Author Topic: Coming from SmartThings, 1 week into it.  (Read 9219 times)

Offline jamieboy05

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Coming from SmartThings, 1 week into it.
« on: March 12, 2016, 03:18:18 pm »
Hello:

I'm a new customer that was very excited about the VeraPlus release.  I ordered it and received it earlier this week.  I'm moving to you from Smartthings, however, I'm thinking I'm gonna go back to the Smartthings platform.  This new controller has been a nightmare!

1).  The first issue I'm having is with the System Alert's in the yellow bar on the dashboard page.  I cannot get these to ever clear...  They'll clear and come back, or clear from the logs under Settings, but not from the dashboard.  They're annoying, and make me think that something's wrong with a device, when it's reporting some nonsense.

2). The energy card on the dashboard shows no information.  I have added my home energy monitor from aeotech (which you claim to support) and it shows up with the 3 different devices (also annoying and creates a lot of clutter) on the devices tab, reporting the information, however when I click energy, I get "Ergy gateway serial is not present in user: No cookie".  I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling the app; uninstalling then clicking on energy, accepting the user agreement then installed again; installing through the apps menu; uninstalling, rebooting, accepting and reinstalling but nothing works.  When I go to the ergy website, it says that they don't currently support the Vera platform due to changes in the UI.  This is ESPECIALLY frustrating because that's a big selling feature, and it's yet another thing that doesn't work.

3) The weather in the upper right hand corner rarely shows the correct information.  It'll bounce back and forth between what is actually is and weather from someplace a lot warmer than my house... I have to go back in settings and update the location information and restart the box for the information to update.

4). You have a very limited database of truly compatible devices.  I can pair a device as a generic z-wave or zigbee device, however half of the functionality either doesn't work, or it shows up incorrectly in the Vera.  Examples being, the motion sensors I have are Zigbee Motion sensors, but also should relay temperature... The temperature does not relay and there's no way to change the settings of the device to add it (without cracking open a programming book).  One of the GE Switches I have installed is ACTUALLY a Fan switch not a Light switch, and there's no way to change the device icon to match the device.  One of my plug-in Jasco dimmer modules won't turn on half the time because it keeps saying the battery in it is dead (when it's PLUG IN module and contains no battery's) The Garage Door opener I installed showed up as a door lock, so everytime I clicked on unlock all, my garage doors opened as well... NOT something I wanted by any means...

5)  Your app integration is not reliable.  I had applications crash, or mysteriously delete themeselves, and they all show up under the DEVICES menu under apps cluttering this interface even more.

6). The Bluetooth radio serves no function apparently.  I could never get it to find devices, nor I find and pair with it from any device.

Smartthing's IDE backend was more user friendly, allowing you to create custom applications and device types easily.  I have kind of read up on how to do it with Vera, however, it's going to require a lot more time than I'm willing to spend learning.  The UI is slow and laggy... I have problems with adding devices because the configuration screen times out or the device will be added but the page never continues forward.  So I'm at a loss as what to do except go back to SmartThings. It's looking a lot better than this.

Offline Marc Shenker

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Re: Coming from SmartThings, 1 week into it.
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 12:23:47 pm »
Hi jamieboy05,

You say a lot here, I only saw your post because it required approval by an Admin. Much of what you have said here really should be in a Customer Care ticket so we can help you resolve the issues. Email support@getvera.com and enable remote access by going Settings--> Customer Care and include the code in the email me. Please CC me so I can track you ticket.

Regarding the apps, we do not maintain them nor are we responsible for them. There are a few that the authors have chosen not to update their plugins to UI7, unfortunately there is little we can do to force them, the reason they are still available is that we have users who still use our older user interfaces.

Regarding the Bluetooth device functionality; we have lots of plans there. Be patient. There are a lot of exciting things coming to the platform, the hardware was the fist step.

There are many more Z-Wave devices that are compatible with the platform. To be included in the list the device had to score over a 7/10 in compatibility. Devices that are included in the UI are ones where we have taken the the time and effort to create a wizard that walks you through the steps to include/pair the device.
Marc Shenker ▾ Sr. Manager of Community Relations and Development
Vera Control, Ltd. ▾ Smarter Home Control ▾ www.getvera.commarc@getvera.com ▾ +1 (866) 966-2272 x814

Offline Trotsky40

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Re: Coming from SmartThings, 1 week into it.
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 01:20:47 pm »

6). The Bluetooth radio serves no function apparently.  I could never get it to find devices, nor I find and pair with it from any device.


At least the Bluetooth radio is active in the VeraPlus. The Smarthings V2 hub has the radio but it is completely disabled so you can't do anything with it.
Vera Plus- A wide variety of z-wave devices, a few zigbee devices, Sonos, and Phillips Hue bulbs via Hue Bridge.

Offline ChrisK

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Re: Coming from SmartThings, 1 week into it.
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 03:13:30 pm »
@Marc, I think it would be useful if there was a list of known problems and ranking in severity.  It is hard to be patient when we are in the dark on when things might be fixed.  I opened a ticket a couple of weeks ago and have no idea when and if a resolution will be coming.  As much as I want my Vera Plus to do what I want, I am not sitting back idling.  I purchased a Wink Hub and have a SmartThing hub  on the way.

Offline Z-Waver

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Wow!
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 05:24:43 pm »
A scathing review and ALL of it is valid! There's no real fix for him at Customer Care, there's only explaining why it will not work.

@Marc Shenker - This thread really needs to be pushed upstream in your command chain. My tone seems to be directed at you personally, but what follows is directed at Vera Ltd. not (just) you. As you may have seen from my posts, I'm a long time user of Vera and even I have been "guilty" of explaining away issues. But all of @jamieboy05 issues are 100% valid and most are LONGSTANDING issues, well overdue for a fix.

1.)  System alerts on the dashboard. - People have complained about the inability to clear these since they were first implemented in UI6. Forum members have figured out how to zero the log file and implemented LUUP to do it, but a {Clear} button that works should have been in place long ago if not outright removing the banner.

2.) Energy reporting/monitoring. - Ergy has be a massive pain point and a problem since UI5 or maybe even earlier. That PoS plugin should have been completely removed from Vera when you launched UI6, but it's still bundled by default in UI7 and it's still causing confusion and issues. It's not at all unreasonable for people to expect Ergy to work and expect it to NOT break Vera by simply enabling it and exploring its existence. It's not unreasonable for them to find some documentation on it either.

3. Wonky weather. - Meh. But, Vera failing to remember her location? That needs fixing! And it should not be so hard/unintuitive for people to manually enter their Lat/Lon. The "fancy" hidey bits javascript interface is not intuitive and it just increases the slowness of an already slow interface. Dump that rubbish.

4. Limited compatible devices. - There are a few Z-Wave devices that need to be incorporated - device files and functionality- into Vera. Some users have been begging for them to be updated for a year. There's zero excuse for Fibaro sensors or others to still not work with Vera. And, launching Vera Plus with Zigbee compatibility as a selling feature with only three or some such compatible Zigbee devices takes some marketing balls. I know that there was a lot of demand for the Plus, but people should have been warned up front that ZigBee didn't support any devices. There's still time to add a banner with cautionary warnings that the functionality is pending to the Vera Plus product page and avoid further future ill will and angry customers.

5. App integration. - I'm not sure if the user is referring to Vera plugins. Naturally, these are beyond Vera's control. But, if he is referring to Vera smartphone apps, then he's got another valid point. The Native Vera smartphone apps are atrocious! Ooh, it's got geofencing. But it only "works" with one phone and it mostly doesn't work worth a hoot. Vera could have bought one of the existing third party apps and had a better offering. Furthermore, unless Vera Ltd. is going to RADICALLY improve the smartphone app, buying out one of the third parties might still be a good idea.

6. Bluetooth serves no function. - The front of the Vera Plus box proudly and prominently advertises ZigBee, Bluetooth and WiFi functionality. Bluetooth is completely unusable at this time. Vera Ltd. didn't even offer an option to use it for some sort of Home/Away presence against a smartphone. It literally is unusable. ZigBee is only slightly better. The WiFi implementation is barely usable, still lacking configuration capability for the 5GHz radio, and no client mode configuration option.

It's a sad state of affairs. Hearing the constant complaints since the launch of Vera Plus has got to be demoralizing for the Vera Ltd. staff and it cannot be good for business either. But, so many of the complaints are long standing and valid. I'm not talking about the countless; 'I wish it did this' or 'I mistakenly thought it did that'. I'm talking about stuff advertised on the box that never worked. Vera Plus literally does NOT do what it says on the tin!

In my opinion, Vera Ltd. has enjoyed a market leading position in the past, certainly in terms of Mios. But recent releases from large scale manufactures and retailers quickly, almost instantly, eclipsed Vera's market. Fortunately for Vera, most have been miss starts, so far. Vera Ltd, cannot afford to squander what little lead it may currently enjoy. 

Piling on poor quality will establish a very negative connotation for Vera in the market place. Known issues need to be fixed. This is much more important to Vera's future than releasing a security and monitoring option that will be even more fraught with issues and complaints. Development resources - good ones - need to be focused on the current product. Development on future product needs to be deprioritized, at least temporarily.

Ignore your customers at your peril.


You have my permission, indeed my encouragement, to delete this post. But, show this thread to upper management. "Your house is on fire" and it seems that you've mistakenly chosen to use Z-Wave smoke detectors.  ;)

Edit: I forgot to rant about the lack of a manual. People can't RTFM if there is no FM.

I also forgot to address the inability to change device icons. People have been asking for that since Vera's inception. I presume that Vera Ltd. has made a conscious decision to never implement such a feature.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 05:40:35 pm by Z-Waver »

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Wow!
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2016, 06:06:59 pm »
A scathing review and ALL of it is valid! There's no real fix for him at Customer Care, there's only explaining why it will not work.

@Marc Shenker - This thread really needs to be pushed upstream in your command chain. My tone seems to be directed at you personally, but what follows is directed at Vera Ltd. not (just) you. As you may have seen from my posts, I'm a long time user of Vera and even I have been "guilty" of explaining away issues. But all of @jamieboy05 issues are 100% valid and most are LONGSTANDING issues, well overdue for a fix.

1.)  System alerts on the dashboard. - People have complained about the inability to clear these since they were first implemented in UI6. Forum members have figured out how to zero the log file and implemented LUUP to do it, but a {Clear} button that works should have been in place long ago if not outright removing the banner.

2.) Energy reporting/monitoring. - Ergy has be a massive pain point and a problem since UI5 or maybe even earlier. That PoS plugin should have been completely removed from Vera when you launched UI6, but it's still bundled by default in UI7 and it's still causing confusion and issues. It's not at all unreasonable for people to expect Ergy to work and expect it to NOT break Vera by simply enabling it and exploring its existence. It's not unreasonable for them to find some documentation on it either.

3. Wonky weather. - Meh. But, Vera failing to remember her location? That needs fixing! And it should not be so hard/unintuitive for people to manually enter their Lat/Lon. The "fancy" hidey bits javascript interface is not intuitive and it just increases the slowness of an already slow interface. Dump that rubbish.

4. Limited compatible devices. - There are a few Z-Wave devices that need to be incorporated - device files and functionality- into Vera. Some users have been begging for them to be updated for a year. There's zero excuse for Fibaro sensors or others to still not work with Vera. And, launching Vera Plus with Zigbee compatibility as a selling feature with only three or some such compatible Zigbee devices takes some marketing balls. I know that there was a lot of demand for the Plus, but people should have been warned up front that ZigBee didn't support any devices. There's still time to add a banner with cautionary warnings that the functionality is pending to the Vera Plus product page and avoid further future ill will and angry customers.

5. App integration. - I'm not sure if the user is referring to Vera plugins. Naturally, these are beyond Vera's control. But, if he is referring to Vera smartphone apps, then he's got another valid point. The Native Vera smartphone apps are atrocious! Ooh, it's got geofencing. But it only "works" with one phone and it mostly doesn't work worth a hoot. Vera could have bought one of the existing third party apps and had a better offering. Furthermore, unless Vera Ltd. is going to RADICALLY improve the smartphone app, buying out one of the third parties might still be a good idea.

6. Bluetooth serves no function. - The front of the Vera Plus box proudly and prominently advertises ZigBee, Bluetooth and WiFi functionality. Bluetooth is completely unusable at this time. Vera Ltd. didn't even offer an option to use it for some sort of Home/Away presence against a smartphone. It literally is unusable. ZigBee is only slightly better. The WiFi implementation is barely usable, still lacking configuration capability for the 5GHz radio, and no client mode configuration option.

It's a sad state of affairs. Hearing the constant complaints since the launch of Vera Plus has got to be demoralizing for the Vera Ltd. staff and it cannot be good for business either. But, so many of the complaints are long standing and valid. I'm not talking about the countless; 'I wish it did this' or 'I mistakenly thought it did that'. I'm talking about stuff advertised on the box that never worked. Vera Plus literally does NOT do what it says on the tin!

In my opinion, Vera Ltd. has enjoyed a market leading position in the past, certainly in terms of Mios. But recent releases from large scale manufactures and retailers quickly, almost instantly, eclipsed Vera's market. Fortunately for Vera, most have been miss starts, so far. Vera Ltd, cannot afford to squander what little lead it may currently enjoy. 

Piling on poor quality will establish a very negative connotation for Vera in the market place. Known issues need to be fixed. This is much more important to Vera's future than releasing a security and monitoring option that will be even more fraught with issues and complaints. Development resources - good ones - need to be focused on the current product. Development on future product needs to be deprioritized, at least temporarily.

Ignore your customers at your peril.


You have my permission, indeed my encouragement, to delete this post. But, show this thread to upper management. "Your house is on fire" and it seems that you've mistakenly chosen to use Z-Wave smoke detectors.  ;)

Edit: I forgot to rant about the lack of a manual. People can't RTFM if there is no FM.

I also forgot to address the inability to change device icons. People have been asking for that since Vera's inception. I presume that Vera Ltd. has made a conscious decision to never implement such a feature.

I'll quote it so it sticks again...... but Bravo on your post. I couldn't agree with you more and I think over the last few years I just learned to work around the issues, not use built in home mode, geofence, stock app...... And others but that wasn't the real solution but it's the only one VERA offers. These are just some of the reasons for my slow exit.

Offline BOFH

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Re: Coming from SmartThings, 1 week into it.
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2016, 06:11:12 pm »
I've been watching the Vera Edge and Vera Plus since I got them and they have the exact same location as my Vera 3 using Ui7 and show the same temperature. I set the location on one using the town and the other using the lat and long values gleaned from the geofence for my home location. The temperature also matches what WU reports from a local station less than a 1.5 miles away. I am not sure why yours is causing you these issues.

On the Ergy plugin and prominent slide taking up space on the UI, I agree, that thing really needs to go and be made optional. It was barely usable under UI5 and I have never been able to get it to work under Ui7 so I really do not use it. I believe I am far from the only one in the community with that sentiment.

On the notifications I again agree. They are confusing and I've been ignoring them for the longest time due to the amount of useless 'notifications' popping up. Which is a sad state for when there really is a notification I should take note of.  That really needs a rework to make it do what it is supposed to do.

As far as applications go, I'm assuming you mean community written plug-ins. I have no problem with them showing up under Devices as that is what they basically are. That is what the Dashboard is for. You select the devices you want to view by clicking the 'star' in the upper right corner. Only those devices with a 'yellow star' show up in the dashboard. Allowing you to hide any devices you don't want to see but preserving full access to them in the Device view. To be totally honest, I rarely use the Web UI, but control most of it via Android phones/tablets used as wall controllers using AuthomationHD and Imperihome. I only use the Web UI if I have to make changes or add/configure devices. I've been spending a lot of time on it lately though as I am starting to make the switch from 2 Vera 3 units to a Vera Plus and a Vera Edge unit.



Vera3 UI5 UI7 Edge Plus
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Offline sre

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Re: Wow!
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2016, 09:11:55 pm »
I fully agree with Z-waver and Integlikewhoa, some one should own this project and get it off as soon as possible.  Emiting feelng that the company is not really interested in the products they sell, is bad indeed.

A scathing review and ALL of it is valid! There's no real fix for him at Customer Care, there's only explaining why it will not work.

@Marc Shenker - This thread really needs to be pushed upstream in your command chain. My tone seems to be directed at you personally, but what follows is directed at Vera Ltd. not (just) you. As you may have seen from my posts, I'm a long time user of Vera and even I have been "guilty" of explaining away issues. But all of @jamieboy05 issues are 100% valid and most are LONGSTANDING issues, well overdue for a fix.

1.)  System alerts on the dashboard. - People have complained about the inability to clear these since they were first implemented in UI6. Forum members have figured out how to zero the log file and implemented LUUP to do it, but a {Clear} button that works should have been in place long ago if not outright removing the banner.

2.) Energy reporting/monitoring. - Ergy has be a massive pain point and a problem since UI5 or maybe even earlier. That PoS plugin should have been completely removed from Vera when you launched UI6, but it's still bundled by default in UI7 and it's still causing confusion and issues. It's not at all unreasonable for people to expect Ergy to work and expect it to NOT break Vera by simply enabling it and exploring its existence. It's not unreasonable for them to find some documentation on it either.

3. Wonky weather. - Meh. But, Vera failing to remember her location? That needs fixing! And it should not be so hard/unintuitive for people to manually enter their Lat/Lon. The "fancy" hidey bits javascript interface is not intuitive and it just increases the slowness of an already slow interface. Dump that rubbish.

4. Limited compatible devices. - There are a few Z-Wave devices that need to be incorporated - device files and functionality- into Vera. Some users have been begging for them to be updated for a year. There's zero excuse for Fibaro sensors or others to still not work with Vera. And, launching Vera Plus with Zigbee compatibility as a selling feature with only three or some such compatible Zigbee devices takes some marketing balls. I know that there was a lot of demand for the Plus, but people should have been warned up front that ZigBee didn't support any devices. There's still time to add a banner with cautionary warnings that the functionality is pending to the Vera Plus product page and avoid further future ill will and angry customers.

5. App integration. - I'm not sure if the user is referring to Vera plugins. Naturally, these are beyond Vera's control. But, if he is referring to Vera smartphone apps, then he's got another valid point. The Native Vera smartphone apps are atrocious! Ooh, it's got geofencing. But it only "works" with one phone and it mostly doesn't work worth a hoot. Vera could have bought one of the existing third party apps and had a better offering. Furthermore, unless Vera Ltd. is going to RADICALLY improve the smartphone app, buying out one of the third parties might still be a good idea.

6. Bluetooth serves no function. - The front of the Vera Plus box proudly and prominently advertises ZigBee, Bluetooth and WiFi functionality. Bluetooth is completely unusable at this time. Vera Ltd. didn't even offer an option to use it for some sort of Home/Away presence against a smartphone. It literally is unusable. ZigBee is only slightly better. The WiFi implementation is barely usable, still lacking configuration capability for the 5GHz radio, and no client mode configuration option.

It's a sad state of affairs. Hearing the constant complaints since the launch of Vera Plus has got to be demoralizing for the Vera Ltd. staff and it cannot be good for business either. But, so many of the complaints are long standing and valid. I'm not talking about the countless; 'I wish it did this' or 'I mistakenly thought it did that'. I'm talking about stuff advertised on the box that never worked. Vera Plus literally does NOT do what it says on the tin!

In my opinion, Vera Ltd. has enjoyed a market leading position in the past, certainly in terms of Mios. But recent releases from large scale manufactures and retailers quickly, almost instantly, eclipsed Vera's market. Fortunately for Vera, most have been miss starts, so far. Vera Ltd, cannot afford to squander what little lead it may currently enjoy. 

Piling on poor quality will establish a very negative connotation for Vera in the market place. Known issues need to be fixed. This is much more important to Vera's future than releasing a security and monitoring option that will be even more fraught with issues and complaints. Development resources - good ones - need to be focused on the current product. Development on future product needs to be deprioritized, at least temporarily.

Ignore your customers at your peril.


You have my permission, indeed my encouragement, to delete this post. But, show this thread to upper management. "Your house is on fire" and it seems that you've mistakenly chosen to use Z-Wave smoke detectors.  ;)

Edit: I forgot to rant about the lack of a manual. People can't RTFM if there is no FM.

I also forgot to address the inability to change device icons. People have been asking for that since Vera's inception. I presume that Vera Ltd. has made a conscious decision to never implement such a feature.

I'll quote it so it sticks again...... but Bravo on your post. I couldn't agree with you more and I think over the last few years I just learned to work around the issues, not use built in home mode, geofence, stock app...... And others but that wasn't the real solution but it's the only one VERA offers. These are just some of the reasons for my slow exit.

Offline Marc Shenker

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Re: Coming from SmartThings, 1 week into it.
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2016, 12:28:36 pm »
Guys let me start by saying that if you really think that we put our products, our products being both the hardware and the software, out there and don't care about our users and their feedback and how they are received you are very mistaken. We had a senior management meeting yesterday with members of the team from all over world, focusing on the quality of what we do and putting in place more and better process to better insure the quality of our products.

So far this year we have increased our staffing by over 20%, we have added members to the Dev Team, Customer Care, QA and the Mobile Apps Teams amongst others as well as having promoted our best from within into management and into positions where their talents can be better used to benefit our platform and our users.

The VeraPlus puts the hardware in place for some very exciting things that we are working on. We have chosen to release it with all of the radios active even with limited product support today. It would not surprise me if there were already members of the community already playing with the Bluetooth radio. We have large companies coming to us asking to be integrated into the platform including Samsung with their connected appliances which they announced, and included us in, in their CES keynote speech.

Device integration: as many of you know, as a company we want to be compatible with as many devices as we can but it is a two way street. We had tried to get the documentation from First Alert's Zcombo for a significant amount of time to no avail; it took me shaming them publicly and asking the Executive Director of the Z-Wave Alliance to get involved in order to get the documentation we needed to integrate their device. In the case of Fibaro, pressure on them to work more closely with us from the community would help. Note that the devices listed on the compatibility pages of our website are not the only devices that are compatible on our platform; they are the devices that work best and have scored over a certain threshold. They have been certified, that means that our field Application Engineers have tested them and we that we have also included the inclusion instructions into the UI.

Z-Waver, if you do not think that we value your opinion you are very mistaken. You and others who have posted comments in this tread are both valued users and are voices who's opinion we have great respect for and we listen to very closely. I do not respond to everything I read in the forum but my lack of response should not be mistaken for us not listening. I respond to as much as I can but there are only so many hours in the day, in my opinion not nearly enough. I respond when there is something of value that I can add but I will try to respond at least an acknowledgement more often and I will ask that if there is anything that any of you think I should see to email me a link, with the volume of posts we get on a daily basis I and the others who watch the forums cannot see everything.

Z-Waver, I appreciate your mentioning that posts to me are not directed at me personally, I don't take them that way, I am the spokesperson here, that is one of the many roles that I serve at Vera. I do take what I read here in the forum and pass it to the appropriate people and over time as I percieve a prevailing attitude I pass that on as well.  I could go on for some time about the other hats that I where; most of us on the management team wear lot of hats but take note, as we are adding to the ranks of the company we are adding mostly developers and engineers whose impact will have the most and fastest impact on the platform and our users.

Note: we do not edit or delete posts from the forum unless inappropriate language is used, the post is spam or there are complaints from other members; we then judge what action should be taken. We believe that the forum belongs to our users as much as it belongs to us. If we were to delete posts for any reasons it would erode your, our users, voice and confidence that you can post here whatever you want to say whether we like it or not. There have been some very negative posts and threads in my tenure here, some very incendiary as well as posts about what platform people are leaving us for; it is not our place to edit or delete them. We do not censor the forum.

So to wrap up, there is a lot going on at Vera, we are expanding our team and improving platform. We are listening to you and value the feedback we get from you. I will try to be more vocal in the forum so you know that we are listening. We as a company are always trying to put forth the best products that we can and address all of the needs of the very diverse cross section of users that we have. We as a company are continually reviewing and improving our processes and focusing them on providing all of our users the best platform with the most choice.
Marc Shenker ▾ Sr. Manager of Community Relations and Development
Vera Control, Ltd. ▾ Smarter Home Control ▾ www.getvera.commarc@getvera.com ▾ +1 (866) 966-2272 x814

Offline Marc Shenker

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Re: Wow!
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2016, 12:50:05 pm »

Edit: I forgot to rant about the lack of a manual. People can't RTFM if there is no FM.

I also forgot to address the inability to change device icons. People have been asking for that since Vera's inception. I presume that Vera Ltd. has made a conscious decision to never implement such a feature.

I forgot to comment on documentation. We couldn't actually compile a manual and print it. Thing change too quickly. http://support.getvera.com/ is the place where we put documentation. We have recently revamped the content there, it was confusing, there was content for UI5, UI6 and UI7. It now contains documentation for UI7. We have added links to the videos here as well. Why is that important besides the fact that you get to see my pretty face? They are produced to help new users better understand the platform, I got an email the other from a user who watched the UI overview video and it answered all of the questions he was going email customer care about. Why is this important? One of the tasks on my plate is answer user questions in the videos so that they don't have to ask Customer Care so that Customer Care is available to work with users with more significant  issues which can't be handled with out a Customer Care interaction. With the advent of the new portal, users are shown links to the most important videos that will help get them oriented. Again, a deliberate step to free up the Customer Care Team.

There are a lot of other points here, I am passing this thread on to the entire management team.

We are taking steps to improve the documentation and we will continue to.
Marc Shenker ▾ Sr. Manager of Community Relations and Development
Vera Control, Ltd. ▾ Smarter Home Control ▾ www.getvera.commarc@getvera.com ▾ +1 (866) 966-2272 x814

Offline jlind

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Re: Coming from SmartThings, 1 week into it.
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2016, 01:24:57 pm »
@Marc - Maybe a little more transparency would help with the frustration about bugs.  I suggest that you use a system similar to what MediaMonkey uses: (http://www.ventismedia.com/mantis/view_all_bug_page.php).  It logs bugs/improvements and allows customers to view the progress.  Customers can even read programmer notes.  I imagine you can filter any proprietary knowledge with it.

Here's a link to MediaMonkeys changelog, which links to their bug tracker..
http://www.mediamonkey.com/information/changelog/

It is the best system I've seen or used.  It could free up a lot of support time and complement this forum tremendously.
VeraLite/VeraPlus with UI7, Multiple GE switches, GE Outlets, Aeon Smart Switches, Minimote, GE Portable outlets  Apps: (Pentair Autelis Plugin, Weather Underground, Honeywell WiFi Thermo, System Monitor, AlternateUI)

Offline margo

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Re: Wow!
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2016, 03:18:46 pm »
Thank you for your post, it was dead on!
Cheers

A scathing review and ALL of it is valid! There's no real fix for him at Customer Care, there's only explaining why it will not work.

@Marc Shenker - This thread really needs to be pushed upstream in your command chain. My tone seems to be directed at you personally, but what follows is directed at Vera Ltd. not (just) you. As you may have seen from my posts, I'm a long time user of Vera and even I have been "guilty" of explaining away issues. But all of @jamieboy05 issues are 100% valid and most are LONGSTANDING issues, well overdue for a fix.

1.)  System alerts on the dashboard. - People have complained about the inability to clear these since they were first implemented in UI6. Forum members have figured out how to zero the log file and implemented LUUP to do it, but a {Clear} button that works should have been in place long ago if not outright removing the banner.

2.) Energy reporting/monitoring. - Ergy has be a massive pain point and a problem since UI5 or maybe even earlier. That PoS plugin should have been completely removed from Vera when you launched UI6, but it's still bundled by default in UI7 and it's still causing confusion and issues. It's not at all unreasonable for people to expect Ergy to work and expect it to NOT break Vera by simply enabling it and exploring its existence. It's not unreasonable for them to find some documentation on it either.

3. Wonky weather. - Meh. But, Vera failing to remember her location? That needs fixing! And it should not be so hard/unintuitive for people to manually enter their Lat/Lon. The "fancy" hidey bits javascript interface is not intuitive and it just increases the slowness of an already slow interface. Dump that rubbish.

4. Limited compatible devices. - There are a few Z-Wave devices that need to be incorporated - device files and functionality- into Vera. Some users have been begging for them to be updated for a year. There's zero excuse for Fibaro sensors or others to still not work with Vera. And, launching Vera Plus with Zigbee compatibility as a selling feature with only three or some such compatible Zigbee devices takes some marketing balls. I know that there was a lot of demand for the Plus, but people should have been warned up front that ZigBee didn't support any devices. There's still time to add a banner with cautionary warnings that the functionality is pending to the Vera Plus product page and avoid further future ill will and angry customers.

5. App integration. - I'm not sure if the user is referring to Vera plugins. Naturally, these are beyond Vera's control. But, if he is referring to Vera smartphone apps, then he's got another valid point. The Native Vera smartphone apps are atrocious! Ooh, it's got geofencing. But it only "works" with one phone and it mostly doesn't work worth a hoot. Vera could have bought one of the existing third party apps and had a better offering. Furthermore, unless Vera Ltd. is going to RADICALLY improve the smartphone app, buying out one of the third parties might still be a good idea.

6. Bluetooth serves no function. - The front of the Vera Plus box proudly and prominently advertises ZigBee, Bluetooth and WiFi functionality. Bluetooth is completely unusable at this time. Vera Ltd. didn't even offer an option to use it for some sort of Home/Away presence against a smartphone. It literally is unusable. ZigBee is only slightly better. The WiFi implementation is barely usable, still lacking configuration capability for the 5GHz radio, and no client mode configuration option.

It's a sad state of affairs. Hearing the constant complaints since the launch of Vera Plus has got to be demoralizing for the Vera Ltd. staff and it cannot be good for business either. But, so many of the complaints are long standing and valid. I'm not talking about the countless; 'I wish it did this' or 'I mistakenly thought it did that'. I'm talking about stuff advertised on the box that never worked. Vera Plus literally does NOT do what it says on the tin!

In my opinion, Vera Ltd. has enjoyed a market leading position in the past, certainly in terms of Mios. But recent releases from large scale manufactures and retailers quickly, almost instantly, eclipsed Vera's market. Fortunately for Vera, most have been miss starts, so far. Vera Ltd, cannot afford to squander what little lead it may currently enjoy. 

Piling on poor quality will establish a very negative connotation for Vera in the market place. Known issues need to be fixed. This is much more important to Vera's future than releasing a security and monitoring option that will be even more fraught with issues and complaints. Development resources - good ones - need to be focused on the current product. Development on future product needs to be deprioritized, at least temporarily.

Ignore your customers at your peril.


You have my permission, indeed my encouragement, to delete this post. But, show this thread to upper management. "Your house is on fire" and it seems that you've mistakenly chosen to use Z-Wave smoke detectors.  ;)

Edit: I forgot to rant about the lack of a manual. People can't RTFM if there is no FM.

I also forgot to address the inability to change device icons. People have been asking for that since Vera's inception. I presume that Vera Ltd. has made a conscious decision to never implement such a feature.

Offline Chrisfraser05

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Re: Coming from SmartThings, 1 week into it.
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2016, 08:00:38 pm »
Very good posts on here.

I've been both delighted and pulling my hair out frustrated with Vera so far in the 3 months I've been using it.

Stability seems to have been a key failing, in my case Support were not too slow to get back to me and they have actually fixed the issues I've had.

On the whole though I was hoping for a little more polish, but I do also understand we are at the bleeding edge of home automation technology.

it does sound like things are going to improve, I hope this really happens.

Cheers

Offline Marc Shenker

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Re: Coming from SmartThings, 1 week into it.
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2016, 10:38:46 am »
@Marc - Maybe a little more transparency would help with the frustration about bugs.  I suggest that you use a system similar to what MediaMonkey uses: (http://www.ventismedia.com/mantis/view_all_bug_page.php).  It logs bugs/improvements and allows customers to view the progress.  Customers can even read programmer notes.  I imagine you can filter any proprietary knowledge with it.

Here's a link to MediaMonkeys changelog, which links to their bug tracker..
http://www.mediamonkey.com/information/changelog/

It is the best system I've seen or used.  It could free up a lot of support time and complement this forum tremendously.

jlind, I replied to ChirsK privately regarding this issue but I guess it is not going to go away. We are in a highly competitive business. Our competitors have gone so far as to copy the style of our videos and they have completely changed the architecture of their platforms to align more with ours. We just can't put out a detailed list of things that are not working properly in our platform. If there is an issue that you are experiecing you can email me and I can look into it. Email not private message so I can forward to other members of the team if I have to.
Marc Shenker ▾ Sr. Manager of Community Relations and Development
Vera Control, Ltd. ▾ Smarter Home Control ▾ www.getvera.commarc@getvera.com ▾ +1 (866) 966-2272 x814

Offline jlind

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Re: Coming from SmartThings, 1 week into it.
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2016, 12:07:38 pm »
@Marc - I'm not having problems and, in general, the devices I have are pretty stable for the way I use them.  I was just offering a suggestion to help minimize the frustration being voiced.  Thanks for the response.
VeraLite/VeraPlus with UI7, Multiple GE switches, GE Outlets, Aeon Smart Switches, Minimote, GE Portable outlets  Apps: (Pentair Autelis Plugin, Weather Underground, Honeywell WiFi Thermo, System Monitor, AlternateUI)