May 5, 2015 by ...
Xiaomi’s fitness band has ‘lowest shelf’ pricing, which is great because that’s where the Mi-Band with its ‘Not so fit’ app belongs. No, I’m not telling you to toss aside the Lei Jun brainchild due to aesthetics- which bring to mind health warnings and prison leave, but due to its definition of ‘functionality’.
(Guess which products are not Xiaomi devices)
After all, a fitness band is at its best when it actually ‘tracks fitness, right? Xiaomi apparently neglected to incorporate this ideology into the unit which has left it a less-than-useless plastic brick.
Xiaomi builds the ‘tracker-less’ tracker
Inspired by health nuts everywhere, Xiaomi created an app for their $12 Mi Band. Theorhetically speaking, the web-based utility would update, collate and parse data on one’s excercise. This is ideal because that’s why one purchases a fitness device, right?
What I mean to say is that we didn’t rush out to buy something like this for our next GQ photo shoot.
And dropped it again
Facts, software was flaky and barely functional
Rather than being one’s reliable digital assistant in the ‘cloud’, Xiaomi’s app was less visible than ‘Big Foot’ in Butte at high noon. The software was so buggy that it had millions crying, ‘Why Mi?’
The problem was that people could not connect to the cloud and that was the good news. The app was consistent if at nothing else than in being reluctant to pair with the band for which it was designed. On a more positive note, rather than allow people to sign into their accounts, the venerable software would boot them out with no warning. On those rare occasions when the app worked, it would summarily disconnect and return ‘Mi Duped’ users to the log in screen.
Xiaomi feigns concern
For Xiaomi the scope and magnitude of the problem was inversely proportional to the attention it was paid- almost none.
Believing that the supplier is always right, customer complaints went unheeded. For those with the power of the pen and ‘guanxi’, aka the only ones to whom Xiaomi’s mouthpiece would reply, Lei Jun’s crew offered a commanding, ‘You have problems? Uh, er, well, ummm we will get back to you on that.’
After a few harried hours and no relief, Xiaomi spammed out a ‘Sorry, but a few people had problems with the Mi App but they have been fixed.’
Of course these problems persisted and after near rioting and a deluge of emails claiming the contrary, Xiaomi showed its customer service revolutionary zeal by saying that the outage ‘Was a server problem’ and then bugged out.
Xiaomi’s shoddy service ancient Chinese secret
Xiaomi’s expansion means that the rest of the world can learn what China already knows, Xiaomi service sucks. According to theChinese government Xiaomi ranked worst among all cell manufacturers in quality by a long shot. The biggest complaint was shoddy service. Apparently Xiaomi spends more time seeking their next dissatisfied customer rather than eliminating the last.
Adhering to that old Chinese adage that another 1.3 billion suckers are born each minute, Xiaomi concerns themselves with seeking a new one. The sad thing is that the markets agree. Consumers snap up their kit, forgetting that all that glitters is not gold. Wall Street too, loves them. It is Xiaomi, after all, which is the world’s most valuable privately held firm.
Simply put, why should they change, there is always another country filled with folks who are ready to buy their gear.
The good news is…
On a positive note, the Xiaomi app, made for Xiaomi fans and used with Xiaomi handsets seems to work well with the iPhone….