Netgear, Inc. is in the crosshairs of a proposed class action lawsuit filed by a consumer who claims the company’s highly touted, hyper-connected Arlo Baby monitor “simply did not work” at the time of its release in May 2017. What’s more, the 39-page complaint takes issue with the conspicuous absence of a critical feature—the ability to pair the Arlo Baby with a companion tablet that the plaintiff says was never released by Netgear.
It’s easy to see why parents would be enticed by the Arlo Baby monitor. According to the 11-count case, Netgear’s device promised “all-in-one” audio and video baby monitoring in addition to features such as night lights and music-playing capability. Perhaps most appealing, though, was the device’s hyper-connectivity that could allow parents to monitor their children “anywhere, anytime” through the Arlo Baby’s Wi-Fi connectability, meaning a child could be seen and heard on a desktop, mobile, or tablet device (or all three at the same time, if you’re that kind of parent).
The icing on the cake was to be the ability to pair the Arlo Baby with a companion tablet Netgear said it would be releasing in Summer 2017, the lawsuit continues. With the companion tablet, consumers would be able to utilize the Arlo Baby’s connective features without needing an Internet connection, “thereby allowing consumers to monitor their baby away from Wi-Fi networks like a traditional baby monitor."
What consumers didn’t know, the plaintiff says, is that Netgear was “unwilling or unable” to unleash its baby-watching tablet, thereby depriving parents of the ability to have eyes and ears on their kids without being tethered to an Internet connection.
But the real problem, the suit says, is that Netgear’s Arlo Baby was plagued from day one by shotty connection issues. In the plaintiff’s estimation, the Arlo Baby simply didn’t work:
Indeed, countless consumer complaints point out that the Arlo Baby frequently disconnects and fails to reconnect without manual intervention, leaving the baby monitor unable to perform the single task it was designed to do: provide continuous monitoring of babies while the parents attempted to sleep in a different room.
This left purchasers of the Arlo Baby with little more than a frustrating paperweight, capable of sporadic and unreliable monitoring with less functionality than a conventional baby monitor available for one-tenth of the price of the Arlo Baby.”
What’s the deal with the unreleased companion tablet?
The case says that in an attempt to mitigate some of the reliability and connectivity issues with its device, Netgear advertised it would release a companion tablet for the Arlo Baby that would function without the need for a Wi-Fi connection. The tablet’s Summer 2017 release date came and went, however, with the company mum as to the reason why the product wouldn’t see the market. Several delays later, Netgear in March 2018 announced it would be outright canceling the release of the Arlo Baby tablet, the case says. In exchange, Netgear supposedly offered customers only a $30 coupon for an Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet, redeemable only through Amazon, as a “great alternative” to its absent device. The plaintiff argues otherwise:
What the advertised companion tablet was to offer—a direct communications link to the Arlo Baby to bypass an internet connection—no third-party tablet like an Amazon Fire or Apple iPad could possibly offer.”
Has Netgear offered refunds?
The plaintiff claims Netgear has so far refused to refund consumers who bought its Arlo baby.
How much does one of these fangled baby monitors cost?
The plaintiff says he paid $244 for a device that outright failed to perform as advertised.
“The price [the plaintiff] paid was a significant premium over other competing baby monitors,” according to the case, “costing several times as much as many more traditional monitors.”
Who can join this class action?
The lawsuit seeks to cover a proposed class of consumers nationwide who bought the Arlo Baby, as well as a Texas-only class.
Yes, we know we sound like a broken record, but you don’t have to do anything to “join” a class action lawsuit. The legal process can take months (or years). Just sit tight and check back with ClassAction.org for updates.