Author Topic: Goodbye Vera  (Read 8201 times)

Offline jbfoster

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Goodbye Vera
« on: May 07, 2018, 01:33:36 am »
I started 5 years ago with a Vera Lite. The Vera Lite was fine and I really don't remember any major issues to speak of. I got the Vera Plus when it came out. Things were not too bad at first but things went downhill. I have a door lock, thermostat, 3 plugin modules, 4 door sensors and two light switches. Every week I get some kind of issue. Device not responding then a few hours or days later it starts working. I'm constantly getting the controller down/up notifications. A few days ago I was removing a device and Vera froze. I left it alone for a while but still froze so I unplugged Vera to reboot. Well, I guess that messed up something and I no longer have a working Vera. When I get some free time I will try resetting it. For now, I just put it up in my closet and bought Homeseer on 50% off sale for $125. I really didn't want to do Homeseer cause the cost of the Plugins. I will need to purchase 2 plugins so I will be in for about $200. The learning curve is a bit steep for the first day but I had everything set up the 2nd day. HomeSeer is totally different. The only thing that looks decent on IOS is Imperihome. My Echo responds way faster. When I say Alexa Light On, before Alexa can say OK the light is on. That never happened on my Vera. So far I am really liking how quick and responsive Homeseer is. Let's hope things don't go downhill. I did use Customer Support today and They responded back to me within 5 minutes. I really do like Vera but it has way too many bugs at the moment. I will keep an eye on things here to see where Vera goes.

Jim

Offline Sorin

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 07:07:30 am »
Hello Jim, we're really sad to see you go. I've handled a few cases of yours, myself, over the years, so I perfectly understand what you're going through.
If you need my assistance or if is there anything me or our Customer Care can do, please let me know.

Otherwise, many of the issues mentioned by you, are already being handled and many more exciting things are being baked as we speak if you decide for a return.
Sorin M. ▾ Community Manager
Vera Control, Ltd. ▾ Smarter Home Control  ▾ support@getvera.com ▾www.getvera.com ▾ +1 (866) 966-2272

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Offline kwieto

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 07:32:19 am »
many more exciting things are being baked as we speak

Like IFTTT integration, as one of many examples?

Sorry to be sarcastic, but as I was very big fan of Vera at the beginning (I still love your windows phone app), but it is also more and more difficult to justify time and effort spent on controller just to make it work properly. If you do it once a year, it might be OK, but I have major issues caused by just how the unit is designed (i.e. lack of system memory) every couple of months.
At first I thought that after my Edge got bricked because of memory issues buying Plus will solve the problem. Now CC tells me that I have big installation (about 50 physical devices, some of them are double switches or multisensors but still way below the advertised limit) and too much plugins (12, including non removable Alexa and Sercomm) and this is causing my Vera to choke.
Newest firmware update (withdrawn) is another issue.

Or waiting for solutions which are just obvious (like "AND" conditions in scene builder, not mentioning some cascading logic (if .. And/or.. then ... else if ...and/or... then....) This is available in lua, what is so difficult to add user friendly interface for that functionality?

Dear Vera - I still like your products and they have some advantages over competitors, nevertheless you're slowly but steady moving yourself out of the market.

Offline dagrider

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 09:24:05 am »
I have to agree. I loved Vera when I first bought the Vera Plus, especially considering there is a Windows and Windows Phone app. But I felt cheated when I found out that the zigbee support was not very good. I had 4 Lightify bulbs for which I could not control color temperature and kept reading that it was coming. As far as I know, still not here. Then I bought a Centralite thermostat that is supposedly supported, but not really...it doesn't report the thermostat operating state properly (guesses that the unit is operating when the current temp matches the set point which is not true; it doesn't handle the actual zigbee message when the system turns on and off) and doesn't understand the thermostat hold, which again is another zigbee message. I submitted a ticket about the thermostat and support didn't seem to understand what I was talking about. I think it was put on the bug list, but likely not important enough to fix any time soon.

I tried to create a plug-in to track when the AC fan ran in order to determine when to change the AC filter, it worked on the web interface but not on the Windows app. When I submitted a ticket I was told there was work to be done to make the phone apps match the web app...still not working. And at the same time I was told someone in the Windows group would contact me for testing, never happened.

If all you want to do is automate/control light switches/dimmers, door sensors and locks (especially if only z-wave), then Vera is great. Otherwise, frustrating to say the least.

I bought a Hubitat hub in March, and wow what a difference. I was able to create a thermostat driver that supports the operating state and the hold. The hub supports setting of color temperature and color for zigbee bulbs. It has a dashboard that you customize, and will run on any browser. They just added TTS (works like a charm) and are working on mobile phone apps. Vera only beats Hubitat in the fact that the user interface is nicer, but I prefer better bones and the ability to write my own device driver if a stock driver doesn't work for me.

I want my home automation hub to have a strong/stable firmware that supports all my devices; as such, I would rather see that Vera is working on supporting devices (and doing so properly) than working on a new user interface.

Offline peterxbmc

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 02:25:42 pm »
I find that the hardware platform Vera is designed around is lacking true power and preventing Vera from performing to its strengths. The paltry processor speed coupled with poor memory capacity really does hold Vera back performance wise.

In an age where we have credit card size single board computers like the Raspberry Pi and now the Rock64 with a 1.4ghz quad code processor and 4gb RAM the question that Vera developers need to ask themselves is, are we really doing ourselves and our customer base justice here.

Offline ZW-Tom

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 03:34:54 pm »
As I sit here waiting for Vera support to call me for a brand new VeraSecure that is totally locked up, I think about the video I want to make of me lining all my Vera controllers in a line, in the middle of the street, and driving over them with my car, followed with screen prints of all the errors and countless hours of trying to get just one of them to stay functional for more than a day. I have expected so much more from Vera. The product AND customer support have been such a letdown. I am very close to saying goodbye Vera. Way too much money and time. VeraLite, VeraEdge, VeraPlus and now VeraSecure, UI4 through UI7.  :(

Tom


Offline kwieto

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2018, 05:40:13 pm »
I submitted a ticket about the thermostat and support didn't seem to understand what I was talking about.

I've found a bug in Vera's native support for Netatmo Weatherstation (the so-called "Netamo by orangelabs" plugging installing when you choose Netatmo weatherstation from "add device" menu).
At first they guided me to @akbooer, as he made 3-rd party plugin for the station. But I was talking about "native integration". So then there were some answers after which I was sure that the people in CC don't have any idea what we are talking about (like: "try to upgrade z-wave chip" advise, when the station connects with controller over internet cloud). Then, after 4 months of exchanging e-mails some guy advised me to contact @akbooer... i think he didn't even reviewed the history of the case before answering.
Finally I was asked for some documentation and assured that the case was sent to development team... which, taking into consideration how long it takes to implement things as IFTTT, means that maybe within next couple of years it will be corrected.

In other case I got information that I have problems with memory due to some plugins, but when I asked which plugins exactly (maybe I can do some changes in my setup and live without them?), that part of conversation was just ignored.

To be fair - people on CC are very willing to help and they do great job when your controller has a breakdown, but I have impression that they don't use the system by themselves and they simply don't know nuances enough to help with less typical issues. Or they simply don't have enough training or this training is not advanced enough.
I remember when I worked at customer support call center for one of cellular companies (it was in 90's, shortly after GSM came to the market), the company gave us mobile phones for personal use. Exactly because they wanted us to become familiar with phones and how they work, as then we could provide better support for customers.

If all you want to do is automate/control light switches/dimmers, door sensors and locks (especially if only z-wave), then Vera is great.

I thought so,  but now I'm not so sure. At the beginning, most of my issues were caused by my lack of knowledge or mistakes done during scene design (like: not considering all variants which caused some scenes go crazy under certain conditions). But I've also got into troubles due to things which are far beyond "normal end-user" knowledge. For example I had some troubles because of memory drain which happened and sometimes happen again for no apparent reason. It is just like one day your your system is fine, then other day it is not responding and only unplugging it from the power might help (or brick the controller completely). No changes in the system in between and even not much activity, as it stays in empty house.
I only get to know that it was memory issue because I monitor condition of my system. But even that may not help, as recently I've got issues because memory block reserved for system files was filled up near the limit. Which is 10MB, while at the same time controller reports about 150MB memory available (free). I can't explain this any way but poor/obsolete hardware design.
You know "650kb ought to be enough for anyone" was in 80's.


I would rather see that Vera is working on supporting devices (and doing so properly) than working on a new user interface.

I need both, as stable controller is crucial, but from the other hand, interface which miss functionalities like "and" operator in scenes is just obsolete.

[Message to the Vera: I hope you'll take complains as hints what to improve. You know, complaining customers usually are loyal and WANT to continue cooperation (if they didn't, they would just go away without bothering with any comments). But to do so, you need to give them a chance, so the question is if you're willing to listen and act accordingly. You know, even most loyal users have their limits at will go at some point].
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 03:47:57 am by kwieto »

Offline Tillsy

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2018, 07:58:45 pm »
Or waiting for solutions which are just obvious (like "AND" conditions in scene builder, not mentioning some cascading logic (if .. And/or.. then ... else if ...and/or... then....) This is available in lua, what is so difficult to add user friendly interface for that functionality?

Must admit, while I did my research before buying, I made a big mistake not realising Vera's scene builder was so limited.  I presumed it was as flexible as Fibaro's with at least conditions enabling basic decisions without having to write LUA code (not that I might writing code, I'm a programmer at heart, but it shocks me that it's even necessary for such basic situations).

Likewise I chose against the HC2 because it has been out many years, so paying top dollar for obsolete hardware.  But turns out Vera is actually an incredibly slow processor, next to no memory, and very little storage... whoops :(

Offline jeubanks

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2018, 09:22:27 pm »
I started 5 years ago with a Vera Lite. The Vera Lite was fine and I really don't remember any major issues to speak of. I got the Vera Plus when it came out. Things were not too bad at first but things went downhill. I have a door lock, thermostat, 3 plugin modules, 4 door sensors and two light switches. Every week I get some kind of issue. Device not responding then a few hours or days later it starts working. I'm constantly getting the controller down/up notifications. A few days ago I was removing a device and Vera froze. I left it alone for a while but still froze so I unplugged Vera to reboot. Well, I guess that messed up something and I no longer have a working Vera. When I get some free time I will try resetting it. For now, I just put it up in my closet and bought Homeseer on 50% off sale for $125. I really didn't want to do Homeseer cause the cost of the Plugins. I will need to purchase 2 plugins so I will be in for about $200. The learning curve is a bit steep for the first day but I had everything set up the 2nd day. HomeSeer is totally different. The only thing that looks decent on IOS is Imperihome. My Echo responds way faster. When I say Alexa Light On, before Alexa can say OK the light is on. That never happened on my Vera. So far I am really liking how quick and responsive Homeseer is. Let's hope things don't go downhill. I did use Customer Support today and They responded back to me within 5 minutes. I really do like Vera but it has way too many bugs at the moment. I will keep an eye on things here to see where Vera goes.

Jim

Jim,

Don't dump the Vera box yet.  It makes for a good Zigbee controller for Homeseer.  Also yes the plugins are expensive until you think about it over a long term time period.  And you can actually use the Vera Plus box for some of the plugins and link them.  I ran my Caseta switches and Hue bulbs that way until I bought the plugins.  The quality of the plugins though makes them worth the cost, and if you look at the SDK for plugins...well I'd say the developers should charge more!

Offline kigmatzomat

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2018, 12:12:17 am »
I am in the same boat. My ui5 Vera3 was fine but I needed to migrate to ui7 for my garage door opener to work. I migrated to a VeraPlus and it has been an unpleasant mess.

Phantom devices, things that won't delete, scenes that corrupt luup code randomly, constant luup restarts, write errors, the list goes on.

The "solution" is always to wait for the new firmware. How many firmware have been retracted in the last year?

Add on the features that were advertised that don't work or just barely work. The advanced editor that will show you commands it can't use. Wifi client mode. Bluetooth. ZigBee.

What kept me around was PLEG. It overcame most of the vera weirdness to make the box useful and wasn't as subject to the luup goofiness. That and my intense lack of time to go through a migration and reprogramming process again.

But now my hvac scenes are starting to flake out and that's a must have.

Right now my decision is between HomeSeerPro on a fanless PC without serial ports or the HomeTroller SEL that has serial ports. I want the former but my time constraints may put me on the latter.

Offline Sorin

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2018, 05:51:51 am »
Dear Vera - I still like your products and they have some advantages over competitors, nevertheless you're slowly but steady moving yourself out of the market.
Sorin M. ▾ Community Manager
Vera Control, Ltd. ▾ Smarter Home Control  ▾ support@getvera.com ▾www.getvera.com ▾ +1 (866) 966-2272

HOURS OF OPERATION for Customer Care Department - 24/7

Offline Joenoo

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2018, 11:21:41 am »
After more then four years I too am on the verge of dumping Vera and buying myself a Homey from Athom.com...
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 11:24:06 am by Joenoo »
VeraPlus, Vera3, RfxcomE, 4X Greenwave NP310-f, 4x Philips Hue, 3x Aeotec ZW089, 3x ZME WallC-S, 2x ZME 05461, 2x Milight, 3x Fibaro Dimmer 2, 1x Vison ZP3102, 4x Sensative Strip. Mobile: Tasker, AutoVera, Autonotification, Autotools, Autolocation, Homewave.
Vera user since: 2014

Offline jeubanks

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2018, 12:21:46 pm »
I am in the same boat. My ui5 Vera3 was fine but I needed to migrate to ui7 for my garage door opener to work. I migrated to a VeraPlus and it has been an unpleasant mess.

Phantom devices, things that won't delete, scenes that corrupt luup code randomly, constant luup restarts, write errors, the list goes on.

The "solution" is always to wait for the new firmware. How many firmware have been retracted in the last year?

Add on the features that were advertised that don't work or just barely work. The advanced editor that will show you commands it can't use. Wifi client mode. Bluetooth. ZigBee.

What kept me around was PLEG. It overcame most of the vera weirdness to make the box useful and wasn't as subject to the luup goofiness. That and my intense lack of time to go through a migration and reprogramming process again.

But now my hvac scenes are starting to flake out and that's a must have.

Right now my decision is between HomeSeerPro on a fanless PC without serial ports or the HomeTroller SEL that has serial ports. I want the former but my time constraints may put me on the latter.

Jump on the software sales now while Homeseer is 50% off.  Worry about the hardware later.  I bought HS3Pro and thinking of buying a Pi license as well.

Offline markd

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2018, 12:59:16 pm »
Not sure Homey is better.  The interface looks good but they are dropping the web gui to move to a mobile phone only approach.  Also,  there are numberous reports of zwave issues and it appears features are being dropped quicker than they're being added.  In their blogs they call a 15 device zwave infrastructure as large!

Offline markd

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2018, 01:01:48 pm »