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Arlo Ultra 2 - customer experience not good, worse yet is Arlo Tech Support

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martincc
Luminary
Luminary

I acquired a new two-camera Ultra 2 camera and Base Station set. My plan was to upgrade my existing outdoor older Pro 3 cameras, then bump my Pro 3s down to take over duty of two Pro 2's. It should have been easy to upgrade the Pro 3's since (per Arlo website) they share AC adapters and other components with the Ultra 2's. However, I have become very frustrated, specifically because:

 

1. both these Ultra 2's only seem to charge from the one provided Arlo indoor AC adapter; it is impractical to have to keep bringing them in to charge one at a time.

 

The big problem is these Ultra 2's absolutely will not charge from both my Arlo Outdoor AC adapters (Arlo VAM5600C-100NAS Power Supply & Magnetic Cable, overpriced at $50 ea.)  that have happily been charging Pro 3's - these are the same PN Arlo recommends for the Ultra/Ultra 2. Neither Ultra 2 will charge from the Arlo Outdoor AC adapters.

 

The existing adapters and contacts are clean, they interchange and work with Pro 3's, but not the Ultra 2's. I even swapped shells - still no difference. The VAM5600C-100NAS are not charging my Ultra 2's.

 

2. I decided to upgrade my Smart Base Station (VMB4540) with the newer Ultra 2 set one (VMB5000 NA), guessing newer is better? While the new Base Station easily registered the two Ultra 2 cameras, it will not pair (auto or manually pairing) with any of my Pro 3's; I need at least one of these to cover another area. Should the Base Station be able to pair with the two Ultra 2's and one (or more) Pro 3's?

 

3. Arlo instructions I have found do not help with these two issues.

 

4. Years ago I almost developed PTSD dealing with Arlo Tech Support; that was part of the reason I've avoided buying any new Arlo gear. Today it is even worse getting hold of anyone at Arlo Tech Support - completely frustrating, even with the phone number they direct you to call. Yesterday I telephoned Arlo Tech Support, got onto the queue and was on hold for over an hour, gave up. Today after 1 hour 20 minutes on hold, I gave up. Later I found another phone number to try, when their robot answers it wants the Order Number from the Arlo online store - having no Order Number the robot hung up on me.

 

Arlo has about the worst rated customer service out there - just check every forum out there, plus Better Business Bureau, etc.

 

I am stuck in the middle - I had Arlo system with 3 base stations and 13 cameras. Since then I disconnected 1 working Base Station, reconnected the several cameras to cover what I could. It will be a pain in the butt to have to change back to what I had, but the new system is not working right either. Can you offer any advice, or some way to reach Arlo (an order number to refer to)?.

 

Frustrated, Martin

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martincc
Luminary
Luminary

Well, several days after this journey began I have a final report with some conclusions:

 

1. My new Arlo Ultra 2 cameras are working, and charging as they should from the Arlo outdoor charger.

 

2. Arlo Tech Support can be difficult to find. But once they are contacted, through some 'express' phone number that bypasses all kinds of answering system prompts, one can obtain constructive assistance from a real person.

 

3. Arlo could do better with provided (and on-line) documentation to include more advanced trouble-shooting suggestions. Two of the problems I first encountered were remedied by resetting my cameras (one at a time), but not with information that was readily available.

 

For example, the problem of these cameras not charging from the Arlo-branded outdoor chargers was solved by: a. remove the camera from the Base Station - delete the camera, b. reset the camera (with the black reset button pressed in for about 15 secs), c. remove the battery from the camera, d. after about 20 secs. reinstall the battery into the camera, e. connect the camera/battery set to the provided Arlo AC indoor charger, f. let the battery charge FOR AT LEAST 2 hours, g. then on the Arlo app select "Add Device" to add the charged/reset camera to the desired Base Station.

 

The camera charging status icon may indicate only that the battery is charged, but in time (overnight for example) this will switch over to the green 'charging' icon.

 

M

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martincc
Luminary
Luminary

Progress report regarding my original posting from yesterday.

 

1. This morning I found a third phone number for Arlo Tech Support. I telephoned and was pleasantly surprised my call was immediately answered by a technical assistant, based in India: there was no seemingly endless 'push this' or 'push that' or long wait to reach him. He was polite, and most importantly he was competent to help with what could be solved.

 

So now one of my concerns mentioned in the prior post about accessing Tech Support is remedied; it is possible to obtain helpful tech support, just don't rely on what Arlo posts online for those phone numbers.

 

2. My next concern was remedied. He remotely accessed my Arlo Base Stations and cameras, with his guidance we were able to get the new Smart Base Station (VMB5000 NA) to pair with one of my Pro 3 cameras. This Base Station will likely pair to other cameras too.

 

3. I had to leave the call, and so we did not have time to deal with the concern about charging my two outdoor Ultra 2 cameras with the Arlo Outdoor AC Chargers (VAM5600C-100NAS) that were installed to charge the prior Arlo Pro 3 cameras. I will call later, and update this post accordingly.

 

4. Weirdly enough, one of the two outdoor Ultra 2 cameras, both within about 35 feet of the indoor Smart Base Station, is now showing very poor signal. Will need to work on that too and will update this posting.

 

Martin

martincc
Luminary
Luminary

Well, several days after this journey began I have a final report with some conclusions:

 

1. My new Arlo Ultra 2 cameras are working, and charging as they should from the Arlo outdoor charger.

 

2. Arlo Tech Support can be difficult to find. But once they are contacted, through some 'express' phone number that bypasses all kinds of answering system prompts, one can obtain constructive assistance from a real person.

 

3. Arlo could do better with provided (and on-line) documentation to include more advanced trouble-shooting suggestions. Two of the problems I first encountered were remedied by resetting my cameras (one at a time), but not with information that was readily available.

 

For example, the problem of these cameras not charging from the Arlo-branded outdoor chargers was solved by: a. remove the camera from the Base Station - delete the camera, b. reset the camera (with the black reset button pressed in for about 15 secs), c. remove the battery from the camera, d. after about 20 secs. reinstall the battery into the camera, e. connect the camera/battery set to the provided Arlo AC indoor charger, f. let the battery charge FOR AT LEAST 2 hours, g. then on the Arlo app select "Add Device" to add the charged/reset camera to the desired Base Station.

 

The camera charging status icon may indicate only that the battery is charged, but in time (overnight for example) this will switch over to the green 'charging' icon.

 

M

Uggh
Initiate
Initiate

Martin,

 

Why is the "third" phone number not listed on your post?  Please enlighten the rest of us or tell us where you found something useful.

 

I need to contact them, so far it's been pathetic and I wished I'd known this before purchase.

 

Pam

jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

The ONLY phone number is accessed via the app by selecting Settings, Support (Center) and then your camera model. If you have a subscription (required), scroll down to the Contact section for the number.

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@jguerdat wrote:

The ONLY phone number is accessed via the app by selecting Settings, Support (Center) and then your camera model. If you have a subscription (required), scroll down to the Contact section for the number.


Googling for a phone number almost always leads to a scam support site.

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