Verizon Smart Family - Parent

4.2 (28K)
227.7 MB
Age rating
Current version
Verizon Wireless
Last update
4 weeks ago
Version OS
15.0 or later
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User Reviews for Verizon Smart Family - Parent

4.19 out of 5
28K Ratings
2 years ago, urboydanny
Customer support needed
I am not interested in getting automated suggestions. I’m old school and want to talk with a real person from Verizon. The parental controls is a great concept. I asked when at the Verizon store about this when I bought the phones and no one knew about this!! No one in the local store is educated with this app and they should be. I love being able to turn off internet and data of my teen but the sharing should NOT have to be agreed by my child’s phone. My teen won’t allow many things. The purpose of parental controls is to be able to see what they are doing. I’m paying the bills and the phone, why do I need his permission to have controls? Is there a way to do all set up without his permission such as location alerts?Thanks
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1 year ago, MommaMoo42
Issue with requests sending
Overall I’d say it’s an app. A little confusing, but generally functional which is just fine for an app that’s supposed to be functional. I’m not spending a lot of time messing around on it, so 🤷‍♀️. Where we have had repeated issues is with app requests. I have it set up so my kids have to request every app or App Store purchase they want, but we’re now a few weeks into yet another spell of those requests not making it to me. We’ve gone through this several times. We reboot all the phones, try checking all the settings on all the phones. I’m still getting notifications if they’re on during the night or school hours, just not their app requests. Then all of a sudden previous times, the requests will start coming through again and we won’t have a clue if some combination of the phones in question rebooting after running out of battery or just absolute randomness caused it. This wouldn’t be quite as big a deal if I could open the parent app and see a list of the requests to review. While I’m on the subject, my preference would be sorted, showing those pending approval, but also an option for seeing historical requests for maybe the past month whether approved or denied, in case of appeal etc.
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6 years ago, Snerbal
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!
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9 months ago, MPenafiel13
The worst app with zero help
This is the worst app! It’s not even an exaggeration. It’s not even counting the times it does allow me to log in. I have my log ins saved And for some reason every time I try to log in to change or monitor restrictions, it doesn’t let me log in. It all starts with imputing log in and password the app then tells me it’s wrong. So then I reset password I screens shot to make sure I’m not loosing my mind. Then I proceed to reenter the new password into the app!!!! Then you guessed it it’s wrong once again! Insane then it tells me my account is locked. So the app prompts me to unlock it through the Verizon app and this game starts all over again. Yes the app doesn’t work you will have better luck going through an third party app. Because after paying Verizon so much money and trusting they are providing you with equal amount of valued product, they are not they just want your money. And care less if we are paying extra for this specific service it’s insane. If you have no other option but to get your kid the phone because your locked in with Verizon due it but don’t get the kid line. Get a regular one and then get a 3 party app to help with parental controls for your kids. Or wait all together and look into bark for them. This is insigne I can’t even add or remove contact because I can’t log in.
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6 years ago, April Ye Tami enate
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 ( 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.
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6 years ago, No response from support
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!
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6 years ago, Dpatrick3296
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.
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5 years ago, Lisa5507
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.
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1 year ago, MarciniakFamily
Completely blocked my kids from making or receiving calls
I had the app for only 3 days and couldn’t get it off my kids phone quick enough. I wanted to limit their abilities to text or call during school hours, but realized that we (parents) couldn’t reach them if we needed to in an emergency. We set it for the hours of 7am-2pm, but the call restrictions some how went in place for 24/7. Spent 3hours on the phone w/Verizon just trying to get the call restrictions removed b/c when trying to change them on the app(and Verizon website), it would just state, “something went wrong, please try again”. After 3hours of Verizon trying to remove the restrictions, they told me it was a known issue and that someone would get back to me w/in 48-72 hours. Also said that “they think” 911 feature should still work if our kids needed to get a hold of someone in an emergency. When I asked how are we supposed to get a hold of the kids if we needed to in an emergency, they didn’t have an answer….. finally able to remove the app from all of our phones, then had to reboot all of the phones to finally be able to get the restrictions removed…. They easily could/should have told us that, but then they wouldn’t get their $4.99 monthly service charge.
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1 year ago, MmKr7185
Some issues
This app is great for GPS location including accuracy as well as call and text logging. Two major issues. When I go into the contacts tab on my 2nd line it doesn’t populate the majority of the time. It is extremely frustrating. I spent 45 minutes on a message chat with support who not only couldn’t figure it out, they just gave up. Abruptly I got a message saying “If there’s anything else I can help you with today…and then they disconnected the chat. A literal waste of my time and accomplished nothing. The second issue which could be more important to some people is the web browsing data logging. So it logs sites that were opened and sites running in the background. There is a bar at the bottom of each site that a red line runs across indicating the percentage of time they were on the app. If the bar is blank it was running in the background. It is highly inaccurate or misleading I’m not sure which. Ex. Porn site say xporn at 11 am has red indicator across to 11%. That should never go down in the same day. You can check at 2pm and it can literally be a blank bar. This happens daily. So at 11am I’m told that line has absolutely opened that porn site, at 2 pm it now says site was not opened at all. It is very untrustworthy
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4 years ago, Anon41703
Breaks Trust
You want your kids location? Ask them. Don’t expect them to tell you after you’ve installed this. (I speak for teenagers, I understand using this for children under 12). This app ruins communication between child and parent. I know you think you’re protecting them, I get it. But think about equipping them for bad situations rather than preventing bad from happening bc it WILL happen regardless of how much you hover. My parents hovered over us and you know where it got us? My sister was raped several times and I was assaulted, leaving me with PTSD. Is this what you’re trying to prevent? This app does NOT prevent that. Trusting your kid does! Trust them and they will trust and be open with you! You cannot expect your kid to tell you anything when you invade their privacy like this. Yes, THEIR privacy. They are your children, but they are not yours. These are their bodies, their lives, and their human rights that you’re violating. You may say that the world isn’t as safe as it used to be. I agree, it’s getting worse! PREPARE THEM FOR IT. Teach them to see red flags. Teach them to pick good relationships, but do NOT pick for them. Let them love who they want, boy, girl, or otherwise. Let my family be an example. Don’t repeat the mistakes we made. One star. App does what it says it does. Functions. Breaks trust.
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5 years ago, Helloreader2468
Many glitches
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).
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6 years ago, YRBT
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.
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4 years ago, loyalverizoncustomer
We researched options and this app had all the features we wanted to limit and monitor our child’s first phone. Would have been worth the monthly fee if it had worked well. Unfortunately, it was glitchy and attempts to re-pair it with my phone were usually unsuccessful. We would follow all of the prompts to pair it with my phone and get stuck in a glitch. Verizon tech support was unable to troubleshoot the pairing issue. Three representatives in one day were unsure how to resolve the issue. All were friendly but could not fix what seems to be a straightforward problem. Decided to stop using this app during the call with the third rep. Also, child received regular notifications from Verizon that their information was being shared with my phone which provided a link that would walk child through the steps to stop sharing. Child received first of these messages the day after the app was installed. Verizon assured me there would be no more. Child continued to receive them. Providing the child a means to stop sharing with the parent’s phone undermines the point of the app. The glitches make it too inconvenient to continue paying for a service that isn’t working. Really disappointed, Verizon.
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5 years ago, krissya238
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.
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5 years ago, Jetwife5
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.]
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3 months ago, MissMita
It WAS working well, but…😒
I downloaded the app in order to track what my son is doing in terms of activity. I call myself setting up restrictions during school hours and during nighttime hours, but I find him getting asked for a request for extending games when I know he’s at school! I’m checking to see if I have him set, and it shows I do. Yet I’m seeing activity going on. Maybe it’s during lunch and before class starting I thought, but no, it’s during odd times. Also, I was able to track him very well the first week or so, but now when I pull my son up, it’s just showing “approximate location”. THAT DOESNT TELL ME JACK! 😡 The Find my iPhone app works better than this, and I’ve been using this in the mornings to track his travels to school and home. Request a ride? Your child can basically just text you, to be honest. And then last night, I couldn’t call my son to check on him. I was able to call him before. I had to undo the restrictions to call him. This app has been really sporadic as of late. I’m doing the trial right now, but I’m seriously thinking about ditching this before I’m charged for it.
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4 years ago, The Echols Clan
Not worth the 4.99/mo fee!
I see reviews from a year ago and there’s still no fix to the problems stated. Come on Verizon!! For no more that what you offer, I can take her phone and find out for myself what you told me since you don’t offer more details. And to have to add this on my kid’s phone for it to work is asinine!! Figure it out how to do what the parents are asking for! Give me the option to dig further And bugs needs to be worked out! Hangs up all the time and won’t let you view precious days info. I do like the fact that I can see the websites, apps and phone calls/texts daily, but there’s no option to look further into what an app is or what she viewed from that website or what that site is exactly. Who’s number is that that keeps texting or calling? I want to go deeper and this is not possible. This is only with half the cost IMO! Parents of tweens that have a phone should be able to do more because they kids are still so young. The peer pressure today of all the kids having phones put intense pressure on our relationship. Earn good grades, get your phone on the weekends. I like the idea of the family share app, but this mom needs more so I can make sure my daughter is safe.
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6 years ago, Suzipen
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!
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3 years ago, jahdjjsjwjab
This is absolutely rude for kids privacy. As many of my friends have time restrictions and I used to have one, I absolutely hate this app. All it does is let parents spy on you constantly and doesn’t give any trust towards the kids. This is just an app psychotic parents or wifes apparently (first review) use to slyly watch what their kids are doing. Or what their husbands are doing. It’s absolutely terrible that you can’t just have a boundary with your kids and husband and have to do this. And you have to pay for it?? if you are really trying to figure out why you’re kids/husband don’t like telling the truth or do something rebellious just think that you are putting a spying app on their phone and breaking even more of a bond with them that you could so easily have. Just be honest with them and try to talk to them, it’s not that hard. Even if your kids lie sometimes. Think about what you did as a kid. Many, many people got married young, got pregnant at their age and did all sorts of drugs. If you kid is looking at social media. Who cares. They could so easily be going out and doing cocaine if they really wanted to. Just simply talk to them.
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3 years ago, KK6363
Verizon Kids Plan - Horrible Experience
I was so excited when I found out the Verizon came out with the kid plan. I purchased two phones for my kids in October. The app keeps crashing, location wouldn’t wok and was being charged $10 extra each month when it was suppose to come with the plan. I was on the phone with Verizon IT multiple times for hours which all they would do is have me uninstall and the reinstall the companion app and the smart family app every time. The kids could make calls for about a day and then it would start acting up again, I could never get the location services to work. I finally called and asked to switch plans for them since the phones won’t work on them and they wanted to charge me a fee for changing the plan and an additional $40/month for the new plans when I was already paying $55/month/phone for the kids plan. I am leaving Verizon over this. Verizon doesn’t care about their customers and refuses to fix their problems and makes their customers pay for their device/plan/app issues.
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6 years ago, HFBM-911
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.
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4 years ago, Savanagail
Incorrect reporting
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.
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5 years ago, Jmoore2019
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.
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2 years ago, Achak Claw
It’s OK, but severely lacking
So the app is okay, but there are many issues I have with it. First thing is the time restrictions. You have a time set to disallow Wi-Fi use which is fine, but it’s like just turning off everything together. You set a time from 12AM to 6AM, but then wifi goes off hours before it’s supposed to go off and then it causes problems, which just leads to turning off that restriction together. Another thing is how much people can get away with. It records some usage of apps, but not all of them. There are so many social media apps kids could get away with using and nobody else would have a clue what apps they would be using. And if they almost get caught? Uninstall it like nothing happened. Another thing I have a problem with is the filters. They’re OK, but not as good as other ones I’ve seen. It’s not the best, and there are a ton of things you could get away with. You can’t directly look at 18+ images on google if you have that filter on, but there are plenty of other ways to view them. Google Drive, embeds, Discord, Google Photos, Google whatever, any website that hosts them but not necessarily an adult site. And about texts. Yeah you can see who your kid texts, but you can’t see what they’re texting. It’s an OK app, but Verizon as being one of the biggest phone companies in the world, step up your game with your software. This is a Mediocre at best.
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1 year ago, Natasha555555
Not accurate
This app has never shown the correct location. When my son was home with me, it showed a different address that was near me. Same when he goes somewhere else and I know the address he is at but it shows a completely different address in that neighborhood. Also when we really needed to find my child, it was constantly changing locations from one to another and back and then some other locations as well within less than a minute and locations were a few miles apart and my child was on foot which was impossible for him to be at few different locations that are few miles apart within a minute. And it constantly sent me notifications when he was not using the phone as if he was using it. When he gets a call or makes a call, or sends a text or gets a text, it lets me know like 20-30 minutes later. Me giving it 2 stars is to much, cause this app needs a lot of improvement.
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3 years ago, It's Just Jane
Not Ideal for Teenagers
Update: Star rating remains the same. The help center was of no help. The main website was of no help either. We cancelled our subscription. See the end of this review for how we are solving this ourselves. /// We purchased this app to help with our daughter’s behavior. Trusted contacts are suppose to be available for calls & messages. When imposing a time restriction, she or I cannot text or communicate with each other. Phone calls don’t always go thru during restrictions as well. This is vital - if she is permitted to go somewhere, we give her the phone with restrictions to let us know if she needs us for anything or to check in with her. This is not possible unless the phone has no restrictions/time limits and does not provide the security we had hoped for. For the price of $5/month- we can keep her phone whenever she’s restricted & set up check ins & contacts while she’s away, and keep our money.
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6 years ago, Tim-concerned parent
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.
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4 years ago, fitnessmama1969
Are you kidding, no pun intended
I should’ve listened to the reviews. I’ve had the app for two days and for 9.99 a month, shows my child standing in a field a 1/2 a mile away when their in my house!?!?!? When my sons at work it shows him 2 miles away standing in a field where cows graze!?!?!?! I pay for these phones and they are mine, i will not download another app on his phone that he’s able to delete or should have to sync a phone for accuracy. As long as my child is living under my roof, they have no privacy so not sure why people think it’s a violation of the child’s privacy or trust. It’s about safety and being able to locate my son if he’s in an accident at the bottom of a hill, but it would take me hours to find him cause the tracking puts the phone within miles of where they actually are! Call me for future projects you begin Verizon, i’ll help you with concept modeling, process modeling, use cases, data flow diagrams and features that are out of scope....this app is out of scope and a complete failure.
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2 years ago, Massive bong hits
Location is great but that’s about it…
This is great if you need to know your kids location, however that’s about it. When you are alerted about objectionable content visited, all it gives you is the server web address, for example… I received a notification about objections content viewed. When I clicked on that link it gave me a unfound server. That does me no good. If you are thinking it will give you actual websites then you are wrong. I know the google play parental app does a lot better job of this compared to this app. When showing what apps are downloaded, nothing there as well. All it shows you is the server address in which the app was pulled from, nothing about what app it actually is. It’s does not show you text like other parental apps, does not show you really anything to be honest. I pay $10 a month for this app thinking it would do more but it has failed me. I am researching better parental apps for iPhones and then deleting this one.
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6 years ago, Fed up mother
The hole idea was for myself and myself alone to be in control of my children. I signed up for the app along time ago thought I deleted however I’ve been paying for it this hole time, so I decided seeing how I’m paying for it, to give each of my children a data cap, however it decided to make my oldest a parent, and no matter what I do, I even deleted him out of it. Then put him back in to once again be a parent. This is ridiculous, and he can go in and add more data, leaving us with out data 8 days into our 30 day period and we have 12GB as my daughter and I don’t even use 2 for the entire 30 days. It would be nice to have unlimited for only one line as we do not need it. I’ve been with Verizon before it even came to our area, as I was on my parent family Lins, and I will say that once upon a time Verizon was the best, I think that you need to get updated because your prices and family deals are way out dated from all other cell phone carriers, and your family app which is dreadful
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6 years ago, merak75
Some WiFi Issues
I signed up for this because I wanted to put some restrictions on my daughters phone. To use it fully you need to install the companion app on the child’s phone. What this does is install a vpn profile then the phone uses Verizon’s vpn. When this is enabled and the phone is using WiFi, internet is way too slow. Everything loads too slowly. When I disable WiFi and only use cellular it is fast (back to normal). Also if I keep WiFi on but disable vpn, internet speeds back up to normal. So there is an issue there and support was not helpful. Vpn is needed for content filtering, pausing internet. Also, time limits won’t fully work. You can set a time limit and cell data will turn off AND WiFi only if VPN is enabled. Also note, the child can disable vpn at any time to bypass which is ridiculous. I’m not too impressed. If WiFi wasn’t slow when vpn is enabled it would be a great tool.
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3 years ago, MN Pepster
Clunky at Best
Guessing the app development team doesn’t use the app themselves? If they did they would immediately understand the value of seeing the data limitations at the overall account level. As it’s been developed, you can only look person by person with lots and lots of extra clicks, and then doing math in your head to see how much data the family has used against their limit. Possibly this is the strategy to get customers off their old limited data plans into unlimited data plans? I downloaded & tried out this app a couple of years ago when we started the Smart Family program on Verizon, and quickly deleted the app because it was so terrible. I was hoping after a couple of years they would’ve figured out how to make this better. They did, but only marginally. Disappointing.
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4 years ago, teenagevictim
teenage victim
this app has ruined my life it’s terrible. Whenever my dad sees me on my phone shuts it off completely. I’m a teenager like let me live my life. I can’t text people and try to hang with people when my phone is shut off. I know that parents now did not have tracking apps and apps to shut off phones. Therefore, they should not do it to us. They would feel the same way if they were in any other teenage body that has this app or life 360. It’s miserable. I’m just trying to live my last 2 years of high school but it’s hard when my phone is shut off A LOT and when I have to the tracker on my car. I rarely get in trouble so I don’t know why they do this to me. If I’m at a location they don’t know they tell me to come and my friends have to drop me off at my house. In conclusion, parents if you are reading this review don’t make your child or childs get this app. They would be so much better without it. Thank you for coming to my ted talk.
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4 years ago, Anne-1971
Parents love to watch us suffer I guess.
First of all, I’m the kid in this situation. Yes, I know. You probably won’t listen to me because I’m “so young” and “don’t know anything”. But I really want you to listen to me. Another version of this app, which I assume is what is installed on the kid’s device, has reviews from other kids. There were kids begging for help. There were kids in college who had to deal with this. There were kids who didn’t trust their parents anymore, and kids who had abusive parents using these types of apps as tools. It hurt me to see all those people, too scared or too young to do anything about it. Please, don’t resort to this. I may be only twelve, but I can tell how truly distressed those kids were. Please, spare you and your kid’s relationship. And if you don’t want to do that, at least see those reviews from kids, some younger than nine, some older than nineteen. I wouldn’t wish those kid’s parents on my worst enemy! Please look at both sides of the story before you do anything drastic.
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5 years ago, this app needs improvements
Lot of guess work
I do know that I have the option of adding phone numbers to the Trusted Contact list so that my child device can communicate with those specific phone numbers during time restrictions and/or Paused Internet. I can see all my child's phone and text activity without the app so, Selectively "blocking" specific numbers and allowing "ALL" others would be a great trusted contact option instead of having the parent manually enter each every allowable contact (up to 20) because that is an annoying task for both the parent and child. It would be a great option to allow phone and text while at the same time only block internet WiFi and data access. There seems to be a lot of guess work associated with this app. Verizon informs me that their app is not “bulletproof “ from kids gaining access by means of altering their settings. I would think the cell provider Verizon would have the means to bulletproof at the source of connection and block accesses by remotely locking out the settings to enable connection when paired. Lastly, why doesn’t the app inform me immediately when the child phone is connected or not with some form of access indicator red/green? Only indication I receive is when the app fails to grant accesses during unrestricted times, when the kids immediately complain as my audible indicator. Annoying
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4 years ago, Quietstorm99991
A good way to ruin your relationship with your child/children
This app is basically life360 all over again. It’s just a dumb concept of saying “hey (name of child), I don’t trust you at all so, I’m going to spy on you and track and monitor on every little thing you do on your phone and not respect your privacy at all.” I understand about blocking inappropriate content but it’s still not going to do anything good for your child and makes him or her feel like that you don’t trust them and it’s more likely that you guys will end up arguing about this whole mess and it’s just a huge waste of time so don’t even bother with this app unless if you wanna cause problems with your children.
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6 years ago, Indianamom78
Not looking too good
I had high hopes for this service. I had read up on it before taking the plunge and getting my 13 year old his first phone. For one thing, I knew more about what it was supposed to be able to do than anyone in either of the two Verizon store I visited in getting it set up. In the 3 days we've had it set up we both now have trouble getting a message sent. It fails to deliver many times, and then sometimes it will go through. You just never know why or whether your message actually went through or not. The annoying part is there seems to be little help on the troubleshooting end. On the plus side, it's the only service I've been able to find that can turn a smart phone into a dumb phone and truly turn off the internet, even over Wi-Fi. Going to look more into Disney Circle if this doesn't get fixed.
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7 years ago, KarenRH
I thought the update was perfect until...
The recent update has made this app much more user friendly and actually enabled content filters for iOS, so I was thrilled! Until I checked into how easy it would be for the child to change it. Pretty easy. Just delete it from their phone. The developers need to make deletion tied to the RESTRICTIONS password, NOT the DEVICE PASSWORD. My kids know their device password!! So that little thing changed it from the app I've been looking for my whole life, to garbage in an instant. So disappointing. Side note: Verizon needs to make it so *each phone* gets separately throttled down to slower data when they hit their device's data limit. As it is, the data is just cut off, making it impossible to locate your teens, making iMessage really unpredictable. Throttled data is what would happen to every phone on our plan if I did not put a data limit on anyone and we hit our collective limit. So why not do it to individual phones?
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5 years ago, Mommakat0913
Loses my sons gps location everyday
Everyday I get a message that it can not locate my sons phone and I have to redo it on his device. So annoying. I have no clue why I am paying for this thing. Update: after submitting feedback to the developer about this issue, they accused my child of deleting the app. This isn’t possible as he was no where near it and he would have no reason to delete. Then when I insisted this wasn’t the issue, they told me to set up some kind of monitoring thing with a timer. So I did this and told them two times that it happened. They responded by telling me that I needed to set up the monitoring timer thing again on his phone. Their tech team is lacking, I would rather have them say they don’t have an answer and are working on it than accuse my son of things and then repeat instructions to me. I don’t feel as if they care and I plan on using a whole different app. Verizon is a joke as well as this app. Will be switching.
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5 years ago, No more swann for me
Love the idea- app worked great for first three days. My kid’s location quit working( way off) even when she was right next to me- since having the app, parent phone barely works- ( no changes to phone during)sluggish- lucky if I get a page to load outside of home wifi on LTE- phone service spotty where use to work good- am considering dropping- not worth the extra $$ for non functional phones and app. Have rebooted, reloaded, logged on/off etc- still junk- NOT HAPPY Verizon!!! TOO, why is, what was a perfectly operational phone, now draining battery and barely works? Please fix or I will be dropping you soon. Why did I need to upgrade to unlimited for data that never loads anymore? Why did it work great for three days and then stop?? The only change was the addition of this app-/— def not worth the cost if I can get free apps that do the same for free- I trusted you, because in my area, you guys always rocked service- but this is a big fail for me🙁
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3 months ago, Help me please123
Needs revision
*UPDATE* THIS ISSUE HAS NOT BEEN RESOLVED!!!!! I still do not get notifications when the vpn is turned off or the app has been deleted. Also this app could use a overall redesign that has parents in mind instead of the kids. I’ve contemplated switching to another monitoring app that has better controls and no work around. Not being able to control the vpn toggle is a HUGE problem. What’s the point of having the VPN on my kids phone when they are able to turn it off which then allows them to by pass the things I have blocked. This is a SERIOUS issue. Especially when I as the parent don’t get notifications that it’s been turned off. I use to but since the update I don’t anymore. PLEASE fix this to make the VPN toggle password protected or something! I pay too much money each month for this app for it to have work around.
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1 year ago, mary e bowd
Waste of money
I just got the app and purchased the $9.99 a month add on. I have installed the “companion app on my daughters phone, it will not even open up to do anything. When it “opens” it states “Not Active. Paint this phone from the Verizon smart family parent app for content filters and improved location accuracy.” When I open my parent app it only shows me and my number, I have attempted to add a family member to add my daughters phone, but every time it says something went wrong and will not allow me to add her. It also wants to put all the limitations on me, and contact her when I reach those limits, I have double checked everything and I am showing as the parent. It will not allow me to assign her as the child, or put the restrictions on her as far as internet limitations, web browsing, ect… only allows me to do phone time for calls. Guess I will have to go to a store for them to Toledo me they have no clue.
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3 years ago, Gbbmtb
Don’t waste your money!!!
You are supposed to be able to see the phone number of the call/text but sadly this is not the case. Since early summer we have had to monitor our phones very closely for certain phone numbers. On several occasions we noticed that all the phone calls and texts were not coming up or being logged. So we started writing down times, dates and the numbers. Glad we did bc 2 or 3 calls/text out of 8 would be logged in the app. I would even wait for a couple days to see if it had updated and logged the call/text and it never did. I have called Verizon and emailed a screen shot of call/text time stamped so they could see it was never logged on their app. I was told that someone would get in touch me about this and they would have the app fixed ASAP!! I have yet to speak to someone. Our problem started back last summer. And it is still doing this. I guess I’m hoping for it to work properly some day.
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5 years ago, MominSac
Used to work
I have had a smart family plan through Verizon for a while now, and the app was working pretty well. However, it seems to have been updated and now it is a problem. Through this app, I set a new time restriction for my kids yesterday in the morning, and the restriction worked blocking use of their phones when needed. However, when I went to modify it midday, it didn’t show up in the app or even online in my Verizon account. So, I had no way to modify that specific restriction and cellular use on their phones was blocked. It was incredibly frustrating and the second time this has happened in a week. I had to wipe all restrictions from the phones in order to clear out the “hidden” restriction, and then reset up school hours and bedtime, etc. on multiple phones. Please fix this and I’ll give it a five.
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3 years ago, Hoser90
Limiting phones
This app worked regarding seeing the activity on my sons phone. The limitations for school hours and night time however was a disaster. I set my son’s phone to be a brick while he should be sleeping, minus my number of course for emergencies, however it was all over the place. The limitation schedule did not work. It would limit the phone early (by hours sometimes and at weird minute marks) and then not turn off in the morning. I deleted and added new schedules, deleted and reinstalled the app and had no success. My recommendation is if a parents want to see activity and phone numbers being contacted then this is a great app. Full control including turning off data, WiFi, and messaging during certain hours, just take the phone away. It’s a little disappointing.
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8 months ago, LMcFadin
It was great …until it wasn’t.
It was such a relief to finally have an app to utilize that wasn’t a total bust…or so I thought. I’m now still paying for the smart family higher membership in hopes that SOON an update will be coming out to deal with the buggy app. Unfortunately after every device link/connection vanished from my family account minus my own - THE ADULT line that’s only being used to monitor and on attempts at reconnecting the app becomes unresponsive, never successfully relinking any devices but sending messages to everyone saying they’re “part of smart family” with a link to follow that leads you down the same cycle of madness until you decide to quit. Please fix this so I don’t have to throw out another promising app for parents gone to crap. 👌🏽
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4 years ago, TheToeJoe
Missed the boat.
So many problems. I set this up while I had Verizon on the phone. One of the first screens it asks me to select the lines and name them to participate. But it doesn't say what role they play. I ask person on phone. It's clear they don't know. My wife ends up as a child on the plan and it wouldn't let me change her role. Then my young adult children still on my plan are getting text and emails about setting up there phone and I start getting emails about their usage and text that their phones aren't set up. I don't want to see what they are doing. All I want to be able to do is turn my 17 year olds phone into a brick temporarily when he gets out of line. It's all or nothing. You can't choose. I immediate canceled the plan and uninstalled the app but now I get emails on everyone's usage including my wife's and adult children and it won't stop. I don't see a way to make it stop. Yet ANOTHER long call to tech support is in my future. Ugh!
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5 years ago, Shouldcookmore
We have the app free as part of the Just for Kids plan. Unhappy with the app and very unhappy with the Just for Kids program. They are tangled together enough that I’m not sure which is causing more problems, but both are being removed from our account. She is unable to make outgoing calls to people not on her list... She is not supposed to be able to get texts from people not on her list, but half the time it lets her. Other times it blocks it. She tried to send a text to a person on her list and received a message from Verizon that the account holder (me) had restricted her from texting due to time. No such restrictions exist! I never set them, I don’t want them, I can’t find them, so I definitely can’t remove them! The level of restriction created with these two programs may work for a family with very young children, but not for anyone over the age of ten. If they can work out the numerous glitches! Very disappointed!
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2 years ago, struggling single momma
Great idea but truly useless in reality
The whole reason I got my child the phone, plan and installed this app is to help keep my child safe. To have a more accurate up to date way of keeping track of their location and exposure online but this app is just about worthless. They refuse to offer accurate location services because the notifications on my child’s phone are not on. All other settings are on and active but they can’t make noise on my child’s phone. Like there is any logical reason Verizon smart family app would need to send notifications or contact my underage child. Sometimes my kid forgets to silence their phone and any notifications to their device could have a negative impact on them. It’s doesn’t make any sense at all. These forced notifications are unnecessary and putting children at greater risk 😡
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