Jan 272018

After I mentioned looking at a little Ruger .22 revolver yesterday, along with a sporty red Ford Mustang, somebody asked me how many cars and guns does a guy need. That’s an easy answer, and it never changes. Always one more.  The real question is, how many home security system base stations does a guy need?

A while back I wrote that we were having problems with our Simpli Safe security system. The base station would lose connection with the dispatch center and I would have to take out the card and put it back in repeatedly before it would work. Then it would work for a day or so at best.

Or, I could call customer support, be on hold for 30 minutes or more, and then one of their tech people would walk me through a series of steps and sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn’t. And even when it would work, it would crash again within a day or two. Sometimes it crashed as soon as I hung up the phone. So I would call back, they would have me move the location where it was located at, pull out the card and put it back in, and a lot of other things.

I know that part of the problem is that we live in a flaky area for cell phone service. One minute we will have four bars of 4G, and a moment later we don’t have anything at all. Before I purchased the simply Simpli Safe I told them that, but they assured me it would work where we are, based on Verizon’s coverage map. Of course it didn’t, so they said they would switch the Verizon card in the base station out for a T-Mobile card. That didn’t work either.

This has been going on for a couple of months now, and it’s frustrating because every time I called I had to start back at square one and cover all the things Ihad already done over and over again, and the latest tech still made me jump through all the hoops. Yes it’s plugged in. No, the blue light isn’t on. Yes, I know it’s plugged into a working outlet. Yes, I will move it to another outlet. No, it still doesn’t work Yes, it’s near a window. Yada yada yada.

Last week when I called I was really irate, and the tech said he was overnighting me a complete new base station. It actually took two days to get here, and was dead on arrival. Would not work at all. It wouldn’t even light up. But still, when I called the new latest tech (you never get the same one twice, because the last one has moved on to a new job where their biggest responsibility is asking if you want fries with that) and told the tech it was dead on arrival, he still insisted we go through all of the steps on his little card that you’re supposed to do. When I did and nothing worked, he said, “Gee, it doesn’t work at all. It’s dead.” Now where did I hear that before?

So he said he would send me a new base station to replace the new base station I had just received, and that it would be there the next day. Three days later when it still wasn’t here. I called back and got a different tech, who couldn’t decide if their shipping department had dropped the ball or if UPS had dropped the ball. But said she would ship me one out overnight.

So a couple of days later UPS delivered not one, but two replacement base stations. And then the mail included an envelope with a new circuit board and Verizon card for a base station. I guess they figure if they ship them out in bulk maybe they have a chance of something working. Want to bet?

That’s right, neither of the two new base stations they sent work, nor did the new circuit board when I tried installing it. This time when I called they sent me up the ladder a couple of levels of support, where someone finally said, “Mr. Russell I don’t think you’re going to get our system to work at your place. You seem to have a very erratic cell phone service there.” Now, where did I hear that before?

But all is not lost! If I want to spend even more money, they assured me that their latest and greatest version of their system will indeed work. Ahh, no thank you. I’m not going to throw good money after bad.

I said I would like a refund for the price of the system and for the $14.95 a month monitoring fee, since they can’t monitor a system that doesn’t work. The first person said no, so it had to be moved up the ladder to the next person, and eventually I got a supervisor who said that since it was over the 60 day return period, there was nothing she could do for me. I suggested she pull up the call logs and see how many times I had contacted them, and then check the monitoring logs to see how often the system had crashed. She put me on hold for a couple of minutes came back and said that it was obvious I deserved a refund, and told me to box everything up, send it back to them on their dime, and she would cut me a check. So I guess I know what I’ll be doing today.

But they will not refund the monthly monitoring fees, which ticks me off since they agree it never worked.

I’m really disappointed, because I know several people who have the Simpli Safe system and are very happy with it. And I do believe if we had a better cell signal here it might make a difference. But we don’t, and it doesn’t work. Time to go to Plan B. As soon as I figure out what that is.

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Thought For The Day – Everyone has the right to be stupid, but some people abuse the privilege.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  5 Responses to “How Many Base Stations Does A Guy Need?”

  1. So sorry you are having so much trouble. I ended up with ADT, but am paying a fortune for it. This last year a brand new tower was put in very close to me, so Simpli Safe would have worked just fine for a fraction of the price. Nowadays you can hardly do without an alarm service of some kind.

  2. Well,,, you have 3 good solutions,,Nancy can lend you Cooper (the dog)while you go
    out. Understand he barks a lot
    Or we know where you can get a really good pitbull Rottweiler combination
    Although you may have a hard time getting in the house yourself
    Or we could get you one undocumented illegal alien (if you don’t mind him living in the garage)( Long as you don’t mind him using the garage urinal)

  3. Buy the 22 Ruger and guard the house yourself. Just consider the times you’re away from home as the same as the outages as that of Simpli Safe…Ruger works better because you’re mostly home writing books and Miss Terry is cooking and looming a lot.

  4. Hi Nick, hope to meet you & Terry some day. RE your alarm stuff. I am a security
    systems dealer (42 years & still running). I would recommend the HONEYWELL Lynx 7000 with an internet card installed. With some email assistance we could get you installed yourself (I know you could hurt yourself with a screwdriver). Tell me how many doors, motion detectors & smoke detectors you want & I’ll get you a price @ cost if I can monitor it for you $18 a month with daily system test.
    Advise if you might be interested.
    Jerry Stearns

  5. Oh, it makes me grind my teeth just to read this. Try making all those calls if you are female and whoever you get assumes you are an idiot right off the bat. Maybe you should get another gun… of course, you’d have to be home for that security system to work.

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