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.
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.
Major Technical & Account Processing Problems
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 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 t 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.
Stay away from this company!
I was one of the backers and they never shipped me my unit. They "lost it". They didn't even had a clue until I contacted them. I can't even begin to fathom how that can happen with all the databases, spreadsheets and barcodes... Hell, even a good old pen and clipboard will do. I've been sending them emails for two months now, no luck. Their customer service is clueless and disorganized and the whole operation is a total mess.
I'm hoping for a refund.
Stay away from this company.
I could copy and paste any of the above reviews and comments, since I'm living the exact same bad experience with this unfinished product.
Not even a good Door-stop!
$199 doorstop - complete piece of junk. Do not be sucked in by all the advertising.
It simply does not work! This is the second unit I try and it is worthless!
After five-time installation attempt still no connection. Then drops every now and then. Camera did not work. Sound did not work. I'll send back.
I received the refund quite quickly, though I can not recommend this product or company.
I have one. Currently trying to get a refund.
- They require 2mb minimum upstream (Dispite not listing this ANYWHERE on the requirements.)
- They Ignore/censor requests for help. Have a look at their facebook page. They sure delete a lot of posts. That is until the turned off comments entirely.
- It dosent actually work.
- Its a client server setup. So your video call when someone presses the button, goes to america and then back. I'm sure it works great for people in america or elsewhere without a 18000k mile round trip.
- The battery that is supposed to last a year without needing recharge lasted four weeks and 10-20 test calls (While it sat on my kitchen bench, unusable, didnt install it)
- The application needs to be always open so will kill your phone battery. They also dont have a desktop app.
Its true, it sucks and the company sucks too!
Like all the others here, i had the same terrible experience. I think that these guys bit off way more than they could chew with a promising new product like this.
Lets face it, the idea is fantastic, but a product like this needs a REAL company behind it, not a couple of guys in a garage. Too bad, if they rose to the occasion they would have a killer product startup.
Don't bother ordering one of these pieces of crap, I ordered mine over 2 months ago and still waiting for it asked for my money back numerous times no response . They are the worst company I have ever felt with no customer service at all so I have taken my complaint to the Australian fraud squad and consumer protection scam watch. They are professional cons and money thieves.
Worked for 2/3 weeks, tryed to work out problems with customer service....NO WORKIE !!! After that they refused a refund. After waiting 7 months the product only has a 30 day refund policy. I was 6 days late :(
Customer service quit responding to me. $199 down the 'ol flusher :(
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 DoorBots 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:
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.
Katiana Johnson, Director of Consumer Experience
I never responded to Ktiana as the unit had been returned.
As stated above, this is an unfinished product. Sadly it simply does not work as promised... Video is chopy, notification is delayed 30+ seconds or doesn't work at all. No reply on email or phone calls... What a way to threat your early backers.
I think it's bricked, and not one reply from customer support.
Don't buy one, they will take your money and run. I was so looking forward to getting one, after lot's of delays... and emails from them to say it's delayed... it arrived, had a few problems setting it up but finally it looked like it was done and was doing some sort of an update... but when the lights stopped flashing, I device just won't switch on and the reset button does nothing. I even emailed the woman back who told me about the delay, and still no reply. Completely unprofessional. Not happy.
No delivery / no replies to emails / no professional practice
I backed them just at the end of their campaign, September if I remember correctly. We all know about the delays due technical problems and such. That brought us up to a promised delivery for December. At the end of December I received an email stating that the we should use the previously emailed link to track my doorbot which I actually never received. I emailed twice after asking what my doorbot's status, without any reply. I tried calling today but no answer, just an automated message. In the end I found another email on Jamie Siminoff's personal blog and asked what the problem was - not much explanation but a promise to send me a doorbot ASAP. After speaking with my partner we decided to cancel our order and supposedly as of 25 minutes ago the refund has been made to my account and will show up in the next 5-7 days. I really wanted to back this project but I stopped trusting them and got the feeling something was awry. I've given them two stars because I still can't confirm the refund. When I receive the refund I will be back to give my final verdict.
Hello I was an early backer, and so far can only say I've been cheated, this is not the product doorbot promised, not one part of it works properly, totally useless. Doorbot never answers customers, and if you write negative about the product it isn't shown, it's deleted. What a childlike way to respond to backers, this will stop most people from ever backing a product in that way. I will be making a police matter of this, that everyone can be assured. DO NOT TRUST THIS COMPANY!!!
Per reviews above Doorbot have zero customer service or response. I was an early backer and my unit was supposedly shipped in early Dec. Never turned up as address they shipped to was incorrect (despite confirming beforehand). Despite over a month of trying to contact them via phone, email, support line etc. there has been absolutely zero response.
The video is acceptable but the audio is almost impossible to use. They claim they are updating the device software weekly but I haven't received any updates. They claim it will ring your in-house bell in addition to the Doorbot bell but it doesn't. When I send emails to support they never answer. They do not have either phone support or chat support. Until this company starts being responsive to customers, stay away.
Terrible Product and service
I signed up as a backer, finally received my unit over a month ago, and it hasn't worked properly once. Either notifications never come through or are delayed by 45+ seconds, video is never legiable and audio is choppy and distorted. Latest release of android app locks up my phone and notifications take even longer. Signal is %100 at doorbell, I have a 35mb circuit and a gn3. I find it very hard to beleive this product works for anyone unless there is a 2.0 version of the hardware out there doorbot isnt talking about. This device was just not designed well from the beginning. Doesnt support hidden ssid (although they claim it does) and sleeps even when hardwired, disconnecting from network and adding to already lengthy time in sending notifications. Posting my negative experience on doorbots Facebook page resulted in my comments being deleted and being blocked from the page. What a way to treat a backer.
Doorbot - it is a con! Does not work at all!
Does not bode well..... I have had almost the identical experience.
Doorbot is utterly useless as a device and company. My device does not function at all on 80% of presses. The rare occasion it notifies my ipad or iphone the video quality is shocking and the sound does not work at all. I have written to them 5 times, guess what? No response at all.
Doorbot is a absolute rip off. If this is representative then they have fleeced a large number of people with a poor quality, unserviceable product. Yep, I have been had!
Please be careful as being an early adopter leaves you with no protection, I paid for mine back in September and as a result have zero credit card protection.