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Customer Service Question on defective Camera


 
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N2UAD
New Member


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:10 am    Post subject: Customer Service Question on defective Camera Reply with quote

Hi All,

I bought 2 IP cameras(IP7160, IP8332) from NetworkWebcams.The IP8332 started showing problems after a couple hours of operation (Every few minutes the video would get real bright within a second and trigger the motion event and then return to normal).
I open a trouble ticket with NetworkWebcams and after many hours of troubleshooting the camera was declared dead. I called Vivotek support just to see if they had any suggestions. They also said the camera is defective and to return it to the retailer for exchange. That Vivotek does not handle these things directly with the consumer.
Now I get the final response from NetworkWebcams and they say they do not process returns/exchanges and to call Vivotek!

Anyone have any suggestions?
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JohnnyC
Evangelist


Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 670

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got the same run around from a time when I ordered a cheap Chinese reproduction replacement part for a Jeep. I got the runaround between the company selling the part via the internet and the warehouse where it was shipped from. I paid by credit card. After bringing the matter in detail to the attention of my credit card company, I was given credit and the matter was resolved via the credit card company.

John
New jersey
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buellwinkle
Wizard


Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 2504

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's why out of all the Taiwan camera companies, Vivotek has the reputation for poor customer service and inconsistant camera quality. My understanding is that once you get an RMA, it takes 6-8 weeks to get replacement camera.
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For network camera articles and reviews, visit my blog at http://www.NetworkCameraCritic.com
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N2UAD
New Member


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, What brand of camera would you recommend. Now that you see what I've bought. Both cameras work good where I have them mounted. That is until the one went bad. The ST7501 Vivotek server and client PC software work good.

I could get another Vivotek either thru a return process that does not appear to work or buy another new one...

Or buy another brand. What retail place(for customer service) and brands would work the best?
Thanks....
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buellwinkle
Wizard


Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 2504

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First call them up and tell them you need an RMA number, you are sending the camera back for a replacement and what's the address to mail it back to. You just have to be direct and to the point. Tell then you have 10 of the same camera and this one is bad, I need to get it RMA'ed as soon as possible, you customer is angry. Just have to bend the truth a bit to get results.

If want to switch and you need a bullet cam type camera, I use the ACTI 1231 which is 1.3MP and has a varifocal lens and the IR led's are going to be more effective. They also provide their software for free which is pretty decent, I just started to use it.

ACTi wil be more responsive on camera issues than Vivotek and I haven't had one go bad but I did have issues needing support, they connected to my camera and fixed it, my oldest 1231 is from 2009 and I have 6 ACTi cams in my house. You clearly pay more for ACTi, but I never regretted paying more. My distributor tells me not to buy Vivotek because of inconsistant quality, even though they are a leading distributor which I can't mention because it will get them in trouble.

Bullet cams with IR are great, but they seem to mostly come out of Taiwan like ACTi, Vivotek, Messoa, Speco and Geovision. If you leave the bullet cam form factor, Axis makes decent cameras, will RMA and ship a new camera same day, very good customer service. But they don't make one camera with built in IR which is important to me.Adding IR after the fact is expensive as a decent low end IR illuminator can cost several hundred dollars. I know, put one in and it was $500 at cost, ouch. Then you need the 12V power supply, then you need a timer to turn it on/off, see where I'm going with this.

The IP7160 is a box camera, my guess you use this indoors. It's does not have IR cut filter or IR lighting, so it's a simple day camera. For a little less money, I use the ACTi Cube, the acm-4201. What I like is the built in microphone and the PIR motion detect, very cool to detect motion, even in pitch blackness and with dead on accuracy that video motion detect can't even come close to. You can find it for 200ish if you look. ACTi only makes 1.3MP or 4MP, not 2MP like Vivotek. Also they are discontinuing all their VGA/D1 cameras.

The most realiable cameras I've used are Mobotix, again, great support, they connected into the camera to fix something but their only problem is price, many people faint when they see that their popular camera is $1,600. But in some cases, it's cheaper than other solutions because they don't need software to record, no software means no PC, no software to buy, no central point of failure, no extra network issues.
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40th Floor
Enthusiast


Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 221
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This place

http://4xem.com/

says

4XEM is North America's premier value-added distributor of IP Network Cameras and Video Servers ...[specializing] in Vivotek Products


So, same stuff as Vivo. May as well go there if you're in the States.
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N2UAD
New Member


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I finally got the replacement camera from Vivotek. Network Webcams finally agreed to take the camera back. The replacement came from Vivotek.

I mounted the camera outside and guess what? This camera has the same problem as the first one. Every few minutes the picture gets real bright and sets off the motion detection. If you have the patience to sit and watch the live video you see the picture get bright and then return to normal. The whole thing takes less than a second.

Looks like I'll be looking for another brand.
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CjMcD
Enthusiast


Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 260
Location: Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the power source? Are there any white,metallic surfaces in view of the camera? Sounds like a wash-out issue. or power issue.



CJ
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N2UAD
New Member


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I changed the power supply already, Tried to eliminate as many variables as possible. Including the ethernet cable.
However you bring up a good point. There is a white gutter the camera is mounted near. You can not see the gutter in the picture.
I could move the camera to be away from the gutter.
What do you think?
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CjMcD
Enthusiast


Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 260
Location: Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen alot of auto iris malfuctions due to "gutters" anything that is metallic or has a reflective surface. My Honeywell camera is an analog HB-73 with IR if I aim it close to my gutter you see a white flash constantly at night. This causes the IR light to reflect directly back into the lens and I guess makes the iris pissed.




CJ
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N2UAD
New Member


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This happens only during the day. At night the camera operates fine. But I'll move it away from the gutter and see what happens.
There is no direct sunlight on it and it's pointed slightly downward to see the driveway.
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buellwinkle
Wizard


Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 2504

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes a cloud may pass buy and make the sensor re-adjust, May put a sun shield on it, like a little cap. The ACTi outdoor cams come with this.
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For network camera articles and reviews, visit my blog at http://www.NetworkCameraCritic.com
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N2UAD
New Member


Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a while but I finally got around to moving the camera away from the white gutter. Not that the gutter was in the view of the lens but...

I moved it several feet away so the gutter and any white objects are no where near the camera. Still looking down the driveway at a similar view.

But the camera still does the exact same thing. The picture goes very bright for a fraction of a second and triggers the motion detection therefore making a short video of the event.

The camera is looking at a static dark grey gravel driveway and grass. It's not like there a shiny metal object reflecting back at the camera or anything.

At this point I just give up on Vivotek.
The one last check I did was to see if the MAC address on the replacement camera was different than the original one(I wrote it down before I shipped it back). And it is different.
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