Support and pricing feedback

tl;dr: I think there is a flaw in the current support and pricing structure that hurts companies like us and is a missed revenue opportunity for Particle.

Wanna give some feedback for the Particle team on support and pricing.


  1. I love Particle. Y’all do amazing stuff, and it’s a joy to build things with your products.

  2. We are a studio ( that works in the biomedical field, so we’re not a typical user. For the most part, we do very complex stuff at small scale during the prototype phase, and then when we scale up it’s probably not to the 100,000+ devices but to the 1,000+ devices. So we have a different business model than many IoT players.

  3. We occasionally do IoTish project, and for that the support and pricing structure works fine.

  4. We do very innovative stuff at the very early stage, so we have a very high failure rate. So we have to be very parsimonious during early development to keep our “dead deal” costs low.

  5. We are committed to using Particle on a number of our products, and I don’t see that changing.

  6. When we start a project, we will go a long time in the Prototype tier. We may only build a handful of devices, and as we do changes to our devices - which happens very frequently - the particles don’t change. So we may only have 5-10 devices at a time, and while we do a TON of new device iterations, we still use only 5-10 particles. This is because much of the iteration is on non-particle issues: mechanical, electrical, chemistry, optics, fluidics, etc.


We have been working on a particular project, with 8 or 9 functional devices working great. Then, for some unknown reason, all of these devices, spread across two locations, went offline all within minutes of each other. They all simply blink green, and don’t connect to the cloud. This basically blocks our team from working with the devices, which rely on cloud connectivity to do certain critical functions.

This kind of thing doesn’t rock our world all that much - part of the fun of working with early-stage innovation is solving the problem that pops out of nowhere. We tried a number of things - reflashing, update system firmware, etc. - before we reached out to Particle.

I went on the Particle Console, where we monitor our devices, and clicked on Support, and asked for help. The next day, I got a response that said I was not in the right place, this was just Console support and I needed a different support group. Jonathan - the console support dude - was thoughtful and helpful, and forwarded my issue on to

(NB: Keep in mind that this was the first time in >36 months of using Particle products that I needed help beyond what I could get from the docs or community. That’s a pretty strong positive for Particle.)

Having now realized I went to the wrong place, I went to and opened a ticket. (During this time period, of course, my team of 5 is basically blocked - so while we have some amazing and colorful graffiti on the lab whiteboard, we haven’t really moved the ball on company objectives).

That was Friday at 2:23pm CT. Now, it appears it could be days before this gets resolved. (And, remind you, the loyal reader, these devices were doing just fine, and then dropped for no apparent reason. I’m sure that it was something we did, not a Particle problem, because it doesn’t appear to be a system-wide failure, but I don’t even know what it is or how to fix it until I can communicate with someone at Particle.) The first guaranteed response tier is Rollout, and we are still stuck back in Prototype because we only have a few devices. And that tier only guarantees a 1 day response, so I’m figuring it could be days.

And, yes, we work on weekends, so we are losing lot of time. (The timing was especially bad because we had one of our semi-annual investor days at our studio yesterday, so all of our devices were non-functional as our investors dropped by. Sigh.)


By tying support levels and response time to the number of devices, groups like us are forced to sit idle while we wait for someone to get back to us. We would be willing to pay for support, but there doesn’t appear to be any way for us to do that. Yes, I could bump up to the Rollout phase, but paying $250/mo for stand-by support that we rarely use seems a little pricey for just support (after all, this higher tier also include more devices, more data, etc., not just more support). We really do try to solve problems ourselves before bugging support people.

Still, I’d happily pay a per-ticket support charge for guaranteed turnaround on a critical item. I’m pretty confident that once a tech support person actually looks at our case, it could be resolved in minutes.

One possibility might be for me to pay for an expediting fee for a ticket. Maybe something like $75 for 1-day turnaround and $250 for 4-hour turnaround (sort of mirroring the Pilot and Rollout monthly fees, but just for one ticket - which also creates a nice incentive for heavy support users to commit to higher tiers). Just a thought.

Without such a pricing mechanism, there is no way to distinguish between folks like us who need the quick turnaround and folks who are happy to wait a few days for free support.

Anyway, thanks for reading. And I do hope to hear back from someone at Particle soon ;-).






Particle has built a killer platform with a great community to support it in my opinion also :smiley:

I would say that usually, the guys you want help from are accessible via this forum so if you have questions usually most stuff will get resolved within 24 hours of your post.

I totally understand and agree with everything you said, though.

In my opinion, you don’t need to pay for the support your desiring; you just need to post your issues on this form with as much detail as possible.


Hi @leo3linbeck , I’ve escalated this issue and someone should follow up soon. Your two tickets were received and I’ve asked the support engineers to get on this asap. Please note that we don’t require our support team to work on weekends. Although we have an awesome and dedicated support team, a lot of product creators on Particle means that sometimes it can take us a business day or two to respond. :smile: :bow:

We always want to provide an excellent support experience, and we’re sorry that this is not what you’ve received so far. Posting on the community can be a great alternative too, where other knowledgable members and elites can help unblock you quickly (I see you’re already getting help on your other thread, and want to thank our elite team for jumping on!).

With respect to your comments on different support and pricing options, those are some great thoughts and very appreciated! Per-ticket paid support is not something we currently offer, but its something we definitely will consider. That being said, we do offer engineering support, code/hardware reviews, etc, on a time & materials basis, where a trusted engineer can sit with your team to review your firmware and hardware designs.

We also offer premium support packages for Enterprise contracts; if that’s something of interest, our sales team can make that happen. (I should have mentioned that in my previous DM to you). In effect, the public price tiers are for our ‘self-service’ customers, and enterprise contracts offer the ability to assemble a package of options on a more custom basis, along with a minimum device commitment, if that would work for you.

But in any case, thank you for your patience and for the thoughtful feedback! We’ll help you as soon as we can.



Thanks! I’ve actually been around these here parts for >3 years, but a warm welcome is always appreciated.

I think the issue here is that there are some things that are still (appropriately) controlled only from the Particle side of the world. If this is, as I have surmised, a billing/account related issue, the awesome group on this forum can’t really help.

Conceptually, the focus on my post was on handling corner cases. I think the basic Particle offerings work well for the average use case. But it’s the outlier - folks like us - where a separate approach can create a win-win.

That being said, I appreciate that it would add complexity to the system, so the juice is not necessarily worth the squeeze, which is why it was offered only as a suggestion. I don’t have enough information to know whether my suggestion is worth it’s weight in gold, or a bag of bat guano.




Thanks for the thoughtful response. I certainly understand and respect the weekend issue - I just got finished inspecting the car-washing job done by my 9yo. (It was not to spec, BTW… :smile:)

I don’t want to blow this whole deal out of proportion - these are “normal” unknown unknowns we are used to dealing with on our side. And we really do try to be self-sufficient.

One other thought, however, for y’all to consider. Most of the issues we have faced with our Particles (and yes, we go back a ways - the first functional prototype of this particular system was built on Cores!) have workarounds or at least haven’t brought us to a full stop on development. I escalated this issue largely because it represents the first real full-blocking problem we’ve faced (which, again, is a testament to the great engineering job y’all have done).

Those deep “systemic” process issues can sometimes be canaries in the coal mine. In principle, a robust system should be able to route around trouble. When that is not possible, it’s worthy of discussion. It may still not be worth dealing with (we can’t be engineering systems for 9-sigma events like SMOD), but it should at least prompt a conversation.

If, for instance, this is an issue related to a billing problem, there should be a way to resume service by changing a credit card. Or a way to deactivate a SIM and then reactivate on a different account. Or a way to create a notification email that goes to some persistent, superuser-esque account that let’s someone know that their devices have gone offline (since sometimes separate accounts are needed for different projects). Or delete a project and re-create it from scratch. Or someway to do a re-registration of an Electron to get a fresh start. (I’ve tried these, and none of them work or even appear to be possible currently.)

I’m not sure any of these are good solutions, because I don’t really know the shape of your entire use map. But I just wanted to highlight that it appears that there is no way that I or any non-Particle person can fix this problem.

Again, thanks so much, and have a great weekend! Cheers,


@leo3linbeck likewise, thanks for the insightful suggestions! Improvements like these would add flexibility and transparency, and put more troubleshooting power into the hands of users. Some of your ideas are already in our pipeline, and others are excellent potential additions. I’m pinging our product manager @jeiden so he that can see these suggestions and follow up with any comments or questions he may have.