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skyhawk1's profile

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023 12:10 AM

Innovation, or lack thereof: Frustrated and Disappointed

I have been a SimpliSafe customer for two years. It's the first and only home Security System I have ever owned. I will admit I didn't choose SimpliSafe; it was gifted to me by the previous owner, free of charge. Hard to say no to a free system that was already set up throughout the home. In the two following years, I purchased a number of additional devices including outdoor cameras, indoor cameras, smoke detectors, CO detectors, panic buttons, solar panels, remotes, etc. My entire home is completely covered in SimpliSafe hardware and I am deep inside the SimpliSafe ecosystem.

With all of that said, I am reaching a point of frustration with lack of innovation and product offerings. I received notification yesterday of a price increase on the monitoring plan. I really don't mind a price increase, heck I'd pay double if it meant we had access to a wider array of products, smart home integrations, and consistent product functionality; all things other popular home Security suites offer. In the two years I have had this service, TWO new products have been released. A wireless indoor camera, and a two-in-one Smoke and CO detector; Hardly groundbreaking. The price increase is not justified.

When I get a notification of motion in my backyard from the outdoor camera, it sometimes takes 20 or so seconds for the painful "Waking up the Camera" all the way to "Launching Live View" process to take place. It's not my WiFi. I have a professional IT background and I am very familiar with the hardware. My WiFi system is the best money can buy. My devices are up to date. If I open the door when the system is armed home, it takes nearly TEN seconds for the shutters on my brand new indoor wireless cameras to open. That's enough time an intruder could quickly walk right past them. When compared to other popular home Security suites, the SimpliSafe iOS app lags in every area of UI, usability, features, and functionality.

Then there's HomeKit and smart home integrations. The SimpliSafe ecosystem is a very, very small garden with very, very tall walls built up around it. Efforts to add products seems to take several years, not months. Efforts to integrate with smart home systems like HomeKit seem nonexistent. I understand one argument for this approach is user security and privacy; very valid argument. But when other companies seem to integrate their products just fine, there is no reason SimpliSafe cannot. It seems to be a choice. I have started to use products from other large home Security companies and I am beginning to see how bright the world is outside those large garden walls. Bottom line: when a user wants to integrate with HomeKit, Matter, Google, Alexa, they are making an informed choice to introduce risk. Let them (us) make that call.

This is not meant to be a post bashing how terrible SimpliSafe is. Quite the contrary, it mostly works well. Except my extreme frustration with being able to quickly access any live camera feed (and the occasional "video unavailable" message on the timeline), the system works as advertised. Nothing technologically ground breaking, but as the name says, it's Simple and it works. Probably SimpliSafe's biggest advantage over everyone is their monitoring capabilities. I feel safe and comfortable that if my system is alarmed, it will be dealt with urgently and promptly. This may be the most important part of any Security system and we feel secure with SimpliSafe. They are top of the line in this category and deserve tremendous credit for it.

But I can't look past the shortcomings anymore. No HomeKit support. An iOS app that never sees any feature improvements, additions, or enhancements. Wireless cameras that take an eternity to show their live feed. Devices that are out-of-date and technology that is behind nearly every other big name DIY home Security suite. A cloud system with inconsistent video reliability and storage. ONE new major product in the two years I've been a subscriber. I want to love SimpliSafe; I want to want to keep SimpliSafe in my home; I want to recommend SimpliSafe to friends and family, but I don't. I send them elsewhere.

I'm sorry if this post bothers some people and comes across a bit whiny. It probably does and I don't blame you. I'm sure many of you don't feel the same way. But I've invested hundreds and hundreds of dollars into this system and switching Security suites isn't the easiest to do. I made a significant investment into this ecosystem, pay a monthly monitoring fee, and expect the ecosystem to offer me the same return on my investment that its competitors offer their customers.

TL;DR: Innovate and Integrate. Give your customers a suite of products and services that meets or exceeds your competitors.

Captain

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5.7K Messages

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130 Points

7 months ago

@skyhawk1 For full disclosure, yeah, I am a big time loyal customer of SS for 13+ years, placed dozens of sy stems etc etc but when I believe falls short, I post about it and expect them to do better.  The outdoor camera, while the features and build are great, the "wake up, connecting" is too long. Improving since released, yes but I asked at the beginning why all of that when connected to AC? (Both of mine are and planned that way from the start.)  SS is now showing that feature "in development" and expcet the final result to be an almost instaneous start up like the Simplicam. The new SA cameras, that do the same start up process, are almost instaneous.

As far the the 3rd party integrations, what there is now is severely limited but also makes SS's enviorment aslo that more secure. Would be nice, for example, for my 9 IoT lights to go on inside and out when my SS3 is in an alarm state, and can't see how a 1 digit flag and ability to automate through IFTTT would compromise that security.

I am willing to wait, but you are in a unique position with no or little investment in equipment and SS having no contract.  (Make note SS another customer who may make their way to the exit door.)  All I can say, which you will see coming if you read my posts, is not to go with ADT. Good luck to you, and SS, my God knows how many requests to have product managers here in the commmunity to comment.

(edited)

2 Messages

5 months ago

Wow, not a single response from a SimpliSafe employee! I wish I could say I was surprised.......

Advocate

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724 Messages

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20 Points

5 months ago

@skyhawk1 

Unfortunately, you will not hear from anyone at SimpliSafe on weekends. And come Monday, new posts might bury yours so far down in the forum pages they may not see it. Even if that is not the case, it most likely will not be the response you are hoping for. If a phone call is unnecessary, and Friday afternoon comes around, I sometimes wait the entire weekend to post because of their absence. They need to consider hiring someone to respond on Saturdays and Sundays specifically.

 

You bring up points that many most likely agree with. I do not believe many would take issue with your criticisms.

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