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mradh

Fibaro declining?

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As a long time user of Fibaro, i start getting a feeling that I am about done with Fibaro. I have given up on support, or the lack thereof, a long time ago and feel that clients are left on their own. My recent experiences with Fibaro make me feel looking at alternatives since there is no reasoning why changes are being made to the system, or why sudden functions no longer work. I can not have a system in my house, and believe me when I say that I am using about every single add on in my household, which is unreliable and becomes a struggle to maintain.

 

My latest experience is pretty bad and annoying and has all to do with the fact that by now only one device, the one the superuser is logged in to, is having all the Fibaro functionality in the app on ios. This causes my family members to call me constantly about switching on or off the alarm and any other device, which literally drives me crazy. Crazy, because from my perspective nothing changed to the system, no warnings have been made by Fibaro about system changes, and now I am trying to figure out what has changed. @Fibaro this sucks!

 

If at least you would give me a heads up that user management does not work anymore, or the app on ios is outdated, or whatelse, I could prepare. This system should provide convenience and not be a hassle! This way you loose customer buy in, and worse if in my case my spouse starts to complain about Fibaro, you can bet it will be out of the door soon! I know I am not the only one contemplating a change, and I wonder how stupid one can be to let a client base diminish itself because of lousy, inadequate or better said non existent support? Cannibalizing your own company you worked so hard to build must indicate there is an other problem you are facing, and I would like to say that transparency is probably the way to go.

 

It is especially sad, as you did have a nice vibe going, but slowly but surely I feel that vibe is fading. What will be left if this continues? Just a dim memory of a company once cool, but now a distant memory because clients turn away.

 

I feel for you, but than again if you do not care about your clients, why would i care about you?

 

Sincerely

 

A distressed client

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@mradh

I'm very sad to hear that.

 

I can assure you that we're constantly trying to improve our products and are working on resolving any existing issues.

From what I gather, it seems that you have tried contacting our support with an issue and aren't satisfied with their answer. Is that correct? If so, could you give me a case number so that I can look into this?

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I think your intuition is right. But difficult to say if the concept of a local gateway is slowly dying - or just HC2?

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Yes I am afraid I am in the same place. I have been actively moving to HomeKit now over the past few months...about 50% of the way through. And whilst its also got its problems, hidden rules etc its been much more stable. Now that's not to say I am not buying Fibaro....I am...HomeKit devices....I am now just going to be a different type of customer.

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  • Topic Author
  • 2 hours ago, A.Smolinski said:

    @mradh

    I'm very sad to hear that.

     

    I can assure you that we're constantly trying to improve our products and are working on resolving any existing issues.

    From what I gather, it seems that you have tried contacting our support with an issue and aren't satisfied with their answer. Is that correct? If so, could you give me a case number so that I can look into this?

     

    It is not that I have something against you or else. I also do understand the concept of a forum which is not the place for support, it is just that at times things do happen which are totally annoying. Like in this particular case. Suddenly, without any change to either the HC nor the Iphone, the ability to change anything is blocked. Then one suddenly can not connect anymore, is forced to be part of the fibaro cloud platform, which went off air on Monday evening my time, and now two days later I am still switching the alarm etc on and off on MY iphone for my family members. You do understand this is annoying. As I have tried to reach you without any luck, it became time to post this on the forum hoping somebody else would have the same problem. As for your support system, Ive tried this in the past, but did not think much of the answers given.

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    I fully understand where you're coming from. What do you mean that you tried reaching us without any luck?

    Regarding your problem, we had some technical issues from the side of our service provider that have been resolved just a while ago.

    Could you check again if you're still having connection problems?

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    5 hours ago, darren-mc said:

    Yes I am afraid I am in the same place. I have been actively moving to HomeKit now over the past few months...about 50% of the way through. And whilst its also got its problems, hidden rules etc its been much more stable. Now that's not to say I am not buying Fibaro....I am...HomeKit devices....I am now just going to be a different type of customer.

    Homekit is fine in many ways, but far from home automation and even farther from smarthome.

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    in some respects your right. Over 10 years I have 2 systems.... HomeSeer and Fibaro....both of them need "feeding". HomeKit does not....and that attracts me. Its 3rd generation for me....I been there got the T-Shirt...don't want it anymore.

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    I have been using the Fibaro system for over 4 years now. With 5 controllers, over 150 devices and motors etc, I have made a heavy investment in its products. Once upon a time, I could go to the support page of the Fibaro UK website and gain some basic information. At least once a year, the system starts behaving erratically, I understand Fibaro accept they have association problems with their RGBW devices but in the most recent problem, I have found not just RGBW but 2x1 relay and Roller devices also setting up random associations and the lights, blinds and other devices take on a life of their own. It is tedious and laborious going through every device and deleting all the associations you never set up but more importantly, using the system for security or home automation functions becomes useless if it cannot be relied upon to function as programmed.

     

    Additionally, there are other aspects that make me feel Fibaro is on the decline. Lower cost more reliable z-wave devices elsewhere, the absence of a Gen 5 controller and the diminishing lustre of their GUI are all part of the challenge for Fibaro.

     

    An example of how the company seems to have become internalised is the constant nag to update your hub from the mobile phone app when their own tech experts advise using the "Chaicka's update procedure" which requires access from a PC and a lot of patience. I have no idea how many people have tried to update from an iPad or iPhone and found their system unserviceable but comment in that section of the website indicate some have come to regret being encouraged to be so casual of the process.

     

    After investing a 5 figure sum in Fibaro, I am closer and closer to cutting my losses and an actively seeking a more reliable system for home automation that will do as it is programmed by the user, no more, no less.

     

    Certainly for me, Fibaro is fast declining as a system of choice.

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    Just to throw my 2c in .. I feel like a large part of Fibaro's success was based on timing .. they were early to market with a brilliant product comparative to others.

    I think now however, we as users, expect a better experience, with home integration becoming easily accessible, home automation becoming very accepted and with competition building in the sector, Fibaro really hasn't changed much, and hasn't completely delivered on the expectations they instilled. I mean these days, and it is only recent, it costs next to nothing to get some wifi lighting and have google home control it by voice ( something that I can't reliably do with my literally thousands and thousands of dollars of installed hardware .. )

    In my opinion, they need to rethink a lot of what they take for granted, and really have a good close look at how others are progressing, with reliability, integration and the GUI / user experience being the largest of these things to my mind.

     

    I am continuously evaluating alternatives, and haven't found one that is better at what it does, enough to make me change, but some are getting closer. Most of those however, have worse or non existant support, and are basically kickstarters that may or may not develop further into viable contenders, indeed a couple haven't even responded to a sales enquiry. Personally I don't think it is too much to ask of a HA system in 2018 to self repair to some extent, work flawlessly without an internet connection, have a dedicated app that doesn't drain a phone battery, utilises geo positioning well, allows localised full system backups on your media of choice, is fully configurable within the app ( for example ; I'd like my elderly mother inlaw to have lights and shutters and whatever scene only on the opening screen, not have to navigate ), is integrated with google home or alexa or siri or whatever else you throw at it, and above all else is reliable.

     

    Don't get me wrong, the HC2 does everything, ( kind of ) and I love mine ( most of the time ), mine are generally reliable, I am comfortable with them, and most things can be worked around or scripted around to achieve whatever I want, and although it's inconsequential, it is a bit dated and stale. I hope I'll be in the queue to purchase and early adopt a few HC3's for my installations, and know that Fibaro have the best of intentions, but intentions don't make success anymore, there are too many others circling, and disgruntled users for whatever reason aren't a good look.

     

    IMO Fibaro should start listening to users via an extensive poll / survey to determine what the issues are that users have, then act systematically to either fix, incorporate or explain solutions. ( OLA! Organise a way to Listen to feedback and Act on it ! )

    Jump onto providing regular updates, improvements and stability.

    Continue to release software update beta's to users who are happy trashing a system if it goes bad, but listen to their feedback and jump on hot fixing anything that causes grief.
    The peeps on this forum from newest user through to oldest salt, and the current team of excellent responsive admins, collectively have all the answers to building Fibaro into a stunning system, but it seems like there is something at the core of Fibaro which stops that from happening everytime there is some renewed momentum. I don't know what / who or why that is.

     

    TL;DR -

    Fibaro still is my system of choice, but there is a lot of competition circling and they need to up their game !

     

    Cheers,

    al.

     

     

    • Like 1

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    10 hours ago, PepsiMac said:

    After investing a 5 figure sum in Fibaro, I am closer and closer to cutting my losses and an actively seeking a more reliable system for home automation that will do as it is programmed by the user, no more, no less.

     

    Certainly for me, Fibaro is fast declining as a system of choice.

    To be honest I think even now HC2 is still the best wireless HA product on the market. My system works fine most of the time (>99%). To my opinion one of the major problem that the system is open and allows to users to create a lot of bugs and to crash the system. 

    I'm continuously follow many other forums (Vera, Homeseer, Zipato) and they have a lot bigger issues with implementation.

    Any how if you will find more reliable system, please share it with us.

     

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    Posted (edited)
    10 hours ago, alandee said:

    I think now however, we as users, expect a better experience, with home integration becoming easily accessible, home automation becoming very accepted and with competition building in the sector, Fibaro really hasn't changed much, and hasn't completely delivered on the expectations they instilled. I mean these days, and it is only recent, it costs next to nothing to get some wifi lighting and have google home control it by voice ( something that I can't reliably do with my literally thousands and thousands of dollars of installed hardware .. )

    In my opinion, they need to rethink a lot of what they take for granted, and really have a good close look at how others are progressing, with reliability, integration and the GUI / user experience being the largest of these things to my mind.

    I agree that HC2 does not a perfect system and Fibaro has a lot of areas for improvement.  You're right and there are a lot of voice control and other solutions, but it depends on what you want to achieve. To my opinion HA concept is not replacing wall switch to mobile/cellular switch or even not a voice controlled switch. The target is not Home Automation, but rather to have a smart home which controls home environment without human innervation and HC2 is a great solution to support it. It might be that Fibaro needs to provide more integration abilities to support 3rd party devices or at least to allow to users to create Plugins.

    It's just my opinion.

     

    Edited by cag014

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    Perhaps what we should consider is that Fibaro is currently "Best in Class", the class being the home enthusiast with limited technical knowledge. When you want to control and few lights and blinds, the system has the ability to create simple scenes and add a few custom icons. When you introduce health, safety and security features, or a larger home, then most installers seem to go for Creston. Keen enthusiasts go for Demopad on Windows or Indigo on Mac. Long time home enthusiasts swear by the Homeseer solution.

     

    What I have noticed is that whilst the HC2 has its challenges and does not seem to have been updated for some time, the real disappointment with Fibaro tends to be with its modules, especially the RGBW, 2 x 1.5 relay and Sensors and the "Associations" feature. In the early days of Z-Wave, it was a useful feature but the advent of scenes and more involved solutions have really taken over. All it would take if for Fibaro to fix its device Association bugs or provide a scene or virtual device that would automate a fix or identify the rogue device, to give customers a sense they care.

     

    On a personal level, the failure to release the promised GSM and Battery modules for the HCL, lack of cctv options, the failure to go to Gen5, the price of the Fibaro intercom, poor technical support and a few other issues have forced me towards IndigoDomotics and Homeseer. I used to be a distributor for Apple Computer in years gone by and few companies that are behaving like Fibaro will stand thee test of time. What I read in many of the responses is not a love of Fibaro but the lack of a better alternative, not a loyalty to the brand. When that alternative does come through, what will the future hold?

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    On 6/28/2018 at 8:41 PM, cag014 said:

    To my opinion one of the major problem that the system is open and allows to users to create a lot of bugs

    100% agreed, it's a blessing and a curse, could not agree more. All open infrastructure is inherently unstable, the fact that they mitigate it as much as they have is very good !

     

    On 6/28/2018 at 9:36 PM, cag014 said:

    To my opinion HA concept is not replacing wall switch to mobile/cellular switch or even not a voice controlled switch. The target is not Home Automation, but rather to have a smart home

    Also 100% If you want simple there are other cheaper simpler probably closed systems that are more stable and will do lighting. If you want something cleverer than that, then I think personally Fibaro is as good as it gets, for the market it is aimed at, but that's not a reason for them to be complacent. We need plugins, we need, geo location that is sensible we need some self healing in the code, we need .. and so on and so on ..  for it to be a truly clever home controller.

     

    9 hours ago, PepsiMac said:

    Perhaps what we should consider is that Fibaro is currently "Best in Class"

    Mmm, yeah,  agree, but I think the class is important, as it is retrofit, it is all wireless, it is relatively cheap, it is BYO & DIY, and it is relatively powerful. The handful of people I know who have used homeseer, don't any more. ( inc. me ! )

    Funny that you mention Demopad, as I'm currently exploring it !

     

    Cheers,

    al.

     

     

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    So an update following .. erm .. the latest beta update :)

    Fibaro have in my opinion nailed the backups issue that has been worriesome for a long time. It's an elegant and effective implementation ( that still needs a few tweaks ) and shows a commitment behind the scenes.

    I also think the amount of moderation and the volume of response on the forum has been significantly improved of late, and I think they all deserve a round of applause for their work on the 4.503B :luv:

     

    Thanks Fibaro, you are making it easier and easier to support a product we love.

    • Like 6

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    As long as there will be afinal Version after the sale to an Italian company. 

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    Posted (edited)

    I assume you refer to Fibaro's sale to Nice Group

     

    Please login or register to see this link.

     

    On the corporate side, Fibar Group did not have a successful USA entry and no major awards since 2015 as far as I can work out. I have not seen their sales history but I suspect it was flatlining a little with hot competition from lower cost Chinese suppliers who delver similar products in the £30 range (as opposed to Fibaro £50) and the lack of a Gen 5 box was a little disappointing, a black version of the same box does not really cut it.  There have been a lot of commercial gaps in the Fibaro development of late and the storage offered by the latest upgrade opens up the possibility for a subscription service down the road, a possible revenue interest for the sale price. Also, there is a major security concern to have the information which controls the home (backups) stored remotely.

     

    Together with Zigbee's acquisition of Z-Wave,  do wonder whether those of us enthusiasts in Home Automation were first test guinea pigs and are now being treated as revenue points as opposed to customers.

     

    I am really looking for a stable, secure environment which would not force a subscription model on me once the investment is made and has a long term vision. One thing I feel is that I should use a Z-Wave stick from here on so the devices can be switched to different software solutions without difficulty.

     

    The market is changing rapidly and I would not be surprised if, within the next 12 months, drag and drop solutions, a bit like the for databases and websites, Imperihome Plus type solutions that will enable less programming, custom GUI solutions. I would not be surprised if it came from Amazon as they try to expand their home invasion strategy towards a British Gas Hive style control.

     

    One very interesting development is that the same company that bought Fibaro also purchased a kickstarter company from some ex-ADT people that develops security alarm systems (albeit subscription based) called Abode, not to be confused with Adobe. This could lead to some very exciting new Fibaro offerings. 

    Please login or register to see this link.

     

    Could be really exciting or really depressing ... here is hoping it is the first.

     

    Edited by PepsiMac

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