Like Arlo before it, August Home is responding to a cavalcade of negative consumer reviews of its brand-new August View Doorbell Camera by temporarily stopping shipment until it can resolve the complaints.
If you bought one and act before midnight on May 3, you can get a refund without obligation to return the product. There is one catch, however; you’ll need to commit to provide feedback to August to help them “improve the experience.”
We were in the midst of testing the new doorbell camera for an upcoming review and experienced some of the same issues that users have cited on Amazon and on August’s own site. The professional reviews published so far have not been all that negative—an average score of about three out of five stars—with the most common criticisms being the length of time it takes for the live stream to start, so you can see the visitor on your porch. That was our experience as well, but we also encountered spotty Wi-Fi connectivity and laggy transitions from the camera’s battery-saving sleep mode to its active mode upon motion detection.
A post on the company’s blog explains the company’s damage-control effort:
“We recently began shipping the August View, our first battery-powered doorbell camera. While we remain excited to bring this product to more customers, we are aware of some performance challenges in specific user environments. When you purchase an August product, you trust us with the most important parts of your life: your home and your family. We value your trust greatly and it is our top priority. In order to fully evaluate the user feedback, implement critical improvements, run further testing, and keep our commitment to you, we are pausing shipping of the August View.”
If you have purchased an August View Doorbell Camera and have activated it, you can apply for a refund by filling out a survey on August’s website. If you purchased the product directly from August, you’ll be refunded through whatever means was used for the original purchase. If you acquired the product from another source, you’ll receive the retail price of $229 credited to your PayPal account (so you’ll lose out on any taxes and shipping you might have paid).
But again, you don’t necessarily need to return the physical product—provided you act within the next seven days. If you haven’t activated the doorbell and/or do not wish to provide August with feedback about your ongoing experience with it, August says you should contact the retailer you purchased it from about initiating a return.
August says the August View Doorbell Camera “will be on sale again in the near future.” We’ll hold our own review of the product until that date or until August informs us the product is ready for review, whichever comes sooner.