PITTSBURGH (KDKA)- Earlier this month, KDKA-TV’s Jennifer Antkowiak reported a story about a GPS for pets called Gibi.
They wanted to test it for a “Does It Really Do That?” segment, but they ran into some complications trying to activate the device and could never try it out.
Within hours of our report, the people at Gibi responded. They offered to help clear up the technical issues, so giving the product a proper test was optional.
Gibi Founder and CEO Synette Tom says, “Pets are family to us and we really do want to help people keep their pets safe. We were surprised to hear that you had this issue, and we just wanna get to the bottom of it.”
The technical problems with Gibi started in May when they tried to create an account and register the device. Nobody got past the first page.
When they contacted Gibi’s customer support, a technician named Charlie suggested that their problems might be related to Internet firewalls. He said they’d had a similar problem once before with a government employee who was trying to use the site from inside the Pentagon.
KDKA’s I.T. team assured that it wasn’t the case.
Over the next few months, several more tries were completed and they could never get past the “create an account” page.
Last month, still determined to register the product so it could be tested, a tester was found and went to her home.
The tester was able to create an account, but got hung up on the payment page and couldn’t advance from there. She emailed customer support, but never heard back. Three weeks later, they emailed them and never heard back.
Tom says, “We honestly did not receive, I look at all the emails, I get copies of all the emails that go to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ and we didn’t receive anything. I apologize but we look forward to helping you get everything in working order, and it looks like you’ve identified an issue with our website and we’ll take a look at that.”
A few days later, they worked over the phone with Gibi support tech Charlie to get the account created and their device registered. They then went back to the tester’s house to finally try it out.
She logged in to Antkowiak’s account, then created a safe zone in a nearby park where she often takes her dogs to play.
Deanna Schaffer told us, “It’s a fairly simple procedure. Just one click in a corner and then once you start dragging the mouse it starts dragging the line down for you to set your perimeter. The map’s nice and easy to use too. They have a pretty accurate map.”
After that, they put the Gibi device on Max, one of Schaffer’s dogs, loaded up in the truck and headed off to the park.
The dogs were eager to play. So, as soon as they jumped out of the truck, Schaffer turned on the Gibi. They waited a few minutes for the device to sync, then had Max run out of the safe zone that they set.
They tried it again and nothing happened. So, Anotkowiak and Schaffer made another call to Charlie. He logged in to the account and saw that they missed a step when creating the safe zone.
They didn’t assign that particular zone to the Gibi.
Once he did that for, a text was sent saying Max was out of the safe zone.
Once Max went back into the zone, they got another text saying he was back inside it. It was tried several more times and each time, a text alert was sent.
In each of the texts when Max left the safe zone, there was also a link to a map where it pinpointed exactly where Max was, making it really easy to find him if he truly was missing.
Then, they tried to log in to the Gibi website on the phone, and a small issue was found.
Then, they tried using the Safari internet browser on an iPhone, but they weren’t able to see all the features Charlie was describing on the site.
So, Schaffer used the Google Chrome browser on her phone and everything needed came up, from the safe zone map to the button you click to track your pet, if it’s lost.
Schaffer says, “Once you iron out the finer details of everything and get everything working and in sync, yeah I think it works very well. It’s very user friendly once you figure everything out.”
The Gibi device alone costs $150 and you also have to pay a small, monthly service fee. Antkowiak asked Schaffer if they hadn’t been involved, would she have tried to work out all the issues or would she have just sent the Gibi back?
She said because it’s such an investment and she wanted it to work, she would’ve worked to get it all ironed out.
So – does it really do that?
Schaffer says, “Yes, it really does do that.”