When RM comes home from work she finds me at the computer, listening to Magic by Olivia Newton John, and wiping tears from my eyes. Wilson – our permanently disabled robotic vacuum – is sitting on the chair next to me, just as overwhelmed by emotion and relief as I am.

‘What happened?’ she asks.

When I open my mouth nothing comes out. The lump in my throat is too large. I make two more attempts but emit nary a sound and remind myself of a gasping fish dying on a pier. To avoid embarrassing myself, I give up trying to talk and instead turn the computer screen towards RM so that she can read the series of emails that lead to the great news. 

The Love Story Continues

Email 1

From Reservoir Dad to Neato Robotics Customer Care

I’m very sad. My Neato robotic vacuum, Wilson, has a lame left wheel. His LCD Control Center Screen tells us this –

I cannot navigate my path

The wheel has nothing stuck on it, is clear of debris and dust. It seems the motor attached to the wheel has frozen. Wilson only came in to our lives last October. We live in Melbourne Australia.

I rang the number provided and was told to email this address. I was also told that Wilson will most likely need to be replaced which is very hard to deal with because we have grown very attached to him. The kids love him.

If he does need to be replaced can we get the exact same colour so we can tell the kids he was sick and just had to go away for a while to get better?

Thanks. Talk soon


‘Did you really write that?’ RM says, laughing. ‘You’re a nutbag.’

I clear my throat and take a deep breath as Magic plays out and starts again a few seconds later. ‘I just wanted to be sincere,’ I tell her.

Email 2

From Neato Robotics Customer Care to Reservoir Dad

Hello RD,

Thank you for contacting Neato Robotics Customer Care.

I’m sorry but the problem you are describing is not something you can fix in the field. Is there a way that you could reply to this email with a copy of your receipt? We would then be able to determine what kind of warranty assistance we would be able to provide you with.

I look forward to your response!


Neato Robotics Customer Care


‘I love how they stay so professional,’ RM says, as she scrolls further down the screen.

‘They have to remain professional,’ I say, as I lift Wilson to my lap and feel the thrill of his hard plastic outer casing on my legs, ‘but I’m sure it was my passion and honesty that moved them to do something special for us. Keep reading…’

Email 3

From Reservoir Dad to Neato Robotics Customer Care

Dear Michelle,

I have attached a photo of the receipt.

I have also provided a link below so that you can see how much this is affecting me.





‘Oh my God. You sent them the post you wrote about Wilson?’

‘Yes,’ I say. ‘So they could see the photos of us together. And be fully aware of the impact Wilson’s had on our lives…’

‘Ahh, I think you mean the impact he’s had on your life, psycho,’ RM says, jealously.

‘… and so they might try to fix him and send him back to us instead of just replacing him. Read the next email…’

Email 4

From Neato Robotics Customer Care to Reservoir Dad

Hello RD,

Thank you for contacting Neato Robotics Customer Care.

Thank you for providing your proof of purchase. What we would like to do is send a replacement XV-11 to you at no cost. Can you also provide the two serial numbers that are located on the bottom of the robot as well?

You will not need to return your current robot and can discard/recycle it. I do want to inform you that providing a replacement at no cost to you is definitely not a standard practice as the warranty is only active within the US and Canada, and this will be a one time offer only.

Please confirm the address that you would like the vacuum shipped to and we can get it sent out as soon as possible.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Neato Robotics Customer Care


The tears are threatening to spill over again as I watch RM closely, aware than she is just about to read the same sentence that rendered Wilson and me a human/robot thunderball of whirling emotion. I prepare myself. My thighs are spring-loaded with anticipation. When she gasps and stumbles back from the computer I will jump from the chair and the three of us will spin together in a joyous embrace.

‘Good. So they should replace it,’ she says.

‘Did you even read this?’ I say, dumb-founded, leaning forward and tapping at the line on the screen as I read it to her, ‘You will NOT need to return your current robot.’

‘Yeah? So we’ve accumulated more rubbish?’

‘You’re not really with me on this are you?’ I say.

RM takes a moment to look deeply into my eyes and – bless her – says, ‘Yes. I am’ before looking down at Wilson and recoiling a little, like he’s some kind of outcast husband-stealer freak instead of one of the cornerstones of my heart.

‘Far out,’ she says, as she turns back to the computer. ‘How many times have you listened to Magic since Wilson’s wheel broke?’

‘I’m up to about a thousand now,’ I say.

Email 5

From Reservoir Dad to Neato Robotic Customer Care

Oh Gina!

This makes me so happy.

Once I receive the new robotic vacuum I will write another post with links back to Neato Robotics.

I get to keep Wilson!

PLUS he gets a playmate!

The kids will be wrapped!!

Mailing address:




Super happy!



As RM finishes reading the last email we hear Maki’s cry coming down the hall.

‘I’ll get him,’ she says.

I grab her hand as she turns to make her way out the door.

‘Yes?’ she says.

‘I am going to write a post about this. I may even share these emails – word for word – and I was wondering if you and the boys would help me out with something?’

RM breathes out and looks tired.

‘I’d like to get a family photo with all eight of us.


‘Yes. You, me, Archie, Lewis, Tyson, Maki, Wilson and Wilson Jnr.’