SE floor vac robot in December 2004. It worked extremely well, cleaning all floor surfaces thoroughly and getting into the corners. It even goes under the furniture where I usually would not clean. It performs at every bit as well as advertised. When it was 5 months old one of the wheels stopped turning. It was replaced. It took over a month to get the replacement. Emails to the company were not answered. Phone inquiries were answered only by a machine that put me on hold for a long time while a recorded advertisement replayed, interspersed with messages that told me how important I was to them. The replacement worked for a week or so then stopped. I had to ship it to the company.

The replacement took nearly 2 months and ran for another 2 weeks. The Home Base and charger failed after that. It took a month to get a replacement which did not work. After another month the next replacement arrived. It worked. At one year of age the battery wore out and needed replacement. This is normal. I ordered a replacement. After two weeks I emailed an inquiry. Several days later I repeated the inquiry. I did receive a back order notice eventually. After 6 weeks I cancelled the order and bought a battery from another company. After it arrived I did get a reply to my email.

My Roombah now works fine but the warranty is over and I am not looking forward to the cost of keeping it running at my own expense. If I add up the downtime it seems that it spends approx. 1/3 of its time in repair or waiting for parts. When it is being repaired there is no way to contact the service department without waiting on hold for exceptionally long times. It is a wonderful device but not reliable. We were without the use of the Roomba for a large part of the time because of repairs. The frequency of repair is too high. Worse yet we miss it terribly when it is not working. We will have to do without it after the next breakdown. We would have bought the new floor scrubber too if there was a chance It would work for a while.

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December 2004 bought a Roomba Discovery from this Company. #1Roomba lasted a month then stopped working. They sent me a new one and # 2 lasted a few months then stopped. They sent me #3 which never worked at all. Then sent me # 4 which worked for several months and now has stopped work.

They have informed me that now this item is out of warranty and if I want one that supposedly works I would have to pay them $95.00 for a replacement.

I do not think I am the only person to have had this experience and feel that they are selling a defective product with a large price tag.


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The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.

iRobot is an American robotics manufacturer founded in 1990. The Roomba is one of several autonomous cleaners made by the company.

  • Advanced technology: iRobot continues to improve its Roomba vacuums to clean more effectively.
  • Convenient cleaning: The Roomba is an autonomous vacuum robot that docks and recharges itself between cleanings.
  • Prevents jams: Brushless extractors help prevent tangles that can jam most vacuum cleaners.
  • Responsive navigation: The Roomba responsive navigation technology helps it clean houses of all sizes and shapes.
  • Scheduled cleaning: Owners can program the iRobot Roomba to clean their homes on a preset schedule.
  • Best for iRobot's Roomba is a good option for homeowners and renters who value convenience.

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iRobot Roomba Company Profile

Company Name:
iRobot Roomba
Year Founded:
1990
Address:
8 Crosby Drive
City:
Bedford
State/Province:
MA
Postal Code:
01730
Country:
United States
Website:
http://www.irobot.com/For-the-Home/Vacuum-Cleaning/Roomba.aspx