November 13, 2015 Last Updated 8:55 am

Roku facing customer backlash on Amazon as new model proves unreliable

Things are not going as over at Roku as customers continue to complain of buggy or unresponsive Roku 4 units. now is filling with negative reviews from customers who have been forced to return defective units.

Roku4-310-TNM was not supplied with a review unit so I can confirm what many customers are experiencing. My own purchase came, was plugged in and … nothing. Hours laters Roku support could do nothing to bring the unit to life. Worse, support was so poor that the person trying to help could do nothing but go through a list of possible solutions provided her without ever listening to the person on the other end.

“Is the unit plugged in? Is the HDMI cord in?” Really? I’ve already said all this was done.

Tech sites have been mostly positive in their reviews for the new Roku 4. I assume they were sent units thoroughly tested before being sent out. But consumers are at the mercy of the market, and things are not going well.

As a result, Roku has someone (poor devil) on responding to complaints, but they are clearly overwhelmed as most responses are cut and paste entries asking the customer to contact customer service. With Roku’s customer service so helpless this isn’t necessarily good advice.

But at least once I did see a variation in the response with the Roku rep saying “we are listening” to one customer. I hope so. I like the Roku 3, though I find it too has problems (overheating is the most common complaint). But this is a dangerous time for Roku as Apple has finally released an updated model of the Apple TV and launched it own app store. And though there are obvious issues with the Apple TV – the app store design is as bad as all Apple app store designs, for instance – unit reliability doesn’t seem to be one of them.

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