ScoutAlarm Monitoring Plans

Folks, I wonder why SmartThings is letting ScoutAlarm charge the same as they charge for customers with the cellular hubs from ScoutAlarm.

Since the SmartThings hub is not cellular, but the monthly charge is still $19.99, which seems to indicate they’ll provide 4G LTE cellular & backup, does this mean that ScoutAlarm will send a cellular hub too?

If not, the monthly charge for SmartThings users don’t make any sense, considering that the missing cellular hub is a critical piece of the monitoring plan.

Anybody know if ScoutAlarm has a different/cheaper monitoring plan for classic SmartThings users who obviously don’t have 4G LTE hubs?

SmartThings takes a cut of the fees, of course, and this expense has to be passed on to you somehow unless Scout decides to just absorb it.

So… Sure: It costs Scout a little less to operate monitoring without cellular, but that savings is at least partially eaten up by SmartThings commissions.

Agreed, SmartThings need to make some money with the Scout partnership, and not arguing that at all.

However, you’re missing my point, because the $19.99 monthly plan indicates that it includes cellular monitoring, which classic SmartThings can never avail due to hardware limitations, so I’m saying that’s misleading & deceptive, to promise that you’re going to provide cellular monitoring for that price, when it’s clearly not possible.

BTW, if we absolutely have to subscribe to ScoutAlarm to include cellular monitoring, then we don’t need SmartThings at all, and can just decide to go with ScoutAlarm cellular hub to get the full service for the price.

That said, if SmartThings is providing a 3rd party add-on then it should be priced fairly for whatever service is provided, and not have to pay for a service that we don’t actually get! :slight_smile:

Of course you know: This is a free market. Nothing “should be priced fairly”. Everything should be priced at the price consumers are willing to pay for it (unless it is an essential service like medication or healthcare :mask:).

If $19.99 is too high for the service offered for the convenience of SmartThings integration, then customers should not buy it until the price is lowered, the features improved, or a competitor is offered.

Once again, you’ve totally missed my point, because by fair, I mean not be deceptive in its features/promises, irrespective of how high/low the price, and if a company is pricing a product just because consumers are willing to pay for it, without actually rendering a promised service/feature, then that’s also considered to be fraudulent! :slight_smile:

IMHO, and with all due respect, to avoid any confusion you’re causing for other readers (consumers), since you’ve not understood the real problem, please allow me re-iterate my point yet again: ScoutAlarm pricing seems to indicate that they will provide LTE/cellular monitoring, despite the SmartThings hub not being LTE/cellular capable, and considering that the LTE/cellular component is such a crucial piece in monitoring.

Scout does not “promise” cellular monitoring for SmartThings.

In fact, their FAQ explicitly makes this clear:

Is 4G cellular backup included?
4G cellular backup is not included in Scout Alarm Professional Monitoring for SmartThings.

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Sigh! We’ve gone full circle now, hence my original question about why they’re charging the same for SmartThings, when it’s missing a crucial component, even though both their plans still promise 4G/cellular backup, but FAQ denies it.

While I understand/agree that SmartThings needs to make money on add-on services, if we really wanted 4G/cellular support why do we have to go thru SmartThings when consumers are not really getting the actual value that ScoutAlarm is providing for their pricing?

That said, a couple things to consider for SmartThings monitoring integration:

  • There are several other monitoring services that SmartThings should probably consider integration with, who will provide NonLTE monitoring services for a lot less.

  • Alternatively, make a generic version of the SmartThings ADT hub that includes LTE/cellular support, which can then allow add-on monitoring services either with ADT/Scout/Any 3rd party that claims to provde LTE/cellular monitoring.

BTW, I just wanted to let you know that I very much appreciate all your responses, so thanks much for the conversation.

The SmartThings Plan is entirely distinct for from the “both their plans” that you refer to, as far as I am aware.

As to “why” they charge the same price, I answered that already: (1) They have to pay SmartThings a commission which they decided to pass this cost on to the customers, and (2) They can charge whatever they want, as long as they deliver what they charge for. Just because 2 prices are equivalent, doesn’t imply that the services are equivalent. It is the consumer’s responsibility to research and understand what they are purchasing, unless there is explicit deceit. Even very, very, very small print is considered legally “informative”.

I ask this many time: Have you read the SmartThings “Terms of Use”. I bet 95% of customers have not, and I bet a chunk of them would be very surprised by implications of what SmartThings can do and/or is not responsible for.

Identifying a service is much easier than negotiating a partnership. These services may not wish to both with the hassle of integrating with SmartThings, or they may have non-compete agreements in place with other partners.

Everyone hoped (and some still hope…) that the USB port(s) on the current Hub V2 would be capable of running an 3G or 4G modem. Indeed, with SmartThings being “cloud dependant”, I hope that your idea is considered a wise strategy by ST.

I appreciate the discussion too.

The reason I play “Devil’s Advocate” :smiling_imp: and am so pedantic in many threads, is that I study consumer behavior (especially in the smart home space). As co-founder of ActionTiles, I want to understand the perspective and expectations of the “average consumer”. We find (best we can tell) that the overwhelming majority of our customers understand our product, and a certain number have either reasonable or , perhaps, unreasonable questions or expectations.