44 Replies Latest reply: Dec 28, 2018 2:27 AM by swlinphx RSS

    Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??

    swlinphx Premier Contributor

      I had a guest from Booking.com book check-in for Thanksgiving day the night before.  I explained we could not have it ready on Thanksgiving and after consulting with housekeeping let them know that Saturday would be the earliest they could check in.  They were from Brazil supposedly and claimed they spoke no English whatsoever (something I now suspect is not true).  I felt weird about this late notice because of the holiday, no English and why they suddenly needed a place last-minute but then said they were fine with Saturday instead.  If not an emergency then why the last-second inquiry for the following day?

       

      They could not speak by phone so I had to spend several hours that night translating all correspondence into Portuguese (thank God for Google Translate!).  I charged their Brazilian credit card the full amount (as Booking.com is the only site where we have to handle payment and charge the card info ourselves) and sent a contract Wednesday night.  Come Black Friday I still had no response and they claimed they did not receive the contract despite not mentioning it in the 48 hours after sending where I told them they need to sign it to keep the booking.  I know they did and was willing to just cancel (actually hoping to) but then they immediately returned it last-second.  They said they'd be in around 6:30 PM Saturday evening and I wondered how I was going to give them a tour and explain all crucial things using Google Translate in person.

       

      They arrived and I greeted them but "Fagner", the booking party and credit cardholder, was not there.  The other two said he would be coming Wednesday (my first red flag).  We require the responsible party to be there or to designate someone in advance who would be.  I bent over backwards to go over everything with them and translate all into Google for them to read.  Now I feel foolish because in retrospect it seems like they didn't really seem to care to read it and said they understood most sort of dismissively, but maybe because they really did speak English and just enjoyed watching me jump thru hoops.

       

      Flash forward to the following Friday night before check-out.  I sent a checkout greeting and reminder of what to do, and even revised and reformatted my check-out sheet and printed it out in Portuguese for them, reminding they needed to do and check off each item, sign their name and leave the pool and mail keys there.  Usually I call guests the night before but again, no English for telephone communication.

       

      The next day upon check-out inspection they left every light on that was there upon check-in (even though turning off the lights is actually on the checkout sheet).  I can tell because even a special atmospheric light no one uses that I left on for check-in was still on in a room that appeared to be unused.  There was supposed to be three younger men but the only sign of use was a couple tiny items in the kitchen, the master bedsheets and one used hand towel and one used bath towel.  Nothing else appeared to be even touched.  I was mift they ignored the check-out list but glad the place was in such good shape at least.  I immediately sent them a thank you e-mail with their $300 damage deposit refund.  Now I regret being so prompt.

       

      The very next day I get a notice from Square (who I used to process this card because PayPal wanted this Brazilian customer to open a PayPal account, provide date of birth, etc. as they do with many in France and Square did not -- now I maybe see why) that "Fagner was unaware of the charge on his card for $1,241.30" (total w/rent. cleaning, deposit and all associated fees).  I received just $1,205 into my bank account after processing fees were taken.  I have never had a chargeback ever in all my properties over 14 years and do not believe the cardholder is a victim but instead the perpetrator, or at least in on it, to avoid payment.

       

      I have filed a dispute with all info (correspondence, Booking.com official reservation info and signed contract) I have. I have never had to ask for photo ID before but now I guess I must (in advance and again upon arrival) to prove the cardholder is the guest.  But I am not confident that if it is the cardholder's bank that makes the decision for their own customer (even in their attempt to steal by committing fraud) that they will rule fairly in my favor in this case.  It is obvious this is fraud (aside from the documentation I provided) because:

       

      A) if the card was stolen then it would have been reported and the charge not gone thru.

       

      B) if only the card info was stolen then the cardholder (if innocent) would not have waited until just hours right after the guests checked out of our resort to claim ignorance and report the charge.  They might have discovered it anytime in the week before or after, but not right at check out.

       

      C) if the cardholder was a victim the thieves wouldn't be the ones who reported it stolen and the thieves would not use stolen card info for accommodations within which they have over a week and a much higher risk to be discovered before checking out when the cardholder discovered it and reported it stolen.  They would have made a one-time purchase before the cardholder discovered the charge.

       

      Now I am awaiting verdict and meanwhile Square withdrew the full $1,241.30 I charged them, not just the $1,205.00  they deposited into my bank account.

        • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
          margaret CommunityAmbassador

          Sorry about your situation. You may be right about it being fraud but it is possible that it was a stolen CC. I had my one and only chargeback through Square. Their chargeback team was great, very helpful and walked me through everything. I suspect without the ID and the fact that the card holder was not present at check in you will probably lose this one, I hope I am wrong.

            • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
              twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

              I Agree....I think this may be a difficult one to disputes without the owner of the card or at least the I.D. Of the owner.   It is quite frustrating with all the technology that we have now that everyone who has a credit card or debit card isn’t using instant phone notification. Any charges to my credit card or debit cards sends me an “immediate” notification on my phone. So, even if someone should steal my information from my card (say by using at a restaurant) I would immediately be notified of the fraudulent charge within seconds of it being placed.

               

              We owners can only hope and pray that everyone start using this technology so that we are not dealing with fraudulent charges for our properties going forward.

                • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                  swlinphx Premier Contributor
                  t is quite frustrating with all the technology that we have now that everyone who has a credit card or debit card isn’t using instant phone notification. Any charges to my credit card or debit cards sends me an “immediate” notification on my phone. So, even if someone should steal my information from my card (say by using at a restaurant) I would immediately be notified of the fraudulent charge within seconds of it being placed.

                  Well that is good but in this case it wouldn't matter because I am sure the cardholder is the perp or in on it.  I think it is quite obvious considering what I stated above about contesting the charge right after they checked out and also that thieves don't steal a card then stay somewhere where it has time to be discovered with them there over the course of nine days.  This is a case of the cardholder trying to get by without paying.  Maybe he thinks, "Why not try?  What have I got to lose?  Worst that can happen is I have to pay."

                   

                  So then if this is the case anyone can just dispute anything on their card to get out of paying and there is no consequence other than they end up having to pay?  I guess everyone can do that then.  Doesn't seem right.  People buy online all the time without photo ID.  Are all those easily disputed too?

                   

                  Also, this would not have been a problem with the booking sites that handle the payment right?  So in the future the only ones I have to worry about claims of fraud are the ones I book directly?   Are we ever liable if someone pulls this for a booking AirBnB, HomeAway, TripAdvisor or Booking.com processed the payment for?

                    • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                      margaret CommunityAmbassador

                      There are many case of chargebacks when the payment is handled by the OTA processor. Booking directly is not the reason this you are having this chargeback. You may be correct about it being fraud but you would have to be able to prove it. The card holder will say they were not aware of the charge until they saw their statement, that the timing is coincidental. Don't let your guard down simply because one of the OTAs is processing the payment. Always require a signed RA and gov issued photo ID.

                        • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                          swlinphx Premier Contributor

                          So you ask for a photo ID both when booking and upon arrival?  And I'm assuming the photo ID must match the name of the cardholder, not the name of the guest staying if different? What if it is a child using their parent's card with their permission, or a husband using their wife's?  Do you as for the booking party's photo ID or the photo ID of the cardholder even if they are in a different location?

                           

                          With smartphones and other devices it is easy to quickly take a photo and e-mail it (no scanning and faxing) so should not be an issue.

                            • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                              margaret CommunityAmbassador

                              I require a gov issued photo ID of the card holder who is making payment returned with the RA. I have no push back from guests, most email or text it to me. I do not believe this is 100% foolproof but I do think it is a deterrent. I am not on site at check in but since you are you could also require it at check in.

                            • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                              swlinphx Premier Contributor
                              The card holder will say they were not aware of the charge until they saw their statement, that the timing is coincidental.

                              You really think it looks coincidental that the cardholder would happen to discover it just hours after check-out (not in all the many days before or after) and also that he claims it was thieves when thieves would not use a stolen card for a long-term purchase where they have so much time to be discovered and so much risk?  Add that to the signed contract, correspondence from the cardholder's (supposed) e-mail address/IP address and the Booking.com official reservation -- you think all of that will be disregarded all because of no photo ID?

                                • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                  margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                  I don't know if it was coincidental or fraud but I think that is what the card holder will say. I hope you will win the chargeback dispute if it was fraud but I think it will be hard due to the fact that you did not have ID and the card holder was not present at check in. The major CC companies advise getting a signed RA and gov issued photo ID to prevent chargebacks.

                                • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                  swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                  So are you saying payments thru HomeAway, et. al. would not  have protected me in this case?  They would have taken the money anyway after sending me a guest who they guaranteed was legit and who paid them directly??  If so I understood their guarantee differently.  Is this how you all understand it?

                                    • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                      green_mango Active Contributor

                                      That's correct - HA payments offers no chargeback protection.   Airbnb doesn't seem to have the rampant ID/chargeback issue that Yapstone/HA does.  What's the guarantee you're thinking of?  The Book with Confidence Guarantee?  That's for the guest (and ironically the 1st step is for the guest to initiate a chargeback with their credit card).  There is no such guarantee for hosts/owners on HA/VRBO.  For me, no matter which site I book from, all guests sign a contract and provide ID.  I use Square frequently - they're great and helpful with chargebacks (won my last two by the same guest, but it wasn't a case of fraud as yours appears to be - sorry!).

                                      • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                        margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                        As green_mango said there is no guarantee from HA that I am aware of if there is a chargeback. In fact there have been many complaints here on this forum that HA and Yapstone are not helpful in a chargeback situation.

                                        • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                          u0999 Premier Contributor

                                          Nope. Just search the forum for "chargeback". yesterday someone posted about some unjustified chargeback. There are probably dozens of threads. Book with confidence if for guests (and it mostly amounts to  advice given to the gust to initiate charge back against owner via guest's CC issuer in case of any problem). There is 0 , zilch, nada protection for the owners. i posted yesterday or day before on subject too.

                                        • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                          mareblue Contributor

                                          after welcoming the guest always i ask for passport or id from the person who used the credit card for the booking,also i take photo of his car

                                          around 75% of my bookings generated from my private website so everything is under control.

                                          but when i receive a booking from HA many times happened that the person who sent the enquiry-discussed and finalizing the reservation is different from the person who paid using his credit card.

                                          on top of the dashboard it is mentioned for example

                                          Mrs Mary Dx,expedia member from munchen etc

                                          guest paid 18/3/18 Andrew Ch -mastercard

                                          your rental agreement was accepted on 18/3/18 12.09 by Andrew Ch

                                          so upon arrival i ask Andrew Ch to give me his passport

                                          HA never provide card nr or details of the traveller who paid the reservation,only name-surname and type of credit card

                                          so as y may understand i m not able to check any cc only yapstone can do it

                                          but in case of chargeback yapstone is totally innocent

                                          the owner is always resposnsible...HA and co  are only entitled for their fee  nothing more

                                          unless i miss something

                                          thank you for your advice

                                  • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                    sage Senior Contributor

                                    When I check in at a hotel the desk clerk requires me to produce a credit card and a photo ID matching the credit card. I think everyone renting accommodations to others needs to confirm the match. And I do not accept last minute bookings because I want to mail the door access code to the address shown shown on the ID. I may lose some bookings as a result, but I do not lose sleep worrying about fraud.

                                      • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                        swlinphx Premier Contributor
                                        I may lose some bookings as a result, but I do not lose sleep worrying about fraud.

                                        Well I would say 14 years without one single chargeback over several rentals is a good track record, so I never lost sleep over it either.  This was an exceptional case of someone claiming they didn't stay after staying.  How often does that happen?  Has this happened to any of you before?

                                          • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                            margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                            I don't know how often it stolen CC are used but I have seen other posts across multiple forums over the years about chargebacks after a stay due to a stolen CC. As a matter of fact, I read about another owner in this situation, a stolen card caught after the stay, just today in one of the FB groups.

                                              • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                I just don't see thieves with a stolen card booking a future stay where they are present and have so much time to be discovered. I see a stolen card used for a one-time immediate purchase.  Those reports you hear were probably the cardholder claiming it was stolen to get out of paying.

                                                  • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                    margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                                    I agree many of these chargebacks are nothing more than fraud.

                                                      • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                        swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                        Most of the chargeback nightmares I have read about on these forums (but never experienced until now) were due to disputes about issues or money withheld or cancellations, etc.  I never heard of an owner or manager having a guest claim they didn't stay after they did.

                                                          • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                            margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                                            I have seen people post about the card holder saying the CC was stolen. I suspect that it is often fraud as you suspect in this case. I've always heard you cannot win a chargeback if the card is stolen.

                                                            • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                              u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                              I have. I think this type of scam was described before in these forums. Someone books using a CC. Other (presumably) family members come and stay. then the original cardholder issues a chargeback saying that he was not the one booking and that card was used by a family member without their permission.

                                                               

                                                              also, I saw you said you never had to ask for ID. till 2016 I didn't either. times-a-changin and we the owners need to adapt. Scammers invent more and more scams exploiting credit card rules loopholes and OTA rules. Also some renters (who technically did not steal anyone's credit card) use above mentioned scenario to get a free vacation by issuing a chargeback.

                                                               

                                                              sorry it happened, expensive lesson and maybe a signal to change your procedure.

                                                    • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                      swlinphx Premier Contributor
                                                      And I do not accept last minute bookings because I want to mail the door access code to the address shown shown on the ID.

                                                      So does that mean you don't accept any inquiries from guests who are already away from home traveling?  Many don't have their mail forwarded while on vacation and many people book while already on their trip or otherwise away from home.

                                                    • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                      ohst8er Senior Contributor

                                                      This has never happened to me, and I'm so sorry it has happened to you.  This is absolutely horrible.

                                                      • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                        dinamight Contributor

                                                        Here we go. Yet another case. I really think this is becoming more and more common because it's made so easy for the fraudsters.

                                                        Sure, we can ask for ID, but will that really work? They can always make some fake ID and then say it's not them later.

                                                        Yapstone etc needs to step up and do more checks on the CC.

                                                        • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                          ddpllc New Member

                                                          So this just confirms that I am getting a video camera outside (with notice to guests of course).  With one report by neighbors that a group of 5 was actually a group of 10, and now this....I want to have video evidence if ever needed!

                                                            • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                              swlinphx Premier Contributor
                                                              So this just confirms that I am getting a video camera outside (with notice to guests of course).  With one report by neighbors that a group of 5 was actually a group of 10, and now this....I want to have video evidence if ever needed!

                                                              That's how I feel, but I don't know if it's worth it to try to bring power to all my units outdoors in order to install cameras since this is the only chargeback, but it could prevent other issues.  On the other hand, just one chargeback could pay for the price of the cameras.  How about using a Ring doorbell or something?  Maybe that is the next step, just like we all use keyless entries with electronic or remote keypads.  If I had these guys on camera I could compare with the cardholder's photo ID during the dispute even if I didn't get one upon check-in or payment.

                                                               

                                                              I don't know what bothers me more, the loss of money or feeling like a chump. I bent over  backwards for these guys who looked maybe late 20's and claimed to speak no English.  A neighbor just told me yesterday he heard them speaking English outside while here.  They didn't know I live right below them (I deliberately try to avoid the guests staying over me so they don't know) but I so wish I'd overheard and called them out!

                                                                • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                  swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                  Ring doorbell would have also come in handy for big items that went missing from my rentals, like furniture.

                                                                    • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                      green_mango Active Contributor

                                                                      I have a Nest cam and a Nest Hello doorbell - love them.  It's a great idea to get started with the doorbell - I have it in my listing description & contract, and of course some people don't read either (my guests who had 11 adults instead of 6 and did a chargeback for the extra guest fees - for example!), but for the most part I think knowing they're there helps keep people honest.  Also, I like it simply because I can se when guests have arrived or departed, or cleaners or UPS has come.  Today I'm getting some yard work done - very handy!  Oh, I won the chargeback from the extra guests - but I also had a signed contract, numerous emails agreeing to the charges, the invoice said non-refundable, and I submitted video just to be on the safe side.

                                                                        • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                          swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                          I have a Nest cam and a Nest Hello doorbell - love them.  It's a great idea to get started with the doorbell

                                                                          Yes, I've been researching, and this site of the Best Video Doorbell Reviews for 2019 with a full comparison chart is very helpful along with pros & cons of each and even full dedicated reviews.  The three best so far seem to be Nest Hello, Ring Pro and SkyBell HD.

                                                                          for the most part I think knowing they're there helps keep people honest.  Also, I like it simply because I can se when guests have arrived or departed, or cleaners or UPS has come. 

                                                                          That's another benefit true.  For me that won't matter as I do thorough checkout inspections after guests leave but before housekeeping arrives.  Then I guess I would know for sure they are gone.

                                                                          I won the chargeback from the extra guests - but I also had a signed contract, numerous emails agreeing to the charges, the invoice said non-refundable, and I submitted video just to be on the safe side.

                                                                          I have all those things except a photo or photo ID.  But again, I hope their bank isn't stupid enough to fall for it when they know the cardholder is complicit since he waited a couple weeks to report the claim, just a couple hours after they checked out.  The main extra perks that not all have though is free cloud storage, pre-buffering to show just what happened before an "event" or alarm, battery-powered vs. doorbell low voltage power vs. full-on electrical installation, FFIT compatibility, etc.


                                                                          2019 Best Door Bell Cam Comparison.jpg

                                                                            • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                              twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                                                              Have you definitely proved that it was the owner and not a scammer? I mean many people only check their statements once a month. I have my credit and debit cards set up to give me an immediate alert on my phone for any purchase or charge.However, there are many folks that only look at the monthly statement. Could it be that the owners filing a fraud complaint was just concidental to your guests checking out? I hope you are right and you get all your funds, but I think many forget that not everyone uses all the bells and whistles available to them to protect them against fraud???

                                                                                • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                                  swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                  Well we are going to install one of those smart doorbells on all my rentals.  Costco ha a great sale now on the Ring Pro and Nest Hello (and of course the best return policy ever)

                                                                                   

                                                                                  The fact that it was reported right after they checked out and not a week or day sooner or later, speaks a lot.  It may be "possible" that the cardholder just happened to check then but then you add that to the fact that thieves don't want to get caught so they are not going to show up in person and just hope that the supposedly innocent card holder isn't alerted claim the cards stolen or change account info for the duration of their stay.  They were well aware of when it would be reported or the cardholder would make a claim.  They; must do this a lot.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I wish I could believe that the cardholder is some innocent victim,  but all signs currently point to him.  The whole BS about not knowing even basic English a bit at their age and also the "surprise" upon arrival that the cardholder was coming later; he was probably one of the guys I checked in but knew I had no photo ID to prove it.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  But to all of you, if any chargeback will stick without photo ID, such as restaurant or retail stores or Internet purchases, etc., then does that man that any of those places that do not ask for photo ID also get constantly defrauded?  They'd go out of business..  A photo ID can't (or shouldn't) be the only pertinent factor and every business that doesn't require one can be successfully ripped off.  Alao, I'm hoping this individual has some sort o track record (as this probably isn't their first time doing this.).

                                                                                • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                                  green_mango Active Contributor

                                                                                  swlinphx for the guest who did a chargeback, I did not have photo ID - but she didn't claim fraud, she claimed services not rendered. 

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Anyway, just putting in a vote for the Nest Hello - it's always recording & not just when there's 'motion' detected.  I can save clips from the cloud onto my hard drive.  We have two and it's great.  I also simply like the aesthetic better versus Ring.

                                                                                    • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                                      swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                      ...for the guest who did a chargeback, I did not have photo ID - but she didn't claim fraud, she claimed services not rendered.

                                                                                      Well there are all types of "fraud".  The cardholder is claiming not to know anything about it.  Using your credit card then trying to get out of paying by saying it was not you is indeed a type of fraud.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Anyway, just putting in a vote for the Nest Hello - it's always recording & not just when there's 'motion' detected.  I can save clips from the cloud onto my hard drive.  We have two and it's great.  I also simply like the aesthetic better versus Ring.

                                                                                      Which Ring?  Better than "Ring" or "Ring 2" but probably not "Ring Pro".  They are neck-and-neck in most reviews. 24/7 seems cool but many have reported poor video quality when on 24/7.  Also Nest subscription is $5/mo. vs. $3 for Ring.  Also, $65 off $240 is a great sale at Costco, but only four more days.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      But yes, those are the two nice extra features:  24/7 and face recognition.   You can't go too wrong with either of these top models and latest updates it seems though.

                                                                                        • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                                          green_mango Active Contributor

                                                                                          swlinphx I'm agreeing with you - your case sounds like fraud, I was just clarifying that my chargeback wasn't fraud, and so a photo ID wasn't as important in my response to the dispute

                                                                                           

                                                                                          As far as which Ring, I think the Nest looks better than all the Rings (not talking about functionality, purely form).  I don't have poor video quality with 24/7, but if my wifi signal is weak then the quality can go down, or if your ISP has limits that can downgrade the quality too.  My Nest sub is $50/year. 

                                                                                • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                                  ddpllc New Member

                                                                                  I am getting the Ring Spotlight Cam Solar.  Have one at my house and its great - no power, no battery to charge....as long as you have sun close by to mount the panel.  A doorbell either of my doors would not capture be focused on the right place to capture what I need!  (But it could provide evidence of someone staying there.)

                                                                                    • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                                      ddpllc New Member

                                                                                      And there is the solar Spotlight cam, if you need motion lights too.

                                                                                        • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                                          ddpllc New Member

                                                                                          sorry Stick Up Cam Solar is the one I'm getting.

                                                                                            • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                                              swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                              For the front I ordered Ring Pro at the awesome Costco sale price (and return policy does not fall under 90 days) and for the back I am considering either Ring Stick Up (comes in choice of wired or wireless) and Arlo Pro 2 system.  Can't decide yet.  If I get Ring for the front doorbell it would be nice to have them all on one app but then the Arlo system is also "IFTTT" so you can use different systems together.  Not too sure of the difference between Ring's Stick Up and their other standard security cam.  I do know if you have multiple Ring cameras you only pay for one plan if you go for the $10 vs. $3 plan.  So you could have several cameras all for $10/month total and that also included lifetime warranty!  With the $3 you'd pay for each separately and warranty is only 1 year.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              Do you guys who have front door or doorbell cams cover all exits, like backdoor, patio or balcony railing etc?  Even if you think that is low risk once the wrong people see you have the front doorbell cam their first instinct would be to just go around back, so that makes it more necessary to cover the other exits.  Of course is a cam merely showing the outdoor balcony railing considered a violation of privacy?  It would be pointed in such a manner and direction so guests can see it's not on them.

                                                                                                • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                                                  swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                                  Although Arlo has the standard, Pro and Pro 2 lines, the Pro 2 is the only one that has the 30-second buffer so you can see what happened before the event triggered the camera (just like the newest Rings do too).  And the Pro2 is the only Arlo where you can designate focus zones for motion to prevent a lot of false alarms.

                                                                                                   

                                                                                                  The $1,200 I may never get back more than pays for all of this.  It only takes one fraudster to pull something off that will cost you in the long run.

                                                                                                  • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                                                    green_mango Active Contributor

                                                                                                    I have cameras where there is NO expectation of privacy.  Depending on your back door and patio/deck there may be an expectation of privacy - I just don't know how they are situated.  I also, according to CA law, have a small sign posted informing of both audio & video recording.  Even if your back camera doesn't capture guests on video, it will get audio and that may too invasive. 

                                                                                                      • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                                                        swlinphx Premier Contributor

                                                                                                        I couldn't resist the awesome sale on Ring Pro at Costco for just $170.  It is the one Ring doorbell that is as slim and sleek as Nest and has all the extra features like backward buffering and smart, selectable motion zones.  I wonder if I can share a plan if all the Rings are on the same account and the same address, even though our unit numbers are different.  Would be awesome to split their annual charge three ways.  If I can then the $100/yr. total is worth it. But then it's Costco so no worries.  Also I watched a lot of comparison videos from consumers comparing Ring, Ring 2 and Ring Pro against Nest Hello.  And even Ring Stickup with Arlo Pro2).

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        I just had an advanced Netgear Nighthawk WiFi extender go out on my just a few months past the minimal one-year warranty.  I asked that since it's just a little out of warranty, and starting acting up while still under warranty, and I have all the original packaging (even shrink wrap!) if they would let me at least send back if I pay shipping and they send me just another one (even refurbished) at no cost.  Not asking for a refund. They aren't in the Christmas spirit at Netgear I guess because I think that is a fair request for a customer.

                                                                                              • Re: Wow, has THIS ever happened to you??
                                                                                                u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                                                                lesson: do not bend over backwards. I found it never pays and often you end up with someone ungrateful, dirty or destructive.