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This has been a continuous nightmare that I can’t wake up from. I’ve had this device over 3 years now. Covid prevented me from getting my standard license back and had to keep it a year longer. Now that my time is up, Smart Start won’t let me have it removed, claiming I’ve had lockout violations. The device has been faulty for over two years now. I've recorded the device losing its power supply and going haywire. I've shown the technicians multiple times, and they are very much aware of the faulty equipment and wiring. I've made incident reports and sent emails, to no avail. The junk won’t start half the time, due to faulty wiring and no fault of my own.
I’m always told I just have to pay the lockout fees and have no choice. They are scammers with no oversight or accountability, and I feel like they leave faulty equipment in so we have to keep paying these ridiculous extra fees. I’m so fed up and am now looking into starting a class action lawsuit here in Tennessee. There is so much more to say and I can’t get it all out in this review, but I absolutely 100% have grounds for a lawsuit. If anyone is interested in possibly join the future suit, please contact me. Find me on Facebook under Bristol surprise and send me a message! We have to stop this legal extortion.
This company put my life in danger. I wasn’t able to get to my doctor on time because device failed to start my car. When called customer service they said it’s my problem. Stay away and report to your local DMV if you have health issues.
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Lied when they signed me up and said they could get me in the next day. NOT true and I explicitly Told the sales rep I needed to MAKE SURE there would be an appointment available the next day or I could not sign up with them. He assured me there would be an appointment. He lied. Point blank, the next person I spoke to for scheduling said that he should not have said that and they absolutely did not have any appointments.
They get you to give them the money FIRST before scheduling them. Hold times for new customers that haven’t signed up yet. Hold times if you are already a customer are 45 minutes to an hour plus every time. Reps give you different information. I feel like they might just be making ** up as they go to sound good. Liars, thieves, no customer service. Rip off. Stay away!!!
Absolutely the worst company if you can call it that. They lie to you and take advantage of your situation. Nothing happens on time. They aren’t regulated by anyone so you're on your own. You pay for a expensive service to say the least and they DO NOT up hold their end in any agree. The approved garage I had to deal with being from a small town was in the dark on as much as I was. No info can be found. I have had my Interlock removed and still no report to the MTO from the company because of errors on their part. This is week 2 without a license or means to get to work. Their customer service is the worst I have ever dealt with in my life. They WILL lie to you to get you to stop Calling. Please don't go thought this like I have, use a different company. Any other company would be better than Smart Start.
Avoid Smart Start and above all do not get their extension scams. The Technician at the shop is amazing always great to work with but the customer service people you call in the phone are HORRIBLE. Here's just a few of the bad experiences I've had.
-Called to set up an install. They gave me a date. I went down and found out they were booked up for almost 2 months! Called back and they tried putting it on me saying I didn't schedule one (which is very common practice).
- Called to get an extension because it was a holiday weekend. They said "oh no problem. There's a 72 hour code you can get for $30." Great right? Come to find out at the shop if you USE THE CODE it's another $130 on top of the 30 you already paid!!!! Which they do not inform you of even dodging talking about it when you ask!!
- Called in because I couldn't make the appointment and they said I got a 72 hour extension yesterday and they had the call log which is completely false. "Use the 6 hour code. It's free. No additional charge." Then they informed me since I lived in Colorado I could get 3 of the 6 hour codes so I could use one to get home from work and one in the morning to get to the shop. I asked multiple times to be sure. I called and the code did not change nor work. I called customer service and said that I was told I could use 3 and she replied "they did not say that!" In a yell. I said the call was recorded and to check it but she cut me off saying "no no no. I'm not going to argue with you. You can buy a 24 hour code or a 72 hour code." She was so rude. I asked for a supervisor and waited waited waited and left a message. No call.
Called back because I have to get to work and just caved to buy the code. They said I couldn't buy the code until the manager called me back in an hour. It's now been 2 hours and I haven't got to work. Terrible terrible terrible customer service. They just extort you and blatantly lie to you. Unbelievably shady business. Do not do not do not get smart start.
As other reviews mention the customer service before you sign up as a customer is top notch. They are quick to sign you up with specials and give you good deals. Once you're a customer that's all forgotten. I have been paying $69 a month for a year and have 1 year left. All of a sudden 3 months ago (at my 1 year mark) the price jumped to $79. My service center I go to monthly and now myself have been calling non-stop to try and get this resolved.
Today I was transferred to the collections dept from customer service without even listening to why I was calling. When I got to collections the woman on the phone interrupted me as I was explaining myself, FIRST OFF, you do not interrupt the customer. Ever. I continued to explain my situation and she began to yell at me stating that I was talking over her and then she hung up on me. I can't even believe it. I hope this woman gets corrective action for this. I understand you probably hate your job but that's on you. Get busy and apply yourself for a better position where you might find happiness. If you're too useless to do that then deal with the fact that the customer has priority in calls and conversations.
The service and runaround I've been given today has now forced me to find another company to finish out my year with. I don't care that I'm gonna pay a disconnect fee and new installation fee. I will not be disrespected like I have been today again. If you're looking for an Interlock Company take my advice and DO NOT make the mistake of selecting Smart Start. They are only concerned about your money and will not follow through with good customer service after you sign on.
When SMARTSTART tries to sign you up they are very responsive. Once a customer forget it. I have been having issues ever since summer set in and outside temperatures went up. Anything over 80 degrees and it has a mind of its own. Trying to get a hold of customer service is painful with 40 minutes plus on hold. Tech support was just as useless. Seemed they knew nothing about the unit. Now out of the blue I have a error code indicating VIOLCK06DAYS. This is because I supposedly exceeded a set number of violations. Excuse me!! I have had no violations. Now my only choice is to go to a service center for recalibration which was done less than a month ago. My advice go with any provider besides SMARTSTART.
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!!!
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 Company Information
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- Smart Start
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