S

Tue, Jun 2, 2020 10:51 PM

New User Experience & Suggestions

The Simplisafe system arrived this morning and I've spent the evening partially setting it up.  I am unable to setup any camera as using the iOS app, the app simply doesn't activate the iPhone's camera to allow the QR codes to be scanned.  I have contacted support via e-mail regarding this.  Some observations and suggestions from a new user:

1.  The Setup Guide is poorly laid out in terms of ordering of setup activities and is lacking some key information.  By way of example, I was unable to add any Motion Sensors following it so I went to the back looking for a Troubleshooting area at the back of the Guide.  I noticed on Page 14 the instructions for connecting the Keypad to WiFi.  As soon as I did this I was able to connect the Motion Sensors without issue.  In the notes on the forums accompanying a firmware update is was stated that the Keypad WiFi connection was moved up in the setup steps - there was no mention of connecting to WiFi when I went through the setup of the Keypad.  On checking for updates via the Keypad I am told I am up to date.

2.  There is no mention in the Setup Guide of the function of the unlabelled Red Button on the top of the Keypad.  I believe that it is a Panic Button but it isn't documented anywhere.

3.  When in Test Mode the Base Station announces that a Motion Sensor has been triggered and when pressing the Test button on top of the Siren it is also announced (by it's name only, not the fact it's a Siren).  How do I test that the Siren emits an ear-splitting sound without deliberately triggering the alarm?  There needs to be a way to test the alarm emits a noise.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 2 y

I wasn't aware that a connection to wifi was required to set up motion sensors.  When I set mine up (back in  2018 for SS3), they were just like any other sensor added via the keypad during the setup process (before activation and wifi connection).

Yes, the tiny red button on the keypad is a panic button.  No, the user manual does not state that, an oversight by SS. (and you're right, the user manual is lacking in some regards).  Btw, when using any of the panic buttons, press and hold for at least 2 seconds and then release when you need to use them.  They can also be set for certain functions such as intrusion, fire, medical (in your online control panel under devices, the settings are beside the named sensors).

Beyond test mode, unfortunately, to test the siren alarm, you have to test it in real world (by arming your system, and opening a window or door with a sensor that is armed) - you can place the siren in a closet or a room further away from you when testing and be near a keypad or have your keyfob in hand to turn it off immediately.  If you have pets, please ensure they are in a room furthest from the siren (or have it in a closet, etc), as the siren can be extremely sensitive to their ears and scary as well).  When testing in real world, if you turn off the siren/system within 30 seconds, monitoring likely will not call (they'll consider it a false alarm within 30 seconds of you turning it off, if it's beyond 30 seconds, expect a call - in test mode when testing system and sensors, expect a call from monitoring but it may not be right away, as emergencies take precedence for monitoring personnel).

I don't have the simplicams, so unable to advise with the iOS, but rather than wait for email response from SS, might want to call instead.

326 Messages

Il y a 2 y

Man, everything you said about the siren is true.  I made the unfortunate and probably permanent error of setting a siren off in the same room, about five feet away.  The darned thing was LOUD.  I think that I permanently injured my hearing with that.

7 Messages

Il y a 2 y

Finally got a couple of cameras added to the system and spent 30 minutes or so this evening testing the system.  I'm in Training/Test mode until Friday evening but called the monitoring service anyway to let them know I'd be triggering the alarm several times over a period of no more than an hour.  The siren is certainly loud but not disorientingly so.  I've already ordered an additional Motion Sensor and a Panic Alarm for the master bedroom and may order an additional keypad and a key fob.  At this point I'm reluctant to replace the Nest Smoke Alarms but if the SimpliSafe system proves reliable and accurate i.e. no false alarms I probably will swap them out.

2 Messages

Il y a 2 y

Thank you Alan:

I just received my "starter" system today and I was wondering about that unmentioned red button on the top of the keypad.  That is how I came across your comment.  Thanks for that and your other caveats.  You would think that the super-conspicuous red button would be mentioned on one of the two large keypad images included in the instruction manual.  Until I saw your comment, I thought it was an "alarm off" switch.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

Il y a 2 y

Does the Nest smoke alarm notify anyone (outside the home) if it goes off?  Cause my sister had the best smoke alarms there are, and they went off just perfectly and nobody was home and her house mostly burned down before anyone called it in.

Some people (like me) have had no false alarms, but have had alarms when sawing drywall (creating dust in the air).  Others are plagued with false alarms.  Some people follow the suggested cleaning routine which may or may not have something to do with the false alarms.  I don't clean mine anywhere near as often as I'm supposed to.

1 Message

Il y a 2 y

I had a false alarm because, for the second time, my sensor fell off the door.  I had another brand, same type of attachment, never fell off, but I guess it can happen. I'd been told I should give the dispatcher my pin.  I did, but she needed a word, so she called the police. They showed up, for my false alarm.  That happens a few times, and they figure it's a false alarm and don't hurry, or they start charging user fees.  

But, still, falling off the door happens, I guess, so I called customer support to get a new piece, because the old on broke, and some screws so I can ruin my doors, windows, trim, etc. to screw the devices in rather than risk another false alarm.  The agent said, sure, they'd send the parts and screws, no problem.

I  waited weeks.  Nothing.  Called back.  Agent told me, oh, the first agent forgot to have my parts sent, then she put me on hold again to do something and disconnected me.  I called back again.  A rude agent told me they don't have screws. When I tried to express my concern about false alarms, he hung up on me.  Loudly.  

So, now one agent has forgotten to process my order, a second has disconnected me, and a third, very rude man has hung up on me.  I think I've been treated badly enough, and it's time the company hear some feedback on their agents, so I call and ask to speak to a manager.  

Apparently, a woman asking to speak to a manager has become a cliched subject for ridicule on TwittBook, which I know, but I asked anyway.  The agent, I think, did his best.  He put me on hold to try to get a manager to talk with me.  When he came back, he reported that the manager was busy and wouldn't have time to call me back for 24-48 hours.  The agent then offered, again, to help me.  I told him why I called, but I was already planning to trash my Simplisafe equipment even at a big loss and find a new security company.  Fortunately, though, that agent did such a good job that he changed my mind and caused me to rermain, for now, a Simplisafe customer. His name is Drayton, in Floirda.  If I were Simplisafe, I'd make him CEO.  

I say that because it's apparently company policy not to allow customers to speak to anyone other than the frontline tech/customer support agents.  If Simplisafe were some other type of company, I might ignore their appallingly bad customer service and insulting attitude, but they're a security company. Security is important, so I can't ignore their incompetence.  So after thanking Drayton, I told him that I still wanted the manager to call me, even if he couldn't get around to it for 48 hours.  I decided to call the manager's bluff, because when I was told what that manager had said, in the circumstances, I could tell that s/he, too, was ridiculing a woman asking to speak to management -- I was fairly certain that the manager had no intentions of calling me back.  

And, of course, no call ever came.  So I took the time to come to this website to find an email address or form for contacting the CEO or other upper management, because after my experiences, I think that, at the very least, management should hear about their employee's incompetent actions and insulting behaviors.  

But imagine my surprise (I'm being facetious) to find that, unlike with many companies, there is no link or form on Simplisafe's website that a customer or anyone else can use to contact management.  There's only tech support access.  And I know that the manager at that function doesn't give a darn about the customer but lies, ridicules and promises call-backs that don't happen.

So now, finding that my only way to try to communicate with anyone other than the powerless and largely incompetent (except for Drayton) tech support agents, is to post on a forum.  For a security company to run their business like that, I think, is a sign that they don't deserve anyone's business.  It's a sign of total irresponsibility.  It's saying, in my opinion, of management saying, in effect, that there's nothing which you, the customer, could say that's important enough for us to put ourselves out to listen.  

Solely because of Drayton, I may keep my Simplisafe security system for a while, but as soon as something fails or I have another problem, I'll leave.  I will never buy another piece of Simplisafe equipment or recommend them to anyone, and every chance that comes up to let people know of my experiences with them, I will.  Based on it's business model, as I've encountered it, I don't think that Simplisafe is "grown up" and responsible enough to be trusted with anyone's security.

1 Message

Il y a 2 y

The system is easy to install.  I wished I did more research.   ADT's monthly monitoring fee is $20 for the $25 the same service that Simplisafe has, but Simplisafe has a cheaper option at $15 but it doe not include the phone app.  I also noticed that ADT's system is cheaper.  If I have not buy more sensors from Bestbuy I will be returning the whole system.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

Il y a 2 y

I think you'll find that long term, ADT will cost you much more and provide you less.  Keep an eye out for their contracts, which are difficult to get out of and even avoid auto-renewal.

326 Messages

Il y a 2 y

I had ADT for six years before finally getting out from under them.  In addition to being locked into a long term contract, there are a few of other downsides to ADT.

1. Adding to the system is more expensive than SS (or probably any of the other DIY systems).  I had a very barebones system.  I would have liked to update it but the cost of the sensors was ridiculous and in order to get new sensors, a service call would have been needed for them to come out and install and program it.

2. If you want to change settings on your system, you can't.  You have to have a service charge for that.  With SS, the configuration of the system in entirely up to you.

3. There is nothing preventing ADT from raising your rates and they WILL raise your rates.  In the beginning, I was paying $41.99 per month.  Six years later, I was paying almost $60 per month.

Caveat - I do not know about how ADT DIY and no contract systems work.  It's possible that some of this has changed.  This is my experience with an ADT system that was installed in April of 2014 and was cancelled in February of 2020.