Canary, a connected home security camera company, announced changes to its free service last week that went into effect on Tuesday. Under the new terms, non-paying users will no longer be able to freely access night mode on their cameras nor will they be able to record video for later viewing.
On top of that, all the videos they previously recorded for free will be converted into 10-second clips called “video previews.” Essentially, important features are being taken away from users unless they’re willing to pay $ 9.99 a month. People aren’t happy about it, and they’re airing their grievances on Twitter.
@canary why are you removing free features from you cameras and adding them to the paid for plans, screwing over your customers is poor…
— Aaron Moorcroft (@AaronMoorcroft) October 4, 2017
@canary you took away night mode and home recording from the free subscription rendering my camera a paperweight, that’s bad business.
— Salvador Andrade (@MrAndradeHere) October 4, 2017
@canary nothing more frustrating then you continuing to change your memberships & not allowing night mode free of charge.
— Heather Caldera (@heatherglamour) October 4, 2017
There are a lot of complaints. The company has responded to a few by pointing people to its updated FAQ page.
Canary has indeed updated both that FAQ page above and its membership page to reflect the new free policy, but it still advertises night vision on its Canary and Canary Flex product pages without acknowledging that users will have to pay to see at night. (Those are the company’s only cameras.)
The Verge has reached out to Canary for comment, but we can only assume the company realized it needs more people to sign up for its memberships because it needs to make money. That makes sense as far as a monetization tactic, but it doesn’t work in execution. Users who bought the devices under the pretense of free recording and night vision aren’t grandfathered in, so they don’t get to keep the features they’re used to having. That’s a bummer.
Now, Canary offers all-day live viewing and those 10-second video previews for 24 hours. People will also be notified if there’s motion in their house. However, if they miss that alert, they’ll only be able to see the 10 seconds after the commotion started. Other companies, like Logitech, offer free 24-hour video storage along with motion detection and night vision. Cameras from Nest, on the other hand, don’t offer any free storage and are really only good for live viewing. Motion detection and clips also aren’t free, but night vision is. The company offers a service called Nest Aware for $ 10 a month or $ 100 a year that gives users access to their video history for either 10 or 30 days. So while Canary isn’t the worst as far as features offered, it also isn’t the best, and taking features away is never something users appreciate.
The whole situation is slightly ironic because Adam Sager, Canary’s CEO, told us last year: “We’re going up against Netgear, and D-Link, and Google, so if we’re gonna win it’s gonna be on being a more human-centered company and having the biggest fanbase. We’re not gonna outspend you on billboards. We’re gonna out-think you and out-deliver on experience.”
Let’s block ads! (Why?)