IoT Maker’s Response to Bad Review Raises Concerns

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A customer left a bad review of a smart garage door opener. The company then bricked the device.

When a customer posted a scathing review of a smart garage door opener on Amazon, Garadget owner Denis Grisack’s blocked the customer’s device from accessing the company’s cloud servers, bricking it. He then posted on the company’s support forum that the customer’s only choice was to return the device to Amazon for a refund.

Garadget is a smart, IoT-powered garage door opener that attaches to a regular one and uses a mobile app connected to a cloud server to operate the garage door.  It had successful Kickstarter and Indigogo campaigns last year and is now in general release. That release has had some growing pains with 20 percent of Amazon reviews being negative.

The customer had complained about the iPhone app that controls Garadget.

Grisack eventually restored the customer’s access, and asked people to “save your pitchforks and torches for your elected representatives. 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.”

He later released a statement apologizing “to both the individual user and our broad user base for the manner in which this incident was handled. This incident is not indicative of our support and we will continue to work on improving our customer interactions.”

According to a report on Digital Trends, the company’s customers and many others have pointed out how this incident also highlights vulnerabilities in IoT devices. The company’s support community expressed concerns about what might happen to IoT devices that rely on cloud-based servers. Last year owners of Nest’s Revolv Smart Home Hub found out first hand when their $300 devices were rendered permanently inoperable after Nest shut down the cloud service.

Related:

IoT interoperability: an Internet of Broken Things

Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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