Silent False Alarm
I had a silent false alarm tonight, 8/10/22. The police showed up totally unexpectedly because SimpliSafe dispatched them without calling us first which is the correct action with a silent alarm. But we didn't do anything to trigger it. The only devices we have set to generate a silent alarm are our panic button fobs. Neither of us were anywhere near the panic buttons.
Furthermore, there's nothing in our timeline that recorded a silent alarm. My wife and I talked to the police, verified our identities, then I called the SimpliSafe monitoring number. They recorded the false alarm and transferred me to customer care. The customer care person ran diagnostics on our system and didn't find a problem. He also didn't see anything in our timeline other than the normal camera motions which don't trigger anything other than starting a recording.
The customer care rep told me to check for an update on the keypad. I did, there was an update available, and I installed it. But nothing actually explains what caused SimpliSafe to dispatch the police since there's no record of the silent alarm trigger event in our timeline.
Now I don't know whether or not I can trust our SimpliSafe system. It's very frustrating and unnerving, especially because there's no way for me to know if my system really did generate the silent alarm. I mean, it could have been a hardware, software, or firmware bug, but since there's no record of the trigger, and I guess nothing in our local system's diagnostic logs, it could just as easily, and more plausibly have been a bored SimpliSafe employee, or a hacker looking for lulz.
I also think the app should generate a notification on our phones when new system updates are available. SimpliSafe should have their developers add notifications and/or push alerts and/or SMS alerts about new system updates to the app.
10 months ago
This morning, 8/13/22, I received a call about my false alarm from a representative of the CEO's office. The person who contacted me was extremely helpful. They told me that, unbeknownst to me, my technical issue, as well as my personal experience with SimpliSafe staff the night of the false alarm were still being investigated days after I reported it.
The monitoring center person I first spoke with on the night of the false alarm apparently wasn't looking at their internal logs when they told me they didn't see anything other than camera alerts. They were reading the same customer facing log that's available on the customer account web pages and within the IOS and Android apps.
The person who called this morning explained that the customer facing logs do not include the level of detail needed to identify duress or panic alerts and match those alerts to a specific device. The fact that the monitoring center person didn't investigate the internal logs is therefore not a systemic failure on the part of SimpliSafe-- it's a training opportunity for the person who took my call, and a learning opportunity for me. Now I know that if such an event occurs again, I can ask the SimpliSafe rep to please look in the detailed logs that are accessible only to SimpliSafe personnel.
The person who called this morning identified the specific, serialized panic button that generated the false alarm. I verified the location and device with her. They ordered a replacement panic button for me, and also agreed with me that the one I currently have should be further tested and diagnosed by SimpliSafe's technical and engineering staff.
This call gives me a much stronger feeling of faith in SimpliSafe than I had following my experience in this scenario. The call from a rep of the CEO shows that our (customers') opinions of, experiences with, and trust in SimpliSafe are critically important all the way to the highest level of the company.
I sincerely hope someone at SimpliSafe tells the individual I spoke with this morning that I am very grateful to them, and deeply impressed by their professionalism, care for, and devotion to making everything right for customers and SimpliSafe. They are a brilliant example of exceptional customer service, and deserve a personal commendation from the CEO.
I'm not going to identify the person who called me today in order to protect their privacy. But if this update is read by someone at SimpliSafe, they'll know to whom I'm referring by reading their contact reports.
Thank you! You know who you are. ;)
10 months ago
Hi @Bosco ,
Yes, what you describe sounds like a Silent Panic through a Panic Button, or a Duress Panic from typing in a Duress PIN.
Both of those are designed for a situation where you don't want to alert an intruder that you've requested for help. So if the Panic Button is pressed, it will not start a siren. If you type in your Duress PIN, it will disarm your system just like any other PIN. There will be no indication on your side that a Duress Alarm is in progress - no notifications, phone calls, nor even an entry in your Timeline. So if the intruder forces you at gunpoint to prove that no alarm was sent, you could show them the Timeline.
However, both of these alarm types do get recorded on our side. So when you called our Support team, and told them a possible time when the alarm might have happened, they could confirm right away what the trigger was.
I've gone ahead and requested a call for you from a Specialist. They'll reach out and get this figured out!