IFTTT and SmartThings (UK accounts)

Yeah it was listed as “Weeks” “Months” ago… No don’t trust that one bit.

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I was told:

I’m unable to give a specific time scale, our engineers are reporting back that it will be a few weeks. I don’t want to give you any incorrect information, as it is out of my hands as a support agent.

I can only give you the information that I have been given by the engineers unfortunately. I understand your frustrations, we are prodding them with sharp stick as we speak.

Objection, Your Honor… Hearsay! Inadmissible, strike from the record.

Seriously… There is no such thing as “a few days” or “a few weeks” when it comes to SmartThings fix/feature release schedules. I only risk to presume that if a person of sufficient authority gives a specific date, then you can get your hopes up; but don’t bet the rent money.

Otherwise, just remember that when Hub V2 was announced in January with an April release target, we were told it would just be “a few weeks” more … And it turned out to be September 3rd.

All the above also applies to “before the end of the year” (migration tools), and “early 2016” (big improvements in local processing).


The fact is that SmartThings does not publish their priority list and does not accurately estimate release schedules. So it’s a waste of effort to ask.

I would strongly advise SmartThings to never use any time related terminology, including vague ones like “in a few weeks™” and others mentioned here. It’s bad for reputation, and abuses customer trust.

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This is an outright joke. Bought smartthings specifically for ifttt and Logitech integration and then find this out. It will be packaged back up and returned tomorrow morning.

There is no server issue that should take a Web 2.0 company weeks or months to fix.

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But will you buy it again in a few months or years when this problem is resolved?

NB: SmartThings has to ramp up sales to millions of units in order to be a long term viable business unit. The few thousand early adopter sales gained or lost now are not important in the big picture. That’s the advantage a huge company like Samsung has. They can recover from early reputation stumbles relatively easily. In fact, SmartThings still has a stellar reputation per mainstream media reviews…

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No. I won’t buy it again. I think it’s a clear indication of things to come. And I work in the mainstream media, covering technology specifically. I’ve been waiting for the UK release for well over a year and it was always ‘just around the corner’. Just like this fix.

Plenty of other hubs on the market.

Right, that’s it. I’ve had enough of being ignored and fluff from Aaron.

I’ve gathered all the marketing for ST UK launch via Samsung and Currys. I’ve worked in advertising for nearly 20 years, and this clearly breaks numerous codes of conduct. I’ll be contacting ASA, and poss trade descriptions if I have time tomorrow. I’ll cc in writer at CNET I know. Perhaps a few journos on the case may uncover things from this launch sham.

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This needs to be seen by a wider audience to prompt ST to pull their fingers out of their backsides and sort this out. At the very least a hard deadline for being sorted out.

I’m sure if I had a spare few days I could set up workarounds, but I’ve not coded for years.

One more point. This is sold in a mainstream consumer store. Currys. Most people shopping their aren’t coders. My dad shops there, and he can’t set up a TV. This will be causing headaches to anyone who’s bought it. I had to help another customer out yesterday as none of the staff at Currys had a clue how it worked. Some don’t even know what it is… There’s a Samsung guy there occasionally, but I even had to explain the 'IFFFT situ to him as he wasn’t aware of it. I asked him what it worked with… He said everything!? I wish I’d recorded that to add to my email tomorrow!

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Brick and mortar sales in the USA (Best Buy and Sears) are just starting now too. That’s got to reach a somewhat different consumer segment than online, especially depending on the training and quality of the sales reps.

I should play “mystery shopper” and report back.

Follow and contribute to this somewhat related Topic if you wish…

This is exactly the problem. SmartThings has come to UK market with a clear set of statements about what the product will do. At the moment it can’t do it. It says it on the website, on the POS at the store, in the email campaigns. As of right now, it’s false advertising. It’s not a home automation hub. My RF Yale alarm system from 1999 is more intelligent than my hub at the moment.

I’m not going to say which tech publication I work for, but I’ll certainly be talking to people in the industry about it. And I’ll be getting in touch with Samsung for an official response.

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The timeline advisements from Support are not being made in a vacuum and I believe @JDRoberts ‘visible bug/hidden architecture’ meme was fairly appropriate:

There are people much smarter (and mostly better looking) than me working on these externalities. I’m trying to track down more updated information because the changes are taking longer than we originally (re-)estimated.

Kindly keep in mind the support team is public facing and bearing the brunt of your frustration. The UK support team are some of the biggest SmartThings fanboys we have. I know it’s super easy to get angry with them when ‘days’ turn into ‘weeks’… But send them stupid gifs because they are relaying the feedback with a heavy hand (and a British accent).

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@Aaron I thought the support staff would at least have a humongous Samsung TV on the wall with live updates on issues like this? :wink:

I’ve stayed quiet so far but it is rather puzzling that this is still not fixed and ST was released with this not working. What confuses me even more is who did you think would be your major target audience in the UK? total IoT/HA newbies, existing HA (e.g. Vera) users or people in between?

Personally, I’ve not dabbled with HA much before ST but have been spoiled with stuff like harmony, nest, netatmo, wemos, and lifx, and I’m guessing a lot of UK users have invested good money in one or many of these and other things.

ST’s advertising with promises of tieing all these together with a similar (Apple like) user experience certainly influenced my choice in ST…and I am rather disappointed it hasn’t worked out like that so far.

However, being an IT techie, geek/tinkerer and generally too busy, this hasn’t annoyed me too much yet but I can clearly see why it would anger many others!

Also, Apple’s homekit is almost upon us, Google has Weave (I’m sure OnHub is not just a router!) and existing HA wanting in on IoT (e.g. openhab v2), you guys should really be making better use of your time atm pushing out positive vibes for ST and not the opposite…

Not only do we not have a giant TV on the wall with updates, we don’t have a TV on the wall at all. Feel free to send one - minimum of 60" - ATTN Aaron and I can arrange for a broadcast platform updates (and/or EPL, NFL, RWC…)

@Aaron I wish I had a 60" tv myself!! And anyway, I’ve spent way too much money already on additional ST stuff e.g. z-wave relays, to compensate for all my existing stuff not quite working with ST yet! :wink:

Anyway, justify the cost by saying you need to further test ST integration with Samsung’s brand new 4K “nano crystal colour” tv sets! :wink:

Well, with respect Aaron - oAuth works in the US - Samsung changed the architecture. Samsung broke the architecture. Samsung didn’t apply any QA to the solution. Samsung it seems now can’t fix it in a timely fashion. Samsung could temporarily revert to the US architecture but haven’t. Samsung aren’t communicating well on this problem. Samsung I now believe launched knowing of the issues. Samsung stated that it could do things that it couldn’t. Samsung still continue to pump out new marketing saying it does these things when they know it doesn’t. . Samsung are treating their customers with absolute contempt. Not the sort of situation that a leading global company like Samsung should ever be seen in.

Seems I’m knocking Samsung at every opportunity - let me see if I can think of something positive…

… still thinking …

One good thing about @JDRoberts meme is that in the current darkness hopefully there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

… more thinking …

Ah yes…It’s potentially a nice forum with Samsung people contributing and Aaron posts amusing GIF’s & UK support are ‘supportive’ but only in the sense of palliative care without drugs. It’s very apparent that they are struggling with communication within Samsung too.

The one thing that keeps me here is that when this does get fixed, and the V2 development environment gets enhanced, reducing cloud dependency, then it’s potentially a very good platform opening up a volume home automation base.

Don’t buy this for Xmas fun though… it’s not a stocking filler - more landfill at the moment.

K

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Further, it doesn’t work at all as far as I can tell

I don’t have any technical details (I’m just another customer here, but I used to work at IBM and have personally worked on many multi region projects, including the Olympics). However, my guess is that there was never an option to run the US architecture for the EU.

There are two reasons. Privacy and reporting laws are very different, making account structures distinct. And, in part because of reason one, the cloud support services run by AWS (Amazon Web Services) divide the world into both regions (geographic) and “availability zones” ( assigned to specific equipment) , with web traffic coming from different areas kept separate and handled somewhat differently.

AWS provides support services to many of the world’s biggest companies, nothing unusual in that. They are experts in handling massive traffic flows.

Oauth is an optional method

OAuth is not part of the AWS service itself. It is an authentication method for individual accounts that companies running their websites on the AWS service might choose to use. In that regard, no different than a currency converter they might choose to use, or a horoscope generator, or any other action they apply to their individual customers’ accounts.

Based on what information has been given on developer calls and other customer communications, it appears that SmartThings was unaware of how oauth would work once multiple availability zones were involved. Had they simply stayed with US only accounts, they would still have run into the issue eventually when they had enough customer accounts that some were assigned to a second availability zone within the US.

My own guess is that the fact that there are multiple regions involved as well is what prevents simply moving the relatively small number of current UK accounts to the current single US availability zone being used. The account structures, reporting and privacy requirements, and certifications are different.

Again, I don’t have any inside information, and I might be completely off the mark here. It just fits what I know about working with multinational web projects.

The architecture issue would affect the things that currently do work as well

If I am correct, it explains why the problem is so much bigger than it appeared at first. The entire method of account authentication, which is used every time A device is turned on in the home, may have to be rethought, even for the things that are currently working. It also explains why there would be no easy fix, and why UK accounts couldn’t simply be assigned to the existing US architecture while some technical issue was worked out.

My personal lens may be flawed

I do understand why this might take a long time to fix. What I don’t understand is why the major symptom, that a UK account can’t use IFTTT, wasn’t known before launch. It’s not subtle.

However, as I’ve mentioned, my initial use of IFTTT of SmartThings in the United States was for voice control. So I used that integration all day, every day. It would be the very first thing I would look at in considering any new system, and the first use case I would set up to test. So it may be that I am blinded by my own priority list into thinking this could not have been missed.

One of the very best things about SmartThings when it is functioning as intended is that it is an open platform, and very flexible from the customer’s point of view. Different people can and will use it very differently. As someone who is typically “an edge case” ( I use a wheelchair and have limited hand control), I appreciate this aspect very much. I do think customers often surprise SmartThings with what they can get the system to do. That’s quite a good thing overall. However, not all surprises are pleasant, obviously.

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But surely when Samsung approached Smarthings to buy them Smarthings must have sold the product somehow outlining that they could deliver a multi user (family) country system - otherwise why would Samsung buy a company that could only deliver a product that could work in the USA.

Plus as Samsung is a multi-country company that have system that allow uses to login to there regions servers, why didn’t Smartthings just implement a system that used a users Samsung account as the login processes which was the used to authenticate with OAuth? I can see at least two ways of resolving this as a programmer/system administrator - Smartthings have messed up. They tried to do too much all at once, new V2 hardware, backend improvements and a UK rollout. This should have been one in stages with the backend first (making sure that it was stable and scaleable) and patch V1 hardware to work with that. Then roles out V2 hardware and a short time after that roll out in other countries in stages, giving them time to make sure a muliticountry authentication could work.

This is really bad management, you just need to watch the video on YouTube where they admit they did too much too quickly without the infrastructure in the background to support all the advancement.

If they are reported to the ASA in the UK, and they are found to have misold this product in - they will be fined, damage Smartthings as a company and put people off buying this product.

They have to stop this we don’t know when, but soon approach. And actually give the community a proper answer, if this had happened in the USA someone would have taken the to court.

Samsung/Smartthings support/management need to be honest and tell us when they will resolve what some are saying as a minor issue, but in the UK unlike the USA we don’t have a full functioning system that doesn’t fulfill what they say it should.

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Sorry for the rant, just feed up of lack of answers for piece of plastic that cost money and can tell me when I open a window or door and maybe turn a table lamp on, that’s not home automation - just a wast of money.

I wish I had waited now for HomeKit or Googles offering which would have worked out off the box first time.

“Ignorance of the laws of cloud computing is no excuse.” – to paraphrase something.

  • Was there or was there not an Alpha and Beta test period in the UK?
  • Did these tests reveal the OAuth flaw?
  • If not, why is the test bed incomplete?
  • If so, then why was the product released (or why was it released without a substantially visible warning of the loss of key features)?

Stability issues of the Platform are ongoing and, well, it is consistently unstable (i.e., some fixed things stay fixed, some get broken again, and some new things get broken, and some things never get fixed … ie., consistently).

But if the UK release is clear evidence of poor QA / testing practices … time for some new management at ST, because the poor QA practice is obviously affecting USA Customers as well, as exemplified by the rash of new issues appearing after last week’s Platform upgrade release.