Zodiac VX40 follow up 12months after dealing with Zodiac
It’s now been over 12 months and I have decided to do a follow up review of where I got with this whole cord tangle issue in this model.
Well firstly Zodiac stepped up and sent there tech team out twice in the space of 6 months replaced just about everything on the cleaner. So service I thought great in that regard they didn’t just give up or tell me to go away.
Problem is as I told them numerous times, the unit requires a swivel system like the newer models now all have. You can send your tech man out and replace cord, motor, wheels it won’t change a thing. I was told firmware and swivel not available for this model. If I called them again I’m sure the tech guy would come out again and replace cord etc again.
So they have convinced themselves it’s something else causing it in this model, or they quite simply know it’s a non repairable fault so upgrade is the only answer and that’s too costly for the company so you gotta look like your doing something.
My friend has the earlier model of the VX50, it again was a great cleaner but cord issues meant it was time consuming and defeated the point of the unit being robotic, Zodiac sent tech guy out he put the swivel on it now he is very happy.
This is what I wanted, a swivel that’s all, but not available on the VX40.
A friend of mine just got a pool and wants a Robotic cleaner. I told him my story, don’t get the VX40 it’s cord system is faulty. But I said I hope Zodiac have learnt from this, and recommended the VX50 what my other friend has and it now has a NEW SWIVEL which means the cord won’t tangle while the cleaner is in the pool. He told me he decided due to company not owning to Fault in VX40 he went with a Dolphin.
I am done with this now, I never got what I wanted from Zodiac the cord issue fixed on the VX40 or a working Robotic pool cleaner replacement. So I’ll keep untangling my cleaner before, sometimes during and after my cleaner goes in the pool every time until the day it dies.
Has to be in breach of Trade Practices Act it's that bad
I had my machine pack it in February 2018 just 3 months over the 3 year warranty. I contacted Zodiac customer service and they advised I take it to the shop I bought it (Hornsby), but consider taking it to Blacktown where they do the assessments to avoid courier costs. I took it into Pool & Spa warehouse Blacktown in March 2018, they said they were a Zodiac Platinum Partner which gave me some confience at the time that I would be looked after.
However, the guys said that the cable unit was faulty ($600 to repair) as was the motor block ($400). I'm not convinced the cable was the problem but their diagnosis machine said so. They advised my best course of action was to buy a new machine. I had paid $1,200 and they wanted $1,500 for a new one!!! I was incensed. Seriously? You can't honestly tell me that a 'big ticket item' costing $1,200 could last just on two years without there being a serious, systemic problem that the manufacturer should be aware of and be able to contact owners to recall it - P&SW have all our details from sales/warranty sign ups don't they? Isn't that what a Platinum Partner would do?
This model has been discontinued. A couple of years ago there were more than 40 complaints on Product Review; now there's only 14 - so I'll follow up with PR to see where the others went - perhaps Zodiac was able to convince complainants to retract them - I don't know the protocol/policy so i'm happy to be enlightened.
So looking at the Trade Practices Act:
1. Warranty assessments need to provide a written assessment - failed, P&SW are effectively an agent of Zodiac, and held themselves out as a Platinum Partner. They didn't give a written assessment
2. Manufacturers are required to hold spare parts and be able to repair products at a reasonable cost. Failed - the motor block could not cost more than $20 to manufacture and the cable unit similar. The labour would not cost anywhere near the difference to the costs quoted. $1,000 to fix this machine is price gouging - that's another TPA no no.
3. Goods are supposed to be 'fit for purpose' and last a reasonable amount of time. These cleaners are supposed to be underwater and used a few times a week outside in chlorinated water. They are also supposed to be not kept in the water and be kept out of the sun when not in use. I did just this and P&SW commented that my unit did not have any signs of misuse. Failed - my unit did not last for a reasonable amount of time and as such is not fit for purpose. Given the number of complaints about this model and also the fact that it's been deleted, clearly proves that Zodiac knows this was a poor quality machine - it damages their brand equity to sell such a poor performing product. Thus with the manufacturer clearly knowing this machine is not fit for purpose, Zodiac has a moral obligation and a brand equity obligation to rectify the problem with aggrieved customers - by replacing the machine with a model that Zodiac does consciously know, does do the job that they promise the unit does.
The TPA protects consumers beyond the manufacturers warranty. I'd like to access that protection please.
So in conclusion, the machine is pretty good - when working BUT given the above 3 breaches of the TPA, and the obvious knowledge about the problem with the VX40, Zodiac should replace my out of warranty machines at the very least.
I look forward to Zodiac's response, and Mr Zodiac, do note that it's irrelevant that I'm only now taking more formal action.
Short lifespan, terrible servicing - Consider a different brand!
Our 3 YO Zodiac recently developed a motor block error, it was disappointing that this happened only 3 years into the life of the machine, used only 4 months of the year. We are meticulous about leaving it in the pool to cool down and then rinsing thoroughly with fresh water.
What I find most difficult to reconcile is the appalling job conducted servicing the unit and the complete lack of willingness on behalf of the manufacturers to show customer care and 'make it right'.
- We sent our cleaner away for repair (via a NZ authorized dealer). We waited over a week to be told that it was the motor block that needed replacing (something i had assessed already by reading this forum.)
- I then waited another 3 weeks to have the machine returned, when i picked it up I realized that it had been handled so badly and packed so badly in transit that the item had been broken, in multiple places rendering it unusable.
- I returned it back to the dealer who thankfully had the good sense to order the parts and fit them themselves, saving me another (likely) protracted wait
A few days later I picked my machine up again, and when i put it in the pool I found it still didn't work - which as you can imagine was rather frustrating.
- I returned the unit for a second time to the dealer who inspected the the unit and then 4 days later returned it again, informing me that Zodiac had fitted the wrong motor block in the machine.
So in short i returned a broken machine to the manufacturer who then fitted the wrong parts and did nothing constructive with the machine. If it wasn't for the dealer it's possible that I'd still be without my machine now; 2 months later.
I accepted that these things happen and asked the dealer to contact Zodiac to come to an arrangement on the repair bill as I felt that circa 1,000 NZD was a bill that far outshone the service i had received. I heard today that Zodiac are not willing to offer any discount on the labour portion of the 'service'.
If you think it's ok to treat your customers that way, that's a poor show Zodiac! We will not be buying a zodiac again. And actually the cost of the cleaner and the regular repairs/replacement make it cheaper to hire a regular visit from a pool cleaning service !
An example of the worst robot on the market
This robot was provided as part of my pool build. Its problems are many:
1. The cord tangling is pathetic resulting in the robot not reaching the end of the pool. I raised with Zodiac After Sales and they were not accepting responsibility claiming it is my problem for leaving the robot in the pool for too long. Essentially after every pool clean I have to take the cord and extend it out in the sun to jet the tangle out.
2. Because of the wide wheel base it does not reach into my pool corners - eg between the base and the walls. It also struggles to cope with steps.
3. It picks up leaves perfectly well but does not cope well with picking up fine dirt. It seems to push the dirt out of the way rather than suck it up. I changed to a fine filter however that did not solve the issue.
I would give this one a big miss. I am now on the market find a suitable replacement.
The Zodiac VX40 came with the pool 2 years ago and it is a great cleaner cleans up tiny bits easily, BUT the pool cord!! It twists contantly and twisted so bad that it splt exposing the power cord underneath so couldnt use it die to danger of death by electrocution Had it replaced after getting in touch with Zodiac and a guy came out and replaced it for free. A year later the rubber hosing has split again. So its just before christmas, and i have no pool cleaner. I have contacted the pool company but i thought id post here as well. I want a replacement machine of an upgraded model. This product is faulty and i cannot believe it passed testing. You need to put a plastic flexible cord casing around it, this rubber casing you use is just not appropriate.
And no, i did not cause this. I have never once left the cleaner in the pool, as soon as its done, its out. The guy who came out told me how to store it, which is what i had been doing all along. Its just bad design.
I require a refund or replacement with an updated model if the problem has been fixed in later models. As the guy says below, you should admit this is a mistake model and recall and replace. Its actually life threatening to have this cord split. If someone didnt notice the cord had split and put it in the pool then they run the risk of being electrocuted. This could have been me today.
Cable nightmare, design flow
I am wondering how this type of products get through the testing phase. Do they even get tested before release? It is advertised that it will save you time and stress cleaning the pool. Well it's quite the opposite. The robot itself cleans well and goes up the walls and stairs, but the cable is getting tangled constantly. It's not very smart either, it just makes rounds into the same direction, causing the cable to tangle all the time, no matter what.
4wd or 2wd version should not have anything to do with the cable. I am surprised this that kind of products are allowed to advertise the ease of use. In my opinion it is misleading and false advertising.
They should admit their mistake and either recall or upgrade customers to the next model with swivel floating cable
Great pool cleaner
this little beauty picks up everything from small granules of dirt , leaves and general pool rubbish.
Its super quiet and the best thing its not heavy to lift out of the water. Very easy to clean and it never gets tangled. I would recommend this cleaner for just over a $1000 its worth it.
Cable always tangles robotic pool cleaner useless
The Zodiac VX40 robotic pool cleaner was recommended by our pool builder.
It is basically a nightmare, we have had one summer with it and don't get me wrong it cleans the pool, but the cord tangles so it takes 20 minutes everytime to untangle the cord and that has to be done a good couple of times during every clean. So you can imagine the frustration as it is supposed to be a robotic pool cleaner.
To give some detail, the issue is the cleaner cannot make it around the pool.
The cord tangles so much it can't make the distance so you need to remove it from the pool and untangle the whole cord so it can cover the area.
This involves taking cleaner out of the pool, unplugging it, unravelling and straightening the whole cord out, plugging it back in and putting it back into the pool. This process has to be done twice every clean.
It is simply rediculous, I have tried leaving cord out straight in the sun every recommendation, none of them do anything, the same thing happens everytime cord tangles up.
The most embarassing thing I would say for Zodiac is manually cleaning the pool is actually considerably quicker than using the VX40 robotic cleaner. I can't understand how it made through product testing before hitting the market, it's beyond me.
It is clearly a manufacturing fault and a product recall is needed as I can see everyone is having the same issue.
It is a shame Zodiac are not taking any responsibility or doing anything about it as I have other zodiac pool equipment which we purchased with our new pool and I only hope it doesn't have any issues, because I can't imagine Zodiac will show any concern or be of any help. A real shame as they are a big name in pool equipment.
So my advice play it safe look at other reputable brands when purchasing pool equipment.
Going through the battle with manufacturers as this is obviously a design problem from the start!
Pool cleaner is great! But the cable tangles every time. Even doing their recommendations still tangles straight away, obviously a design fault as the new model has a swivel installed. Should be a recall really.
Installing a swivel wouldn’t be to hard, if they supplied one but then they would loose out on the “upgrade selling pitch” what they have tried already.
Stay clear, not fit for purpose.
Cleaner robot itself seems ok, but the cable unfourtantely makes the unit unusable. 9 our of 10 times it ends up in a tangled mess. I avoid using it because I can’t be bothered battling the ever tangling cable. I wish I had seen the reviews here before purchasing. Go for something else.
Zodiac VX40 - Possibly the worst large ticket item I've ever purchased.
Zodiac VX40 - Possibly the worst large ticket item I've ever purchased.
I have had a robotic pool cleaner for a number of years and purchased a VX40 to replace it. The cable gets caught up and limits movement and the cleaner misses area's of a relatively small pool. May I suggest to steer clear of this one.
Terrible product and terrible customer service
So bitterly disappointed in the VX40 due to cord tangling and it doesn't clean my pool as well as a cheap suction cleaner I have as a back up. Have contacted Zodiac twice begging them to get in contact with absolutely no response from them. Steer clear would be my advice. This is a huge amount of money for a product that simply doesn't work as advertised or promised and Zodiac won't respond directly to feedback or asking for help (maybe posting here might get some assistance) or looking to swap to another cleaner (suction).
Just to note - my pool water is properly balanced (have heard the excuse that low calcium can cause cord tangling) and also when sold in NZ they only offer a 1 year guarantee but offer a 3 year in Oz. Why? Oz distributes to NZ
Happy with purchase
Tested a few prior to purchasing this and came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth the extra expense going for the 4wd model. Shop was after clearing stock so i picked up the VX40 about a yr ago for $1050. Now i have an odd shaped pool which every cleaner i tested struggled whether 2 or 4wd.
It very rarely will do the whole pool on 1 cycle and the cord tangles pretty easy restricting the area, it does however suck up all the crap. I would recommend getting the smaller micron filter as this made a considerable difference it what it picks up, it will clog up quick if your pool is filthy. The lift feature is very good as is the wall cleaning option although i rarely use it. I think what sold me was the 3yr warranty, not yet needed to use it and hopefully never will but its good to know its there.
Overall im pretty happy with its performance and if it doesn't get it all 1st time i just press the button again. Will need new front tyres soon, that's after a yr in a pebblecrete pool which i think is pretty good. Loses a star for the cord tangling
What a nightmare
Bought an LM 40 Salt cell and control box. It stopped producing chlorine after two months. Contacted zodiac warrantee. No back up , no follow up, no service, no care whatsoever. Two and a half months later stress, headaches, dramas and $600 spent on liquid chlorine I get the unit back next week. I will never buy another Zodiac product again.
It cleans the pool great,picks up all the leaves but the cord is always getting tangled,doesn't matter how long it is stretched out for as soon as u put it in the pool its tangled. Driving me nuts because once its tangled it restricts the area the cleaner will clean.
Shouldn't be on the market
After a run of poor service from Astra with their Pandora product which we loved) we were convinced to try the new Zodiac VX40. What a failure! on two accounts. It left the pool in the same state with sand and leaves on the bottom from new out of the box. Failure no 1. On returning it to the shop they tested it and we were told they couldn't fault it (after three weeks) and gave it back to us to "try again" Failure no 2. Poor service on a poor quality product. Feel sorry for the retailer getting mucked around. We are back in the market again for a quality product that has manufacturer support not just a sales channel.
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