What to do when the feathers fly out of your Nest

If you’re a futurist, optimist or just a gadget lover like me, then maybe you sprang for a Nest thermostat in 2011.

I ordered one the moment I saw it. Our thermostat was about 30 years old and I suspected we were spending too much cooling and heating our modest home in the Orlando suburbs.

True, that. Over the last few years, I estimate the Nest has reduced our energy bills by between 15 and 20 percent.

But this isn’t a story about what the Nest does right. It’s about what happens when something goes wrong with a Nest. And how Nest fixes it.

See, Google owns Nest, and it has a reputation for DIY service. So when my thermostat kept resetting to 71 degrees, I assumed I would be referred to a forum of some kind, where my question might or might not be answered.

Instead, I quickly discovered a chat feature on the Nest website. And as you’ll see in a moment, all of the reps had a good command of English, wrote in complete sentences, and addressed my problem as best they could. That’s why today I’m filing a story under the Good News Guy banner. I hope Andrew isn’t too mad at me.

Here’s what I loved: An agent named Jessa answered immediately and took almost no time suggesting a solution, which involved a total reset of my settings. Things took a turn for the worse when I brought the system back online.

Me: The heat is on.
Jessa: I’m sorry, did you mean it was on heat mode or the heating just automatically kicked on?
Me: It’s in cool mode, but the heat just kicked in. This is not good!

This happened about 10 minutes into our chat, and I suspected Jessa was being timed, as customer service agents often are. With the heat blasting into my home on a sweltering Florida afternoon, I was afraid she would leave me to fend for myself. But she didn’t.

“Based on what you described during installation, it’s possible you have an incorrect heat pump orientation,” she said. “But we’ll have to check your wiring first.”

Jessa then patiently waited for me to take a picture of my internal wiring, held on the line while I sent it to her, and guided me to the correct setting. I never felt rushed, and by the time we finished, all the right settings had been restored and all was fixed — or so I thought.

I have to warn you, this story has a bittersweet ending.

A day later, my settings returned to 70 degrees. This time, I contacted Nest again and was connected to another representative named Kimmy T. After some more back and forth, Kimmy told me that I was out of warranty, but offered to escalate my case to a supervisor.

Before doing so, she added, “Can you provide me a screenshot of your schedule, please?”

I dug through my settings to look for the schedule. In Nest, you can schedule your temperatures based on the time of day — warmer for the day, cooler for the evening. When I found the schedule, I noticed two new dots in the middle of the night that had been set to 71 degrees.

Ah-ha!

But there was one more mystery: Who gets up at 11 p.m. to reset the thermostat to 71 degrees? And here comes the troubling ending. One member of our family has been doing a lot of sleepwalking lately, although it’s kind of more than sleepwalking. It’s more like an altered state of consciousness that happens in the evenings. It’s a long story, and like I said, a bittersweet ending.

Anyway, we knew how the thermostat was getting pulled down to 71 degrees, and we knew how to stop it. We needed to set up a PIN number so that only an authorized user could set the schedule.

Nest really came through for me with its incredible tech support via chat. I love the fact that no one ever asked me how long I’d had my unit, like some of those computer manufacturers do. (“Want tech support? Pay for it!”) Instead, Nest helped a customer in need and didn’t abandon him when the wires for AC and heat got crossed.

If only solving all of our problems were this easy.

Underwritten by

Underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at Sodexoinsights.com.

Underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at Travelexinsurance.com.

Underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Underwritten by Enterprise

A family-owned, world-class portfolio of brands. A global network that spans across more than 85 countries. Some 97,000 dedicated team members sharing common values. And more than 1.9 million vehicles taking our customers wherever they need to go.

Underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Underwritten by Insuremyrentalcar.com

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Underwritten by InsureMyTrip

It’s simple. InsureMyTrip finds you the right travel insurance plan, every time. InsureMyTrip is the authority on travel insurance. Rated A+ for travel insurance by the Better Business Bureau. All travelers that purchase a policy through  InsureMyTrip have access to Anytime Advocates® for claims assistance.

Underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

Underwritten by SCOTTeVEST

An innovative apparel brand for people who want easy access to everything they need. For those who live for every second, SCOTTeVEST lets you maximize your life. Ditch the carry-on bag and pick up a  SCOTTeVEST.

Underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

Underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Underwritten by Sungard Availability Services

Leveraging more than 35 years of experience, Sungard AS designs, builds and runs critical IT services that help businesses manage complex IT, adapt quickly and build resiliency and availability. A leading provider of critical production and recovery services, Sungard AS partners with customers across the globe, delivering resilient IT systems, infrastructure and recovery services tailored to achieving desired business outcomes.

Underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

Underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.