Consumer Complaints and Reviews
I'm getting really tired of having to go to the shop that put it in to get this thing fixed because it makes me blow. I pass in a second later. After passing it says I pass then it says I'm in violation for the last three weeks. I've been going to the company and have them redo it and they can't tell me why it keeps doing it!!! Just did it again today! I could be driving down the road it will turn itself on and off. It will tell me to blow then not let me blow then violates me.
If you can go with any other product aside from Interlock Smart Start DO IT! This company is the most dysfunctional company I have seen. The employees are ok as far as politeness but some are questionable on technical abilities. They completely and utterly ruined an installation on a Jeep with wires everywhere under my dash. The car eventually wouldn't Start most of the time. After three abandonments on the highway, one tow, one new starter and lots of frustration and multiple trips to Interlock it's working for now. Today at an appointment for 4 Pm it almost 5 pm with 6 people waiting whilst the guy tries to figure out why he can't get it wired on an Infinity. Stay away from this company at all costs. It's terrible and extremely poorly run.
If you've made the terrible mistake of drinking and driving and are trying to claw your way back to a semblance of the normal life you once knew, please look into other breathalyzer companies. Smart Start was my only option where I live, but I wish I could have had the benefit of options. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to rectify my mistake, and I am more than happy to not drink. Someone would have to kill me before I ever agreed to drink and drive again. But, with the false fails this machine gives me, that doesn't matter to the judicial system.
I was excited to get my driving privileges back, but I've given them back up somewhat because of the anxiety this machine has caused me. I'd rather not drive at all than deal with this thing and its inaccuracies. It regularly doesn't recognize me as blowing hard enough, humming loudly enough and stops mid-blow to alert me not to inhale (which I've never done). The worst thing that's happened is that it's given me FAIL and VIOLATION warnings, meaning it's detected alcohol, on two separate occasions. I've not consumed alcohol in any form since last winter (it's currently November -- so, almost a year). I don't even use alcohol-based mouthwash or real vanilla, if that tells you how little alcohol could be in my system at any given time.
I was stuck in frigid weather recently, unable to start my car for nearly 2 hours, thanks to the "smart" machine. Could it have been gum I was chewing? Hand sanitizer on my hands? Who knows, but the machine went on the fritz. Most recently, a snack my husband ate was responsible for both a fail and violation. He hasn't had a drink in even longer than I have. So, not consuming alcohol in any form is not good enough, you also should refrain from eating bread and some fruits, too, unless you want to ruin your life again. The shop that installed the machine into my car can't stand the company either, and are currently looking to pawn the service off onto any other auto-shop that will take it off their hands. They say they've been nothing but an inconvenience and a headache to deal with since Day 1.
My advice to anyone with options in the breathalyzer department is to do your homework and go with the company with the least amount of problems reported. I have been worried SICK that I'm going to be in trouble with these false alcohol detections. My livelihood depends on this machine being accurate -- and it's finicky at best. To me, it seems the company has set it up to fail. Good luck and don't drink and drive!
My car broke down, and this veronica person began yelling at me because I asked her to talk more slowly. I couldn't write as fast as she was talking. I've never done this before, I called 800 number for assistance & information. That's when Veronica began yelling at, I think, for bothering her at work. MY ADVISE TO ALL NEVER USE SMART START. I may have gotten a dui, but I'm still the customer. Veronica, find another line of work! You're not very good. I will be terminating smart start. And hiring a better company.
Before anything me and 4 of my friends all had Smart Start interlock installed at the same time, this review is based on information collected from all 5 subjects including myself. Ok I'm not going into details on how ended up with the Smart Start other than it was the best choice given the intensive research and comparisons I did. I had a sheet with 47 questions and I called all interlock providers in my state and spent hours with each company on the phone asking all these questions. In the end Smart Start was my top choice due to many different factors but main reason I choose them was because the simplicity of using their device (30/30).
In the end I was able to Get free installation. First and second month fee free. Cheapest removal cost ($60). I did not have to hum using the device. I did not have to blow then inhale. I only had to blow for 4 seconds. My top complaints would be The handheld device should dim the screen backlight when in idle mode especially at night. The beeper should be linked to the stereo so that way you can play your radio loud while the window is open on the highway. Body temperature sensors should have been on both sides of the mouthpiece. One fixed date for recalibration not a different date every month. If you're a busy adult you're like me and you will forget your recalibration date, a reminder of the due date should be shown on the device 5-7 days prior not within only 48 hours.
If you get or give anyone a jump start, the device will go haywire and require a breath sample every 1 minute until the jump is removed. Takes 1 minute 20 seconds to analyze itself before starting the car... Too damn long like WTF dude! Glitches and rhythms I picked up on using this device (I'm a numbers guy. I like to keep track of things and I'm excellent at troubleshooting so this helped me a lot more). After the initial start up, (depending if it was cold outside or not for the device needing to heat itself) the first rolling retest will be at minute #7 after the initial start if the device has to heat itself or minute #16 if it doesn't need to warm up. The second rolling test will be 19-22 minutes after the first rolling test. The third rolling test is exactly 30 minutes after the second rolling test is completed. After 5 rolling retests the 6th rolling retest will be every 45 minutes give or take.
There is one way you can start the car without having to blow and the device will never know you actually started the car or not. There's a way to bypass a rolling retest but only once which can buy you an additional 20 minutes of driving time if you decide to drink while driving. The Do's and Dont's of having this interlock. Don't fail a rolling retest, if you do, your car goes into lockout mode immediately and your suspension extends 3 months and unlike failing a starting test which you get many attempts at before a violation is noted and a chance to withdraw it with the SOS via letter, a failed retest bypasses all those factors and goes straight to the penalty.
Do not unplug it while car is running, same penalties as failing a rolling retest, they call it "tampering". No need to avoid items containing alcohol such as toothpaste or mouthwash, or even blowing a breath full of menthol smoke into it, it never gave me a problem regarding anything of that nature. Do not spray cologne at it, near it or in the car without either covering it with a towel or airing the car out. Cologne contains alcohol and it leaves a mist of it floating around and it can and will pick up those Microscopic traces of it and register a fail... Can you imagine if it was a rolling retest... Unplugging the device and removing it is truly one of the best anti-theft systems out there. Unplugging the device allows you to work on the car and disconnect the battery for days without any problems.
My experience using this device: Well not having to hum is already a huge advantage I opted for over my friends, also I got a brand new device upon installation and it never once gave me a single problem using it. I never had to wait longer than 2 minutes to speak to a phone rep. If you do what it tells you to do you'll be just fine using it. Minimizing the consumption of alcohol and not driving after a minimum of 8 hours after drinking is your best bet. It never suddenly shut itself off, or mysteriously went into lockout mode all on its own, or gave me any technical issues of any kind. I never failed or gotten a warning using it.
All these reviews I'm reading on here are of people who committed a fault or a mistake but are not admitting to it and accusing the device for it instead. ALL OF THEM! Let's put it into perspective here, say you have a Blu-ray player and all these years it's been working just fine until one day it will not play the movie you inserted. Out of frustration you will attempt to configure all new settings, maybe physically attack the box by hitting its side and finally deciding to body slam it in the floor after and then that's when you found our after all this that you plugged a regular DVD into it and not a Blu-ray DVD... However you still insist it was the Blu-ray player at fault and not you. Thankfully mine was removed earlier today and to say I'll miss it is not a joke. As you become so used to it it becomes second nature having it there, but thankfully I can now.
Well good night all. I wish you all the best and remember having this device is a privilege to drive, you wouldn't be here if you were the perfect law abiding citizen you claim you are... You're a criminal and keep that in mind. It'll actually ease your mind more than you think. I was never found guilty of the DUI but I did refuse to blow at the time of the arrest thus why I got a 1 year suspended license, my friends all blew and are now still suffering the consequences of having a DUI on their records...
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I have never taken the time to write a review about a company. For the people like me who just had a bad night and are normal productive people who have lives and value their time stay away from this company. I chose this company because they were the cheapest at the time. Big mistake. My dealing with them have been far worst than when I got in trouble and dealing with the court. There are no doubt the worst company and/or product I have ever used in my life. Here are the facts. Blowing into the device takes some time to get used to but can be mastered. However If anything ever goes wrong... whoa... all I can say is "prepare to be entertained".
Smart Start subcontracts their work so when you go to a shop for a monthly calibration you are not dealing with the company themselves. The tech shops hate them as much as I do. My issues have not been alcohol related with the company. My issues and "your" issues if you choose to ignore the countless negative reviews from this company and give them your business we be as follows. Within three weeks of getting the device installed I took my car in for a oil Change and maintenance by mistake the auto shop caused a violation, for a missed test because the car was left running. When this happens you have three days to make it to a subcontracted shop and pay them $100 so that they can clear your device otherwise the car won't start and will have to be towed at your expense to a shop. Remember this part. If any issue arises and your car will not start you will have to have the car towed at your expense.
The shop put on the receipt what happened. I sent this to Smart Start and they would not reimburse me. Remember this point. They have their device in your car and if you need it to get to work like me you have no choice but to pay. The device during the winter has to warm up before it allows you to start the car. So warming up your car basically can't happen. I drive a BMW so my install was more money because of the push button. This device also did something to my starter in May. I went to start my car so I could go to work. The car wouldn't start. Called the unhelpful rep at Smart Start who basically said I had to take my car to a mechanic. I had the car towed $125, paid over four hundred for a new starter (device is hooked into your starter), missed work that day and because it was a Friday basically didn't get my car until Monday.
When I got my car back it wouldn't start to move the car off the lift. Mechanics can call in and have the device disabled. However the car would not start... Smart Start gave me a code to unlock the car. They told me I had a few hours to get to a shop or I would have to have my car towed to a shop (this is for recalibration). When I get to the shop they charged me 65 dollars because it was not an appointment day. I had work the next day and had no choice.
The next day when I went to start my car the device would not come on. Yeah this happened. I had to have my car towed again charged again at the shop for an non appt day and was late to work. I reported all of this to Smart Start. And they refunded me. Get this - $125 dollars which was put on as a credit for their bill next month. Which by the way wind up being split between the next two months. It was such a insult that if I had a choice I would have told them to keep it.
I am missing some other things but let's talk about today. Smart Start creates automatically your appt date. This has always been. In the past if I needed to change my appt date if I called in they would change it. I work so I need to arrange this around work. I called last night and this morning both ladies I spoke with including today's gem Kaloni (female) from the Texas office told me that they can not change the date, and the shop has to do this. I know this to be wrong, so I convinced Kaloni to call the shop. "I needed you appt to be today instead tomorrow because I am off today."
When Kaloni called the shop, the shop manager told her that he can not change the date and that they have to. Mind you I am in the middle of this. The shop manager also explained to her that that he will charge me if I come in today a shop fee plus Smart Start fee. Which she said he isn't supposed to do. Again in the past I call they change the date no problem. The shop manager got off the phone and I now spoke to Kaloni from the Texas office alone. She was rude couldn't get a manager and could not call the office in New York.
This was more frustrating because I knew she didn't know what she was talking about. Also look at it like this, I'm talking to Kaloni and obviously she isn't smart and isn't willing to help me, but I'm at the mercy of someone who by the end of the conversation I would assume is in her mid-thirties and currently going to school to obtain her ged diploma. Nobody is perfect but this is crazy. So bad that I stopped doing what I had to do to write them a review.
If you choose this company you're crazy. If you are in NY and have already paid 20k because of a dwi. Dealing with Kaloni from the Texas office will just blow you away. So in a nutshell this is a scam. If you miss a test and then blow into the device 30 secs later with the camera in your face you will be charged $100 dollars and have three days to take your car in to pay them. I guess they know they have you in a bad spot but, they are horrible. Not everyone who gets a dwi is a drunk. I think we all know this. However if you choose to deal with Smart Start at some point you will have a horrible experience. Again the worst company product I have ever paid for with my hard earned money. You have been warned.
Just had this device installed on my vehicle as per court order and haven't touched alcohol since its installation. Well in one day I've had two violations because the device says that I have to "hum harder, blow longer, blow harder, don't inhale..." all this while driving and trying to pay attention to the actual ROAD! The state was harsh on me being that I've never even had so much as a speeding ticket in my life.
I was in my driveway when I was ticketed, not on a public road so I wasn't out "drunk driving" but who am I to argue with the law right? Be that as it may, this device is designed to MAKE the user fail. After my one day I was violated twice because as I was breathing out the machine interpreted me removing my mouth from the device as a fail?! How is that possible? I even became light headed and almost fainted from blowing so many times. This company and this device are the biggest scam in history and the legislation designed to procure the installment of the device needs to evaluate these cases on a per case basis, not as a standard. Smart Start and its devices are a scam and so is our government. Silly little country that USA.
Had to have this via court ordered. FYI - my download fee is $96 in central NY, others have said theirs is $140 and up. My complaint is the unit reported me tampering with the device (which I did not). The report said I disconnected and connected multiple times, $300 for lawyer and still had 2 months added to time. Judge didn't care that the report said disconnect, connect, connect, connect, disconnect, connect, connect. Common sense would apply here and that you must disconnect to reconnect. Scared to drive the vehicle as Judge mentioned possible incarceration if I have another "violation". If you need one of these, research all available and pick one with least complaints. Thanks for reading.
It has been less than 48 hours since the install of my interlock device. Within 24 hours, my car was losing power, the lights began to flicker inside the vehicle and the heat went off completely. My vehicle almost lost complete power and dead at an intersection. Very dangerous in my opinion. My car told me to check my systems, generically. I went to the install place, they could find nothing wrong. I called Smart Start, they troubleshooted with me. This did not resolve any issues. Smart Start talked to the install company through my phone. The install company assured me that all the wires were connected properly and the cords were good. They plugged my vehicle in the computer. It came back with a battery code and transmission code.
I left and went to a garage. Sure enough now my battery needed replaced. They then checked my system again after replacing the battery and said no issues are registering. This is within 29 hours of install. 40 hours after installation my car begins doing the same things it did the previous day. I returned to the install place. He of course said "it must be your alternator." And sure enough I can now smell burning of electrical parts or rubber. All within 48 hours of install. There were of course no problems with my vehicle prior to installation. My vehicle is not that old 2007, not in bad shape, low mileage, well maintained, bought brand new and only owned by me. I had just had my alternator and battery checked, no issues.
Now within 48 hours, I'm into this adventure for way more than a suspended driver's license, which at this point is cheaper than Smart Start. The install place was more helpful than the company itself, but they are not Smart Start itself. I would never recommend this product to anyone. It should be taken off the market, before it does more damage to more people and there should definitely be a class action lawsuit against the company.
Updated on 10/31/2016: I want everyone to know the ongoing issues and problems with this company. After replacing my alternator and battery, I was immediately locked out of the device because the electrical system was interfered with. I took it in to get it recalibrated after having it installed for a week. They were going to charge me fees, I complained to the company, Smart Start, not the contracted company, and they did it for free. The next problem is the department of transportation wants a copy or log from the company of all the issues that I have experienced plus copies of the receipts from the automotive work. Smart Start told me that I had to get an attorney and a court order to get these copies sent to the department of transportation.
Also now while driving down the road, I hear this clicking or ticking noise in my dash. This started after the install of the device. I can normally pull over, so easy right. Shut the car off, unplug the device for 15 seconds, plug it back in and blow and start, etc. However, I'm now worried that this is probably going to give me violations. Giving the upstanding service and quality of the device I wouldn't be surprised. Also a word to the wise absolutely do not brush your teeth before blowing into this device. I would recommend eating or drinking lots of things before blowing. Also don't let your car warm up with the device in it, even though it's freezing outside. You will get violations for both of these things.
I recently had to switch interlock companies and went with Smart Start as it was one of my two companies to go with. I should have done research and read reviews on them. Well to say the device is easy to use, pretty straightforward and I thought was going to be a blessing since the other company had many issues as well. Well that was not the case!!! The day I had it installed I starting having issues. Getting a call in message on the screen had to call the place I had it installed and was told I can try one thing but it should go away soon and the reason for the message was that the device is looking for cell service. I live on Long Island NY there is cell signal everywhere. The issue happened again the next day as I was trying to rush my dog to an emergency vet but due to this device it took me about 30-40 mins to get my car started which I spent most of the time on hold waiting for a tech support agent.
Same issue the next two days. One support man was nasty as could be and basically told me that my state requires me to have gps and that's what it does. Sorry you can't tell me it takes 15 for me to start my car. Called the next day when having this issue while on my lunch break from work. By the time the lady picked up about 15 mins I was in tears and at wit's end. 4 days of this machine and I wanted to rip it out. She was very very nice told me of a fix but to her it sounded like a modem issue and to bring my car back. So I did and they replaced the modem. Went to get my first service and was advised that they yet again have to change the modem. Another issue was I was out and about ran into a store 30-40 mins tops, go to blow and it tells me to hum harder which I did over and over to the point the next day my throat hurt and then got the message to hum lighter.
The machine then locked out. This happened a few times while I was waiting on hold. A very nice gentleman answered and he knew what the issue was. Somehow my machine reset itself to the factory settings. I had other issues of being overcharged on a fee and was told to call the next day and speak to the admin dept. So I did. We talked about the fee issue and I told her that I wanted to speak to someone about the issues I have been having. She emailed someone who was to call me and they never did. I brought my car back on a Monday to have this issue corrected for it to happen yet again on Friday. When speaking to someone at Smart Start they said it was because my battery was low. My car is newer and I had been out driving around so my battery would have been charged. Had it been sitting for a week or two sure I would totally get it.
Oh and when I brought my car back to get it fixed again the car had been off a good 10-15 mins yet this device let me start the car WITHOUT blowing. I wish I could say that was it... the end of my issues but nope. Yet again I was out and while driving I got a recall 5 message on the screen. So not finishing the errands I needed to do I went right home and called their tech support. The girl then was able to help and I asked is this a normal issue. Was advised no it doesn't happen a lot and had something to do with the handset and the modem connecting. The modem yet again. The modem I had replaced and was on my 3rd one. Asked her about the fee issue again as no one called me back a few weeks prior and she transferred me to the admin dept. Was advised to fill out an incident report one about the fee and another one about the issues I was having.
That email like this review (so I am sorry for that but I feel people should know before making a decision on choosing them). Filled out the report and preferred method of contact I put phone call. I wanted to speak to someone. Because I don't honestly believe this machine is suppose to work like this and I hope no one else was going through the same things. Was advised it could be 7 days before I get a response... Ok no big deal. I'll wait. The next day I did receive two emails. One regarding the fee and it was being credited to my account. So a big thanks for giving me my money that you over charged me back and other about all the issues. I was advised to bring my car back to have the tech look over the machine and swap it out at my earliest convenience and at no charge to me. Well no kidding no charge to me because I would not pay for your faulty machine and my convenience???
How about no time is convenient. I go down about every 2 weeks if not more to have something fixed, swapped out or replaced. I yet again called back and was told that the shop was contacted about my issue and for them to service it. I told the girl that the email response is unacceptable that I wanted to speak to someone. She sent out another email and said this person would call me back but it might not be that day. OK no problem. Well folks a week has gone by and no phone call. So I called again tonight, spoke to one girl, explained my issues and told her I want to speak to someone, that I am sorry I pay for a service from them, their machine doesn't work as it should and clearly there is an issue.
After being put on hold - mind you the whole time talking to this girl I was cool, calm and collected, no screaming, no yelling - another girl gets on the phone with a huge attitude!!! What am I looking for that I was given email responses that the fee issue was taking care of so what do I want done... I never spoke to the other girl about the fee issue as yes it was taken care of. That I have to speak to the tech dept and that the lady that was suppose to call me back that she will not call me back!!! She said I was told to go to the shop and have the tech look at and that they were advised of the issue... funny because when I was there to get my device serviced they said they knew nothing about. So I am curious how where they contacted? Was transferred to the tech support, blood boiling at this point and I nicely explained yet again all the issues.
The person who apparently is not going to call back was emailed again. I was given this person's name a few times when I have called and if she is not the one to help me that's fine but have the common courtesy to call me back and tell me who can help me!!! It's customer service 101!!! Clearly there are tech issues here but the issue needs to be looked into!!! Swiping the machine out over and over again doesn't solve my problems. You know what if I didn't have a phone while out having one of these issues??? How am I suppose to call and find out what's wrong? This whole situation has not been handled correctly on their part.
This product is a ** nightmare. You would expect that for $145/m you'd get some semblance of service... or knowledge, or help. HELL NO. Their "CUSTOMER SERVICE" is a joke. They are useless and prey on the fact that people have to use this POS. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. The machine only registers about one every 15 tries... and then when it starts to actually mess with your car's operating systems, they tell you it's your fault. Which is a bold faced lie. This company should be brought to justice, because their product, and whole company is fraudulent. Their machine is an inferior piece of ** and just doesn't work right. Anyone that works for these ** should kill themselves. You are the worst people in the world and it would be better off if you weren't in it!! Thanks for NOTHING YOU BOTTOM FEEDING SCUMBAGS.
Only after 2 weeks of using this system, I have ALREADY received a court order to have it removed and get another provider. Absolutely horrendous service and knowledge from the start. First when I got to the install they wouldn't install until I got a brand new battery. I knew something was up because I had just bought my car 9 months ago. So there went 100 dollars. Then after I received the system it began to work, however my remote key wouldn't lock the car unless you were 2 feet away from it. More annoying than you think.
After two weeks of successfully using the system - One morning as I was going to the gym, the car wouldn't start after several passed tests. I called and tried to do a soft reset, still no luck. I then took it in to Smart Start and some kid went out and looked at it. He unplugged maybe two wires within 1 minute and said: "Yeah bro, I don't know what's going on, but it's not our system, but I'm also not a mechanic so you need to take it there." Another 75.00 trip after 75.00 getting there.
Then I took it to a well known mechanic and had them look at it and run not one, but two diagnostics on my car which is covered completely under warranty for anything mechanical or electrical. After two days of thoroughly inspecting my car and in constant communication with Smart Start to even remove and completely disable the unit, they decided to completely remove it themselves (The mechanics at Auto Shop).
The MINUTE they removed it, my car started perfectly. They kept it another day to run every possible test they could to ensure it was indeed the unit. Indeed it was. I know this is a biased review but I take very well care of my car, and I haven't even owned it a year and it's a certified pre-owned Honda under 100K miles. There was never an issue ever since this system was installed.
So after another 400 bill that I have to pay - and all the Uber/Lyft rides I had to take to work and back and ANYWHERE I needed to be, I am now out about 800-900 dollars within 3 weeks of being ordered to use the system. The whole program isn't even 900 dollars. I submit all of my receipts and invoices and tow tickets to Smart Start as advised by my PO and per Smart Start's website.
After a week I follow up: "Sorry we cant reimburse you as it wasn't our fault. When we installed, you had to get a new battery. So there was something wrong with your car then. We aren't sure what happened but we don't think it was our unit." Me: "But the mechanic(s) well multiple said and diagnosed it was indeed the unit blocking my entire electrical wiring and Anti Theft system?" SS: "Umm yeah we don't know, sorry." What. In. The. Heck.
So anyways I contact my PO let them know the situation. I also remind them I am a recent college graduate who did not score a lucrative job upon graduation, and don't have unlimited funds. Granted, I am aware I made a huge mistake, I don't expect to be treated like this with the lack of professionalism and competency. I proceed to get a court ordered removal order and new install set within a week. I now have been paying for ride-share transportation for 3 weeks at around $30/day.
After getting the orders in I attempt to go to the Smart Start location simply to really drop off my equipment and pay the removal fee of $50 even though remember, there is nothing to remove since the mechanics already did it and refused to reinstall it back in there. They then proceed to to tell me instead of $50 it's $160 because of a lockout, and calibration fee even though the system has been out of my car theoretically 3 weeks. So that's where it ended, and I will more than likely see Smart Start in court to recoup all the losses I have incurred in the last 3 weeks as I have tracked and kept everything and conversation with them.
DO NOT USE THEM if you need an ignition interlock. I called the DMV to find out when I could have my device removed and found out that Smart Start submitted a report saying I had my device uninstalled 8 months prior. Because of this false report of uninstallation, my license had been suspended those 8 months earlier and I had been driving on a suspended license for 8 months. When I called the corporate office to get this resolved is when the real fun began. Laurie in the Colorado corporate office (one of the saltiest and condescending reps I've ever dealt with) told me she would get this resolved. She waited 24 hours to even contact the DMV. When she did make contact it was a simple e-mail, sent midday Friday, with no follow-up.
After waiting a full week to hear back I decided I needed to call Laurie back. When I spoke with her she was incredibly unprofessional, shouting, telling me she had done all she would do (which was send over the stockpiled reports). Why she didn't call me to update me is beyond me. She told me I had to call the DMV and sort everything out myself, despite the fact that none of this was my fault. I don't do the downloads, I don't send the reports, I don't do any of it. My job is to go to my appointments and pay the fees so that they do their job. She didn't quite seem to grasp this notion. She asked me what I wanted her to do so I told her - "I want YOU to call and make sure this mess is sorted out since it was your company that caused it in the first place."
She told me she has far too many clients to help and that if she did that I would be taking away her time to help other clients. Wait, what? Am I also not a client in need of assistance? Your crappy company screwed up and now it's my responsibility to sort it out? I could go on and on about her unprofessionalism, but I think you can pretty well guess how well the rest of our interactions went. After hours of back and forth with the DMV and Smart Start I sorted their blunder out.
In summary - go with ANY other interlock provider. Smart Start is unprofessional and inattentive. Had I been pulled over I likely would have gone to jail for driving under suspension. Smart Start is not worth the risk they pose to your well-being! PS - Laurie, you're a miserable individual who lacks any sort of logic, reason, or common sense. I would say you deserve to be fired but I think a dead-end, crappy job is exactly where you deserve to be.
What a Crap Company! I had 0 issues with my vehicle before having Smart Start's interlock device installed. Since it's been in, Ive gone thru 4 batteries, have paid hundreds of dollars for recalibrations because it says I failed to give a rolling test. It turns on when my vehicle isnt even on and the keys are in my hand. They refuse to replace the device. They refuse to uninstall and fix any electrical components that they may have damaged when they installed the lockout. I replaced the battery 6 days ago and it is already dead. This Company is a bunch of Crooks.
I have had this in my car for a month. At least 5 times a week I have to blow every 2 minutes due to the device not recognizing that my car is running. This means I cannot pull over to test. Last week between one of my 2 minute tests it came back with a violation only to pass again 2 minutes later. This morning I had 2 violations in a period of 5 minutes. I have not had a drink in over a month. This is going to screw my probation and I am terrified to get into my car right now. I take it for the monthly calibration tomorrow and not sure what I am facing. And because I have to have one, you know they aren't going to believe that I have not been drinking.
I have had the Smart Start device in my car for several months now. I understand that it is my car due to my lack of common sense. I was lucky I didn't hurt anyone. That being said the Smart Start device is an ill conceive and dangerous device. The cable comes from under my steering wheel across my lap. I have no place to put the mouthpiece except in my console. I drive a standard so it in the way of my gear shift on a regular basis. It goes off on several occasions while driving... WHY? If you go into a store for a few minutes and come back it will have a count down and have to wait... WHY? It is extremely dangerous. Not only is it wrapped around my legs, gear shift etc, it goes off in areas where there is no possibility of pulling over. Can possibly end up with a distracted driving charge due to having to blow into the device in rush hour traffic. Trying to pull over many times during a trip is DANGEROUS.
There is only one download/installation center in Calgary a city of 1 mil plus. It takes me over an hour to get to the center as I live north off the city. I have been told several times that new centers will be opened up... WHEN? I had my car into the dealership for repairs. It took 2 hours for Smart Start to get back to them to tell them how to start my car... POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE ALL AROUND. I have had times where I tried to get in touch with them and could not. The device seems to be designed to humiliate the user. Without warning it will emit a loud squeal if a loud blow is required. It is loud enough that everyone for several cars can hear it. It doesn't need to do that. If a longer blow is required so be it, but there is no warning until you are actually blowing on the device.
Money seems to be a large motivation. Not only is the monthly fee high which a lot of people can't afford... I know our fault to drink and drive. I accept that fully. It was my fault. It cost me just about double what I thought I would pay due to my car. Set up looks the same as any other car. The first day I had it I ended up with a lock code due to not blowing in time. It cost me $55.00 to have it reset... $55.00 for 5 minutes work. Again I accept full responsibility for my actions and am happy that I can drive. However a device that puts my safety in danger is a real concern.
This damn thing goes off when I'm on the highway during rush hour, distracting me from driving and potentially putting my life at risk!! This thing should be illegal. I am contacting my attorney about this asap.
Worst product ever put in a vehicle at 140 dollars a month. Employees have no compassion whatsoever unless you speak money and their ears open like a dog getting a treat. All about the money. My camera falls off the window all the time, not my problem, I pay 140 a month. It's on their contractors, but they don't care about them either as long as it gets them (Smart Start) the monthly fee of $140. 5-7 second blows in the head unit is absolutely retarded, they said take it back to the service center. I live 38 miles from one and I told them to send me 20 for fuel and I would. Well imagine this, they said they don't do that. Why would they do that? It would cost them, just another way they show it's about the money and do not care about the customer.
I have called several times when I have had issues and they (Smart Start) do not try to resolve issues with you. I understand my mistake damn it but for a service at $140 a month, Smart Start do your damn job and quit ripping people off. By the way when the cam kept falling off they said they would note it and not worry about it. Well I just found out that the monthly fees will be going up because they will be going wi-fi for the cam. Wow all of a sudden it's imperative that the pics are downloaded right away. Not, it's a way to scam more money from us and for the owner of the company to have more capital in his company with new technology.
Can not believe that a company is allowed to run like this. Bet if the owner got a DWI and had his own product in his vehicle things would change. As for them telling us that the computers are random as to when and how many times to blow an hour are random, BS!!! Mine goes off every 10 min and I confronted them on this as well. They said there is nothing they can do, again BS!!! Good luck to you customers with your endeavors if you use Smart Start and the grueling times ahead of you. I'm looking for some other options (Different company) as I write this as well.
Got Smart Start installed at their Knoxville TN location and after going over the details with the installer, I drove home and parked my car only to find that it wouldn't start again. The company's 1-800 number was of no assistance at all. They tried to tell me something was wrong with the car battery that I installed a day before. The only resolution to this problem was to call a tow truck. Smart Start costs 108 dollars a month and 130 to install, and the very first day with this interlock system I have to call a tow truck. Poor company service, and it feels like a rip off on the very first day.
They are nothing but trouble, and a money grabbing company who do not have any compassion for clients. They charge ridiculous fees and charges for accidental lock outs. You should be able to get a reading without having a violation recorded. Your car will not start if you have been drinking so why do they have to lock you out? In Australia they do not have a very good name and not liked at all.
A lot of (if not all) of the reviews on here are negative. As long as you don't drink and drive you should not have any issues with this device. I do not understand why so many people have problems with Smart Start. I've had this unpleasant thing in since June and yes it sucks yes it's annoying but as long as you do what you are asked (blow into it when needed) you should not have any issues. I wanted to write a review to make it clear that this device is straightforward and has not caused me any issues. Like I said, as long as you don't drink and drive you should not have a problem.
I have had Smart Start for a long time, and about every 5 months they charge me with tampering; they do this to rip you off!!! They put on a new head on in each case after they get your money. Usually a week or two later when it still happening they put a new head on and the problem goes away, so does the 80 dollars they steal. I tried everything the first time, to get justice. The Attorney Generals office won't deal with small potatoes like us. "Attorney General wants his name in the paper". The people were straight up rude and nasty. I called my Senator and they never even tried, this goes on and on. This is some of the reasons they get away with ripping people off. Whatever you do, I say don't use this company.
This is the worst products I have come across. The device keep on telling me either to blow harder or soft. The last time I went for service I spent five hours because the device short circuit and they have to replace it. Customer's care is a joke. This is corruption at the highest because in Alberta they got monopoly. You are stuck with them. Would like to be part of lawsuit against this company. Some advice.
I got this device put in my car in May. It's July 20 and I've had 3 incidents of missed test on the handheld device after blowing my brains out for 6 min. with a camera in my face. I've never missed a test. Each time they say you miss a test you have to go in and pay $75 to get the violation off your device. This company lets you get a pass on your device for a few days and then it just keeps telling you to blow harder until you get a missed test. I think this company is a money grabbing scam and does terrible business. The install place tells you they only install and if you call Smart Start be prepared to be on hold for 45 min. to an hour. I have asthma and suffer from panic attacks.
This is causing me to be terrified to use my car. I've lost a job over the fact that I can't get to work on time because of the rolling checks. That's when they force you to be a distracted driver every 10 minutes. I actually don't mind blowing to start the car. Asking people to deal with this while driving should be illegal. Texting and talking are illegal. Everyone who deals with Smart Start should somehow band together to sue this company in a class action suit. IT’S A MONEY GRABBING BUSINESS!!! Tell everyone you know to use another company, anything but Smart Start. It's not a Smart choice.
No one wants to get one of these but I had no other option if I wanted to drive. I've had mine for 9 months of a 12 month court ordered sentence. From the start, this company has been very respectful and helpful to me. I have called a handful of times and gotten the same friendly lady most of them. Tech support has also been very nice and also helpful. I just don't understand all the bad reviews. Once I learn how to operate the device I never have any issues. I had one installed in my '09 Mercedes and one in my '02 Motorhome. I had an issue right away with my RV but the shop replaced the head unit right away and it has worked since. These cost me $99 each to install and about $130 a month each. I can't wait to get them out and never drink and drive again.
I sent the paperwork to Smart Start for immediately removal of the device from a Judge. They received the paperwork but refused to release me from the device. Smart Start claimed I had another case out of a county that I have never been to. I called the county and was informed that they never heard of me nor was I ever arrested or pulled over in that county. I passed on the information to Smart Start and they informed me that I have to wait on them to confirm it. Further communication between Smart Start and myself revealed that they said I informed them about the other county. I informed them that I had not. I had the court connect them to no avail. This company believes it does not have to follow court orders. They ensured that I would have to pay an extra month rent on the device with their delay actions. If you get a court order for a interlock device do whatever you have to not to have one placed on your vehicle.
I have a a 96 Acura and I had the device installed again in August after being released from jail. I haven't had any problems but just recently I had problems starting the car. I've passed but it wasn't letting me start the car so I had to get a whole new device got it replaced. Now when I start the car it doesn't send messages to the screen it just all white with 2 blinking green lights. I had to take the ground wire off for awhile then restart the process and it still doing the white screen and blinking lights. IDK what is wrong with this thing. Any suggestions?
If you have ANY other options than Smart Start, USE IT!! We were on a VOLUNTARY basis for a court case. We paid $420 to get the machines in the first place, and $160 every month. We finally got to return our machines, after 5 months of using them, and they wanted us to pay $530!! They acted like they were doing us a favor by "waiving" the $210 lockout charges, since we hadn't been using them.
The machines were due back the 1st of the month. The guy is only open 2 days a week in town, until 3:30, when most people work until 5, and he takes lunch and locks up while he's gone. So if you get a normal lunch from 12-1, good luck getting him. I work 3 jobs, and my husband drives a truck, so it was VERY hard to get them to him each month. I have had to drive 45 minutes away to get them calibrated before because he's so hard to catch. We didn't realize we would have to pay for a full month's service even though we weren't using them this entire month.
We took them back on the first day we could, the 12th, when he was here in town. It was $160 to clean them and another $160 for the month of May, plus $210 in lockout fees. The deposit you're supposed to get back, doesn't exist. They REFUSE to take them back unless we pay them to do so. He told us that if we dropped them off without paying the fees, that he would set them outside and charge us with theft! Are you kidding me?! This company has lost its mind!! They can charge whatever they want, because people don't have another choice.
If you have to get reports from them...GOOD LUCK!!! It took 3 weeks to get reports from them, and when you would get them, half of the report would be missing. We literally called MINIMUM 3 times each month trying to get our full reports. It was a NIGHTMARE!! Customer service is a complete joke!! They are rude. They treat you like a POS, and quite frankly do not give a damn about anything but getting your money. Worst company I have EVER dealt with!!
I pulled into my destination and turned off the car. I smoked and turned the ignition on and off, just long enough to roll up my windows. The IID said to blow with the car and ignition off; I blew. It said to blow harder, but went to green and red flashing and never asked me to blow. No countdown; screen blank, and car off. I turned the ignition on to see if it would ask me to blow. Nothing happened. I waited, the car was off, the ignition was on, and no request to blow, but I blew anyway and nothing happened. I turned the ignition off. I went to my appointment, and submitted a clean UA. When I came out it said I had a violation. I got the machine serviced, paid the fee, and submitted an incident report.
Today I got an email stating that as a one time courtesy they will credit my account. Their machine violated me as missing a rolling test when the engine was not started. The machine malfunctioned by not asking me to blow or even taking a blow in my desperation. I was trapped. No electronic device is so sophisticated that they are not fallible. This technology certainly is not. My real complaint is that Smart Start is holding my freedom and livelihood (I drive quite a bit for my job) in their uncaring hands. I explained to them in great detail the event and they spent no time to truly look into the situation.
There is a gps and a camera installed with the unit, so they should have been able to tell that the vehicle was not started. The events of the last month were transmitted to them when I went in to clear the violation. I drive 3-5k a month so you can imagine the hassle this unit is. I always give a clean sample and have had it for over four months. Their lack of diligence is alarming. There seems to be no recourse to this mandated device. I am their customer, but there is no customer service.
I never know if Smart start is going to be open when I bring my interlock in for service. Their hours change constantly and too often I have to drive 50+ miles trying to find a station that is open. Their phone support is beyond rude. Call their local number and expect to be connected to their corporate customer disservice queue instead. After waiting 30+ minutes on hold, don't be surprised if told to call back to a number that will turn out to be the same number called in the first place. When my system is obviously miswired, I was told to pull a battery cable wait a half hour. When I tried again to call the local number, I ended up in the same maddening phone queue. Only by the barest luck did I find a station still open and avoid having a dead battery and a tow charge in my future.
Smart Start Company Profile
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