Re: RMA Process - My first experience and feedback
I recently installed my (5-camera) Arlo Ultra system less than a week ago. Install and setup was relatively easy; I was happy I didn't have to run a ton of low-voltage wire drops.
However, I did have my first experience with 'Arlo Customer Support' yesterday to help troubleshoot one of the Ultra cameras and was not impressed or satisfied with the support I received.
The camera would not activate Siren, nor would the Speaker output any sound. I tried to self-service and troubleshoot as much as I could prior to calling: restarted the SmartHub, removed/re-added the camera, removed the battery from the camera, re-synced, made sure all the firmware was up-to-date (camera and smart hub), removed/re-installed the App on my Note9, accessed Arlo from my phone desktop with the same results (no siren, no speaker on that one camera). I even read through numerous Arlo Community posts/feedback to find a resolution.
Finally, I resorted to calling Arlo Support as I was out of options and ideas. The phone call lasted nearly 1.5 hours - to troubleshoot ONE camera. The person I spoke with was obviously just reading through the scripts/steps to troubleshoot, but it was SO scripted and monotonous to listen to, and perform the same steps as I had already done, go near the hub, go outside, test other cameras, back inside, restart the hub, turn off my mobile data, blah blah blah.
After an hour of doing all the tests (he wanted to do more troubleshooting) I was fed up and simply asked if I can have the camera replaced - it is less than a week old and obviously a manufacturer defect. He said he would need to contact another dept. to get approval for the replacement. After another 10 minutes on hold, he said he was still waiting to hear back from the other dept. but agreed that an RMA would be the best resolution. He gave me my (3) RMA replacement options:
1. I ship the defective camera back to them (7-10 business days) and they will send a replacement once the defective camera was received (another 7-10 days to receive the replacement).
2. They ship the replacement camera via Ground (7-10 days) and I would send back the defective camera, once I receive the replacement. This option would cost me $16+ out of pocket
3. They ship the replacement camera via Next Day (1-2 days) and I would send back the defective camera, once I receive the replacement. This option would cost me $32+ out of pocket
I expressed my disagreement with any of these options, and shared that my initial impression and experience with Arlo (thus far) has not been great. I said I do not want to pay ANYTHING to have a defective product replace by Arlo, nor do I want to be without a camera in that area for up to 2 weeks while waiting on a replacement. The rep said he was able to waive the Ground shipping charges and would process the replacement camera - to which I agreed and thanked him for that offer. He confirmed my shipping information and provided the RMA number - he also let me know I would be receiving an email to finalize the RMA process - which I did receive this morning.
But wait - there's more!!! The saga continues...
I open the RMA Confirmation email I received and noted the replacement model they approved is not the same as the Arlo Ultra (VMC5040) camera I purchased with my kit. It seems they are trying to send me an Arlo Pro 2? (VMC4031P) instead, which was never discussed or approved during my call.
Also, I thought it was interesting that Arlo provides phone number(s) to contact hem with any questions or concerns about the RMA process before agreeing, however the phone number 1-888-ARLO is incomplete and the other phone number listed is non-working (1-833-210-9396). They can't even keep their website updated with correct contact info. but we are expected to trust them with our Private and Personal video files???
Here I am, 35 minutes into ANOTHER customer service call, on hold, waiting for the rep to determine why they are trying to send me a different Arlo camera than what was originally purchased. I am very dissatisfied with this company so far, and may just end up returning everything and cancelling my subscription.
I had sent you a reply to your Private Message (3/25 @ 1:06 pm) to let you know that I had been in contact with Customer Service again to resolve the RMA issue. Well, I thought the issue had been resolved with that call, but it has not.
Just to keep things transparent (mainly for all other Arlo users), here is the reply that I had sent to you on the 25th:
Here we are (12) BUSINESS days since my last call, and I have received zero updates from Arlo Customer Service regarding the replacement camera, nor have I received any shipping information or tracking numbers.
I guess I was being too hasty with my reply (to you) saying it was "resolved", but I wanted to wait the full 10 Business Days to see if the camera would magically show up. It has not.
I am guessing I will need to call back (again) and sit on the phone for another hour or longer to get this handled?
The longer I own this Arlo system, the less-likely I am to keep it or recommend it to anyone else. Truly disappointing....
Please send me a private message with the information you have on your RMA along with your support case number and I will escalate this case further.