August 9, 2016
One of the four cameras didn't work. I gave all the information proving I purchased the cameras, then went through a phone diagnostic testing with a tech. I was told that a replacement would be sent out, and got a confirmation email with the title "approved". Then 3 days later I got another email requesting proof of purchase, and stating that it would take 10-14 working days to complete the replacement process. After 15 working days, and several unanswered emails, I began calling. I spent a total of 1. 5 hours on 3 calls trying to get a supervisor. All customer servicing is outsourced, and the first contacts must have the thickest accents. This is not a judgment on outsourcing, but the fact is that I was unable to understand the first rep I got. This is a problem, but the savings for the company must exceed whatever measure of frustration it results in. Asking politely for a supervisor several times turned into a series of demands to speak to a supervisor because the rep began making up excuses for the delay, and changing the start date of the 10-14 day replacement period to imply that they still had time. It took most of the day, but I finally got a supervisor who said that a system was down for a week, which caused a week delay in all shipments. Wait, did no other rep know about this week-long major system failure? I think this may have been another excuse. So what we have here is a company that may or may not have a good product, has a tech dept that was able to diagnose the problem over the phone (good), but has a terrible customer service department. How is it that a company with the reputation and background of FLIR has such a poor customer service dept?
They look good, and they mount easily (if you know what you're any kind of a handy man). The picture is satisfactory, but not what I was led to believe. They are no better than another brand of cameras I bought 10 years ago from Sams. The reception (number of bars) was also not as good as advertised. They recommend a minimum of 3 bars, or you can buy a signal amplifier.
Where do I start? 188 pages of "What the hell does that mean?". I believe in instruction manuals, and read them on everything I buy...until now. It's taking me forever to get through even the simplest tasks. There is a way to copy a section of recorded time to a jump drive, then transfer it to your computer. But after 5 hours of trying to figure out how to do it, that's as far as I got. I'm no IT wizz, but am guessing that it can't be emailed because the file is too large.
You can hook up a monitor to watch either 1 or 4 cameras (you know...if all 4 worked when they arrived), but if you want to change screens after, say 5 minutes, you'll have to use the provided mouse to re-type your password by clicking on the letters. Really? And good luck trying to figure out how to extend that password time-out from the manual.
App to view remotely:
Hallelujah, something good. It works great. It's actually easier to navigate than the DVR.
Had I gotten 4 WORKING cameras, I'd still be frustrated with the user-UNfriendly DVR. But I can figure it out eventually. What I have no control over is the terribly unacceptable customer service wait time, and their inability to handle a return. The cameras are just average, but they're wireless (signal, they still need to a source of power...and that's a challenge with any camera), and that's a big plus. The have a holiday discount, so wait for one of those sales.
If I knew that the customer service was such a miserable experience, I'd have found something else. Who knows though. Maybe these are the best available, and maybe every other company has the same customer service problems. But it's like they made every effort to make the DVR difficult to master.
And also remember that I'm giving this rating after a day of frustration with their customer service. If I waited till tomorrow, I might have given them another star.
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