Garage Door Opener Company Bricks Customer Hardware After Negative Review

from the you're-really-not-helping dept

So if there's one thing we've probably repeated more than others around here, it's the idea that in the IoT and copyright maximalist era, you no longer truly own the things you think you own. It doesn't matter whether we're talking about video game consoles, software, smart home hubs, ebooks, DVDs or routers -- in the always-connected, copyright mad, instantly-upgradeable firmware age, companies are often quick to remove some or all functionality at a whim, leaving you with little more than a receipt and a dream of dumb technology days gone by.

But we've also noted repeatedly that part of this new paradigm involves companies using this capability to punish customers for poor reviews. This is, it should go without saying, an idiotic policy that almost always invokes the Streisand effect and makes the "problem" of a negative review significantly worse than if the company in question had done nothing at all.

Case in point: internet-connected garage opener Garadget, which is taking heat this week for bricking a customer's 'smart' garage door opener after the customer in question left a negative review on Amazon. Earlier this month, a Garadget user posted to the company's message board, complaining about problems with the iPhone app that controls the garage door opener:

Just installed and attempting to register a door when the app started doing this. Have uninstalled and reinstalled iphone app, powered phone off/on - wondering what kind of piece of shit I just purchased here...

Not really uncommon in the internet of broken things era. The user then followed that up with a one star review over at Amazon making the same complaints:

Junk - DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY - iPhone app is a piece of junk, crashes constantly, start-up company that obviously has not performed proper quality assurance tests on their products.

At this point the company had several options. They could have ignored the complaints, or perhaps done something crazy like use the input to make a better product. Instead, Garadget boss Denis Grisak apparently thought it would be a good idea to inform the user on the company's message boards that his product would no longer be allowed to access the Garadget servers:

Martin, The abusive language here and in your negative Amazon review, submitted minutes after experiencing a technical difficulty, only demonstrates your poor impulse control. I'm happy to provide the technical support to the customers on my Saturday night but I'm not going to tolerate any tantrums.

At this time your only option is return Garadget to Amazon for refund. Your unit ID 2f0036... will be denied server connection.

Yes, nothing teaches somebody a lesson about impulse control quite like -- exhibiting extremely poor impulse control. Only after the entire fracas went viral via the internet of shit Twitter account and over at Hacker News did Grisak begin to realize the error of his ways, posting a follow up forum statement indicating he was fully aware that the Streisand effect was in full bloom:

Ok, calm down everybody. Save your pitchforks and torches for your elected representatives. This only lack the death treats[sic] now.

The firing of the customer was never about the Amazon review, just wanted to distance from the toxic individual ASAP. Admittedly not a slickest PR move on my part. Note taken.

A quote from a random guy.

PS: Anybody has Streisand's phone number?

That's really a halfhearted apology, especially considering the "toxic" user had what appeared to be entirely legitimate complaints about app functionality. Perhaps the idea that "there's no such thing as bad press" is actually true, but it's just as likely that Grisak's overreaction ensured that countless potential customers -- worried that the product they buy would be arbitrarily nuked -- may look elsewhere for their next garage door opener.


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 9:37am

    Internet of Things

    Because the best way to open my garage door when I'm ready to drive in is to ask some distant server for permission. In unrelated news, anyone see any nails around? I've got this new hammer...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 9:41am

    Everyone owes me good reviews or else!!!
    This entitled bullshit is getting worse, & when they have the power to brick the software or hardware as revenge... it gets even worse.

    Oh he was toxic!!!!
    And your response was a gentle cleansing rain???

    On the upside its another IoT item that is going to fail, not for shitty security (but the odds are high it is) but because if you make him mad... he'll nuke your stuff.

    So does your face feel spited?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    sorrykb (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 9:48am

    Internet of Shit meets Startup Culture (Who needs customer service people, or a communications team? They'd just get in the way.), with sadly predictable results.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    sorrykb (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 9:51am

    Re:

    (Which is not to say that the combination of abysmal customer service and poor communication skills is unique to startups, but with most companies -- outside the cable/mobile phone/ISP realm -- it's not yet standard.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 9:54am

    Review link

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 9:56am

    I understand the instinct to lash out and attack those that are bad mouthing a product you worked hard on. I just find it funny how often these guys don't realize the best response is to defuse the situation and try to help the person.

    I have seen many angry reviews on amazon that are 5 star reviews and at the bottom have an edit saying how it was a 1 star review but changed to 5 after the company was awesome and fixed the issue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Baron von Robber, 5 Apr 2017 @ 9:57am

    Good thing this was over a garage door. Next time it's a pacemaker. :/

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Mohamed Al-Hajamy, 5 Apr 2017 @ 9:59am

    Brilliant Job

    Oh, this garage door has built in remote bricking functionality? I think I'll buy it right now. Not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    sehlat (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:01am

    God help the complaining user with a "smart" iron lung!

    Just sayin'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:07am

    Re:

    This entitled bullshit is getting worse, & when they have the power to brick the software or hardware as revenge... it gets even worse.

    "Brick" is misleading. The manufacturer revoked access to the servers, with no indication they damaged the actual device.

    The real problem is that the device is mostly useless without the service, and that people don't have a right to use the service. The operator can change the user agreement at will, and if you don't like it you can't use it. They can discontinue the service whenever they like, or start charging for it, or whatever. Don't buy products like this without some kind of guarantee against such behavior (even then, if they do it anyway you'll be left with a useless device and maybe eventually a few bucks from a court case if you saved enough documentation).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    JoeCool (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:11am

    Re: Brilliant Job

    It's not so much bricked as they came down hard with the Ban Hammer(TM).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Christopher Best (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:12am

    Why in God's Name...

    Would you connect a device to the Internet that can crush you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:13am

    Can we stop calling these devices "smart"?

    The only thing they have consistently demonstrated is that they take power away from users and give them to either the vendors or anyone willing to hack them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    I.T. Guy, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:13am

    I like my garage door opener. Push button, goes up. Push button, goes down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:14am

    It Could Be Worse

    Consider the story last night where Connecticut may join North Dakota in police use of weaponized drones.

    The User Bad Attitude Mitigation process could go far beyond bricking the drone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re:

    why would anyone in their right mind want a garage door opener connected to the cloud anyway??

    how this device differs from a garage door opener:
    turn on phone
    enter pin
    run app
    push button to open door


    It was so much more of a hassle to:
    push garage door opener button once
    sometimes twice

    isnt technology great??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. icon
    streetlight (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:19am

    Re: God help the complaining user with a "smart" iron lung!

    The user with a bad smart iron lung won't be around to complain.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:19am

    Re: Why in God's Name...

    Would you connect a device to the Internet that can crush you?

    Normally, door openers protect against such things (infrared beams etc.), but I wouldn't be surprised if it were implemented totally in software and thus vulnerable to internet-based attacks. Are there actual safety regulations on this?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    I.T. Guy, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:19am

    Re:

    I had a national auto glass company replace a windshield. After they were done it leaked. After they did it three more times it leaked. They sent it to a Ford dealer for repair and gave us a rental car.

    While I was not happy with having 4 windshields replaced, the end result was amazing customer service and the problem was resolved.

    I recommend them highly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Unanimous Cow Herd, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re:

    Since the contract was essentially severed by the manufacturer, would this guy still be bound by the ToS? Could he now legally reverse engineer the product or modify it in a way to get it working on his own? It's a garage door opener, not an Automated Neuromedical Assistant, for Trump's sake.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    Killercool (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Brilliant Job

    Yeah, they didn't brick it, they just removed the ability to access it's features and functionality, turning it into an expensive... brick.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re:

    A device rendered useless is "bricked" regardless of damage. When Google simply shut down the servers for Revolv home automation devices, those devices were indeed bricked.

    When you buy a cloud server dependant device, you do so with the completely reasonable expectation that the cloud server won't be shut down just months later.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re:

    Penatic. It's still bricked in the sense it's now a doorstop.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    I.T. Guy, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:23am

    Re: It Could Be Worse

    It makes me think of aerial battle bots.

    Don't know exactly who the good guys are though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sigh. "Pedantic."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. icon
    sehlat (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: God help the complaining user with a "smart" iron lung!

    The user's family certainly WILL be. And unless the individual in the lung is a rich aunt/uncle, they are going to be ... stroppy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:26am

    Re: It Could Be Worse

    Garadget: Hello NDPD?
    NDPD: Yes, What seems to be the problem?
    Garadget: We have beligerent customer that bad mouthed our product.
    NDPD: Understood, what would you like and arrest under the CFAA for ignoring the TOS, or would you like to cut straight to our new Weaponized Drone Platform for a quick and easy solution. No messy courts and lawyers involved with the last option.
    Garadget: Which option costs the least?
    NDPD: We have been itching to trial this new drone, how about our boys have some fun and give you a discount this time around?
    Garadget: Sounds great! We would like to go with the last option then please!
    NDPD: Understood!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    David Clare, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:26am

    They sell us shit and then when we're mad we're the problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    And beware of the cop following you who will pull you over and give you a ticket for using your cellphone while driving.

    The only advantage that might be there is that there are limited frequencies for garage door openers (old style) and this has been tested by driving around and pressing the button and getting other garage doors to open. There might (a very big might) be some additional (ahem) 'security' in such a device. Not something I would value very highly, if at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:43am

    How come I never get death treats?

    I want death treats!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re:

    What is really funny too is that I tend to trust reviews like that a lot more than all the 5 star "OMG this is just soooo amazing!!!!"

    I am much more interested in seeing "This thing has bugs, but the company was nice and helped fix them."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:54am

    Re: Why in God's Name...

    From a quick look at the product it looks more like a fancy remote control for an existing garage door opener. So all the safety features are already handled by that device. My fear would be about someone opening the door not closing it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The only advantage that might be there is that there are limited frequencies for garage door openers (old style) and this has been tested by driving around and pressing the button and getting other garage doors to open.

    That's just cheapness. Nothing prevents secure crypto over an RF link. You could even make it phone-controllable by using Bluetooth. No internet connection required, and even if BT security isn't great there's no central server that can open all the doors.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    David, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:55am

    Re: Can we stop calling these devices "smart"?

    The only thing they have consistently demonstrated is that they take power away from users and give them to either the vendors or anyone willing to hack them.

    Sounds like what makes a politician "smart".

    I don't see anything wrong with calling out a device or politician that smarts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:57am

    Re: How come I never get death treats?

    Because your an Anonymous Coward and not worth the trouble? Oh wait... so am I. (One of these days I'm going to quit being lazy and get back into my account.... dang password reset)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, because revocation of service does not void their copyright, or the legal protection given yo any technological protections of their copyright.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 11:03am

    "provide the technical support to the customers on *my* Saturday night"


    .......

    screw you

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. identicon
    Jeff, 5 Apr 2017 @ 11:29am

    A quote from a random guy

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    When you buy a cloud server dependant device, you do so with the completely reasonable expectation that the cloud server won't be shut down just months later.

    Has that expectation been legally tested? And what's the cutoff? Is a year later okay? Two? If the service is still running, how much can the operator change the terms before a court would push back against them? To what extent does possession of a device give you entitlement to an online service?

    Your expectation does indeed look like it would reasonable, if not for all the IoT stuff we've seen in recent years. Based on that, ending up with "broken things" in short order is a realistic if not reasonable expectation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Since the contract was essentially severed by the manufacturer, would this guy still be bound by the ToS?

    Only the contract for the service was severed, which the ToS likely claims can be done at any time for no reason. Legal rights for the device itself, which contains copyrighted code, don't change (excepting any ToS terms that added restrictions beyond what First Sale would allow--those might be void now).

    But the Amazon page says "Control and monitor your garage doors from anywhere anytime" etc. It doesn't mention that you have to accept any additional contract or ToS, or that an internet connection is required. ("anytime", even when your network is down or you've pissed off the manufacturer? "anywhere", even when you're out of cell range?)

    There'd be a good case for false advertising if a customer couldn't get a refund.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Their copyright only limits copying of copyrighted materials. Copyright does not intrinsically grant them the right to prevent someone from modifying their product. That's TOS/AUP/warranty (contractual) stuff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:12pm

    Archive for when they take it down:

    http://archive.is/srOge

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re:

    "people don't have a right to use the service. The operator can change the user agreement at will"
    So you can sell them something & then change it as they wish.
    So you say something mean about Ford online so they can change the agreement and take back the tires?
    They can remove the software that handles the drive by wire controls?
    You don't have a right to use that because someone at Ford got pissy?

    Someone who has paid you to use the service has every right to use that service, and pretending that this owner isn't a childish fuck who just tanked his company is a joke.

    I expect to see more people returning the devices because the idea that this idiot can have a bad day and remove the server at a whim leaving you with nothing... well played.

    I doubt the terms and conditions say, if you leave a toxic review we'll cut you off, and even if it did the courts have ruled these sorts of clauses are unenforceable.

    The item is a brick, it has been blocked from functioning as it was advertised as working. Not for lack of payment, not because the company went under, but because someone got butthurt.

    Of course the company might come crashing down because there are going to be a flurry of returns & some retail channels will say no thanks to carrying the product because its to much of a hassle to deal with.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's still bricked in the sense it's now a doorstop.

    They say the software is open source, so it might make an okay Linux development board or even be adjustable to use a different service. The manufacturer made essentially this claim on the forum.

    While I mostly agree with you, it's not an entirely pedantic distinction. What are the reasonable customer expectations, given the manufacturer's advertisements? Did they buy a pure hardware device and just expect they'd always be able to use a related service? Given the claims on the Amazon page I'd say the product and service are sold as a package, and any attempt to impose ToS after sale (or revoke them) would be illegal, i.e., false advertising. Many of the advertised "product" features are in fact service features.

    (For something like a Samsung Android phone, or Windows PC, with several semi-unrelated companies involved, things could get murky.)

    These are early days and we'll have to see what the FTC and courts decide. And consumers--will they keep buying IoT devices?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So you can sell them something & then change it as they wish.

    It's often not entirely clear what these companies are selling. Products, services, or a bundle?

    In this case, look at the Amazon page. You need access to the service for any of the advertised features to work.

    So you say something mean about Ford online so they can change the agreement and take back the tires?

    No--it's absolutely legally clear that they belong to you after a purchase.

    They can remove the software that handles the drive by wire controls?

    Almost certainly not, because that was sold with the car, but they could stop giving you software updates (except as required by the warranty or safety regulations). If they see your bad review and refuse to give you new features, it's likely fine.

    I doubt the terms and conditions say, if you leave a toxic review we'll cut you off, and even if it did the courts have ruled these sorts of clauses are unenforceable.

    What kinds, specifically? Has a court ever ruled someone was to be unbanned from an online service?

    Most terms of service allow termination for no reason (only by the company writing the terms of course).

    The item is a brick, it has been blocked from functioning as it was advertised as working.

    Yes, the features advertised on the Amazon page are no longer available to this person. Would he still have standing to sue after being offered a refund?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The DMCA, if they have implemented any DRM does.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: It Could Be Worse

    Up next: Toner Wars.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 2:27pm

    I see these types of stories and the coverage they get as something of a good thing. If it teaches people to distrust technology and technology companies, isn't that positive? As someone who works in the high tech industry, I and many of my coworkers know the dangers of relying on it. With each story of this sort, more people outside of the industry are learning first hand what insiders have known for years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49. identicon
    Digitari, 5 Apr 2017 @ 4:10pm

    Short memories

    Folks, you have to realize people have feelings and corporations are people now. So don't hurt corporate feelings, they react emotionally. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. icon
    Bergman (profile), 5 Apr 2017 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The problem is not limited frequencies. The problem is old style garage door openers don't send an 'open' signal, they send A signal -- just a beep on a specific frequency, with a limited broadcast range.

    The frequency the remote sends on is set with dip switches in the base unit and remote -- if they match settings and the remote is in range, pushing the button actuates the door. If the door is closed, it opens. If it's open, it closes.

    The reason you can open someone else's garage door is there are only so many possible settings on an analog device like that.

    But if you have the remote send a code key instead of just a beep, the problem simply goes away.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2017 @ 7:23pm

    Re: How come I never get death treats?

    Because you are not a Grim Reaper?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52. identicon
    Jim, 5 Apr 2017 @ 7:53pm

    A little meta here, but...

    Thank goodness for the comments on this one...Ars Technica's comments are running AGAINST the buyer. Paid PR not working, methinks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53. identicon
    Alexander, 5 Apr 2017 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "you do so with the completely reasonable expectation that the cloud server won't be shut down just months later."
    Umm, maybe you do.
    I still recall the great DRM disaster of Half-Life 2 on Steam when the DRM servers failed under the load, not the distribution server, the DRM serer. No game could be played until the game had activated off the DRM server. It took days for some people to be able to play.
    You should instead assume that any cloud based product you purchase WILL have the servers turned off, sometime, soon enough to be inconvenient.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54. icon
    PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2017 @ 12:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't know how this would work exactly, but I could imagine there's some use for particular circumstances. e.g. you have a lot of parcel deliveries but nowhere safe to leave them, you could open the garage for the delivery guy from work without needing to give him any direct access. You could probably hook it up to some surveillance system to allow other use cases that I'm not thinking of instantly.

    Anyway, that's beside the point. The fact that you can't personally see any use for a device/service does not excuse the manufacturers for abuse of their customers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2017 @ 1:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And controlling it via a web site gives the web site the ability to open it, just hope that the site is secure, lest anybody on the Internet can gain control over the door.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56. icon
    JoeCool (profile), 6 Apr 2017 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Brilliant Job

    "Brick" has a particular meaning in computing, one which isn't met here. The device still works perfectly, but the server that commands it will not allow the user to access it. When the user is blacklisted, it's a ban, not a brick. Now if they had sent an update to the opener that made it cease to work despite commands set by the user, THEN it would be bricked.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2017 @ 8:20am

    Re: Internet of Things

    "...ask some distant server for permission."

    Brilliant!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2017 @ 8:29am

    Re: Internet of Things

    I don't use this company's gadget, BUT there are good reasons. My Dad lives at my house and will be 70 this weekend. We enter and exit my house through the garage door as it's easier/quicker then the front door. It's this way for lots of people.

    Now I don't live in a very good area. There's Apartments all around me. Anyway my Dad has been known to leave the garage door OPEN. I'd come home from work, see that his truck is gone and my garage Door is wide open. So not only could I be robbed blind of thousands of dollars of stuff in my Garage, it's a straight shot into my house where I could be robbed blind there also.

    I've found the door left open a few times. I tried putting a label on his rear view mirror that says to check the garage door. That didn't work. So I got a Internet Connected MyQ Device.

    When the Door opens and closes it sends me a message on my iPhone and Apple Watch. It's also sending him a message on his iPhone. I also have alerts set for 5 minutes and 10 minutes to let me know if the door has been left open.

    He hasn't left the door open since I've gotten it!!! Of course I can open and close the door on my iPhone and Apple Watch. Either near the door, or away. Really anywhere with a Internet connection. Say one of my brothers goes to my house while no one is home to grab something, he can call me, I can open the garage door no matter where I am.

    The only weak thing is the Alarm of door being left open. Did he forget to close the door or is he working in the garage or doing whatever. So I got this cheap $40 Wifi Camera that points at the door. So no matter where I'm at, I can take a look. If the door is open, I can see that and see that his truck is there in the driveway or not. It senses motion and will save like 5-6 snapshots of what's going on. I'm not paying for the cloud service. So I can see him or myself coming or going. It can see in the dark as clear as day also.

    So it works for me and does make sense. The other thing is, you don't have to have a garage door opener left in your car where someone can break into your car and then get into your house as you're taking your smartphone with you. Say you go to the mall, someone breaks into your car, takes your garage door opener, gets the car registration from the glove box, now knows where you live, and can go right to your house and inside like it's nothing. Things to think about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2017 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There are a number of GOOD reasons why they make sense and I'm posted about this already about my almost 70 year old Dad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2017 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I always check the 1 and 2 star reviews first!!! It's either the person is a idiot and giving a 1 star review because he assumed something that was never said. Or some other dumb thing that wasn't about the product, and still give it 1 star. Then there's the others with a real complaint.

    So I start at the 1 star reviews and then work my way to the higher ones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2017 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Brilliant Job

    Quote" made it cease to work despite commands set by the user, THEN it would be bricked'

    Guess what, it's BRICKED. It doesn't matter if the device was physically altered, or blocked out on the server, the effect is the SAME. BRICKED!!! The device is worthless either way. It's not like it works locally only. It doesn't work at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2017 @ 8:41am

    Re:

    That's Ok!!! But I needed more. See my post on my 70 year old Dad. I'm using the MyQ garage Door open for my garage door opener.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63. identicon
    Jack, 6 Apr 2017 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But if you have a garage door that is less than 25 years old, this isn't a problem...They stopped doing this in the early 90s...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64. icon
    John85851 (profile), 6 Apr 2017 @ 10:03am

    On the other hand

    While the business owner's response wasn't the best, let's look at it from another angle:
    A customer has a technical issue, but instead of asking for support from the company, which may nor may not have fixed the issue, he lashes out and posts a negative review on Amazon and calls the product a piece of ****. What if the company has heard about this issue before and it was a simple fix? Why didn't the customer at least try to get help before posting a complaint? Or maybe this was an issue that the company could fix for future customers.

    But instead, the customer decides to post a negative review and lash out instead of actually asking for a solution to his problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2017 @ 10:41am

    Re: On the other hand

    Where's the tipping point with this train of thought - is a passive aggressive review OK but a concise "This is a piece of shit" review isn't? What if they don't say "please" and "thank you" for the service they've paid for?

    Some businesses are an employee of 1 and some aren't. My money is on this guy pushing garage door sensors who compares himself to Elon Musk not amounting to very much.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2017 @ 11:05am

    Re: On the other hand

    Yes, how dare he rate it poorly with the unreasonable expectation that it would work without out of the box.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2017 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Internet of Things

    It's good there is a solution that works for you. If your device is a Garadget it would be wise to take care not to offend them. Word is they use their position of ultimate control over their products to punish such customers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68. icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 8 Apr 2017 @ 9:07am

    Pot calling the kettle black

    Martin, The abusive language here and in your negative Amazon review, submitted minutes after experiencing a technical difficulty, only demonstrates your poor impulse control.

    Seems to me, Mr. Grisak, that a public statement like that also demonstrates poor impulse control.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69. identicon
    Richard Stallman, 11 Apr 2017 @ 1:36am

    The problem with this product is that it is designed to give the
    company power over the users. The product works only in conjunction
    with a specific server. Even worse, that server knows who the user
    is, which means it snoops on people. These malicious functionalities
    made it possible for the company to retaliate against an individual.

    If the device had been designed ethically, it would connect directly
    to the users' devices, would not use any server (except optionally the
    owner's own), and would not send any personal information outside the
    home. Especially not the person's name.

    In addition, its software would be freedom-respecting, so that users
    could make modified versions that they like better, and users (even
    non-technical users) could install the versions they prefer. (See
    https://gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html.)

    Looking at this incident narrowly, you might think that justice has
    triumphed. After all, public opinion has compelled the company to
    restore service to that user. Bravo.

    But the underlying wrong in the design is unchanged. The device is
    still tethered to a specific server which collects data about the
    user. See https://gnu.org/proprietary/proprietary-tethering.html.

    It ought to be a crime to make such products. Let's make it so!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70. icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 16 Apr 2017 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Review link

    <blockquote> WHy not link to the actual review? </blockquote>
    Perhaps because the actual review (per your link) has gone away. There is a review mentioning the history: company got sore, disabled device; conclusion is that you are the mercy of an unreliable start-up.

    I do not have a powered garage door opener. My garage is downtown and has huge, old wooden doors sliding horizontally. Had I such a thing, however, I am sure that I would not deal with a company which has demonstrated that it and its devices operate on whim.

    (Who had the brilliant idea for this "markdown" stuff, anyway?)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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