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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2014
I am going to give the Neato XV-21 three stars because when it works properly it is great. But it often doesn't work properly. I purchased it in October 2013 and before the new year, it started having battery issues. It would run for maybe 10 minutes before needing to recharge. I purchased my own set of batteries from Amazon to replace the defective ones and also contacted Neato for a replacement set under warranty to use as a backup. Next up, the Neato started making a grinding/slipping sound. I contacted Neato CS, who responded with a list of troubleshooting steps none of which worked. The rep asked that I send in my proof of purchase, which I did. Never heard back from her. Emailed multiple times, no reply. I did get the grinding sound to lessen by giving it a very thorough cleaning and lubing the moving parts that are accessible. Still nothing back from Neato. Fast forward to today, when I went to use the Neato I kept getting a "my vision is blocked" error. This appears to be caused by the spinning laser mapper on top, well, not spinning. The fix that several people online mentioned is to take a dry Q-Tip and give it a little spin to jump start it. Didn't work. I contacted Neato CS again, by phone this time, and they told me to try the Q-Tip trick, which I told them I had and it didn't work. Should I really have to service a $350 robot vacuum with a Q-Tip to get it to work properly? The rep then asked for my info to send me a new (presumably refurbished) unit which despite being under warranty, they still charged me $26 for shipping.
The Neato isn't a set it and forget it type product. You need to make sure and pick things up off the floor before using it and you will have to spend time cleaning the brush, filter, etc. so know that going in. We'll see how the replacement works but if it gets to the point where they won't send me a functioning unit under warranty, I am done with them. You should get more than one year out of a $350 vacuum. Look at all the reviews of people on their second, third, fourth, etc. unit. Neato to go back to the engineering drawing board and fix some stuff. The best piece of advice I can give you if you purchase a Neato is go to Square Trade and buy the longest warranty that they will sell for it. It will probably be well worth the money
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2013
I purchased this vacuum 9 months ago and originally loved it. It had great suction and cleaned up well after my two cats who are constantly shedding. I set my vacuum to run 3 times a week in my 600 square foot apartment. About 1 month in, my vacuum kept giving me an error message that the wheel was stuck and to remove debris. Nothing was stuck in the wheel. When I called the customer service line for Neat, they sent me a new vacuum. They were great to deal with. Fast forward to 4 months later when my vacuum stopped returning to its base when it ran out of charge. I called up customer service again and they promptly sent me a battery, free of charge. By this point, I was getting a little frustrated with the frequency of calls for this vacuum but since customer service was resolving my issues, I was okay with it. Fast forward another 4 months and my battery is acting up again and my vacuum is not returning to it's charging station. I call up customer care (a new company from my previous 2 calls, I was told, since they do not have my information from previous calls) and instead of getting a new battery, I am told to take my batteries out for 3 minutes, put them back in, fully charge the vacuum and then let it run until it drains before fully charging it again for a total of 3 cycles and my problem will be solved. I did all of that only to find that my problem was not solved. I called them up and they told me my only recourse, since I only have a 90 warranty, it to purchase new batteries for the vacuum for $70. When I asked if it was typical that the batteries lasted only a few months, the representative didn't have an answer for me and says it can vary. When I asked if something might be wrong with my vacuum since the batteries were draining so quickly, she said that was not possible and it must be the batteries and there is nothing that they can do for me.

So while I love my Neato when it is working, I am very upset that after purchasing this less than a year ago I am on my second vacuum and my soon to be 3rd set of batteries. At $70 a shot for batteries, I will be spending around $210 a year just to keep this vacuum running. I would not purchase this vacuum again knowing what I know now.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2012
The AI in this robot has a lot to be desired.

While I like that it covers the ground in a more systematic way than the Roomba I owned several years ago, it doesn't seem as smart. It can't quite go under the couch smoothly but forces itself and then gets stuck. I put sliders under the couch feet so that the main body of the robot could go under it but the scanner section would halt it. Now what happens is it goes under until the scanner section bumps the couch, it tries to keep moving for about six seconds (wasting battery power and probably a lot of wear on the wheel/motor assembly) then it backs up and tries again, over and over, in the same 1'x1' area until it stops saying it's blocked. Not too bright.

To solve this I added yet another set of sliders (http://www.amazon.com/Waxman-4713395K-4-Piece-Bottom-Movers/dp/B000GSJ3X6/ref=pd_sim_hi_4) under the couch. So now it looks silly that the couch has these feet lifting it over an inch off the ground but the machine seems to be able to go under the couch now.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2012
I have had my Neato XV-21 for almost a month now, and I cannot believe how well it works! I'll be honest, I was a little skeptical, thinking that the technology is pretty new and perhaps, while cutting-edge, it would lack in quality. This is not the case!

I bought this version of the Neato because my boyfriend and I just moved into a new home with a golden retriever. She sheds constantly, and in my previous residence (sans boyfriend) clumps of hair would gather everywhere. I knew this would stress out the boyfriend (who is very clean), so we bought the Neato in hopes that it would help with the constant rain of dog hair falling from her body.

We have moved to a house that is completely one level and completely wood-laminate floor, so I cannot speak with certainty about how the Neato moves between many textures of floor. However, in our living room we have a very thick and shaggy rug. The Neato obviously strains at times to get over the rug, but it has done so 98% of the time without getting stuck. (I'll talk more about getting stuck below.)

It gets the little hairs, and it gets the big clumps of hair. Since having it, the Neato has only prompted me to clean the brush (due to getting tangled) once, and it was very easy to do, thanks to the makers making it specifically for the purpose of dealing with pet hair. It also has no problem going over heating vents. It does a surprisingly good job at going under furniture as well, leaving virtually no place in our house un-Neatoed!

There are some things that are negative. Like others have mentioned, the noise it quite loud. However, personally I would rather have a stronger, louder, Neato than a weak one that is quieter. We have therefore set the Neato to run on weekdays while we are gone, and we manually start it on the weekend when we leave the house.

The Neato also cannot clean the entire house on one charge, and it takes a while to charge in between uses. But again, it's using a lot of juice to provide a powerful suction, so I am cool with that. (We do have a rather small house, so I imagine people with larger houses may find this frustrating.) For example, it is set to start at 10:30, and it is usually done with the house before we get home at 5pm.

Finally, there have been a few times that the Neato has been stuck. Oddly enough, always while we are at home, which is nice because that is less frustrating than coming home and having to search for it. Twice it has gotten stuck on nothing in particular, just moving back and forth. One time this occurred when it was trying to find its charger. Another time it did randomly get stuck under our ottoman, which lays on top of the thick rug. However, that was only once and otherwise is able to vacuum under there.

I cannot express how much I HIGHLY recommend the Neato XV-21!

Now if only the Neato would keep the dog off the couch when we aren't home!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2012
UPDATE AUGUST 8 2012:

I still like my Neato, but it has undergone some technical issues. Probably most other people are not experiencing these. Here are my good and bad since I've gotten the original Neato, which has been switched out twice.

It was having some "difficulty navigating." Neato tech support decided I needed a new unit and told me that the new unit would not experience the same issues as the old unit was experiencing. The old unit was "climbing" certain objects in the house that Neato tech support felt it should not be climbing and that it should intrinsically know not to climb. My Neato was getting confused by my light-colored flooring and nearby objects with 1-inch-high light-colored bases. It would climb them repeatedly and get stuck on the bases multiple times.

I received ... long story but after some swapping the new XV-21 still experienced the same issues as the original unit. (I ended up keeping the original unit ... you'll see why below.)

Plus the new unit experienced some issues that the original unit never experienced. It had "I can't see" errors which the original unit did not have. These were random. Sometimes it would be fine and would run without them. At other times they would appear. It also would ask me to empty its bin when it was less than half full.

Also, the second unit several times did not make it back to the base on a full battery (by full battery, I mean that it had only cleaned about 4 minutes on the battery -- this would be on its second run during a full house cleaning and then it would have finished the house cleaning -- then it would happen when it tried to return to the dock). It would stop about two feet from the dock. Also: the second unit only ran 1 hour 4 minutes maximum while the first unit ran 1 hour 15 minutes. I tried swapping batteries and the second unit still only ran 1 hour 4 minutes. That 11 minutes really makes a difference.

(AN ASIDE HERE ON NEATOs AND BATTERY LIFE: It must have more to do with the way the individual robots process the information and maybe a little bit also of the battery life of the individual battery. I put the original battery back inside the original robot. But the original robot was able to get 1 hour 13 minutes out of the "new" robot's battery and the "new" robot couldn't get more than 1 hour 4 minutes out of the original robot's battery which normally gets 1 hour 15 minutes, so the robots themselves seem to have something to do with how they process battery life.)

The climbing behavior was fixed by Neato boundary markers. Note that both robots were experiencing the same behavior equally and that the same fix, boundary markers, applied to both robots.

However, I felt that Neato tech support perhaps should have known that was the fix (boundary markers) before they claimed I needed a new robot, and before they stated that a new robot would not exhibit this climbing behavior when I had informed them that my floors were light colored and the objects the robot was climbing were light colored. I am still confounded as to whether or not this is normal Neato behavior, as Neato technicians have advised me that this climbing behavior is "not normal Neato robot behavior" and yet both Neato robots that I had exhibited this behavior of not being able to distinguish the difference between a light-colored floor and an object with a light-colored base approximately 1 inch high directly next to it. Both robots readily climbed from the floor to the 1-inch-high light-colored bases and got stuck on the bases multiple times. The only fix was to surround the bases with boundary markers.

I know that most of you will not have unmovable objects in your home with bases of a similar color to your flooring that will confuse your robot that your Neato will not successfully navigate. This is for the few of you that will encounter that situation where your Neato will not navigate many unmovable objects in your home that are normally there. While I do go out of my way to remove objects and to make my home robot friendly for my Neato, there are some objects that I cannot remove and a few that I do not want to remove for every single cleaning. And Neato tech support has stated that the robot should navigate around them; however, it does not.

In addition, I found the quality control lacking in the second robot that I received with regard to the "I can't see" errors and it not making its way back to the doc a few times and the "empty bin". I know that robots do occasionally have their hiccups, and a few hiccups I would consider normal. I do not expect a perfect robot. This is, after all, new technology. But I do expect more consistency than perhaps I witnessed in the second robot and I expect for Neato tech support, who has been very professional and nice, to know the answer to the following: did a replacement robot even need to be sent out? Both robots exhibited the same climbing behavior on similar-colored flooring next to an object with a similar-colored base. So either they are both defective robots, or that is just typical robot behavior and the only fix is to wrap everything in my house with the offending colored base in Neato boundary markers.

A few other footnotes since I have had my Neato awhile longer: I am no longer doing the daily cleanings. I had never had a robot before. My floors were truly dirty when I first received my robot, and for the first 30 days I did run it daily, and I was getting up a lot of dirt!

Finally I am beginning to feel like someone who is settling in to owning a robot :) and am running my robot around twice a week. I have hair that is long, so my hair does get wrapped around the beater brush, which means I do have to clean the brush more frequently. I am still not altogether pleased with the way the Neato does corners.

And I have also learned something: the Neato cannot see in the dark, folks. I thought that it could. It can't! That laser actually doesn't work as well in a pitch black room. It works better with a light on. How about that?

Overall, I am really thrilled with my purchase. Once I got used to having a robotic vacuum, I can't imagine going back to regular vacuuming. I might break it out if I have to, to vacuum certain areas that the Neato cannot reach. But I won't be doing it very often. Really do love my Neato. And hoping that it lasts and that the build quality is there. Some forums I have read have me wondering, so I guess that is something that will show over time. I will report back here if anything changes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2013
Halleluiah, baby Jesus came to my house to save me from drownin in dirt dirt dirt.
I expected it to be more noisy, leaving more dust behind. I have it for abt a week.
It's hard to watch telly while the kid is working, but the noise is much lower then the one you'd get from cyclone type VCL. If you live in a block of flats the noise wont disturb neighbours for sure.
I swipe hand over the floor after it is done and there isnt much dust on the skin left, although cleaning quality differs from spot to spot. Anyway THAT impresses me a lot.
I wont go into meticulous details of its operation as there are very detailed reviews on this page plus owners manual online.
The baby is quite fit and earns its cost. I'm happy with all pros and can neglect cons as insignificant.

The kid comes with a good bonus - it's got 100-240V autovoltage, worldwide ready, just get a plug adaptor.
Recommend to everyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2014
This was the biggest waste of money. First of all when it turns on to vacuum it spends more time trying to get going than it spends actually vacuuming. It has a lot of trouble trying to establish a pattern and ends of staying in the same general area for way too long. After backing up and going forward and backing up again and finally getting into a rhythm the battery dies. Sometimes without making it back to the charger. When the battery is recharged and it's supposed to go back to the place it left off, it doesn't. Again it spends a lot of time going godward and backing up. Using this to vacuum one room, not to mention the whole house, is impossible. I suggest spending this money on a dyson and doing it yourself. That way you know it gets done and gets done right.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Dear Misty,
We are sorry to hear that you are having difficulties with your robot. In terms of navigation, sometimes there are things in the environment that may confuse the robot - reflective surfaces, direct sunlight, etc. If you are experiencing low runtimes we recommend recalibrating your batteries. Check out this support article: http://www.neatorobotics.com/support/articles/battery-doesnt-last-long-or-experiencing-short-runtime/. If the issue persists please give our Customer Care center a call at 877-296-3286 or visit our live chat at www.neatorobotics.com/support and we would be happy to try and assist!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2012
I was very hesitant about purchasing my Neato XV-21 after reading the complaints here on Amazon. I followed my heart and purchased one, and I am so glad that I did. It does a wonderful job maintaining our 1800 sq. ft. home. Notice I said "maintaining". This machine is not intended to replace your traditional vacuum, and I think many people have too high of expectations for what it is. Our home has one dog and two cats and it definitely makes a difference. I'll address the chief complaints I've read about.

Noise level - It is more quiet than a traditional vacuum. In fact, if it is in the adjacent room, I can barely hear it. I've run it while watching television and wasn't distracted.

Getting stuck - You will have to clear the floor of large debris and any floor rugs with fringe. To me, that is common sense. If your traditional vacuum can't go over it, you can guarantee the Neato won't. If you have a cluttered home, or are expecting this machine to miraculously navigate a cluttered floor, you will be disappointed. For those of us who use it for its intended purpose, to maintain, you won't be disappointed. It comes with a barrier strip and works wonderfully to block off areas you foresee will be an issue. I suggest running the vacuum supervised in a room so you know where your problem areas are. A little pre-planning goes a long way. Supervise the machine and make note of which pieces of furniture it can/can't handle. Then, use the barrier strips to solve the issue. Once you have your barrier strips up, it will never be an issue in the future. You can purchase additional strips, and you can cut them to size.

Won't go back to home base - I've had ZERO issues with my Neato returning to its base. The instructions are clear as to how much room to have on each side of the charging station. I believe three feet on each side with at least three feet in front of the docking station. I follow those rules, and it docks EVERY TIME. If you don't properly place barriers and instead battle your machine every time it gets stuck, it will most likely forget where the docking station is. It is important to run your machine and block off the problem areas so it can run without error.

Pushes dirt around - I have not run into this problem. It has a small dirt bin. You should be emptying this bin frequently. I notice that I have to pause the cycle for each of my small rooms, and 2-3 times for my large living areas. This machine is not intended to clean your whole house in one trip. If you are expecting it to do your entire 2000 square foot home while you're out, then you are purchasing the wrong tool for the job. If you do one room at a time and clean the bin between each room, you will have no issues. Also, if you do one room at a time, and allow your machine to re-charge in between rooms, you will never have a battery issue.

Stuck wheels/hair - As I mentioned, we have three pets. If you use the unit to "maintain", you will not have an issue. I clean the brushes and inspect the wheels after each use. If you want a product to work for you, you have to take care of it. You MUST still manually vacuum at least weekly to pick up the pet hair. More if you have long haired pets. Trying to use this as a normal vacuum will kill it before its time.

I love my Neato, but we don't live in a cluttered home with a lot of furniture or area rugs. Our kitchen is tile and the rest carpet. We have a very minimalistic home, and that may make a big difference on whether this luxury item would work for you. This product does require effort on your part to get the intended results. This is definitely not a true set-and-forget item UNTIL you set up boundaries for your problem areas. Despite the effort I have to put into it, I love it and works as intended. Yes, it took a little time to find our problem areas, but once that was established, I can leave a room and know it will not be interrupted. You have to remember - it is a machine, not a maid. Create the right environment, and you will not be disappointed.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2014
I loved this vacuum for a few months. Then it goes into death mode. It throws error code 3000 and there's no coming back from it. I have cleaned it and replaced the batteries. Nothing works. I have watched several videos to try to solve the problem but nothing works. And you can forget about customer service. They just tell you to buy a new one. Obviously this is a built in fail so you have to spend more money. It has happened to every one that I purchased. I have bought several, at least 6 one for each of the three stories of both of my homes. I was very happy with these when I first got them as my houses have hard flooring throughout. But now there just headed for landfill.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Hello Cat,
We are sorry that you have had difficulties with your Neato vacuum and we appreciate your feedback. We are constantly working on our robots to make improvements and have many (hundreds of thousands) of well-behaved robots vacuuming homes around the world. It sounds like this was not the case for you and we truly apologize. If there is anything else we can do to help, please call our Customer Care center at: 877-296-3286. You can also speak with a customer care agent through live chat at www.neatorobotics.com/support. Thank you.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
I purchased the XV-21 back on 11/10/12, rec'd it about a week later and used it for approximately 5 days before it went belly-up on me with a "stuck wheel" error (an apparent problem that many Neatos are having due to mfg issues as reported on Neato Robotics forum (google search for additional information)).

Contacted CS on 11/24 and was told a new one would be FedEx'd to me on Monday. Called today (Wednesday) to get the tracking number to find when it would arrive today and apparently it hasn't even been shipped yet even though I was told I would be receiving it today. Grrrrr!

Frustrated to say the least. Then when I inquired whether the 1 year warranty is from the date of purchase or was reset when a replacement unit was issued and was told that the unit only had a 1 year warranty from the date of purchase (this is contrary to what folks said on the Neato robotics forum -- that it 'reset' each time a replacement unit was shipped). Given the fact that folks have to get 2-3 units before one works properly, this is a little disconcerting considering you could be weeks between receiving a 'working' unit (how long is anyone's guess) and one that's defective.

Considering the numerous issues with this device, I would ONLY recommend purchasing it from a reputable retailer like COSTCO that has it's own warranty return program. This device is not ready for primetime given all the issues with battery life, stuck wheel errors, RPS issues, etc. Neato's CS is questionable at best given my experience.

At this point, I'll be packaging up my Neato and returning it to Lowes from where I purchased it. Early adopters of this device, BEWARE!
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