Starter Kit Warning: check everything thoroughly for any problems when first unpacking

Hi All,

Just a little warning for all new customers. I bought a Smartthings Starter Kit last week and set it up with a Plug automation to turn a light on, hooked up my CCTV and got everything working.

I didn’t need the motion sensor at the time, but now I do, so I went to hook that up, but the battery was dead.

Contacted support, they said:

We would like to advise that in order to refund you or send you a replacement, we need all products received in the original packaging as this is part of our standard procedure.

We understand the inconvenience of the situation, however we would like to provide you with a working unit and this is the way to do it.

We thank you for the understanding.

Despite me explaining I’d already set this up to replace my existing alarm and that it will void my insurance to remove it all!

Long story short, when you get your kit check everything thoroughly before install as you won’t get any help from the store afterwards!!

Also I must note this is my second faulty starter pack, the first one came with a broken hub!


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Things happen. A battery is cheap just put one in.

By the way not everything comes with batteries anyway. Get a few packs from amazon for like 20 buck for 15,.

When I buy any sensors I buy extra batteries at the same time, not necessary from the same company but on that day. This way I always have spare ready for that failure. What many people don’t understand is that the ST platform doesn’t show percentage of battery exactly as it is, so when it says 20% it can fail in a week or a month.

I have batteries, and although they are cheap, you buy a product it should work, if it’s faulty it should be replaced, it should not be down to the consumer to replace or allow for things being potentially wrong with the supplied equipment.

Well in my opinion anyway…

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So it I buy a TV today because it’s a great price but don’t need it right away and plug it in after the a few months and the remote doesn’t work I would have take both back. It’s a package. That’s why I said just out batteries in it much easier. Other then that check everything right away or you assume it will work.

Theres a difference between a few months and 5 days…

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My point is its a package. I know it doesn’t make sense to me either but I’m in retail and it what the manufacturers want. Crazy yes.

So you want support to send you a free battery, which with the cost of shipping the battery and such far outweighs the benefits?

How about just asking for the $2 credit on your account to buy the battery your self?

But how would you prove the battery was dead? Send it back to them? Which again, kills any cost benefit.

If you are going to split hairs over a dead battery on arrival, can’t wait to see how you deal with failed scheduled events or a bad firmware upgrade on the hub…

Using ST for a replacement alarm is like trying to compete in a marathon using crutches. Sure you can get there, but its a lot more painful along the way with a lot of people looking at you and asking why the crutches, why not just a good pair of running shoes?

Anyway, good luck…


I see @JonnyRoy point but for a different reason. I hold companies responsibly for their products. Something that isn’t as it should be needs to be reported. BUT something like this causes a conundrum.

A. If you hold them accountable, you need to still follow their policies for replacement/return, and then it’s at THEIR discretion if they want to deviate (send you a battery/credit) or not.

B. If you do nothing and just swap the battery as @joewom suggests, you let the company off the hook and they have no incentive to improve or resolve issues. In my opinion, FAR too many folks take the easy way out, the latter in this scenario, and companies get even more complacent leading to them straight up ignoring what’s “right.”

I will argue for a resolution in a situation like this, that at least (hopefully) makes the company realize they need to satisfy the customer and their promises for the product. It also makes them possibly realize the potential profit loss for this kind of issue, thus forcing (hahaha) their QC department to up it’s game.

Then there’s the part of me that hates all corporations, and I’d just say f it, report to support a defective sensor, and await an advance replacement. This has happened to me twice, well, honestly, they were bad, and ST sent a new one ASAP, very good support. They never asked if they were from my original kit or the 5 pack’s I’ve bought.

As soon as you said it was a dead battery…I assume you tested with another battery…you lost that leverage so to speak. This isn’t 100% ethical, but MAN is it less bad than how companies generally treat us!

And @pstuart, I have to disagree on the cost benefit. $2 is WAY more to you or me than a company this size. Ya know, relatively. It’s in their interest to cough up a replacement no questions asked, then to ask for a return or other customer concession. Both my RMA’s had a pre-paid label in them ready to go. That’s good customer service! Home Depot and Lowe’s do this as well.

However I agree 100% on the alarm comments. Holy crap @JonnyRoy save yourself the headache of using ST as an alarm in it’s current state!

And to everyone, please get batteries from an actual Panasonic/Sony authorized seller, the VAST majority of batteries on eBay and Amazon are fakes. or are two of the best sources I’ve found.

Edit: and obviously test WHAT YOU CAN when you first receive it. Some items you simply can’t do that with, that’s why there are warranties/support services. But if it’s not immediately reported, you fall firmly in the first camp of following THEIR rules.

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I get it but it’s a battery most things don’t even come with the battery anymore so that’s why I said just replace the battery.


Yeah that bugs me too…

Lol. Also batteries don’t last forever or they could have been a bad set. But if you really wanted you could by one get it and send back the one with the bad battery as a return. Wrong but just as wrong as blaming a dead battery on a company.

Standards, gotta keep them high. Imagine getting a $130 car battery that was just bad? Just because it’s smaller and cheaper doesn’t mean it’s quality should be lower. Bad eggs will be in each batch obviously, but again that’s on the company as it’s a whole product, that in this case, doesn’t work. They have recourse with their suppliers, they need to exercise that while providing superior service to the customer.

Why car battery has a warranty!

So the company can cheap out and hope people just say f it and don’t bother doing anything about it and just buy another one? Warranties are not just protection for the consumer, they are like Mail In Rebates, an assurance the company gives a consumer that won’t always be taken advantage of, to their profit.

I was surprised when just about every Smartthings I bought had a battery. And customer service is not the leading cause for customers to return if it was Walmart would be out of business and not the largest retailer. It’s price or they have something you can’t get elsewhere or not as good.

A product warranty has a legal requirement in the US that states something to the effect that a warranty claim can not exceed a relative portion of the value of the product. A small battery, a USB cable, even a mouse, a company would rather just send a replacement than have it sent back, on their dime or the customers.

I had a coffee maker die, I got it as a refurb, was $90 at Walmart, cost me $25, the manufacturer warranty was 90 days, and I fell within it, showed them a picture of teh power cord cut off and they sent me another, because it cost them $3 to make it, cheaper to ship another and still come out ahead then pay to ship it back.

Didn’t say that but they could just say batteries not included. Problem solved.

I really don’t think batteries included in a product are under warranty. The product is not the batteries. Just because they came with it does t mean they are under the one year warranty.

Oh I agree, I’m not arguing here, just presenting different points of view!

The expectation if they did that would be iron clad. By providing batteries they open themselves to this exact issue, which one would have to assume would be factored into the product pricing/shipping from the get go. A certain percentage of every product life-cycle is set aside for warranty, and customer care.