The First Surveillance Manufacturer To Add Live Chat? Pelco?

The video surveillance industry is behind the times, sure.

Pelco today announced they added live chat to their site.

This is new. We cannot find / think of any major video surveillance manufacturer with this. No Axis, No Avigilon, No Milestone, No Genetec. I wouldn't even consider companies like Bosch, Honeywell, Panasonic and Sony who barely can keep a website current within a year of their new surveillance products.

So we tried out the Pelco live chat.

The live chat button is now available across Pelco's site inside their header:

Within 10 seconds, a support person responded. I asked a bunch of straightforward questions. Here is the exchange:

That's fairly reasonable and quick. No picking up the phone, hanging on hold, etc.

Of course, this is not groundbreaking technology. So many regular stores and websites have built-in live chat.

But it's sort of 'innovative' for the surveillance industry <<sigh>>

What do you think?

Axis does this behind the 'partner portal' when you open a support ticket.

You cannot just be a random person like this Pelco example, and you must login first, but I always preferred the live chat because I could screenshot it/save it for later reference.

Interesting, good to know.

What's the downside of offering on the public side? Waste time on random requests for non partners?

The upside is that it's a lot easier to get to / remember that it is there.

I guess they're worried about giving free security advice to every weirdo with an internet connection.

Generally speaking, surveillance manufacturers hate supporting the end user. I think a lot of manufacturers wish installers would just give them money and then dump their equipment in a lake somewhere, rather than install it in the real world where end users can get their grubby hands on it.

I was gonna mention Axis too - they've had this for a while.

I love Dell tech support via live chat it makes things so easy. I did use the Axis live chat a couple times but their Tech Support never impressed me. Should be a good move as long as the queues do not get jammed up or they fill the positions with unqualified people.

Agree, not groundbreaking technology. Bosch has had live chat available for several years. Customers can reach Technical Support, Customer Service & Pre-Sales through the “Chat Live” buttons found by clicking Contact on the homepage or under the Service and Support tab.

Axis has had live chat since 2009. From 2013 it is available in 24/5 format for everyone, not only for partners.Axis chat

Undisclosed A, this was discussed above already. You need to log in to get to support chat, though you do not need to be a partner.

Btw, just used Bosch's online chat to help solve a member's problem. Positive experience - quick and easy, no need to wait on the phone, and was able to do other things while chatting.

AXIS' chat works well, but I still get the "You would be better off calling to discuss" 50% of the time. Not sure if that is a legit statement from them or they are jsut trying to pawn me off.

Assa Abloy offers this for door/access hardware, and they do a good job of handling obscure questions well.

For this example, chat was much quicker than phoning in:

I called at the same time I started the chat, and the chat finished before I was connected to the tech support person on the phone.  I've used this approach more than once, and their chat is well staffed.