I find rachio to be way more complicated than it needs to be

And you don’t have to subscribe. I’m not sure what your definition of being able to customize a water schedule is, but all of Rachio is extremely customizable. You want fixed schedules for zones, you got it. You want a Flex Daily Schedule that fluidly changes watering needs based on plant type, root depth, soil, sun, wind, rain, slope, you got it.

I’m not going to argue whether the “a little more” or " a little less" should have been included in the “base” offering (since I haven’t found a need to use it, I don’t know the extent of the functionality), but to say that Rachio duped you and that you don’t have a way to full customized a watering schedule couldn’t be further from the truth.

The definition of being misleading is if something was represented as being included when it in fact was not.

It doesent matter how many other capabilities an offering has when determining if an implied or explicit promise has been made. This is basic FTC guidance, not some stuff I’m making up.

I explicitly checked the wording for a new purchase if made today. At least inform new buyers of the changes so they make informed purchase decisions.

My few cents. I don’t really expect old existing customer to get the benefit but at least inform new customers. And not just with the fine print. State up front that some ease of use capabilities only comes via subscription to fertilizer.

I installed the Rachio 3 16 station on the mt gardeners recommendation. The important point being he could adjust the system from his iPhone. I have to admitted that the U/II is way too complex, I have no idea how to answer all the question. I went to Medical School not Ag school. The intelligent programs didn’t work at all. So, we set up a fixed watering schedule. One time for so many minutes! Today I noticed Zone 7 has gone off 3 times, instead of only once! I am in the Silicon Valley with extreme water rates rates usual bill rounds around $1100 in warm water. The Rachio hasn’t helped cut the bill. By the way I have NO LAWN! I had to turn off the controller to stop it running! Thanks for email that says watering is complete! I would not recommend this system. Too complex!!

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I recently bought a house in SoCal that came with a Rachio, 10 zones, a sizable lawn, 15 fruit trees and over $10/day in watering expenses (calculated over March and April). As of now, I’ve managed to bring the costs to $5/day running Flex Daily (the previous owner had everything on a fixed schedule). I feel I still have more fat to cut by calibrating Nozzle Inches per Hour as is being often recommended by experts here. Mind you, up until a few months ago I had only lived in urban apartments/condos… and never went either to a Medical School or to an Ag school (just a miserly BS in engineering from a lower-tier school).

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Hi everyone - Chris here. I’m one of the co-founders at Rachio, with @franz, and employee number 1. Our vision was to empower the homeowner to easily run their irrigations systems in a way that kept their lawn and plants healthy while saving water. We envisioned it being so easy we even built it into our mission statement “Make sustainable water use effortless and personally rewarding”.

I spent the first 8.5 years as the CEO of Rachio. In the early days (Gen 1) I was able to focus a lot of my attention on product with Franz, which is what I love most.

As the years went on and the company grew, I was not able to spend much time at all in product. I promise there’s a point coming :slight_smile:

I’m excited to say that we’ve recently hired a new CEO, Kim Sentovich (she’s wonderful), and I’ve moved into the head product role to work more side-by-side with Franz on product development.

I’m chiming in here because the theme of this post is very relevant for us. We realize over the years that we have bloated the product and made things complicated—from both a feature and and offering standpoint.

I’m in week 2 of my new role in product and our first initiative is to get closer to our customers and solve their problems with our irrigation controller. You all are pointing out many of the patterns we’re seeing as we look across CS tickets, the community, reviews and engage customers in interviews. We want to make this easier! We won’t be able to solve all problems/complexity, but there’s a lot we can do.

If you’d like to engage with us live, I’m happy to set up some time for video calls. Just let me know.

With regard to the posts around adaptive watering, I have some news to share. We agree that we have the model wrong by coupling the feature to a Thrive subscription and are rolling out changes over the next few weeks. Thrive will no longer be a subscription, meaning 1) our Lawn Champion product will be sold stand alone on the website (no subscription required) and 2) all features associated with the subscription will become available to R3, Generation 2 and Generation 1 controller customers.

This is just the start to simplification of our product offerings. I’m sure we’ll hit some snags, but I’m excited to be driving product again and look forward to engaging with those of you that are interested. :cheers:


Chris, this is wonderful news indeed. Taking your talents and skills and putting them back into the product will be a huge plus for us owners. Just the last two paragraphs of your message demonstrate empathy for the issues we’re experiencing and hope for solid solutions. And congratulations to Kim for her new position…we all hope this brings enhanced marketing, growth, cohesive direction, fiscal appropriateness, public persona, and all the other CEO-ish things that accrue to that role, to Rachio.

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Thanks for the kind note @SalisburySam!

For everyone on this thread that is interested, we’re going to be rolling out features that were behind the Thrive subscription in somewhat of a beta fashion. We want to make sure the features meet the need of our larger customer base and are looking for people that would like to actively engage in helping us improve them.

If you’re interested in getting access, email us at research@rachio.com that way you can work directly with the product team on feedback instead of customer support.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Hi! Just wanted to throw this in here so that it (hopefully) gets to the design team. I remember reading somewhere that the little more = 20%, and the lot more = 60%, and that you could use that to fine tune the in-between bits. I just wanted to say that that was not at all obvious to me, and that I agree with the others that said that 60% is a big leap.

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Got it @philospher77! @drew_thayer and the group are talking about it now over in Water adjustment - #14 by drew_thayer

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I missed this update when it was made.
I have to congratulate you for making this very humble and honest post. Transparency and sincerity like this makes it easy to be a customer.

I look forward to many more great years together! You have in one post made me consider the thrive subscription :slight_smile:

If there is anything I can do to help your company to be successful, do not hesitate to reach out! I don’t mind being an alpha/beta tester of ideas.

I’m head of product in my company and I know the challenge of competing priorities. Putting the customer experience first and being laser focused on simplification without sacrificing outcome is a great starting point!


Wow, I appreciate the transparent post. I’ve been asking for what seemingly could be a simple feature for several years. Just last week I posted on a years old thread where I said, “I’m done.” I’d really like to work with you on being able to have multiple controllers work with one another. I’d be happy to be a Beta site. Also, the UI needs to be less complicated. Lets be honest, I have to argue with my landscaper because he’d just prefer the good ole’ timer. He’s not necessarily technology friendly.

Again, I’d be happy to be a beta site. I’m in the home automation industry, and my home is often a guinea pig for new products.

Hi @sailingtwidget we’d love to have you in the beta program and also talk to you. @simonhill will get in touch via DM and get a call scheduled. We’ll also get you on the beta program list. Happy to talk about the multi-controller feature. We know that’s something folks would like to see happen. It is a bit harder than it might seem on the surface, but doesn’t mean it can’t be done.