Re: sporadic no Arlo smart notifications or recordings in library starting December 26 - case #4135
I purchased 2 Arlo Ultra cameras with the base unit and have had them a couple of weeks. We are trying them out and had planned to purchase 5 more if they worked good. Our cameras are not recording at least 20 percent of the time and possibly 50 percent of the time. We left the house yesterday and I went out the back door first before leaving. The backporch camera didn't record. Then went to the garage, backed out and drove down the county road right in front of our house and the front camera didn't record. Both cameras recorded later when we returned home. We also noticed our US mail carrier pull up out front. The camera recorded her stop in front of the house then quit recording as she walked out and placed a box on our front porch. It only began recording as she drove away, missing her getting out the vehicle walking to the front door, getting back in the vehicle, turning the vehicle around... it only began as she drove away in the opposite direction. I want to return my cameras but I purchased them from Amazon. They are within the return period however I have thrown all the packaging away as I didn't realize the cameras were not recording everything..which makes them useless and they are extremely expensive.
There are still problems out there in Arlo world. I bought the three camera system for Xmas and we unboxed everything and did the setup in our spare bedroom last weekend. With the cameras sitting on the table they seemed to be working ok at first. We didn't do much other than run thru the setup instructions from the app.
Today, 1/10/2020, we started to mount the cameras outside. After hooking up the first camera (and the solar charging panel) on the front of the house, my son and I started testing it out. I'm glad we did so before mounting the other cameras as we had problems with slow response time and recordings very slow to show in the library (or not showing up at all) among other things. Even the cameras that were sitting on the table near the base were having the same issues. Tried resetting, rebooting, reinstalling things but all to no avail. The cameras would pick up motion and presumably were recording and might even send a notification to my phone but would take a while to do so and even longer for it to show in the library if at all.
Looked up some troubleshooting ideas online but nothing useful came of that, so I called the support number. Described everything that was going on to someone named Mark and everything seemed okay from an installation standpoint. Good location, strong WiFi signal, etc. We were running on the 2.4 GHz band from are relatively new Arris modem/router and Mark said we might try running the cameras on the 5.0 GHz band. He gave us a case number (41389104) and my son and I started over from scratch (again), this time setting up the camera system on the 5.0 GHz network.
It made no difference what so ever.
The cameras all pick up motion and activate and record (most of the time, I think) but notifications are delayed at least 10-15 seconds and sometimes up to a minute or more. And recordings may not show up in the library at all or, in most cases, not for 10-15 minutes or more. We fooled around with the settings for an hour or so then gave up.
I spent the last couple hours online here looking for guidance but am becoming disheartened in my search as it looks like these Ultra cameras are some seriously glitchy creatures. Unless a miraculous cure reveals itself overnight I'm thinking I might just return everything and try a different brand. I'm very disappointed.
Myself I think some of the issues are cloud related. Last Feb. notifications came faster and video was there without the delay. How long I pay for cloud service will depend on that delay changing.
Just when I was beginning to think Arlo fixed their **bleep**.
My problem was supposed to have been escalated to Level 3 but I haven't heard anything from them.
Dissatisfied and disappointed
There are so many configurations people are using I wonder if sometimes that leads to an issue. My drive cams seem to sometimes have more like when someone pulls in fast. My driveway is 600 feet long and sometimes people drive as if they are still on the freeway. Someone coming down my drive all the way to the backdoor cam will trigger 4 cams. Drive entrance, front right of house, side drive and back door. It seems that can cause one or two to sometimes not trigger, or trigger a snapshot but no recording. One thing that experimenting has shown. Because these don't seem to ever record till motion stops, I had all set to 45 sec. record and there was always an issue with one at least. Put those 4 of my 7 back to record till motion stops and there are much fewer issues except that even if only one or two are triggered then you have the not recording until motion stops issue.
I gave up. I fooled around with settings and whatnot for a couple more hours this morning but nothing helped. i'm boxing the stuff up now and returning them. Good luck to everyone with their Arlo Ultra cams. On to the next brand!
Just providing an update:
I concur with others that things have vastly improved recently w/r to reliability. As an indication, videos on my SDCard are generally matching those in the cloud library. In fact things improved decisively between 3rd and 4th January for me (Australian time). There's been no ultra camera or base station firmware updates since mid December and I've made no changes to my network (I wasn't even home for the week leading up to the 3rd). So that puts the cause squarely on internet path and/or cloud so it's time for Arlo to 'fess up and tell us what's going on.
I've suggested it before and I'll suggest it again: Arlo should include details of backend server/cloud updates in the updates forum. It would give us users a bit of insight and your developers a bit of accountability.
Below is a video count of SDCard vs Cloud/Library for this month. Interestingly (and I've seen it before), lately there's slightly more videos in the library than the SDcard. I have no idea why but possibly due to write speed of BaseStation/SDCard when multiple videos are happening at the same time.
Date SDC Library
20200112 12 12 to time of SDC removal
20200111 28 30
20200110 64 64
20200109 148 149
20200108 80 81
20200107 44 44
20200106 37 37
20200105 60 60
20200104 74 74
20200103 61 50
20200102 64 52
20200101 38 21
Also note that I do NOT have zones activated so AFAIK, videos on SDCard should equal those in library. The possible exception might be smart notifications where I've got 2 cameras to not alert on animals but a cursory look at the 1st indicates there's library videos missing from cameras that should alert for everything including animals.
Arlo, please, can you get your act together? You have a potentially great product but these recurring major issues undermine confidence and drive people away. It's not a great look.
I truly believe they should offer free cloud service, like that for Arlo Pro/Pro2, or at least compensate for whoever is paying for their cloud service as they fail to reliably deliver. Sporadic failure to record and notify, delayed notifications to name a few, plus hit and miss smart notifications, at least in my experience (I seem to receive a roughly equal number of false alarms as that of missed alarms - I only set to receive notifications for 'people'). They should only charge for service once they have improved the reliability of their service. No way I'm paying $15/m after the free year if their service stays the same as now.
And as others have said, the lack of responses/updates from Arlo on this forum (and for some people, to their support tickets) is astonishingly poor service for such premium products. If I had read this before not sure I would have still bought their products!
The development team is still investigating these reports. I do not have any new information to share at the moment but as soon as I know more, I will post an update here.
My case was supposed to have been elevated to level 3 support but I haven't heard from anyone.
Does anyone at Arlo actually care enough to actually communicate with their customers?
If I were to bet, I’d say that they either don’t have enough bandwidth on their datacentre link for all the footage uploads or not enough compute resources allocated to their smart notification platform and they simply timeout. Probably why they changed the pricing model to try and keep their profit margins high while getting more system resources.
@JamesC Thanks for the update but it's a tad inadequate and is a prime example of just what is infuriating about arlo. I know you are one of the customer facing spokespersons and probably not involved in the backend development and troubleshooting but if that's all the tech's are telling you, perhaps suggest to them that your customers want a bit more than to be told arlo is still "investigating" after 3 weeks.
Seriously, your tech's should be a bit more open with what is going on. With more informed users, you might just get some helpful information from some of your users, some of who just might have a few tech/networking/cloud/development skills themselves. We're all arlo users with a vested interest in getting it working well. We can be helpful. 😃
It would be instructive to know more info on what they have looked at, changed or are still looking at. Something has obviously changed in the back end w/r to bandwidth, capacity or application around the end of December to break this and something around early Jan to vastly improve it for *some* users (myself included) but there's no notifications either way.
Please, more open communication, and get some testing, quality control and reversion plans in place real soon.
Just my 2c worth.
I can add two today. Two days in a row I had a camera trigger with a great snapshot and then immediately go to a dim black and white video. Even going to live view produced the same result. Yesterday pulled the battery and put it back and it worked until today. Same thing but removing the battery didn't fix it this time, had to remove device and re install to fix it. This was in the middle of the day so that one is a camera not a cloud issue. Also, even on the SD card had two 0 sec videos so a snapshot really and two 2 sec videos. there was activity the entire time cleaning snow from car windows. Yeah their working on it but they need to understand that we shouldn't have to work on it every day until they get it right. They are pumping out new cams, floodlights, doorbells, as someone else said fix the damn **bleep** that is already out there, or nobody is going to keep buying it anyway.