Here at SCW, you get our Revolutionary Support© and #LTC Values
Policies make boring reading (and it's even worse having to write them). So, we'd rather tell you a story.
Real review from Steve, who had this to say:
SCW staff offered me free advice on how to install my new PTZ camera even though it wasn't a product I had purchased from them
This is a review from Steve in Australia. We knew Steve was from Australia when he contacted us, and since, at the time we were not really set up to ship there, he obviously wasn't going to be a customer (we can ship anywhere in the world now). As it happened, Steve had already purchased a camera from eBay, and he was having issues installing it.
So, we helped him.
It seemed like the human thing to do. That’s why we did it, but some people think that’s pretty revolutionary.
Note: As discussed in the "Support Exclusions" section below, we can only provide rudimentary support for non-SCW products, but, in Steve's case, we could solve his problem.
How does this affect you, our customer?
Nearly every single competitor of ours has something similar to this on their website (and one has this exact text):
As you might have guessed, that's not how we think about your "responsibilities" in getting your cameras viewable and online. We're here to help people. We can't say we're going to know everything about all the ways a computer network can be set up or know the intricacies of where all the settings are on your router's menu, but we're not going to leave you to struggle with Subnet masks and Default IP addresses alone.
Real review from Alex, who had this to say:
I spent many years in the network business and nobody (and I mean NOBODY) will give free technical support to a customer when it involves the customer’s network. Unless the problem is with the specific product they sold, the customer is on their own.
I recently reconfigured my network and had difficulty gaining access to my cameras. The problem was 100% mistakes I’d made with the network – nothing to do with the SCW equipment, but I called in and Michael worked with me to identify my mistake and get things humming along again. This involved reconfiguring two routers and having him remote into my network. Your support is UNBELIEVABLE! When you say you want to treat people the way you want to be treated, you’re not kidding!
Moral of the Story:
We're going to do everything we can to make sure your system works - even if the problem is with a product you didn't buy from us.
We'll help you troubleshoot a device, help you figure out what the issues are when a camera malfunctions, help you find out why your cameras aren't online (if you are having issues), or help you set up your system. For Free, for the life of the product.
How much does your support cost?
It is 100% free.
How long does it last?
For the life of the product.
When my warranty is up, how much does your support cost?
It is still 100% free.
Can I get your support for someone else's product?
No, because we can't know the nuts-and-bolts on someone else's products or software.
Exclusions to our Support:
A list of things that we, unfortunately, won't be able to help you with:
1. In order to view your cameras remotely, you will have to forward a few ports in your router settings. Normally, we will help you do this over the phone or with a screen-sharing application. However, 1-2% of ISP in the US won't allow these settings to take effect until you call their support. If you are in that 1-2% group, we can't call your ISP for you. They require you to be on the line to authorize the change. MiFi Hot Spots may not have this ability at all. If you are planning on getting a cellular network to transmit your surveillance footage, you should check that you can open ports before you sign a MiFi contract. There's no way to watch your surveillance footage off-site if you cannot open ports.
2. Outside brand cameras cannot be connected to the back of our NVRs. The POE ports on the back of our NVRs, do not just provide power, they also pass all the settings for the cameras to the NVR's menu, and assign the IP address to the camera itself while putting it on its own subnet (this means that the cameras will not slow down your network or internet). We would love it if ONVIF supported our Plug-and-Play connections. Sadly, they do not at this time. Perhaps they will in a future version, but as of now the only way to plug a camera into the back of our NVR and have it auto-configure the camera for you is to use our cameras. You will have to plug an ONVIF camera into your router or switch and assign the IP address yourself. We cannot help with assigning an IP address to an ONVIF camera, as that can only be done in person and requires comprehensive knowledge about how your network is configured that we do not have.
3. Our NVRs and IP cameras should work with any other outside brand that is ONVIF compliant. All our IP products are 100% ONVIF compatible with version 2.4 of Profile S for IP security cameras. We are as compatible as you can get. Camera models made by Honeywell, Panasonic, Dynacolor, Sony, Samsung, Pelco, Bosch, Axis, HikVision, and Arecont Vision can be ONVIF compatible. Sadly, we cannot provide phone, email, or chat support for camera models from other companies. ONVIF has several versions (2.4 is the latest) and certain features are only available on certain versions of ONVIF. ONVIF is also self-signed, which means that no one is checking on the claims made by the manufacturer, meaning that someone could claim ONVIF support and then not deliver. Several name-brand manufacturers that once worked in ONVIF mode have accidentally and completely broken ONVIF support when they updated their firmware. Some cheaper manufacturers claim ONVIF support, but we have never been able to find ONVIF settings in their camera menu systems. We cannot control or know what another company may do. We can tell you how an ONVIF camera should be connected to our NVRs and how to set our NVRs to accept the ONVIF protocol. We cannot guarantee that your model will work both now and in all future versions of their firmware. We cannot troubleshoot anyone else's devices. We will happily show you how to connect it with ONVIF settings, but the only way to guarantee compatibility, and to have support on your cameras is to use the cameras we provide.
4. Our web interface does not have ads. If you see ads when you go to log into your camera system, you have a virus or spyware. For your own security, we strongly recommend that you take care of that issue before you/we log into your router to change your port forwarding settings or log into your security system via that computer. Spyware can capture the keys you type into your computer and send someone else your passwords. This is an urgent problem that should be taken care of immediately.
5. Viewing your SCW systems remotely requires an addressable IP address, which means that you usually need a wired Cable or DSL connection. Satellite or Cellular data packages may not work without an addressable IP and the ability to open ports.