April 13, 2017
Customer gets banned from own garage after leaving bad mobile app review 0
Not everyone responds well to criticism, it’s a very personal thing after all. Nowadays in the online world we live in, criticism plays a key role. It’s how we decide which product to buy based on the reviews of other customers. Companies will bend over backwards to ensure their online presence shows a willingness to meet the customer’s expectations on every level. Or that’s usually what happens at least…
When you leave a review criticising a product you’ve bought, you expect to be contacted by a member of the seller’s customer service team, looking to make amends, or find some sort of mutually satisfactory solution. You wouldn’t expect to be remotely locked out of your garage.
Take the case of R. Martin of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Having purchased ‘Garadget’ from the Amazon App store, he was swift to take to the reviews board after experiencing early technical difficulties.
Pretty harsh huh? Garadget didn’t respond well to the review and responded by sealing R. Martin’s garage door shut. They left this by way of explanation.
This basically means that Garadget was able to identify the customer and remotely disable the app, thereby locking the garage door shut. There have been cases of online companies banning customers for persistent complaining, but this is the first time we’ve heard of someone being banned from their own house because they left a bad Amazon review.
Hopefully, R.Martin of Tulsa found some way of manually opening their garage door, but the bigger question raised is: do we give online tech companies like Garadget too much responsibility?
Over the next decade, self-driving autonomous cars are set to become an integral part of British life. These machines will literally be tasked with making life or death decisions on our behalf. If the manufacturers of a relatively small app were able to remotely lock a user out of their home, what sort of power could someone capable of hacking an autonomous vehicle have?
Legislation will no doubt be introduced over the next few months/years that will attempt to reign in the overall jurisdictions of autonomous or remote applications or vehicles, but will it be able to keep pace with the accelerating evolution of the technology? These are questions the world’s lawmakers will have to address sooner rather than later.
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