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Why so many great reviews for HomeSeer when there are so many problems?

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    Why so many great reviews for HomeSeer when there are so many problems?

    I switched to Homeseer from SmartThings to get local processing and minimize delays. But there are so many other things that are driving me away and support seems to not care too much about issues that I read about over and over in this forum.
    • Jasco switches - no doubletab child devices, nor the ability to create custom device handlers and share with the community. These just work everywhere else.
    • No native push notifications - I got this set up with HSBuddy, but why in the world is it not built in?
    • Google Assistant giving error messages that it can't reach a device if there are more than one in a room. It works correctly, just reports that it doesn't. Been an issue since November.
    • Fans are reported to Google as Lights so they come on at full blast when you say "turn on the lights". Support has known about this issue for a year and not corrected.
    • AMany things that are free in other systems have to be paid for in HomeSeer as it seems they want to farm out pieces of development. In Home Assistant and SmartThings, people work together to develop and build device handlers and share with the community much more freely. Ecobee comes to mind, I see they are adding to HS4, but no other system I have seen would I have ever been asked to pay for Ecobee integration.
    • Support plainly tells you they are working on HS4, so they don't have time to fix the issues of the customers that paid for software that isn't really performing as promised. Why would I buy HS4 if the company isn't even supporting the software I paid for a year ago?
    • Support doesn't say what they are planning to support. There is no list of features that will be developed or corrected so I have no idea if the things I care about will ever be fixed. Hence, I don't know whether to jump ship or wait a while. Even without a timeline, couldn't they list accepted items and put them in some priority order? Or let customers vote on what they care about? Would probably cut down on support requests at a minimum.
    I switched over because everyone seems to love this system and I just can't figure out why anyone is still on it. What am I missing? Are there that few people using the most popular switches out there? That few using Google to control things?

    #2
    You have some good points.

    I'm a Google person and I have had similar complaints, especially regarding the nuisance from your 3rd bullet point.

    The other valid point, in my opinion is the reliance on Homeseer staff to create the proper device interfaces. With HS4 including zwave, some wifi thing I don't recognize, and ZIgbee, I worry that the backlog of approving devices will overwhelm. I would like to have more ability for users to develop the proper device handlers like Smarthings.

    My experience with Inovelli switches and dimmers, as well as Hank switch devices led me to the same concern.

    What I do like about Homeseer, and why I left Vera was the Z wave plug in and the event engine.

    Both were so much more reliable and predictable.

    I also love running this on a raspberry pi, but that's another discussion.

    Comment


      #3
      If you don't like it, change. Go to one of the open source platforms where everything is free and you get what you pay for.

      I have Jasco z-wave switches. I have no need for a double tap function nor did they claim to have such. I'm replacing them as they stop working as they have not proven to be all that reliable on the long run lasting front. That is an issue with the unit itself, though. Not HomeSeer.

      I have 3 ceiling fans controlled via z-wave wall switches and they come on at the last setting. There is an option for Last in the status graphics and I believe a parameter on the switch itself. Maybe it is your choice of switch?

      Google Assistant works for me. Yes, there was a spell where there was a communication issue with Google and MyHomeseer, but they fixed that. I have multiple and single devices in various rooms with no issue when I actually need to use voice.

      I don't use all this to make my phone a remote control or allow me to use my voice to turn lights on. I Automated my house, not set it up for remote control. Things happen based on various events triggered by a multitude of items. Some are motion, some time, and some based on an action suck as turning on the TV. Open a window and the air conditioning and heat turn off. Come in the front door when it is dark in the house and a light comes on at 25%. If you open the door from the inside no light comes on. Yes, I can also use voice or a phone to override or control a device, but that is secondary. Maybe fourth or fifth use case.
      Karl S
      HS4Pro on Windows 10
      242 Devices
      56 Z-Wave Nodes
      37 Events
      HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 iOS
      Google Home: 3 Mini units 1 display

      Comment


        #4
        “If you don't like it, change. Go to one of the open source platforms where everything is free and you get what you pay for.”

        If I went to an open source “to get what I pay for”, I wouldn’t have a problem. My problem is that I paid $650 and did not get what I paid for.

        The fan issue is that the fan shows up in Google home as a light only on HomeSeer. Imagine you walk into a room with your hands full and say “Hey google, turn on the light.” 2 lights and a fan come on. GE fan switch. Probably one of the most popular ones out there, but the issue has nothing to do with the switch. The issue is that HomeSeer shares the device with Google as a light. It is another one of the known issues that falls by the wayside while they are developing a new product, though Google integration is plastered all over the website.

        Comment


          #5
          I'm no expert, but it think you can just make the switch associated with the fan as a fan and not a light!? And you can enable it with the Google integration per device...
          I have switches that control 2 lights and a fan in the same room and when I ask Google to turn on the light in that room only the light I configured with Google respond. Not the other light or fan!

          Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

          Comment


            #6
            "Hey Google turn on the living room ceiling fan light" gets my ceiling fan light on.
            Hey Google, turn on the living room ceiling fan fan" and the fan turns on.
            GE fan switch. Evolve light switch.

            This is the GE fan switch configuration tab. Want something else to trigger the fan, put something else in the voice setting. I have 4 other light switches in that room and this made the most sense for us. It works fine from a GE fan switch in 3 installs here.

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            This is the Status Graphics screen. These changes are in a thread on this board without the graphics.

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            Karl S
            HS4Pro on Windows 10
            242 Devices
            56 Z-Wave Nodes
            37 Events
            HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 iOS
            Google Home: 3 Mini units 1 display

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Jason502 View Post
              I switched to Homeseer from SmartThings to get local processing and minimize delays. But there are so many other things that are driving me away and support seems to not care too much about issues that I read about over and over in this forum.
              Your frustration is understandable.
              I am not here to defend HST support policies, but I can try to address some of your points from my perspective.

              No native push notifications - . . .why in the world is it not built in?
              There is a free Pushover plug-in available, as well as email to SMS, which works pretty well for me. Yes, many capabilities are delivered as add-on plug-ins. In my experience, though, once installed and set up, most plug-ins integrate so well into the overall function of HS that they become invisible. One advantage of the model is that your installation is not burdened with featuresthat you do not want.

              Google Assistant giving error messages that it can't reach a device if there are more than one in a room. It works correctly, just reports that it doesn't. Been an issue since November.
              I've stopped using Google Assistant for similar reasons. It's obviously not getting the support it needs to work properly.

              Many things that are free in other systems have to be paid for in HomeSeer as it seems they want to farm out pieces of development. In Home Assistant and SmartThings, people work together to develop and build device handlers and share with the community much more freely. Ecobee comes to mind, I see they are adding to HS4, but no other system I have seen would I have ever been asked to pay for Ecobee integration.
              On the other hand, HS does things (and, more importantly, combinations of things) that you cannot get on any other system. It's going to be a choice, I'm afraid.

              Support doesn't say what they are planning to support. There is no list of features that will be developed or corrected so I have no idea if the things I care about will ever be fixed. Hence, I don't know whether to jump ship or wait a while. Even without a timeline, couldn't they list accepted items and put them in some priority order? Or let customers vote on what they care about? Would probably cut down on support requests at a minimum.
              This has been an ongoing problem, and seems to be "baked in" to the mindset of someone in HST. You'll probably have to learn to live with it.

              I switched over because everyone seems to love this system and I just can't figure out why anyone is still on it. What am I missing? Are there that few people using the most popular switches out there? That few using Google to control things?
              Just like other systems, HS supports what it supports. There are products and technologies that it doesn't (yet) support, and those that it tries to support with varying degrees of success. In my experience, it supports nearly every aspect of HA that I want, but not every manufacturer or technology option, so if you have switches that another HA system supports, there is no guarantee that HS will support them as well.

              It's a bit late now, of course, but HST does offer a 30 day free trial, and I encourage anyone to take advantage of it to see if it really meets their needs.
              There's always the option to go back to SmartThings, but I'm pretty sure, despite your complaints, that it is not really a better option. If it does what you want, though, then that might be the best course for you. On the other hand, it's not uncommon for people migrating from other systems to be frustrated because HS does things differently. It's also been around for a while, and it's worth considering that some of the new competitors are very likely running at a net loss in the hopes of attracting a critical mass of users. That makes it difficult to make cost comparisons, because they may be over subsidizing some of their features. The record of former HA products is a testament to the risk that strategy present to early adopters.

              Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
              HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548

              HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF, Rain8Net+ | RFXCOM | QSE100D | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3

              Comment


                #8
                If the jasco switch advertises the scene controller class, a scene device will be created. If it doesnt, it won't. The device handlers may ignore a lack of advertised command class. That's a work around for a manufacturer bug, not a homeseer bug.

                I dont use push notifications per se, I have homeseer text me. it also let's my house have a hierarchy tree where it sends progressively panicked messages to various family members without them needing an app. Most carriers have an email gateway for (phonenumber)@(carrier).com. No worries of an app being shut down by an aggressive power monitor on a phone.

                Not a GHome user but at various times GHome has had issues with for multiple systems. Hard to say how much is google vs. Homeseer. Other people have discussed how to make fans easier to manage.

                As for free plugins, there are like 80 free plugins, which are probably 75% community made. that doesnt include the various beta plugins that live in the forums. So go ahead, build one. Or start a forum thread and a github repo and get some people to work together. HS doesnt put any real barriers in your way. Or are you upset that when people build a plugin for HS they decide to value their time and charge for it? That's a different thing.

                And if you're a new user, hey, you get HS4 for free. I believe any purchase since November gets HS4. So dont sweat having to buy it.

                And I don't know of a single commercial platform that provides detailed roadmaps. At least, not detailed roadmaps that actually get followed. It's generally not worth the backlash if you miss a feature deliverable.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks Mike, I am sticking with it for a while hoping I can get things to work out as I do like a lot of the aspects of the system. I am just surprised it is promoted to the masses as it is when there are so many issues for me right off the bat.

                  Karl, thanks for taking the time to share your setup. My goal was to have a really user friendly setup. We have always said "Hey Google. turn on the lights" when we wanted the lights on. Same for fan. I can do what you have done and name all the devices unique names and say something like "turn on the ceiling fan light" but the nice thing about google is that I have one in every room of my house and it knows what room I am in. So I say "turn on the light" and it turns it on for the respective room I am in. My current solution is to remove the fans from the room in Google Home. Maybe I'll name them something unique and can control them by voice, but it isn't intuitive like saying "turn on the fan" or "fan 20%".

                  Comment


                    #10
                    What does your voice setting have in the switches General settings tab? Does it have "fan" there (without the quotes)? If not, have you tried that? Mine has "ceiling fan fan" as you can see in the image I included. I don't have Google Home units in every room on the main floor so I need to speak the room to distinguish which fan. Try setting the Voice Command value to "Ceiling Fan" for the fan switch and "Light" for the light switch on that team for reach out the devices. Then resync by saying "Hey Google, sync HomeSeer." And see how they operate.
                    Karl S
                    HS4Pro on Windows 10
                    242 Devices
                    56 Z-Wave Nodes
                    37 Events
                    HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 iOS
                    Google Home: 3 Mini units 1 display

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Kigmatzomat I might take a stab at building a plugin down the road, assuming I stick with the platform, But I have to be able to use the thing first. I don't mind paying for plugins, but there are really some that should just be included. I see that HomeSeer has decided to add ecobee support which is great.

                      The community seems helpful. I have done a lot of browsing and learning. Current hassle is getting doorlocks to report user unlocks. I see scripts people have shared that many have great success with, but you have to use aspx to get started. aspx doesn't work on my device so I can't get the ini file created. Why doesn't it work, I don't know, some mono problem. Tried recommended fixes, fresh install. I have been using linux for years, though I am no expert.

                      I am sure I will work out many of these problems, but I don't get the HomeSeer support's attitude towards their paying customers. I wouldn't be developing a new product until I at least had the major bugs worked out of the current on for my customers, or I'd use different resources for it. Could you imagine if the coal plant went down and the electric company wouldn't work on it because they were all busy building a new solar farm? Or the fan came on in your 2019 ford when you pressed the light button but they didn't care because they were busy designing the 2021 model? It just doesn't seem like any company that wants happy customers. If it said beta all over it, I might have still tried it out, but I wouldn't have had the same expectations.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hey ksum, I played around with it a bit and renamed a couple of times. If I say "turn on the ceiling light" (or whatever name I type in for voice command), it works correctly. Saying "turn on the fan" also works correctly. However, "turn on the light", turns on both lights and the fan. Because google thinks the fan is a light. The Home app shows 3 lights in the room, though it showed 2 lights and fan in the room on other systems. It's not really a huge deal for me, but in other rooms it gets tricky remembering to specify each individual light so that the fans don't come on; not so much for me, but for other users in the house.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          There is a long and ugly thread on Google support regarding this issue. Google support recommends creating a virtual room and move the fans to that room. It's a crappy solution but it works.

                          By the way this also happens with my window shades. Turn on the lights opens the shades and turns on the lights.

                          Sigh

                          Comment


                            #14
                            What locks are you using? And are you trying to identify the specific user? I have a simple event that notifies me of unlocked doors from 8-5pm, so I personally use the unlock detection.

                            As for ecobee, Ecobee has to play ball. There is no local API other than with Homekit, everything else is cloud connections. Ecobee has a cloud connection to Samsung's cloud. HomeAssistant requires users get a developer account and register an app. That's fine for open source but not a real solution for a commercial product.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              To answer the original question of why people like HomeSeer, think of it as if you were buying a car. If all the other sellers are selling Yugos, then the guy selling the Honda Civic is looking pretty good.

                              Comment

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