Last year, I bought a Ryobi 18V RC truck, a Black Friday special by Home Depot. It was $59 and came with a Ryobi 18V compact battery pack and portable charger.
At time I had been pining for an RC rock crawler to drive around the backyard with my son, but I wasn’t quite ready to spend a couple of hundred dollars on one. Nor could I bring myself to try one of the no-name brands at the local Toysrus or Target.
$59 for an 18V RC truck that works with Ryobi battery packs? Sure! Now, I wish I bought two – one to drive around with my son, and another to potentially modify into a robotics platform.
A few months ago, on maybe the fourth drive, the RC truck lost a wheel. We found it, but some of the hardware was missing.
I needed a new nut, washer, and axle component. I looked up the manual online, found what I needed via the parts diagram, and went to Ryobi’s website to request assistance.
What struck me as strange is that it required me to create a user account, and to then create a customer service support ticket using their built-in system. Usually, all that’s required is an email, direct or via a form.
They told me not to worry, and gave me a time-frame of 12-14 business days. Now, 20 calendar days later, I have my parts.
I am quite pleased that they were able to assist me, and it was nearly as hassle-free as can be.
While this isn’t exactly the same as requesting a replacement part for a tool, or sending a tool in for repair or replacement, I was happy enough about the ordeal that I felt compelled to share it with you.
My son will surely be happy too. I had to hide the truck because he kept grabbing the loose wheel and my tools, asking me to fix it. I had better give it a test drive first.
If these were spare parts for a tool, I might have wished for speedier availability. But, I assumed that the delay was at least partly due to the special nature of the product.
I have my fingers crossed that there will be another Ryobi 18V car/truck/vehicle of some kind for this year’s holiday shopping season. I don’t think I’ve used the compact battery pack or “travel charger” yet, but we sure got our money’s worth out of the neat RC truck. I paired it with a 4.0Ah battery pack, but the lighter compact battery pack might not be a bad idea.
What have your Ryobi customer service experiences been like?