Terrible performance from ST

I’m amazed at the rash of problems i have experienced over the past few weeks. Relatively complex setup at the house w/many automations, rules, and routines.

-Can’t log in through mobile app for three+ days

-Long long delays (minutes) triggering lights from motions

-Can’t control switches from mobile apps

-Routines not firing

-Lights with shutoff after X minutes staying on forever

-switches going offline, had to go through replace device many times to get it to work

-notes to support aren’t being read… First questions ask information provided in the initial email

-ST status board routinely shows green for device control and mobile apps… Total crap from my view

Just a horrible experience right now.

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I agree on some of the problems above but also sounded like you also have some devices issue not caused by ST as well.
What kind of devices are you using? Brand name would definitely help.
The motion sensor delay could be caused by certain brand name sensor, slow internet connection or out of range from the hub.
Out of range or certain brand name device could be the cause for most problems you stated above.

No, none of these are device issues. Consistent poor and erratic behavior across GE switches, ST motions, etc etc.

Issues are with devices within spitting distance of the hub.

consistent crap performance on mobile apps running from multiple apple devices connected to wan as well as cellular network.

This is smart things, period.

Step 1… Admit you have the problem

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I don’t have the problem. ST does :smile: . I am just a community member trying to help other member.

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I admit it but (almost) none which you describe. My open/close and/or motion sensors trigger lights switches almost immediately. I havent had any issues logging into my android (actually I havent had to log in for a long time) The iOs is a pain because it constantly requires me to log in. It does, however, log in. Once logged in, no problem controlling any device. ONly similar problem I experienced is Routines not firing.

ST definitely has a problem.

Here are a few related threads.

(interestingly, this thread has been going since 2013! I just linked to the apparently most recent round of problems)

Given the number of concurrent problems reported by users, I’d say the issue is on the ST server side, not on any one user’s particular device integration landscape.

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Sympathies. I think absolutist assertions will interfere with you getting the best possible results from ST. Some of your issues seem like local (Zwave/Zigbee) communication problems. period.

some general advice:

Ignore the status board - assume there are frequent unreported or localized ST cloud problems. If the cloud is really broken for you then you won’t be able to make changes - hopefully it is a short outage. The forum seems to be the only way to get current practical status. Reading widely will help you more than writing posts.

Start simple and keep it as simple as possible. My own ST installation is not designed for manual control by the phone app (which is too slow for my preference); I try to just automate with the minimum criteria to avoid touching anything for manual control. Also I avoid ST time schedules.

Anything REALLY IMPORTANT cannot be automated through the internet. For example lights on the stairways can be done by wall-motion-light-switches that do not depend on internet.

Some people have problems with the hub being too close to other transmitters like routers, phones and wireless speakers. Moving the hub away, and changing the orientation, and raising the height are general guidelines to improve the signal to local devices. Add plug-in devices as repeaters. Moving the hub or adding, deleting and moving devices recommends multiple Zwave repairs and/or turning off the hub for 15 minutes several times to rebuild the local network.

There are differences between Zigbee and Zwave devices that require some devices to be explicitly reset in addition to performing the “general exclusion” by the hub via the phone app. I won’t pretend to understand all the details but I caution you that just deleting the device from the hub, is incomplete procedure.

This is too funny. So what you are saying, and I agree to be correct, is whatever automation you do that is critical or highly visible (when fails) use a different method than SmartThings. For anything else you can use ST hub.

Although this is not ideal nor economical if you spent money on hub and Smartsense sensors, it definitely preserves your sanity. In my own experience, I found that local processing is fairly reliable and is the method of choice for everything visible in my home (llights turning with motion or contact).

But I know some people have had issues with this too, so one just needs to figure out what works well, while ST solves their backend issues. Maybe not using ST for now is the key to success for some.

I agree. Internet connections are too volatile for anything you can’t do without. Wherever I have installed anything, I have always made sure that there is a manual override or activation method (switches, locks, lights, etc) for this very reason. It’s the failure mode that is the issue for me. I can deal with losing out on convenience by not having lights come on when I open a door (assuming it’s temporary - otherwise, why buy a HA system if it can’t automate anything?!). What I can’t abide is lights coming on by themselves in the middle of the night or, say, my deadbolt unlocking itself! I haven’t been able to figure out this last one as I don’t have that automated anywhere - there are no smartapps or routines that unlock my front door. This should not have happened at all.

These things are worse than having no home automation at all. My baseline is to assume that the internet doesn’t work so I lose all the automations. What I can’t plan for is automations that activate themselves or are delayed for hours after their initial triggering event.

The entire Home Automation space isn’t ready for prime time. That’s why Google and Apple have not entered the field with both feet.

For now, it is best not to have “mission critical” functions on ANY home automation platform.

I’m used to these sorts of problems every few months with SmartThings, but some of my most basic rules (such as “Good Morning” 17 minutes before sunrise) haven’t worked in over a week. I know people like to ignore the issues or make excuses for ST or pass it off as “I don’t have these problems so everything is perfect” but Samsung/SmartThings really needs to stop trying to expand their reach and instead focus on reliability.

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I know I say this a lot, but as someone who is quadriparetic, i’ve been following home automation technology pretty much since the time I first got into a wheelchair.

There are fully functional very reliable home automation systems that have been available for years. They’re just extremely expensive. $40,000 and up. Control4 and Crestron, for example.

There also “environmental control systems” designed specifically for people in wheelchairs which have many functions, and are very reliable. they use a different architecture then the home automation systems because they assume you’re only going to need them in one or two rooms. But they still cost about $10,000 a room, which is way outside my budget.

Then there are limited purpose systems which also are very reliable and work very well. Much less expensive than the other two. Lutron Caseta for lights and window coverings. Any of several security systems that combine a camera, barrier sensors, a keypad, and notifications to the monitoring center. automated sprinkler systems, swimming pool equipment, some smart appliances, home theater systems. Even the Phillips hue bridge. They all work well. Price points vary. But they don’t work together.

The new frontier that SmartThings has been trying to conquer is providing whole house automation like that of control4 at a price literally a 10th of the cost.

At this price point, there are many different candidate systems, all with pluses and minuses. SmartThings has focused on versatility, but has yet to achieve reliability. Other systems made reliability their number one priority, and succeeded, but did so by giving up much of the versatility that SmartThings offers.

Discussion of specific alternative details here:

But it’s not that home automation itself is new. You can have reliability if you’re willing to pay a lot. Or if you’re willing to give up a number of features.

As for what can be accomplished at this price point, it’s still unclear. HomeKit is putting a lot of pressure on the market but they haven’t solved the problem of how to have a battery-powered Bluetooth device act as a trigger for an if/then event and meet their battery life requirements. They can do it with their mains powered Wi-Fi based devices but not yet Bluetooth. If that does happen as has been promised before Christmas season this year, it will set a new standard for reliability in inexpensive whole home automation. Then everyone else will have to step up their game. If they can’t solve this issue, then everything is still wide open I think, with different systems choosing different priorities.

So we’ll see what happens. We know the problem can be solved from the existing home automation systems that have been sold for years. But what we don’t yet know is the price point at which it can be delivered. But I do expect to see a lot of market change in just the next six months. :sunglasses:

I’m a fan of ST and I think the cost is very reasonable, in fact, too reasonable. I’m just saying it’s hard to identify and develop for a consumer space that is so new.

You can do a cheaper HA implementation using OpenHAB running on a Raspberry Pi. The difference is one must be a programmer (like myself) to get even the simplest installation going.

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Frankly, it is not connection with the Internet that is SmartThings’ problem. It is simply that their servers, or their code, sucks.

I use a multitude of internet connected services dozens of times a day; SmartThings is the only one that screws up regularly.

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You’re right. It’s hard to explain without sounding like a fanboy but I’m not sure that saying ST is the problem is useful, helpful or accurate. Saying “my car never starts in the rain” doesn’t mean much in itself. I don’t know what the numbers are but if I sell 100,000 of something and say half of the users report problems, is the system bad? Maybe. You need to get a lot more granular to see what’s really happening. I admit, ST does not operate as simply as a toaster refrigerator or stove. Will it someday? Maybe. Maybe not. 10 models of thermostats, 8 models of motion sensors, 4 garage door openers, umpteen relays, light switches, light bulbs and auxiliary control systems and a concept in it;s infancy is going to be challenging. I’ve owned junk products in my life and I would not even remotely put ST, Amazon Echo, Philips Hue, Liftmaster, Linear Dimmers in that category. OK…Wemo seems clunky but narrowly avoids crossing into junk territory. Samsung has kind of painted itself in a corner and I think they have a next step in the plan. The appliances and devices will find themselves amongst each other and use a common inform interface that once users understand is uniform across devices and functions. Not easy. Even iPhone after quite a long time occasionally fails at this still. Anyway, i like my ST system and if it fails I’ll be annoyed but I’m not going to rip it out and scream it’s flaws from the highest mountains. If ST disappears, I’d be bummed out. Venting is fine, but demanding personalized support would be difficult in a system with so many manufacturers producing components and control software. Think about it.

Things got better yesterday. I had fast, virtually flawless performance all afternoon and evening.

Fingers crossed that things are turning around!

I’m 5 days in with no light control via routines or snartapps. I can’t delete hue connect even though it doesn’t even show a hub connected.

I have 2 bulbs out of 50 that will work thru echo via Smartthings.

If I wasn’t so busy shoveling snow the last 2 days I might be more irritated.

What do you mean when you say you can’t delete Hue even though a hub is not connected? You mean there’s no Hue bridge plugged in or on your network? F you are interested in help, a little more detail would be useful. I’d start a new thread for it though. A lot of people can help almost all of which way know way more about it than I do. If nothing else, your experience might save others grief. If your not interested in troubleshooting I totally understand that of course.

When I try to delete the hue connect app, I get an error.

This must be a known issue because support asked me if I could delete it or not even though it shows no hubs connected.

I had the same problem a few days back. I couldn’t delete the hub. It turns out I had the Hub authorized in the Smart Rules app. So I deleted the hub from Smart Rules and then tried from the ST app and it worked. I’m kind of new At this so I wasn’t really documenting Ll the steps. I will from now if I try to correct things. Anyway try that if you like and try and imagine all the things accessing the Hue hub in any ST environment. Apps may be “holding on” to the hub connection.