Just wrote this to Darrell Bracken, Logitech CEO:
Dear Mr Bracken,
I just wanted to reach out to let you know how angry I am at how your company has handled the recent HarmonyHub firmware update that has now bricked a large section of my home automation.
Firstly, while I acknowledge we are a small subset of your customer/user base, I would like to point to how active we are in discussing/recommeding products and methods that enable ever-growing ways to manage and control our homes. With this in mind I think, if your marketing people were to trawl the forums and reddits etc, you would find a huge number of recommendations for the HarmonyHub. While I don't have numbers I would assert that, due to the trust implicit in these recommendations, a very large proportion of these turn into sales. Sales that your company has profited from, over many years.
I'm now of the opinion that your marketing actually weren't aware of this subsection of your userbase, or how passionate they are or how much time and commitment they put into improving their homes. If you did, your product team would not have dealt with this matter the way they did, in fact they would be actively involved in the community. Your company is showing Microsoft levels of disconnect with its communities.
Not one bit of text was released by your commany informing anyone of the change. Nothing in the changelog of the firmware, nothing to any community, nothing on twitter. That either says you don't care or you didn't know it was going to upset so many people. I'm not sure which is more disappointing.
For me, there is a more emotive reason to be upset. While, in my house, the worst case of my remote no longer being able to be controlled by my Hub of choice(Homeassistant), is that I have to get up off the chair to do something. In my Mother's home, it's a different matter all together. She has MS, is pretty much bed-ridden, no dexterity in her fingers on either hand and damaged optical nerves, reducing her eyesight to less than functional. She has no way to regulate her body temperature and so struggles with feeling either freezing or feeling too hot. Of course, I have tried to help her the only way I know how, by bringing technology to the rescue. Again introducing a system that controls heating, plugs, lights and aircon through voice control as well as doing it's best to automate things without her having to do anything. She needs it. I use the word NEED explicitly. She needs it! It impacts her quality of life directly every mninute of the day.
So, while your marketing people hide behind the point about this change being about security and "hard choices needing to be made" etc. which we know is a reflex response due to the unexpected vitriol being directed toward your company and its actions, clearly shows how little you know or care about your customers. In this age of consumer power it really is a monumentally stupid error at all levels of your company and for that, only you can be held responsible. It is also the reason you will never see me recommend your company's products again.
My only wish is for Logitech's actions in this matter to be reflected in the only way that seems to matter. Somewhere in the financial figures and that somehow it awakens in your company, a deep longing to to re-engage, re-connect with your once loyal communities. To become a shining example of how a company can benefit from loving its customers and respecting their wishes. After all, they have invited you into their homes, you should honour that. I won't hold my breath.
sorry about horiz scroll, can’t get this indenting thing to work properly.
Also changed all reviews on Amazon. I’m really angry, not just about what has been done but how they are handling it. Monumentally shortsighted.
Darrrell’s email is publicly available in one of the Logitech forum posts.