About DoorBot

DoorBot is essentially a standalone doorbell unit that also contains a camera, microphone and speaker encased in a single unit. It works with an app that you download onto your smartphone or tablet to allow you to see and communicate with anyone who rings the doorbell on DoorBot. The product website claims that even if you are thousands of miles away from your home, you can still communicate with the person on your doorstep, as DoorBot works through your home’s wifi network. It essentially turns your doorbell into a mini video-intercom system that works regardless of where you are.

Invented by James Siminoff, who has started and sold several tech companies already, DoorBot has been featured on the ABC TV show Shark Tank, attracting the attention of investors on the show. On the DoorBot website, Siminoff says he invented the device after he missed an important package delivery because he could not hear the doorbell in his workspace. A KickStarter campaign and TV appearance later and the DoorBot company, based in Santa Monica, CA, was created to manufacture and sell the product.

How DoorBot Works

DoorBot is a standalone doorbell with a camera, microphone and speaker that streams video over your wireless internet connection. When somebody comes to your door and presses the doorbell, it activates the camera and alerts you on your smartphone or tablet. You then log into the DoorBot app on your Android or Apple device and it shows you what the camera is seeing and allows you to communicate with the person. DoorBot is capable of alerting multiple devices at once and you can also have multiple DoorBots connected to the same device.

The DoorBot is a single unit device measuring 2.3 inches wide and 5.68 inches tall consisting of a perforated aluminum faceplate mounted on a frame of injection molded high density polymer. It’s easy to mount and comes with its own level and mounting screws, plus a proprietary mounting screw to prevent theft. (If your DoorBot is stolen, it will also be replaced free of charge by the company.) The camera, housed inside a plastic bubble, is also moveable, meaning you can position it to point any direction you want.

As for powering it, you can either hook it up to your home’s electrical system through the wires that ran your old doorbell, or use the rechargeable battery that comes with it, which is good for over 12 months of regular use. 

DoorBot Pricing, Shipping & Return Policies

DoorBot sells for $199 per unit and has free shipping within the United States. (International shipping is $20 and will bring the total up to $219.)

It does not come with a money back guarantee, but, as previously mentioned, it will be replaced free of charge if it is stolen.

You can call 1-800-656-1918 if you have questions. The website also has an extensive list of FAQs.

Bottom Line

The promotional video touts DoorBot as being perfect for second homes and vacation properties, as it lets you see who is at the doorstep even when you’re not there. It’s also compatible with Lockitron, another device the company sells. Lockitron can remotely unlock your door at the touch of a button, similar to Kevo. (Lockitron is not included if you order DoorBot.) DoorBot also reportedly records video of visitors who ring the doorbell so if you do happen to miss speaking with someone, you can view the video and see who it was. (This costs extra, however.)

There don’t seem to be any consumer reviews for the product online yet, but review websites tend to give it positive reviews, noting that it especially seems to make sense when paired with a remote door lock device like the Lockitron. One review site said the video and audio tends to lag in an environment where there is a lot of devices depending on the wifi, but that likely wouldn’t happen in a simple home.

The idea behind DoorBot is solid and if it works the way it is supposed to, it seems like it would be highly useful, particularly to those who have a second home to keep an eye on.

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55 Customer Reviews for DoorBot

Average Customer Rating: 1.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 0 4 stars: 1 3 stars: 0 2 stars: 2 1 stars: 52
Bottom Line: 2% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 55
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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Complete scam. They sold me a pretty brick.

    • Aug 18, 2015

    Received a set of DoorBot over two years ago in March 2013 or there about. Setup was non functional. Writing in for support gave automated replies. I complained on their Facebook page and was promptly banned and my post deleted. In October 2014 I finally received a reply that my issue should be fixed by means of a server to handle DoorBot registration.

    November 2014, I was finally able to register and initialize my DoorBot, just to find that the most basic functionality of voice communication over the DoorBot was non functional. Wrote in and no replies yet.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    Major Technical and Account Processing Problems

    • Richardson, TX,
    • Aug 18, 2015

    I purchased the DoorBot and they charged my credit card immediately even though they didn't ship it until a month later. I tried for hours to get it to work properly and had lots of trouble with both the picture which would frequently pixelate and the sound which only the visitor could hear but you but you couldn't hear them. And if you have double doors, don't bother with it because you can't position the camera at a far enough angle to focus on a visitor.

    I tried and tried to return the item. You are supposed to email them for a return. However, after an e-mail from inside their website and another e-mail from my Gmail account I never heard back from them. I finally got a telephone number for them but when I called got a recording to e-mail them if I wanted to return the item.

    Finally gave up and opened a dispute with my credit card company. DoorBot had more than 60 days to respond and apparently never did so the credit card company refunded my money. I'm still sitting here with the DoorBot all wrapped up ready to return with no instructions.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 10 out 10 people found this review helpful

    I think it's a scam

    • United States,
    • Aug 18, 2015

    Worked for 2/3 weeks, tried to work out problems with customer service. Not working. After that they refused a refund. After waiting seven months the product only has a 30 day refund policy. I was six days late.

    Customer service quit responding to me. $199 down the old flusher.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Doorbot Failure - Abysmal

    This product is an embarrassment to the people who designed and produced it, then sold it to thousands of naive buyers. In fact, if fails so strongly that the company, Ring.com changed the name of the product, and offers $100 to angry customers to buy their Ring doorbell for $199, after they have already bought the Doorbot for the same price. Video was illegible with artifacts and freezes every other second. Audio was also garbled with pauses and breaks making both of these signals useless. This product was the worst product I have tested our of thousands since 1979. Waste of your time and money, defeating the purpose for which it was created. Don't trust your money with their newest product.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Never worked correctly.

    • Montréal, Qc (Canada) ,
    • Aug 12, 2015

    I bought this device early to encourage the development through Kickstarter.com, but I am not impressed at all. I received the device more than a year later and get too much trouble just to start it. I call the support and write email. They answer a week later and never help me. I've installed the device on my door. It is a very expensive door button for the Bell, the only thing working. I'm really disappointed and feel like Doorbot stole my money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    This product does not work at all.

    • Houston, TX,
    • Aug 7, 2015

    Stay away from this company and this product. I did the initial installation which was fairly easy. However, after it was installed, the doorbell would not notify my Android phone at all. The only way you can see if someone actually rang the doorbell is to check the notification log, which is itself useless. I never got the video stream or sound to work. Left a voicemail with their customer service line and still have not heard a word from them about my request to get a refund. Worst company to deal with ever. I am so disappointed.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Looked great on the website, doesn't work at all as promised

    • Belgium,
    • Jul 28, 2015

    The idea sounded great and a perfect solution for two of my issues:

    • When I am at the back of the house (office), I can't hear the doorbell and all those wireless extender things do not always pass on the signal (experienced that). A push notification to my phone would fix that.
    • When I am not at home and deliveries are made, I can instruct the courier, depending on the package, where to leave it.

    It started with the setup: I unboxed it, started configuring my network and the first weird thing occurred: it showed to SSID's with the exact same name. That's stupid since it's a seamless roaming wireless system, so it should just connect to the best available access point.

    Anyway, I managed to connect it and I tried it out. The doorbell is at most 2 meters away from the (closest) Access Point, an Ubiquit AP-PRO, which is a decent AP.

    When pressing the doorbell, it took way too long (sometimes up to 6 seconds) for the push notification to come in. Furthermore, once picking up, the picture looks horrible, stuttering etc. I did a couple of tests at home from my office, where my wireless network is able to get a 160 Mbps internet connection and the test person was really unable to understand what I was saying.

    On top of all that, when pressing the doorbell it makes the most stupid sound, which cannot be altered, e.g. by uploading a MP3/WAV/.

    Also, after wiring it and putting the electricity on, the chime started buzzing. I have understood that could be solved with a specific chime they have tested, which can be bought on Amazon, and doesn't ship to Belgium. Also, how the hell does it sound, I buy a chime at a store, not at a webshop - unless there is a sample sound file.

    I will now try to get things resolved with support, and if it doesn't get resolved, I will certainly ask for a refund.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    No Customer Service

    • Far Hills, NJ,
    • Jul 28, 2015

    I purchased DoorBot from Staples just before Christmas. But try as I might I couldn't get it to connect with the Internet even when it was placed next to our FIOS Wireless modem.

    I called 9 times over two weeks getting the same voice mail - we'll call back in 24-48. No callbacks. I left six emails until finally I stopped receiving their auto responder responses. I called Staples customer service. While I was on the phone they tried contacting DoorBot without results. In the meantime, I emailed DoorBot's PR's email saying we were a magazine interested in doing an article. Didn't hear back so I returned my unit to Staples. A week afterwards I received the following email:

    Hello,

    My name is Katiana and I am the new media contact for DoorBot. I will be happy to help you as much as I can. Please let me know what you are seeking and what is required of us. I apologize in advance for any delays in responding. We are heavily focused on customer service with all of our holiday orders.

    Thanks,

    Katiana Johnson, Director of Consumer Experience

    I never responded to Katiana as the unit had been returned.

     

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    CEO doesn't care

    • Belgium,
    • Jul 28, 2015

    I received a few days ago an invitation to buy DoorBot's new product "ring".

    The email was signed by the CEO James Siminoff , calling himself Jamie, and in a nutshell they apologizing for previous failed product DoorBot and are explaining the reason of rebranding their company. In the email they offered me, as an early adopter, to buy there new product for 99$ instead of 199$.

    While I respect the technology, the solution and the concept I was willing to consider this. If ring is so much better as DoorBot, for 99$, why not! What happened was a very frustrating ordering process as I was unable to place my order due to bugs in the ring website. The biggest problem was not only the bug in the website that would not allow me to place an order for Belgium but the support system that kept dropping and people that were not willing to help me nor contacting me back.

    Frustrated, I believed the right approach was to send a friendly message to James (Jamie for the friends), to make him aware of this and asking him, the man who believes in his product, to the rescue. The email you can read below.

    Clearly the response of Mr. Siminoff was not what I expected and so again he shows that he is willing to shove the ring through peoples throat while not caring about his customers. Good luck ring.com

    Here's the email conversation:

    On Sep 30, 2014, at 1:07 PM

    Dear Mr Siminoff, 

    I hope this email finds you well and that you personal will take time to read and reply to it.

    Since the beginning of the launch of Doorbot I have been a big fan and followed-up your product and company closely. Why? Because I truly believe in the concept and the spirit behind the product. Doorbot is unique and something we are waiting for.

    You are right saying that Doorbot hasn't been easy. The product has a lot of hick-ups and fails to be the product it should have been. But the past is the past and we all need to move-on and look at the future. And it looks like you and your company is doing that. I am then also very excited to see that you rebranded, and launching a total new product and design keeping the core features of the old one. I thank you for your kind gesture to provide your new product at a discount price which I happily accept.

    Unfortunately I am unable to place an order as I encounter already the first hick-up on the your cart process in the website. When I was about to check-out I had to enter a state which was all USA states while my country was set to Belgium. I made use of your chat support and spoke with August. After a short chat, the chat was interrupted by the system or the support engineer. A second attempt kept dropping the chat system with James. I could not complete my order and be one of your first adopters.

    I truly hope these hick-ups will not reflect in your new product and that you can sort my issue personally out for me. If you can do this for me and your new product is successful I will not only make positive advertising but I will personally send you one of our best beers in the world.

    With kind regards,

    Jamie

     

    On 03 Oct 2014, at 07:04, James wrote:

    It will be good. You will like the ring. Jamie

    On Oct 2, 2014, at 10:41 PM, Jochem wrote: No I will not. Because your order and support system doesn't work! Jochem

    On 03 Oct 2014, at 07:43, James wrote: Ok well we can all have our opinions I guess. Jamie.

    On 03 Oct 2014, at 07:52, Jochem wrote: Well read my email below than you would have understand Jochem

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Ring Scam starting with a dysfunctional CEO

    • Texas,
    • Jul 12, 2015

    To write my experience here would be redundant with others listed here. Except, I never received the two devices I ordered. Instead I received empty promises of ship dates with no notification of status. Upon enquiry I would receive a new ship date promise with no delivery, and so on.

    After writing a couple of times I had a similar exchange with "Jamie" the Chief Inventor i.e., confusing responses with deflected blame including "check you spam filter" (for shipping updates). What?

    I'm a bit embarrassed I fell for this one as I frequently order new tech and understand the challenges often associated. Unfortunately, this was more about a clueless company/leader then a poor product.

    Hopefully I'll be refunded without having to ratchet it up.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    DoorBot has morphed into Ring

    • Dublin, Ireland,
    • Jul 8, 2015

    I was an early adopter for DoorBot. I was lucky to get it to work. I had to install a WiFi access point near it. It never really worked that well and stopped working completely a couple of months ago. The DoorBot people told me all would be resolved with the Ring App. It isn't. I installed it on both Android and iPhone, it triggers with no picture or audio. I don't think I will be trying their new kit until the current issues are resolved.

    PS: I can't contact them with my new gripes.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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