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Installer / Tech Fail

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I generally try to hover over the techs because they are "all knowing perfect gods whom never do anything wrong or make mistakes"  Sometimes I can learn a few things from them by observing but for the most part they end up learning from me and I end up cleaning up the mess they leave... Obviously not all of them are like this but the ones I have dealt with are....

Onto a few personal accounts...

My parents built a house a long time ago and had a system installed with it... The local tech came and programmed the system and he was nice enough to write all the settings in the programming sheets in the manual..

He trained my family in the use of the system and in particular with the use of these new keyfobs which we had never really used before... It had a disarm and arm away button that were fairly obvious and a function 1 and function 2 key... he told everyone that function 1 and 2 were both arm stay and they did the same thing....
So over the course of a couple weeks the alarm goes off randomly in the morning (and sometimes at night/evening)... no one knew why... eventually I got sick of being woken up at 6 am when the first person went to leave and I looked at his programming entries... he had programmed the second function to be arm instant but didn't tell anyone so my family was randomly using the instant button and not knowing about it, it also was pocket pressed a few times during the day... Fortunately he also wrote down the installer code so I just re-programmed the button the way he explained it so both buttons armed stay and we never had a problem again.

Things are good now, we have no problems... fast forward a few years...
My parents wanted to add a fob because one or more broke... the first guy didn't document the codes to users properly in the book when he set it up so everything was mixed up... the tech was going to remove them all and re-add them... I had to leave but I gave the guy my fob and said "Mine is the only one that has never had any problems....It's working now, make sure it's still working when I get back" So I come home and he's gone... I get my fob back... and of course it doesn't work at all... -.-
So figure no biggie I'll re add it... WRONG!! he changed the installer code without telling anyone...
Fortunately he called before he came on his cell, so I phone him and I say "I asked you to not break my fob and now it doesn't work... It worked before you got here... I tried to re-add it but you changed the installer code without telling anyone/asking either come back NOW and fix my fob or give me the code" So he gives me the code, I re-add my fob and all is well...
I don't think he broke it on purpose because he was pretty nice and told me to give him a call back and let him know if I got it programmed or if I needed him to walk me through the process so I don't think he was trying to be a jerk on purpose.

The next time we tried to get another fob the company had been bought out and they don't use this gear anymore so they said that they didn't make the fobs anymore... I had to source one myself and program it myself...  This older system shows the user codes rather than just allowing them to be replaced so while I was adding a user for the new fob I saw the other user codes programmed by the original genius that installed the system... Keep in mind these are all valid arm/disarm codes for the system that have been there for 6+ years.... we had... 1111,2222,3333,4444,5555 in there... yup... almost any 4 numbers would arm/disarm the system...
Fixed that...

A few more years pass...
Then the telco required 10 digit dialing locally so they sent a tech to update the phone number because they didn't have the downloader software for these panels (again an older system involved in a takeover)   I wasn't even there for this appointment but it was supposed to be a simple phone number change so I figured what could go wrong???
Well the guy disabled the armed away beeping so if someone accidentally pocket armed the system they wouldn't hear it and if you accidentally put it in away mode instead of stay you would never know because they both made the same noise... My parents also are very averse to change and they had a very skiddish dog so they didn't want the sirens going off... so they called me and told me their keypad was broken... He disabled all keypad beeps because he held down enter for too long so I got that turned back on pretty quick, but the actually changed a programming setting no one asked him to touch...So again I find the setting in the programming manual and YET AGAIN they changed the programming code on me.. WTF...

So I call the office and ask them for the programming code.. no cell phone this time... They say it's a secret and they refuse to give it to me... I tell them their tech broke the system when he was out last and I expected them to send him back to fix his mistake and not charge a service or call out fee... They agreed...

Tech shows up a few days later, I'm there to meet him... I tell him what the last tech did, I tell him what option to change and what to set it to he says he can't understand why the other tech changed that setting when he was out on a phone number update, he also told me that the company was trying to switch all panels to discreet programming codes per customer and they would give them out for takeovers by other companies but they didn't generally leave them with customers (which I can understand) he told me mine and said they were the last 4 digits of the comms account number so I would always be able to get it in the future if I happened to forget it.
So he fixed the setting and left but not before he turned off the keypad sounds again by accident -.-

Then my parents decided they wanted a low temp sensor... So they decided to pay the $300 for the service call and parts ($20 fixed low temp) they have lots of money to throw away anyway... So the guy comes and screws it to the wall and wires it to the contacts... I don't think he even used an ELOR.. So he asks me for the manual because he doesn't have one for my system and changes the zone type in the programming to a 24 hr trouble zone and this was an old door zone where the wires had broken and apparently no ELOR there either because there was never a fault message just random alarms so it was disconnected... Also the last free zone on the panel... They had paid out the nose for several alpha keypads but the guy was like "I think you need the downloader to change the zone name and we don't have that... You'll have to live with it saying doors" so I say I don't think you do... so I tell him to hold on and go grab the keypad manual with the programming instructions (names are local to the keypad not the panel) so he looks at the manual and changes the name and he's like we don't usually see a lot of these keypads so I offer to make him a copy of the keypad programming manual for future and he reluctantly accepts it... Then he leaves... I realized from the manual sheet that it was a local programming so I ended up going to all the other keypads and changing the zone description there myself.. Should have got them to give the $300 to me -.-

That was the last time they had had to have a tech so far but it's fun every time!  They got a quote for a newer system... they wanted $2500 or something for it... I could probably build it myself for under a grand but they are happy with what they have minus being able to find a wireless sensor for the broken wired door they wouldn't even look at.

So I got my own system installed after spending time with a bunch of different sales guys I picked a company... I made it part of my agreement I get the installer code and the manuals for the system and I also got them to agree to let me buy some of my own parts and have them install some of it provided I paid for the install.  They promised to send me one of their best installers...

The guy was really good.. I hadn't worked with Honeywell gear before so he gave me some tips on programming fobs, showed me some tricks of the trade for fishing wire and gave me the names of some of the specialized tools he uses.   He even hooked me up with an extra wired contact (sales had specified my 3rd wireless be used there, I asked him if he would trade and he just did it for free) anyway really nice, friendly and knowledgeable guy.. He was a contractor he didn't actually work for the company like the techs do..  He was actually trying to convince me to give up my cushy desk job and be an installer.

Shortly after I got my keypad, relay board and Ad2USB installed and working very well..  A few months later I get a low battery trouble which proceeds to clear itself... I figure weird... but it cleared so I guess it's probably just a glitch.. Then  week or so later (no real time correlation) it happens again... so I ask them to send a tech to warranty replace the battery it may have been old stock or it may have just been an intermittently bad unit.

So the guy comes out, metes the battery says it's fine (duh the alert went away like a week ago and never came back) So feeling that he has to blame it on me rather than just a possible bad battery he says it's got to be
the equipment I added running over the max current...
So he adds up the max draw of each item and says "Yup your over the max current"  Funny thing is the original install was over the max current and they didn't seem at all concerned with it.
So I get into it with him a bit because he's claiming my relay board was powering all 4 relays, all my keypads had their back lights and sounders on, my smoke alarm was going off, and my GSM module was transmitting causing this condition (everything at max current but only for short periods on a normally working system that's been fine for months).. I was home when the low batt was sent and I know the status of the system and basically every device in my system was at idle current so even if it could theoretically draw more than the 600 ma if every device suddenly went to max draw when the problem happened that was NOT the case... He then started claiming that the GSM module was basically continuously transmitting test signals to alarmnet and some other poppycock.  So his suggestion is an aux supply.  So I say OK how much is it going to cost me.. He tells me $12 so I tell him I'm not going to fight over $12 and to go ahead and install it as long as he gives me a new battery in the process.  So he goes ahead and wires the AUX and changes the batteries...
Then while he's screwing around in programming he sees I turned on open/close reports so I could get user IDs of people when they arm/disarm the system.. (I turned the function on, called CS confirmed they got them and confirmed that there wasn't an issue with me sending them) He starts freaking out saying that I'm on the GSM and that I am going to be using too much data and that I'm going to have to pay extra... so I say how much and he's like I don't know call customer service... So I tell him I already talked to the CS and they said it was fine if I call customer service they aren't going to know what I am talking about are they? and he's like probably not... so he gives me this spiel how his boss used to be the manager at the CS and they should have told me differently and on and on and how they will probably just assume it was turned on by mistake and ignore it with his high and mighty attitude... So I say "Tell ya what... I'm not going to spend hours on the phone trying to get through to the right person who can then charge me more...since you have a problem with this and know who to talk to about it YOU get someone to call ME and give me a price and I will decide then if I want to turn it off".  Anyway it's been over a year.. no battery problems and no one has called me or asked me to turn it off... Apparently it wasn't as big of a deal to the company as it was to the tech... go figure...

End of Rant.

I think I have dealt with you in the past. Small world.

Thank you for the rant. 

Now I want to complain about my installer - me!


--- Quote from: DanST216 on May 16, 2013, 11:38:33 PM ---I think I have dealt with you in the past. Small world.

--- End quote ---

Cool... that's pretty crazy of all the customers and techs that I'd find someone on a random forum that worked on my systems :) Which one were you?

I do have to say every installer / tech I've ever dealt with (and I don't deal with them often... my rant was over a 15 year period and not my system for the most part) has been very nice and generally fun to chat with... I try not to be a pain in the ass or get int he way when they are hard at work and (I like to think anyway) at least most of them enjoy the company from another tech savvy person.

"Tech shows up a few days later, I'm there to meet him... I tell him what the last tech did, I tell him what option to change and what to set it to he says he can't understand why the other tech changed that setting when he was out on a phone number update, he als"

I was this one, and the last one.


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