Kangaroo Security Review

Kangaroo Security - Hey Kangaroo
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Kangaroo Security Review

Disclaimer: This is my personal review of my personal experience with the Kangaroo. Your experiences may differ. I’m in no way trying to sway you away from purchasing a Kangaroo product. All sources are listed and I have chat and email threads between myself and Kangaroo to support this review.

The Kangaroo Doorbell Camera + Chime aren’t all they are cracked up to be. I originally purchased a Doorbell Camera + Chime to test it out as I was in the market for one and I ran across an ad on Facebook advertising one (at the end of December 2020). I knew better than to purchase anything from a Facebook ad, as both my mother and my late mother-in-law had been scammed on Facebook ads, advertising incredible prices on products.

But I decided it was only a few dollars, what do I have to lose and I was shocked to see that what I ordered is exactly what was sent and it arrived in good shape. It was very nicely packed and all the instructions were very clear and detailed and in proper English. I was excited to open it up and give it a test. It worked well enough, but it had a few limitations that I wasn’t aware of and to be honest, Kangaroo doesn’t seem to care about them. I even gave them a 5-star review at the end of January 2021 as I wasn’t having any issues.

The first limitation is that it only takes photos and it does not have a live stream like most of its competitors. Live stream, is basically, where you can log on to the device and see what is going on live as it happens. The way the Kangaroo system works is that when it detects motion (which is limited and I will explain in a few), it takes a series of still photos and sends them to your device. And here is where the other limitations come into play. It only does this every 30 seconds, so if someone approaches your door while you are not home with the intent of stealing a package from your porch, all they need to do is hide their face for 5 seconds and now they have 30 seconds to jack your package and be gone. The other limitation is that the sensitivity has three settings (high, which will practically pick up a left-blowing by; medium, which often doesn’t pick up a person walking in front of it, or off). I personally have a difficult time getting the motion to fire 100% of the time. There are days and even weeks that I can walk out of my front door, right past the Kangaroo doorbell sensor, and to my car and it will not pick me up.

I reached out to Kangaroo support via chat (first contact was Aug 2, 2021) then eventually via email, on this and their first solution was to of course reset the device, which I had already done several times, and what I find amazing, is they can see when the device registers itself, so they would already know this, but I was determined to make this work and to make a better product with/for them. The second solution was to obviously ensure that the batteries were good, and the third solution was to actually shockingly argue with me with “I checked the activity history and your doorbell cameras detected motion…”. I assured the support person that, yes, they do detect motion, but on average they trigger about 2 out of every 5 times they should trigger. Of course, the support person has no idea how many times I have walked in front of the device, he only knows how many times it has actually triggered.

After some going back and forth, the fourth solution was to make sure that I have the sensor in a good location, they stated that I have too much metal near it and that is affecting the wireless signal (they had no clue that I used to be a network engineer). Yep, there is a metal frame around the aluminum storm door, right next to the Doorbell Camera + Chime, but it is not in the path between the router and the Doorbell Camera + Chime, in fact, the router is less than 12 feet from the Doorbell Camera + Chime. I sent photos and even a video demonstrating the behavior and their next statement was that maybe I’m not waiting the 30 seconds for it to trigger and it shouldn’t be making that sound “Hi, this is Kangaroo”. I guess telling the device to stop will work, not!

In response to the not waiting 30 seconds, I set up a test pattern to test this, where I would walk to the bottom of the 62′ driveway, grab my mail, walk back up and then wait 30 additional seconds before walking in front of the sensor and into the house and not once did it ever pick up any motion. The entire path took over 60 seconds to complete and I repeated this several times.

The next solution was my phone, they wanted to make sure that my OS supported their app, which of course it did, but I played along and sent them the make, model, and OS version of my phone and the app version I’m using. I also sent them the details about my router and ISP, as well as screengrabs of the strength of the wireless signal using the Wifi Analyzer app on my Android phone.

After a few more weeks of going back and forth, including many screen grabs of the Kangaroo app settings on my phone, they sent me a new sensor (September 9th, 2021). I tried the new sensor and it does seem to be working better. The lesson learned is that Kangaroo, though supported, wants to sound like they are state-side (but after a lengthy conversation, you can tell that they are not from the US, I think they are from the Philippines or Hong Kong) and they are not concerned with making their product better.

The second issue that I have is that their devices have some problems with certain wireless access points. When I was using the Comcast ARRIS Model:TG862G router, it all seemed to mesh together well, but when I was using a Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi Router and now my new FIOS G3100 router, it has problems. The problem is that the damn chime wants to talk to me every time it triggers motion, “Hi, this is Kangaroo”, and it isn’t supposed to do that, it is supposed to only make noise when the chime button is pushed (user selected). I haven’t found the solution for this and again Kangaroo support isn’t interested in making their product better when I called them on this, they didn’t care, stating that it is a problem with my setup. I don’t doubt that it is a problem with the default setup on the FIOS router, but maybe, just maybe you could help me out and learn how to solve this for other clients.

Now back to when I bought the original Doorbell Camera + Chime. When I received it, it came along with an offer for a kit, which included another Doorbell Camera + Chime, two window sensors, and two motion sensors, and like a sucker, I purchased them (this was before I started having issues with the first chime). The limitation I see with the sensors is that they sit idly by, doing nothing unless you arm the system. Where the Doorbell Camera + Chime works independently of the rest of the system, the window and motion sensors only work as an alarm system and only work as a unit, meaning that unless the alarm system is armed, they do nothing. As an example, you can put a window sensor on a window and open and close that window all day and there isn’t any notification that the window was opened or closed, but if you arm the system, and open the window, you get a siren on your smart device (and you can purchase a siren for the house as well). For my application, this isn’t what I was looking for. I wanted a more passive system where it would just alert me via SMS or the app that the window was opened and nothing more. The same applies to the motion sensors, they only work as part of the alarm system. In my opinion, this is very short-sighted of the Kangaroo engineers, they are very much limiting their product. But again, when I pointed this out, they didn’t care.

It is really sad that they don’t want to make the product better. They have the technology, all they need to do is implement it. The hard part is done (the devices), making them work differently is just code changes. Why would you limit the device to not allow live streaming? Why would you make some sensors work independently and others not?

So now that I have said my piece, let me actually review the products:

Doorbell Camera + Chime: I own two of these and they both have the same problems as outlined above, support sent me a replacement and it too has the same issues.

The look, feel and finish are not bad, they don’t look like they are cheaply made.

Here is how they work – When motion is detected, it will capture 10 still photos and then send the via push SMS to your smart device with the Kangaroo App installed. You will get an alert (of your choice). You can click on the notification and see the stitched photos in an animated gif. If someone pushes the chime button, you will get a notification on your mobile device as well as on the chime that you plug into the electrical wall outlet. Setup of the device is easy, quick, and straightforward and the app does all the work. Battery life is much less than expected with me having to replace batteries every other month or less.

Motion + Entry Sensor – I own two of these and they both work identically.

Here is how they work – During setup you can set them up to operate in one of three modes (Motion, Entry sensor, or both motion and entry sensor). I have mine set up as an entry sensor and they work flawlessly as long as the system is armed. If the system is not armed, they simply chew up batteries and do nothing. When the system (App) is armed, and they detect motion (if enabled) or Entry, a siren will sound alerting you to the activity.

The feel, look, and finish of the devices are really good.

Motion Sensor – I own two of these and they both work identically.

Here is how they work – If the system is not armed, they simply chew up batteries and do nothing. When the system (App) is armed, and they detect motion, a siren will sound alerting you to the activity.

Like their other products that I own, the feel, look, and finish of the devices are really good.

Overall, I guess you get what you pay for and if you don’t pay much, then don’t expect much. What really sucks is that they are very promising and when you first talk to support, they sound like they care and want to make their products better, but that all turns out to be nothing but lip service.

BTW, I talked with the Customer Support Lead at Kangaroo, not just some general support person.
Recap: Kangaroo is a decent security system as I never had a problem with the entry sensors not working when armed. But the Doorbell Camera + Chime needs work in order to truly be a Ring killer or even a competitor for that matter.

So who is Kangaroo?
The story according to https://blog.heykangaroo.com/blog/the-kangaroo-story, is that founders Max, Dhruv, James, and Victor built Kangaroo in 2018 with accessibility and affordability in mind. Today they are spread around the world, mostly in New York, Wroclaw, Shenzhen, and Manila. They were registered as Roo Inc. (DBA Hey Kangaroo / DBA Ted’s Body Shop) and are incorporated in Delaware, but today they are now Roo, LLC and have an official address of:

6 WEST 18TH STREET
11TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NEW YORK  10011
Phone Number: (646) 629-1300
Phone Number: (216) 438-2766
Phone Number: (212) 905-6101
Website: http://heykangaroo.com/

However digging a little further, you will find the following:

Address
41E 11TH STREET
11TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10003

Mailing Address
PO Box 600
New York, NY 10163

The final products are imported from Yantian, China & Hong Kong, but this doesn’t mean that they aren’t designed in the US.

HONG KONG HUA SHAN ELECTRONIC CO.
FLAT F, 26 F,TOWER 7,PARK
Yantian,China

SHENZHEN DONGLEI PACKAGING MATERIAL
CO.,LTD BUILDING B, ZHONGJING IND.
Yantian,China

HONG KONG SYMSONIC TECHNOLOGY CO,.
LTD FLAT B 07,23 F HOVER IND.BLDG,
Hong Kong,Hong Kong

HONG KONG SYMSONIC TECHNOLOGY CO.,
FLAT RM 14 F LUCKY CENTRE
Yantian,China

NINGBO YITONG COMMODITY CO.,LTD
NO.188 XIXIAWANG VILLAGE,DAJIAHE TO
Ningpo ,China

The following individuals are associated with Roo, Inc.

Hunter D Taylor – Sole Member
Dhruv Garg – Founder / COO
James Xu – Founder /CTO
Maximus Yaney – Founder / CEO
Victor Meng – Founder
John Cruz – CFO
Erez Simha – CFO
Dhruv Gary – President
Ian Sigalow – Director
Christine Picardal – Customer Support Lead
Stephen Val Sarra – Customer Support

The New York addresses are all leased by the day/hour/week location, which I discovered after the fact, as well as they have a 1.44/5 customer reviews on the BBB website.

All said and done, you get what you pay for, they are making money hand over fist stating that they are the Ring doorbell killer, but all said and done, they are in a totally different ball park. And they aren’t interested in making their products better, which is very sad in my opinion, as their products have great potential and could really go somewhere if they cared enough.

Sources:
http://heykangaroo.com/
https://corporateofficehq.com/hey-kangaroo-corporate-office/
https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1739064/000173906420000004/0001739064-20-000004.txt
https://www.dnb.com/business-directory/company-profiles.roo_inc.ee104d80df91a6ad73511423657f0bb1.html#contact-anchor
https://import.report/company/Roo-Inc
https://www.bbb.org/us/ny/new-york/profile/security-equipment/kangaroo-0121-87139672/#sealclick
https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_fl/F20000001793
https://fccid.io/2APSE
https://panjiva.com/Roo-Inc/61041127
http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/corporationsearch/SearchResultDetail?inquirytype=EntityName&directionType=Initial&searchNameOrder=ROO%20M190000043310&aggregateId=forl-m19000004331-009d6b5a-1dfe-4b19-8aa2-2e7da4306f0a&searchTerm=RONZO%20VENTURES%2C%20LLC&listNameOrder=RONZOVENTURES%20L170002032680
https://www.linkedin.com/in/gargdhruv13
https://www.crunchbase.com/person/dhruv-garg-dbd8
https://blog.heykangaroo.com/blog/the-kangaroo-story 

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Average Joe

Welcome to the Average Joe Weekly blog. This is basically my place on the web where I can help spread some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I served 10+ years in the Marine Corps on Active Duty, but that was some 25 years ago.

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  • Average Joe

    Welcome to the Average Joe Weekly blog. This is basically my place on the web where I can help spread some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I served 10+ years in the Marine Corps on Active Duty, but that was some 25 years ago.

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By Average Joe

Welcome to the Average Joe Weekly blog. This is basically my place on the web where I can help spread some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I served 10+ years in the Marine Corps on Active Duty, but that was some 25 years ago.

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