Received an e-mail regarding introduction of charges for Y-Cam Storage on home securtiy cameras that were sold with free 7 day rolling cloud storage (no time limit indicate). Reviews indicated that this was a unique selling point for Y-Cam. Purchased 4 cameras in 2015 and 2016 on the basis of free storage and now feel that I was misled/misold these products. Can Y-cam legally change their terms of contract like this ?
Any help greatly appreciated
Can Y-cam legally change their terms of contract..............
Do you have a copy of the original Terms & Conditions or any other evidence that constitutes a contract? Even if you don't you should first email the company and explain politely but firmly that you bought four cameras on the promise of free lifelong cloud storage. If you don't get a satisfactory response then post the same complaint on their Twitter and Facebook pages. The latter approach is likely to elicit a good outcome.
They're a well-established UK company so I'm hoping they'll treat you fairness and understanding.
Can Y-cam legally change their terms of contract like this ?
Yes, they can. You say that no time limit was mentioned, but that doesn't mean that you should infer it to be an offer of indefinite storage. By your own admission, there was no such offer at the time of purchase. If you have anything in writing to the contrary, or a copy of an advertisement that says anything different then obviously you could claim that you relied on it when making the decision to buy.
The company currently advertises the cameras with one year's free storage.
The point is that Y-Cam's unique selling point was that they offered a "FREE" 7 day rolling cloud storage for recordings. The reviews by many respected review sites highlighted this fact and it was on this basis that I and many others purchased this product. The promotional literature at the time of purchase also indicated the free 7 day rolling cloud storage. The company promotes the fact that it has had great reviews, but these were based mainly on the free cloud storage.
Recent changes to the promotional literature indicate there to be a free rolling cloud storage but only for the first year. It was possible to upgrade to a premium level of storage at the time of purchase, but this was optional and for many, not required.
The issue for many will be that they now find that they have to pay for the same service that they previously were sold on the basis it was free. As the company has indicated, this charge is required because of the cost of cloud storage to themselves.
If the literature had indicated that there was only a limited time over which the free rolling 7 day cloud storage was available it would certainly have altered the decision to purchase. Y-Cam has proposed a series of options for existing customers one of which retains free streaming with trigger, but this is not the same as then being able to capture an image or record to cloud.
I think it's appalling that this company decided to withdraw the promise made to so many folks. The charge for cloud storage has gone from free to £100 per year. I would never consider buying anything from this company.
In your opening post, you said that there was no time limit mentioned in the advertising you saw.
Now it seems to be the case that the company did advertise this product using the words '7 days free cloud storage forever'.
That changes the situation entirely - relying on the promise would have formed part of the sales contract, and the withdrawal of it means that the supplier has changed the terms after the contract has been made. I have ascertained that in February 2015 the company's website included a statement that you would get "7 days free forever secure online cloud-based recording"
I have contacted the company on your behalf, asking if it wishes to comment. I'll update your thread as and when I hear from them.
The 7 day free cloud storage was a rolling storage for recordings from triggered cameras. There was an upgrade option to a rolling 30 days cloud storage for those that required it at a cost, but as some reviewers at the time indicated, for many this was not necessary.
The original booklet which came with the cameras states on page 3:
"Your account includes*
- Live view from anywhere
- Free email alert notifications
- Free online secure storage in your own private account
- View multiple HomeMonitor cameras under one account "
The asterix at the end of the line "Your account includes*" has a footnote at the bottom of the page as follows: " Features may change occasionally as service improves, visit ............"
Clearly the introduction of charging for what was a free service is NOT an improvement and so this footnote does not apply.
New cameras purchased from Y-Cam still appear to have the free 7 day rolling cloud storage, BUT only 12 months.