About Smart Start
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These guys are a joke. I can never get anyone on the line to help. The support line gives you an option for a call back but they never do so just stay on the line. I found out that the shops that do all the actual work on the interlock only make 20 bucks per service. So where is all the money going? It sure isn't the equipment or the customer service. My interlock started going off all the time so the tech said he was going to hook me up with an older model because they actually work. Soak that in. Can't believe I am legally bound to these snakes.
Call center does not answer and administration did not send my reports to State of Illinois as required. However Kevin **, a field rep called and was exceptional. He fixed the problem and was responsive, friendly, and knowledgeable.
This company offers low price because you are paying for nothing. They do not answer phone as mentioned by so many others on review list. Call the numbers for yourself another reviewer listed them. Go elsewhere! Terrible!!!
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Faulty equipment. General Motors has on demand charging systems on their newer vehicles and this device does not recognize that the vehicle is running upon startup when the voltage doesn’t go up. This allowed for a running vehicle with no tests. Their solution was to reprogram the head unit, to trick the device into thinking the truck is already running now before startup which initiates a 4 min. countdown to provide a breath sample. So if I don’t blow when the vehicle is not running it will fail me for missing a test. It is also not compatible with any auto start/stop feature your vehicle may have. My vehicle has shut down many times at lights causing traffic delays while having to blow at a green light to get the vehicle moving again. After expressing my concerns to multiple reps with no fix to the issues I’ve been having, the device will be uninstalled in my vehicle.
I would not recommend this company to anyone trying to get their life back in order after a DUI. Being convicted and having to install an interlock device is bad enough. It’s shameful and embarrassing. But that’s the price you pay. You then put your trust in an interlock company that should be helping you get through it all, only to find out the cost keeps going up. There’s an extra $90.00 here and an extra $30.00 there. It adds up. The customer service gets worse, if any at all. In my opinion, this is a company that preys on this misfortune and steals from their customers. All they care about is your money. Please don’t be fooled and taken advantage of. Smart Start and their equipment just isn’t a smart choice. Like others had mentioned I’m sure a lot of the positive reviews are phony. It’s not hard to tell which ones they are. Read them.
I would also like to add that I am currently getting this device removed from my vehicle. Between the 1-800#, local franchises, and shops it seems like there is a serious lack of communication. You need to call the 1-800#, then told to “call the shop” and then to “call the local smart start office” only for them to tell you to call the 1-800# again.
Upon removal of the interlock there are spliced wires exposed now, under the hood, which I now have to fix. Their wiretaps were left in place under the dash and a ground wire that was simply just cut off and left dangling under the steering column. Not something you want to see on a 2021 GMC Sierra. Slash and dash gas station mechanics is what you will get on your installs and removals. Very unprofessional.
I am not editing this review, as I stand behind it, but I did talk with a gentleman named Kevin who reached out to me about my experience. We actually laughed a little. I did appreciate the fact that he called me about my concerns and actually reached out to the Massachusetts franchise about my issues. They are now issuing me a refund check for $150. It seems I was overcharged for the removal… go figure. Also they offered me a $50 gift card if I could bring the vehicle back to a different shop 2 hours from where I live to get the wiring issues addressed. It’s likely not worth it for me to do that but I did appreciate the offer. I will just fix it myself. Thanks to Kevin, they are at least offering some sort of resolve. Wish there were more people like him to talk to at smart start. Seems like the rest of the company is run by cats.
I would give Kevin 5 stars for his customer service, but this review is about the company as a whole and the terrible experience I had with them. I would wish my experience I had with Smart Start upon no one.
Smart Start Ignition Interlock of Olathe should be avoided at all costs. This place is poorly run, ran by one incompetent person and there is absolutely no end user support even at the corporate level in Grapevine, TX. There are four (4) supposed customer service phone numbers to contact and they all loop over and over again to get you nowhere and to speak with no one; it's a total sham. Try the phone numbers for yourself if you don't believe my statement and see what you get. (913) 815-3698, 1-866-918-2986, 1-800-831-3299 & 1-866-979-0002 and there is no chat or email address; it's a complete ghost/phantom. The device will never operate correctly and you will run back & forth constantly to get it fixed because of the proprietor's incompetent inability to do his job. Avoid this place at all costs or opt to spend more money at a place that can do their job correctly.
Smart Start is by far the worst nightmare I’ve ever had to endure! Customer Service reps are rude and obnoxious. The whole thing is a joke. They talk to you like you like crap and are no help. I think they’re worst than the device which sucks also. They’re taking forever to “process the removal” of this device out of my car as I type but to get started it took one phone call and it was installed that day. I repeat do NOT go with Smart Start.
Stay away from this company. I have been using it for 11 months & have had 3 different machines so I know what I'm saying. I may have to blow into it 4 times before it will work, up to 10 a few times. It will say blow longer when you start blowing. It's not me. I have tried every different way to try to make it work right. There are other companies out there so you have choices. No one will answer the phone unless you check that you are from the court.
Where do I begin. This company cares zero for you as a customer, human, or otherwise. I have been lied to, hung up on, and overcharged during a deadly global pandemic. I have been told to ‘not use hand sanitizer’, As it will set off the device, putting not only my health at risk, but also those in my community, my elders who I love, and basically anyone I come into contact with. Is this even legal??? I had been given an old broken device from another car, which was randomly giving violations, honking, and sucking my car battery dry. The electric in my vehicle was always going haywire, sometimes working, sometimes not. This is VERY dangerous. Drinking and driving is dangerous, but I only did that once. Smartstart as a company has forced me to drive dangerously, risk the health of my loved ones daily for ten months.
This is the email I finally received today: “Your lockout from Oct 22nd will not be refunded as the device was not malfunctioning. Introducing a substance like hand sanitizer that is almost pure alcohol into a unit that is designed to detect alcohol is not a device malfunction. This is a direct user error and the only individual that can keep this from happening is you. When a lockout occurs from an error such as this the fees will be due.”
I have not used hand sanitizer in my vehicle since March 15! I have clearly stated this. My mechanic told me the equipment was faulty, AND SWITCHED IT OUT! We are being lied to and treated poorly. This company is violating our god given right to protect ourselves and others during a pandemic. DO NOT! I repeat, DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!
The people on the phone are very rude. The client portal app is a joke, you can’t even put your info into it. This place is a money funnel, they are pretty much allowed to wantonly rip people off, and they know it. If you are allowed to pick your own ignition interlock provider, for god sake do NOT use this outfit. Don’t ever call, the only human you’ll ever get is one that will take money. Dealing with outfits like this is more than enough to make one never drink and drive ever again. AVOID.
I cannot really add to the reviews that precede mine. I agree with all of them. The device, the service, the company, and the use of this failed unit is deplorable. There is nothing consistent with any of these. The device must have been programmed by 1st grader. It gives conflicting and nonsensical errors, e.g. "blow longer" as soon as I start blowing. I may have found a trick to "resetting" the device.
I was recently stuck in "temp viol". My installer had no idea what this code meant, nor did Smart Start. One of Smart's technicians spent an hour trying to void it and got nowhere. Finally, he told me to disconnect the negative battery cable for no more than 1 minute. It worked! I've done that 2 more times since and had no problems with the device. It seems to work like pulling the plug on your computer when it freezes. It's like a reboot. I have two more months to deal with this POS. I'll say one thing in its favor, I'll never drink and drive again knowing what I have to deal with.
Smart Start new and improved device is unusable for me! I've contacted the 800 number at least five times about it and asked to have my old device put back on. The thing says blow longer even while I'm still blowing in it! I'm having it removed and selling my car!!!! Their customer service is HORRIBLE! They LIED to me saying they contacted one of their service centers and the service center had a couple in stock and could put the old system in. I drive to the service center and they DIDN'T HAVE ANY, nor were they contacted!!!! WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER!!!
Smart Start Company Information
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- Smart Start
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