My problem with the Bissell Spotbot Pet Cleaner (leaks), and Bissell’s crappy customer service

Bissell Spotbot Pet Cleaner Last year I purchased a Bissell Spotbot Pet Cleaner. With five cats and a dog, and wall-to-wall carpeting in almost all of the rooms of our house, not more than a few days goes by without a surprise hairball or pile of dog or cat vomit to clean up. The Bissell Spotbot Pet Cleaner is an excellent product that does an excellent job of removing stains from carpeting. Just set it over the stain, choose Surface Stain or Set-In Stain, and let it do its thing. You can stick around, or walk away and get on with your other chores or morning/afternoon/evening routine – the Bissell Spotbot Pet Cleaner will beep at you to let you know when it’s done.

But when my Bissell Spotbot Pet Cleaner stopped working as it should, I became distraught. I have a small zoo worth of furry beasts and wall-to-wall carpeting, and a slightly OCD penchant for a clean house and clean carpets! My specific problem is that when the Clean/Solution Tank is plugged into the Bissell Spotbot Pet Cleaner, the solution leaks freely out of the bottom of the Spotbot. In the time it takes the Spotbot to do one run of the Surface Stain (maybe 2 minutes, tops?), a good 1/4 of the solution has leaked out of the Clean/Solution Tank, through the Spotbot, and onto my carpet. This not only makes an additional mess, but it’s a waste of costly cleaning solution. (Oddly enough, the solution does not leak out of the Clean/Solution Tank if the tank is not plugged into the Bissell Spotbot Pet Cleaner.)

Diagram of the Bissell Spotbot Pet Cleaner
Diagram of the Bissell Spotbot Pet Cleaner

After looking up and following Bissell’s own Troubleshooting Guide, and finding that we had nothing to troubleshoot (no parts were missing, everything was in its proper place, etc.), I contacted Bissell.

Bissell’s initial response (on August 29th, 2012) was to direct me to a service center. When I looked up the nearest Bissell-authorized service center and found it to be 30 miles away, I wrote back to Bissell (on August 30th, 2012) and asked them to please work with me directly, that I was not keen on making a 60-mile round-trip to a service center, whose details/procedures I knew nothing about; and furthermore I was disappointed that Bissell themselves was not more willing to work with me directly on providing decent customer service. I also asked for more information on the Bissell-authorized service centers: procedures and costs (mine), specifically.

On September 4th, 2012, I still had not received a response, so I sent a follow-up email.

I sent another follow-up email on September 7th, having still received no response. Finally, on September 11th, 2012, Bissell replied:

Your machine is outside of the warranty coverage period. You can take your machine to any local vacuum repair shop for assistance.

Seriously, Bissell? This is how you work with your customers? First you brush them off by directing them to your “authorized service centers”? Then, when they criticize you for such a crappy solution, you ignore their emails. When you persist, you give them an even worse brush-off: a complete dismissal and cop-out of “So sorry, you’re out of warranty, BYE!” What’s up with that, Bissell? How unprofessional of you: first you ignore my emails, then you respond by revoking your initial “grant” of sending me to an authorized Bissell service center, and basically tell me to deal with the leaking problem I’m having with your machine on my own. First I’m “in” warranty (the offering of a presumable service center repair), then I’m not? Which is it?

Now I have a leaky Bissell Spotbot Pet Cleaner, and a poor experience with Bissell’s customer service. As much as the new Bissell SpotBots tempt me, in particular the Bissell SpotBot Pet Deep Cleaner, because of Bissell’s crappy customer service — at least from my encounter with them — I’m going to do my best not to purchase anything else from their brand.

So, with all that said… do you have any alternative recommendations to the Bissell SpotBot Pet Cleaner? Specifically, something NON-Bissell?

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Category: Reviews

2 responses to “My problem with the Bissell Spotbot Pet Cleaner (leaks), and Bissell’s crappy customer service” - Jump to comment form

  1. I am having the same problem and it has been used gently. It is too expensive to break down so easily. Stay away

  2. The simple solution to this is to replace the cap on the bottom of your clean water tank. It is around 5 dollars and 90% of the time this is what is causing the leak out of the bottom of the machine. This is usually due to a small rip or deformation on the rubber seal.


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