I think my experience is a great example of how badly Vera’s ship was being sailed, as I only came onboard in January.
Bought a brand new Vera Plus and, during the second or third step in its initial setup wizard when it forces a firmware update, it bricked itself. I had to do a forced reset of the device to restart the process - and it bricked five more times before I eventually got it working. It turned out this was a known issue - the firmware at the time worked on existing setups but bricked new ones. So experience with Vera number #1 - they were aware new customers were buying brand new devices that would instantly die, but didn’t retract the faulty firmware they just let customers suffer with this known issue.
Then came the rewriting of history. Once they corrected the problem Sorin has gone on the record multiple times saying that one problem Vera has never had is firmware that bricks devices - that other things are the cause. So experience with Vera number #2 - even if they admit a problem, they are only too happy to later pretend it never happened. Not to single him out because he was the one and only voice for Vera here, but I read another post made just a few days ago that likewise claimed a Vera should never get itself into an unrecoverable situation… that’s a complete insult to the countless, countless, countless threads in this very forum with customers, customers who paid money for this product called Vera, crying out that the darn thing cripples itself during updates or even (per below) randomly exhausts itself of resources and dies at a random time. Talk about rubbing salt into an existing wound
How about feedback regarding those firmwares? People reporting all sorts of issues - in particular during the beta period for new firmwares. Nothing seems to get done, and recently during a beta on a particular day a LOT of posts were endlessly reporting MAJOR problems with the firmware… suddenly THAT was when the firmware was then released to the public. So when it had become most clear it had major issues THAT is when it goes live? Of course if you read through these forums you will then find a MINDBOGGLING number of threads that were then posted over and over and over and over and over and over again about Veras dying left, right, and centre with that firmware update… that would seriously have to be the lowest and dumbest point in Vera’s history, albeit again per above we are told Vera has never had such issues. If you are sincerely fixing Vera’s issues, you first need to acknowledge it has issues - otherwise you’re just putting a fancy new GUI on a dieing pig.
Next came compatibility issues with devices. THE biggest advantage with Z-Wave is that everything is allegedly standardised so that any device can work with any other device and any controller - but in fact you are totally dependant on waiting an absolute eternity for specific support and then a blame game for all the compatibility problems that arise regardless. So experience number #3 (which can apply to any Z-wave product) - the whole anything works with anything is not only a big fat lie, but that in itself means all the products are not designed to factor that device support needs to be moduler and constantly updated separate from the one or two yearly firmware updates. For that matter even the OTA feature of Z-wave Plus has actually been the worst possible innovation for the platform - most controllers including Vera don’t support it, so you are forced to remove devices from your system to then re-include elsewhere to do an update and then exclude, reinclude, and then completely set everything up again from settings to events. Seriously everyone involved with Z-Wave from the ground up need to be shot for this, it is totally and utterly unacceptable.
Naturally the next issue was performance. It took only moments to realise the GUI is slower than systems I used in the 1980s - seriously why is the quickest any click will cause an effect 5 seconds, and why are others an entire minute or more? To say nothing of the actual core performance of the system itself - you have the most primitive of scenes set to simply turn on a light if a sensor is tripped, and while sometimes it will happen within 3 seconds it will also sometimes take 10-15 seconds… assuming it happens at all. I ended up having to do direct Z-wave associations between devices to bypass Vera and get any kind of performance.
Of course the next issue was stability. As mentioned above regarding performance, sometimes things didn’t happen at all. Then of course the system spotaniously crashes - yes yes yes, let’s blame all the plugins, but for my first few months I had nothing more than a base clean system with a handful of devices so you couldn’t ask for a cleaner setup yet POOF it would randomly crash. Not to mention that, left for a few months on its own, Vera eventually just exhausts itself and dies. Try and resolve that yourself and you end up with a completely broken system. Just to demonstrate how bad Vera’s stability is, since moving on from it my old Vera is wiped and just sitting there plugged in doing nothing… yet I still get alerts a few times a week for it going down.
Finally came support. Nothing but admiration for the effort they put in, but there is a significant lack of appreciation that Vera is running our homes. Our HOMES. Where we LIVE. Where our FAMILIES LIVE. When this product malfunctions, or dies, it impacts our FAMILIES LIVES. Yet, without intervention, if things get tough support disappears for a week at a time. If things don’t go well they leave you with a mess for a week at a time. They don’t believe you when you say things aren’t working. They make mistakes and actually leave you in a far worse position. You tell them, re-tell them, waste significant time re-explaining to them all the problems - and they just do another hack to try and fix the symptom you mention, rather than the root problem. A “Goodbye Vera” thread appears and you blurt out your significant pain, from performance to stability, and we’re proudly told “it’s all good, we have very exciting new features coming in the pipeline”… again that tipped me over the edge, let’s build a skyscraper on top of a crumbling foundation fantsatic idea.
I haven’t even mentioned the shortfalls in Vera - scenes for example are nothing more than square blocks a child can build a tower with, there is no more ability than that.
So… this was all in a few months. Brand new customer, and this was my experience - seriously?! So, despite still having a support ticket open to this day that never got followed up, I walked away. I made the BIG call to throw away my investment in Vera and installed HomeSeer on a Raspberry Pi. I instantly returned to the real world of a GUI that is instant. To performance that was not only instantanious (without having to resort to direct Z-wave associations), but with immensely complex and bindboggling powerful events (scenes) that don’t even require a single line of script or plugins… seriously no plugins, no scripts, and I have built incredibly complex and powerful automations that I couldn’t have even dreamed of when I used Vera. Sure, there have been a few quirks along the way, but even those quirks are nothing more than things to laugh about compared to the hell I went through with Vera.
It is fantastic to read that Vera is almost being rebuilt from the ground up, that’s fantastic to hear. But it is equally important to acknowledge how bad it is - posts claiming that LUA only restarts when there’s badly written plugins, or can never brick itself by sitting idle or during a firmware update, for example instead send a message that the all-new Vera will just be a new GUI with these same underlying issues since these problems happen with a brand new clean Vera and you cannot possibly fix those issues if you are in denial about them. I do sincerely wish you all the best with this endeavour - I am a firm believer that products get better through tough competition and if Vera can become as good as is claimed then this will push everyone else to step up their mark, and hopefully Vera then likewise takes further steps forward.
I still have one Vera in service, at my holiday home, so I watch with interest in case there is improvement before I replace that. But even that is an insanely clean setup, just a few devices and only one plugin, and it suffers repeated (false) notifications about being down/up when it is on a rock solid fibre Internet connection, has LUA restarts, etc… I don’t put a lot of faith in it, but being an Edge it does seem to be more reliable than the Plus… a device most of us bought as a “premium” Vera but in fact has been the most unreliable.