I had a bit of a read of a recent blog post on the Raspberry Pi Blog the other day about the recall and rework of PoE HAT due toUSB power issues. It was an interesting read and seems to be a good fix, I suppose things like this happen sometimes and they seem to have done a good job of solving it. However, I was surprised to hear that they were rolling out a replacement for something I don’t remember being recalled, and there was a comment down the bottom of the article noting the lack of communication until now. Further replies from Eben Upton were… not receptive to the feedback? It wasn’t a full on attack, but dismisses the notion citing some examples and refers to the person’s “continuous high-pitched whining” which I thought seemed rude and uncalled for. I read an article about the fix by the guy who originally reported it and the the related forum thread and got a better understanding of the contention.
Basically, the issues I took with it all:
- It took two weeks for Rpi to acknowledge they were looking into it – ignoring direct contact about the issue
- Rpi tried to shoot down someone who hit the nail on the head (poor design and testing)
- Took three weeks from release to release any information about the issue – informing the press first, the people doing all the working troubleshooting get informed second
- Kept promising a blog post to inform people of the issue and never delivered it (until after resolving the whole thing two months later)
- Took another pot shot at someone who pointed out (legitimate and unacknowledged) issues in their design rather than blame it on the chip.
- It became clear what was holding up the blog post update (Eben)
- Rpi was surprised that people didn’t know about the problem (despite not announcing it or the recall, depending on people reading The Register or a particular forum thread), then did absolutely nothing about it for a month
- Continued to not communicate the issue (outside of the forum or the newspaper that called them up about it) – seemed likely that Eben was holding it up
- Rpi got grumpy with someone who dropped a sarcastic comment about the ridiculous state of the ever-promised blog post – no contrition or acceptance that there’s a reason for people to complain
- Seems Eben was more interested in trumpeting about shipping replacements than keeping his team in the loop
- Threatened deletion of posts when people were still unhappy at waiting for an update
- Announced the issue on the blog only after the solution was shipped!
James on the forums was (other than the snipes) very helpful and thankful for the feedback. It just seemed like the response was managed to be as damage-limiting as possible, not talking about it unnecessarily until a triumphant fix could be announced. After seeing this was the story, it was very disappointing to see Eben have a go at someone for calling him out on it. I could understand why it was a sore point and I could see the good work that’s gone into remedying the situation, but I wasn’t happy for the guy commenting to go unsupported and so I posted this:
Hi EbenA bit of feedback from an onlooker, getting defensive and labeling feedback as “whining” makes for a poor customer experience.From reading through the forum, it seems that Ewan has continued to be amicable when asking for an update, despite the fact that a blog post has been repeatedly promised for two months and there was no official announcement about the issue for almost 3 months since first reported (for those of use who don’t read The Register or browse the forum).It’s clear that a lot of good work has gone into solving this, the write-up is excellent, I’ve been a big fan of the Rpi hardware and software. However, this is not the first time I’ve seen Pi Foundation staff attacking people over reasonable questions that have touched raw nerves and it’s really not appropriate.