Software bug shuts down Nest thermostats, turns off heating for unlucky customers

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in General Discussion
A buggy software update has caused many users of Nest's smart thermostat to wake up in the cold in recent days, as the devices have been found to quickly drain their batteries and shut down, leaving heating and cooling systems offline.




"We had a bug that was introduced in the software update that didn't show up for about two weeks," Nest co-founder Matt Rogers told Nick Bilton of the New York Times, who experienced the snafu firsthand. Issues began to crop up earlier this month, when customers found their HVAC systems unresponsive.

For users, fixing the problem -- Nest says 99.5 percent of its customers are back online -- means rebooting their now-dead thermostat, which is easier said than done. Nest's support site details a nine-step process that requires removing the device from the wall, connecting it to auxiliary power, and performing a series of incantations.

Alternatively, the Times notes that Nest has offered to send an electrician to help any customers who can't solve the problem on their own.

This is the latest in a string of problems for Nest in the years since Tony Fadell sold the firm to Google. The company's Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, for instance, met with widespread user dissatisfaction and was eventually pulled from the market temporarily over safety concerns.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 83
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,694member
    Nest-gate anyone? Or will this just slide under the radar since it's not Apple. 
    pmzflashfan207potatoleeksoupsuddenly newtonlkruppnolamacguycornchipmdriftmeyerjony0tallest skil
  • Reply 2 of 83
    I frequent all the tech sites and I haven't seen this reported anywhere. The first time I heard about it was in my Twitter feed with someone asking what the media coverage would be like if this was an Apple product. Of course that was a rhetorical question.
    macky the mackyigorskyicoco3cornchipjony0tallest skil
  • Reply 3 of 83
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    If this were an Apple product it would be CNN headline news for the rest of the week.

    This is the kind of thing that prevents me from getting a smart thermostat. I know I would never buy a Nest anyway, but there are others out of there from companies that have been making thermostats for generations. Still, this is the kind of the thing that puts me off the entire concept. Very little gain + much risk.
    pscooter63igorskycornchiptallest skil
  • Reply 4 of 83
    Shit happens...
  • Reply 5 of 83
    Happened to me... woke up to a dead Nest (battery) and a freezing house Sunday... thought was just a fluke... didn't realize it was 'a thing'...
  • Reply 6 of 83
    This is a pain in the ass. I have 6 of these and it was not fun.
    cornchip
  • Reply 7 of 83
    larryalarrya Posts: 548member
    Nest software updates - from the people who brought you Android. 
    edited January 2016 macky the mackyigorskypmzmetrixDeeedscornchiptallest skil
  • Reply 8 of 83
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,570member

    This is a perfect example of Keep it simple.

    There are things in your house you do not want too High Tech and your heating system is one of them. I can tell you if this happen at my house that thing would have been ripped off the wall faster than you could image by my wife. One time while traveling during the winter our furnace went out in the middle of night and it was 0 zero outside and the house was at 50 before you knew it. Call the repair guy and $200 later and a $10 piezoelectric igniter broke and there was no way to get the furnace running with out the dame part. Likely the repair guy had one on his truck.

    The wife wanted the furnace ripped out, it was too high tech and complicated. Today I keep extra igniters and controller boards next to my furnace for the late night failures in the dead of winter which has happen a number of times over the years. This is part of the reason, I have not updated my thermostat to something like NEST because I do not believe they have done the fault tolerance testing to make sure it will always work. Plus it does not have a mechanical manual override. I have a programmable from Honeywell who has lots of experience with this kind of thing even if the programmable part dies you can always force the furnace on mechanically. I still have my old style mercury mechanical thermostat as a back up. A Piss Off wife with kids at home was not worth the verbal abuse of other companies stupid decisions.

    edited January 2016 starbird73pmzDeeedscornchipmactac
  • Reply 9 of 83
    thrangthrang Posts: 765member
    I had nest buy back 6 of them a year and half ago because of the ongoing blown FET issues, and have been using the Honeywell wifi thermostats ever since...knock on wood, rock solid...
    cornchip
  • Reply 10 of 83
    jm6032jm6032 Posts: 147member
    Wow! Just Wow! I have two Nest thermostats. Love them. The Auto-Away alone is a blessing. My wife absolutely loves controlling them from her iPhone. This is not an issue of not being willing to walk over to the thermostat (about 10 meters away in another room), it's a matter of she teaches in her studio and prefers not to stop the lesson in progress to go adjust the thermostat. 

    Problems? A few. The biggest one was the furnace itself. Another time Nest determined we had a faulty unit. New one arrived the next day. 
    nolamacguyfreshmaker
  • Reply 11 of 83
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Freezing in your own home due to a software bug, or because the neighbour hacked your thermostat. 

    Terrible.

    *adds more wood to the wood stove and watches the flames for a bit*

    Yep. Terrible.
    macky the mackynolamacguyDeeedscornchip
  • Reply 12 of 83
    roakeroake Posts: 640member
    When these Nest thermostats came out, I bought one.  I loved it!  I bought a second for my home and one for my parents.

    Then Google bought Nest.

    Now I eye them with distrust.  Like little Google eyes in my house.  I'm not sure what data Google is stealing, but I'll bet they are siphoning off a great deal.
    Deeedscornchip
  • Reply 13 of 83
    larrya said:
    Nest software updates - from the people who brought you Android. 
    Why do appliances even need software updates? They just do one thing. They are not goddamned PCs.
    Deeedscornchipmactac
  • Reply 14 of 83

    jungmark said:
    Nest-gate anyone? Or will this just slide under the radar since it's not Apple. 
    "But but but Antennagate." Boom. Google has been defended. The Nestgate has been cancelled out. /s
    Deeeds
  • Reply 15 of 83
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    pmz said:
    If this were an Apple product it would be CNN headline news for the rest of the week.

    This is the kind of thing that prevents me from getting a smart thermostat. I know I would never buy a Nest anyway, but there are others out of there from companies that have been making thermostats for generations. Still, this is the kind of the thing that puts me off the entire concept. Very little gain + much risk.
    I am guessing you would buy one if it had an Apple logo on it.
  • Reply 16 of 83
    steviestevie Posts: 956member
    Tony Fadell is a traitor.  Serves him right.
    hydrogencornchip
  • Reply 17 of 83
    msantti said:

    I am guessing you would buy one if it had an Apple logo on it.

    Do you honestly believe that, if Apple had purchased Nest, they would be in this situation?
    stevie
  • Reply 18 of 83
    ...and to think that Google paid $3 Billion for Nest.  LOL
    hydrogenDeeeds
  • Reply 19 of 83
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,975member
    Imagine this happens to your Google self driving car on the freeway. The brake lights will not turn on as the car quickly slows down to not moving.
    stevieDeeeds
  • Reply 20 of 83
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 422member
    JotWee said:
    Shit happens...
    Yes, for every other company "shit happens". Except for when it happens to Apple...then it becomes a crisis.
    nolamacguyDeeeds
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