DotMod is known for their luxurious high-end products. A lot of people say their mods are the Macbook of the vape world because they are so visually appealing. But unfortunately, their devices are also known for their lackluster performance due to the proprietary chip they use (their older products use the much better DNA chip). The Dotbox 300 has been out for a while now, since at least January 2017, so nearly a year, but just recently, owners are reporting that the LiPo battery inside has started to get puffy and will not hold a charge.
The user _HeXagon_ on Reddit, who is a battery expert, pointed out that the flaw with the device is that there isn’t any circuitry in the DotBox that prevents it from drawing current from the battery while it’s stored. He says LiPos can last years in storage if stored properly. So this is definitely a design flaw in the DotBox. Even without the protection built into the board, DotMod had options. They could have left the battery out of the device or they could have had a plastic ribbon that would cut off all current until the owner opened the box and pulled the ribbon out. Many electronics manufacturers that use LiPos include two or three over discharge protections, but DotMod didn’t include any. So DotMod didn’t think this through and for a $200+ device, this is a big deal.
DashVapes out of Canada put out a notice on Facebook about this because they’ve already had 10 devices returned as the result of this. They also decided to check their current inventory to see if unopened DotBox’s had the same issue and sure enough they did.
Shai Bekman from DashVape’s reached out to DotMod and asked them about it and Whitney McNeil from DotMod responded that this is what happens to LiPo batteries when they aren’t regularly charged and that due to battery supply issues, they can’t replace them until they find a new battery supplier, which should be a couple of weeks. Shai obviously isn’t happy that DotMod is basically saying that vendors are responsible for opening boxes and keeping the LiPo’s charged and tells Whitney that he’s mad about that. Whitney never responds back but Shai received a voicemail from DotMod’s regional sales manager, Curtis. Shai called him back an hour later and Curtis picks up the phone and hangs up. Then calls again and no answer. Then he gets a text message from Curtis that says “Can you call me later” and Shai says to just call back when he’s free.
One week goes by and nothing so Shai texts Curtis back and says that their response rate is just as bad as their staff, except in much more colorful language. They get into an argument over this and Curtis says they will no longer replace the bad devices and will not work with DashVapes again in the future.
So that’s the story. DashVapes replaced the 10 returned units themselves and have since put out a recall on their website. I think Dashvapes and DotMod both reacted unprofessionally in their communications but based on the replies that Shai received from both Whitney and Curtis from DotMod, I don’t think DotMod ever really intended to replace those bad devices.
I think it’s pretty crappy that DotMod handled it this way, and it’s not like DashVapes is their only vendor. Many other vape stores sell the DotBox 300 and all of them will have to deal with this same issue. Eventually, this is going to come back around to DotMod and if they react in the same way as the did with DashVapes, nobody is going to want to work with them again.
DotMod actually posted a disingenuous response to all of this on their Facebook page, basically sticking to their story that it’s the vendor’s responsibility to maintain batteries, and they said they have since offered an apology and resolutions to DashVapes, but DashVapes responded saying that isn’t true. DotMod also mentioned that they no longer make LiPo mods and use only 18650’s now. Battery Mooch responded to this Facebook post pointing out that it’s not a problem with the battery, it’s a problem with the poorly designed chip they used and that switching to 18650’s doesn’t fix the problem with the chip, it just redirects the blame to the customer when the batteries fail.
Basically, DotMod is a company to avoid. If you don’t know their history, they actually were a good company several years ago until the original owners were pushed out of the company and replaced by corporate consultants and their products aren’t made in the U.S. anymore. None of the original employees are there and the company went downhill from there. Ileigha (an original owner) talks about the breakup here.