• Report: #966408

Complaint Review: Smart Start Interlock

  • Submitted: Thu, November 08, 2012
  • Updated: Thu, November 08, 2012

  • Reported By: Abby — El Dorado Hills California United States of America
Smart Start Interlock
Internet United States of America

Smart Start Interlock SmartStart Interlock HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE, MALFUNCTIONING DEVICES, CAR TOWED, Internet

*Consumer Comment: Really: Grow Up

*Consumer Comment: Smart Start is amazing if you are not trying to fool the system

*Consumer Comment: Please Read!

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DO NOT BUY YOUR INTERLOCK DEVICE FROM SMART START INC.
DO NOT BUY YOUR INTERLOCK DEVICE FROM SMART START INC.
DO NOT BUY YOUR INTERLOCK DEVICE FROM SMART START INC.
DO NOT BUY YOUR INTERLOCK DEVICE FROM SMART START INC.
DO NOT BUY YOUR INTERLOCK DEVICE FROM SMART START INC.

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE GOTTEN A DUI OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS GOTTEN ONE AND NOW NEEDS TO HAVE AN INTERLOCK DEVICE INSTALLED INTO YOUR CAR:

"DO NOT BUY YOUR INTERLOCK DEVICE FROM SMART START INC."

This company "SMART START INC." has been nothing short of an absolutely NIGHTMARE to deal with. I am currently getting my car TOWED because of my malfunctioning interlock. They are the cheapest interlock device company for a reason - and that is because they SUCK and DO NOT help their customers.

In January of 2012 I made a stupid mistake of driving home after I had a few drinks and got a DUI. It has been a very crappy experience, but one that I have handled pretty well with determination and faith.

The most stressful thing out of the whole ordeal has without a doubt, unequivicolly, the interlock device that I have had installed in my car for the past 6 months. I was supposed to have it removed on the 7th (which was yesterday), but it has been a nightmare trying to do that. Heres my experience trying to have it removed:

1. Spoke with SmartStart on October 28 (nearing my end date on November 4th). I called them asking if I have to do anything, call anyone, go anywhere, etc. before I plan to have it removed. They put me on hold and reviewed some stuff on my account and the man replied by saying very short and quickly - "Go in to your auto normal body shop where you get your recallobrations on November 7th to have it removed and you will be good to go".

Keep in mind that my lockout date is on the 5th of each month (if I don't take my car into the bodyshop on this date each month then my car will be put in a "lockout" mode and I won't be able to start my car). So I didn't go in to get my interlock recallobrated because I was told I could just go have it removed on the 7th.

2. November 7, 2012: My car is locked out at 3:30p.m. after I get off from work. My car will not start. I call SmartStart, they provide me with a lockout code. They then tell me "well you're actually NOT good to go get your interlock device removed." I said WHAT! I was told that I was! She said "Oh no - You're supposed to get court permission from your courthouse and then bring it to the autobody shop for clearance." I WAS NEVER TOLD THIS BY ANYONE. In fact I was told that I was completely all good to have it removed.

I am now told to park my car at home or else my car could possibly be locked out and I will be stranded on the side of the road. I go home and call SmartStart and a man tells me "Go ahead and call tomorrow (nov. 8) in the morning to get a lockout code so that you can make it to the courthouse, grab your paperwork, go to the autobody shop and have your interlock device removed."

3. November 8, 2012: 8:00 a.m., all ready to leave my house and go to the courthouse to get my paperwork stating that I am okay to have my interlock removed. My car will not start because I am in lockout mode. I call SmartStart, NOBODY WILL ANSWER their corporate office line for about 50 minutes. I am sitting in my car calling, calling, calling, calling. No answer until 8:50ish. Anyone that I get ahold of transfers me to voicemail, or an automated system. I'm tellin you, the customer service or common sense among these SmartStart employees is the WORST I HAVE EVER SEEN. I AM NOT KIDDING OR EXAGGERATING. Finally at about 9:25a.m. I am able to get ahold of the guy that I spoke with on November 7th, the day before, about being able to get a lockout code. He told me - "Well you're going to have to get your car towed because we don't give out 2ND lockout codes. Since you used a lockout code the day before - you cannot get another one today."

SO NOW, 
I cannot make it to my appointment with the body shop at 10:00am.
I cannot drive myself to the courthouse to get my paperwork for my removal.
I cannot make it into work.
I cannot make it to school tonight

AND I have to pay hundreds of dollars to have my car towed! HOPEFULLY my car doesn't get broken into when I have to leave it at the body shop overnight, because they cannot work on my car now that I have missed my appointment OR UNTIL I get my court paperwork. So my car will just be sitting at this body shop until I can find a ride to the court house.

WHAT I JUST DESCRIBED IS ONLY A FRACTION OF THE TROUBLES I HAVE DEALT WITH WITH THIS COMPANY AND THIS DEVICE. I have gone through TWO INTERLOCKS, I have had to get it replaced 3 times due to the device malfunctioning. Each time I get out of my car, I unplug my device and bring it inside wherever I am at so that the heat or cold doesn't affect it from it sitting inside of my car. I take good care of it and try to keep it in as good of a condition as possible but YET it ALWAYS MALFUNCTIONS. 

NEW CUSTOMERS HAVE THIS MISCONCEPTION THAT ALL YOU WILL HAVE TO DO IS SIMPLY "BLOW" INTO THE DEVICE AND IT WILL READ YOUR BREATH JUST LIKE THAT.

NOPE!!!! NOT THE CASE!!! I have had heart and chest pains because of this device due to having to BLOW REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, HARD and having to "HUM" loudly at the same time in order to get an accurate reading so that I can start my CAR AND GO TO WORK so that I CAN PAY THIS COMPANY EACH MONTH!!! I am not kidding! I have seen a doctor because my chest hurts and I feel a lot of pressure inside my chest because you have to blow all of the air in your body into this device in order for it to work properly. IT IS HORRIBLE!!!

I really honestly do not know HOW this company stays in business. It is SO WORTH it to go with a more expensive company for the sake of your health and sanity. 

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE GOTTEN A DUI OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS GOTTEN ONE AND NOW NEEDS TO HAVE AN INTERLOCK DEVICE INSTALLED INTO YOUR CAR:

DO NOT --- I REPEAT --- DO NOT get your interlock device from this company "SMART START INC."

I would love nothing more than to have this place put out of company. The way that they treat their customers is HORRIBLE. All of the employees tell me 10 different things which ultimately all end up clashing with eachother and then leaves me SCREWED!!! They don't give 2 craps about their customers, all they care about is collecting their money and callin it a day. NO CUSTOMER SERVICE QUALITIES WHATSOEVER!!!!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/08/2012 11:05 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Smart-Start-Interlock/internet/Smart-Start-Interlock-SmartStart-Interlock-HORRIBLE-CUSTOMER-SERVICE-MALFUNCTIONING-DEVIC-966408. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Really: Grow Up

AUTHOR: JCF WLF - ()

I am terribly sorry about the death of your son and all others involved in drunk driving.  There is no excuse.  However, after all this time I would hope you realize that many offenders, some barely over the allowed alcohol amount and not involved in accidents at all, have now not only quit drinking before driving but quit drinking at all.  Many of these people have a physiological makeup that leads any alcohol to be dangerous, to them and to others.  Rather than yelling a screaming why not reach out with some compassion and understanding.  This will not remove your justified pain, but it is a good thing to rejoin a society that has compassion.  It works.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Smart Start is amazing if you are not trying to fool the system

AUTHOR: Angie - ()

I have had my smart Start for a year now (and I have to have it for several more years) and I have not had one single problem. I have been sober for 5 years now, so I am never at risk for it to malfunction. I weas told I could unplug it and bring it indoors if it is freezing outside (only to save time waiting for it to warm up) but I never have. 

The guys at my shop are very friendly and never give me a hard time. I have witnessed them gettinge yelled at and verbally abused by customers who have had their machines 'malfunction' when in reality, their machines were working just fine. They customers had either drank too much the night before or even that day. 

Smart Start is not the cheapest device out there. In fact it was the most expensive in my area. Their devices are much more high-tech than some of the others, designed to reduce the amount of false negatives. 

Bottom line, if you aren't trying to fool the machine and don't ever drink, your machine will work just fine. 

 Also, you should be grateful that you are even allowed to drive. It is a privilage.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Please Read!

AUTHOR: iamhurt - ()

I lost my son to a drunk driver. My son lost his life in a car accident caused by a sick person like you. Why did I read your post, because after 7 years, I still search the internet for sick, pathetic individual who post complaints about their punishment for driving drunk. The fireman at the scene found my son and my wife unconscious. My son did not survive. Each of you with your complaints about dealing with penalties you were given, should be ashamed. You should actually be in prison. Yes it sounds harsh, but you will never understand my pain until you show up at a hospital and the physician tells you your son has died. I asked to see my son and what I saw can’t be explained in words. The best thing about complaints like yours are that others can see them and respond. Like your complaint, our response will be here forever. I have seen a Facebook website which companies like yours. It looks like a college frat party invite list. Each member has joined to support sick minds like to ones that make these complaints. Each and every member these website is listed as supporters of a convicted drunk drivers or drunk drivers themselves. Each one of them can spend the rest of their life explaining to their potential college, employer, friends and family why they joined sites like these to support someone like the idiots that create them. Each of them have a choice to make. Unfortunately the drunk that killed my son, left me no choices, only pain. That is the least each of them should be required to do. Every member that complains about DUI laws and the punishment they receive, should be required to suffer like me.

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