Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Verizon Home Monitoring service needs work.

In September 2012 I paid $89 for the required kit, which I think is now free.  It includes the gateway, which connects to the router and a simple camera and wall device to which any electrical thing like a light may be plugged in.  I also ordered the front door keypad lock and a Trane thermometer.

I got the gateway working with some help from Verizon support and subsequently had the lock installed.  It works well and almost makes the monthly service charge of $9.99 worth it.  I have yet to attempt installation of the Trane thermometer.

Windows PC access is OK but could certainly be improved.  However, the apps that I've used on my Android tablet and Droid smartphone need a lot of work.  Remote access is often problematic and junctions limited.

I cannot add, change delete pass codes for the lock from the apps.  This is a big limitation.

The gateway has failed and caused me to lose remote access to the devices but Verizon did not send a message informing me.

The Verizon camera does not have infrared like my previously purchased D-Link IP camera, which I can always access remotely using its app through the free D-Link network.  However, I have not been able to record with the D-Link camera.

Since the Verizon camera cannot see in the dark it would be nice if camera activation could trigger having the light in the room turned on.  I cannot find that.

The Verizon camera has a privacy button, which is needed because if you have record set for activation you would be initiating recordings with notifying e-mail messages constantly every time you walked past the Verizon camera.  So I must remember to turn off the privacy on the Verizon camera every time I go out.  I almost never remember.  So, I can just turn on the Verizon camera remotely from an app, right?  Wrong.

Who comes up with these combinations?  How much common sense would it take to consider a realistic use of the devices and service?

Verizon, come on.  You can do better.

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