If this was an expensive automobile would we consider this just as acceptable?


(Djtrickee No Club) #1

Hi SmartThings, I was hoping you could help me. I recently purchased a high end luxury automobile and am having some issues with it.
It will randomly not start,
shut down for no reason on the highway,
none of the windows work or sometimes one will roll down but not back up when you want it to,
the headlights wont turn on at dusk but will randomly turn on during the day,
and the worst part is I keep getting pulled over by the police because the built in car alarm service keeps reporting it as stolen!

I contacted the vehicles cust. service and they suggested I pull over to the side of the highway and disconnect the car’s battery for 20 minutes every time this happens.

Does SmartThings have any advice I can give this automaker on how to deal with this?


(Chris ) #2

Ha, well old school proven tech-cars, electricity, plumbing etc is always more dependable. I joke with my IT buddy that his is the only industry where people regularly expect it not to work and need constant work and updates but to be fair ST cost me $99 not $70,000


(Geko) #3

$99 will buy you a pretty white box that can be used as a paper weight. You have to spend way more than that to call it a system. Probably not 70K, but still a pretty penny. :sunglasses:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #4

We’ve kinda discussed this once or twice in the past.

The analogy isn’t entirely flawed, but I’d restate it like this…

  • We could buy a very expensive home automation system like Control4, or one that has high monthly fees (ADT). This would be like buying a luxury car. You’d expect not only reliability, but, also quality. You might not get it, but your expectations would be realistic.

  • Instead we bought a very inexpensive home automation system (at least relatively speaking) with no monthly fees. This is like choosing to buy an inexpensive car (ummm… how about a Hyundai, for example). We can’t expect the same degree of reliability or quality as the expensive car… but that does not mean there isn’t a reasonable minimum expectation of reliability (and, government regulated minimum safety). Even the most bargain basement new car must have working brakes, seatbelts, airbags, etc.; and if it fails to start or steer straight, then it’s not worth the savings and the manufacturer will fail to stay in business.

Perhaps the price difference between cars and HA systems is so different that it is impossible to apply the above analogy with any sanity. Still… I think the “average SmartThings Customer” has reasonable expectations from the platform that are likely not being met. SmartThings is surely aware of this.


(Bobby) #5

I suggest calling a tow truck and drive it back to the dealership where you bought it from. And I might also suggest that buying any luxury item without a thorough market research to understand what you are buying into, is a consumer mistake?


(Brian) #6

Car doesn’t glue together a bunch of disparate technologies or allow you to run custom code you or your friends made.

Best vehicle analog is an amphibious flying car that allows any engine and body parts to be used interchangeably.


(Djtrickee No Club) #7

Well that is the point we were looking for in our article. At what point does the consumer, exempt from a set price point, allow for failure in a product? Does the fact that the Smartthings hub is merely $99 vs. $70,000 allow for a percentage of failure or market level of acceptance. AKA, is it ok if a $99 product fails constantly because it only cost $99? Vs. a $70,000 luxury car failing constantly?


(Djtrickee No Club) #8

Valid point, but an 3rd party stereo, cell phone mount, or even aftermarket rims were installed the consumer wouldn’t typically expect the car manufacturer to fix those issues. The issue with this particular “vehicle” is the stock experience, irrelevant of the aftermarket addons. The vehicle iteslf, not the aftermarket parts are causing the failures. Would you blame the company that made the iphone lightening cable for the tires going flat or the sunroof opening on it’s own?


(Ian) #9

How about just using a relatively inexpensive Samsung smartphone or TV as an analogy. If Samsung’s other products were as unreliable as ST has been the last month, they would be filing for bankruptcy.

Which makes me wonder how long Samsung will stand by before just cutting their losses with ST if things don’t improve? Certainly they will not allow there brand name to be tarnished by a device that has an extremely small market compared to their other products. I hope they don’t pull out, but at the same time it is odd to me that Samsung hasn’t become more involved in getting this fixed. They certainly have the resources to do it.


(Brian) #10

The stock experience works without the load we put on it.

Like many things in life ST’s greatest strength is also it’s greatest weakness. Their openness means something very powerful can be built on it, (Rule Machine) and they have to react to the demands their users place on the system rightfully going to town with it.

To carry the bad analogy further, it’s like holding ST responsible for the proper workings of 5 stereos at once. They want to support it, but then every passenger installs five and the car is overwhelmed with 20. We all share the car/servers. They need to push more local to solve this problem sustainably.


(Chris ) #11

True enough. I’m trying to get things that can easily be switched over if need be. I also expect a product from a major company to be reliable but I just naturally expect less from tech stuff compared to something like a car.


(Fast, Good, Cheap...pick two.) #12

Somewhat related…

About 16 years ago I was a service adviser at a Volvo / Mercedes dealership.

I recalled one day a $120,000 - $150,000 E500 came in on a flatbed. The car was maybe a few weeks old.

This particular model had the ride height / active suspension system. The computer “brain” somehow malfunctioned / lost programming and the car slammed itself to the ground rendering itself inoperable. The specifics here are cloudy.

Not much later I get a call from a very upset Mercedes owner (justifiably so) whom asked me a (to me very humorous) question.

“Exactly how much money do I have to spend to get a car that doesn’t break”

Unfortunately my answer landed me in the owners office as it wasn’t appreciated very well by this high level customer.

My long winded point to that is if you want active suspension and all the bells and whistles than expect there is more to go wrong and likely will.

If you want a Toyota Corolla of home automation sell your E500 and buy Staples Connect (if they have bellied up yet?).


(might be my fake name?) #13

All kidding aside, I am selling a 1985 Chevrolet Chevette. Five speed manual transmission. $300 if you’re interested. PM me for more details.


(Geko) #14

I’m afraid they have.


(Fast, Good, Cheap...pick two.) #15

“[WITHDRAWN]” :wink:


(Brian) #16

It was very reliable though. How is that possible? :wink: