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SS3 - What you should know before purchasing

Per my discussion with a simplisafe supervisor today...

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good:

1. Regarding encryption, I was told neither the pin nor signal could be captured/replayed when dis-arming your system, a vast improvement/fix over SS2.

2. Wifi-vs-Cellular connection: They are always working in tandem, so if one isn't working, the other one will (providing you in fact have wi-fi in your home) - More on this following...

3. If on the interactive monitoring plan, when setting up your system, you can choose the pre-set names on the keypad, and/or if you run out of pre-sets per the number of sensors you have, you can enter them using your online control panel, you can also change the names on the control panel to personalize them more (just as you could with SS2).

I'm not sure for users who are not on the interactive monitoring plan - I would guess you choose the keypad's pre-set names, but please ask simplisafe for the correct procedure.

4. At least one person has reported about cancellations of an online order due to one or more components being out of stock (and not just the CO detector). I was told that this is unusual, but that the customer should receive some form of communication within 24 hours - and that those out-of-stock components should be fulfilled and shipped within a reasonable time frame (I asked, a week? Was told, probably). So, if you get a cancellation notation on your order history page, CALL simplisafe to see if only certain components are out-of-stock and when you should expect them to ship.

5. For those of us choosing to use cellular-only connection with SS3 for normal every-day use, should you ever come up against the "no link to dispatch", or a power failure, you should not have to reconnect with the keypad and having to bypass the wi-fi connection again, you can use the tired-but-true procedure of re-booting the base station and it SHOULD re-connect to your cellular again (rebooting= unplug from wall, remove one battery, plug back in, wait for test-mode confirmation, put battery back in, press OFF-button on keypad to exit test-mode)

The Bad:

1. Modules ship with Vodaphone SIM installed. Vodaphone is designed for, and works better with, T-Mobile, so if you need a Verizon module, you need to call and request it. Don't depend on the online ordering page's comment section to request a module, CALL to ensure it will be shipped out to you. This process may change sometime in the future, if they can get pre-installed Verizon modules in, but currently, they do not have them, so the customer needs to request them and needs to swap/install it at home at this point in time (which should be fairly simple to do using only a screwdriver, removing the SIM and connecting the Verizon module by the corresponding connectors).

I found a couple youtube videos to show you how to swap the modules, these are for an SS2 system, it should be similar to the new SS3:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR6RBVN0AdM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCj1nGZ-xqs

The Ugly:
(not truly pertinent to those using wi-fi as primary connection - this is for those of us wanting to use cellular-only connection, and especially for those with NO wi-fi in their home)

1. This is probably the most important thing I've learned and might need confirmed by more than one simplisafe supervisor (?): OTA/updates REQUIRE wi-fi connection, which include BOTH the keypads and the base station. You cannot use cellular-only and you cannot use a land-line connection - the keypad will prompt you to change to wi-fi. This is due to the file size and connection speeds necessary for downloading large amounts of data.

IF you have wi-fi available in your home and choose to use cellular-only for your connection for normal every-day use, it would be simple enough to connect to wi-fi to enable OTA updates just for that purpose, then disable the wi-fi when updates are finished so you can then use cellular again.

So, kind of a PITA when you have more than one keypad in your home, and if you don't have wi-fi, sounds like you're screwed? Again, this may need to be confirmed with more than one supervisor?

2. There is communication among simplisafe staff where an announcement is being considered (possibly on the forum), regarding refund/policy and some of the SS2-to-SS3 refunds already given. It won't make anyone happy and probably will not explain why some people received a refund and others didn't (those with older than 60-120-day systems), but let's just say that those full refunds done were done on an "incredibly rare basis". And, a certain spokesperson's public statement said elsewhere, may have been done without permission.

They are aware of the backlash for no upgrade path or refunds. But, don't expect much of an explanation beyond a policy announcement, if they decide to announce one in the very near future.

So, for anyone holding off on purchasing SS3, I guess it might be worth it to sign up to their newsletter and watch for any upcoming promotional discounts. Usually, they have them during the Christmas holiday, but as a reference point, I used a discount in the month of July in 2016.

(And I guess one could still call and try to plead your case, but don't expect it to be honored - as apparently, not everyone at simplisafe has been on the same page - hence those "staff meetings" that need to take place and the potential policy announcement)

3. For the chosen few who were honored a full refund to replace SS2 with SS3 (those who had older SS2 systems beyond 120-days), the return policy still applies:
1. Buy new SS3
2. Upon purchase confirmation, they should send a return label for your old SS2 equipment - (no refund for extra purchases such as yard signs, batteries, window stickers, and your original shipping charges will be subtracted)
3. Use your return label and box up old equipment, give to USPS carrier or drop off at PO.
4. Upon confirmation of return, your refund will be done in the form of a check, it may take UP TO 4-6 weeks, it may be mailed to you sooner, depending on how soon they can process it.

I have to give due credit to the supervisor I talked to. First and foremost, he actually called me within the time frame that was planned.

He was also very thorough despite my badgering him with questions that were at least, pertinent to me and my questions about SS3, took a couple of my recommendations to heart, and I felt he was honest and sincere, professional, and even a down-to-earth guy whom simplisafe should consider a valuable asset to their company.

If any current SS3 users have come across issues, fixes, warnings, or anything else that on-the-fence buyers should be made aware of, can you please post them in this thread?

^ that's probably one of the

^ that's probably one of the smartest choices - using a well-known (especially if local and reputable) company sign, but maybe having another alarm system.

Question: Can one use the

Question: Can one use the Verizon SIM from the SS2 when switching to the SS3? I got my new SS3 with Vodafone SIM, and would prefer to use Verizon based on my experience with T-Mobile when I originally got my SS2.

I could remove the SS2 Verizon SIM and put it in my SS3, but not sure if that will complicate matters...

Good question, I cannot

Good question, I cannot remember if they are the same size (sent my SS2 back before comparing with the new verizon card/base station) - call simplisafe for the answer (press #1 for Sales for a quicker response) - they will most likely require you send the vodafone card back (they'll email you a return label). Be sure to send it back or you'll be charged for it.

can the ss2 verizon module go

can the ss2 verizon module go into ss3? (Edit same as above question still unknown Thanks)

Call simplisafe, as

Call simplisafe, as mentioned, I cannot remember if there is a size difference and we don't know if they have been upgraded or not. If simplisafe says no they aren't the same, and if you plan on ordering a new SS3, you have to call them anyway to request a verizon module because they don't have them pre-installed - they will send you one to install, then you have to send the vodafone module back to them.

Hey colt, does the

Hey colt, does the replacement card need to be activated or does it just work once installed?

No, but the base station may

No, but the base station may require it - First follow instructions to install the module...wait for a bit, just a few minutes while it establishes (it will establish to cellular connection I think) - a red light glows for a short while, then it turns to white and circles around the base. The instructions state to then use keypad to send a test signal: press Menu, enter PIN, go into test-mode, then exit. At that point, you might want to then check your wi-fi to see if you have to reconnect to wi-fi. Check your control panel event log too to make sure your test signal was received. Hopefully these steps will be the same for you - Mine was module swapped first, then sensors added, whereas your sensors were added first, then module swapped. It should technically, work the same.

LOL, I guess instructions

LOL, I guess instructions above are "activating", in a weird sort of way.

lol, thanks! I think ill

lol, thanks! I think ill have mine this weekend.

Funny, not - I was told it

Funny, not - I was told it would be overnight, it wasn't, and of course, it was a weekend.

Anyway, for your set-up, it would be sort of like rebooting the base station (as you have to unplug the adapter and remove one battery before installing the verizon card) - instructions are easy.

From the looks of the verizon

From the looks of the verizon replacement module they sent me for the SS3, it looked to be the exact same as the one they sent me for SS2. And on top of that, the replacement verizon module has more screws and screw holes than are necessary for the SS3 base station, further making me think its the same module that we used in the SS2. SS would have to verify my comments but I believe it is accurate.

^ If so, that would be good

^ If so, that would be good for many people, but are those things "upgradable" in any way? My only concern would be if they were and the SS2's not working with the SS3's. I'm not technically savvy in the area of chip/modules, so best to confirm with simplisafe?

I'll be replacing mine this

I'll be replacing mine this weekend. Maybe I'll take the card out of my SS2 and compare them.

Thanks, DP, that would be

Thanks, DP, that would be handy!

I got my card swapped out and

I got my card swapped out and the new one works fine. I started to take apart my old base and got frustrated with it and gave up. It was beer 30 by that point and I moved on. Sorry!

If I remember, since the new

If I remember, since the new SS3 base station is smaller, it looked like there was slightly less space to maneuver the card into place, as opposed to the SS2 base station which it seemed to be placed higher with a little more wiggle room.

But again, not knowing if the cards are "upgraded", if there is such a thing, anyone wanting to swap from SS2 base station to the new SS3 should call simplisafe to confirm.

I do not have cellular signal

I do not have cellular signal at all where I live through any carrier. Will the system work through wifi? My cellphone has wifi calling and that is the only way I am able to use it. Does this system have wifi calling as well?
TIA

@arstiles , the system will

@arstiles , the system will work on WIFI only but I would be concerned about the possibility of a power failure, although, lacking a cell signal, that is better than nothing.