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Author Topic: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5  (Read 12676 times)

Offline sjolshagen

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Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« on: March 08, 2012, 08:02:54 am »
I - in my view - being pretty forgiving about the very first Vera2/UI5 upgrade troubles (floating point fix that broke "everything" on V2/UI5) am now completely out of patience and forgiveness. My initial forgiveness was partially because it was something I could fix with a "simple" "reset to factory settings" downgrade and restore of backup.

Then I attempted to upgrade (again) to UI5 once v1.5.322 was released. That has been an unmitigated disaster and my Vera is presently unable to communicate with _any_ z-wave device in my house. This one I can't reset to factory defaults and restore a backup because you decided to limit the restore upload size (I understand why) without checking, warning about and preventing the downloaded/saved backup file size from growing beyond the max upload size limit hard coded in restore.sh... (Free product requirement advice & there will be more free advice below)

I have ~45(ish) Z-wave devices installed, so a pretty significant investment made in Z-wave and my Vera (not just materials, but also in terms of time). Additionally, I have recommended Vera to a number of people, including people I _know_ have invested on their own. Don't I feel great about that recommendation...

The debacle that has been UI5 on my Vera2 has seriously shaken my confidence in MCV as an entity and I will from now on, actively recommend against deploying MCV products to my friends.

@MCV, if you cannot afford to hire product testers and deploy a reasonable & comprehensive QA matrix, or you cannot afford to have a support organization with the resources in place to "cover" for the fact that your QA team is either lazy, incompetent or both, the viability of your company is _seriously_ questionable (and it's frighteningly visible!)

I have waited for 5(!) days with _no_ substantive feedback on my "My Vera2 is now a brick" support case. This leads me to one of two conclusions (neither which helps instill any confidence in your company!); You're either so swamped with high priority support cases after rolling out UI5 you're incapable of responding to another high priority support case (that's terrible from both a product release management and resource allocation perspective) and/or you do not prioritize "Vera down" as being an important support case.

You did respond to my "Powering off a light with an auxiliary GE/Jasco switches does not update the UI or fire an event in UI4" case within 48 hours (wow, color me impressed... Sarcasm, just in case it isn't clear). That ticket was reported within 10 minutes of my "Vera Down" ticket, so obviously there is a prioritization problem in your support team. Let me elaborate: one case is "this is annoying and you should look to fix it", the other is a "Service Unavailable" case. You, in your infinite wisdom decided the "this is annoying" case was more important to resolve... Let me guess, your techs are measured by call resolution volume and there are no internal SLA goals or penalties for ignoring higher priority cases - assuming you - like every other support organization out there - _do_ prioritize the response to your incoming cases based on severity of the issue (and if you don't, see above)

@MCV: 5 days without addressing a "product down" support ticket is completely unacceptable! And just to be clear: I don't see how I'll ever again recommend the Vera as a product!

But I can promise you, me being unhappy and sharing it with the world is _not_ going away!

PS: Just a suggestion... By writing this post, I have presented you with an opportunity to "turn me around" (some people would not need this obvious of a hint, but a face-palm seems to be as subtle as it's possible to be for you to "get it"). Not everybody understands that the true sign of a good organization is not that they have zero issues (quality and otherwise) - research Apple & "antenna gate" or any number of issues around their iPhone launches if you didn't learn this in business school (they let you down, ask for your money back!) - it's how they respond when they have those problems that defines how good they are. Obviously, based on having been a MCV customer since the early(ish) days of Vera1 and seen plenty of examples, I've also seen you guys continuously fail to "rise to the occasion", so I'm not expecting this to be any different. But, I am - actually - a "glass half full" kind of guy and as a result, ridiculously forgiving. Until you stretch it too far. Fair warning; You are _very_ close!
Vera3/UI5 @ v1.5.622

Offline chixxi

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2012, 08:39:10 am »
I agree in so many points:
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,9472.msg64183.html#msg64183
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,9616.0.html

And as you say " ridiculously forgiving", I am sometimes asking my self why I am still using that device, and why I am still active in this forum. I do it for all the other users, trying to solve what mcv isn't solving, trying to influence mcv in a positiv way, trying to prevent some horrible experiences I had for other users, trying to improve the vera by providing all kinds of info, trying to make mcv communicating, trying trying trying...

I also stopped recommending the vera to any of my friends. Only engineering-freaks like me which are basically annoyed by any system without problems will find joy in the vera, that might be another reason I am still here.

The one point I don't agree is "... research Apple...  ...it's how they respond when they have those problems that defines how good they are..." => They don't have good customer support, they have dumb customers (like me) which buy there product even when they know it has serious issues (remember the iPhone 4 fail during the presentation from steve jobs where he continued with an iPhone 3GS. or remember that piece of "I will not swear" called iTunes). But that is an irrelevant topic in this matter.

But basically I can only agree with you, I don't have any solutions for your serious issues.  :'( I hope after your post you get the priority you need. I know this want help you, but wanted to let you know that you are not the only unsatisfied user.

EDIT: lol, nice swear prevention!!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 08:55:21 am by chixxi »
Developer of Plugins: Virtual Switch, Variable Container, Popcorn Hour Remote, Vacation Ghost. => PLUGINS HAVE BEEN UNPUBLISHED BY ME.

Offline oTi@

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2012, 09:13:15 am »
@sjolshagen,

I hear you and I don't know why MCV folks haven't responded. They should be able to map this to something that has come up before (i.e. I believe this is fixable). I'll send them a PM.

[...]This one I can't reset to factory defaults and restore a backup because you decided to limit the restore upload size
So your backup is over 2MB?

Edit: PM sent to MCV staff.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 09:24:15 am by oTi@ »
Dezwaved at the moment...

Offline osmosis

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 09:42:52 am »
I have had the Vera2 since shortly after it was released.  Honestly it looked better on paper than my actual experience has been.  I really like the z-wave (and have a bunch of devices) but I spent less time in the 80's on an X-10 system run by a computer.  Back then I "wanted" to tinker around. Today I want features to work, a nice interface and reliability. I feel than this is a step back in time.  I want another controller. Like others I have recommended zwave to friends and they are far from technical persons. They truly want to plug in the toaster and get toast.  Sadly unless you are willing to spend time well beyond what is reasonable for most homeowners or are an engineer or technogeek MCV is NOT for you. I am the aforementioned and I'm tired of messing with it.  It's like the company is a guy in his basement, doing work on an internationally launched product in his spare time aside from his normal day job.  Heck the support for free apps for jailbroken iPhones gets an immediate response from the developer. On my tablet I had a problem with a .99 game and the dev contacted me back in 4 hours, said they hadn't noticed the issue and issued a fix the next day - a .99 game......

Offline sjolshagen

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2012, 09:50:08 am »
[...]This one I can't reset to factory defaults and restore a backup because you decided to limit the restore upload size
So your backup is over 2MB?

Thanks for your support and the PM to MCV on my behalf @oTi!

No, it's 1.1MB which is .1MB above what the haserl --upload-limit value in restore.sh is set to: --upload-limit=1024 - (I am back down to 1.1.1338 at this point in time).

I'd "patch" restore.sh for a higher value (i.e. 2MB) and possibly (temporarily) redirect the upload/restore unpack location to the USB stick but AFICT, the script is read only and there's no version of restore.sh on a writable file system on my Vera2.
Vera3/UI5 @ v1.5.622

Offline sjolshagen

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2012, 09:55:36 am »
Of course, being able to restore the backup may not fix my problem with the vera2 being unable to communicate with any of the Zwave devices (since they're all "red" and unreachable now while my vera runs after having being "factory reset").
Vera3/UI5 @ v1.5.622

Offline aschwalb

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2012, 10:19:37 am »
I sure would like to hear what the alternatives in this price range are...  I have been frustrated as well but have solved most of my problems with a large zwave network by breaking it up to three units.  If you look at homeseer then you can drop $1000 bucks getting it to do what Vera is capable of doing.  (Carefully chosen words around capable).  I think a lot of problems and why this type of solution is not DIY friendly yet is that there are an infinite number of problems that can arise if you dont know what you are doing.  We have a beta software stack that is evolving, (powerful, flexible but immature), you have RF issues with zwave, you need to be an electrician to install some switches (GE 3way!?), network knowledge for Wifi and connectivity.  You can't just go to Lowes and buy this solution for a reason.  If any one here in the forums thinks this is ready for mass distribution (the reference to Apple) then you were mis-led.  It is not.  I continue to recommend this product to NOT the Apple crowd, but the geeks, nerds, engineers, adventurous people that want to learn, play, invent.  As a professional I see people frustrated because they have clients that bought a solution from them and are expecting a certain level of stability.  As far as I know the UI4 stack was pretty stable.  Just my thoughts, open to feedback and criticism... 

Offline osmosis

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2012, 11:16:03 am »
I sure would like to hear what the alternatives in this price range are...  I have been frustrated as well but have solved most of my problems with a large zwave network by breaking it up to three units.  If you look at homeseer then you can drop $1000 bucks getting it to do what Vera is capable of doing.  (Carefully chosen words around capable).  I think a lot of problems and why this type of solution is not DIY friendly yet is that there are an infinite number of problems that can arise if you dont know what you are doing.  We have a beta software stack that is evolving, (powerful, flexible but immature), you have RF issues with zwave, you need to be an electrician to install some switches (GE 3way!?), network knowledge for Wifi and connectivity.  You can't just go to Lowes and buy this solution for a reason.  If any one here in the forums thinks this is ready for mass distribution (the reference to Apple) then you were mis-led.  It is not.  I continue to recommend this product to NOT the Apple crowd, but the geeks, nerds, engineers, adventurous people that want to learn, play, invent.  As a professional I see people frustrated because they have clients that bought a solution from them and are expecting a certain level of stability.  As far as I know the UI4 stack was pretty stable.  Just my thoughts, open to feedback and criticism... 

I had Homeseer when it first came out. Left it completely operational at a house we sold. Due to 3 years of traveling and 3 years one year rentals before purchasing another home I went with Vera as it "looked good".  I do agree with you on most parts, and I am of an engineering, and technical background. The perception from their website is far from the reality. The website portrays a happy household with smart phone integration and happy campers. That couldn't be farther from reality in my mind.  I can put ANY internet DVR camera system in ANY place with HSIA and my friends can have a system that just works. My point about the iPhone app is that even if you have a jailbroken unit, the devs of those apps respond as quickly as sanctioned app developers. I believe that Vera is under priced based on it's potential capabilities and because of that price point, the company does not have the resources to fine tune the product.  Although I don't speak for them and don't know their situation, this is my perception as a user. I don't think anyone would argue that it's not a bargain price. But in the same sentence. If it doesn't perform then where is the savings. I've gotten plenty of free beach / ski resort house use by putting in a few cameras and a DVR, friends want to "be able to do what I do" with automation. But there is no way that I would open that can of worms even as a friend. I can't imagine anyone automating for a living using MCV and putting themselves in that position.  Is is "fun" to play with, sure, is it ready to hit the street. NO why would they release V3 with such a buggy firmware. If the free assistance of this forum didn't exist, you may as well stand in the yard with the Vera in your hand waiting for lightening to hit it and reset it.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2012, 11:53:36 am »
@sjolshagen We've had many support requests lately and while we hired more people it takes time until they learn enough to be able to help the customers without any additional support. We have people currently on support level 0 replying to the tickets that are coming from our website (e.g. your ticket about the GE device) which are usually not requiring much intervention on customers units, but instead requires researching and giving advices on what the next step would be.

We also received the tickets that you submitted from your Vera unit and as you probably saw, starting with UI5 we're trying to categorize and prioritize the tickets in a more fashionable way, but we're still currently a bit behind and while we're trying to prioritize them for people at support level 1 to take a look, it still hard to follow up with all the tickets that require us to log in on customers units and check the logs to see exactly what happened.

The issue you encountered with the backup is very uncommon and rare. The backups shouldn't exceed that limit in normal circumstances, but on your unit there were some files backed up when you previously encountered issues with the plugins that were causing a memory leak. Those files got included into the backup and the filesize exceeded the limit.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 12:36:17 pm by Daniel »
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Offline sjolshagen

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2012, 02:16:34 pm »
and buy this solution for a reason.  If any one here in the forums thinks this is ready for mass distribution (the reference to Apple) then you were mis-led.  It is not.  I continue to recommend this product to NOT the Apple crowd, but the geeks, nerds, engineers,

So, just for clarity, I fully agree (and I've never recommended vera to anybody who isn't essentially a seasoned software engineer because most of the truly interesting things you want to do with a Vera requires a little - or a lot - bit of programming).The point on the Apple reference was to illustrate _one_ way of delivering a superior customer experience (which isn't a reflection of my personal opinion as much as it's the reflection of every customer satisfaction survey I've seen, participated in or managed myself over the past 2-3 years).

I've spent more than a decade on the engineering side of a couple of large hardware and software manufacturers, so I believe I'm qualified (I could be wrong) to tinker my way around the Vera when things aren't working "just right". But the level of failure I've had this time around was _way_ beyond "tinkering my way around" (a non-responsive Z-Wave network, unable to access and build my own sandbox/"distribution" which would have let me update the restore.sh script & fix the limit-size bug myself)
Vera3/UI5 @ v1.5.622

guest13871

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2012, 04:53:55 pm »
I sure would like to hear what the alternatives in this price range are... 

I saw a post about the Fibaro Home Center 2 (http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,9615.msg64350.html#msg64288).  It is currently only available in Europe but it's supposed to be released in the U.S. in mid-April.  I don't know the U.S. price yet and it will likely be at least 2x the price of the Vera 3, but if it works as advertised I would buy it in a heartbeat.  The user who posted about it is in Europe and has one.  So far he says it blows away his Vera.

http://www.fibaro.com/eng/home-center-2

Offline aschwalb

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2012, 05:14:28 pm »
I sure would like to hear what the alternatives in this price range are... 

I saw a post about the Fibaro Home Center 2 (http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,9615.msg64350.html#msg64288).  It is currently only available in Europe but it's supposed to be released in the U.S. in mid-April.  I don't know the U.S. price yet and it will likely be at least 2x the price of the Vera 3, but if it works as advertised I would buy it in a heartbeat.  The user who posted about it is in Europe and has one.  So far he says it blows away his Vera.

http://www.fibaro.com/eng/home-center-2

Cut and Past from the fibro user forum
" Posted: 2012-03-01, 13:32   
Seems That Does not Fibaro reponse in the last days ... maybe overload to be ready for CeBIT ... " 
" Posted: 2012-02-29, 18:55   
honestly ... i do not care about Lily is much at the moment  ... and only would like to deploy my ezmotion 3 in 1's as soon as Possible.

how can i get the beta version? .... I mean ... i was beta testing from the beginning anyway "

Google translate...

 :P

Offline Da_JoJo

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2012, 08:21:56 pm »
to me it sounds like a apple device.. cheap hardware sold for the highest price and having a nice fancy interface but does only support ther own products and has probably a lot of ripped ideas from others.
Vera lite (1.5.622), 2x an-158/2, dead usb pl2302 rs-232, 2x greenwave 6 port, 4x Fibaro FGD211 v1.6, FGBS001, few FGS - 221, etc. AuthomationHD 3 for android :-)
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Offline PaulMcT

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2012, 10:06:54 pm »
What can I say - my Vera3 works perfect and have had zero problems - mostly because I keep it simple.

Offline Da_JoJo

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Re: Massive #FAIL MCV! - UI5
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2012, 08:06:38 am »
What can I say - my Vera3 works perfect and have had zero problems - mostly because I keep it simple.
ditto.. i expected problems as i like to poke around and change things and try beta software on the beta ui5 , but they seem minor fixable things.  i really enjoy the platform
Vera lite (1.5.622), 2x an-158/2, dead usb pl2302 rs-232, 2x greenwave 6 port, 4x Fibaro FGD211 v1.6, FGBS001, few FGS - 221, etc. AuthomationHD 3 for android :-)
Dutch & German translator http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Special:AllPages http://support.micasaverde.com http://domotica-shop.nl