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Verizon Automation and Monitoring Not Smooth Sailing
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April 25, 2012 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
The company’s customer forums are full of people complaining about glitches in the home monitoring service.
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Posted by Joe A.  on  04/25  at  03:31 PM

“As the only consumer magazine that specializes in control and automation systems, you’d think they’d appreciate our feedback.”

And yet you never cover other Consumer DIY Home Automation solutions. Or, for that matter, even print press releases when submitted. Do you see the irony?

Posted by Grant Clauser  on  04/25  at  04:53 PM
Posted by Jarryd Gonzales  on  04/25  at  06:42 PM

Hi Julie and Grant:

I must admit that I am disappointed by this story and the approach you have taken.

The fact is there are thousands of very satisfied HMC customers nationwide. The fact that you would take a very small slice of those who made negative comments on our forum and turn that into a story to generalize HMC as “not smooth sailing” or “full of bugs” is not true and at best short sighted.  You did this without even allowing Verizon the chance to comment on the story.

In fact,  you requested comment for the story at 9:55 a.m. ET, and then when I reached out to talk about the story and get your deadline, you said,
“Hate to say it, but looks like he already posted.” This was around 2 hours after you requested a comment.

I respectfully ask that you retract this story immediately and have a conversation with someone from Verizon to discuss HMC and the customer experience. I am confident that once you hear about how HMC is doing, how Verizon handles customer issues, etc., you will have a much more accurate view of the product and how it is embraced by its customers. We work diligently to help customers and we’re committed to delivering the best customer experiences.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can put you in touch with a HMC expert.

Posted by Grant Clauser  on  04/26  at  10:38 AM

We have reached out to Verizon and are awaiting a response. We will post a follow-up story if appropriate. We have nothing against Verizon or entry-level home automation. In fact we wish them success as we believe that increased awareness would be good for the entire industry.

Posted by Joe A.  on  04/26  at  10:44 AM

Grant,

Ok, then what about the most popular Home Automation technologies for DIY customers - HomeSeer, ISY, MiCasaVerde, Smarthome for hardware controllers and HomeSeer, Smarthome, Perceptive Automation, etc., for software-based systems? I’ve been in touch with all of these companies over the past several years and they all have the same issue: requests to you to review products have fallen on deaf ears. Even getting a press release about major new versions are not getting coverage.

Don’t these products, which collectively have an extremely large percentage of consumer-oriented DIY Home Automation business, deserve at least some coverage?

Posted by Grant Clauser  on  04/26  at  11:18 AM

Joe, If you represent one of these companies, please make sure I’m on the press release list. I’ve spoken to other people on staff, and no one recalls anyone from the companies you mention reaching out to EH for product reviews. If you know differently or are connected to those companies, please email me directly by clicking on my name at the bottom of the original article. If we conclude there’s reader interest, then we’ll cover it.

Posted by Joe A.  on  04/26  at  03:08 PM

Grant,

Thank you, I’ll let my contacts at these (and other) companies know. I know several that have sent emails directly to other writers (Julie, Lisa Montgomery, Rachel, etc.) as well as to the press release email (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) and the other various editors and have never received responses. Is that press release email valid as well or should they just go directly to you?

I know of a several that will not bother - they are so frustrated that they no longer believe that EHPublishing actually represents consumers anyway but rather solely represents paying advertisers, dealers, and installers. Hopefully they’ll be proven wrong.

Posted by Rachel Cericola  on  04/27  at  09:09 AM

Hey Joe: I have sort of been sitting back, watching this conversation. I figured Grant would handle it, but since you called me out by name, I need to chime in…. because I don’t really appreciate being called out as someone that blows off these types of requests. That’s because it’s 100-percent untrue.

Without getting into too much detail, I can tell you that I’ve never once heard from half of companies you listed here. Also, I have never once been offered a product review from any of these companies—at least not in the past 5+ years.

Not trying to bash them at all, just saying that if someone is feeding you this info, I take serious offense and call BS on it.

If these companies are putting out regular news, they aren’t getting it to me. I would say most of the time when we cover them, it’s because I found the news elsewhere.

Did I possibly miss a few releases that have come to me over the 10+ years I have worked at EH? Well, of course. That said, I LOVE covering the DIY stuff, and I am always seeking it out! I don’t have access to the EH email that you listed, but anyone can reach me directly at the email that’s listed on every story that I write.

Sorry, that’s a longer response than anyone should have to read. :)

Posted by Joe A.  on  04/27  at  01:04 PM

Rachel - thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, I know of two cases where I sent the emails on behalf of two of those companies and your address (which I just confirmed) was on both. We heard nothing and the email wasn’t bounced so I’m not sure what else we can do to ensure that the emails are arriving.

I do contract marketing work for several of them and as I said I’ll let them know and will continue to send announcements to your email (and I’ll add Grant as well) when I’m contracted to do so.

Posted by Rachel Cericola  on  04/27  at  01:32 PM

Thanks for the reply again, Joe. Please feel free to email me privately if you want to continue this conversation. Maybe I can figure out if I didn’t get your emails or why we didn’t follow up.

Posted by DIYer  on  04/30  at  09:55 AM

This is all very consistent with EH stories I’ve read over the years.  EH is afraid of the DIY market and will not publish about it except to bash it.  EH does not understand that many consumers cannot afford the expensive custom-installed options out there, but us poor folks still deserve the chance to try more affordable DIY systems.

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