The Belkin NetCam Is Dead…. And This Will Haunt Belkin For A Very Long Time

I have been reporting for a while now about Belkin’s plans to end of life the back end services that run their NetCam products. By killing the back end services, Belkin in effect have taken perfectly working cameras and made them useless. While they did get a bit of a reprieve, the back services finally went dark overnight. Much to the dismay of users like this one:

Now if Belkin was hoping that the blowback from this decision would eventually go away, they might want to reconsider that belief.

For starters, they did this in the middle of a pandemic. And there are many who bought these cameras to keep an eye on cottages, second homes, and the like. Now these people are left high and dry. And if their location is still in the middle of some sort of lockdown related to the pandemic where traveling is heavily restricted or outright illegal, they can’t easily drive out to these properties to install new cameras. At least not without potentially breaking the law. That’s #Fail number one.

Second, this whole experience was badly handed by Belkin on multiple fronts. They gave users very little notice and only extended the kill date when the blowback became epic. Most companies tend to broadcast this sort of thing many months or years in advance so that users don’t react the way that NetCam users have. That’s #Fail number two.

Then there’s their plan to refund people who might have recently bought these cameras. From what I see, that didn’t work so well:

That’s #Fail number three. But the major #Fail is the fact that Belkin really didn’t give users any other option in terms of using their cameras. It clearly is possible to use these cameras without Belkin’s back end service as there is a GitHub project that was published by Vladimir Sobolev in 2018 that is out there. And if Belkin really wanted to avoid the level of blow back that is seen here, they might have considered it:

But clearly Belkin went the route of not even considering any way to let users keep using their cameras. And as a result, I’m here talking about it. And I am going to go out a limb and say that Belkin isn’t going to get a whole lot of angry NetCam camera owners buying Belkin products in the future.

Now while there’s a bit of a lesson to be learned here. Specifically that if you buy any sort of IoT gear, you have to be aware that this scenario can be the result. But even with that, the way this was handled this was craptastic. Based on the fact that the two stories that I did on this got thousands upon thousands of page views, I am certain that his is going to haunt Belkin for a very long time. The NetCam may be dead, but in the process Belkin may have harmed their reputation for a very long time.

2 Responses to “The Belkin NetCam Is Dead…. And This Will Haunt Belkin For A Very Long Time”

  1. […] Belkin didn’t have enough issues when it comes to blowback related to the termination of the back end services of their WEMO NetCams, they have something new to deal with that is upsetting customers. Users of Belkin WeMo smart home […]

  2. […] line of NetCam cameras this past year leaving users with no plan B. They did extend this once, but they killed it once and for all at the end of June. I think that part of the problem is that they did this in the middle of a global pandemic which […]

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