A few months ago, I did a major update to the fencing on our five-acre property, including adding a “Mighty Mule” automatic dual-gate opener to the driveway gates. They work great, and Paul and I enjoy just pressing a button rather than manually opening and closing the gates, particularly in inclement weather.
However, we’ve also had a major problem with these gates, namely that they’ll beep very loudly every 20 seconds all night long after a cloudy day. I kid you not. The beep can be heard clearly from a few hundred feed away, inside the house, with all the doors and windows closed. Honestly, I’m surprised that my neighbors haven’t taken a baseball bat to the device. That beeping is supposed to be the low-battery warning. However, the gates have never refused to open, even after beeping all night long. So the battery doesn’t seem to be actually low.
My fencing peopleguy has done his best to fix the problem. He returned once to add a second solar panel. (We don’t have any electric lines on that side of the property, so solar is the only option.) That lessened the problem somewhat, but not enough. So he came a second time. He tested the output of the battery, which seemed to slip just slightly low when the gate was opening, but nothing that should cause such all-night beeping. He was on the phone with Mighty Mule for quite some time, and the tech support person assured him that adding a second battery to the unit would solve the problem. I was hopeful… but disappointed yet again.
After our recent foot of snow, the gate opener was beeping loudly every 20 seconds, yet again… and I was feeling very, very stabby. So I trudged down the unplowed driveway at 10:30 pm to try to plug up the speaker hole with glue. I didn’t want to just cut the speaker wire because the gate does sometimes emit useful beeps, like as a warning before it starts to close. I was so angry that I took video, just so that others could hear just how loud and annoying the beeping is. (The beep at the end, when I’m standing near the opener, is ear-piercing.)
Unfortunately, my glue job didn’t work: I could still hear the beeping from inside the house. So I trudged down again through the snow in the middle of the cold night to tie a rag to the bottom of the device, over the speaker. That made the noise tolerable, even though still audible outside.
Yesterday, I called the tech support of “Mighty Mule” yet again. The person that I spoke to was infuriatingly unhelpful. First, he lectured me about how much sun the opener needs. Well, I live in Colorado, where we get 300 days of sunshine per year, and a single cloudy day will set the device beeping all night. That’s not normal. Plus, we’ve already added the extra solar panel, and the last tech support person assured us that an extra battery would solve the problem. Then he told me that I could ship the device back to them, and they’d check it out. I wouldn’t have to pay shipping. However, as I told him, I’d have to pay my fencing peopleguy to come out twice — once to uninstall the opener and then again reinstall the opener. So that seems like a major waste to me. Plus, after being told that the second battery would definitely solve the problem, I just don’t trust this company to actually fix the problem.
At the very least, Mighty Mule should have offered to ship me a new device, and then I’d ship them back the defective model. That way, my fencing peopleguy could come out just once, and hopefully the problem would be solved. But that wasn’t ever offered. Alas, I didn’t think to ask, but I’m pretty sure that offering such solutions isn’t the job of the frustrated customer. Moreover, I should add, the beeping is a ridiculous design flaw, and it ought to be fixed.
To add insult to injury, the tech support guy never seemed to acknowledge my problem. He just kept saying “Yes, ma’am” in a monotone voice. I’m sure that he would have said the same if I’d told him that pigs were flying past my window.
So if I can’t find a better way to block the speaker, I plan to cut the speaker wire. I hate to do that, but I don’t see that I have any better options.
As I’ve done these house repairs, I’ve been really impressed by the customer service offered by the various companies I’ve worked with. These companies know that they depend on word-of-mouth recommendations, and they’ve worked hard to go the extra mile. I wish that I could say the same about Mighty Mule and its parent company GTO.
So consider this post a word of warning… If their product goes wrong, don’t expect any useful assistance. I expected better from a product that costs a few hundred dollars. I’ve been nothing but frustrated and disappointed.