Arlo camera

Arlo is Taking Away Security Camera Features You Paid For

When I went to purchase my first home security cameras, the Arlo Q was a no-brainer because every reviewer noted that it offered seven days of free cloud storage rather than requiring you to sign up for a subscription. Arlo actually made a packaging advertisement for it.

But on January 1st, 2024, the company’s killing that feature for many Arlo cams — and reserving the right to eliminate all cloud functionality, including email alerts, push notifications, and other “bundled services or features,” for any camera that hasn’t been manufactured for four years.

Arlo’s delivering that news in the form of a new retroactive “End-Of-Life Policy” which you can read in full below, but the short version is this:

  • If you have an Arlo Gen 3 or Arlo Pro, there are no guarantees after April 1st, 2023
  • If you have an Arlo Baby, Arlo Pro 2, Arlo Q, Arlo Q+, Arlo Lights or Audio Doorbell, there are no guarantees after January 1st, 2024
  • Email notifications and E911 emergency calling are gone after April 1st, 2023
  • “Legacy Video Storage” with AWS S3 is gone after January 1st, 2024

According to redditors who received an email from Arlo (via 9to5Google) with the new policy, you can still “live stream video, receive motion notifications, and store video clips locally with a compatible Arlo base station.” But grammatically, it’s not clear if that means the base station is required for live streaming any video at all, or just for local storage.

I can appreciate and understand that a company might decide to stop supporting a product after a certain amount of time has passed. EOL policies and discontinuing support for products, like phones, after three to four years are both common. But these are products we install in our homes and anticipate staying there indefinitely; they are not smartphones that you replace that frequently. Once more, the feature was prominently promoted on the box: free 7-day cloud storage.

Do legal actions seem imminent? In 2018, Canary was sued for using bait-and-switch tactics when it started charging for services that were previously free. However, the lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed due to concerns about Canary’s ability to compel its customers to participate in binding arbitration. Additionally, Arlo has a policy on mandatory arbitration.

Owners of Amazon’s Cloud Cam, which also provided free 24-hour storage, at least received a free replacement device and a year of subscription service when it was discontinued. If there is enough backlash, the company might take that action.

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Source: theverge

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