Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras|NETGEAR
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Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

After a long awaited purchase I was happy to have finally added Arlo to my “smart home”. Shortly after setup, I am beyond frustrated with my Arlo Ultra. The issues lie within the geofencing/modes, activity zones and notifications. Now that I look at it, with just about everything important for a home security camera system in today’s smart home market. I will expand on each in just a moment. Before moving forward, I am no expert but I have solid experience with Smartthings, IFTTT, Z-wave, Nest, etc. And yes, I have restarted my hub, excluded my cameras and rebooted everything. Why? Because in addition to the issues below, my system would not get beyond “getting status”. The reboot fixed the later but left me faced with the issued below. Geofencing worked for about a day. I was successful in setting it up to switch to “schedule” mode once outside of the “fence”. Then, nada. It would not switch and thereby left the system unarmed. My Smartthings Hub reads my presence so I know it’s not my phone (S9+). Essentially, it was useless. By the way, setting the schedule is a PITA! Those who have done it and tried to wrap around to the next day know what I mean. The start and stop times conflict with one another. PITA! Back to the modes. When I do remember to set the mode to “armed”, the activity zone renders one camera almost useless because it drains the battery. Here's the skinny. I spent quite a bit of time setting the action zone for my driveway and adjusting the sensitivity. I selected “person” and “vehicle” for my driveway. Despite significantly reducing the activity zone to only include about half of my driveway, I get an overwhelming number of false detections—kind of. Every vehicle traveling down the street and every person walking down the sidewalk triggers the camera. The areas I am referring to are more than 20 feet away from the end of my activity zone and 40 feet from the camera. Frustrating. This is true not just because it’s recording unnecessarily, but more importantly, it’s killing battery life. Lastly, I get NO notifications! I did, but now I do not. Yup, rechecked all of the settings, etc. Nada. Why did I pay $600 for a two camera system that doesn’t function as it should? Good question. My Nest products have been flawless—Aware, Hello, Thermostats. I opted for the Arlo because it offered wireless capabilities. I think I will be returning the system, running power and replacing with Nest.

Message 1 of 14

Accepted Solutions
Community Manager

Re: Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

This week we deployed an update on our cloud server to improve geofencing reliability when multiple users are enabled. With this update, when one mobile device exits the geofencing zone, the Arlo Base Station or Arlo SmartHub now detects and sets the geofencing state based on the location of the additional/second mobile device on your Arlo Account.

 

We previously mentioned we would be sharing a survey in order to collect more detailed information around the use of our geofencing feature. The information gathered in this survey will help our team to enhance and optimize the geofencing feature for a wider variety of unique user environments. We would sincerely appreciate it if you would participate in the survey by clicking on the link below:

 

Arlo Geofencing Survey

 

We are grateful your continued patience as our team works to optimize this feature for all users and your feedback is always welcome. Our team will continue to provides updates in the Arlo Community when we have additional information to share.

 

Thank you,

Arlo Team

 

Note: We will provide updated information here as it becomes available. Marking solved to float the latest information to the top of the thread.

Message 11 of 14

All Replies
Community Manager

Re: Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

Buckrub71,

 

I'd like to offer some assistance with the issues you're are experiencing. Due to the number of areas you're having trouble with, I will reach out to you in a private message to find out more detail on each one.

 

JamesC

Message 2 of 14
Aspirant

Re: Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

You are not alone,

I have quite a bit of experience with POE cameras and purchased this new Arlo product to situate cameras where it was not practical to run cable, also based on there succesful Arlo Pro 2 series I gave them a chance.

Big mistake, I have been dealing with online support about the exact same issues as yourself I have done everything they suggest even to the point of opening ports on my router, lost count of how many times I have power cycled the system and reconfigured the account.

It was my mistake I usually research a product but unfortunately based it on word of mouth from friends with Arlo Pro 2.

Another issue you did not mention was battery life which is a big problem I have tested this extensively and stated battery life is misleading.

Good concept Arlo and the features that do work are good for a wireless camera although not possible to compare with wired cameras, I will always spend that little extra to install POE cameras where possible.

Clearly this product was not ready for the market probably rushed through to appease shareholders anyway if they don't solve these problems soon I will be forced to return the product and post extensive reviews outside this community.

Model: VMS5440 | Arlo Ultra 4 Camera Kit
Message 3 of 14
Community Manager

Re: Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

Drewybot,

 

There is a lot mentioned in this post, I will reach out to you in a private message to try and understand some the individual issues you're experiencing.

 

JamesC

Message 4 of 14
Tutor

Ultra Pink Hue--returning camera process (DO NOT PAY RETURN SHIPPING)

Hey folks. The jury is still out on this system.  I want to share my replacement experiences but first I will recap my inital issues and outcomes.

 

In a previous post I shared my frustration with modes, geofencing, notifications and activity zones.  I'm running the latest version of everything on an S9+. They have gotten better but still are not perfect. It does seem that Arlo is working on these but still has a way to go. Please note, when posting in this community, I received a response from an Arlo rep that a private message would be sent to offer assistance. Truth be told, it was more about information gathering--which I understand. However, ultimately, no real help was offered but rather more questions were posed and I was told to contact support. 

 

Pink hue...yup, half of the view on one of my cameras turned pink (see attached). It seems this has been an issue for older versions of the camera as well. After digging thru all of those forums, I followed all suggested fixes for the other versions--ho help. I contacted customer service via phone. After jumping thru countless hoops, it was determined the camera needed to be replaced. If you need to talk with them, be prepared to follow the prescribed flowsheet.  Answer all demographic questions, retrieve camera, remove the battery, replace the battery, remove the camera from the system, reinstall the camera near hub, provide model number of router and provider, conduct upload and download speeds, etc., etc. No luck! It took 32 minutes start to finish which was not awful. An RMA was approved. Following the link they sent via email I learned I would be repsonsible for shipping costs back to Arlo and would have to first send it back and then would have a replacement shipped. However, for even more money I could have them ship me a camera and return label and then send my camera back. Uh, nope. I'm not going to pay for something defective that I just spent $600 on. I would return it first.

 

I called again. To be fair, the rep I spoke with was helpful, put me on hold and returned with a fix. They would send me a replacement and shipping label free of charge. DO NOT ACCEPT shipping fees for their defects! Make this clear on your first call to save time. Good luck with your system! 

Model: VMS5240 | Arlo Ultra 2 Camera Kit
Message 5 of 14
Initiate

Re: Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

Please also contact me. I am getting incessant notifications while at home within the geofence. About to rip my cameras out.
Message 6 of 14
Aspirant

Re: Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

I also have issues with Arlo not recognizing that I'm in the home mode, even though when I open the geofencing settings, it clearly sees me inside the geofence zone. What I have found is that if I turn of geofencing (set base station to "Disarm") and then turn geofencing back on, Arlo suddenly recognizes me at "home". This is a temporary fix, because as soon as you leave the home zone and it arms, and then return, geofencing stays armed and you get tons of notifications as you pass your cameras. And while this fix does work, it completely defeats the purpose of having geofencing, which is supposed to automatically arm and disarm your system for you.

This was an old problem a few months back, too. And it seemed like they fixed it, but judging by the quality and agility of their development in the past, my guess is that recent OS updates threw the app for a loop again - Arlo can't keep up with OS software updates.

This type of quality and support is pretty typical of the last 4 years that I've been a reluctant customer, and I also share all your regrets of investing in this system. Until Arlo can overhaul the foundation of their engineering practices, and establish quality from the ground up, we'll just have to endure perpetual ad hoc patches and temporary fixes. Or just count all this investment as sunk cost and start over...
Message 7 of 14
Apprentice

Re: Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

Arlo geofencing (on iOS) is a cluster-yuck.  I have the same issues and have to constantly disarm and then turn geofencing back on for the app to recognize correctly who (out of my wife and I) is at home.

Model: VMS5140 | Arlo Ultra 1 Camera Kit
Message 8 of 14
Community Manager

Re: Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

A fix was released for the Geofencing feature late last week. Try using Geofencing again to see if it is behaving as expected.

 

You can find more information on this here: https://status.arlo.com/

 

JamesC

Message 9 of 14
Aspirant

Re: Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

Hi @JamesC,

 

Thanks for responding! My wife and I both updated our apps, and the geofencing issue persists. Whenever we both leave the geofence, when either one or both of us comes back, geofencing does not reset to Home mode. Looks like the bug is still there.

 

 

Message 10 of 14
Community Manager

Re: Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

This week we deployed an update on our cloud server to improve geofencing reliability when multiple users are enabled. With this update, when one mobile device exits the geofencing zone, the Arlo Base Station or Arlo SmartHub now detects and sets the geofencing state based on the location of the additional/second mobile device on your Arlo Account.

 

We previously mentioned we would be sharing a survey in order to collect more detailed information around the use of our geofencing feature. The information gathered in this survey will help our team to enhance and optimize the geofencing feature for a wider variety of unique user environments. We would sincerely appreciate it if you would participate in the survey by clicking on the link below:

 

Arlo Geofencing Survey

 

We are grateful your continued patience as our team works to optimize this feature for all users and your feedback is always welcome. Our team will continue to provides updates in the Arlo Community when we have additional information to share.

 

Thank you,

Arlo Team

 

Note: We will provide updated information here as it becomes available. Marking solved to float the latest information to the top of the thread.

Message 11 of 14
Aspirant

Re: Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

Hi James,

 

Re the activity zones and the common remedies, such as rebooting, removin devices etc, I must say I have the exact same issue as previously reported in this thread. I, too, am very frustrated with this:

 

When I do remember to set the mode to “armed”, the activity zone renders one camera almost useless because it drains the battery. Here's the skinny. I spent quite a bit of time setting the action zone for my driveway and adjusting the sensitivity. I selected “person” and “vehicle” for my driveway. Despite significantly reducing the activity zone to only include about half of my driveway, I get an overwhelming number of false detections—kind of. Every vehicle traveling down the street and every person walking down the sidewalk triggers the camera. The areas I am referring to are more than 20 feet away from the end of my activity zone and 40 feet from the camera. Frustrating. This is true not just because it’s recording unnecessarily, but more importantly, it’s killing battery life. Lastly, I get NO notifications! I did, but now I do not. Yup, rechecked all of the settings, etc.

 

Why does my camer have to go off at everything that is far outside the activity zone. Renders the camera system almost useless. And the worst is that this is a premium feature (Activity Zones via battery power) that you want users to pay for. This is really ironic.

After two weeks of exploring, I am really considering returning this...

Model: VMS5340 | Arlo Ultra 3 Camera Kit
Message 12 of 14
Aspirant

Re: Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

I feel your pain. I purchased my unit back in May and because of my neighborhood, I didn’t install until 2 days ago (was waiting for the third party vendor to sell the theftproof mount; you’d figure Arlo would make these beforehand).

After installing and testing everything out, I’ve concluded this was not the best purchase. The bad thing is that I can’t return it anymore; 30 day return policy.

In addition to the frustrations you’ve shared, I also have the Arlo base going on and offline. The cameras aren’t recording what needs to be recorded.

Model: VMS5440 | Arlo Ultra 4 Camera Kit
Message 13 of 14

Re: Frustrated with Geofencing, Modes, Activity Zones & Notifications

Arlo ultra has had issues with activity zones for months. It detects everything outside of zones and just kills the battery and this defeats the purpose of activity zones in the first place. It’s terrible and to much money for a system not to work as advertised.... don’t recommend to anyone at this point....
Model: VMS5240 | Arlo Ultra 2 Camera Kit
Message 14 of 14