SmartThings Support REALLY Needs To Open Up!


(Tony B.) #1

Several times this week I have had issues with SmartApps, DTH and they all the sudden fix themselves.

Ever since they let the Harmon-Kardon CEO take over, there has not been a single Twitter post for issues. I just noticed the other day, chat is gone as well.

Good job a-hole. Making it harder for us to know what’s going on isn’t going to be good.

Verizon and big companies may not care, but, you are in a very very competitive marketplace. Your chat reps were the best I’ve ever talked to.

Thin them down, you have nothing except a big company that wants to move their way instead of listening to the customers.

Good luck.

You know you have been doing upgrades, it’s not something to be ashamed of. Let us know, instead of playing “wtf” with our hub and internet.


#2

Tony,

I agree that there is something wrong with the way they are communicating to their customers. Last night one of the hubs I managed went offline for no reason, went back online, and now only certain devices are communicating leading to the same conclusion that the common thread is the DTH. The same for a second location, the hub momentarily went offline and now 3 classes of DTH’s for devices aren’t connected. All these things happened overnight last night. I still can’t control half my lighting or locks.


(Mark) #3

In my experience, calling someone an asshole is unlikely to accomplish anything productive, regardless of the underlying merit of one’s grievance.

YMMV, so good luck I guess.


(Tony B.) #4

When you invade my home, that is probably the nicest thing I could say …


(Mark) #5

What does that mean?


#6

It means the OP probably never read the terms of service, and believes that once they have something set up, it should stay that way unless they specifically accept a change. But that’s just not how smartthings has ever worked.

https://www.smartthings.com/terms

Will SmartThings ever change the Services?
.
We’re always trying to improve the Services, so they may change over time. We may suspend or discontinue any part of the Services, or we may introduce new features or impose limits on certain features or restrict access to parts or all of the Services. In some cases, the changes we make to the Services may cause older hardware devices, third party services, software configurations or setups to no longer work with the Services, and you may be required to upgrade or change these devices, services, configurations or setups in order to continue using the Services. We’ll try to give you notice when we make a material change to the Services that would adversely affect you, but this isn’t always practical. Similarly, we reserve the right to remove any Content (including any SmartApps or device or external service connections provided by SmartThings or by third parties) from the Services at any time, for any reason (including, but not limited to, if someone alleges you contributed that Content in violation of these Terms), in our sole discretion, and without notice.


(Tony B.) #7

As far as I’m concerned, they could have all kinds of kinds of ToS. It doesn’t excuse or extend the lack of culpability from them.

I won’t stop my development on SmartThings but, it caused ‘pause’ when they knew the server was going offline and, didn’t aware the feed or anyone.

So, @JDRoberts, when one was to take your phone or, internet offline, what would you think? My home is secured with SmartThings, I don’t think it should be ‘going out’ without warning.

Dinesh Paliwal: I know you are trying to get the group sufficient but, you may have gone too far. The tech support representatives were of the best I’ve ever talked with. Why take it away to build a company for ‘you’ instead of the users?

For those of you reading this post; Dinesh was recently named the new head of SmartThings.

For Dinesh; I would hope that you find a little spot in your heart for what your users think. Trust me on this, there is a very easy way out. It would take almost no effort transfer to something like Vera or Hubitat.

It’s not that much to ask when you have plans to screw millions of users. Just say ‘maintenance period on…’ It’s business. I inform my users every time I have to reboot a server that might effect them. Why can’t a multi-million dollar company do the same?

Verizon Wireless tried this years ago, the stock fell enormously.

If you and the rest of Samsung are going to put the ‘college try’ at it; don’t cut your support department to Bangladeshi people that you didn’t train.


#8

As a medically fragile person (I’m Quadriparetic), I probably pay a lot more attention to this stuff than most people, both before and after purchase. I know the terms of service and the guaranteed uptimes for most of my stuff, and definitely for my home automation systems. “Walk over and flip the switch” is not a Plan B that I have available. :sunglasses:

So I knew going in that smartthings didn’t have guaranteed uptime. That said, my expectation was that it would meet a fairly standard MFOP (maintenance free operating period) of six months to a year. However, since the fall of 2015, I have yet to get an MFOP of longer than two weeks, and frequently less. So I moved all of my critical use cases (which in my case includes control of lights and door locks) off of it to more stable systems where I can refuse updates until a time which is convenient to me.

I still use SmartThings for complex notification use cases which are not critical, like a reminder that the guestroom window is open when the guest has left the house and rain is expected, because it still does that way better than any of the competing systems in the same price range.

So if I understand your question, I am highly reliant on my IOT systems working reliably and consistently, but that’s why I don’t use SmartThings for most of them. :umbrella:

I do understand how frustrating it is when things that worked on Monday stop working on Tuesday, and I do truly wish that smartthings would switch to a different development model with a longer MFOP. If they do, I will be glad to move more stuff back onto the platform. In the meantime, I have to protect myself.

Different things work for different people, and there are a lot of great things about SmartThings, but stability and transparency aren’t in that mix. Like I said, if they start delivering more in those areas, I will be glad to move more of my use cases back to the platform. But in the meantime, I just move on to other things that work better for me.

Not a very satisfying answer, I know, but Since there are a lot of alternatives now, I don’t feel it personally a good use of my limited energy to try to convince Samsung that they need a different business model. For three years they’ve been promising to make reliability a top priority, while continuing to make, as you point out, undocumented changes that work against that.

I am a great believer in the Buddhist saying “Your life IS your philosophy.” Or the old proverb, “actions speak louder than words.“ when Samsung delivers an IOT system with an MFOP of six months or longer, I’ll put them back on my primary candidate list. Until then, it’s all just marketing to me.

JMO


(Tony B.) #9

It’s a great believer that says that you ‘keep your people in line’

I don’t feel like arguing it’s just the point of SmartThings support has fallen off a Grand canyon type of cliff.


(Mark) #10

Same here. Why get angry about something that’s not working well for you (and isn’t likely to change based on complaints in an online forum for power users and devs)? Just find the solution that does.


(Tony B.) #11

“Just find the solution” @marktheknife?

Will you tell me how deadbolts unlocking in the middle of the night; is part of the solution?


#12

I believe he was suggesting you might want to look at a different brand hub. It was exactly the problem you mentioned, doors unlocking on their own, that first caused me to start moving things off of SmartThings. :scream: I’ve described this in detail in the forum in the past.


(Tony B.) #13

You can describe this till you are blue in the face, it isn’t good when locks disable themselves in the middle of the night.

I mean! How hard would it be to include in involke anything

“If this was sleeping or night” on hub return, make it do the previous location mode. I don’t care what mode it’s in but make sure of everything before you put it.


(Mark) #14

That’s the solution that has worked for JD. And for me.

Or you can just be super abrasive to anyone that’s engaging in this increasingly pointless conversation.


(Tony B.) #15

I would rather see it better than a macro.

I agree that you have some more do flowers than complaints.

It’s very unsafe and infuriating when the doors unlocked because SmartThings network is down


(Bob Dunkle) #16

I too have been looking for a more reliable solution (for medical reasons). @marktheknife and @JDRoberts what hub solutions did you find?


#17

In my situation, I was willing to give up a lot of complexity in order to get reliability. Also, like many people who don’t have good use of their hands, I already used Apple devices because their voice support is so good. So I switched my critical use cases to Apple’s HomeKit, but I try to select only devices which work with both HomeKit and Amazon echo, because I prefer the voice recognition on Alexa.

Everything except the voice recognition runs locally, it’s been very reliable, and for the simple but essential use cases like voice control of lights and the doorlock, lights on a schedule, and a few sensor use cases it’s worked very well. Nowhere near as complex as what you could do with smart things, but so far my MFOP is over eight months. I use Lutron Caseta switches and some hue bridge based Devices.

You can see my detailed project report including equipment list both before and after in the following thread

Adding Home Automation in Phases: my limited investment strategy


(Mark) #18

I’m using a hubitat hub, although I’m not sure I would recommend that yet for someone that is medically fragile. They released their hub earlier this year and are still in a period of pretty intense platform development.


#19

I have been a Smartthings user for about three years. When I started everything was working just fine. And then Samsung bought Smartthings. Now nothing seems to work. A couple of weeks ago I had a helluva time trying to add my wife to the account. Again. I was not able to do it. I contacted Smartthings via email. I got a response three days later - with the wrong information. Then three days ago my hub crashed. Once it came back up, every device, sensor and detector was gone. Just gone. I tried to add things back. It literally took me over an hour for the hub to recognize one door sensor. I had just over 50 items connected. I give up. I gave up. I am moving to WINK. I bought the hub yesterday from Home Depot. While I sat in the parking lot, I added a couple of things to the WINK app. They connected immediately. I got home, booted up my WINK hub and there they were, my RING doorbell and my NEST thermostat. THen I started to connect other things. I forgot how to add a CREE bulb. And WINK provided a video on how to do it - right on the app. And guess what? It worked. One great thing is that everything that I had connected to Smartthings will work in WINK.

So, goodbye Smartthings. Goodbye Samsung. I am off to greener grass. I am very, very tired of “trying” to get Smartthings to work. I just want it to work. Reliably. Samsung has lost a customer for everything they make. I won’t risk it again.


(Mark) #20

Hope that works out for you when you get to the other side.