Introducing Sense's Community Manager


#1

Hi everyone! My name is Ben and I’m the new Community Manager at Sense. I’m here to work with you all to address any concerns that you have and to make sure that we are making the best product we can for you. With the Sense community forum, we hope to improve our communication with you and to build a special place where Sense users can share ideas with one another, and the Sense team.

A little bit about myself: I graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Engineering Science, and previously was the Community Manager of GrabCAD, a community of engineers and product designers. In my free time, I like to produce music and wander the outdoors. I’m excited to be here and I look forward to meeting you all!

As a reminder, if you have any technical support issues, be sure to head over to our support contact form: https://help.sense.com/hc/en-us/requests/new.


#2

Hi Ben. Glad you are on board. How about for your first task looking into some of my product issues and concerns. For some reason I have not had any positive results from the tech support team. Maybe you can pull up my submitted tech support tickets and review them, and let me know if you can help. Good luck, welcome aboard, and hope you can help me with my issues and concerns.
In advance, thanks Greg Wheeler.


#3

Welcome, Ben, hope you’ve stocked up on patience and smiles!

Any updates on correcting the solar errors? I can ask in another thread if that’s more appropriate.


#4

Ben welcome aboard, and welcome to our Facebook user group as well. While it is great to have you here, if you and Sense wanted to maximize your value they would actually station you somewhere else at least in the short term. That would be in an office with a telephone where users could call you and actually ask questions. The current process of emailing or posting questions is quite lacking, leads to miscommunication, and introduces long lag times from when a problem or question comes up till it finally gets addressed and solved. More direct communication would result in a much happier user base.


#5

Thanks for the welcome, Greg! I’m sorry to hear you’re having technical issues with your Sense device. With regards to specific problems, the support team are the best people to get in touch with. I saw that Alex responded to a couple of your concerns yesterday. From what I understand, you’re having device detection issues. Given that Sense is a learning device, the longer it is installed and the more data it has, the better it should be able to accurately identify device activity. In the meantime, support team members (like Alex) can look into specific problems for you.


#6

Thanks NJHaley!

I can definitely look into that. Can you point me to the thread where you’ve been discussing the errors? :slight_smile:


#7

Thanks for the welcome and for the suggestions, Howard! The best people to rely on for specific technical questions or issues are still our support team, but I will be working on ways to better communicate updates, news, product information etc. to you all. If you have any suggestions in that respect, please let me know!


#8

Sure thing, Ben. There seems to be a couple different manifestations of the same problem. My original post is here:
http://community.sense.com/t/solar-customers-recognizing-the-daytime-dip-and-how-it-might-impact-your-sense-numbers?source_topic_id=554

While @miracj and others have the opposite problem: http://community.sense.com/t/opposite-of-the-daytime-dip

This is on Sense’s radar, but we customer are as yet unaware of the progress on a fix. I’d sacrifice all my appliance identification to this point for a reliable reading if it takes some modification to my install and a restart :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance!


#9

Thanks for filling me in, Nick! I just responded in your original thread.


#10

Thanks Ben! I’ll hang tight and look forward to a fix.


#11

Ben. I’m a little disappointed with your response to my post. As per your introduction today I thought you were on board to help users like me and others who can’t seem to get issues and problems resolved in a timely manor. As Howard pointed out in his post today there seems to be miscommunication between users and tech support team members. Example: I have a couple different type of issues going on with my sense monitor, one being device detection, another being inaccurate information about my appliances.Tech support has not addressed nor corrected the issue with inaccurate information with my appliances. They talked about or should I say side stepped device detection, but nothing about the inaccurate information of my appliances. Bottom line, here is my frustration and disappointment. I purchased sense home energy monitoring device for several different reasons. Example of reasons, one being to know when my TV, blow dryer, coffee pot, toaster oven, or other small devices is on and for how long, to know when my washer and dryer is on or off, to know what power consumption my large appliances are using to manage cost and savings. I assume you get the picture here as to why I purchased this product. As of today my sense monitor has not discovered any of those listed items let along tell me about them. Sense did discover one of my freezers and one of my refrigerators which is good news, but the information it tells me about them is inaccurate and useless. I know other uses on this community have much larger issues and concerns than I do, but reading thru their posts it seems that they are also frustrated and disappointed with tech support. When you came on board today I thought there may be some help and hope for us frustrated and disappointed users. Please prove me wrong and see what you can do to help us users get issues and problems corrected / resolved in a timely manor. In regards to my particular issues and concerns, please re-read thru all my tech support e-mails and help me get those issues and concerns resolved. I have faith that you are the correct person to help me and other users get our issues and concerns resolved in a timely manor. ** PS. By doing so, that in turn will make sense a better product and keep all of us happy at the same time.** Also, I hope Mike Phillips looks in and reads these posts so he can get a better understanding of what sense users are talking about and saying.
Thanks, look forward to reading your response.


#12

How long have you had your sense device? I recommend you visit sense.com and read over the help articles, FAQs and Blogs. Sense does not claim to be able to do everything you are asking it to do at this time especially after only 4 or 5 days of installation. You can return your sense device for a full refund for any reason within 30 days of receipt. Your other option is to find another device that can do what sense does. Wait. You can’t. None exist.

The way I see it is, you could go out and spend almost $300 on a Ted 5000 or well over $300 on a Ted Pro with spider and you’re not going to get anywhere near the capabilities of Sense. I’ve looked at all the options out there. Even created my own multi circuit montioring device based on open energy monitor and they all cost way more than Sense and they are basically all just dumb devices. The best you can do is monitor individual circuits. This works well with A/C units, Dryer, Oven and the very few other circuits in your home that only feed one outlet.

If you want to know how much individual 120v devices are on for, how long and cost, you can look at the Belkin WeMo insight Switch. The one that monitors energy consumption, not the other one that just does on and off. They retail for $49.99 but you can typically find them for $40. You can configure them to send you usage via e-mail. When on, how long and how much based on your entered cost per KWh. The report is very detailed. I have mine configured to send me a csv file weekly from the dehumidifier at my beach house. The issue is, at $50, you can only buy 6 of them before you hit the same cost as Sense.

I really think Sene could be even better if they deployed some type of hybrid approach. One option is to use multiple smaller CTs for each circuit to better be able to disaggregate by having many fewer devices per circuit. The other option is to employ energy monitoring devices like the wemo insight switch for hard to decipher devices such as plasma TVs and devices that are so similar to other devices that they are misreported consistently. Or a combination of both. The Sense team members are much smarter than me in this field so I’m sure there are very good reasons these aren’t options.


#13

Kevin. If my sense monitor device cannot do everything I’m asking it to do, then Sense labs should remove the sales video from their web site. I purchased my sense monitor device because of that sales video. Watching the sales video I’m not asking for anything above or beyond what it shows. I’m not looking for a refund, just a product that works as being advertised. Did you watch that sales video? If not please do so, and tell me if I’m asking for my sense device to do more than advertised.
Thanks.


#14

I watched the sales video on youtube and at the end where it says click here to find out more (The link actually doesn’t work for me from the embedded video on sense.com), I did which takes you to sense.com where I clicked on every link, read every page and all the blog entries. I read and watched everything I could find about it with google searches. From that, I understood that sense has limitations and it can take a while for it to learn things if it ever does.

I can definitely see how the video is potentially misleading in some ways. For insance, I didn’t think it could yet tell you if an appliance was malfunctioning. One could deduce from constantly checking the sense app that their appliance is all of a sudden using more energy than previously or that it’s running for much longer than usual. It certainly can’t tell you that your refrigerator is low on refrigerant but one could infer that because the fridge is running much longer than usual, it may be low on refrigerant or require servicing in some way. I can actually see myself watching sense and seeing that my daughter left her hair straightener on.

There is no disclaimer or mention of the shortcomings of sense in that video and there really should be. The click here link may be there as such a “disclaimer” but it doesn’t work from an embedded youtube video.


#15

Kevin. I assume after watching the video you see my point. I’m a average home owner who purchased the product based on what I saw in that video. Other people have purchased this product for other reasons than I did. For me this product does not work as advertised. I wish it did, and hope that it can work as designed in the very near future because it’s a great concept and that’s why I don’t want a refund. But at the same time, there is only a thirty day refund policy and I will give this product 29 days to start working as advertised. Also, you have to agree there seems to be other users on this forum that are having problems and concerns with this product. And one of the most popular concerns and issues is tech support turn around time. As far as the cost of the product goes $ 299.00, if it works as designed and advertised I would have gladly paid three times that asking cost. For now I’m waiting to see how Ben or sense management responds to my issues and concerns.
Thanks for your input, and advise.


#16

You’re in the same boat as a lot of people, Greg - at some level disappointed in the performance of the device and the responsiveness of support, at the same time excited about the potential based on what they’ve promised and what you’re seeing.

I agree with you on those counts and I’ll say this - Sense is like an old rusty Mustang. Tremendous potential, and when it’s finished will be a real head turner. Right now it leaves a lot to be desired, and it’s going to take some work from a bunch of people (including us as users!) to get it to the next level. In the meantime, there’s aggravation and disappointment because it’s not yet all it could be, not unlike a lot of new tech.

I’m frustrated too, but try to be patient because I do see the potential. Knowing what I’ve written, your choice may be different.


#17

I’ll hang in there for a little while. Maybe I’m spoiled because all of my home automation products ( and I have allot of them ) have excellent tech support and all of those products and devices work as designed.
Thanks for the pep talk and advice.


#18

Greg, I’m really sorry to hear that you’re disappointed and I totally understand your frustrations. Our support team is still the best place to get help with specific technical issues. I’m here to make sure that users’ feedback is heard so that we (at Sense) can continue to create a product that meets your home energy monitoring needs. There is still plenty to improve upon, however, and that is why your feedback is so important!

As Kevin said, if you do not feel that Sense is living up to your expectations, we do have a return policy. I also encourage you to continue to stay in touch with support if you feel that you are getting inaccurate readings. Thanks again for your feedback!


#19

Ben. As per my posts I’m not looking for a refund just working product. As far as feed back goes take all my emails addresed to tech support and my posts and forward them directly over to Mike Phillips. I’m sure you have the ability to do that. After Mike reads them would like to hear back from him and see what his response is going to be.
Thanks.


#20

Ben I think you have heard much of the frustration already. I have had my system a little over six months and was one of the early adopters of solar. As a poster above indicated I suggest you go to the mail server and gather every single support request I have sent either via email or direct from the app. You will see how long things have often taken and how frustrating it has been. I don’t fault any of the technical people, I fault your CEO. I fault him for promising more than could be delivered with a product that was not fully tested before hitting the market and then under staffing support people and then putting them in place with not enough training. I understand he is under likely financial pressures, but that does not make things right. There has likely been pressure on the sales and marketing people to get product out the door as well which leads to what many of us view as publicity that is very close to the line of false advertising. Think about some of the blogs and PR stories and other claims of being able to identify TVs - I have yet to see a single person that has had a TV identified.

Many of us early adopters are technical type people, but the mass market that you are now going after is not going to accept this. You have walked into what may become as they say a “shit storm”.

Part of the reason I started the Facebook Users Group was so many of us could help ourselves because we were not getting the help we needed directly. Take a look at the history on my finding of the voltages being measured incorrectly. There was no excuse for this and it took a long time to fix. Look at the solar problems many of us are having with solar output for some reason depressing reported consumption. Take a lot at the other issue many see that when there is a large imbalance between the two legs of power many see the voltage higher on the leg with higher wattage draw which does not make sense. There are many other issues like this that are slow to get fixed. Take a look at the issue of software / firmware updates that we complained about being pushed at peak evening hours. We were promised that would go to off hours but it has not. We asked to be notified ahead of time that these were coming but have not been notified. There are still significant WiFi issues for many that have not been satisfactorily addressed. Many of us have spent more on getting WiFi to this unit than we spent on the unit.

I have not even talked about the device recognition problems. All this said I still have high hopes for the product, but the company needs to get its act together. Since my unit is totally messed up now after failed attempts to re-calibrate and reset it I am being sent a totally new system in the next few days. I guess I will get to experience if things have improved on initial data recognition now.

I wish you luck in your new role and I hope you are provided the resources you will need to accomplish this task. I will again urge you to take at least a week or two sitting at a phone and giving users a way to reach out and talk with you - that will really help situations.