After reading the thread from the frustrated “super-users,” I decided to share my “opposite of a super-user” experience as well. If nothing else, maybe Mi Casa Verde can learn from the experience of a new customer to their product, and realize why their product holds little appeal to a broader audience.
I bought the Vera 3 and a bunch of Leviton switches and controllers, thinking that by going with a high-end switch brand, I would make things easier. The minute I opened the Vera box, though, I was in trouble. There was only one little sheet of paper included with the unit, and a quick jaunt over to the supposed “manual,” “wiki,” and “FAQ” made me realize there were absolutely no directions on how to actually start using any of the switches I just purchased (bought from a company that does not accept refunds if you’ve tried to use the product).
Regardless, I wired up all the switches and went to work configuring the Vera unit. First problem: the battery pack was DOA, so I resorted to dragging an extension cord around the house with the Vera plugged in.
Then on to the configuration. The biggest problem? There is no documentation on how anything works, how it works together, and what all the random buttons and fields and settings are in the Vera interface. There’s lots of old, outdated, inaccurate information out there for a small range of products, but accurate, relevant instructions are nonexistent. I searched and searched and posted, and in the end, I cannot even begin to the count the number of hours I’ve spent adding just 8 switches, 2 zone controllers, and one motorized shade to this device. I’ve searched every corner of the internet. I’ve posted on this forum. I’ve created tickets with technical support. And here, a month later, I still do not have a working zone controller.
To all those people that said “Check the [wiki, manual, faq].” Those are the first places I went. The Wiki information on the zone controllers is wickedly out of date, uses terminology obviously not applicable to a Vera 3, and has giant gaps missing (“Click the ‘Add Event’ button for your scene. Choose the event ‘Scene button is pressed’” ← there is no event button, nor is there a “scene button is pressed” option anywhere in my interface!) The manual? Go search for “shade controller” and see what you find. Has no one questioned the absurdity of why there are three separate but zero accurate sources of information for the Vera 3?
And my ticket with tech support? Well for an entire week I would get one (or zero) emails per day with an inane task. “Press button 3.” “Exclude and re-include the controller.” There was no sense of urgency on their part whatsoever, there was no effort to help me, there was zero assistance provided. Their response was that my zone controller was not compatible with Vera and that they know nothing about those switches, so there must be something wrong with them. Um, what? It’s a Leviton VRCZ4, not exactly an uncommon device. The ticket was opened on June 8. It’s now the 21st and it has yet to be fixed. Is that an acceptable resolution time?
What this device needs is to go back to the basics of retailing: Provide your customers with step by step instructions on how to use your product, and support it when it doesn’t work. It doesn’t need a new user interface, it doesn’t need a faster processor, it needs to go back to the square 1 and develop Vera for Dummies.