Google Home Assistant and Support for Routines and Automation Sucks.

So I am deep into trying to automate my home using IOT devices and Google Home Assistant. To start off, I’m pretty much a fan boy, so it hurts to have to write this, as I just can’t believe the state of things with their Home Assistant stuff.

We have several Google Home devices, a Home Mini, Home, and a recently purchased Home Hub. Lets just pretend that everything was working great before the arrival of the Hub (which is a huge lie). Hub comes into the picture, and things start to go awry. Routines that are recognized by the other Home devices and Pixel devices are unrecognized on the cute little hub despite it’s advantage (lol) of showing the command name that is spoken. Which is the CORRECT command, yet it replies with some advice on including the name of the device you want to control. I went through a bunch of gyrations and finally decided to try the “Chat with me now!” button on the Google support site for Home.

So after some explaining, to a very nice person, we finally got to the coup de grace of customer support world wide for anything technical – lets reset the device and start over (or reboot, or reinstall, or reflash – you know the game.) So I sighed, and resisted saying OK it’s reset without doing it, and reset the damn thing.

After 20 minutes of setup fun, wifi connecting, a cup of coffee, and resetting slideshows, etc. etc. I was back to having a 3rd Google Home device going in the house. The support person suggested trying the commands again. Guess what. It didn’t help. Guess what else?¬†Other routines that worked on other devices now lost their brains too! Holy crap! Resetting the new device ruined the others as well?

I’m not even going to go into the rest of the troubleshooting and pain I tried, but finally the rep suggested a specialist would call me in the morning, requesting I reply with a screen shot of the routine (like how is “turn on the tv” going to help them prepare – lol) and I said sure and did so.

The following day I paid close attention to the phone. Nothing.

The next day I got an email asking me to take a look at some phone setting for enhanced voice support from Google services. The instructions were not relevant for the phone I use, or the wifes. WE USE PIXEL 2 and 3’s – their FLAGSHIP phones. (I hate people that use CAPS. Yeah. Grrrr)¬† So I replied. Not found on this phone. Searched. Nothing in settings. You didn’t try to call me.

Another day passes and I get a new email.

“Thanks for contacting Google Support!
Have you tried deleting the routines then re-create it?”
WHAT? Delete the routine is the actual suggestion??????? If I call Microsoft about a problem with their Word doc will they suggest that I delete the doc and try over if I have a problem? WTF kind of response to a customer is that? Does their dev team know that support is suggesting this as a solution to them competing with the other big boys in the space? Start looking for another project to jump to if so, as Google Home Assistant home automation will go the way of the many other abandoned solutions they roll out, mis-manage, provide no support for, and rot.
Edit: Response from Google support to my email saying that deleting a routine and re-entering it is ridiculous 6 DAYS LATER:
“I completely understand, Mike, however this is one of the troubleshooting steps that we need to do to isolate the issue.”

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