About three months ago, I got a new Samsung soundbar for my deck. My only goal was to have great music when relaxing outside. And great music I got. The sound was awesome. – Definitely nothing to gripe about.
But wait! The ad clearly said that my new soundbar would work with Alexa. I thought that meant that I could tell any of my Echo devices to play music on the deck and music I would get. And music I got for about two weeks, and then no more. Alexa would tell me that music was playing on the deck but it wasn’t true.
OK, this was probably just a small glitch that would be easily corrected. Still not much to gripe about. I called the Smart Things app support line and politely explained that my soundbar had played on wi-fi for two weeks but quit playing. The equally polite support person assured me that he would help me fix the problem.
Three or four support calls later, still another polite support person told me that she would be happy to help just as soon as Amazon support checked to make sure that the problem wasn’t on their end. — It’s starting to become gripe worthy.
As you might expect, the Amazon support person was at least as polite as the Samsung folks and just as eager to help. I was assured that they would move my issue up to senior support and I would get a response in a day or two. You likely guessed correctly: No response in a day or two. — The gripe quotient is increasing.
At this point, I have received nearly two months of support and had the pleasure to talk by phone to nearly a dozen very polite support folks. They all continued to assure me that they would help me get my soundbar connected by wi-fi to Alexa and my music would soon be playing.
Let me note that on virtually every call, I mentioned that the soundbar had played nicely for two weeks and that it still played nicely if connected by Bluetooth to my iPhone. Although there was a noticeable reduction in enthusiasm and confidence, the support folks politely stuck to the notion that my soundbar would soon be working just fine over wi-fi with Alexa and my music would be just a request to Alexa away. – I finally told the last support person I talked with that they win. My patience was down to zero.
The gripe factor had gotten way to high for me to continue. I was pretty sure that I was too far over the top to continue being polite with people who were not resolving my problem. I had concluded that I was a victim of false and misleading advertisement.
Even so, I kept obsessing about my soundbar. There had to be a way to make it work. And then one afternoon, I discovered that an Echo Dot has an unexpected feature. I can play it through its internal speaker but also can send its output to an external speaker by Bluetooth. Aha, I could send its output to my soundbar. If I did that, I could tell Alexa on that Echo Dot, or on any other Echo device on my wi-fi network, to play music through that echo and the music would play through my soundbar, on my deck. Even better, I could put that Echo Dot in a virtual room called “Deck” and music would play on my deck simply by telling any Echo device in my house to play music on the deck.
It gets better. I can also use the Amazon Alexa app on my phone as a remote control for the music on my soundbar while I am relaxing on the deck swing. The soundbar now plays music from any source that Alexa supports including Apple, Amazon, Pandora, Spotify and even Tunein radio. Now just how cool is that? Way cool, even if I do say so myself.
I must confess. I had totally gotten my gripe on, to the point where I either through in the towel or risked behaviour that even I would disapprove. The extra Echo Dot I had to buy not withstanding, I did get a perfect solution to a problem that I should not have had. I think the ad should have said that the soundbar will probably work with Alexa over wi-fi for a couple of weeks and then you are screwed.
I’ll bet you have a gripe of your own about something that just didn’t work like it was advertised to work. Feel free to share your gripe worthy experience with our readers and podcast listeners. Email Gary@GaryGripes.com.