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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

[UPDATE 8/28: I am able to intermittently use the app and access the website this morning. Looks like it's on its way back up? Total outage of around 8-10 days.]

[UPDATE 8/27: Mazda Accessories Marketing finally acknowledged the outage; committed to service restoration by Sept 2]

I have a 3-week old 2016 Mazda 6 Grand Touring with Techology Package. As part of the sale, I also purchased the Mazda Mobile Start option.

It was installed about 2 weeks ago.

For the last week, the service has been down.

  • Cant sign into the app
  • If you cant sign into the app, you can't start the car (or do anything)
  • Cant log into the MMS website
  • Cant even load the website
Here's the MMS website (still down @ 8/27 9AM):
https://www.mazdamobilestart.com/

Since I assume any support contact-related information would be on the MMS website, and the website is ALSO down, I went to Mazda USA Media - Media Relations Contacts and emailed the Director of Public Relations and Brand Experience, who must have forwarded my email to Customer Care.

Here was their response:
Thank you for contacting Mazda.

We received your email regarding Mazda Mobile Start and we are aware of the concerns that customer's are experiencing with not being able to access the website or app functionality. At this time we do not have an ETA on when these service well be back up, however; we are working actively with our vendor on this issue and are doing everything we can to have this resolved as soon as possible.

I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. Should you have any additional questions or need further assistance, feel free to contact me directly at the number listed below.


Sincerely,
Katrina
Representative, Customer Experience
I responded with the following:

This outage has already gone on for nearly a week -- the fact that a) it's still down and b) there is no ETA on service restoration is really an unacceptable period of downtime. As a paying customer, this is extremely frustrating and disappointing. Who else can I contact about this? Also how can I get refunded for some of this service?
> 24 hours and there has been no response.

At this point, I sent an email to every relevant contact on the Media Relations page, from public relations to product communications to the press fleet and public affairs manager. I'm re-asking the same questions essentially, but here was my message:

I am forwarding you this email thread because

1) Mazda Mobile Start service has now been down for > 1 week
2) Mazda Customer Experience has been unable to provide any information on service restoration
3) My remaining questions have gone unanswered

As I stated below in previous emails, a period of downtime such as this, for a paid service is frankly unacceptable. This outage has clearly exposed the downsides of relying on third parties and separate infrastructure for an otherwise previously simple item such as remote start. Had I instead had the traditional remote start installed on my 2016 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, I would have not had this dependency, and my system would have worked using just the remote start fob.

Who is the vendor which provides the underlying service for Mazda Mobile Start? Is their downtime actively being monitored and managed? I work in IT as an infrastructure engineer at a company serving many of the Fortune 100 --- an outage of hours would be completely unacceptable and contractually considered a disaster scenario, and here we are with MMS down for a week or more. I'm really surprised at this and it does not instill confidence in the product. This is a paid service. Depending on how this is handled, I can't say I would consider renewing this service.

Additionally, I am a member of several online Mazda communities, and plan to share this information so far as well as any subsequent updates, with the communities. These communities cover both Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 owners and potential owners, and since MMS is offered on both vehicles, and many are on the fence about whether to have this installed in their vehicles, I want to be able to report that Mazda was receptive to the feedback and responded quickly in getting services restored and making sure customers are happy with the service for which they paid.

I am looking forward to hearing back regarding my previously unanswered questions.

I'd love for a happy ending to this story, but I don't have much confidence in MMS at this point, and I'm really disappointed in the way Mazda doesn't seem to be monitoring their sites and services, and doesn't seem to be a good job of actively managing their vendors either.

Anyone else have MMS and notice it's been down for a long while?
 

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I was thinking about getting the MMS installed on my 2016 before winter. But after reading this, I just may hold off longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Spoke with Mazda Customer Satisfaction line by phone this afternoon, and they had no further information.

However, then received the following email this evening; based on the language it sounds like this would have gone out to all registered customers of MMS, but it's the first communication I've seen regarding the outage, so at the very least hopefully I greased the wheels a little bit :)

August 27, 2015

Dear Mazda Customer:

Subject: Mazda Mobile Start Service Interruption

Thank you for your purchase of a new Mazda. With all the choices you could have made in the market, we appreciate that you have chosen to either join or remain in the Mazda family, and we want you to know that we appreciate your business. Every new Mazda is built to exceed your expectations in every possible way, whether it’s styling, the way it drives, or the way you feel behind the wheel.

However, sometimes things go wrong, and when they do, we want you to hear it from us first. Knowing that your new Mazda is equipped with the Mazda Mobile Start (MMS) system, we regret to inform you that, due to a system outage at our supplier’s data center, the MMS website and smartphone application are currently unavailable. We anticipate full system recovery on September 2, 2015. We are working closely with the company that services the data center in order to improve this timing, and get your MMS up and running again as soon as possible.

This is not a safety concern with your vehicle or a defect with the MMS components, but is the result of an electrical power outage that affected the data servers that run your MMS App and website. We want to assure you that the personal data that you entered upon registering your MMS on www.MazdaMobileStart.com has not been compromised, and remains secure. At Mazda, we take pride in protecting your personal data in the same way we strive to build reliable, quality vehicles.

We deeply regret any inconvenience this situation has caused. We will continue to provide updates on MMS system availability as soon as they are available. Your satisfaction with Mazda and the MMS system is important to us and we will be in contact again to confirm your continued satisfaction once the system recovery is complete on September 2, 2015.

If you should have any questions at all, please contact Mazda’s Accessory Operations and Marketing Department at [email protected].

Again, knowing that you could have chosen a vehicle from another company, but chose a Mazda, means everything to us. Thank you for being a Mazda customer.

Sincerely,


Yoji Maekawa

Vice President, Customer Service Operations

Mazda North American Operations

So, interesting takeaways are:
-Sept 2 is cited as ETA for service restoration
-They are saying a datacenter is offline due to a power outage

Datacenters being offline due to power outage is pretty unusual, since they usually have at least 2 power providers running in at separate points, and beyond that have banks of generators to keep the DC up and online during a widespread power outage.

Either way, hopefully they get things up by then, and I'm glad to have some information from Mazda finally.
 

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I got the exact same email. I am not buying the power outage story. Who doesn't have a backup and a backup of that. The servers must be in a third world country in the jungle only accessible by boat and truck during non monsoon season.
 

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wait... so you're saying you could not use your car for more than a week ? while the server is down due to power issue ?

Wow... hard to believe.

They should refund you the cost of the 1 year service at the minimum. Totally unacceptable.

I say they got hacked.
 

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Got this back from them today as well.....


Dear Mr. XXXXX,

Thank you for contacting Mazda. We received your email regarding the Mazda Mobile Start website and app functionality.

We are aware of a system wide outage to the Mazda Mobile Start that is affecting both the MMS website and smartphone application, and we are working diligently with our vendor to address the issue. We anticipate a full system recovery on September 2, 2015.


I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. I have documented your feedback for our records. Should you have an additional questions, feel free to contact me at the number listed below, referencing service request number 1-101621520.


Sincerely,
Katrina
Representative, Customer Experience
800.222.5500
Select Prompt 2, then Ext. 1152
[SR Number: 1-101621520]
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was able to open the app and access the website as of this morning; we'll see if it's intermittently available, or seems up for good.

But yes, I'm an IT systems engineer -- being down for a few HOURS would constitute enacting a disaster recovery plan, whereby we'd fail over our services to another datacenter. This sounds like the vendor is running this thing out of their garage.
 

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I'm glad I found this post. I was planning to add this to my 2016 within a month but I may wait. Not willing to pay for it and it doesn't work.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here's the latest email from Mazda Accessories Marketing:

September 1, 2015

Dear Mazda Customer:

Subject: Update – Mazda Mobile Start Service Interruption Resolution

As promised in my communication to you on August 27, 2015, I committed to provide you with updates regarding the service outage of the Mazda Mobile Start.

I’m pleased to report that service was reinstated as of 1:15 AM PDT on Saturday, August 29, 2015, which is 4 days ahead of schedule from the supplier’s original estimate. Our team, as well as the supplier’s team, worked throughout the weekend to test the website and app function because we wanted to be sure the system was restored properly.

I realize that being without this service for the time it was unavailable can be inconvenient and frustrating. By purchasing a new Mazda, you put your faith in us and I want to assure you that this unique situation is exactly that, unique, and not a representation of the quality of Mazda vehicles or the commitment of the Mazda team to you, our customer.

I’d like to offer you an additional year of Mazda Mobile Start service subscription* to make up for the inconvenience. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, simply reply “yes” to this email and Mazda will take care of the rest.

Thank you for being a Mazda customer. If you have any questions at all, please contact Mazda’s Accessory Operations and Marketing Department at [email protected].

All the best,

Yoji Maekawa
Vice President, Customer Service Operations
Mazda North American Operations
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Furthermore, when indicating you'd like to receive the additional year:

Dear Mazda Customer:

Thank you for replying to our email indicating your desire to receive an additional year of Mazda Mobile Start subscription service. When your current complimentary one year subscription becomes due for renewal, please remember to accept the renewal offer and allow your credit card used upon Mazda Mobile Start registration to be charged the $65.00 renewal fee. You will then be credited back through your credit card statement for the $65.00 renewal fee. Processing time for the credit could take between 2 to 6 weeks. If you have any questions at all, please contact us at [email protected].

Thank you, again, for being our customer.

Best Regards,
Mazda Accessory Operations and Marketing
 

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Well I'm glad that took care of you. It was worth contacting them. I do hope they make improvements to the system quickly other than just quieting you down by giving you another complimentary year of service.
 

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Hi matthewf01,

I have a question for you. After they installed the MMS on your car, did the GPS connector and tele connector seem large on the windshield? I found the installation manual and it looks like they would stand out quite a bit on the windshield. Just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi matthewf01,

I have a question for you. After they installed the MMS on your car, did the GPS connector and tele connector seem large on the windshield? I found the installation manual and it looks like they would stand out quite a bit on the windshield. Just curious.

YES -- honestly, it's kind of an obnoxious eye-sore. They really would be SO much better suited to installation on the rear windshield -- there are even spaces where there's no heating coils running on the glass. But I guess they need to tap into some wires accessible in the dash... but, if you're the passenger, these things are kind of in-your-face. Not great.
 

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I installed mine. I tucked them up and as far right as I could. They are still noticeable though. Taller passengers ask what they are.
You have enough cable to run them behind the rear view mirror if you can find a spot.
 

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The first year is free, and it has been extended to two free years. But yes. $69 a year or around $5.25 a month. Well worth it. No more getting into a blistering hot car or a freezing car with frozen windows.
 
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