Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Amazon Echo Arlo Skill needs help.

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Apprentice
Apprentice

Given the combined 75% negative ratings on Amazon for the Arlo Skill problems, could one of the Devs comment on what they are doing to address the problems?  With 64% giving the Skill a "1 star" rating and 11% giving it "2 stars", that is a problem for Netgear that can impact Arlo sales.  I too am seeing very poor reliability with the Arlo Skill for the Echo Show.  It works so little of the time, that giving the Skill a "1 star" rating would be generous.  I like the Arlo Pro 2 product and my Amazon Echo products.  They just don't work together very well.

Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
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Community Manager
Community Manager

GimmeCoffee,

 

The development team has been investigating these reports. What camera are you using specifically with your Echo show? What behavior are you experiencing?

 

JamesC

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Apprentice
Apprentice

I shared in my original post that I'm using the Arlo 2 Pro products.  What I'm seeing is very similar to what many over on Amazon are reporting with the Arlo Skill.  I would suggest that someone from the Arlo team review those reports on Amazon of the same issues.  From a customer perspective, I'm not finding where the Arlo team is engaging the Skill issues and that does concern me. 

 

Here is what I wrote regarding the Arlo Skill in the reviews of it on the Amazon site:

Very intermittent and buggy skill for the Echo Show and Arlo Pro 2 product. On average, half the time you ask Alexa to display a given Arlo camera, it is not found. You can immediately ask for another camera and it won't be found. Then go to yet a 3rd camera and it is found. Then go back to the first two cameras and they are now "found". My internet is very solid and very high speed. Also am running a higher-end Netgear Router.  Sometimes the Echo Show will find the camera and just sit there stuck waiting to display the camera's feed (for ever, or as long as you are willing to wait).

 

I have been using Smart Home devices for a long time, so this isn't my first dance.  It is pretty easy to see that the Arlo Skill is not performing very well with the Amazon Echo Show product.  A 75% overall negative rating (1&2 Stars) should be telling the folks at Netgear that they have serious problems with the Skill's performance that many are seeing.  I have no idea whether it is an Amazon, Netgear or both problem since we have two different companies trying to work togther. But, I also really don't care...it just needs to be addressed for the good of Arlo customers.

Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
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Apprentice
Apprentice

Another thing that I've noticed using the Echo Show with these Arlo cameras.  If you give Alexa a command to show a given camera (which displays OK the first time) and then (while viewing the first camera's feed on-screen) give Alexa a command to show another camera, Alexa will say "OK", but will often hang with a statement on-screen that says "Waiting on Arlo".  But, if you tell Alexa to "go home" in between having her display a different Arlo camera, it appears to work OK.  It seems that Alexa does better when told to "go home" (stopping the Arlo stream) before you command her to show another camera location.

Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
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Apprentice
Apprentice

Is this forum monitored and responded to by Netgear/Arlo employees, or is it only member-to-member support?  I just need to know so that I'm not expecting someone from Netgear Support to respond to an issue if they don't actively participate here.

Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
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Apprentice
Apprentice

Well, the old saying of "hearing crickets" to a support response certainly applies to Netgear for this particular Skill problem (whether here or over at the Amazon review site for this Skill).  I got an email a few days ago from the "Netgear Community" asking if my question in this thread was answered.  I tried responding to that email to say "no it wasn't", but the email address came back as defunct which I took as not monitored.  Nowhere in that email did it say "do not reply" or "not monitored".  All I can say is that this company has a lot to learn about proper customer communications and support for the customer. Having been a long-term Netgear Router customer, I was expecting better of them.  Unless the recent spin-off of the company makes a difference, I'd predict that they have a "going out of business strategy" for Arlo.

 

I can't recommend this product to friends and family unless the person was not interested in post-sale support.  The company is not engaging customers on the Arlo Skill issues and that is pretty pathetic support for a product that is one of the most expensive solutions on the market.  Wish I'd looked into the support issues before investing in the Arlo products.  If the company is alseep to customer reported issues like the Arlo Skill for Alexa, it had better be a zero-defect product which this one isn't.

Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
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Community Manager
Community Manager

GimmeCoffee,

 

I apologize for the delayed response. The engineering team is investigating the reports of users having difficulties with the Arlo - Alexa integration. I don't have any new information at this time but will provide an update as soon as I know more.

 

JamesC

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Apprentice
Apprentice

No problems with you James since it appears that your role here is more of a Forum participant (go-between) for Netgear.  I do appreciate that the issue is known to the Devs. 

 

I imagine the engineers should be well aware by now from the Amazon reviews that still pile up in the 1-star rating almost daily.  I'm guessing that the Skill is owned by Netgear and shared by Amazon, so in common logic the buck stops with Netgear on the Skill.  I have more money invested in Netgear Routers and Switches than these home cameras and was expecting better of them for this product. 

 

I've always been a person that was willing to "pay for quality", but that also includes having excellent post-sale support as a component.  The two together are why I have supported some companies for over  35yrs with repeat business.  Unfortunately, that kind of company has become largely a thing of the past, but a few still know how to endear a relationship with the customer.

Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
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Apprentice
Apprentice

How long is it going to take to get any kind of reasonable answer about fixing this ongoing problem with the Arlo Skill?  I think Arlo should remove the Skill from Amazon's website and stop touting it as a "feature" for thier cameras if nobody can solve the ongoing problems with the Skill either not finding or not able to display through the Echo Show.

Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
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Star
Star
I’d like to see Arlo add their devices in Routines. Basically so my “goodnight” routine could arm my Arlo cameras. The device doesn’t show up anywhere but the default smart devices list but won’t go under any Routines. I know this isn’t part of the Echo Show problem, but it has to do with the Alexa skill..
Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
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Community Manager
Community Manager

The engineering team is currently working on a fix that should help resolve the issues reported in this discussion. We hope to have this fix available very soon. I will post an update as soon as I have more information.

 

JamesC

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Apprentice
Apprentice

Thanks for the update James.  The Netgear team should consider also posting this status over on the Amazon Arlo Skill site.  There are daily reports of these same issues from Arlo customers.  All they ever see is the same "canned response" (below) by whomever Netgear has answering the customer on this issue at Amazon.  I expect that many of those customers don't come here or would see your reply.  Some of those Amazon customers returned their Arlo products to Amazon for a refund because of these issues. 

 

So, it matters that Netgear is seen by that community at Amazon (and here) of at least acknowleging the problem (seen by hundreds) and also provide some actual status on what they are doing about it.  This is customer service 101 to proactively acknowledge and keep the customer informed when problems exist with a product.  Unfortunately, that thinking seems to be largely lost in today's world and the customer will take their purchases elsewhere because of it.

 

"Hello (customer name),
If you are still having trouble with the app please get in contact with us and we'll be happy to help you!
https://arlo.com/en-us/support/default.aspx
We are constantly striving to improve your experience and hope to hear back from you soon.
Regards,
NETGEAR Team"

Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
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Initiate
Initiate

Yes!!! Please add Arlo to Amazon Alexa's list of routines. I would love for Alexa to tell me when motion has been detected on my exterior cameras.