SmartThings Support Email and Chat Response Times

I have sent in two (2) emails for ST Support to respond (both are different new problematic issues), as well as started a real time Chat. I have not heard back from my emails for over three days other than an automated email with a ticket number and signed “Warm Regards”. The Chat support line only responds back with “You are 5th in line”, and never changes that number until they leave the office for the day.

Has anyone had better response times for Email and Chat, and if so, would you share with us your magic wording that gets their attention.

Hi Kurt,

This email is to notify you that we have created a support ticket for your request. We’re very sorry but we may be a bit slower than usual getting back to you. We have a number of new and old users alike that have contacted us with questions. Between our new Hub, new mobile experience, and the tremendous excitement around what SmartThings is doing, we have a sizable backlog of requests. Our support team will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible but we humbly ask for your patience. If you have anything else you’d like to tell us, you can reply to this email. Otherwise, we’ll be in touch as soon as we’re able.

Warm regards,

The SmartThings Team

[SmartThings Support] Support request #149011
[SmartThings Support] Support request #149007

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Perhaps tag or Tweet the CEO, VP of Operations, and VP of Community and other Community liasons?

All of them consistently express apologies and have sometimes helped escalate cases in the past. I’m not tagging them because these ain’t my tickets. :grimacing:

But, frankly, I’m sure support is literally doing the best they can given the mess challenge that they’ve been assigned. So whether or not pinging management directly is productive, is up to everyone to discover for themselves.

@tgauchat : Agreed, I might have to pursue something to get their attention. :rage:

I was hoping that I (or others) would not have to resort to escalating our support tickets to the the levels of CEO, VP of Operations, and VP of Community and other Community liaisons? One would hope that someone at SmartThings is watching the support response queue and doing something about the 1-2 week responses. Especially when these support requests are issues that are critical to the smooth operation of our many of our medium to large scale existing home automation systems.

What are they supposed to do? (Please don’t misread my tone … I’m not meaning to sound flippant or facetious; I’m genuinely trying to understand and have empathy for other customer’s perspectives and expectations…). :confused:

@tgauchat: Well, the basics of a Quality Help Desk are well defined, here are just a few:

  1. Prioritize the inbound email queue and assign tickets to each technician level that it requires.
  2. Employ a dynamic resource model which includes incorporating both internal & external technical resources to bring the response queue to a level that customers can depend.
  3. Stabilize are high frequency areas of bleeding and freeze changes on the backend that are not critical
  4. Be empathetic to customers, at least email those loyal customers with a date for an expected response… "It is totally unacceptable to say, “We will get back to you when we can, we are really busy” … Warm Regards…

Samsung purchased SmartThings in 2014 for allegedly $200+ million. One would hope that some of that investment could be used to upgrade their Customer Service and Operational issues.

I think that SmartThings will need to watch out for what I call the “Blackberry Syndrome”, which is believing that you are to big to fail. Before you know it, one’s loyal customers are slowly switching to the up and coming merchants that listen, provide better products and customer support.

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I agree… all good practices… I speculate on the failures:

  1. With the complexity and less-than-optimal user interface of the system, I speculate that the majority of problems are relatively simple (i.e., walk through procedures that ought to be obvious or handled by better documentation, videos, etc); followed by issues that are due to temporary or ongoing known bugs, for which the resolution is very quick. That leaves the stuff that gets thrown over the Community, because third-level support (engineering and operations) is very likely too busy to deal with Customers or it is “not in their job description”.

  2. See #1; as well, see the tight labor market for sufficiently skilled technicians, particularly in this new industry and given an arguably poor product design.

  3. The best way for SmartThings to have stabilized the “areas of bleeding” would have included: (a) not launching globally yet, (b) not releasing 2 unrelated upgrades at once [Hub V2 and App V2] and certainly not releasing them prior to deeper levels of testing and also not releasing either at the exact same time as the UK launch!, © diverting engineering from Hub V2 and App V2 to V1 stabilization fixes instead. Hub V2 represents a huge overhaul of the platform. It is not an incremental update (CTO has admitted that major overhauls are not a desirable strategy going forward). This one is a tough call… Hub V2 has the potential to help stabilize the platform, but it was released too soon and incomplete to deliver that value (e.g., local processing is limited to a subset of Devices and essentially only 1 or 2 SmartApps).

  4. I fully believe that SmartThings fully considers the quoted automated response to actually be “empathetic” (hence “Warm Regards”).

All good points @tgauchat. IMHO “Warm Regards” is very insincere in their automated support response and also considered to be bad English in this article below:

Why is “Best Regards” or “Kind Regards” considered to be bad English?

I would rather they state that your email will be answered in 24-48 hours and stick to that estimate.

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I don’t interact with tech support very often. I have a 50/50 opinion of them… Always well-intentioned service, but, well, the “road to hell … etc.”.

What you might find interesting is that we’ve been told that their customer feedback (which I think is based solely on a “yes/no – satisfied/unsatisfied” survey question post-ticket marked "Resolved…), rates SmartThings Tech Support at 98% Customer Satisfaction.

Reference this linked posting and overall thread, which is essentially redundant with the current Topic:

@kurtsanders

We truly apologize for the delay. We have been meeting our SLAs but got slammed with tickets in the last 48 hours. (In the thousands)

We are working very diligently to get through the queue. We definitely appreciate your patience!

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Every time I’ve put in a ticket or sent support an email, they have responded pretty quickly.

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I have also had great support. I have 2 Centralite thermostats that had rounding issues. I would ping support once a month checking to see if the issue had been fixed. Then I read about a fix on the forum a few weeks ago, and that day, support had sent me a follow email up informing me.

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Thanks @slagle for the explanation, What is the stated SLA timeframe for email support response questions?

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This doesn’t help anyone of course, but a no-excuses public apology coming from a SmartThings rep buys major respect in my eyes. I think this is all that most people are asking for – just be honest with customers and they’ll cut you some slack (assuming the wait time doesn’t extend indefinitely).

Trying to get my hub to recognise it is actually online - connected to online chat - been “number 1th in the queue” for over an hour now and still waiting… either the queuing system is broken or you don’t have enough techs - 1 hour to solve issues is totally unacceptable.

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If you get someone to respond on the ST Chat Support Line in under one hour or even the same day, it’s an early Christmas present!

I did receive an email from support - stating the hubs need a static ip address and don’t support dhcp!!!

I have never heard of that crazy requirement! Both my past SmartThings Hub and my V2 ST Hub were/are DHCP…

Absolutely not true!

(Well… It wouldn’t be that unbelievable that SmartThings has some weird requirements, but the odds are you’re getting incorrect information).

There is no practical way for the Hub to pick up an IP address on your LAN without using DHCP. So it must do so. And if it uses DHCP, then you can use your Router settings to optionally set its assigned address if that’s something you do to keep your LAN organized (I do).

By the way: No offense to Support, but you’re not going to get the best results on the Thanksgiving Holiday (even if you’re in the UK).