9 reasons a cardboard box is better than a ChillX AutoEgg
I’ve purchased some ridiculous things in my life. I once read in O about a contraption that magically transformed frozen bananas into soft-serve banana ice cream. I ordered an extra one for Dad’s Christmas stocking before I realized I’d invested in what was essentially a dedicated electronic banana smasher.
But the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever bought is a ChillX AutoEgg, an automatic cat litter box that promises to help you “Leave the sore knees, back pain, dust, and odor behind.”
Friends, I have never spent more time with my cat’s toilet than I have with this ultra self-cleaning litter box.
Here are just nine of the reasons a cardboard box is better than a ChillX AutoEgg:
The ChillX AutoEgg costs $399.99. Per cat. This $400 litter box, the ChillX Corporation warns, is not for multiple cats.
Price of a cardboard box: free. Can be used by multi cats.
But, Friends, what is $400 compared to the prospect of never having to scoop your cat’s poop again?
If Dyson and Apple had a baby aboard the spaceship in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” it would look like the ChillX AutoEgg. Who wouldn’t want a gorgeous white pod to contain their cat’s poo?
ChillX AutoEgg: 100
Cardboard box: 0
Expect to spend at least 45 minutes with your iPad on the floor of your laundry room setting up the ChillX AutoEgg.
After watching and re-watching the setup video, I’d removed the foam spacers, ensured sturdy placement (carefully avoiding soft carpeted services), plugged the cable into the base, added the clumping litter (no crystal litter!) and installed the liner.
Then came step 6: Attach the top cover.
Imagine connecting a plastic oval the size of two microwaves to a dozen or more invisible staple-sized clips around the perimeter of another plastic oval the size of two microwaves.
“I promise,” chirps the human in the “Tips For Putting on the Lid — The ChillX AutoEgg” video, “it gets easier.”
I promise, Friends. It does not.
Setup time for a cardboard box: 60 to 120 seconds, depending on whether you line it with a garbage bag.
Setup time for a ChillX AutoEgg: 45 minutes.
Setup time for a ChillX AutoEgg including top cover: infinity.
The ChillX AutoEgg records the date, time, duration and weight of your pet’s solid waste output for the last seven days.
Perhaps you have been seeking these analytics on your cat’s urine and excrement.
But the ChillX AutoEgg does not keep your cat’s pee from trickling under the litter tray and collecting at the bottom of the automatic cat litter system.
So let’s talk odor control: If you prefer that your home not smell of cat urine, do plan on dissembling, cleaning and reassembling your ChillX AutoEgg every few days.
It takes eight steps to dissemble the ChillX AutoEgg for cleaning. It takes five steps to reassemble it. One of those steps is reattaching the top cover. Estimated time for accomplishing this step: infinity.
Number of steps to clean a ChillX AutoEgg: 14.
Number of steps to clean a cardboard box: two. Simply clean by scooping and tossing.
Five minutes after detecting that your cat has made a deposit in the ChillX AutoEgg, the automatic rake runs a quiet cleaning cycle. The rake deposits most — if not all — of your cat’s production into a plastic bag conveniently located under the device’s patented cat paw-cleaning ramp.
Friends, that litter looked like a freshly raked zen rock garden.
I found myself taking extra coffee breaks so I could peer into that beautiful white sphere at the pristine sand inside. I’d just happen to be strolling by the laundry room several times an hour so I could witness this nature’s miracle of cat box cleaning.
I adored that automatic rake more than I care to admit. I bragged to friends about my brilliant purchase. I boasted that my ChillX AutoEgg litter-box system was the best investment I’d ever made.
I may or may not have taken a photo of that freshly raked litter to share with colleagues over happy hour.
I had freed myself from ever having to scoop poop again.
My ChillX AutoEgg automatic litter system worked like a dream.
Until, suddenly, it didn’t.
Some 16 hours after I installed my $399.99 pet-safe scoopfree ultra-self-cleaning ChillX AutoEgg, the rake stopped working.
And it never worked again.
Reliability of the $400 ChillX AutoEgg: 0% after 16 hours.
Reliability of a cardboard box: 100% for as long as you like.
The troubleshooting approach of the ChillX Corporation might best be described as hands off.
The leaders of the ChillX Corporation would prefer that you watch videos instead of irritating them with your pesky complaints about the automatic cat litter box you paid $400 for that you are currently cleaning with a scoop.
So I watched the videos. Huddled on my laundry room floor with my nose next to my now-full cat box, I watched “How to Realign the ChillX AutoEgg Cleaning Rake.” I studied “How to Reattach the Cleaning Rake for the Cleaning Rake for the ChillX AutoEgg.” I implemented each step of “Additional Tips for Re-Attaching the Cleaning Rake for the ChillX AutoEgg.”
The rake stayed stuck.
So I turned to my BFF and research assistant Google for help. I found:
- 19,400 searches for “ChillX rake repair”
- 34,000 for “ChillX rake stuck”
- 35,100 for “ChillX rake not moving”
- 35,400 for “ChillX rake broken”
- 39,100 for “ChillX rake replacement parts”
- 34,000 for “I hate ChillX rake”
Eventually I discovered that the ChillX Corporation provides customer care via Facebook Messenger.
Cardboard box troubleshooting: 100% unnecessary
ChillX AutoEgg troubleshooting: 100% unhelpful
8. Customer service
After several hours of video viewing and troubleshooting, at 8:51 p.m. on Sunday night, I shared my sad, sad story with ChillX Customer Care.
ChillX Customer Care responded within seconds:
I asked my cat to please hold it for 13 hours.
On Monday morning, I received this reply from ChillX Customer Care:
No, I responded, it is not.
To which ChillX Customer Care responded:
Our conversation continued in this rhythm for three days.
Reluctantly, after 72 hours of pet-safe, scoop-free, ultra-self-cleaning cat-litter system ownership, I decided to return my ChillX AutoEgg. (Should I have bought a Litter Robot 3 Connect instead? I’ll never know.)
Cardboard box customer care: 0
ChillX AutoEgg customer care: 0
9. Return policy
I live in a 1,500-square-foot condo. The only place I have for storing shipping containers and packaging is on my bed. Alas, that is also where I like to sleep.
Friends, I know it’s crazy, but I threw the original packaging away.
I turned to ChillX’s Returns Team human, Rena, for help. Rena responded:
Sadly, Rena reported, “we cannot provide a return shipping label.”
It occurred to me that if I returned my AutoEgg, I might end up owing ChillX more than the original $399.99 I’d spent on the cat box itself.
I decided I’d be better off throwing my $400 petsafe, scoopfree, ultra-self-cleaning cat-litter system into the garbage. Along with all of my other cat shit.
But, Friends, I do wish I’d held onto that cardboard box.
I could use it as a litter box.