Gaia x GTFO = Discounted GPS!

gaiagps

Arlo Cameras, a word of warning

 I've written before about some of the frustrations I have had with Arlo cameras.  After spending a while talking to tech support about the baby camera the conclusion was that I had a defective unit that had issues they had never experienced before.  By that time I had already returned the baby camera because being a first-time parent of a child who was several weeks premature I needed something that would work reliably and bought the Nanit instead.  It has worked flawlessly (expensive, but HSA/FSA eligible and worth the money for peace of mind).


Most of the issues with the security camera got worked out.  There are still periodic junk videos triggered by leaves/plants blowing in the wind, but I guess there's no real way to stop that.

The January "Limited Time Offer"

What's currently angering me, though, is the frequent, unavoidable full-screen ads to pay with PayPal that Arlo insists on serving up after logging into your account but before you have the chance to use live view or check your library.  This "limited time offer" has been intruding on the user interface since at least January 2021.  That was the first time I was annoyed enough to screenshot the ad.  Since then it's been about a monthly occurrence.  Always the same "limited time offer" to save 35% on Arlo Smart if using PayPal to pay.  

The March "Limited Time Offer"

Here's the thing though.  You can NOT stop these ads.  After having them pop in multiple times I finally called Arlo Tech support and after a long chat they told me how to turn off in-app promotions.  After making that change (which, by the way, was not an obvious or intuitive process or setting change), I though we were set.  That is, until the next day when I got the same ad.  Again.

The April "Limited Time Offer"

That was March 10.  Since then I hadn't encountered the ads again until this morning when I heard something outside my house and, having not received a motion alert, wanted to quickly check the live view to see what made that noise.  I opened the app and logged in with my fingerprint.  I was prepared to open the camera right away, and then instead of being able to have immediate access to my SECURITY CAMERA I was greeted with another "limited time offer" to pay using PayPal.  

I am almost without words to describe how infuriating it is to have ads in my security camera app that stand in the way of me and using my security camera.  Especially after spending about $500 on Arlo hardware, and also paying for a monthly Arlo Smart subscription.  When you've spent hundreds of dollars on any hardware and subscription there's no excuse for encountering ads in the first place.  Much less ads that cannot be disabled.  And much much less when that purchase is for a SECURITY device.

Sure, so far 99% of the time the Arlo cameras are used its when we're in the living room or backyard and are curious if the motion alert is from Amazon or USPS.  And most of the subjects that trigger video are us just going inside/outside.  But the precipitating reason we got security cameras is due to a neighbor with mental health issues who had behaved in some unsettling ways (including pounding on the door at 4am yelling incoherently and attacking his mother in her front yard next door).  So if we encounter that small fraction of instances where immediate access to recorded or live video and have to navigate through another pop up ad, and that causes even the slightest degree of increased risk or harm, I can imagine there will be plenty of attorneys ready to file a lawsuit against Arlo for negligence, etc.

These ads make me especially glad that I returned the Arlo Baby.  I would probably have thrown it away if we had been woken up by mid-night alert from the baby monitor and in a delirious rush to see if she was ok, opened the app to find a PayPal ad.

So far I've been on hold with Arlo for nearly 45 minutes this morning to try again to find a solution.  Long enough that I wrote this entire post in the time I've been holding.  I'm done being hopeful that they'll have a solution.  But I don't really know what else to do.  Switching to a different service isn't appealing since I'll have to invest in new devices and be left with expensive Arlo paperweights.  I guess Arlo knows they can do whatever they want to subscribers due to their sunk costs.  Maybe my credit card company can provide a solution.  I don't think I'll be following through with my previous plans to add on an Arlo doorbell and a couple more cameras, though.



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Gaia x GTFO = Discounted GPS!

gaiagps

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