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J P's complaint against Bosch

J P McLaughlin


electrically dangerous Bosch lawnmower

Complaint against Bosch

This is the letter I wrote to Bosch UK C.E.O. on 21st May 2015: DANGEROUS BOSCH ROTAK 34 ERGOFLEX ELECTRIC ROTARY LAWNMOWER I purchased one of the above machines, online from on 7th May 2013 – as you can see, it is now a couple of weeks past the normal two-year guarantee period, but I write to tell you what has happened in between. The mower worked satisfactorily until October 2014 (15 months after purchase) when it was put away for the Winter, but a mild spell in early November 2014 caused me to attempt a “final cut before Winter”. On this occasion, the mower started up as normal, but I discovered with real alarm, that the motor did not stop when hands released the control handle – that is to say, with no one touching the machine at all, the motor continued to run. The only way to stop the motor, was to run to wall socket, or pull out the cable connector on the machine’s handle. Highly dangerous situation for many obvious reasons. At November 2014, I contacted Bosch Service and an uplift by courier was arranged – and a few days later, the machine was returned to me, but in the interim, I received a telephone call from Bosch Service from a gentleman who expressed profuse apologies about the faulty switch and included the words “this should never have happened”. I had to agree with him! When the machine arrived back to me, the Winter had begun to set in and I simply had no reason to attempt any grass cutting, so I returned the machine to its normal storage place, without checking what had been done to it. The Winter of ’14-’15 went by and as I watched the grass shooting up, I felt happy that when the opportunity came, I would be bringing out a fully working machine. The opportunity came at the beginning of May. I replaced the handle assembly, even though the screws which hold the grey tubes into the body had been omitted by your service centre – which made things tricky – but that was a minor detail compared with the fact that the machine motor NOW started up at the slightest touch of either side of the operating handle. That is to the say, the normal two-steps action to switch on was not working as it should. Normally, one should touch first the middle button on the handle, then either one of the orange buttons at the side of the handle. I have always recognised that garden power tools force the user into a two-step switch-on, as a safety measure, to help avoid accidental start up. But this safety feature no longer worked. The middle button did not need to be pressed – while both side buttons started up the motor immediately. Again, highly dangerous for all the obvious reasons experienced in November 2014. I contacted Bosch Service again and explained that the machine had obviously been returned to me in this dangerous state in November 2014, but I had not discovered this until the first attempted cut in early May 2015. Again, it was arranged for the machine to be uplifted from me. Again, the machine came back to me within a few days, but this time, there was no telephone call of apology in the interim! The latest uplift/return took place in week beginning Monday 11th May. Staggering to report: this machine has come back to me (after its second visit to your service centre) STILL in a dangerous condition – but with yet another variation of danger. Indeed, it is so dangerous that I refuse to even attempt to plug it into the power and switch it on. I say this for TWO reasons: 1. The handle assembly – that is: the handle which is grasped by two hands during operation – containing three orange buttons, slides completely off the top of the vertical grey rods assembly and there are no screws and no grip to make this stay on. One is left holding the handle assembly which is hanging in mid air, attached only by dangling power cable and therefore, pushing / controlling the machine would be impossible. This particular nonsense was not present previously. But worse than that: 2. One of the orange side buttons has been TAPED into the PRESSED-ON position which seem insane. On discovering this second offering of a dangerous machine (technically, the third offering if you count the first in November 2014), I emailed your service centre and related all the above to them. They have ignored me for a week, despite reminders. This machine was not cheap and I feel justifiably angry about the sheer danger this Bosch item has put me in THREE TIMES and I cannot pass it off without making as much public fuss as I can. It is one thing to find oneself owning a machine with a dangerous electrical fault, but to have this compounded by a cavalier attitude from those who should be righting a wrong (not making it worse) is unjustified and unacceptable. [end of letter to Bosch C.E.O.]. I add here my disillusionment that one bad egg of a machine (let us trust that many others of this model work just fine) causes me, the unlucky purchaser of that bad egg, to be endangered, bereft of working equipment, out of pocket and highly inconvenienced throughout the whole saga, whereas the perpetrators could easily rectify with immediate new replacement machine (possibly with restoration of my good will). I feel sure that two uplifts and two re-deliveries plus two lots of labour on useless and dangerous "repairs" must have cost Bosch UK more than supplying me with a new machine. A machine with a rotor blade which has no safe electrical control is surely a disgrace to the name of Bosch.

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J P McLaughlin | | VERIFIED

Reaction to my letter to Bosch CEO: Email & phone call to me from someone in CEO's office. I received apologies, and the faulty machine was uplifted from me (for the 3rd time!). A week or so after that, I received a brand new Bosch lawnmower - an upgrade (perhaps because the model which gave me such grief is now discontinued). It is early days, but the new machine works well so far. Should one HAVE to write to CEOs in order to get the service department to do their job ?
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