J

Tue, May 26, 2020 9:47 PM

Frozen Base Station; Then lost all devices

This is a two part issue. Here's a TL;DR... I am extremely frustrated with SS and their ability to handle the problem. At no point was there an ability to have the issue escalated to engineering, and the only resolution I was given was fix it yourself, here's two free months of service. None of this is acceptable. The acceptable resolution would be to have your own tech support have the tools to remedy the situation, as well as being able to directly report to engineering to get this issue discussed for potential software debugging. Now on to the actual scenario and problem.

On Friday as my wife and I were leaving town for the first time since the covid-19 pandemic, our house sitter calls us to let us know that the security system will not disarm. No problem I though, that's why I pay for the ability to use the app and remotely arm/disarm our system, as well as a camera to visually verify it was only her present in the house. However, none of the systems would respond. The app would still notify me when motion was detected at a camera, and the app believed the base station to be in away mode, yet no effort to put the system into off mode was available, either at the keypad or the app. I call technical support. The man is extremely unhelpful, essentially telling me there is nothing he can do to reset the system, and the only way to turn off the base station for a reset is to pull a battery behind a plate. That's fine, but my house sitter is a very nontechnical elderly woman. Could you please point me to a YouTube video to help? There's nothing. He tries to tell me to just search for one myself, and attempts to point me to a video, but the contents of said video were literally a slide show of the instructions, which have no photographs btw, that can be found on the website. Fine, the house sitter did not plan to leave the home due to Covid, and is fine without having a security system while at our residence. After walking her through the process myself over the phone, she has the battery removed, we tried reconnecting the base station the keypad, to no avail, and she left the base station un-powered during her stay.

Upon returning home today, I worked on reconnecting the base station to the keypad. I pulled a battery from the keypad, re-powered the base station, then re-powered the keypad. Success! The systems repaired, and the system would arm and disarm correctly. Only oddly, when re-powering the keypad which was only off for a matter of 2-3 seconds, it requested me to reconnect to wifi as if it were a new system. I then checked the app, and sure enough the whole system has reset fully; there was only a single device, the keypad, attached to the system! Every single entry sensor, alarm siren, keyfob, and motion sensor was missing from the devices list. I call technical support again, getting halfway through explaining the issue, when I am disconnected from the call. They call back, but I hear no audio from the SS technical support side. They call again, nothing. I recall support, I re explain the issue for a second time, and disconnected yet again. They call back, again no audio. Call again, no audio. I call customer support, FOR A THIRD TIME, and get a technical support person with an extremely loud fan blasting in the background. I understand working from home has put people in a new setting, but come one people. Please have an audio check before you begin working. This time, I did not get disconnected. However, my efforts were useless. My worst fear had come true; technical support had no clue why my system had completely disconnected, and they had no way of re-adding my devices, even though they had every single serial number sitting in front of them. The only thing I could do was walk through my house and manually add each device back to the system, as well as renaming them so I know which sensor is which. When I asked if they can escalate the issue to engineering/ software dev team to prevent other customers from having the same issue since the tech support folks seem to have never had this issue occur before, I am told that they have no method of contacting them, and only their bosses boss is able to escalate, if they deem necessary. I'm sorry, but why are the boots on the ground so far removed from the folks who are able to make permanent changes? This entire system is convoluted and bloated with management, all while not providing services that are actually useful.

In the end, I'm left with a bad taste in my mouth. Tech support never provided me any information that ended up being useful. They were not able to remedy the issue on a system that is most crucially needed when you are away from the system. The only remedy is for you to be present. What would happen should I be away on travel without a house sitter for extended time? Does tech support seriously have no way of connecting to the station? Why is there no way to ensure my heartache is not experienced by other users by having the people who maintain the software become aware of a glaring software issue, either by some sort of hardware malfunction or a software update problem? How am I able to leave home again, confident that my security system will respond correctly, and not be stuck in away mode without being able to be tripped? I have been given 2 months of free service for the troubles and was encouraged to reach out here. But if I am not able to find a reasonable resolution to my strife, I may just have to take my business elsewhere...

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 2 y

It's been reported here a few times, situations similar to yours (unable to disarm, stuck in Away mode, app not disarming, and losing devices from the list) - unfortunately, most of those posting here do not post back with how they resolved it, or what tech support did or told the user how to resolve it.  It really is unfortunate and a PITA that users can't be escalated to senior supervisors - it didn't use to be that way, but sometime after the Xmas holiday, apparently, users have to fight tooth and nail to get to speak to a supervisor.

I'm only asking, but is it possible the sitter wasn't entering the correct PIN to disarm?  Or the sequence? (pushing Off, then PIN).  Is it possible something on the keypad was stuck? (this has been reported as well, and sometimes a defective keypad).

I think that any time the base station is unpowered (either intentionally, manually, etc), it reverts to cellular connection and the keypad will prompt you to re-connect to wifi via using the keypad.  I've had to do this countless times if the base was not powered, or via wifi disconnects, or reconnecting after a power outage.

In any event, I would keep trying to get to a supervisor, sometimes you have to be assertive, explain your frustration (as politely as possible) and that issues like this need to be known to supervisors and engineering.  I know this isn't what you wanted to hear, but the rest of us here are in the same boat - sometimes all it takes is a really cool rep on the phone who truly understands the issue or the frustration and will escalate it to a supervisor.

2 Messages

No resolution unfortunately. I know it was not the user error as I tried to disarm remotely though the app and the tech support people were unae to get the base station to respond.

An update on this situation is even worse than the original post unfortunately: the same thing has happened once again, the system is frozen and the keypad is no longer communicating with the base station. The base station will not respond to ketfob or app commands either. I believe either the keypad, base station, or both are needing to be replaced. The fact that this has happened has made me lose confidence in simplisafes credibility and reliability. I will most likely be returning the system for a refund...

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 2 y

If you recently bought the system within the last 60 days, you can of course, return for a refund.  If it's past the 60-day return, you might be out of luck.  Btw, the 60 days starts from the date of the order, not when it was shipped or received.

It is quite possible the keypad or the base (or both) need replacements.  And, if you have SS3, you might want to call SS again and ask what module you have in your base station.  Some of the SS3 base stations (and the majority of SS2 base stations), may need a new 4G compatible module (SIM).  Although, I've not heard of systems freezing up due to the older modules, but they will stop responding at some point if your cellular carrier shuts down 2 or 3G.  

Beyond that, if you've already done troubleshooting with SS, I'd ask for keypad AND base station replacements - as you say, your experience does not lend to any confidence in safety.  Keep after them to resolve this.

1 Message

Il y a 2 y

I had the same issue during the last couple of weeks which lead me to this post.

During this issue, I also had a notice that there was a power outage online and on the app even though there wasn't. After resetting all keypads and devices three times in the same number of days, I tried one more option as a last resort. I purchased new NiMH batteries and changed out the ones in the base station. Worked like a charm. Everything has been fine since.

I'm not sure why Simplisafe requests you to contact them if you need new batteries unless it's to make sure you use NiMH replacements, but it's as simple as removing one screw and changing them out.

12 Messages

Il y a 1 a

Here it is a year later and the same thing happened to me (on a brand new system).  Lost all devices.  A lot of devices.  Some I will have to climb on a ladder to reinstall.

Am I hearing that if the batteries in the base go bad, it will also lose everything?  Not good.  There are electronic components call "non-volatile memory"  These little wonders have been available since early computer days.  They make it so you DON'T have to lose everything when batteries fail...

Captain

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4.7K Messages

Il y a 1 a

@danlor.eglrock1  In the past 6 months I too appeared to have lost all my device settings. I did a hard reboot on the base and then refreshed my dashboard. At least in my instance everything was back to normal. Not a big deal. First and last time it occurred over the 3+ years I have used SS3.

12 Messages

Thanks for the info.  I did not try to reboot my base.  And by this I think you mean unscrew the bottom and take the batteries out?  

I did not try this because everything seemed normal after I took the batteries out of the keypad and reinstalled it.  Everything seemed normal, except of course all my devices were gone.  I'll try that next time.  Not great that I would have to do that, but better than having to go all around 3 floors and detached garage to reinstall everything.

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

Il y a 1 a

danlor.eglrock1,

We should ask. When you noticed that all of your sensors had disappeared, was that on the SimpliSafe app, or on the Keypad itself? If the app, then we don't want to discount the possibility that the app just has the wrong info. Performing a Base Station Reset, and then pressing the Refresh button on the app, should pull the correct info from the Base Station again.

- Johnny M.
SimpliSafe Home Security