That was THEIR original business plan and how they made a name for themselves! It’s on them, not the customer.
Before WYZE came along, Ring, Nest, and pretty much every other cloud based camera system charged a hefty price for the camera and then another $2 per device or $120 a year for “unlimited” devices. Then the scrappy startup from the Seattle area came along and said they were there to disrupt the market and show the world how overpriced those other guys were and how they were super smart and could not only sell a cheaper camera but also give away 12 seconds of free storage (5 min cool-down). There wasn’t even a paid storage option then!
Those of us who follow tech media were super skeptical from the start. It doesn’t take a fancy big city MBA to figure out that in order for a company to offer a $25 camera and lifetime free storage and not go bankrupt, at least one the following had to be true:
The whole thing is a Ponzi scheme and the company would just go out of business in a year or two or however long it would take for people to catch on that the new cameras are paying for the old cameras and they’d take the investor money and run.
The cameras are poorly built and would need replacing after a few months
It’s a bait and switch- entice people to come over, keep buying and being invested in the system, and then change the terms. That’s kind of what happened here.
The customer is the actual product- all the footage that is captured will be used to improve AI and they make their money off the knowledge they gained by that. I would respect that actually if they came out and said it.
They know that this business model is completely unsustainable and they are just trying to get a big enough userbase of cheapskates so that a Google, Amazon, or Apple just buys them out and then with the millions of dollars in their pockets, they can go around bragging about how they once had a startup that “changed the security camera market”…
They are completely incompetent in business and couldn’t build a simple graph that showed that at some point, the storage money overtakes the $25 people paid for the camera.
At any rate, none of that is the customer’s problem. The customer only has one job: Read the terms of the product they are purchasing and if they agree with it, pay the money for that. The customers did their part, already but now WYZE has come to change the terms and put the guilt trip on them while their fanboys come and call them freeloaders if they don’t pay. That’s the issue here.
From my point of view, I paid for a camera system that advertised 12 second recordings with built in person detection. I bought into that and paid for the cameras and even when person detection was taken away (details of why XNOR ended their agreement is irrelevant to the end user), bit my lip and didn’t sign up for free person detection online, but now with them coming out and making it seem like I’m getting something for nothing if I don’t pay is where I have the issue. And yes, I am labeled “freeloader” now, but from my point of view, I am not getting anything that they didn’t offer when I bought my first camera from them. I am a man of my words and am honoring what I signed up for.
I follow tech news as well, have for years. I was skeptical of Wyze, but in my opinion, they haven’t changed anything. They recognized their mistake in not taking into account increases in cloud storage cost and made a claim that ended up not being sustainable. They STILL offered those plans for free. And they are now still allowing people to not pay for these things. There’s no bait and switch there.
Yes, they made a switch in how those free services are offered, and gave people the option to pay whatever price they want - including free- but to do that they went to a subscription model. It literally took me 5 minutes max to go through the steps to enable the free option on cam plus lite. It ain’t that deep, to be honest.
And let’s be honest here, Wyze services, even the paid model, is cheaper than any other system I’ve come across from Ring and other competitors. I have ring products as well, I’m well aware of what competitors charge.
If you want to complain about having to take a little bit of time to switch to the subscription model and get the service for free, go right ahead. But you cannot say it’s a bait and switch when they’re still honoring free services.
This is all a shame to me, and I bought other items outside of the electronics as well.
But I also sold many of the cameras for Wyze, when they worked. Now fees. Most of the I things I bought I no longer use because of either battery life, disconnected when I really need them, or the worse, going to show someone or use them myself and I need to update (I know I can skip it, did it for years, but annoying to me and the person I’m showing). Fix the bugs…
The cloud was never my choice. I wanted MY CAMERAS to save to MY PERSONAL VIDEO to MY whatever (network drive or local drive). Now I have camera I can no longer use because of this cloud/marketing issue. Well maybe I can again, for now? If I did this over I would have never bought. My old system is still in place, many years, recording local, many software features. I am lucky there, I thought Wyze was bring it to the world.
The cloud was not a big deal 10 years ago either, and I will no longer go back to the days of rental software of the 90’s (subscriptions on something that is not reliable no less). Too many free or “openly” donatable programs. I am almost retired, I do not look to spend my last days handing out cash.
I feel I was cheated on a product. I misled family, friends and others. I bought because “it sounded too good to be true”.
Now I have to jump through hoops to get back what I thought I bought. Great. Maybe. Walk family and friends that call though it as well. How long this time. How much trouble next time. And if I am asked for a Credit card, DONE.
While it’s obviously not 100% profit, it’s obviously some profit. Consider the millions of cams out there, say only 10MM, then say only 10% of those have a subscription, so 1MM. Now let’s guesstimate the average cam subscription brings in only $1/mo, so that’s $12MM per year in revenue that Wyze has structured to return a minimum profit. Multiply that by the actual number of subscriptions and you can see why it’s a priority for Wyze. Plus it’s a regular cash flow that they can rely on for paying the bills. It’s their cash cow
fwiw, going on 2 weeks now, I still cannot signup for lite - it says I have it already, shows me my invoice from 2020 valid until 2069, but my cams no longer show me a PD event notification option - I have to toggle on motion notifications to keep getting the person notifications - at least PD and video remain functional but prior to the “lite improvement” I was able to toggle PD notifications on without the general motion notifications. Ya, I’m in a minority of users with this issue, but it has not been a simple 5 min exercise and has not made me any more apt to expand my wyze “arsenal” when/if I ever have a need.
I stopped the emails after the scale, colored bulb, lamp, nightlight, etc stuff for which I had no interest in hearing about, while the routine begging to subscribe to cplus just got irksome. So I wag’ed at some numbers - guess the actuals, if real, make it clear why, as another said in a different thread, wyze has had to resort to guilting or tricking lite subscribers to pay something.
SD card can not be used to record video as an event. You get a snapshot of the event with an ad for Cam Plus.
I’ve got all my cams on continuous record now. And that doesn’t allow notifications on motion detection.
I don’t buy Cam Plus, because frankly, the system isn’t good enough. When on record on motion, or on person etc. The system just wasn’t reliable. I would get a hundred notices a day for all kinds of stuff. Lights on and off, bugs, animals and on and on. It’s just not worth paying a monthly fee to record garbage.
The events tab does not show you SD recordings. Never has. Those are where the cloud recordings go.
If you set your SD card settings to events only, then you can find those by clicking ‘view playback’ on the live view or by clicking to view the cloud event on the event page and then clicking view playback.
By those number, it does not look like it went well. But, a “%” of some is better than “zero” percent of all.
Like said, I ignored emails as well. Maybe that is why the numbers are so low. But all the software updates, offers after previous purchases had problems, out of things when you go to order, etc.
Mind you I did like some of the offers. Just seemed like most did not do what I wanted. Heck I bought covid test (and do not believe in covid), temp probe for wife, masks a number of times (need them to go anywhere). And other stuff.
I also have MANY cams, sensors, lights, color lights, smart plugs, etc. All started with a great deal on a camera…
Was about to give up again, but Towelkingdom’s post convinced me to try the SD card thing. Not putting a creditcard on this domain again, right now. I think it is probably already there…
BUT… The lights ON/OFF (and fans for me too) are random. I thought maybe if I signed up for cam plus it might fix that. But gave up before I did.
With the few times I go to look at cameras, there was always an update or a camera down. I know I can turn updates off, but I would think I would want working code. I quit spreading the word a long time ago.
I have been in electronics since the very late 70s. Have been a director and manager of R&D software and hardware. Now IT manager (getting old). I of course knew it was not me, but kept waiting for this to become stable.
If it would have let people record local, that would have taken the load off the servers and their IT group (my thoughts). Total control can sink you, and possibly add liability too. As they say, everyone can be replaced.
And not having a Window program/app (in a Windows world), and the need to load an Android emulator to see it on Windows. That hurts performance to the few that figured that out. Sort of like Win 11 will not run on most machines… With the prices through the roof and shortages, good luck to them too.
I have zero familiarity with FB but my impression from occasional comments here is that there is um, less tolerance for dissent, or to frame it sunny, greater solidarity of support for the Wyze mission. Generally.
And there’s little if any cross-linking from here to there. And no screenshots of conversations, etc.
An FB Community is probably (substantially) larger than the ~100K User Names registered here, and probably a marketer’s dream compared to the cat herding feel on this board. Eh?
The FB group blew up with problems and disgruntled users - got so bad they started to apply a very heavy handed censorship both for excessively abusive complaint behavior as well as the excessively abusive wyze acolytes. Have not seen much regarding the cam lite since. More aggravating is I have not heard of any definitive solution to my acct problem.
Hmm, no kidding? I guess Facebook users tend to be more, shall we say, average citizens, and the changes just aren’t that easy to follow, especially if you’re trying to dodge the guilt wall and get free service. So I suppose it’s not surprising that things are getting hairier there.
I feel the exact same way. I no longer like my cams as much as I did before.it seems like Wyze is becoming more about having you pay to have the camera’s operate as you like.i just want to access my micro SD card via the app and pull my footage.