Not as described very disappointed

ios
installation
bug
device-detection
technicalsupport

#1

Boy oh boy, where do I start? First off, before purchasing, it gives the requirement of having WIFI. I’ve got six WiFi networks in my home. For supposed experts you’d think they would clarify this as stating you have to have WiFi that has continuous internet service at all times. I expected to be able to use this device on my home network and didn’t realize because I wasn’t told that it does not work at all without internet. Lose internet for a few minutes and now all those calculations and usage graphs are inaccurate. I have education and background in computer sciences and from what I can see the sense monitor just gathers information and relays it along.
Next I have the problem of the slow response from tech support. Why no number? They say they are a small startup. Someone didn’t think their way through this and is t making the necessary changes to keep up.
Accessing the community is another one. Tech support loves to refer me to the community for answers. First, why do they expect other customers to be my tech support? Second, using the app, safari or Firefox on iPhone I cannot access the community at all. They know they have a bug that is opening the app instead of the community and instead of fixing it, they have me download another third party app called “discourse” to gain access. That’s how I’m doing it now. I’ve been trying for two weeks. They also told me I could access it from a computer. Really? So now I have to have a phone with the app and a computer. Then why can’t I access the sense monitor from a computer? Learn about consistency and have some SENSE.
Lastly for this post (I could go on much further), they don’t seem to take customers requests and concerns very seriously. Go back to the oldest posts and they look the same as the ones from today. It’s the same complaints then as they are now. It’s like the inventor has their dream of what they want it to be and that’s just the way it’s going to be. They are willing to make changes for customers satisfaction in my opinion.
I have a bunch but here is one:
Make it possible to print or download graphs and historical data. If nothing else it would help us with mystery devices. And something I run into when trying to change names of devices. I’ll rename and save it properly and it will change the name and categories back on its own. After 6 or 7 attempts it will stick.
That’s all for my mini rant tonight.
They are supposed to call me tomorrow. Hopefully they will have answers to the stack of email questions I’ve sent with no response.


#2

Appreciate your concerns. Two thoughts:

  • you get better answers on the forum if you ask questions rather than ranting. But sometimes you just have to rant, to vent your frustrations. I understand.

  • you can use your computer for looking at your monitor data. Only Set-up requires the iPhone or Android app. I find the web app (home.sense.com) to be incredibly helpful for some of the things you were missing - viewing, printing and exporting historic data. Worth trying. It might also help with your flipping around between devices issues since the community site works well from a standard web browser.


#3

Regarding tech support:

Each Sense purchase is a one-time $300 revenue event. There’s probably $50-100 worth of manufacturing cost in the hardware, packaging, etc. at the volumes they’re doing. Distribution and shipping costs- $20? The developers and engineers that are bringing the tech to reality are expensive people. That’s maybe another $50 in development costs at these (admittedly unknown) volumes? AWS and other infrastructure maintenance costs to crunch the numbers in the back-end hosted systems for the life of the customer. $20? $100? All of the other normal business overhead: sales/marketing, office staff, financial management, legal, etc.

I think it’s amazing they’re providing the level of tech support they are. It’s not typical in this cloud services industry segment and until people start warming up to a monthly fee to keep the service going, it’s probably not going to change. Compared to Samsung SmartThings, Nest, etc. I don’t think Sense is slacking in the support department.


Senseless Sense, a time waster
#4

I definitely believe the same as you as it’s a great value for the price. But that’s at it’s described capabilities, not the real world experience we are getting. Anyone else wonder with this one-time price how long and effective support will be around? I’m sure that’s a lot of the reason support department doesn’t have more help. And what happens when it can’t be sustained because they aren’t selling enough new units to cover support for those that were sold from the beginning? We will all have a nice looking doorstop.
You would probably understand my frustration more if you Knew how many hours I’ve spent reading the community without the ability to ask questions. Or how many unanswered emails I’ve sent.
Here’s a question to you; when you looked into buying this device, what did you understand WiFi to mean? I understood it as how it would communicate with the app. Nowhere does it say internet is required. I’ve had over a hundred internet drops this week alone due to the rural area I live in. I have six WiFi networks but only one internet connected. All the other home automation equipment I have can be fully controlled through my local network and that’s what I expected of this device


#5

I’d be happy to pay a subscription price for better device, app and tech support. I’m all for helping to improve the product


#6

Just a quick question, if you’ve been reading about the device for some time why would you think that an internet connection isn’t required? Also, why do you have 6 WIFI networks? I have 3 nodes in a mesh setup at my place and have no issues but they are all part of 1 network.


#7

I’m going to be a bit blunt here, I mean no disrespect, but for a person that has “education and background in computer sciences” why did you think wifi wouldn’t include access to the internet?

and I’m sure you must have looked over the Tech Specs: https://sense.com/techspecs.html … how did you interpret the wireless requirement:

Wireless

802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
Bluetooth Smart
Bandwidth use: ~300MB per day

I’m not trying to say you don’t have a gripe, heck we all have some sort of gripe… but I’m trying to understand how you got to the conclusion that a little box, 137mm x 66mm x 32mm, 220g, with (4) CT clamps (includes PV installation), would be completely stand alone… I’ve been working on computers since the days of PC Jrs and Atari 1200s, and I didn’t think is was stand alone… heck, I was wondering if it was going to bust my 1TB data limit/mo with my ISP (I’m usually in the 800~900GB/mo range, kids gaming)… my background is in electronics engineering… but I haven’t done that sort of work since Devry, early 90s… to the point, for as small of a pkg, and the general complications of watching and deciphering AC signatures/footprints, this device just doesn’t have the ability to work on its own without some help from the outside… computers can be smart, but just not that smart, yet…

although access to this forum is only after purchase, I didn’t see any misleading by the advertising… advertising is usually slanted a bit anyway…

I’m sorry if this offends you… not my intent…

now, you are posting in the tech questions section of the forum… if you describe your setup a bit more, I’m sure a lot of us here can possibly help make your setup better or more reliable… what kind of ISP do you have? as @senseinaz asks, why the (6) WiFis? if you would like some help with your setup, I know I’m willing to help and I bet more than a few others would be also…

lol, one thing the internet has plenty of, is opinions and sometimes help…


#8

Ive read the tech specs, like I said before, I have an education and experience on this. In those spec, it tells of the bandwidth consumption but not the REQUIREMENT. Bandwidth is any communication whether it’s wifi or wired, local or wide area. Not anywhere have I read for the internet requirement. When most people purchase these, they don’t look at the tech specs. They read the page that gives the simple steps of installing, connecting to WiFi and viewing in real time. Show my what I missed reading please? WiFi has never included internet access and has been designated for LAN (local area network). Internet access is WAN (wife area network). Internet and WiFi are not related. You can use WiFi to gain internet access but you can also do that wired through Ethernet and USB. Like I mentioned before, I have six WiFi networks. Only one has internet access. Because the other five do not, does that meant they are not WiFi? For someone to assume that WiFi automatically includes internet access, it shows their lack of knowledge in this are, no disrespect intended. But thank you for the comment.


#9

Sorry I had to chuckle at this one :smile: Does your wife know she’s part of an area network? :smile:

Yes I understand it’s a typo and should be Wide Area Network, but it is a funny one :stuck_out_tongue:


#10

I saw that too. Hopefully she doesn’t see that typo. Lol


#11

I bit the bullet and installed a browser compatible with sense on a laptop although I didn’t want that browser. Your right in it’s a lot easier to view the data. The only thing I think would be nice is a print function where you can load data for a set period to print. Taking screen shots works okay.


#12

Some filtering and processing happens on the monitor itself, but yes, the bulk of processing happens in the cloud.

We certainly do not expect other customers to provide our tech support. Product communities exist for many, many products and serve as a great additional resource to official support channels. As for Community access, Discourse is the forum software we utilize. That app is their official app and there’s certainly nothing shady about it. As I’ve mentioned, this a known bug (and it’s affecting more than just our Discourse site) and it’s providing to be a difficult fix. You can access Sense from the web app at home.sense.com.

We absolutely do, but we cannot build everything that users ask for. Here’s a link to the 'Released Features’ subforum within Product Wishlist that shows the thus-far asked for features that we’ve built. In addition, the 2019 roadmap largely features adds that have been asked for by customers.

We do have data export functionality in the Web App from which you can access your data down to the hourly level and graph as you see fit from there, but that’s a fair point about in-app printing options. I definitely suggest creating a thread about it in the Product Wishlist subforum so we can see what other users think.


#13

I never did respond to you about the reason for so many WiFi networks. I have one that connects to the internet and it’s 5.8ghz. Each of my other networks have certain purpose and I do t want them all interconnected. For example, sense is on a WiFi network with echo and other Alexa compatible products. I have that one setup mainly because sense and the others won’t connect to my internet network through WiFi as it’s 5.8ghz single band. Some of these networks do have internet through that router but in wired capacity. I also don’t like my kids gaming in the network I use and different routers need separate firewall restrictions and it’s just must faster and easier to set it up the way I have it than running through tons of advanced setting for each and every MAC address.
I do t need any help with setup. Everything I have operates flawlessly on my end. My internet provider does not (Windstream).
Devry ? I haven’t heard the name in years. I lived in Phoenix for many years and Devry has a good presence there.
Windstream did some more work today and they have us operating correctly right now so everything works perfectly as it should.
Let me ask you why in the tech specs and elsewhere would you put WiFi and internet together.
Tell you what, go to your modem which is probably also your router and just unplug the cable for dsl or from cable. You’ll lose internet instantly but your WiFi is still up and running. That’s exactly why I don’t group them as one in the same and what I was taught while studying to be a Microsoft certified systems engineer which deals almost exclusively with networking.


#14

I do understand what your saying… I agree, wifi doesn’t automatically mean internet… but are you telling me that your Alexa devices run without internet? their specs don’t specifically say they require the internet… but as an internet appliance, they heavily rely on the internet… every “connected” thermostat I’ve had (3M & Nest), just required wifi… internet was assumed… I understand what you’re saying, but I just think its splitting hairs…

my setup, I have a cable connection from ISP… the modem is connected to a pfSense Router, that feeds wired switches and a TP-Link Deco M5-based mesh WiFi (4 pucks/APs in house)… I use the pfSense router to separate everything the way I want… as I’ve said elsewhere in this forum, I used to separate out my devices by hardware means (as you are doing)… but I feel that those methods cause other issues… these days, I build one big strong network and separate everything out through the router and I let my devices connect and do as they are designed to do… pfSense allows any configuration as I see fit and its very secure… its not prey to the hacks that plague off the self routers… it even allows setup of traffic shaping that would do the very thing you are trying to do with all that hardware…

but hey, each is allowed his own opinion in his own right…

if there is any advise I can give, let me know…


#15

Your correct that Alexa requires internet but here is what I’ve been dealing with lately. Some of my plugs operate on times and can be controlled through Alexa but also through the apps of the respective companies that manufacture these devices. Where our internet has spent a it of time down, I still need control so all the home automation is on the same network and that networks has Internet when it works. When down, I can still control the devices with their apps, not using Alexa. The router is hardwired to modem but that router is a WiFi’s 2.4 router to the devices. Does that make sense.
Do I absolutely have to have networks setup the way I do? No. I do have OCD and it will cause you to do things that don’t always make the most logical sense.
I also have a couple Windows XP’s machines used every now and again with wireless usb that I don’t want on the internet ever but need to transfer files between them without having a rats nest of wiring. It boils down to personal preference and ease of setup where I can create a network and setup the firewall and then if something needs to connect, I have no settings to change. Just put it on the appropriate network.


#16

Language needs to be interpreted colloquially. You are technically correct that a wireless access point, whether or not it provides internet access to its client, is WiFi. However, the average consumer clearly understands that when a product states “WiFi required” said WiFi is assumed to be for the purpose of internet connection. Rhetorically, if a product stated “telephone required” would you purchase and try to use it if you merely possessed a telephone but said telephone did not have a service plan attached to it? Life’s much easier when you understand and accept other parties clear intentions without trying to hang them on technicalities.


#17

Sorry you feel I’m trying to hanging them on a technicality. I had expected to be able to view on my iPhone after connecting to WiFi as they would both be on the same network. My interpretation was based on what was written and not anyone’s intentions. For them to provide installation instructions for placement in an electrical panel but then not give the full story on WiFi is just surprising. Note the fact they say to hire a professional for that part, why then provide layman’s instructions? If this had been laypersons describing this product then I could see where your coming from with what most people could understand WiFi to be,
In case you’ve missed any of the other response about what I’d expect with WiFi alone, I’m not looking for the full set of features. Just what the product page describes, install in panel, connect to WiFi and view use in real-time.
Let’s say I was hanging them on a technicality (I’m not!) they sure didn’t miss the technicality
about telling us to hire a professional electrician.
I’ve posted my request in the forum it belongs in hoping that this feature maybe possible in this or future versions of the device and software. For now, I’ll use it when I have internet and hope the phone company will someday finish their work.
Disappointed doesn’t mean completely dissatisfied or a deal breaker. We all have our gripes, I’m sure you do too and we won’t all agree


#18

You definitely have a point about sense not being able to serve as an instantaneous meter to display real-time voltage, power (and obviously current) on the smartphone or computer via local-only WiFi. The crowd sourced device identification, off course, is understood to require an internet connection.

I’m sorry to hear that you have sporadic internet and hope that the situation improves. We suffered with no source other than satellite for almost 10 years so I understand what that’s like. We now have better service from a local wireless internet provider without a draconian data cap.


#19

Oh boy, you did the Hughes net thing too? Their daily caps are terrible. Unlimited for 56k but advertised faster speeds lasted about an hour. I have dual bonded DSL lines now with speeds of up to 12mbps from years of just 1.5mbps. The speeds are there when it works but what’s happened is they have oversold the market. When someone else gets a line they go to the dslam and listen to lines for traffic to find an open pair. If your not active, they think your pair are open and steal them for the next customer. I call and let them know each time this happens which is about once every week or two. They need more equipment at the dslam but haven’t upgraded yet because the engaineers ha e to approve. The techs all know the problem but they don’t listen to the guys actually doing the field work.


#20

You mentioned having the NEST thermostat. That’s the one I wanted but had to go a less expensive route. I ha e the Honeywell 6580 and vision pro 8000. I use the 6580 mainly because if it does lose internet, the scheduling still works. Sure I ha e a plug through Alexa. When I lose internet that plug won’t respond, the Honeywell will still operate with the set 7 day, 4 timer schedule. Does the Nest also operate without internet in the same way?