Customer service quality

Not wanting to beat a dead horse, but ST customer service is more and more terrible, and I wish the company would take note and do something about it. I’ve had three interactions with them for different issues lately, and in 2 out of 3 I gave up after lengthy discussions because they don’t care or don’t seem to understand the problem. And I’m pretty sure that wasn’t up to my lack of providing enough context (I was very detailed with my description and even sent in screenshots and screen recordings of my interactions - over and over).

Latest example (related to a recent migration which managed to delete a bunch of scenes and automations), paraphrased:


me: I had some automations disappear. Here’s the related community thread [provided link], seems to be a known problem, recommendation is to reach out to you to get them re-instated. So that’s what I’m doing now. Can you help please?

CS: what are the names?

me: I don’t know what the names are. They are gone. What can we do about it?

CS: I’m glad the problem is resolved.

me: Sorry the problem is not resolved. Please re-instate what your system deleted.

CS: What are the names of the automations that are missing? Please provide logs through the app and mention ticket number.

me: You’re joking - I already told you they’re gone so I can not tell you the exact names! I uploaded logs as you requested. What are the next steps?

CS: It seems the problem is resolved. If you still have issues, what are the names, and here’s how to provide logs.

me: [some maybe unkind but not rude expression of frustration about not listening to customers and that I intend to consider this matter closed and I’ll just try to do it myself]

CS: [direct quote] I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you. I can understand your concern. I am really sorry to ask for logs because to find the root cause of the issue those are mandatory. We didn’t receive any logs that’s the reason we are requesting.


Each one of these is a separate email, and another thread I had had a lot more back and forth. I truly wish they treated their customers better and showed more interest in actually trying to solve problems. This sort of communication creates the impression that they don’t even bother reading the emails/history and just scan for some key words to copy & paste a specific blurb back into the response. This is not how you establish trust into the product.

Fortunately there are capable employees that sometimes pick up on issues and engage in a productive conversation (kudos for that!) through the community forums. I wish the regular customer service would showcase a similar level of care.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to bring this to the attention of someone who cares or can actually do something about this please let me know.

Yeah. This is one of the circumstances I’d call out to a few people… :slight_smile: @Brad_ST, @vlad - have a look.

Unfortunately I currently have a REMARKABLY similar thread going on with support about missing Scenes. It’s scarily similar to your exchange.

So first - the stuff isn’t deleted or ‘gone’ per se, it’s an artifact of a change the app team made to accommodate moving Scenes and Automations to use the Rules API. Short version - they’re still there, the app isn’t displaying them properly (and a lot more technical stuff) don’t panic.

Ok now that that’s out of the way. I don’t know how much longer it’s going to be. In my case they said my specific issue is ‘fixed in an upcoming app release’ (with no specific release date). I won’t let them close my case until I see the Scenes come back. They’ve offered ‘just temporarily create new ones’ as a workaround - unfortunately they’re called from external automations and still work, my problem is I need to edit them to include some lights my Wife wants in the scene - and can’t even see them.

Vlad, do we have any update on progress on these App display issues? Support keeps spinning us around the axle trying to close the cases.

My suggestion as an outside observer and a former support manager:

  1. be very concise as to what you consider your ‘problem statement’ and an acceptable workaround. make sure it’s stated plainly and clearly in every response. (I usually keep mine near the front of the email something like:

Problem: “My unicorn lost its horn, please assist reattaching unicorn horn”

In my case my problem is

‘these X scenes are missing’ Creating temporary scenes is not an acceptable workaround because the existing scene is still called by an automatic external process, a new scene does not fix the issue.

  1. If you are not satisfied with your support experience, ask the agent to ‘escalate the issue to their lead’ (Support agents don’t want to hold on to tickets that won’t close quickly either, it hurts thier numbers - most will happily hot potato the ticket to the supervisor or tech lead.)

  2. Remember frontline support has two goals. First: Keeping clients happy (should be in case close satisfaction reports) and SECOND: resolve tickets quickly (resolved on first contact, and total closed cases) We will leave it up to the imagination as to which has priority with any one individual service desk agent. If you do not feel your case is resolved, end your correspondence with: I don not consider this issue resolved, please do not close this case.

I only spot checked one of the nine scenes failing to migrate but it is failing due to a custom Inovelli DTH. Given the child devices it would be best to remove and re-add the device and re-create the Scene. If you want to know all of the Scenes that failed to migrate let me know.

I’m only seeing a single Scene failing to migrate for you. Do you see any automations or scenes in the app? I’d expect only the ones that failed to not show up.

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I cant even see the scene to do the edit. Brad. Think changing the dth temporarily would make it show up?

Also great info. And a much better workaround.l if I can make it work. Thanks.

Thanks for checking in.

I do see some scenes and automations; I can’t tell for sure if all scenes are still there, but I definitely know that at least one automation has been missing (and was apparently deleted - but definitely not my me).

I set up replacements so it’s not that big of a deal functionality wise anymore. I’m still disappointed that things just disappear though and it takes so much going round in circles to get things done (or not).

Thanks for the insights Nathan. I know CS isn’t easy (I’ve done it briefly myself almost 2 decades ago), and there’s good service and there’s making numbers. Unfortunately it seems more like the latter.

Those are all good tips for being concise in descriptions, and believe me I’ve done this several times over (several paragraphs describing in minute detail what the problems are including how to reproduce them on various client devices and app versions, including walk-throughs in pictures and videos) and they still seemingly don’t understand or don’t want to do anything. Getting your problem acknowledged shouldn’t be such a frustrating experience.

In my case the automation had actually been deleted (confirmed by someone going through the logs - NOT customer service) so recovery wouldn’t have been possible that easily and it was beyond a display issue (automation didn’t even fire anymore), and I resorted to setting them up again myself, it’s just not worth the hassle.

I’ll follow your advice about escalation but I found that to not result in much previously (they won’t give you internal ticket numbers or follow up opportunities for something that’s a more widespread bug). I will try to insist for someone to figure out why that happened in the first place and give me some assurances that it won’t happen again.

well for an actual automation deletion - did you delete the device the automation was based off of? It’s been my experience that if you do that, the automation based on the device goes away. (Horrible design choice - we need a feature change there.) - Yeah I’m just guessing but that seems to be the most reasonable explanation for an actual deleted automation.

@Brad_ST - I swapped the DH on my Inovelli to 'zwave device, then did the shut down clear cache restart cycle. No dice - nothing showed back up. Still can’t see them. I’ll keep working but may take you up on that offer for the list later. At this point if I could get the ‘missing’ ones deleted so I can recreate them I might be ok with that. The wife’s patience ended Thursday.

No I didn’t. It was based off of sunrise/sunset as the condition. I’ve had automation/scenes where individual devices failed/were removed but AFAIK that never caused the routines to fail to execute (they’d show a failure at the end of the execution cycle to mention the failed/missing device but finished running the rest of the workflow anyway).