SmartThings Lies to, Ignores, Blows Off, and Belittles its Customers

honeywell
hubv2

#1

Before you purchase anything from this company, you should know what to expect from their customer service. You can see it all at this link: Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostat

In December 2016, several customers inquired as to the compatibility of the Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostat with SmartThings. Later that same month, a SmartThings rep (Chris) told these users that they could expect integration in “the first part of 2017”.

Then, from Dec 2016 through April 2017, it was radio silence from SmartThings. Despite many, many customers posting and asking what ever happened to the promised integration - we got nothing, totally ignored by ST and all ST staff. Finally, in April 2017, another ST rep (Tyler) posted and simply said “there is no update on this”.

I’m sorry but…are you kidding me? You promise something in “the first part of 2017”, don’t deliver on it, keep your customers in the dark for months despite repeated requests for updates, and then at the end of all that you won’t even provide an update? That is completely unacceptable customer service.

Not only is it awful customer service, it’s also rude. Look - I get that not every project is finished on time, there are hiccups, etc. No one is asking this company to be perfect. But if you promise something, and there are hiccups…the least you can do is communicate what is going on. Things only got worse from there…

As many other customers on the thread pointed out - this dismissiveness from ST staff belittles us as customers. We are all adults here, there is no reason they can’t give us an actual update (i.e. “we’ve had to put this on the backburner because of reasons XYZ”). But simply saying “no update” - do you not think we are capable of understanding the update? Why don’t you try us? It’s not as though this is some top secret project, or that somehow this integration project mystically disappeared. No. It’s a project, it has a status tracker, it has documentation - and you could treat us like adults and explain what that update is, if you actually valued your customers like adults. Instead, you seem to think we’re beneath you, unable to understand, and that it’s okay to blow us off. Just now - the most recent post from Tyler literally says “there is no update, best of luck”. Talk about dismissive - is there any way to blow off a customer worse than that?

For the record – it is not okay to blow us off. It is not okay to blow off 20+ (26 to be exact) customers. TWENTY SIX PAYING CUSTOMERS - customers who have spent money with your company and are the reason you have a job - are not deserving of a meaningful response, according to ST staff.

What makes this even worse - people make decisions based on the information you post. I was on the fence about buying a Lyric T5, because I read online that the geofencing functionality doesn’t work consistently. So, I did a Google search, found the forum linked above, and figured I’d go ahead and buy it anyway because ST could handle the geofencing. Now, like many users, I’m just dealing with the inconsistent geofencing because there is no ST integration. The point of all this is - you can’t just lie to people. You can’t just post things that are blatantly untrue. People actually make decisions off of this.

I have invested heavily in ST. Not including the thermostat ($150), I’ve spent about $760 on SmartThings equipment. You would think that a company you invest that much with would treat you at least slightly better than dirt. But apparently not.

If this is the type of customer service experience you want in exchange for your hard-earned money, you should buy SmartThings.


Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostat
Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostat
(Robin) #2

Dude, you pay £/$99 for a hub and expect lifetime support.

The rest of the money you have spent has nothing to do with and in no way supports ST.

Reading the thread, there were no promices, they just said there was not currently any official integration and to “expect” official integraration by early 2017.

Furthermore, can you not read between the lines of @Tyler’s various posts? To be honest I think he has been very patient with your attitude! He’s not saying he doesn’t have an update, he’s saying he can’t give it to you… there’s a big difference.

I’m sure politics between Honeywell and ST is at play there, perhaps because HW advertised and sold units based on ST comparibility before it existed… maybe you should aim your anger at HW instead?


(Dan P Parker) #3

Except that’s not at all what he was asking for.

That’s some serious hair-splitting there. If someone in a position to know tells me that I can expect “X” to happen then there’s no reasonable way to interpret that other than an assurance that “X” will happen. That’s essentially synonymous with a promise that…you know…“X” will happen.

Care to share the source of this inside information? And even if your speculation is correct, how did that force a ST rep to assure customers that they could not only expect that compatibility to happen, but to happen within a specified time frame?

At a minimum it seems like the original post claiming that the support would happen early this year should have been updated with note saying that the assurance should no longer be counted on due to circumstances that cannot currently be commented on. Maybe even with a polite, “Our apologies for setting an expectation than could not be met”. That sort of thing can go a long way towards preventing these kinds of incidents.


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

Did that comfort folks who were repeatedly promised a Hub V1 to V2 migration tool by end of 2015, only to have it cancelled this year with apologies? I guess it did, actually, … right?

I understand; It is really hard not to make genuinely heartfelt promises to appreciative customers - I’m not being sarcastic. People are constantly asking me for ETAs for ActionTiles. It takes a ton of discipline not to give out ETAs, especially when our internal timelines are “looking good”.


#5

Robin,

Fair points. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion and I respect that. Just a few things I’ll point out:

  1. This is not “lifetime support” in exchange for the hub. There is nothing wrong with my hub that I’m asking ST to fix. What I’m asking for is to be treated like an adult, a human being even. If you (ST) said you would do something, and you don’t do it - give us a good reason why. This has noting to do with product support - it has to do with communication, treating customers like you care about them, and the decisions people make based on information that ST employees post online. And for the record - the rest of the $ I spent does support ST, as I purchased these things from the ST shop and many of them (sensors etc) are made by ST, not third parties.

  2. In my opinion, telling someone to “expect” something is the same as a promise, if the person saying that is an official representative of the company. Really, it doesn’t matter - promise vs expect is just wording. The point is, if you said you would do something, you need to either follow through or explain why you can’t follow through. You can’t just blow off your customers, unless you don’t care to keep them.

  3. I will not aim my anger at HW, because as far as I know or have seen with my own eyes - no HW rep every posted that there would be official ST integration with Lyric in early 2017. I did, however, see an official ST employee post that. And like I said - I’m a working professional too, I get that not every project goes perfectly. But when my projects are delayed or have hiccups for whatever reason - political or otherwise - I respectfully communicate what is going on. I don’t appreciate being left in the dark, nor do I appreciate “there is no update”. I’m a person, I can be talked to like a person.

  4. Lastly…while I respect your opinion, there are certainly others who would disagree that ST has handled this situation well. Other customers (not me) have commented on that thread and said ST was being “dismissive”, “not communicative”, “avoiding the question”, and “approaching United Airlines customer service.” Again - not picking a fight with you here, I respect your opinion. But plenty of others, myself included, think ST needs to do a much, much, (x1,000) better job with this.


(Robin) #6

Ok, maybe splitting hairs a little on the whole expect v promise thing, but that was said at a much earlier date and things move on.

If, for example, a dispute is about to be heard in the courts, then nobody can say a word, by law… that’s just how it works.

@Tyler would say more if he was allowed, he always does on other matters, so without needing inside information it’s obvious something bigger is in the mix.

Maybe ST is about to buy out HW lol… or roll out a competing product with a built in hub… who knows?


(Dan P Parker) #7

Sorry, but “Oh, we said that 3-4 months ago so it doesn’t count” isn’t a valid excuse.

[quote=“RobinWinbourne, post:6, topic:87034”]If, for example, a dispute is about to be heard in the courts, then nobody can say a word, by law… that’s just how it works.

@Tyler would say more if he was allowed, he always does on other matters, so without needing inside information it’s obvious something bigger is in the mix.[/quote]

I understand that…which is what the “due to circumstances that cannot currently be commented on” part of my suggestion was about.


(Glen King) #8

This all just underscores the point that all real adults should grasp by now: Never ever purchase something based on what it might do someday. Purchase it based on what it does now, because abundant evidence shows us that ‘someday’ often doesn’t ever arrive.

Folks here have seen me rant about Samsung’s horrible customer service. So hearing about this does not surprise me. I do hope that one day, Samsung sells ST to a company that cares more about caring for its customers than about just taking their money.


(Jameson) #9

1st. WOW

2nd. You threatened the staff that “things would get ugly?” I hope they kill your hub, refund you for your hub, and tell you good luck.

3rd. You paid $100 dollars for a hub and expect everything to connect with it. The first post in that thread talks about Honeywell misrepresenting current integration. Tyler was nice enough to say that it is in the works. The 1st part of 2017 could easily reference the first half, which it is still 2 months away from. Everything on this forum shows the staff is hard at work with integrations, they just announced Halo integration yesterday.

4th. NDA’s play a large part in all of this, as Smartthings grows, you can expect less early notification of things happening, as the more people that find out, the more people freak out when it doesn’t happen like you have done. Just calm down and your integration will probably happen.


(Dan P Parker) #10

Actually, I wasn’t thinking so much in terms of comforting folks as I was just a little something to take the dismissively rude edge off things.


(Dan P Parker) #11

Well, they already covered the 3rd item. As for the first two…are you a rep for Garadget?


(Robin) #12

Not that simple… I have personally handled several legal cases in the past few years where such a comment would be seen as ‘in contempt of court’ (personal injury cases, but the principle is the same)

Other factors could be insider trading laws etc. Which often apply ahead of mergers and the like.


(Dan P Parker) #13

In the U.S.?


(Robin) #14

No, laws vary but generally legal procedures mirror around the globe, in developed countries at least.

My point is that Tyler said he can’t provide an update, that tells me there is some form of legal privilege or NDA in play.


(Bobby) #15

Differentiate two identical products by what they might offer ‘someday’. And if ‘someday’ happens, you just won the lottery, if it doesn’t happen, you still have a product of equal quality of its competitor. :smile:


#16

1st - cool

2nd - no, I did not ever make a threat. All you can see now is what Tyler said, not what I said. I never made a threat of any kind.

3rd - Already addressed this. This isn’t about the $100 hub or support for the $100 hub - it’s about following through on what you said you would do, communicating to your customers, and not treating people like dirt.

4th - If that were the case, they could easily say “we are still planning on rolling this out in the future, however for legal reasons we are not allowed to discuss details or specific timing right now”. Again - treat us like adults and people, don’t just blow us off.


(Glen King) #17

Agreed, and have done that myself.
Just don’t count on it happening. So make sure it does today what you believe is worth the price you are paying.


(Robin) #18

That’s a threat ^^^^^


(Glen King) #19

Yes, and no. There’s nothing wrong with telling a company that provides horrendous customer service that you plan to let the world know all about it. They can easily stop you from letting “things get ugly” by changing their tune, and providing decent customer service!!

As there is no implication of physical violence in “things get ugly”, it does not constitute a legally actionable threat.


(Dan P Parker) #20

It tells me that’s one of several possibilities…with an equally likely one being that he’s under direction from management to be quiet for reasons that have nothing to do with a court order.