Smart StartConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
Machine locks you out every month for no reason. Then you have to pay 60 bucks towing and 50 bucks to have code put in. Talked to manager and they said they will not give your money back. They said even though you don't drink the machine can violate you and lock you out. Not their problem. This has happened every month to me. Blow in. Machine trucks starts, blew in machine few minutes later. Truck violate wait for countdown. 2 mins truck starts. Drive it for rest of day. Went to Start truck week later lock out. HMMMM. How can it pass you two mins later fail you 2 mins later pass you. Then locks you out. It's a way for them to get free money. This machine is to cost 100 per month. It's costing me 250 per month. I would not put a Smart Start in your car. Find a different company. SMART START IS A RIP OFF COMPANY.
Their equipment is junk and the customer service is horrible. The unit in my car has been malfunctioning several times. Never got any help calling them. Ended up paying for taxi ride few times to work and for towing out of my own pocket. Stay away if you can!
I got the machine installed in Feb 17. It does screw up. They do not tell you why but charge you more monies. It recalibrate it. If you need their help... They hook it to my horn. Now my horn don't work... They said my problem. When I got it removed they didn't send the results to MO. State. ALMOST GOT ME SUSPENDED AGAIN BY THEIR LACK OF DUTY TO SEND REPORT. On a scale of 1-10, a 3. Good luck. IT'S A CONTROLLED SCAM.
Any time anything to do with this machine is your fault. Or the vehicle you drive. I have had this machine for 7 months. Only suppose to have it for 6. Live in Texas South and the machine still has to warm up. 6 months at 75 a month is 450. I have paid them 1200 and still don't have it off yet. Someone is getting filthy freaking rich quick. They need to do something about where is the money going. Not only Smart Start but all the IID companies. RIP OFF. For sure. I honestly can say if I knew it was going to bring me down like this. I would of took 6 months in Jail. Just being honest. Because these companies sure are NOT.
I only had it for a few months. I don't mind having it. It has been giving me problems. If I let my car set for two or three days or if it's too cold. I plug it in and either it tells me I'm inhaling or blow harder or softer. I had to take it back three times in one month and the month is not over yet. This is a money thing. If no alcohol is present why can't they give you a code to release it, instead of having to take it back to be service. It cost every time you take it back even if it was not your fault. I think something should be done about this. It has to be a law out there about this. Money! Money! That's what it's about.
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Automotive instincts Crest Hill - I’ve read all these horror stories and had a malfunction yesterday and freaked out. My machine said abort tamper. Screen flickering in and out. Not accepting my blows and gave me a lockout. Took it in this morning and replaced my defective unit and no charge! Thank you for the positive experience!
First of all it's a machine where your time life depends on it. I took mine in for troubleshooting. After testing it would turn off and make you take it again. Also made a short on my electrical. Still have the same problems. All I get is attitude from the guy. Right now it's on lock cause I lost my job call and told they didn't care. They said just to paid fast cause it accumulates. Last week I had my kids. They're allergic. I walk to the pharmacy to buy medicine. Complain all night. Then all of sudden my big one get gangrene in a finger. I could take him to a hospital cause damn truck is lock. I could call ambulance cause I have no money to a pay a 2000 dollar trip.
So the next day my daughter stop by and took my kids to my ex. She took them to the hospital end it up cutting my kid's finger to let everything out. So it left me thinking what if I live in a house with a garage or stuck in a gas station that catches fire or come across a arm robbery and that the only vehicle your family depends on so by the time you start the damn car you're dead. I'm sorry to say this but alcoholics that dont want to see the light are going to find a way to continue drinking and driving vehicles that are not theirs. Now I'm stuck at home or catching the bus or rides to put applications or interviews and people get fed up cause of me taking their time. Like I said faulty machines as well depends on it you being free. Cause supposedly didnt blow cause damn machine never beep when it was suppose to.
This company does everything they can to make money off you and will NEVER accept responsibility for their equipment. If something goes wrong with their system, their go-to excuse is "probably a battery or charging system problem in the car." I've had numerous false positives and "WARN"s, unit not recognizing the car is on, longer and longer analyzing times, last winter it would take over 60 seconds for the screen to even come on when the key was in the "on" position. Last month, I noticed that the time it was taking to analyze my breaths were getting longer and longer again. Nearly 2 years of experience with this machine has taught me that if I don't get the head unit replaced, it's 100% going to give me a violation. It's happened to me twice before. (Which, yes I had to pay to clear the code.)
So last month between servicing appointments, I stopped at the shop at told them my analysis time was getting really long and I would like to have the head unit replaced. I told them that I don't want anything getting in the way of my scheduled removal in January since the machine analysis time eventually gets so long, it just kicks it to a violation. He said they didn't have any more head units available at the time and all he could do was re-calibrate it. Same head unit was left in. Smart Start has an agreement with the WA DOL that they enforce. No violations for a minimum of 4 months in order to get it removed. Since I've been staying on top of the way my machine behaves (also not drinking, eating, no cologne, etc...) I "KNEW" I was good for a Jan 24, 2018 removal and haven't had any cost-incurring malfunctions in over 10 months.
Today is Jan 10, 2018. I was driving home and kicks me violation... twice. Then froze. Twice. Then started acting normal again. BUT... that violation was there now. And regardless... I will STILL have to pay to clear the code tomorrow. After it gave me the initial violation, I started recording video with my phone which clearly shows the abnormal behavior of the machine. I will be going there tomorrow to see what they tell me, considering I requested a new head unit FOR this very reason, AND have video of the entire fiasco. If they say I have to keep this in for another 4 months minimum... I just... can't even, right now.
The Smart Start device is causing my family to not make a living by false violations. False violations when it's cold. Poor customer service. No way to get your car repaired. No way to tow your car. Pure hell.
After having the device for only 6 weeks I have had to go back the service station 2 times for malfunctions. The first time it read service lock and a week later it violated me. They took care of the service lock no problem. They said there is a problem with the devices because it is so cold. The service station said they had already serviced about 30 of them and three more people showed up while I was waiting with the same problem. Six days later I start my car about 7am and no problem. However, an hour later I try to start it and it says violation, makes me wait two minutes and then passes.
About 5 minutes later, on my way to the service station, the same thing! They insist I must have used mouth wash, which I did not. I was forced to pay a $75, which I did not have! After an hour on the phone, mostly waiting, I was told to find a credit card and the situation would be reviewed in the next 3 days! Absolutely unfair! It only took a few hours for an email to say that I have been reimbursed as a COURTESY to my Smart Start account. This was followed by a list of instruction if DMV sends me a violation notice! This is a complete scam that leaves people with no choice but to make magic money appear for them to put in their pockets! I have read numerous reviews stating the same problems. This company needs to be investigated!
2 hrs after install I was locked out in 2 hrs. This has happened 7 times in first 3 weeks and every month. Just before time for recalibration does it again since installed. Scam. Sham. A bunch of crooks.
When a cold weather snap strikes my device is constantly failing. After starting my car it turns off and gives me violations or kills my battery, or the device does not turn on at all!! Then I get charged 60 dollars every time this happens because I’m in violation for a power issue and they make me take time off work to come and get it reset. Their customer service is awful as I’ve never had less than a 1 hour wait on the phone to talk to somebody and then when I do they are not helpful at all.
This is the email I received from Smart Start after now the 4th FALSE violation. The cold weather does something to this machine, yet they still take your money for their faulty equipment. “Thank you for contacting Smart Start. We have received your incident report and reviewed your account regarding your Violation Lockout on 12.14.17. The Violation Lockout was confirmed to be due to an alcohol violation, however, the log also recorded a passing test a few minutes later. As a courtesy, a partial credit of the lockout fee has been reimbursed in the amount of $40 has been placed on your Smart Start account. The remaining portion of the lockout charge will cover the shop's service cost for performing the violation reset on your device. Have a great day!”
The interlock system has malfunctioned "many" times! I call Smart Start "NEW" Activation (5) Five times and got (5) different operators in the snap of your fingers. Who then "Redirects" my call to "EXISTING" Customer LINE. That line was on HOLD for AN HOUR. YES, Pre-existing customers/Technical Support. ALL THEY WANT ARE "NEW" Customers!!!
I am trying to go thru the proper channels. We all need to stop the madness. Allowing senseless impaired drivers kill people. "Put a interlock" system in "Every" car, truck and motorcycle. We will try the new device for a month. If there are any issues it's coming out to have LifeSafer install one of their devices. Court papers does not say, I must use Smart Start. I rode Metro for 1 1/2 years. I can easily go back to doing what I had before and Mary can save all her monies for monthly charges, insurance and the headaches. Again, it's Mary's car. She CANNOT operate the device properly or efficiently. She wants the authorization complete by next Friday or in the works. STOP THE MADNESS, INTERLOCK "EVERY" CAR so no one drives impaired...
I decided to write a review for the first time in my life because of how awful my experience has been through this debacle. On top of everything else we have to do all the backs we have to scratch and all the flaming hoops that we have to jump through, all the while throwing money at all these atrocious things. Smart Start has a 1-800 number that connects you to customer service after a long hold complete with mindnumbing music. After explaining my situation and attempting to troubleshoot a unique circumstance I was asked to hold, transfer and sent to a voicemail. When I called back and waited again and tried to explain that I was cut off and that I didn't wish to be transferred (for fear of being re-routed and having to call back and rehash my story on a painful nightmarish loop). My frustration was met with short-tempered, even more, fierce frustration than my own!
The company doesn't care about speedy service and getting to the bottom of sensitive issues when they say they will call you back they don't, they don't put pertinent information in your file so that when you speak to a different person it's all there in black and white. The truth of the matter is... they make hand over fist for doing absolutely nothing, the customer service representatives hate you and themselves and it shows. The people at my local 76 station, however, are merely the vendors they have to install and remove the devices and maintain the compliance, as the company is based on the East Coast. So if you have a VIOL or a lockout, they don't care about why, or if there is a question or an issue you have to call and talk to the miserable desk people who literally must just get yelled at and put people on hold all day long.
All the vendor does is ask you for $60, they reset your device and send you on your way... no matter what, how or why your device malfunctioned. It's simply a government mandated money scam that makes an entire enterprise off of people who are going through a rough time and are in trouble with the law, no matter your criminal history, how many times you have offended, or anything having to do with the ethical treatment of humans. Rather, customers paying a lot of money to be treated like garbage for 4+ months while being compliant.
I've had all kinds of stupid problems with this piece of cheap company and device. I have to blow 4 or 5 times to get it to work even though I know I'm doing it right. CUSTOMER CARE IS THE WORST I'VE DEALT WITH EVER, EVEN THE ** INDIAN CUSTOMER SERVICE IS EXCELLENT when compared to this scam. They are complete arrogants when you ask them a question. They should be investigated.
Don't use Smart Start or their installers for any type work or business matters. Remember if you're part of a scam company as Camper City in Horn Lake MS. A installer for them. I say this about Camper City because they know that Smart Start rips people off but they do their dirty work installing and taking your money. I had twice a code on my device come up after it not working after 15 to 20 tries. It put out a code VIOL LOCK in 70 hrs twice. Each time you must before hrs is up take back in to the installer as Camper City in Horn Lake MS. And pay them 50.00 to clear it each time. Even though you have a faulty pc. of bad equipment!
The installer Camper City told me that cares for this there he can't call them. They won't take his call. Is all up to you and a form on the Smart Start website to fill out to get your money back. You fill it out. You hear nothing. They credit your acct. Only I was told at Smart Start no refunds for the next time you need them? Damn what a shock! Who wants that when you made your last payment and having it taken out. As I said I asked Camper City Kevin for help. No good asking. He said they wouldn't talk to him about refunds?
Also you're charged at time to take out another 69.00 to take the damn junk out. I was scared to drive for reason. The device wouldn't work and then need tow to Camper City. Try getting that money back? Anyway good people stay away from Smart Start company and any company that installs Smart Start devices for these rip offs. Why is this world changing so much? So many rip offs and scammers now. With no help for people getting their money taken as a man holding a gun to your back??
I have had nothing but nightmares the past 18 months dealing with this company. I have had to have my car towed at my own expense because of a faulty head. They had me calibrate my device today, even though I'm scheduled to get it off in 2 days. Also, they stated I will still be required to pay for the removal fee. They will not help you out or reimburse you in any way, no matter was the situation. BBB should investigate this corrupt company.
You know when you can tell when I company really cares about its customers? You won't get that here. I'll give it to them, they've somehow made a company that is nothing more than a legal scam. Getting the device off of your car will be near impossible. If you ask 3 different people the same question you will get 5 different answers. Need to call someone for an emergency with your device? I hope your emergency can wait 30 minutes because that's how long you're going to be on hold. This is undoubtedly the WORST charade of a company.
I have had Smart Start installed in my car for about 6 months now, all it has done is cause problems! Had to replace my battery 2 times because of this thing. The customer support does not help whatsoever after being on hold for 45 minutes at the min! Now my unit says abort pump every single time I use it, either it takes 5 minutes to start my car because of that or won't let me start my car! The lady was absolutely no help when I called to get this figured out. I would not recommend this company to anyone and will be switching companies!
I got the device in my car a little over a month ago, at first it worked fine. About 3 wks after I had it the device shut off... no lights on it or anything so I pulled over because I wasn't sure what was gonna happen... I turned my car off and then turned it back on and it started without me having to blow in it. Then my horn started going off so I shut it off again, then it asked me to blow in it and after I did my car turned on. I got to my friend’s house hang out for a bit. Had NOTHING to drink besides water, blew into it and it said violation so I tried again. Yet again it said violation so I went back in my friends for about 20 min and came back to my car. It then let me start it with no violation. But it said "7 day violation". I just figured that meant it was 7 days until my violation was up.
Between this time I would blow in it to start it and then again about 5 min after. The third time my interlock would shut off again. I would have to pull over and shut my car off and this kept happening. Well when my 7 day violation was up I couldn't start my car. It said "violation lockout" so I called the customer service number and they told me that within those 7 days I was supposed to go and get it reset. I explained to them I did not know that and that I wasn't drinking so I don’t know why I got the violation. All they said was that I should of read the manual. So I had to pay 60$ to get a code so I could start my car and had 6 hours to bring it in and get it reset, so I had to pay 110$ to drive my car even though it wasn't my fault!
When I went I told the guy working that my device is messing up so bad I can barely drink because I never know if I'm gonna have to pull over on the highway or be at a busy intersection, he told me I'd have to wait until my appointment to get it collaborated. Also my windshield wiper motor went out on my driver’s side where the device is. I've never had problems with my car before! This device is costing me so much money and it is a piece of crap!!! I want out! I'm spending so much money on it for me to not even wanna drive my car!!! I do not recommend this device to anyone. Stay as far away as possible!!!
DO NOT!!! and I say this with EMPHASIS. DO NOT go here, I scheduled an appointment to come in and get a device installed. As I walked in I realized that they were using old equipment and their shop is not clean or well kept. So I did a quick review on the company for Smart Start Interlock which was this site. They had a review of 1.3/5 stars. You will get screwed by this company. As I walked in he got the paperwork ready and I was going over the reviews he asked me what I was doing because he was waiting on me to sign the paperwork to install the interlock. I was telling him about the reviews and he got really upset and told me to Get the ** out. Really horrible place. Do not use. Out of 335 reviews they got a 1.5 star rating. That goes to show that this company will screw you over. I wish I could give this a 0 rating. REALLY HORRIBLE. A Mile High Interlock. 2331 W Hampden Ave Unit 142, Englewood, CO 80110
Everything from emails they send me with invalid phone numbers, this place is terrible. Save yourself and go elsewhere if you can afford to pay a little more, I only have to have it for 4 months so I'll put up with their lack of any customer service. The Gateway Automotive service in Mountlake Terrace Washington, OMG what a **, and I've worked in shops, I'm used to **. The Russian ** that works there needs his ass kicked, but not for 3 months, I have to deal with him till then. Rude and snotty doesn't cover it, I don't know any words to describe him. All I can say is I felt like puking after dealing with him. And again I'm a wrench/machinist my whole life (I'm 55) and this little ** takes the cake in needing his ass kicked.
I get an email from Smart Start with a number to call for help. It was time for to pay my monthly fee. The number on the email they sent me is wrong, it goes to some non company that says your call will be recorded for customer service, and then silence till u hang up. So I call the number I stored in my phone, again I finished that call by telling her to ** off. So from installation to calling their main office in Texas, every step of the way was, and is so bad. Bottom line if you deal with this company be ready for misery frustration and ulcers from a company that knows damn good and well you have no choice, you have to deal with them.
Check this out, I'm filling this review out and right below the review/comment box is another little box that says "order number". I go get my paper work to put in the order number, yeah there is no order number on any of the paper work, I'm looking at it all right now, there is no order number. See every step of the way, lol. ** anyhow. ** THIS PLACE!!!
I was skeptical about getting Smart Start because of the reviews. But, they were closest to me and cheaper per month. But I feel like I can now give an honest review. I have had SS since April 2017. I don't drink (quit 3 years ago) or smoke and no drugs but due to when I did drink, I have to have this equipment for 7 years. I'm a 54 years old female. I had lots of trouble with the equipment when I initially got it because I have asthma. I've learned how to blow and most times I can blow within the first 6 tries to get started and on my way.
I have blown one warn because I rinsed my mouth with sweet tea and one because I used my asthma inhaler, but I now use artificial sweeteners in my tea and haven't blown a warn once using it. I have been eating something multiple times when I got the little sounds telling me to blow, and I have never had a warn with food, including pizza, burgers, hot dogs, fries, crackers and anything else I happened to be consuming at the time. I've worn perfume and done multiple other things that I was warned could cause a bad blow. Didn't happen! I have a feeling that the people who say they had a bad blow and weren't drinking, well honestly, I think they are lying.
Oh, SS has claimed you get 5 free missed blows, that's a lie! The times I have missed a blow because of my asthma, I have been charged every single time! I was able to get out of the charge but you don't get anything for free!!! Except for the mouthpieces. I don't feel like at $73 a month that they are really free! I do wish there was a program in NC for low income people in this program. I live on $911 a month disability and it's almost impossible to pay for this, gas, car insurance and rent and utilities. Anyway, I want you to know, you aren't in this alone ladies and gentlemen. It's a long road but it will end eventually. And remember, don't drink and drive! You might just save your own life!
Smart Start is a money pit. I have had my blower in car for 2 months, the car's alarm will go off when driving and starting get car, every bump into go over will screw up machine, it will say missed test while driving and say lockout. Smart Start in Olympia, Wilmette, does not know what they are doing, I have another 4-day lockout, missed test, alarm going off while driving. I have to pay every time. I'm finding someone else, they make me sick. They really do. Then they give you this big ass cord that is moving around while driving and pulls on starter and alarm, I'm thinking they do it on purpose. I'm done.
I'm not giving them my hard earned money, every week I go there, all I know they better give me all of my money back. They suck. IT IS THE WORST COMPANY EVER, they really are, I’m done, going through someone that cares, and does not charge ya every ** time when clearly it is not your ** fault. That company, Smart Start are CON ARTIST THAT TAKE PEOPLE'S MONEY. Don’t go through Smart Start, THEY ARE NO GOOD.
They hired some junkie to do their work. First couple of months went smooth. Then, I would go to get it serviced and nobody would be there. This happened 3 times in one week and my car almost locked out. I'm talking hours. The next month, same thing. Only the business line to the place wasn't even on and I called "Smart Start" and they basically said keep checking to see if you can catch him and call for a code if I get locked out.
So here I am, wasting my time, my gas, my kids time, leaving work early to give these guys my money and prevent my car from locking out. I never did find him. My car locked out and I had to be at work so I called and got the code and went to work. The code was only good for 6 hours. I had kids to pick up from school and stuff to do after work so I called when it was close to the end of my shift. These JERKS really wanted to charge me for another code trying to tell me about MY responsibility. I was cheated! I called LifeSaver and I have an appt in 2 days for the same price with people who will actually do their job. I wouldn't recommend Smart Start to anybody! What a JOKE of a business.
I've had Smart Start since last year and entered a plea deal. In the midst of that I traded my older car for an newer one and had to transfer the service, to which they don't guarantee the same interlock box from the previous car. I had a PO starting in June and in my July (they can only look back from the last time you service/recalibrate) there were no issue with the interlock, which the readings come from the dreaded $75/month payment, me assuming that there were no issues.
When I went in August, (when there are July readings) there were problems and my PO said he need to record our session for training purposes and I didn't think anything of it until he tells me I had a dismal July. Now in the State of Texas, according to SS, will not give you a report for the month -- it is against state regulations. I had not done anything different - mainly drink Monsters and ate gummy bears with no problems in pre-trial readings nor June. Well, I had the service transferred from my older car to my newer one in late June with a new box.
There had been weird behaviors from the box - having me blow 4 times in a 5 minute period with the device indicating that I had passed. I got a warning and told swish water - odd, since that had no effect on my previous box. I told the PO that I would swish water every time I blew and to report the issue to SS. I did so a week or so later and the SS folks said they would look at and change the settings. Come this week (August report), the results for August came in - me religiously swishing water to bring the readings down. When I went into my monthly PO meeting, a "supervisor" to warn me that if I had another bad month I would face a judge.
The kicker was that at the last day of Aug and during Trump's visit of all days. I get into my car the box initiates and says blow. But I can't blow and get the solid tone that let's one know how long to blow while it takes a sample. I tried over and over. I call tech support at SS and go through an hour of troubleshooting, only to learn that pump on the interlock was kaput. Now I would imagine that if there was bad pump it wouldn't just go out immediately - that there would be a slow - in my case 2-month death. And that had something to do with the reading and that the sensor measuring BAC does not have the proper air ratio to get a proper reading. They replaced my box and am HOPING that solves the problem.
What is mysterious to me is that PO's Supervisor said I had a fail, when I always hit #3 to make sure I have no violations, car always started without a re-blow and got chastised for turning my car off for 5 minutes (I was donating food to the food pantry and they say to turn cars off and I also didn't want to miss a rolling blow). Their conjecture of my reading was an indicator for use when I have not had a single drink since May of last year. I asked where that conclusion came from, I was told that it was provided by SS and I asked SS what the parameters are and they said they are set by the county.
SS says they can't give me monthly reports per state law. I only have a few months on it. I bought a BACtrack device for $85 to test the SS tester. The interesting thing is that there was only once that the reading went to .001, most were .005-9 (which there is a small amount of alcohol from the flora in your mouth) after drinking a Monster, smoking a cigarette and still definitely below 2 mark. DON'T DO THIS WITH YOUR INTERLOCK - please drink and swish all the water you can before, during and even a few minutes after - I've had rolling blows come up with engine off and if not for me having to collect my things, would have never noticed.
First, after reading report after report, I understand what you folks are going through with this fraud of a company, which leads me to my second point. Second, I want to explain to those looking in that this report and the majority of what I read has everything to do with a private company failing not only clients but also the general public and the government contract they were entrusted with. If you think these reports are from whiney winos trying to make excuses, you're missing the point. Reporting to CA does nothing to help if they still dwi. More to the point, Smart Start does nothing to help the public if these drivers still dwi. There is no benefit to the public or deterrent to the accused by mandate of this fraud company and their bunk product and service. Why your government uses them or this tech? No clue other than they are misguided by whatever data they researched l, if any at all.
Third, Smart Start. You have problems. Many many problems but I will focus on one major. Software. If you want to reduce complaints and actually begin to provide a (hell, any) service, repair and fix your (or your middle man service provider) software problems. 'Ill attempt to focus on this and not the lockout codes and service codes and everything created ad hoc to attempt to mitigate your flawed service offerings... so I try...
The "Smart" Start allows for a 2 minute (yes folks, it gets pretty stupid) grace start after turning the ignition off. Other than complete stupidity in motion, the software glitch responsible for this brilliant piece of social engineering leads to a hardware responsible for keeping the electric service leeched from our batteries fully operational and draining the battery for however long the vehicle is parked. Question: What happens when our headlights remain on with engine off for any amount of time, anyone (Smart start, come on, I know you can take a wild guess, look at the gigantic mountain of complaints that lead to this identical flaw in your "service" offerings... you can tell us!)?
Anyway, the AAA man got here before SS could consult on a final answer... AAA not only guessed correct, he's been on the scene enough to know exactly how to fix the crisis at hand caused by SS. It happens 100's of times every day all over the SS service area. Thanks AAA man. A simple battery recharge to solve a problem caused by the Smart Start that was installed to solve a problem that is high on the public's conscience but nil on the Smart Start capability because it's a con. It puts a small bandaid full of holes on a weeping wound that flows like money into the Smart Start and MADD blood money coffers. This service does not in any logical, applicable or appreciable manner provide any safety to the public from those that dwi. It's a false sense of security and now all that care are aware.
*Total money OoP in 6 months NOT including the routine fees paid to Smart Start, $900. $900 in tow fees, mechanics fees, "lock-out" codes, "violation fees". Then there Uber fees, lost income, children with me stranded in the heat with no A/C. I could go on but I will wrap this up and will certainly be back for another round of updates. P.S. Thank you for replacing your admittedly defective hand held device after 3 months (of void customer service and responsiveness and singing the Stranded in the Heat Smart Start Summertime Blues... when can we expect a defective software fix?). Till next time. For a really Dumb Move, get a Smart Start! Peace!
All Smart Start products are computer and/or solid state based. Problems happen with electronics, like it or not. HOWEVER... when problems arise, it is how you handle the issue and how do you treat your customer that leaves the impression. Once again, Smart Start gets a failing grade. I own the mistake I made when I got a High Blood Alcohol DUI ticket and have had the Smart Start device in my car for 2 years now. I am responsible for my actions. Smart Start as a company should also be responsible for theirs, however this company treats you as they have you over a barrel every time there is an equipment problem.
In the 2 years I've had the interlock in my car, I've had (6) failures and (1) major violation offense all of which are device failure. Smart Start will only replace cords and head units, all have which have been done multiple times and not the device itself which at this point is what should be done. Worse than the paranoia the malfunctioning equipment causes, because your driver's license is on the line at all times, I've been treated like a second class citizen, talked at and talked down to every single time I had to get on the phone with Steve (the manager in Harrison Twp MI).
Failures happen, it's how you respond and Smart Start got its 6th failing grade from me yesterday. I didn't even mention Steve does not call you back, you need to hunt him down sit on hold, get hung up on all demonstrating there is no value placed on my (the customers) time. Yesterday alone I spent 2 hours 15 minutes on the phone with the net result being I got talked at, talked down to and told how it would be. Again, nothing done and I am forced to live with it. There are multiple providers for Ignition Interlocks. If I had to do it all over again, Smart Start would be my VERY LAST choice.
First off my DUI was in 2009, it took me until 2015 to get in a position to afford to get my license back and afford the monthly fees for this device. Since then I QUIT DRINKING, got married, and have had 3 kids. I've had 1 missed test violation that I paid without fighting and a lockout due to a breakdown that I also paid without hesitation just because it wasn't worth fighting.
My current issue stems from the fact that I evacuated from Hurricane Irma. After driving for 23 hours straight I finally found a vacant hotel in Tennessee that had room for a family of 5 and a dog. Lord only knows how many times I tested in that 23 hour period with no issues because I no longer drink. We arrived at the hotel and I ran in to grab the key (we preregistered for the room so didn't think it would take any time) while my wife stepped out of the vehicle to inform family where we were at. I had just tested so I didn't think I'd need any tests any time soon and wanted the AC on for the dog and kids waiting in the car. In the few moments I was inside the lobby of the hotel the device violated me for a missed test. First thing I did when I got into my room was call them.
The recorded message says they have accommodations for people that were affected by the hurricane. When I talk to the representative I was told there is nothing they can do for me but give me an extended lockout code or I could drive to a shop an hour from my location and have the device serviced. Now I was in a completely unfamiliar area dealing with the uncertainty of whether my entire life was going to be wiped out and their solution was to drive to some town I don't know and pay to have the device serviced only days before it was supposed to be removed anyways. I pleaded to them that this was a huge mistake and I'm not comfortable driving to an unknown area to pay a stranger that I'll never see again to work on my car. My only recourse was to use their extended lockout code.
Thankfully my area was spared the damage that was forecasted but here it is days AFTER I was supposed to have the device removed. I have only hours left on my extension code. I called to see about having the device removed and it says it takes 2 business days for the process to occur. I call customer service and explain the situation and am told we can give you another code for $35. I've been out of work for 2 weeks now, it cost $600 for hotels and several hundred in gas not to mention feeding a family of 5 on the road. I'm being told there is nothing that can be done. So now not only will I have to pay the money for the removal I'll also have to pay for this lockout code for a service that I'd no longer be using if it wasn't for the evacuation. You're not a person to this company, just a source of cash, keep that in mind. There are tons of ways to tack on extra fees and they find ways to do it at any chance they can. BEWARE.
Smart Start Company Information
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- Smart Start