Last Nail in the Coffin

This topic contains 19 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  skwerl 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
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  • #24404
     Greg Walker says:

    Greg Walker
    Participant

    After two years of doing my best with the Lightwave heating control kit, an app update & silence from tech support has driven me away. I think it’s a great pity. In my view, the hardware is quite capable of doing a decent job, but the user interface for the mobile app is quite frankly user hostile. After latest update, my kit simply didn’t work. I have thrown it away & bought Netatmo. What a contrast! New kit is intuitive. I have read that Netatmo customer support / technical support leaves a lot to be desired too, doubtless I’ve got that experience yet to come, but … I have’t need it, yet.

    I am convinced that with no change to the installed equipment, Lightwave could be as good as Netatmo. Lightwave needs a decent software architect who understands control systems & home automation. Lightwave needs to listen to customer feedback & act on it. It’s not too late for LightwaveRF to sort themselves out, but it’s too late for me. The technical team at Lightwave really need to become thoroughly familiar with Netatmo equipment. They would be saying “We can do that” – I am convinced.

    #24405
     Grunthos says:

    Grunthos
    Participant

    Singing to the choir I’m afraid!
    When they started out, LWRF were almost unique in their “Retro-fit” abilities.
    This is no longer the case.
    Their software “upgrades” both with the link-unit and the mobile apps, have steadily moved from dodgy to abysmal.
    In particular their removal of the ability to control more than one LWRF installation without logging out of the app tells it’s own tale.
    I really liked the hardware a couple of years ago but I now have no faith in their ability to produce quality software.
    Consequently, when I move house (hopefully quite soon now) , I wil not be re-installing any LWRF kit.

    Such a shame…

    #24578
     tlpc0 says:

    tlpc0
    Participant

    Not there yet, but really understand the frustrations here. Nothing worse that a good platform and hardware only to be let down by the front end software and lack of support. I have no issues with the standard switches and sockets, the work just fine, even have the relays fitted to operate a pool pump and that works as programmed and intended. I also have the heating (and adapted hot water) thermostats/programmers fitted and the TRV’s. the principle is excellent and it “kind” of works. You just can’t help thinking that they are going to miss out on an opportunity to have something really good, and desirable and instead settle for might be ok? Just some tweaks and changes and they are there. Maybe they should have someone read the forums!!

    #24589
     Grunthos says:

    Grunthos
    Participant

    ” Just some tweaks and changes and they are there.”

    Unfortunately the “tweaks and changes” need to be in the mindset and controls of the company itself rather than their product.

    This is what disturbs me: At the moment my installations are fine (with multiple apps for multiple locations!). But I have no faith that it will not be completely broken tomorrow.

    #24593
     tlpc0 says:

    tlpc0
    Participant

    “tweaks and changes” in the grand scheme of things and from a corporate perspective then they are just tweaks etc and would not take an awful lot to achieve. You are quite right though, unless they have mindset “head and brick wall” springs to mind. I find electronic devices of any sort always leave you feeling “will it work tomorrow” the more you have the more chance of something going wrong, and this is not confined to LWRF. It is the way of things and there is fair acceptance that it will work and sometimes it wont. There are some pretty major issues with the software and the support leaves a lot to be desired. G2 has been launched way to early and this really only adds to the problem. The hardware (majority of) is fine, happy with the quality and works fine, just let down by the user interface.

    #24597
     Grunthos says:

    Grunthos
    Participant

    This is a lot worse than the complexity of the electronic devices themselves; they have shown themselves to be pretty resilient. Mostly fixable by replacing the odd item here and there. My issue is over our lack of control:

    1. We rely heavily on the LWRF mothership for remote operation
    2. LWRF push inadequately tested software updates to our phone apps (I have auto update disabled)
    3. LWRF push broken (or at least breaking) firmware updates to our on-site link hubs from which we CANNOT protect ourselves

    To be constructive, what they could do quite simply is inform their userbase of upcoming changes with decent release notes.

    E.g. I distinctly remember a firmware update a while ago that stopped talking to the mark 1 energy monitors. They had to have known that was going to happen but their plan was not to do anything about it unless you complained. The strategy seemed to be :”our users will probably think their monitor is broken so they’ll just go out and buy a new one which will be a mark 2 and will work”. I consider this approach both lazy and cynical.

    #24601
     tlpc0 says:

    tlpc0
    Participant

    Quite agree. I will never understand any company that has a good product and then lets it down with a poor user interface (generally software). We see so many do the same thing, then the support that becomes non-existent (and communication) making the product almost unusable. We do have a new tech support contact at LWRF speaking to them today (apparently), so will vent a bit of frustration at them and see where it gets us. Slightly off topic from the original post, but i suspect this conversation could fit into many of the others.

    #24698
     Glassdome says:

    Glassdome
    Participant

    This is sad to read as I too have lost faith. I have a mass of lightwaverf products and problems a with lights randomly activating (see my post under troubleshooting). My fear is that either the company is arrogant to the point of ignoring users or has given up and knows new entrants will obliterate them at some point and so don’t make the effort. Neither are palatable or good for users.

    There is so much rich feedback in this forum that they could harness and learn from. They could also focus on user experience and make it work as well as offering enhancements.

    I too won’t be sticking with lightwaverf if I move, unless they change significantly. The worst but for me is that I’m a shareholder! I think there is a case study on how the company had a unique position with attractive and simple retrofit products and could have grabbed the entire market. Instead they’re almost sabotaging their own prospects.

    Hopefully they’ll start to act on the content of such forums and get their act together.

    #24705
     michael ward says:

    michael ward
    Participant

    I don’t believe they even bother to read these forums. I had a job contacting customer services after Megaman stopped the support, even out of courtesy to your query, they should answer, but I received nothing. At which point, in frustration, I sent an email direct to their management, with a complaint about no service and lo and behold, the service section replied.
    Maybe if you have a service question that is not answered withing 24 hours, you should be bombarding management with emails. They will soo get the idea something is sadly wrong.

    I do believe this company could have done better without the current set of venture capitalists, who should have opted to have a decent management team and stepping back themselves, rather than trying to squeeze the most profits for little input.

    The problem with all this gear is the cost of the components and having them fitted then find out the system is flawed with frequent break downs at a whim of untested software.

    Yes there are always going to be problems with wifi, but these can be overcome with decent software, something this company is lacking.

    #24708
     tlpc0 says:

    tlpc0
    Participant

    This little discussion is gathering comments and for all the wrong reasons (assuming of course you are LWRF). An update on my new support contact, he was ill (benefit of the doubt) and said he would call to discuss, that was on the 6th December. Guess what still no response to calls or emails, our queries and questions now go back over six weeks!! I have to say sadly that LWRF is a bit like ADT (security company for the un-initiated). All the while your new customers outweigh your existing, put up with the crap or go elsewhere. Just in case anyone from LWRF is reading, this is not a good business plan. (It caught up with ADT and cost them a lot, and they are much bigger than LW) A bad name will come round much quicker than you think, with poor reviews and forum discussions like this.

    Unless anyone on this forum objects i will copy in LWRF, as you never know!!

    #24711
     Colin says:

    Colin
    Participant

    I’ve been a user of LightwaveRF for quite some time and have lived through its decline. I was very enthusiastic to start with and fell for their early videos on You Tube showing a totally automated house. Had the system installed at my old place and by and large the old 200s worked for me, though as I was an early Heatmiser adapter I never bothered with their heating system.
    Moved last year and bought my LightwaveRF kit to the new house. A bad illness and problems with the internet (we are miles from anywhere civilised) delayed the set up.
    For a while it ran well. But lately it has failed me continually. I guess that the old system in which I invested heavily is now obsolete, but I am getting beyond caring.
    I invested in a Nest thermostat which works well and promises me an automated home along the lines of the one LWRF offered me and if I cannot get the ols system up and running I think I ‘ll just use the switches as dimmer switches and just gradually feplace with Nest.
    Totally agree about the Last Nsil in the Coffin…

    #24714
     TheAndyMac says:

    TheAndyMac
    Participant

    I am getting to the same position – having bought into LightwaveRF for a whole house upgrade when they explicitly supported Windows devices including Windows Phone (one of the reasons I went with them), it now appears that unless you have an iOS or Android device, you simply can’t use the system as advertised!

    The Web Manager, which appears to still be in Beta some months if not years later, simply does not offer feature parity for Gen1 devices especially around Events – you can’t setup random timers, or set a device to switch on to last dimmed state through it!

    Quote from support: “The web manager is a Beta version of the app and not all the features are yet available, for example you cannot amend or set any random delays on the web app.”

    Effectively, you are forced to have (or buy) and Android or iOS device simply to be able to use the system in the way it is advertised and promoted! It should now be advertised as “LightwaveRF Home Automation FOR ANDROID/IOS” (and in the case of Gen2, Home Automation for IOS).

    So I am now really start to regret spending all this money on tech that they have completely disenfranchised ANY users without Android/iOS and the software updates (as per this thread) being a nightmare for many. I wish I’d gone for a more open platform – just a pity that the design of the devices on most other platforms is completely appalling :-(

    And this is in addition to the fact that they are not offering any “upgrade” options for the hub, to allow those people who bought into LightWaveRF some time ago a discounted price to move to Gen2 if they want to.

    I used to recommend LightWaveRF to friend and family – never again!

    #24721
     h3mp says:

    h3mp
    Participant

    even Microsoft are no longer making Windows phones now… android/ios support covers the vast majority of phones on the planet, so sometimes you can’t expect more..

    #24722
     TheAndyMac says:

    TheAndyMac
    Participant

    I’m not sure your “majority of phones” is a correct statement – the majority of smartphones, yes. But my question was not about PHONES specifically —

    What about those of us who would rather use a PC to setup the automation (which can be both time consuming and quite complex)? Do we have to go and buy an Android or iOS tablet simply to be able to do this now?

    Yes I use my phone to switch devices on and off (and there is a pretty good 3rd party app on Windows 10 Mobile to do just that) BUT there is nothing available to setup and manage the automation fully if I don’t have an Android or iOS device!

    Looking at the market, there are still plenty of people (and this number continues to stay reasonably stable) using desktops and laptops who might want to be able to manage their home automation from their PC/Laptop for whatever reason – and LightWaveRF is now completely ignoring them all — this is not just for Windows, but also for Mac users and the (albeit small) numbers of Linux users out there.

    #24725
     h3mp says:

    h3mp
    Participant

    ..it goes without saying that i was talking about smartphones.

    I’m pretty sure the history of the original Lightwave Link was that it was aimed at phones, and the web manger was a later add-on..

    There are dozens of complaints with the system that i’m happy to throw at lightwave at present, but not supporting windows phones is not one of them ;-)

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