I you use pods, then you have to leave all hub settings set to the defaults. If smart devices don't work with the default settings (and whilst not universally the case, it is reported with some regularity here) then you need to accept that is the state of things, or you can invest in your own mesh wifi setup. Lots of people object to the idea of spending around £120 on their own mesh system, but the full list of options are only these:
1) Split wifi bands, accept pods don't work
2) Don't split wifi bands, have working pods but flakey smart devices
3) Buy your own mesh wifi system, run the hub in modem mode and remove VM's control of all aspects of your wifi
4) Change to an ISP who you know or hope offer a mesh wifi system that works with smart devices.
Option 5 of "VM to roll out a firmware update so their mesh-emulation allows for user changes, and supports all smart device setups" is simply not on the table - the whole point of the way VM implemented pods was to reduce the number of possible permutations, and they did to fit in with their bargain basement technical support.