Smart Family gives parents the ability to locate and manage their child’s
device all in one app. You can schedule alerts for their device location, block
apps & websites, pause the internet, view their text and call history, and so
much more! Verizon Smart Family- Your partner in
Constantly forces my kids off our WiFi
My oldest brought this to my attention today, we have Spectrum for our internet provider since the cellular coverage in our house is garbage. Needless to say it was easy for them to see a difference once I had gotten the VPN set up, we figured out that once the device successfully connects to a WiFi network while still connected to Cellular data, it doesn’t just keep the connection to the VPN server, it completely pauses the Cellular connection to the server, restricting everything (requiring WiFi) and attempts to connect through the new network before lifting the “lockdown.” This process is incredibly lengthy, taking 7-10 minutes on average, which for the quality of our internet provider makes absolutely no sense, every device without the VPN connects to the WiFi just fine and has pages loaded in a split second, so why should it take nearly 10 minutes to connect to the VPN server? And to add insult to injury it occasionally goes on “lockdown” seemingly at random, forcing the process to restart (I can only assume because of a stutter in the WiFi causing a brief moment where connection to the VPN server faltered). This apparently has frustrated my kids since we got the VPN a month ago but up until today we hadn’t tested to see if the VPN and the WiFi cutouts were connected. I can’t believe I paid for this to begin with, and will be taking my kids off this plan when we make our next monthly payment unless this issues are addressed.
I have never seen such a horrible app
It is utterly awful! Seriously, for instance with the time restrictions, you can’t even tell what you’re restricting. Is the time that you restrict the time the phone is off, or on? You really have no way of knowing, until you do it, and then your kid complains, or not. It actually says “set custom hours“ and then has a start time and stop time. That’s it! What does that mean!? Plus you can’t set different times for different nights, like different for weekdays and weekends, but who would ever want to do that? (Heavy sarcasm). Plus, you can set a limit on your kid’s data. But then it just shuts off! It doesn’t throttle down so they limited access to data. The purpose most people want is to limit their use so they only use their share and don’t use up all of the family plan, not cut them off completely when they reach their limit. That should obviously be an option. Unbelievable! But wait, there’s more! It doesn’t work and less you install an app on their phone! That’s idiotic! All they have to do is delete it! Of course there are ways to set up the phone so they can’t do that, But I shouldn’t have to. I really can’t believe someone with even a high school diploma could’ve come up with such an awful app. What’s even worse is they charge you 10 bucks a month for this awfulness when it should be included with your plan!
Not accurate and unreliable, it crashes ALL THE TIME. I can’t even look at the call log for more than a minute before it just crashes and disappears, forcing me to start all over again. Good concept though, just sucky execution. Update- Almost a year later and still having the same issues. You think they’d invest a little in making the app work better, since, you know, it’s not a free service. Another update - well, they switched it to Verizon “smart family” for the first bit of time the app actually functioned. Now, every time I want to do anything it gives me error messages, so I can’t really accomplish what we are paying to be able to do. I wish there was a way to attach photos to these reviews. What are we paying for? Seriously need to invest in better developers or something. It looks terrible that such a well known company who specializes in communication technology can not even get an application to function correctly. I’m a trusted contact, yet I can’t get through during restriction periods (ie...school). I actually have to log into a computer when I want to change things. Isn’t the point of the app so that we don’t have to do that? I despise having to write bad reviews but this one seems to be a consistent problem. I just don’t get it. I feel like they really need to get their act together here, it looks terrible for them.
Left in the dark... TOTAL WASTE OF $$$
Downloaded this app to monitor my teenage daughters calls, texts, location, etc. After I downloaded and signed in there was absolutely no directions or prompts to set up the app with my daughters’ phones so I could monitor them. Instead it gives me the option to monitor my own phone, place restrictions on my own phone, limit calls and texts on my own phone!??? Then I clicked on their “Help Center” and that proved to be just as useless and only showed grainy/blurry screenshots of what I should see in my app. I read the developer response to another review where they claim you don’t need to download the app on your child’s phone if you’re using LTE. Well guess what... there’s no option to add another phone within your family plan! I can only limit my own use as the only number that appeared in the app was my own. I fully expected to be greeted with some sort of setup wizard when I opened the app to add the numbers on my plan that I wanted to monitor. Instead they left me searching through their app with no direction to be able to connect to the other phones in my plan! I can’t believe they would expect someone to pay $10 a month for this useless app! Instead of being able to monitor my children’s’ activity, it just left me in the dark with no way of being able to do so. Complete waste of money!
Not worth the money
I’ve been using smart family ($5.00 version) for years but recently decided to pay for the upgraded version because of issues with my 16yo. I downloaded the necessary apps on both our phones. I set up all parameters to keep her from accessing certain apps and deleted those apps from her phone. But because the app was previously downloaded to her device, she just adds it back at will. She can not download new apps but can reinstall deleted ones. The time restrictions work well for us to limit her use on school nights. But I was already getting that with the cheaper version. The location settings are all messed up. My daughter hasn’t left our house in over 12 hours and I have 95 notifications telling me she has left her job which is two streets always from where we live. I am constantly getting notifications of her leaving home or leaving her work while she is sitting in the same room with me. I have the addresses for home, school and work loaded into the app but it doesn’t register properly. Why pay for the upgrade if it isn’t giving you accurate information? I upgraded my account so I could keep her from downloading certain apps, looking at harmful things on Safari and monitor her location at all times. This version of the app has not assisted with any of those things.
I can’t believe I actually paid for this service. It is a nuisance, not at all helpful. Requires my son to be connected to VPN always when I have it enabled & when he is connected to VPN he is unable to use our wifi! What is the point!? I limit his cellular data and only have 2gb plan per month because that is what I can afford & should be able to keep track of his location (which told me he just left school the other night at like 9 pm when he was in our living room!) without worrying about keeping a constant watch on my data plan or approving things left and right. Furthermore, it is really so ridiculous that in order to set up this app, he has to approve it or I have to physically have his phone & set it all up on there. Seriously? Cancelling this paid service when I pay my bill in a couple days unless I see an update 1st which addresses this nonsense, which I doubt because I have been waiting for awhile considering other parents have to be dealing with these issues & I’m sure are also irritated as can be! UPDATE- oh just in the last 2 days, even though I removed the vpn from my sons phone, which caused him to be unable to connect to WiFi, he could only text or reply to 2 family members but not to 2 others that had texted him Happy Birthday msgs! Grrrrr! I want a credit for this headache.
When my child reaches their data limit for the month, it locks up my data (the parent) on my phone as well. This has happened for numerous months. The child can still use the phone on wifi so even if you purposely block their phone, they can still use all functions. The location services that you pay extra for is not accurate. Compared to the “Find Friends” app, which shows my child’s EXACT location, this Verizon app shows their location a few hundred feet or a mile away for their actual location (differs daily). I have yet to see it place their location accurately in the past month or so since upgrading to this service. Even though we have time limits on their phone, it stopped working a few months ago and my child can use their phone at all hours now. And all the other options only work if the child has the app on their phones. The child can simply delete the app and all bets off. I still keep the app because it does show me when/who my child calls/texts (even if my child deletes their app... although it only shows for the phone’s basic Call/Text and not if my child uses WhatsApp or other apps) and I can block numbers if needed (again, only for Call/Text).
Needs some serious Improvements
THE GOOD: This is a good app if you would like to locate, filter data/web content and games for your child. You can see phone numbers of receiver/recipients for phone calls & texts. Some minor improvements to these functions can make this app great. When the location on the app isn’t working properly, it shows you where your child is within a 1/2-1 mile radius. If you live in the NYC area, it looks like your child can be in a different borough. I live in Queens and some times the app shows me that my child is either in the Bronx or Manhattan. I can’t begin to tell you the anxiety I feel. THE BAD: Pairing the child’s phone can be challenging when your teen won’t let you physically take their phone or give you their passwords to install app or install it themselves. When you want to pair the child’s phone, the app sends a text to the child/teen with instructions. If you manage to pair your child’s phone and your child decides they don’t want this app anymore, all they have to do is simply delete the app, disable the VPN, and Location, or reset phone. Just like that, what you paid for is gone and you are back to where you started. A lock or password on the app would help a little.
This app has potential, but it tends to log me off and it doesn’t always block calls like it’s supposed to during restricted hours. Update: I decided to delete this app. It is not a good choice for families who need flexibility. I am unable to track my teenage daughter using our original tracking app Life 360, which is not only a safety hazard for both of us but it causes a complete disconnect between family members. My daughter needed to use her GPS so I tried to turn the app off but for some reason, during the day, when I am off wi-fi, I am unable to access the app to make any changes. Though I am added as a trusted contact, she is not able to FaceTime or text me. She is only able to call, which again, when I am at work, receiving calls is not possible and we generally communicate through text. This app also did things to my phone that made it run slower and made it difficult for me to access certain apps that utilize Internet or Wi-Fi. To top it all off, this app did not block the things that I wanted it to block such as Internet access and games installed on the phone. It did, however, block things that we use on a daily basis such as GPS and music apps. This app needs some serious help.
Way beyond an invasion of privacy
Since the last update I either HAVE to agree to allowing Verizon to access EVERYTHING on ALL of our phones in order to access the Smart Family app or it will not allow me in. This is going way beyond an invasion of privacy for all of our lines (of which none are children) but this update does not allow you to bypass or opt out of this ridiculous feature. If this does not get resolved soon I will pack up our 10 lines and go back to Sprint. Here is what they are wanting subscribers to agree to which is unacceptable and unnecessary for a phone company to need: Parental consent for Collection of Data “In order to provide services, Smart Family collects information from the phones on your account, including those used by children under 13. By tapping “Agree,” you consent to the collection and use of device identifiers, geolocation, web browsing and app activity from designated child lines. We and our service providers use this info only to deliver Smart Family services to you and do not use or share it for any other purposes.” .... [you either “agree” to it or you have the option to “disconnect your service” or not access the app period. fix this or we are gone.]
Worst update ever. Can’t see limits on all lines
There used to be a page that allowed a parent to see all the lines listed and limits listed and change limits from that list. Now I have to purposely open each line individually to see or change data limits. My monthly to do list just got longer because it can’t be done at a glance. So if I added or subtracted data from one line or another, I can’t see that unless I open that line’s data list from the app. I want the old overview. Line A has x gb, line B has y gb, line C has a gb... etc. it’s not only inconvenient (when it does not have to be), but it’s not free with my plan. Also I hate pairing devices to block content. I should just be able to set age limits without pairing. Please fix!!! Lastly, the phone numbers my kids are calling/texting should be listed by their contact name in my family base, not by last four digits. I have no idea who these numbers are. Please list them as the contact name in the phone. That would really help. Then if an unknown number comes up, I know it is a “stranger”. This is particularly critical with teens, to know which texts are random and which are friends. Safety first!
Repeated pop-up restriction on parent line
On the plus side, I really like this app’s ability to 1) put a limit on how much data my kids can use on a monthly basis, 2) restrict their allowable use hours for contacting friends outside of specified people, and 3) show me who they’re communicating with and how often. But, on the negative side, I have had repeated issues with the app placing an erroneous limit on one of the parent lines. I don’t know this has happened until I get the following text msg, “Data transport is disconnected because the monthly allowance has been reached.” I can’t get into the app to remove the limit on the parent line until I have WiFi access, which is not always available. It doesn’t appear that this issue has been addressed in any updates - I keep looking. I went to a VZW store and they ‘corrected’ it, only to have it start up again a month or so later and continue ever since. Wonder if anyone else is experiencing the same thing and hope the developers can address this bug in an upcoming update.
We have tried this service twice now. Thinking they had improved it we decided to try again. Loaded for 24 hours it reported a lot of incorrect web usage from my 13 yr old daughters phone. Using screen time I already had restrictions set and know every app on the phone. I have control of the App Store and every aspect of this phone. However, smart family reported that she had used apps that aren’t even on her phone. And had visited web sites that don’t even exist. These were only reported to me as my husbands report of her phone did not show those. They were serious accusations on behalf of the app that would cause consequences for actions my child that she did not commit such as pornography and gambling!! Cancelled the service. Deleted the app. Again. Verizon was unable to explain how this happens after two hours on the phone and multiple tech coaches. Stick with what works. Pick the phone up and read the contents. Screen time let’s you dial back their ability to access inappropriate content. It will have to be good enough for now.
If you have this call Verizon and request a credit. I was paying for the premium at $10/month and at first thought this is great and exactly what I wanted until I learned it is so easily defeated by the child. The problem is it uses a VPN to supervise your child’s iPhone which in and of it self is no big deal until your child realizes that all they have to do is open settings on their phone and toggle off the VPN. Once the VPN is turned off any time restrictions you have set are bypassed, this also goes for pausing internet feature. I have spoken with Verizon and they do not have any fix for this issue. Apple also has no way to restrict the VPN from being turned off. If there was a parental control feature on the IPhone that would allow the settings for the VPN to not be changed by the child then this app would be great but since there isn’t this app is completely useless. I can’t believe a company as large as Verizon is charging its customers for something that doesn’t work as advertised. In my opinion that is the definition of a scam.
Newly changed Smart Family app blocking my ability to locate my child
I was previously subscribed to VZ FamilyBase and loved the service & app. Recently VZ changed it to Smart Family, without notifying me of the change. The new base Smart Family is the same service & features of the old FamilyBase, but now they offer a premium service, for double the price, that allows tracking/locating capabilities. The problem I’m having is that after my child’s phone reaches the time restrictions for use, I’m no longer able to locate my child’s iPhone with the native Apple IOS features, unless it has a WiFi signal. This didn’t use to be the case with the old FamilyBase. Before, I could locate my child even after time restrictions started. I can’t help but feel Verizon intentionally did this to force people to subscribe to their premium service. This is a huge safety issue with me, & now I will be looking for another parental control app that doesn’t disable my native IOS features. Shame on you Verizon for putting kids at risk to make a few bucks.
No. Verizon Smart Family™ does not seem very safe to us. This is based on our NLP (Natural language processing) analysis of over 19,798 User Reviews sourced from the Appstore and the appstore cumulative rating of 4.2/5 . Justuseapp Safety Score for Verizon Smart Family™ Is 12.9/100.
No. Verizon Smart Family™ does not seem legit based on our analysis. This conclusion was arrived at by running over 19,798 Verizon Smart Family™ User Reviews through our NLP machine learning process to determine if users believe the app is legitimate or not. Based on this, Justuseapp Legitimacy Score for Verizon Smart Family™ Is 12.9/100.
Verizon Smart Family™ works most of the time. If it is not working for you, we recommend you excersise some patience and retry later or Contact Support.
By Christina Leydig
May 24 2021
In consistentAlways bed to fix connection
By Terri Lawrence
May 13 2021
My kids are turning off smart family -so whats the point of paying for it-
By Cindy Backstein
Apr 30 2021
Our whole family uses Life360, however, on the child phone, when the internet is restricted (like during school hours or at night) my child's Life360 is not working and showing his location and he cannot see our location. How do we fix this and allow Life360 to work 24/7?
By Scott Smith
Apr 26 2021
Usless. Any kid with half a brain and an iphone can simply turn off vpn in settings and use the internet and parents are none the wiser. It is worse than useless as it gives a totally false sense of security
By Tammy hall
Jan 21 2021
There's an issue the location isn't updating it reads 3 hours ago . I know they have moved but stating the last location its not updating at all. 10.00 a month for this.
By Jamie Palmer
Nov 03 2020
I can't log into my smart family. It keeps saying my id username or password is incorrect. I have tried tapping forgot password but it want do anything.
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