Yesterday, Hive Home suffered a major outage which prevented control of Hive systems remotely (from the app or the web site). Symptoms included being unable to log into the Hive web site and the app being able to control individual products.

Update: information on the recent outage can be found at The Register. I never received the apology email. No, it did not get sent to Spam. Checked G Suite’s email log. Nothing except the semi-regular updates which had been flowing normally since 14th March.

As you can see the Hive Home status page (which took them a while to update), it has been a rough ride. But thankfully the thermostat and the receiver continued to work manually. The lights? Not so much. Even now, the group of lights which I’ve allocated to my living room doesn’t appear in the circle view (yet they do in the list view) – but then again, I had to recreate the group because whatever is causing this problem nuked my groups.

Given the number of problems I’ve experienced with Hive Home over the past month or so, I am increasingly concerned that my decision to swap out my thermostat with the Hive system (which cost me £50 more than the quoted repair from British Gas) was a bad one.

Speaking of Centrica’s muck-ups, did I mention that I should have HomeCare with my boiler? I don’t appear to because:

  • No documentation was ever sent in the post, with the exception of confirming of cancellation of another HomeCare account which was created in error due to the circumstances of the thermostat being broken and they had to charge £99 for the call out first. It took Centrica THREE months to get that cancellation confirmation out.
  • No direct debits have been taken in respect to any HomeCare subscription, and never has any Direct Debit been established.
  • No options within my British Gas account as to any options relating to HomeCare.

The irony of all of this is that I’ve switched to a British Gas product with basic boiler and pipe protection and having had all this confirmed in emails, would suggest that HomeCare was never truly established on my account in the first place. Even worse – when the tarrif change was confirmed, the emails neglect to publish my address properly – having had previous British Gas correspondence sent to the wrong address in the not too distant past, this worries me.

In short: Centrica – sort your systems and processes out. They’re buggy, inconsistent, and horribly unstable.

In other news: I shall be shortly shouting big time at Sky who have charged me an early termination fee for Sky Broadband despite telling me by phone that I would not be charged an early termination fee for cancellation because (a) I was out of the minimum contract term and (b) I was eligible to cancel without penalty anyway because they announced price rises for their broadband.

Is it just me? As technology marches on, it gets buggier, less reliable and ultimately becomes a burden. It’s like a stupid SkyNet. Terminator 27: Stupid Day.

I like technology when it works. But when it doesn’t, which is often, I feel the time and money spent on it could have been put to better use.

For the past couple of weeks, my British Gas Smart Meter has been somewhat unreliable. One evening it disconnected itself from the network. I assume that there was a problem with the 3G connection which caused the problem, but it was off for a good number of hours. It came back online the following morning, thankfully.

The same thing happened yesterday, but it also took down the Hive system too. Okay, I doubt is what actually happened, but it’s very spooky that both issues happened at the same time…

The computer says no…

When I went to check the boiler, the Hive receiver had a right light..

Choose life. Choose a replacement thermometer from Worcester Bosch. Choose a Hive thermostat from British Gas…

What followed was a series of multiple reboots of the Hive hub, multiple re-pairings of the receiver (shown above) and the thermostat, and while the receiver and the thermostat eventually talked to each other again, the app/hub wouldn’t acknowledge that the heating system was online. The app kept showing heating as being offline, but I could still operate the thermostat directly.

So I had to work from home today to give Hive technical support a call. They had me go through the same process, but they had to get the Hive hub (which is connected via ethernet via a switch which, in turn, is connected to the Netgear router) to re-pair as well. I’m not sure whether this is something that only Hive technical support can do, but there certainly wasn’t any user instructions that I could find to do this.

And this leaves me rather concerned. Hive technical support can look at my existing devices and turn them on or off. You are effectively handing control of your home to a third party. I’m now quite concerned about taking out any additional Hive products – especially the security cameras.

Anyway…

The technical support agent got everything re-paired again. Only to find out later that the app was out of sync with the thermostat. So I called Hive technical support again and was advised to reboot the hub. Which resolved the issue. They also upgraded the firmware of the hub. Which involved another reboot. But – touch wood – this has resolved the issue and everything is working as before.