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Home/Away Assist Problems

junalmeida
Community Member

The home/away assist is not working as expected. It often thinks I'm away when I am home, and turns it to Eco mode. Today I am not home, and it thinks it is, heating the house for no one. 

Everything seems to be set correctly, and yet the support team suggestion is to "buy another phone". 

 

165 REPLIES 165

LPC
Community Member

Home/Away assist is horrible. Does not set to eco setting when my phone is away. Also a little confused about how this is considered a "learning" thermostat because it has been about a month and it has not learned my routine in order to adjust simple temp settings like lowering temp to eco in evening and turning up the heat in the mornings. I feel as though I have been bamboozled into spending an obscene amount of money on an over-hyped thermostat. Should have stuck with my $40 Honeywell programmable thermostat. Life lessons...

Just_a_cat
Community Member

I am also having this issue, they suggested I factory reset but I refused because I know it is not going to solve it. My s.o. has the same problem on their phone. I'm on a pixel with Android 12, they are on a Samsung with Android 11. 

What I notice when I check things in the nest app, is it has an alert by the device (only for the device you are looking at settings on). It tells me to update location permission. But it has permission to access my precise location all the time. My s.o. has the exact same situation on their phone. 

you are correct. I did the factory reset thing. No difference at all. they have no idea, just read from a list of 'set fixes'. 

Mrod
Community Member

I have been having the same problem on/off since I got this thermostat, but no I can't get it to register my phone location at all. They told me the same thing and I reset everything Uninstaller and reinstalled both apps and nothing. When I called and spoke to the lady who had a attitude and didn't listen to me at all just kept sending me links that I have read and preformed mult times and was told this is just a feature so I guess they have no intention on fixing it cause it's a feature 

JeffLerner
Community Member

Google Support opened a problem ticket weeks ago…Haven't heard a thing…more convinced then ever that they can’t fix this

 


anyone have an idea as to how often bug fixes are released..  ? As a retired IT Manager I would  have categorize this problem as a pretty high severity requiring a speedy fix measured in days ….Google is not making this happen. 

very disappointed considering how much I paid for a “smart” thermostat and how buggy their software is. 

JohnV
Community Member

New problem - now my iPhone recognizes when I am away BUT does not go into ECO mode like it is supposed to!

Hasn't worked since the new year began (hhmm...).

I attached screenshots showing location activity and ECO mode history.

https://www.screencast.com/t/V7JopYQd 

https://www.screencast.com/t/AMSCx6Clhs 

https://www.screencast.com/t/5w0N5k3cj4O 

Anyone from Google monitoring this? I'll try and open a support case....

Similar problems to me, here in UK  In the Thread some one posted an actual email address of a Google Manager to complain to,  As don't think google monitor this thread, I emailed  edge-support

The executive escalation team.

The other thread is here

https://www.googlenestcommunity.com/t5/Nest-Thermostats/Home-Away-Assist-returning-home-always-stuck...

 

JohnV
Community Member

Okay I called support 2 weeks ago and all they had me do was reset everything (evidently they refuse to acknowledge that they have bugs in their code...).

At least the reset has it going into ECO mode when I am away as long as I remember to open the Nest App and let it run in the background...If I let the app stay in the background for too long though, then it won't work so I have to periodically tap on it to bring to the foreground and then minimize it...why can't it just use my location 'Always' as I have it set?

67440dodge
Community Member

Welp, after spending an hour with Google Nest Support trying to resolve this ECO mode Home/Away problem, I've come to the conclusion that the thermostat itself knows you have returned home (as indicated by the app), whether via the motion detector or phone location,  but the thermostat never comes out of ECO mode to enable the schedule.   So, I've turned it off and just going to manually turn heat down when I leave, or reset the schedule when I go away for a trip.  And when the thermostat finally gives up the ghost, I'll buy a Honeywell or other programmable thermostat for about 1/4 the price of a Nest Learning. 

One other thing I noticed while away for holidays.  I checked house temperature while gone, and during the cold snap we had, house temp got to 45F, despite the lower limit being 50F.  So obviously ECO mode did not turn heat on when it reached the lower limit.

DIT
Community Member

I'm experiencing the same problem with the Nest 2.0 thermostat not acknowledging my (or wife's) presence. Our Nest 2.0 thermostat last received a software update on Sept 24th, 2019 to Ver 5.9.4-5, and forcing an update now results in no change.  I've also got (4) Nest Protects on my home network that appear operational.

I had attributed the Home/Away failure to Android 12, with my wife's Pixel 3a and my Pixel 6 both showing an error in the "What Decides" setting of the Nest Configuration screen, indicating "it's been many days since we've heard from your phone".

As I telework now, I am constantly forcing the thermostat (remotely) back into Home mode and bypassing the Eco-Scheduling that was learned by the device. I hope that Google (or Alphabet) hasn't forgotten about us earlier adoptees of the product.

Cmdr007
Community Member

Breath of fresh air reading all these comments. Had Nest Thermostat for 2 years now, I didn’t plan on getting it as I had a Tado system which was fantastic at Geofencing and superior from that perspective unfortunately I had a new boiler & my installer broke it hence why I now have Nest. 
I was under the impression it worked in a similar way to Tado, I wrong on so many fronts, what is the point of a home away assist system that only turns your heat on when you come home. 
As with so many on here H/A assist is useless & just doesn’t work reliably enough to trust it doesn’t matter how many times you sign in/out accounts, reset your phones, re-install the app, reset Thermostat it will inevitably in most cases fail to work whether that be not seeing phones leave or come home, not switch to Eco or switch out of Eco to Heat. 
Also so much missing from the App/Thermostat too such as a simple boost mode say for an extra hours’s heating at night but no you have to turn up temp first from your bedtime/overnight setting and if you go to bed no way for that to revert without manual intervention, how stupid. How about a simple holiday function too that would set Eco for a period of days or hours. 
im fed up of talking to support and giving them suggested feed back on improvements and fixes. 
the latest is they want to replace the Thermostat but that isn’t going to sort the problem. 
I’m still not 100% on how it all works anyway as Google say they don’t track your location so anybody have an idea. Is anybody at Google/ Nest actually trying to resolve or have they accepted that the product and functionality is flawed and cannot be fixed. 

Dannybliss
Community Member

Same problems as all those above - no fix other than support saying it isn't them. Lol ok Google. 

Dannybliss
Community Member

The only fix that has ' temporarily' worked for me is signing out the app then signing back in ( nest app) works for a few hours then goes back to not working.. definitely an app issue 

That works for me for about two days and then it just stopped sensing if I was home or not.

LifeonMars
Bronze
Bronze

Same for me, signing out and back in

PaulMaddy
Community Member

I can relate to all of the above, having the same issues, been onto Google nest support and they have taken me through various steps to try fix it. Still no luck. Im finding the home/away very temperamental. Sometimes it works . sometimes is doesn't. Definitely a app issue

Cmdr007
Community Member

I think I know what may be going on here, as I mentioned above I previously had the Tado system, very clever as would monitor locations of any phones with the App. So if you just went for an hours walk from home it would know where you were and drop the scheduled heating temperature by about 1c then as you got near to home again it would go back to set temp to ensure the house was warm. Obviously on a long journey on business of several hours or a few days it would do similar but adjust temperature down even more with a safety setting such as Eco as on Nest and do the reverse and ramp up the temperature based off location and heating history as you returned home up the motorway. 

As I now know NLT isn’t so sophisticated so if I go for an hours walk locally it just knows you left but I think it sets some kind of a timer to delay Eco because it isn’t monitoring your position & doesn’t want to turn off heat too soon but after you stay out longer perhaps 2 hours  it will then set Eco but record on the log the original time you left and when you arrive home although as we know it also has a habit of not coming out of Eco even though App. I’m convinced that this was one of the changes on the firmware update although Ii still think there are other things going on too that are not right with App & Hardware. While I’m here on the NLT if you go to reset, there is an ‘Away’ Option, what is that about don’t want to try but is it some kind of history it holds of you leaving?

Crowey
Community Member

I was having issues and reset the away in settings which fixed the app not knowing if my phone was away or home but it did not fix the heating not going into eco when away. I left the house at 8:30am and checked at 11am and heating was still on despite the app knowing I was away

Cmdr007
Community Member

I’ve reset it anyway, Probably won’t make any difference but interested to see what’s others think about my thoughts above , ps I don’t use the presence sensors too. 

Another stupid thing is Sunblock that never seems to work either. I was of understanding that it learned sun position through light etc and outside temp. Never got above 3c today but stat reading 21 as sun through front door  but cold in rest of house, surely I thought that was the whole point of it to compensate. 

ShazzaD
Community Member

Same problems as all the above.

I have been onto support twice, they have no idea just go through the same steps every time which doesn’t solve anything.

last call about 3 weeks ago and guy said will pass it on to a senior support.

received an email  last Saturday saying I do apologise for the late reply enquiring if I am still having Home/Away issues and to either call again with ref number or reply to email to reopen the case( case was never closed)

I replied and am still awaiting further assistance. 

what a load of rubbish customer service.

 

junalmeida
Community Member

I am also waiting on their engineering team. 

If I go to the Nest App -> Settings -> Home/Away Assist -> What decides if you are home -> People (me) -> Current Status, it says "Not Here" most of the times. It is very rare to see that page stating I am here. 

It is good to see most of you are reaching out to the support, even though the support service is not that good. They will only take an action if they have an incident ticket (or lots) to deal with.

I’ve had issues with this feature for 2 years. It’s actually pointless in the real world and they need to be doing something like Tado that knows your location and adjusts and manages home temperature based off location, history etc whilst overriding schedule till you get home rather than a fixed Eco temperature that doesn’t initiate the home temperature till you get home. What is the point of that if you’ve been away for days mid winter as could take a day or so to reheat your home. 

Drewbacca
Community Member

Like everyone else, I've been having this issue. When I first migrated my account from Nest to Google, the Google Presence Sensing worked a lot better than the Home/Away Assist. However, toward the end of November it just quit working well. I have a couple non-Nest devices at my office that are set to turn on and off when I arrive there, and they don't work either. It seems to be a problem with the switching of the settings to Home and Away in the apps, not with the actual Nest device. Unfortunately, there's not dedicated support for the Google Home app. Try it and you'll get sent to support for the Google Home device, Google Nest, and even Google Play, but none of them can help you.

I did have a potential solution, but I can't figure out how to configure it to work. Why do we have to use location at all? Is there a way to have it switch to Away when all phones are disconnected from the home network? I have a Deco M9 mesh system, and it can definitely perform smart routines, but it doesn't have the integration to turn Nest to Home or Away. However, I can get it to turn a smart plug on and off. So, if I could figure out how to set up a routine that sets the thermostat to Away when the plug is off and Home when it's on, that could potentially work... but I can't figure it out.

coldWFH
Community Member

Same issues as everyone else --- constant fighting of Away Assist. Google is making a good product flaky by neglect and poor integration into their home product ecosystem. Stop messing up Nest.

Dannybliss
Community Member

They honestly don't seem to accept that there is an issue. It blows my mind that so many people are flagging this up and all they say is reset the product and check your settings...

I’ve just been on to google support via messenger again for another 2 hrs going through all my settings again for the 3 rd time, and at the end of the chat they sent me an email form asking for all the info on my settings again as they can’t escalate it further without a completed form. I’ve told them I refuse to do it again and waste more of my time, I told them it’s the app that’s at fault but no one is listening, very frustrating. 

Drewbacca
Community Member

The problem is that when they switched to Google, they disabled a lot of the integrations that went with it, like IFTTT. I didn't realize it was disabled until after I had migrated my account, which is irreversible. It worked ok with the SmartThings app this morning, which can integrate with most of my smart devices. There are similar complaints to this one on their message board, but it worked perfectly for me this morning. That's a low sample size though. The only thing I don't like is that it just sets my thermostat to Eco mode and doesn't put the whole house in Away mode. I'm not sure that really makes a difference in the long run though.

Crowey
Community Member

I tried the Smart things app and it worked for a day then stopped working. 

This feature DOES NOT WORK. There is an issue with the app. It just does not work. I have tried EVERY recommended & suggested solution.  It used to work fine before Google took over, now it just will not work. PLEASE FIX THIS FAULT. This feature is the reason I purchased the stat. But judging by the amount of complaints on the forums about this I suspect Google just don’t care

LifeonMars
Bronze
Bronze

@Croweyare you using iPhone, if so you need to be on iOS 15.3  soon to be released as there is a bug in 15.2.1

Oh really, thank you, I did tell the support my iOS version and they didn’t mention anything, Let’s hope that fixes this it. 

Installed 5.3 today and it worked so far only went out once and it turned to away and switched to eco 

On return it stays in eco until the next scheduled heat on or you turn it up 

I sent the phone out with the wife and watched the thermostat at home to make sure 

will be keeping an eye on it 

there is a way to set eco for a longer time if going on holiday I hope 

 

didnot work today when i went out in the app my phone was marked away and status changed to away but eco was not switched ,

infact my stat switched on the heating

wtf

 

That doesn't happen to me. Is it set to change to Eco mode when away? 

 

 

Yes set to change to eco 

it’s just a manual thermostat now home and away don’t work 

only been in for 3 months so looking for a refund 

tgs6
Community Member

So far after updating my ios to 15.3, home/away started working.  I will monitor for next few days.

Sstarlet
Community Member

I came here looking for answers as we've been suddenly suffering issues. Husband found a solution on Reddit suggesting people check their address was set correctly. It turned out ours was pointing at a house down the road all of a sudden. No wonder it didn't think we were home for the past few weeks, despite it working fine previously.

Thought it was worth a suggestion.

Drewbacca
Community Member

I’ve finally found a solution, but it involves quite a bit of technical know-how and I think is only applicable to iPhone/Mac users. I looked into using the third-party hub program, Homebridge. It’s free and almost every smart device you can imagine works with it, although it is crowdsourced by the community. It allows you to add all those devices to the Apple HomeKit application. There’s a module you can download that flips a switch when devices are connected to your home network. So now, our Home/Away is done completely without GPS. If just one of our phones is connected, we’re Home. If all are gone, we’re Away. You can add as many phones/wireless devices to the switch as you want and the people you add don’t have to have the app as well. No more convincing my wife to download just one more smart home app. It’s worked flawlessly for me so far. Only issue is that you either have to have a dedicated computer that won’t ever sleep, or you need to buy a hub to run it. They’re pretty cheap though.

tgs6
Community Member

I too am having this issue.  Very frustrating that they are not listening to their user base to fix defects.

junalmeida
Community Member

Ok so it seems they were this close to give up and offer me a new thermostat, but then the Sr. support asked to try a different thing. (To be honest, I don't think the thermostat has anything to do with this problem, problem is on their apps). 

So he asked me to create a new home structure in Nest App temporarily to isolate any possible database problem since my current home structure is kinda old. 

I just did that, so I am now again on the watch. Let's see what happens on the coming days and I will post feedback here.