Submission Number: 00018
Received: 9/29/2012 11:03:26 AM
Commenter: Bob Chandler
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of DesignerWare, LLC; FTC File No. 1123151
Attachments: No Attachments
I have read your complaint with great interest and I have to say that I can only conclude that you never used the software. If you talked to anyone I would find it impossible for you to come up with these findings. You at the FTC are grossly misleading the public.
I’ve used this product for years and when installed properly you cannot turn on the computer without reading exactly what happens if you do not return the computer as agreed to in writing. Also, it is not possible to install the monitoring software unless the computer is reported stolen.
While using this product my store was broken into and thankfully we had this software. After reporting the computers stolen we asked to have the monitoring software installed. It installed, and we had the suspects arrested and recovered our property.
So does the monitoring take a picture using the webcam and record information, certainly it can. But I own this computer not the person that is stealing it. Can Hertz not track a rental car if you do NOT return it as agreed?
I’ve been in RTO for 20 years and nobody would ever want to ‘spy’ on a renter. But, when I rent a computer and you agree to return it then what do we do? We try to call you, after all you may have just forgotten and we send you a certified letter. I know where you live, I visit your work, visit your house, and I lockdown the computer so you cannot use it. So, why would I want to take a picture of you using my computer? This is not logical and you should have discovered this yourself if you would have just visited one rental store.
But what do I do when you no longer live where you said you live? You no longer work where you did, the certified letter is returned undelivered, and your references and phone numbers are no longer working. Here I am without my $800 laptop and only a two week rental payment. This is where the monitoring software comes in. I would report the computer stolen and asked to have the software installed. Surely it would gather some questionable data but it is my computer and you are depriving me of my property. In other words, you’re a thief and not a consumer. Don’t take my word for it, read the State Law’s which clearly state it is a felony not to return rental property at the end of the rental contract.
Let me walk you through another example, prior to using Rental Agent, I was charging off 8% of my laptops because they were not returned. After using the product, my charge off’s went to 1%. The first week I used this product a customer walked into my store and handed me a police report saying the laptop she was renting was stolen and I could eat the cost because according to her, she was now no longer responsible. I called DesignerWare and they instructed me on how to report the computer stolen. 20 minutes later, I had a webcam picture of this very same lady filling out the ‘fake’ registration. Now you are telling me that I did something wrong? She falsified a police report and wanted me to charge off the brand new laptop, deprived me of my property and you have the never to call her a consumer.
Now, I cannot testify to everyone’s use, but I find it difficult to accept my piers in the industry want to monitor someone that is paying rent.
What you should regulate is the following:
1. Rental stores cannot install any tracking monitoring software at the time of rental
2. That no time during a rental contract can an consumer be tracked
3. All rental contracts should state that if you do NOT return the computer as you agree then you can be tracked.
4. You can only install tracking software when a renter reports the computer stolen or the contract has expired and you have sent them certified mail asking for the return.
a. Only when the rental contract has expired by more than 10 days and you have attempted to notify them via certified mail can you now install monitoring software.
What you have done is the biggest injustice I have seen.