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Homeseer Pricing...

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tech-home

Active Member
Well it seems most of us are going to be forking over alot more money. The new prcing structure is getting out of hand (not just Homeseer). $30 min. on a plugin from the way I understand it. And to keep everything working smooth I would prob. have to upgrade everything at various cost depnding on the author. I'm just glad my gf really doesn't know much I've spent on all this trying to get a good complete setup.

I really look forward to 2.0 and have No problem paying 39 for the upgrade.

What is everyones comments on this?

I wish they had a Pro or developer version were everything was included in one price.

Brian
 

Rupp

Senior Member
WOW! I only paid $39 for HS and so far other than voices that's all I've spent. Oh well I haven't bought a plugin yet so Que sera sera.

It's looking like it's going to get more and more expensive to get into this HA stuff with HS soon though. I personally do not believe it would be where it is today if it weren't so affordable in the first place. I no longer tell new users about HS any more because of the cost of the base system and add on plugins. Like me they would never START with such an expensive system. I wounder if there is a product that is still affordable and nearly as good as HS?
 

Squintz

Senior Member
I was going to upgrade when i first heard about 2.0 but now i just dont see the need to. Im going to save my $40 and buy another z-wave switch from martin instead. Maybe martin needs to teach homeseer a good lesson in customer service. If you ask me homeseer is doing nothing but promoting piracy. The people who want to get in this hobby are usually the people who cant afford it. If i were rich and could dish out a million dollars on a complete home automation system then i wouldnt need homeseer. I would hire a professional to install it all for me. Shit... if i had that much money i would pay a person to wait on me hand and foot.

But the point is i dont have that much money. I do enjoy the hobby and will continue investing money into my hobby. I also understand that homeseer needs to make a buck. I do reserve the right to refuse them my dollar tho. I have paid out a few hundred dollars in less than a year just to homeseer.

I think they are just trying to hang with the big boys. Soon enough microsoft will be trying to take over the market or some other big name software company. I think homeseer is simply trying to prepare for when that time comes.

My personal opinion obout homeseer is that the software is a great concept but is not well structured. If they are going to start charging big boy prices then they need to start providing big boy software. In other words they need to hire a good graphic artist and a good technical document writer. They also need a better technical support staff. To me their software LOOKS cheap and therfore should be priced cheap. But this is nothing new. I have been telling them from the day i bought the software that i was disapointed in the User Interface and with their graphics. I am really disapointed in their technical documents. I dont like the fact that they advertise the program as being able to be used by anyone but in reality you need to be fairly computer(software and hardware) literate to even get started in home automation.

Ill end on this note. If it were not for cocoontech.com i would never have started automating my house. I was never able to get the information i needed from homeseer or their website. It was the how-to documents here that got me started.
 

smee

Senior Member
Just a few comments:

Squintz said:
If it were not for cocoontech.com i would never have started automating my house. I was never able to get the information i needed from homeseer or their website. It was the how-to documents here that got me started.
While I think that cocoontech is a great site, I really don't think your statement is fair or complete. You MUST include the HS forums if you are going to talk about support. The user base has always been extremely helpful over there. I understand that you may not be happy with the official support from HST, but there are many people who are willing to answer questions and much of the information on HA that you get here is also available there (either through a search or asking a question). It is one of the best forums I've seen for supporting new users - the number of "do a search" responses is very small compared to other forums (although it is often an appropriate answer).

Cost:

As far as cost goes, once you've purchased HS itself nobody is forcing you to buy more stuff. The only plugins you NEED are the ones that support specific hardware - and most of those are free. I have not felt much need to purchase plugins (I have only purchased one) [1]. The current structure with HS selling plugins from other developers has really complicated matters and I think will only continue to confuse new users. I don't think it's emphasized enough that once you purchase them, you are on your own as far as trying to get support (i.e., don't count on HS). Some plugin authors are very good about offering support - others seem to have disappeared.

I still think it's very important to remind people that you don't need the plugins and that you can do a lot with scripts - and sharing them (like the good old days) is a great way for everyone to learn.

2.0:

I will probably upgrade to 2.0. It sounds like a step in the right direction and from what they've said, it sounds like a reasonable price. I can always go back to 1.6?? if I need to (and not feel like I've been ripped off for my $40).

[1] I'm not including the AT&T Audrey voice that I purchased. This obviously wasn't necessary, but I've never regreted buying it.
 

Skibum

Senior Member
If this is a plug-in... Where's the socket? :huh:

3rd party plug-ins should be banned. Any 3rd party that writes a useful plug-in should sell it to HST for a one time price, and from that point on , the plug-in becomes HST property, and HST would be the one responsible for support. Support being real help, like Rich offers, and not smart alec answers like that "other" support person gives. I have said from the very beginning that these 3rd party plug-ins were going to be nothing but trouble. The open scripting environment that existed with HS a few years ago should be considered a model for 2.0.
We need to get back to sharing our knowledge, and stop hiding what we know behind a "plug-in". As most of the old timers know... 99% of what has been done with plug-ins could be done with open source scripting. The "Vantage Pro" plug in is a great example.

Regarding the $40 price for 2.0... I think that the price is justified, based on what has been promised. Put me on top of the list.
 

smee

Senior Member
skibum said:
Any 3rd party that writes a useful plug-in should sell it to HST for a one time price, and from that point on , the plug-in becomes HST property, and HST would be the one responsible for support.
I like the idea of HST owning and supporting the plugins. However, I'd consider adding a per-sale royalty in addition to the one time price. If HS likes the plugin and is willing to sell and support it, then they can pay the developer. But I think paying royalties would also help keep some of the current structure where people can dream of "hitting it big" with that one plugin that everyone needs.
skibum said:
We need to get back to sharing our knowledge, and stop hiding what we know behind a "plug-in". As most of the old timers know... 99% of what has been done with plug-ins could be done with open source scripting.
Absolutely.
 

Rupp

Senior Member
I guess i'm experiencing culture shock. It wasn't long ago that we all shared ideas and scripts over at the HS BB. Now it's a new plugin every few weeks. Can this user base afford these? Maybe they can and I simply do not realize that yet. We used to be a bunch of guys that prided ourselves in getting it done better than expensive hardware and software but now that is fading. I guess I need to embrace change and move on. All I can say is, I'm so glad I own HS because I would not want to buy it today and I personally believe there are others that are searching for a more affordable package as well.

Either the HS is really taking off or they are hurting for sales and raising prices to cover for the lack of sales. I wish I knew.
 

Joe W

Member
Just some random thoughs...
Like Rupp, I also purchased HS at the $39 price. It's the best $ I ever spent on myself.

I agree with everything said so far. I knew the 3rd party plug-in would not work especially since they are distributed through HS and there seems to be implied support through HS.

I have never paid for a plug-in. Never will. I have never gotten a plug-in to work "out-of-the-box", there were always integration issues with what I tried to do. The plug-ins that I've tried also require some other software like Excess, Access or another run-time object that the author doesn't/can't supply. I do respect and trust some of the plug-in writers like McSharry, Doo and the other very active players but the gee-wiz factor is not worth the extra support on my side. There are still scripts that provide enough functionality to keep me playing around. I am always changing stuff, trying out new things and plug-ins don't support that for me.

Every so often, I get the itch and fire up the newest version of MisterHouse. It is still very free, has many contributers almost equal to the caliber of you folks ( ;->) and in the true spirit of open source, is constantly debugged and supported by the entire use community.

I love HS and have gotten good WAF from most things I do. But I'm feeling that itch again....
 

jrfuda

Active Member
I'm not advocating high prices, but I've often wondered how HST stays afloat.

Their homepage says "over 8000 users nationwide." Let's say, just for giggles, that the average user has spent $500 on products (software and hardware) from HST (There are folks that have spent thousands, and others that have spent $50). That means that HST has a total revenues over its life of $500 x 8000 = $400,000. Divide that by their 6.5 year existence, and that's an average annual revenue of $61,538. And they still have to pay salaries, pay wholesale for hardware they resell, etc. Even if you say they've made $500 pure profit (after ALL expenses) per customer (which I doubt) that's still barely enough to do much with.

Now, a little more on topic: Will the new rules require all plugins to be HST approved and therefore have fees associated with them, or will authors still be allowed to produce free plugins? Also, will authors be allowed to produce "For Fee" plugins, but choose not to distribute them through HST (and therefore they wont' be in the updater) and be able to charge whatever they want for them?
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
This thread is locked so users can now post on the ***Official Homeseer Pricing Forum*** located HERE.

This way we can get all of our member's comments and opinions in one thread rather than having to view multiple threads on this topic.

Thanks,

BSR
 
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