Arlo makes live customer service a luxury option

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of the-basic-skill-is-extra department

The endless pursuit of quarterly yield improvements means that things that technically shouldn’t be luxury options inevitably end up being just that. We’ve shown how a basic expectation of privacy is increasingly seen as a luxury option by hardware manufacturers and telecoms. The same also sometimes happens with customer service; at least when companies think they can get away with it.

Arlo, for example, has announced a number of new, not particularly impressive, subscription levels for its internet-connected video cameras. The changes effectively involve forcing users to pay more money each month if they want to speak to a live customer service representative. From Stacey Higginbotham:

“This week, Arlo launched what I generously consider its incentive to pay for customer service for its smart home camera products. As of October 4, non-subscription customers who have had their devices for more than 90 days do not no longer have access to phone support. And after a year, they no longer have access to live chat support. ”

If you don’t pay Arlo more money for real customer service, you’re relegated to concocting support solutions from company forums, an automated website chat bot, or whatever. . Considering the cost of Arlo products, the decision to tell a real human being about a monthly supplement of $ 3 to $ 15 is pretty ludicrous:

The Arlo Customer Support Framework now requires an Arlo subscription of $ 2.99 to $ 14.99 per month, a free trial plan, or the device must be available within 90 days of purchase for telephone support. Then you’re downgraded to chat support for the rest of the year.

After that, in the absence of a plan, Arlo customers with issues will only have access to a virtual assistant or public forums. This means no phone support and no chat. That sounds pretty punitive for a product that can cost anywhere from $ 130 to $ 300 depending on the device. ”

Even the US telecom giants, the poster children of atrocious US customer service, haven’t really sought to make live customer support a premium option (although they have tinkered around by innately providing worse support. people with low credit scores). Arlo’s choice comes amid higher shipping costs and supply chain issues during COVID, but the decision to try and recoup those higher costs by making basic skill a luxury level will come back probably bite him in an IOT space that is only getting more competitive.

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Filed Under: customer support, home security, iot, subscription fees
Companies: arlo


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