TravelTech: Faulty Products And Poor Customer Service … SimpliSafe Or Simpli Crap?


SimpliSafe, Inc.
294 Washington Street, Floor 9
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (888) 957-4675
Website: SimpliSafe.com

If you are like me, an avid traveler that may be gone for long periods of time, a good, dependable, affordable home security system you can operate from anywhere in the world seems to good to be true. Well, in SimpliSafe’s case, it is too good to be true, so do not believe their misleading advertisements or celebrity endorsements from the likes of Kim Komando and Dave Ramsey. Here is my recent experience with SimpliSafe …

Sensors that do not work or emit false alarms, slow response to middle-of-the-night (false) alarms, and poor or no response to customer concerns and questions are just a few of the reasons we are cancelling our SimpliSafe monitoring and requesting a full refund. Based on SimpiSafe’s history of poor customer service, I expect to be ignored or hassled every step of the way,

I bought the system after hearing rave reviews about SimpliSafe on The Kim Komando Show and The Dave Ramsey Show, two radio celebrities that I thought were credible and honest. The reasons we committed to spending $400+ for a system and $300 a year on monitoring were:

1) Kim Komando’s/Dave Ramsey’s recommendations2) No contracts2) 100% wireless, cellular system3) Easy to set-up4) Mobile (cell phone) control and alerts5) Power outage protection6) Portability7) Pet friendly8) Not One, But Three Risk–Free Guarantees:– 60-Day Money Back Guarantee– Three Year Product Warranty– 100% Satisfaction Guarantee


customer-support@simplisafe.com
1-888-957-4675
Purchase Information:
E-mail Address:
Billing Address:
LAWRENCE, KS 66044
Shipping Address:
LAWRENCE, KS 66044
Order Total: $403.52
Order Summary:
Order Confirmation #: WP9XXXXX
Order Subtotal:  $448.36
10% Off Your System: -$44.84
——
Total for this Order:  $403.52

Order details: 

1 x 24/7 Professional Alarm Monitoring (SimpliSafe2) – $24.99
Model: SSEDSM2

  • Activation code: Y5KW-KETU
  • Service Plan: 24/7 Interactive Alarm Monitoring + Alerts
1 x Refurbished Security System: 18 Components – $423.37
Model: SSCS1-R

  • Base Station: 1
  • Wireless Keypad: 1
  • Keychain Remotes: 2
  • Motion Sensors: 3
  • Entry Sensors: 6
  • Panic Buttons: 1
  • Auxiliary Sirens: 1
  • Window Decals: 2
  • Water Sensors: 1
  • Smoke Detectors: 1
  • Freeze Sensors: 1

Burglar Alarm Monitoring Permit Information!

Instructions:  Please check with your local authorities to verify whether or not an alarm permit is required. It is the responsibility of the subscriber to obtain and maintain a valid alarm permit, if required by your local jurisdiction. Failure to do so can result in no police response and/or monetary fines. If there is, or you need some help, we’d love it if you could give us a call at 888 957 4675 to let us know!

Fire Alarm Monitoring Permit Information!

Instructions:  Please check with your local authorities to verify whether or not an alarm permit is required. It is the responsibility of the subscriber to obtain and maintain a valid alarm permit, if required by your local jurisdiction. Failure to do so can result in no police response and/or monetary fines. If there is, or you need some help, we’d love it if you could give us a call at 888 957 4675 to let us know!
The system worked OK for a less than two weeks, then we started having false alarms on our motion sensors in the middle of the night, waking us to the shrill sound of the alarm and not knowing if an intruder was in our home. This happened on four occasions and response times from the monitoring center varied from 30 seconds to over four (4) minutes.

A lot can happen in four minutes during a home invasion and we found SimpliSafe’s alarm monitoring center’s response times to be sporadic. In the four minutes it took for an operator to call us after one middle-of-the-night false alarm (fortunately), intruders could have rushed upstairs, kicked in our bedroom door, robbed us at gunpoint, sexually assaulted my wife, shot us in the head, and been on their way … all before SimplisSafe called us to see if we even needed them to call the police! It would have been much easier and safer to Simpli pick up the phone and call 911 ourselves, so why do we need to pay $24.99 per month for “monitoring”? I asked the young lady on the phone why it took so long to call and she said that there were “too many calls for the number of people working”, a sad excuse if it were in fact a home invasion.

Their customer service call center is only open between 8am and 5pm, but if you need help, forget contacting SimpliSafe via email because they are nearly completely unresponsive. When I was finally able to talk to a customer service representative, they had me reduce the sensitivity of the motion sensors because the forced air heat was apparently setting them off (we have no pets or ghosts in our home). “The heater is setting them off?”, I asked, something we had never heard of or experienced having owned several alarm systems from reputable companies (ADT, Guardian, etc) over the years. It is not much fun being awoken from a deep sleep, four times over a period of several weeks no less, because of a motion sensor that cannot tell the difference between an intruder and forced air heat. I wonder what kind of affect pets would have on SimpliSafe’s “Pet-Friendly Motion Detector” that “doesn’t detect small pets”?

Since we installed the system and activated it on September 17th, 2015, we have had five false alarms and eight sensor errors (cut and pasted directly from our SimpliSafe “Event Log”:

09/18/2015 5:13am Alarm: Motion Sensor “Living Room (Front)” 

09/20/2015 2:10am Alarm: Motion Sensor “Living Room (Back)” 

10/10/2015 7:28am Error: Panic Button “Bedroom Panic” 

10/12/2015 12:28pm Error: Panic Button “Bedroom Panic” 

10/20/2015 3:27pm Error: Entry Sensor “Elisa Room Window” 

10/29/2015 12:19am Alarm: Motion Sensor “Kitchen” 

12/13/2015 3:42am Alarm: Water Sensor “Basement” 

12/31/2015 5:32am Alarm: Motion Sensor “Living Room (Back)” 

01/09/2016 1:19pm Error: Flood Sensor “Basement” 

01/15/2016 2:19pm Error: Flood Sensor “Basement Water Sensor” 

01/19/2016 7:18am Error: Flood Sensor “Basement Water Sensor” 

01/28/2016 7:18pm Error: Flood Sensor “Basement Water Sensor” 

01/30/2016 8:17pm Error: Flood Sensor “Basement Water Sensor”

They sent a replacement water sensor on December 18th, 2015 after the original one failed (see above), but it was like pulling teeth to get them to respond or cooperate. We had several back and forth emails asking me if the “sensors were in contact with water” (obviously not or I would not have been complaining) or after admitting that the sensor was bad, I was asked for our “delivery address” (“the same address as the monitoring we pay for that is in your system”, I responded). C’mon folks, use your brains!

They sent the replacement water sensor via snail mail and I received it on January 8th, 2016. One day later, the “new” sensor began to “error” and became unresponsive. It seemed to resolve itself after a couple hours, so I let it go, but repeated errors led me to contact customer service via email again on January 28th, 2016. 

“This is the 3rd time the “new” sensor (replacement for the original that was sending false alarms) that you sent us has had problems “not responding”. Here’s the message I just received from the system: 

no-reply@simplisafe.com / no subject / Sensor error: Flood Sensor 13C2Y “Basement Water Sensor”  is not responding at 1104 New York Street on 1-28-16 at 7:18pm 

What’s the problem now? This is getting ridiculous. How can our home and basement be protected if your sensors don’t work?

Please let me know what SimpliSafe is going to do about it.

Thanks”

It was ignored, so I sent another email on January 30th, 2016:

“I’m tired of false alarms, equipment that doesn’t work, and lack of professionalism/responses from customer/tech support. Delays in contacting or being contacted by emergency dispatch cause great concern in event of a “real” emergency. Unless there is an immediate response and our concerns addressed, I would like to cancel our monitoring and get a refund for your faulty equipment.

Thank you.”

Rather than addressing the problem or our concerns, I received the following unprofessional response the same day:

“From: customer-support@simplisafe.com Date: January 30, 2016 at 8:50:51 AM CST

 Subject: I’m tired of false alarms …

Hello,

We apologize for the inconvenience that you are experiencing. Please understand we have many customers that need our assistance. Also, if you would like to cancel your subscription you’d need to call in to us. We can not go through with such an action with out your direct consent on the telephone. Thank you. 

If you have any other questions, please let us know.

Best,

Ishaya”

I assumed that someone would get back to me, but after hearing nothing more by February 1st, 2016, I sent the following email:

“Yes, I have questions. Read the email I sent to Customer Support on 1/28 highlighted in yellow below.

As far as your company’s advertising is concerned … Your company makes a lot of great claims about your products, customer service, and “guarantees”, but you don’t even respond to customer concerns. Our water sensor has been malfunctioning for over two weeks … 

This is the replacement sensor you sent us after the original failed (see your Dec 17, 2015 email). Why don’t you respond to our concerns? You are not doing your best as stated in your 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE.

If I am not contacted and this issue resolved NOT LATER THAN Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016, I am cancelling our monitoring and will request a full refund. We have had far too many problems with your “RISK FREE”, “SATISFACTION GUARANTEED” products in the short time we have been customers.

Thank you.”

It is now Thursday, February 4th, 2016 and I have not been contacted by SimpliSafe, so I am following through with my promise … I am cancelling our monitoring and SimpliSafe is losing a customer. I am also contacting the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont Better Business Bureau (where SimplisSafe has 30 complaints on-file) to file complaints. Kim Komando and Dave Ramsey will also be contacted to let them know what I think of their SimpliSafe (endorsements) recommendations.

You can read my reviews of SimpliSafe on my blog: http://www.CombatCritic.com, Yelp, and the Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont Better Business Bureau website.

UPDATE: After filing complaints with the Greater Boston BBB and Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, representatives from SimpliSafe finally contacted me with a solution. I was sent a replacement water sensor post haste and it, being the third such sensor we have tried, seems to be working so far. They also threw in 2 months ($49.98) of free monitoring for our troubles. 

Although better than nothing, this company has problems that need to be addressed before a life is lost due to their equipment malfunctions, poor customer service response, and delayed emergency center 911 support due to “lack of personnel”.

CombatCritic Gives SimpliSafe 1 Bomb Out Of 10 and a spot on my ” WALL OF SHAME”
One Bomb Equates To:

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp – Elite ’14/’15/’16

TripAdvisor – Top Contributor

Tabelog – Official Judge (Bronze)

Zomato – #1 Ranked Foodie

View my food journey on Zomato!



… And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


Tabelog Reviewer CombatCriticView my food journey on Zomato!


Title: TravelTech: Faulty Products And Poor Customer Service … SimpliSafe Or Simpli Crap?

Key Words: SimpliSafe. simpli, safe, simply, alarm, system, home, security, protection, Dave Ramsey, Kim Komando, Boston, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, product, review, Yelp, http://www.komando.com, http://www.daveramsey.com

Translation for Civilians: FUBAR = “Fucked Up Beyond All Repair”

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Another FREE Florence (Italy) Attraction: The Elizabeth Barrett Browning Home – Casa Guidi


Casa Guidi
Piazza San Felice 8
50125 Florence, Italy
Near Palazzo Pitti
Prices: FREE
Casa Guidi, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s (EBB) former home and where she died, is in Florence … and, unlike most everything else in the city, it is FREE to visit!
My wife is a huge fan of the Brönte sisters and EBW was a fan of Charlotte’s. I also enjoy her poetry and have a First Edition of one of her works, so I was also interested in visiting her home.
Just down the street from Palazzo Piti on the Altrarno side of the river, Casa Guidi is located on the first floor (second floor to Americans) of a historic palazzo. There is an engraved stone marker above the massive door indicating where she lived and a brass nameplate above the buzzer outside with details about operating hours. There is also a single brass button below the rest that merely says “Elizabeth”.
Living Room
The apartment consists of just three rooms that you can visit, but they are spectacular and contain furniture of hers and from the period as well as photos, paintings, busts, and other memorabilia. Her husband study is small, but has elaborate frescoes on the walls and ceilings. The dining room is large, but not extremely interesting. The living room, off of which are the bedrooms and kitchen (not open to the public, but apparently you can rent them for lodging). is massive and contains a large library of her works, more artwork, and some beautiful period furniture as well as some of her possessions.
Husband’s Study
The visit is self-guided and FREE, but you must visit on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday (April to November) between 3PM and 6PM only. Just ring the buzzer for Casa Guidi, though the giant door and a gate, then go up one flight of stairs to her apartment on the left.

CombatCritic Gives Casa Guidi 8 Bombs Out Of 10 … More Bombs Are Better!




Read More Reviews By CombatCritic On Yelp And TripAdvisor … And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube



Title: Another FREE Florence (Italy) Attraction: The Elizabeth Barrett Browning Home – Casa Guidi

Key Words: FREE, Florence, Italy, Attraction, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Elizabeth, Barrett, Browning, Home, Casa Guidi, Firenze, review, museum, attraction, Yelp, TripAdvisor, travel, value

Clean, Safe, Fair Priced and Unlike Anthony Bourdain … Some Reservations


Hotel Heritage Home
1603/4 Main Bazar, Pahar Ganj
Near RK Ashram Metro Station
New Delhi 110055, India 
Phone: +91-987-352-9223

Prices: $$$$$

New Delhi (Paharganj), India: I found Hotel Heritage Home on TripAdvisor and made my reservation on Booking.com after reading numerous good reviews. The hotel is just a few blocks from the Ramakrishna Ashram Marg Metro station (opposite end from the train station) on Main Bazaar and just around the corner from Café Festa. It was easy to spot because of the good signage in front. It has a clean, open, rustic feel with a long entry through automatic glass doors, a small reception along with a travel office, an elevator and a rooftop restaurant. The area around the station is seedy to say the least, but vibrant, energetic, and colorful although filthy as is the case around much of Delhi.

Arriving at 1:30 AM after a 30-hour journey, I decided to defer to the hotel to pick me up at the airport. My driver spoke little English, but was right where I was told he would be with my name on a sign. The drive took about 25 minutes with little traffic due to the early hour. The trip was quoted at 900 Rupees ($14.65), not unfair by American standards but 500 Rupees more than the “standard” (400 Rupee – $6.50) fare from the airport to Delhi. In fact, when I inquired about my return trip to the airport, I was quoted 400 Rupees, so maybe there was a “late arrival surcharge”, an not totally unreasonable assumption.

I booked a “standard” room (1200 Rupees/night – $19.50), but found out the next say I was upgraded to a “deluxe” (normally 1800 Rupees – $29.25). The room was basic with marble floors, a large king bed, flat screen TV and cable, a small wardrobe, mini-sofa and table, and a bathroom that also serves as a shower due to the lack of a curtain or door. The room was fortunately in the back away from the street with no windows, which is not a bad thing considering I am sensitive to light and noise when I sleep and Main Bazaar is extremely loud due to the crowds below and the incessant honking of horns that Delhi drivers seem to thrive on.

The hotel’s travel office is convenient and helpful, but based on the prices I was quoted you may be better off booking your (train/bus/hotel/sightseeing) reservations online or directly with the provider as travel agents (and most other businesses) in this area are notorious for overcharging tourists. I will defer my opinion until I can compare quoted charges with online/counter prices through the respective purveyors.

Their rooftop restaurant is “relatively” quiet and inviting with plants, three parakeet cages, and local furnishings with several tables sitting below their own canopy for shade from the warm Delhi sun. The waiters speak barely passable English, but are attentive, efficient, and friendly. The menu has few beverage options, including bottled water, coffees (30-35 rupees – 55 – 60 cents), teas, shakes and other local drinks as well as vegetarian breakfasts, appetizers, pastas, sandwiches, and several options from India. There is no Diet Coke or other low calorie soft drinks and the coffee adequate, seemingly instant and likely Nescafe. The offerings are cheap by American standards, but not great. In two visits, I tried the egg and potato breakfast (80 Rupees – $1.30), accompanied by two pieces of toast (butter and jam), and a coffee with milk (35 rupees). It was adequate, but an excellent value. For dinner I went with the butter chicken (170 rupees – $2.75 – normally, one of my favorites) and an order of garlic cheese naan (60 Rupees – $1.00). The butter chicken came in a tomato-based sauce that tasted like sweet spaghetti sauce, not the creamy, savory variety I have come to love in restaurants in the U.S. and England, and the naan was slathered in butter/oil, a bit too much for my taste.

My biggest disappointments were the unexplained airport surcharge mentioned earlier, the horrible and nearly non-existent internet, and the phantom (500 Rupee) SIM card charge for my iPhone. The internet seemed to work OK upon my arrival and I was fortunately able to Skype with my wife and let he know I was alive, but it was “down” the next two days (the manager said it was their service provider’s fault) and accessible the next two, but so slow that my browsers gave up trying to load. Google also locked me out of all my email accounts because they thought someone was trying to hack me from India, but I could not access my ten accounts to resolve the issue due to lack of internet. What fun! When I told the manager that I wanted to get a local SIM card for my phone, he gallantly offered to have a colleague help me out. I was quoted 500 Rupees ($8.15 for a SIM card) and 495 Rupees for 2GB of 3G data. The data is an excellent value compared to American standards, but when I went to the Vodaphone store in Connaught Palace the next day because I could only get 1G data service throughout Delhi, I was told that “SIM cards are free, you should not have been charged for one”. Oh well, live and learn!

There are much cheaper (and more expensive) options available in Delhi, but if you are looking for a reasonably priced hotel, centrally located near the Metro in an area not abundant with clean, modern facilities, then Hotel Heritage Home is a good option, but be careful about add-on services as they are likely highly inflated.

CombatCritic Gives Hotel Heritage Home 6 Bombs Out of 10 



… Would Have Been 8 If Not For the Airport Surcharge, Internet Fiasco, and Extraneous SIM Card Charge .. MORE BOMBS ARE BETTER!

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic On Yelp And TripAdvisor … And Don’t Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Title: Clean, Safe, Fair Priced and Unlike Anthony Bourdain … Some Reservations

Key Words: Hotel Heritage Home. hotel, heritage, home, New Delhi, new, Delhi, metro, train, Main Bazaar, main, bazaar, budget, travel, value, TravelValue, CombatCritic, TripAdvisor, trip, advisor

U.R.U. Has A Little Bit Of Everything … For Everyone


A very nice antique and collectible shop in an old building on Mass Street between 11th and 12th Streets in downtown Lawrence.

As an avid collector and American and English antique auction veteran, I know quality and value when I see them. U.R.U. has a plethora of items, from vintage jewelry, books, and comics to Murano glass and antique furniture at reasonable prices.

Service with a big smile and convenient hours make browsing or shopping a delight. I will be back regularly as inventory is turned frequently. Grab a $2 taco at Fuzzy’s next door or take a walk in South Park just across the street while you are in the neighborhood .

CombatCritic Gives U.R.U. 9 Bombs Out of 10 … BOMBS ARE GOOD!

Key Words: U.R.U., URU, home, decor, antique, collectible, furniture, knickknacks, jewelry, vintage, clothing, glass, porcelain, CombatCritic, TravelValue, Lawrence, Kansas, 66044