@Rob You reply is very much appreciated. Hopefully it matters to you if I weigh in with a couple of viewing points I gathered during my career as a fellow developer/company-owner:
The small but significant minority you refer to, are the voices that make them self heard. That group is always a lot bigger than you expect it to be.
By investing in development for a hardware solution i.e. a range-extender or multiple hubs, you wil gain so much more than just the gratitude of those minor few.
These are just some highlights of what comes to mind in this range-extender issue. The list of arguments that call for offering more serious support in this matter is way longer than this.
A personal issue I'm having is that Tado is repeatedly pointing to the option of returning the purchase "no questions asked" within a month. But with 17 radiators I initially started with automating just 3 of them. It turned out it worked nice, so over time I started to expand and only then started to notice the fundamental performance issues. By then, time had passed and returning all my Tado equipment was no longer an option. I truly wish you'd offer me the option to return it.
Actually Rob, while I think about this, you never even used the word range-extender hahahha. You know that's what is being requested right?
The only reply Tado keeps giving is that we (the small group in this thread) is not profitable enough for you. That's rough to hear after having spend so much money and effort :(
Is there any possibility of configuring the firmware to allow for a second bridge to act as a range extender, negating any need to develop new hardware?
Thank you for this transparent reply. It was long overdue.
A personal experience about the remark that you will see the problems immediately after purchase, so you can return the tado if it doesn't work:
Tado was a big upfront cost, and I added valves over time. It was when I bought the last batch, and already far invested in the Tado system that I noticed the furthest valve was acting up on occasion
@Robbie @Pete @Painy
I understand that when you start with a small batch of devices and extend your setup with more devices over time, the 'simply return it if it does not work' line does not work for you. I guess my advice to NEW customers would be: always start testing at the radiators (and/or thermostat locations) that are at the edges of your home. Basically the furthest away from the Bridge. Within your free return period. If it works reliably, tado° works for you. If, after some troubleshooting, you cannot make this work reliably, the current hardware is basically not compatible with your home. For EXISTING customers who are expanding their setup, so basically you guys, it is not as easy. But, honestly, there is nothing we can do in cases like these but develop new hardware.
you never even used the word range-extender hahahha. You know that's what is being requested right?
I realize I never literally mentioned this. However, I think a range extender falls within the 'New generations of hardware' subject I did mention. I don't know what kind of hardware our engineers want to develop to solve the issue. They are looking at multiple options. There is no almost-ready-for-market prototype. I don't know if it will be a range extender or something else. Which is why I kept it a little vague. What I do know is that it is a topic that gets a lot of priority.
The small but significant minority you refer to, are the voices that make them self heard. That group is always a lot bigger than you expect it to be
Absolutely true. But we have more sources of information than just the forum. Most users receive a questionnaire from us, 30 days after a new installation. Many others n years after installation. In these questionnaires customers tell us what they (dis)like about tado°, and we learn from this and use it to quantify issues. Most are simply positive, some offer criticism. Among the criticism, this (range/connection issues) is the biggest issue. We have customers contacting support with this issue. We can even look at (anonymized) data from our whole customer base, and actually see how many devices lose connection at least x minutes per period y. Like I said in my long initial post: "This is easily the most common issue our customers have with our product, so it is very much a concern to us." You can be sure that customer-facing tado° employees make it very clear within the company that this is the biggest issue we face. Of note as well is that I, and especially Jurian, are not your typical junior or even senior support agents. We have our connections and leverage and we are very much not silent. The company is aware of the issues and is dealing with them. Due to lack of information I simply cannot be more concrete than what I write here and what I wrote yesterday.
so tado no longer give a 12 month return guarantee?
@Elisabeth The 12 month Energy Savings Guarantee is still on their website.
Same problem with a 19 tado elements house on 5 levels.
If a 6LoWPAN range extender (or repeater) is not possible/difficult to develop, then the easy solution is to allow a secondary internet bridge on the same tado house.
Function: to route received frames to main one using internet (or LAN). Same thing in main one, must send broadcasted radio frames, to the secondary internet bridge to boradcast them. No need to repeat Radio ones from master internet bridge.
Is a firmware solution only, and involves only basic IP communication!!!
@stevearmstrong I'm sure you are right.
Truth is that the Tado are focussed on basic, cosmetic style development.
I assume this must be down to a lack of resource in the in-house team.
They are spending their time creating superficial features like the 'care and protect' and 'energy saving' reporting which no one really asked for.
The idea of a non cosmetic, significant change is sadly too much to ask.
Such a shame as a repurposed bridge would not be particularly difficult to implement but it feels as though this kind of development is off limits to the current team, perhaps a lack of in house skills and/or an unwillingness to invest in the product.
I forget to mention, @Rob , I really do appreciate your extensive reply. You have clearly put in some thoughts and effort to finally give a more clear in-dept reaction. The problem (especially for the group that is expanding in batches) is not being dealt with in any way though. I would like to invite you to think with us looking in to any possible solution/compensation for the group of people that is sadly effected by this shortcoming of the product.
I hope to hear from you.
Some people here claim that we 'don't care'. This is not true. The proposed solutions are just not as simple as they might appear. I expect most people recognize this from their own work. When you talk to a friend or family member, they might grossly underestimate the complexity or amount of work that goes into what your company does. That's the same thing here.
Refunds, if any, would be given on an individual basis. I certainly cannot make any blanket statements. I honestly do understand your perspective. I hope you also understand our perspective that when a customer accepts how a device works in its first month and there is no degradation of performance over time, then the device works as expected. There are exceptions to every rule, which is why I mentioned the 'individual basis' part. Contact support for this though. To be clear: I cannot make any promises about the outcome.
I also want to point out what @what_a_tado wrote: That "Energy Savings Guarantee" is active and is a 'no questions asked' guarantee, as long as you meet the requirements. Which are rather friendly; invoice >6 months and <1 year old for heating products. Period. You don't need to prove any kind of shortcomings. Also see this article for more details. If you are eligible for this, then you don't even need to contact support in any other way than what is described in the article I linked to.
My latest attempt at improving reception.
See photo, this actually works rather well.
The dished foil faces the approximate location of the bridge.
Only downside is that my wife doesn't like it.
I live on a boat with a steel walled engine room in the middle. I've got a Tado thermostat but won't be getting anything else until this problem is resolved.
Doesn’t Drayton wiser offer a range extender?
The comment of @777Steve illustrates why I wrote before that the vast, vast majority of customers have no issues with range. And a small minority does have issues.
The issues that some people face are very real, and are something we do take very serious. However, the idea that the prevalence of these issues is very high is not true. People without range issues do not comment about range issues on forums. This seems like superfluous information in a topic about range issues, but people research products online (and rightfully so), so a bit of context is important.
When performance degrades over time, there is either an issue with the device (warranty?) or there is a change in situation. The latter could be caused by something you didn't even notice, like the placement of a non-tado device close by which also transmits radio waves or a (slight) change of position of the Internet Bridge.
If you notice what you just mentioned, I'd do the following: