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Weve been with Vivint for over a year and for the time weve been with them it has generally been a positive experience. But recently weve experienced our first customer service issue with Vivint and it has been quite an eye-opener. Weve been experiencing an issue with one of our cameras and this issue has shown Vivint customer service leaves a lot to be desired. Worse yet, while we previously thought we might want to stay long-term this experience is now making us think that maybe we should instead just cut our losses and leave.
About a month or so ago the night vision on one of our cameras ceased working. I texted via the phone app with customer service. We walked through the usual steps, turning off and on, rebooting, pushing an update, none of which worked. Finally, the rep took my info down and said someone would be in touch. Okay, so far no big deal and pretty routine we thought.
But two weeks pass with the problem still unresolved and with no contact and no updates from Vivint. I reached back out and texted two reps, who claimed their names were Carolina and Wilmer respectively. I started with Carolina first, but I quickly got the impression she wasnt quite understanding what I was saying. I started a new chat with Wilmer, who seemed to understand me a little better. Through chatting with them I found that their story had now changed a bit. Heres what I found out.
It seems that the issue I and apparently others are experiencing was created by a recently released system update, that they were aware of the issue and we're working on it getting it resolved. But aside from that, they had nothing to offer as far as when the problem might be resolved.
But wait, it gets better!
Not only did they not know when the problem might be fixed but, unlike what I had been told just two weeks ago, when it was fixed they werent going to contact me after all when the issue was resolved. Apparently, their idea of customer service is for me to just keep checking my camera each day and when it worked I would then know that they had fixed the problem. Until then I just need to sit and wait and live with what apparently is a problem that they created.
At one point Wilmer (or whatever the *** his real name is) said that the next update might fix it. But when asked he admitted he had no idea when that update might happen. As I mentioned previously when this update did happen they werent going to let me know that the update had been released nor were they going to follow up with me to see if the update had in fact fixed my problem. You would think that they would want to follow up with me, if for no other reason than to find out if the update they had released had actually fixed the problem!
When I asked Wilmer how I would know that an update had been sent he said that if you see panel reboot itself you would know that it was being updated. Wow! Thats some crackerjack customer service there Wilmer! I guess he thinks I have nothing better to do than to sit around staring at my Vivint panel just waiting for heaven knows how long for an update to arrive that in the end might not even solve the problem I am experiencing.
I gathered from the conversation that they were planning on just gathering information on various glitches and instead of patching them out individually they would instead try and fix them all with a one update release. I find this more than a little problematic. While its one thing for AAA game devs to issue updates to patch out game bugs and glitches, we're talking about home security here, not a freaking MMO! I find it appalling that a security company, particularly one with which I am paying a monthly fee to monitor, would take such a cavalier approach to its customer service, particularly since this was an issue that they themselves created.
We ourselves have only been with them for a year and are still paying on the initially installed equipment, so they have us as something of a captive audience. Up until now that really didnt bother us. We were generally happy with the service and in fact were thinking once wed paid off the initial purchase we would upgrade the system with additional cameras. But in light of our recent experience, we decided to do some looking online into what others have said about Vivint. One review in particular definitely gave us pause and is making us reconsider whether we want to invest more into our Vivint system or maybe look into other options.
In this other review a long-time customer who like us had recently received a software update (maybe the upgrade that jacked up his cameras was the same one that did ours) only to find out that like us after the update his cameras didnt fully work. But unlike us, his equipment is over six years old. When he complained about what they upgrade did their solution was that he needed to replace all of his cameras. Mind you that before the upgrade his cameras had been working just fine. It kind of makes me wonder if that is what they are going to say to us next, even though our equipment is only a year old.
This sounds more than a little suspect to me and a great way for a company to induce their customers to spend money upgrading their equipment that prior to them performing their update were working just fine.
To any of you who are considering purchasing a home security system I would suggest the following:
1)Do your homework and do not buy before you are ready
2)Compare the different systems as to what they offer and what people say about their service
3)Consider that you are signing a contract with a very, very brief cancellation period.
4)Look into what other companies offer in terms of upgrading their equipment, how much it costs, and who will bear the expense of upgrading. This is especially true if you plan on purchasing multiple cameras.
5)If this is going to be a long-term purchase please see how the company performs over the long term. If they havent been around that long maybe you should look elsewhere.
I will definitely update this post as things progress.
User's recommendation: Do not buy from door to door salesmen! Do your homework first before signing on the dotted line.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.