Updates on Nest Protect and pending Scottish legislation changes

RachelC
Googler

Hey everyone, 

I appreciate everyone’s patience as they’ve shared their feedback and questions regarding the pending Scottish legislation changes. We’re aware of the proposed legislation changes to the fire and smoke alarm standard in Scotland requiring households to have interlinked heat and smoke alarms. Nest Protect cannot function as a heat alarm due to specific hardware and functional requirements of those devices. So, beginning February 2022,  Nest Protects will not meet these new requirements due lack of interconnection with a compatible heat alarm. 

At this time, there are no current plans to produce a heat alarm and we do understand this is not ideal for many of our Scottish customers, but you can still use your Nest Protect as a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm as an addition to your interconnected system. We understand these options may not be suitable for everyone so we ask if you have any additional questions around next steps for your Nest Protect, you can contact support to get additional details.

We ask that you continue to refer to the guidance of your fire and local authorities and we’ll also share any updates and changes as they arise. 

Thanks,

Rachel

190 REPLIES 190

mohammedakram
Community Member

😀

Gordo
Community Member

Can the current Google Nest Products pair with a 3rd party heat alarm? If they can then does this not offer a solution. Again if they can then please point me in the right direction lol

 

johnt16
Community Member

I doubt it. The alarms use Weave, a proprietary protocol developed by Nest before Google bought them. Apparently Which have reported Google are prepared to refund Scots who bought alarms in the past three years. Good luck! Mine are older, so I'm out of luck. (And I'm not too bothered about that, I think the new standards have been defined by alarm industry specialists who saw an opportunity to make a few more quid, pulling the wool over the eyes of the politicians they were driving. So it's not really Google's fault.)

What does piss me off is the corporate line Google keeps coming out with. The least they should have done when this became clear is to force retailers carrying their product to make it clear to Scottish customers they were purchasing products that could not comply with the dodgy standard. 

FM484
Community Member

I have just received a mail response from the Scottish government  with regards to the nest products and looks like they will allow these installed units to be used until the expiry

 

"As Nest do not have a heat alarm product in their range, the Nest Protect system will not meet the statutory tolerable standard although the Nest Protect alarms can be mains powered and interlinked, they do not meet the requirements for a heat alarm under the relevant British Standard. British Standard (BS 58############:2019), makes it clear that only heat alarms should be installed in kitchens. Clause 10.2a)  Smoke detectors may be used in any room or area of premises, other than kitchens, bathrooms and shower rooms; and

Clause 12.2f) If fire detectors are installed within kitchens, only heat detectors should be used.

 

However, if your alarms are interlinked in the prescribed areas we would not press you to change them. We would advise to replace these when they expire and to the new standards in the future."

johnt16
Community Member

Yes, I had a similar reply. 

This has been badly handled though -and I have to suspect the committee listing down the standard was hobbled by vested interests. Some of the properties of the Nest alarms exceed that of the tolerable standard. While I have a letter from the Minister saying similar things about allowing alarms to expire, scare stories about insurers denying cover are in the usual nonsense news sites. 

 

(I rang our insurers and they don't require any standards conformance for fire and smoke alarms. You will need to take advice from your own insurers though.)

 

 

diaveldes
Community Member

Is anyone able to share their email/letter as I'd be happier keeping our current system until it expires but would like a little more than "a bloke on Internet told me" to back it up. No offence to anyone posting I'd just like to actually see the reply. 

johnt16
Community Member

I see no harm making the full letter available. Redacted a few bits in case anyone sees a "social engineering" opportunity - no offence, not everyone on the internet are acting in other's best interests. 

Letter from Scottish Minister 

I'm also not sure how much this helps anyone. Effectively it says, "We're going to enforce a new standard that your setup does not meet, but it's sort of OK if you don't meet it." I should think half the population are unaware of it, and many for whom wireless systems won't work, face large bills and getting hold of an electrician...

diaveldes
Community Member

Cheers for this. 

Ro8eroo
Community Member

I’ve bought 7 of these at great expense over the last few years and now they are no longer fit for purpose and yet they are still for sale in your store. 

I’ve invested heavily in the Google ecosystem, cameras doorbells etc and now I’m just left feeling completely unvalued as a customer. I will not be investing anymore in Google products. 

there has been no offer of a buy back scheme or at least a recall program considering the product does not comply with the new Scottish law and invalidates my home insurance. 

I called support today and ended up logging a complaint with your legal department. 

johnt16
Community Member

Ro8eroo, I've seen reports Google are prepared to refund people with Protects less than three years old - as well as stories of nightmare waste of time trying to get a refund. Depends how patient you are. 

I would check with your insurer though, mine said they put no restrictions on what, if any, fire or smoke alarms were installed. Said it might affect the price on sign-up if we didn't have any, but that's all. Certainly shouldn't invalidate any claim,  if you're unfortunate enough to have to claim, but do specifically check with your insurer.  

 

 

Ro8eroo
Community Member

I will call my insurance tomorrow. 
as for the refunds it’s only if you purchased directly on the Google store. Which I didn’t and I’m sure not everyone did either. 

dano
Community Member

I was pretty annoyed by it too, but I contacted Amazon who I'd purchased mine from a few days ago and explained the situation and they're taking them back with a full refund. 

kh_42
Community Member

When did you purchase yours? I tried contacting Amazon and got nowhere.

dano
Community Member

I bought them just over a year ago, so not sure if that made a difference. I spoke to them on their chat function and explained the situation and they sorted it pretty quickly..

GeoffC
Community Member

What I've not seen anywhere, is how the Government or Council ( on their behalf ) are going to check compliance within private dwellings.

What's the point of a law that is going to be difficult to police.

I would have expected Insurers would be more likely to insist on compliance, but most replies I've read on here and elsewhere imply apathy.

 

If a house burns down, heaven forbid, are the Government going to come chasing if there were no alarms fitted?

They're not. Enforcement is only really going to come into play when work is inspected re building warrants.

The problem might come if someone burns to death, and you are found to have been negligent - there might be a case for your refusal to comply with the law as being a contributory factor.

johnt16
Community Member

I've heard it said that unenforceable law is bad law. 

Insurers are there to cover risks. (Actually, that's a misrepresentation, they're actually there to make substantial profits, but hey.) While they do often create "get-outs" including refusal to cover flood risks,  fire appears to be a risk they cover, regardless of the detailed implementation of alarms, fire-retardant buildings, etc. (But you must ask your own insurer as the fine print may vary.)

StuBee
Community Member

So I've got some protects that are less than a year old, ordered through the google store. Tried to request a refund via the google store chat and was told I'm outside the 15 days and I'd have to speak to the Nest team. Person kindly transferred me across to the Nest team. They weren't aware of any refund policy if the device is less than 3 years old. I'm now awaiting an email in the next few days from them as to what's going to happen. Appears to be crossed wires within Google. 😞

StuBee
Community Member

Just an update on this. Got an email later in the day from one of the senior specialist. They have approved a remorse refund and return labels all emails etc. Strange term but I’ll take it! 

coolju
Community Member

Great!  Me too!   I hung in there and didn't take no for an answer.   Finally after I think 30+ emails/messages back and forth with Google Support and conflicting responses (so so painful to deal with), they finally sent returns labels on Friday to kick off the full refund process.  Although now they say they can't refund one of our Google Nest Protects as it apparently came via a USA distributor (?!?!) - even though I sent them all the receipts showing I bought them all here in Scotland /UK.

jasondlscot
Community Member

So if England (bigger population and install base) change their rules for older properties I guess you still won't do anything otherwise you will be shown to be anti Scottish and at that point you should refund all Scottish customers for their installs 

Nothing has changed its just that Scotland are saying all smoke alarms must meet the already set standard. These alarms have never met that standard it's just the standard was never enforced for retrospective installs just new builds

JoeMcDougall
Community Member

 England HAS changed the rules, but only for new build and for major renovations. 

I can't believe Google aren't paying attention to that change tbh.

GavCo
Community Member

Good to see the Nest T&Cs being updated today so they can continue to sell devices in countries they do not meet the legal requirements while pushing the blame onto the buyer (and presumably not refunding)

=====

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. GOOGLE MAKES NO WARRANTY OR REPRESENTATION THAT ANY SMOKE OR CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS MANUFACTURED OR SOLD BY GOOGLE CONSTITUTE A FIRE ALARM SYSTEM OR MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF ANY REGULATION, STATE, PROVINCIAL OR LOCAL LAW, CODE, ORDINANCE, AUTHORITY HAVING JURISDICTION OR INDUSTRY STANDARD, SUCH AS NFPA 72. YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF ANY LAW, OR INDUSTRY STANDARD THAT MAY APPLY TO THE INSTALLATION, USE AND SERVICE OF ANY SMOKE OR CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

"Caution - fire alarm may not contain fire alarm "

This crap might wash in the USA, but I'd be interested to know what a UK trading standards officer makes of it.

Your interpretation of the wording is not what they said. The actual words:

"GOOGLE MAKES NO WARRANTY OR REPRESENTATION THAT ANY SMOKE OR CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS MANUFACTURED OR SOLD BY GOOGLE CONSTITUTE A FIRE ALARM SYSTEM"... are as ridiculous as you suggest, no need to change them. 

However, it's probably; perfectly legal for them to disclaim this. What should not be legal, and gets my goat, is that stock of these items are still available for sale in retailers and still online with no warnings:

https://www.johnlewis.com/google-nest-protect-smoke-carbon-monoxide-alarm-wired/p2045260#product

That is something Google could take action on, preventing the misleading sale to Scottish consumers of an expensive product that no longer meets local standards. To not do so I would have thought amounts to a violation of consumer protection laws. 

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-protection-from-unfair-trading-regulatio....

Trading Standards officers have almost no resources though, so it will probably require an individual to take action to get Google's attention. 

 

Stu2
Community Member

This is bloody ridiculous Google. Poor show for a company of your size on a matter that regards family's safety. I bet if it was an update for a phone or a tablet to keep them working you would have managed to work it out. 

Peter44
Community Member

Hi Rachael

I bought 4 of those  Nest Protect for a new house build. As I can not now

use those Nest Smoke detectors now how do I proceed with getting a refund? They have never been used and still in their boxes.

 

Regards

 

Peter Simpson      E Mail:   #########

Eynort
Community Member

HI, according to a WHICH review, they contacted Google who responded by saying that a full refund would be given to scottish customers who bought a nest smoke alarm within the last 3 years. Can you confirm this? Thanks

On webchat with them now, only if purchased directly from Google Store is what I've just been told.

Well that's a cop-out isn't it. They obviously dIdnt say that to WHICH. Their attitude to their customers stinks.

coolju
Community Member

They offered me a refund and I didn't buy my units from a Google Store.  But I had to push them (I kept getting conflicting answers/updates from them), if they say no, then ask to escalate.  Google's customer service is an absolute mess - in my experience.

johnt16
Community Member

I agree, had a huge run-around with them a few years ago when the alarms were new. One of them kept going off early in the morning, and they told me all sorts of crap until eventually agreeing to replace it. The new one has not gone off since it was installed. 

Still, they're not alone. 

Eynort
Community Member

That's good advice to everyone. Sounds like they are either deliberately trying to grind people down, or as suggest their customer service is a mess. Good that we light be able to get our money back if we persist. Thanks for the update.

digdees
Community Member

Please provide email details to contact customer support as it seems impossible to get through the systems menus, I've literally just spent an hour going through all available options but still no further forward. I have bought two Nest Protects within the last 12 months and I'm now being told that my home insurance is invalid if I do not replace the Nest Protects with a compliant system. Which have also advised that Google will refund any Protect systems that have been purchased within the last 3 years - please provide me with an actual email address to allow me to get these Protects returned and refunded. Thank You

johnt16
Community Member

I think this has been really badly handled by the Scottish government. Today's BBC news included items assuring people that insurance would not be affected. The answer I got direct from my own insurers was that they do not ask what type of alarm is fitted, and if they didn't ask about fire alarms in the application, it's not relevant as far as validity is concerned. You really should contact your own insurer. 

As to the refund, Google clearly needs to act or face potentially many thousands of unhappy customers complaining all over the internet. 

Ro8eroo
Community Member

Totally agree. Scottish government announced last week that it would now not be enforced. 

https://apple.news/AarVbwKGmRqmnOAGe9yu48A

Spawned
Community Member

I'm sure that if you have Google One service then you could use instant expert chat function. I have no clue how to contact them in other way. I guess they will have some generic support@ inbox that you could try. 

johnt16
Community Member

You could try store-support<AT>google.com. Please let us know how you get on. 

Only if purchased directly from Google store is what webchat have just told me