These days, everyone seems to know something about technology. Smartphones are the norm and have been around for quite a while now, so most other smart devices have been designed to function similarly – with simple layouts, clear fonts, and boldly colored touch screen buttons.
Smart devices are not only “smart” because of their high-tech capabilities, but because they also make customers feel smart. Products today are designed to encourage DIY installation, which means less hassle for customers who are relieved not to have to pay and wait around for a technician.
And that’s why technicians no longer exist.
Even with the most simple DIY smart home products, people are still being stumped by some of the most common tech faux pas today. Customer service centers are ringing off the hook, answering to calls about routers, providers, and even forgotten passwords.
Below are some of the most common tech faux pas that customers make, resulting in poor connection, high bills, and too many phone apps.
Faux Pa: Not considering placement and size of home
So you bought a new router and you don’t love the look of it because, well, who would? It’s a small box with little flashing lights. It doesn’t exactly fit in with your wooden coffee table and framed pictures of your nephew now does it? So you decide to set it up in the back corner of the room you use as an office. After all, your main desktop computer sits up there anyway. Perfect.
Over time, however, you start to realize that connection is quite slow to your cell phone when you’re in the kitchen or living room or on the porch. Also, your kid’s lap tops or friend’s phones don’t seem to be working as quickly as they should either.
Don’t fret. Your router is not broken. You simply forgot to take one essential thing into consideration: the size of your home.
Customers often don’t realize that when setting up a new router, square footage and layout of the home affects the router’s reach. Routers should be set up in a central location in the home. Also, consider the devices of people who come in and out of your home, they’re probably not spending time in your office, but in the living room or kitchen, and trying to connect their devices to speakers so they can listen to music while cooking and socializing.
If you live in a larger home, then your router will probably need some extra support in order to reach each room. Dead spots are common in larger homes. Fortunately, powerlines and adapters can help strengthen your wireless connection in these spots.
Faux Pa: Plugging into the wrong port
Service centers get calls nearly every day about broken routers. Usually, however, they’re not broken. One of the first questions customer service representatives ask customers to do is tell them which cable is plugged into which port. More often than not, the ethernet cable is wrongly plugged into the LAN port instead of the WAN/INTERNET port!
Faux Pa: Keeping an open network & default password
New routers come with default passwords and usernames. The username is often something like “Admin” and the password is something like “password”. This not only slows down connection but puts your network at risk of being hacked into.
If you’ve yet to change your username and password from the router’s default settings, your neighbors might be using your wifi. Default passwords are by no means difficult to guess. This will surely slow down your connection.
But what’s worse is that hackers will also have no problem getting into your network, and once inside, they will have access to your device’s information. So be careful and once you set up your new router, change the default usernames and password to something personal – and write it down so you don’t forget!
Faux Pa: Too many control platforms!
Smart home devices don’t all use the same control panel platforms. One device might require a different smartphone app to control it than another. Customers often complain about how frustrating it is to open up one app for their home’s lighting system, another for their heating system, another for the speakers, etc.
More often than not, customers don’t consider this when setting up their DIY smart home system and are left with over twenty different apps on their phones, depending on how many their home uses. This not only kills your phone’s battery but is frustrating, complicated and messy. There is nothing smart about this at all. You can save more money and time by considering common platforms when shopping for smart home devices.
Fortunately, this issue can now also be solved with new innovations like the Amazon Alexa or Google home speaker. Nearly all smart home devices can be connected to these hubs and allow you to control your devices via their voice activation capabilities.
Faux Pa: Too many providers!
Similarly to having too many platforms, customers also often have too many service providers for their one home. This means an internet service provider, a cable provider, plus all of the heating and air conditioning, lighting and electricity, and smart device providers! This results in higher costs and often customers don’t even realize they are paying double for services. There are service providers out there who offer packages: internet and cable, and phone services together, for example. Choose one provider who covers a variety of services and cut back on the bills!