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Tue, Sep 7, 2021 9:36 AM

As a new user of Simplisafe

I have had Simplisafe just under a week.

Hopefully, I am not naive in believing that a large number of the issues with the system inside the house have been largely addressed. According to the forum posts it does seem that the customer support is not as responsive as it ought to be.

Putting that aside for a moment, The system as delivered was simple to install and activate and has considerable and effective customisation that allows a very tailored home security system. The idea that you can buy a basic system and update any month that you have spare "pocket money' is attractive. You can either set up a "just about OK' make-do system, or build a "james bond style, we will get the bastards if they even so much as touch my house' solution - assuming you have enough valuable items and are rich enough to afford the replacement batteries. (But of course, if you are, you wouldn't even be reading this post, let alone buying a system from Simplisafe).

What I have experienced thus far, is that the system works well inside the house. During the 72 testing period I tested all of it. the alarms go off, the secondary siren is loud enough to get the neighbours attention and I have tested the new outdoor camera - more to follow. Once I have finished tinkering I am going to deliberately set off the alarm (which is now actively monitored) to see whether the service is any good. Obviously, I will make sure I am by the phone to stop any police being called. But then again, I pay their salaries also, so maybe I will also test their responsiveness. (In fairness, they did turn up, five minutes after the local fire brigade informed them they have detected a sawn off shotgun in the smouldering car that was dumped outside my house. And after that we had the lot. Helicopter, armed police (machine guns not handguns), sniffer dogs. To be honest, I am glad I didn't have an outdoor security camera that day because I might have seen the robbers parking across my gate and confronted them. They had already discharged the shotgun at the stolen cash box in a desperate attempt to open it. they might have panicked and shot me. There is some sort of a lesson here!!)

The day after the system was purchased, Simplisafe announced the availability of the outdoor camera, which theoretically is the missing key of the system. So I purchased one, and arrived the next day.

Sadly, I am having a number of problems with it. Which I hope and trust Simplisafe support are now looking at. However, I am now yet again entering a "poor confidence zone'

Firstly, unlike any other similar service for anything on the internet, when I post an email to support, or use the web based version on the Simplisafe site, I received no immediate "confidence' email response that my issue was going to be looked at or had been accepted. Unacceptable.

Secondly, when I got a response (which came In reasonable time) it was the usual "are you an idiot' version. Which is O.K. We usually get around that one fairly quickly. But then I got a second "are you an idiot' email, by which time I was starting to get a little disappointed.

Eventually, the response acceot3d that there was a problem and explained that solving it might take some time. I understand this, Rome was not built in a day. HOWEVER, unlike any other tech support service with almost ANYBODY else I was not assigned a reference number by which I could enquire how well my issue was being handled. AND unlike many private technical support services I am not provided with access to anywhere which tells me what other problems are outstanding other than mine. UNACCEPTABLE.

So clearly, I have invested in a system where the support is at best "ad hoc'.

So I tried to turn to the forum - as you do when the support is ****. The web page in the U.K. referred me to the U.K. forum. Which isn't. It is this one. And logging on from the U.K. web app doesn't work. Another email to support. Response - "Use the USA version, your U.K. logon will work there'.

Well hello guys - those who have bothered to read this far.

As a U.K. user of a system sold in the U.K. (for some time, I gather) I am quite surprised that I get sent a "yard sign' (whatever, the f*** one of those is p most be an American "thing') with a USA telephone number on it. WTF? And I get sent emails about telling my secondary contacts to expect calls from USA telephone numbers. Again WTF? And the more I do research into this product, the more and more I can see that little has been done to properly "tailor the system' for the U.K. market. So I have for to wonder ..........  Yes, I know, CONFIDENCE is what security systems are all about. I am sure that somebody in Chicago will send the police round when my alarm in the U.K. goes off. That would a lot safer than trying to answer a call in Chicago or Kabul (or so I hear).

Now the camera - Superb, if you want the features of a camera that is a fraction of the price of the Simplisafe one. It does motion detect (not all of the time) and it does record (even less) and sometimes it even produces a recorded video - with virtually no audio pickup (although this improves when you set off the secondary siren less than ten feet away. In which case you hear it as background noise). The "live feed " just collapses the Android app. (It works perfectly well with the indoor cameras).  Oh, and did I say, there is no evidence that the siren function works ("did you turn it on idiot email response) - "no it doesn't work sensible email reply. And it DEFAULTS to ON (At this point, it is lucky I am using email, otherwise I would have been firmly in to expletive territory had I been on the phone). As for audio - inbound or outbound from the camera - rubbish - inaudible - I have had better results from 10 dollar Chinese cameras.

So, to sum up - outdoor camera - online viewing (Only if you have an IPad or an IPhone) - Motion detection works, when it does, and does record. Notification of detection is so slow that the person would have probably left before you know about it. And as for a delivery person - they would already be driving up the road. So audio functions, assuming they worked at all well, would probably be of little use anyway. Because of all of these issues, the camera is itself vulnerable to theft. So you probably want to install it at least 12-15 ft above the ground (I assume you have "wheelie dustbins' in the USA that all good burglars here in the U.K. deftly use to climb up and in. Here in the U.K. The local council won't collect your waste unless you use them. And generally most households are required to have at least three. In large cities you can barely walk on the sidewalk because nobody has anywhere to put them. So gaining the odd five feet of extra height is no brainier. But at least we are saving the planet, and our oil reserves. by having vast plastic bins everywhere.

Assuming the motion detection was improved, it would be a great edition to the system that -
     1. The outdoor live feed has a manual button to press to scare the **** out of anybody you don't like the look of hanging around your house
      2. That the siren even worked
      3. That the audio was loud enough that you could tell certain person to "Go forth and multiply' with the broad assumption that he/she/they/it (or whatever ridiculous pronouns we are mandated to employ) will not come back later, steal the camera, and trash your property because they know how ineffective the Simplisafe outdoor camera is.


Other than that, it's great - but you cannot afford to rely on it - which rather defeats its own purpose. And so it scores 1 out of 10 because it has a rechargeable battery - assuming the camera doesn't get stolen when sited, as recommended by Simplisafe.

Final assessment - possibly a reasonably good system for inside the house, with possibly good monitoring. In all aspects (apart from marketing) - room for improvement. The question is does Simplisafe listen?? I will let you know. If it doesn't, I will let THE WORLD know. No pressure!!

Have a nice day. In fairness to Simplisafe, I will have more confidence that my property is being protected than I did have before. And I think that part is worth 20 pounds Sterling per month.

Captain

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4.7K Messages

1 y ago

@ paul.keith1  personal experience is the most important of all, of course, and yes, SS support is lacking at times is lacking. However, please note I dont (and never will) own an apple product (long, separate story there) and on my Android Pixel 4a, Google Nest mesh wifi, my Ansroid Samsung tablet, Win10 computer etc etc  SS3 system, including 3 simplicams AND outdoor camera work just fine. Why two different customer experiences I have no idea, as there are many different factors and thousands of miles difference.  One thing that is constant is SS support that has to step up and get its act together.

That said, I do hope your system gets to the point it is what you expected, and if not, you take advantage of the 60 day return policy. Have a good day.

140 Messages

1 y ago

OH NO!  as an apple geek..... I want to hear that long story, Captain.... so get typing!  :o)

as a quick maybe not even relevant.... but security wise I "trust" apple waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy more than I trust google!