When things work it's great - is it just me?


#1

Been a smartthings user for two months now. 75 devices so far. When things are working, it’s great but I’ve had four issues so far of devices just dissapering or unassigning I’m hoping this isn’t the norm for others with a set up like mine. Here’s what’s happened so far:

  • GE Z Wave light switch just dissapeared from smartthings. Came back as a new device just called “Z Wave Switch” Renamed and added back all the smart apps and smarttiles config and has been fine since

  • Hue lightstrip just stopped being recognized. ST still thinks it turns on/off but nothing actually happens. Same light strip works fine in hue apps. Haven’t fixed this one yet.

  • A different GE z wave outlet stopped working (again ST thought it was fine) outlet started working backwards (as in hitting the bottom of the switch turned it on and the top turned it off) pulling the air gap fixed that but it refused to respond to any commands. Z wave repairs “failed to update mesh”. A full exclude and re-add fixed it. Again that involved 10 smart app re configurations

  • Sonos Connect “forgot” all 9 of my speakers, they were just unchecked one day recently. I had voice alerts for open windows doors and other items. I’ve added the Sonos items back in and again did the painful reconnects to smart apps but so far they’re still not announcing anything.

So not huge deals but over the last 8 weeks I’ve had to redo lots of things I’ve configured and it’s time consuming redoing all the smart app connections and Alexa/ifttt integrations. I understand I’m using lots of the features but it does feel like things randomly break without me doing or changing anything, and not sure how I could break z wave switches! I’m an Iris transplant and did not have issues like this on iris (but love the additional flexibility ST provides). Is what I’m posting fairly standard for device issues or do things seem a little more problematic than the “norm” over a fairly small window of time?


#2

It’s not just you. When SmartThings works as intended, it’s absolutely my favorite home automation system, but it is just not reliable enough for many of my use cases and I’ve had to move a lot of devices off of it. I’m quadriparetic, so I have to pay someone else even to change the batteries in a device. I realized that because of the amount of maintenance required, SmartThings was costing me about $50 a week. It wasn’t a huge amount of work, but it was a lot of constant fiddling just to keep things working that had already been working.

The company is very aware of the issues and they have committed to improving reliability and stability. The CEO posted to these forums a couple of months ago:

They also made a major corporate commitment about a month after that and hired Robert Parker, who was a director of engineering at Amazon, as their new head of engineering.

For myself, since last November I have yet to go 10 days without an impactful SmartThings failure. The exact error varies, as well as the devices involved. It’s just an ongoing situation.

I certainly hope that they achieve a stable environment. From an engineering standpoint, I’d give Parker a year to turn things around, but I would guess realistically that Samsung will set a shorter timeline than that. But it needs to have more predictability before they can release it as a feature on Samsung televisions. So I’m sure there are a lot of people looking into this.

If you’re interested, the following has my own experiences, but you can just search the forum for stability or reliability and you will find much discussion.


#3

JD, many thanks for your reply and the information it contained. I’ve been seeing similar posts from others also. I’m a newbie to ST so I’m just catching up on the history and hoping as you mentioned, things get better soon. I’m certainly not in your situation where it’s costing me $50 per week so I’m ok with the issues so far, but my hope is I’m not playing perpetual repair man with the platform (as it looks like you’ve been doing).

So far I’ve paid $99 with no reoccurring charges so I’ve more than got my money’s worth overall. For that $99 I’ve got a system that has amazing integrations and capabilities compared to the one that I came from (that also required a $10 per month payment).

Things will change quickly for me if I have to redo existing devices all the time as reconfiguring smart apps and third party integrations like IFTTT and Stringify are time consuming. Hoping for the best, thanks for all the info!


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #4

I’ve been with ST for right at one year. I’ve got around 150 physical devices in my system. And I love it.

There have been and continue to be problems with the infrastructure, but inn the past year I have seen many improvements.

Take for example the core carrier of modes. The first few months I refused to use them due to the total unreliability. But that changed and I adapted and improved my system. That was major progress.

But, as I said problems remain. This morning I had two mode changes fail to occur. That was literally the first time in many many months.

There are glitches here and there as well, but they are minor things I tend to overlook.

But, any time they mention a hub update, prepare yourself to be busy with your system.

I agree, I’ve gotten my money’s worth from the system and I honestly believe the company is moving in the right direction, albeit slowly.

I’m just hoping they do not get overtaken and wiped out.


(Dan) #5

I’ve been at this for two years. I was ready to throw my system in the garbage shortly after that v2 update. I had spent hours resetting devices and tweaking rules. It was awful. Since that point, SmartThings did admit some failings and has been moving forward.

I recently moved from Florida to North Carolina and had to tear down the whole system. To my surprise, I was able to reconnect most devices without issue. The system has been quite stable except for the Hue flukes we’ve experienced of late. Some odd failures I was getting in my old house are no longer failing (probably better mesh). I have also used longer network cables to separate my hubs and my router.

Dollar-for-dollar, I am not sure there is a better solution out there. We are all on the bleeding edge and each supplier/platform has its good, bad, and ugly. I am optimistic we’re past the ‘ugly’ phase here. In the end you may get some odd behavior, but this community has also been amazing. Welcome to the bleeding edge.


#6

Welcome to NC! I recently moved a v1 hub set up I had in Raleigh to my parent’s home in Charlotte, and it went perfectly.

I’ve been with ST since almost the very beginning, and there have been big ups and downs. I was close, very close, to getting a Vera hub, but I didn’t and I’m glad I didn’t. I’ve spent a significant less amount of time supporting my system, and more time improving automations and having it add value. Things for me are working better then ever.

I do hope we’re past ugly with ST reliability, but ugly is in the eye of the beholder… People will still freak out if their switch takes 5 seconds to work without trying to diagnose why (interference, distance, no repeaters in their mesh, etc).


(Aaron S) #7

enough said (boom chars!)


#8

The most recent update took away the ability to add new modes through the mobile app, but added a glitch where routines that change modes get stuck and the only workaround is…To add a new mode.

Widgets were only working for a few minutes. The workaround is to make them stable for 48 hours and then they stop working again.

There have been three different issues with Hue Reliability in the last month and they’re not all fixed yet. During that period, marketing sent out an email about how great the SmartThings/Hue integration is.

Official integration with Samsung appliances, including the robot vacuum, broke completely, but support was telling at least one customer that they haven’t received any trouble reports and they should try rebooting their hub.

All of these problems were caused by official updates. Most of them, including the Samsung vacuum issue, never made the status page.

If you have to pay somebody else to do the maintenance on the system, you’d start seeing “ugly” pretty fast. :wink:

Just sayin’…


#9

Like I said, “hope”… I don’t disagree the last update was on the uglier side…

I wish it was:


(Dan) #10

JD, I’d hardly recommend this system to anyone who has needs that would require paying someone to do the maintenance. I just wouldn’t trust any home automation for critical services; however, if it can make your life markedly better, than I’d make that recommendation.

The Hue integration was a shining star up until this last round of updates with both ST and Hue itself. Very odd behavior, and I was able to bulldog my way through it with multiple CoRE pistons; however, that is still not ideal.

My baby may just be prettier than yours. :slight_smile:


(Eric) #11

Is this really true? I’d expect ST should be sending an email with an official workaround. I didn’t realize that this was happening, but I am not home right now. Wife still is.

@Aaron has acknowledged the issue to me. I submitted a ticket and they are working it.


#12

I agree. From about March until this month everything had been about 100% for me. I have some perfect automation routines setup and I forget most days that I have an HA system because everything just works. It’s like the ultimate goal with HA, to just forget everything is there. Now all of this Hue-related delay and dropout crap has crippled my system.

I would gladly pay some kind of monthly fee if it guaranteed me 100% reliability. I know what the ceiling of this system can be and it is worth money. I just don’t know if its a resources thing with ST or what. Not sure more money being thrown at them would help though.


(Eric) #13

I’d pay a monthly fee for less than but close to 100%.
That is a problem for me. I’ve spent way more money on non-ST devices.

Example, one could drop $250 on some LIFX, Osram, or Hue bulbs, another $100 on switches and only $99 on a hub.