Well, I did it. I went and arranged a free smart-home consultation from Amazon Home Services. This new service allows consumers in select markets to schedule a consultation online, and then open their homes to one or two advisors. The advisors analyze your home network, demonstrate a few products like Amazon Echo and Fire TV, fix things here-and-there inside the home, and follow up with recommendations for your smart home.
How did they do?
My two guys were Thomas and Trevor. Both were young and spry. Both had college degrees. Both hailed from the Apple Genius bar. So they weren’t slouches.
But they also didn’t know too much beyond their little “smart home” box. According to Amazon, the consultants receive “over 100 hours of training!” (2.5 weeks). Granted, they’re gaining experience with each house they visit. For example, one of them “just found out” about a company called Control4, and they also have been hearing a lot about the Harmony remote.
The consultants absolutely did not visit my home to sell. They didn’t even mention Amazon Prime or the food delivery service Amazon Fresh. The only “selling” happens when you get an email the next day suggesting you buy an Amazon Dot or eero router.
As a matter of fact, after the consultants set up Fire TV in my living room, I was ready to buy right then and there. No can do. They don’t stock or sell products.
Regardless, the guys got my Honeywell thermostat online and working (I was having some issues). They showed me some challenges in my Wi-Fi coverage (using inSSIDer from Metageek). They got me pretty interested in Fire TV. And if I didn’t already have a rock-solid Ruckus network (thanks, Access Networks), then I most certainly would have bought eero, per their recommendation.
I have a funny feeling Amazon is deploying Smart Home Consultants simply for market research — to find out what pains consumers, to see what kinds of questions they ask. Even if they start using consultants as salespeople, who cares? If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the areas where Amazon is testing the program, go for it. It’s free and you might learn something.
Home automation has come a long way. Today, there are solutions available almost everywhere. Need help turning your home into a “smart” home. Find an installer near you.
Looking to Add Smart Technology to Your Home?
Home automation has come a long way. Today, there are solutions available almost everywhere. Need help turning your home into a “smart” home. Find an installer near you.Find an installer near you