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Honeywell IoT thermostats had server outage, stop working over internet

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  • Honeywell had a big server outage, and its smart,
    internet-connected thermostats were not working as
    intended. 
  • Customers were unable to control their heating via the
    Honeywell app as promised.
  • However, Honeywell says that affected
    thermostats are still working to control heating
    and cooling — they’re just under manual control, like a normal
    thermostat. It’s the smart features that are on the
    fritz.
  • A spokesperson said the issue lasted for only a few
    hours on Tuesday, but customers say there have been problems
    for weeks.

The internet-enabled thermostats made by $122 billion appliance
giant Honeywell has been having server issues, leaving some
customers unable to control their temperature via an app as
advertised — and they’re furious about it.

Customers flocked to Twitter to complain about technical issues
that plagued Honeywell Home, the 112-year-old company’s recent
line of internet-connected devices. They said a major outage
started several days ago, and problems have been ongoing for
weeks. Those same customers have also complained about what
they say is a lack of communication from Honeywell.

In a statement, Honeywell disputes those complaints, and says
that the problems were only for a short period on Tuesday.

Earlier today, a small number of customers using
Honeywell’s Total Connect Comfort app experienced delays, which
have been resolved. Their thermostats performed as designed
locally, however the temperature could not be set remotely,” said
Honeywell spokesperson Bruce Eric Anderson in a prepared
statement. 

As Anderson says, the thermostats were still controllable if
owners have physical access, but the ability to control the
temperature remotely via app — the main selling point of these
devices — had been offline. This can cause issues for people
managing multiple properties, like landlords, or those customers
with mobility issues. 

The outage highlights one of the persistent problems with the
so-called “internet of things:” The usefulness of products are
often dependent on the reliability of internet services they have
no control over — and when they crash, there’s nothing people can
do.

Despite Honeywell’s assurances, one customer told Business
Insider they first encountered issues four days ago, and had run
into issues earlier in the month before that. There are also
multiple Honeywell customers complaining on social media about
technical problems before Tuesday.

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