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Aaron's Rental store spying on customers thru computers- taking photos ?

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posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:05 PM
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There is a lawsuit claiming Aarons Rental spied on a couple through their computer. A manager even came to their house with a photo taken with the computers webcam.
Why would a rental company need to spy on it's customers? Especially with video and images. That is just creepy. Reminds me of a while back when that school was accused of doing the same thing on laptops it lent the students.

A major furniture rental chain has software on its computers that lets it track the keystrokes, screenshots and even webcam images of customers while they use the devices at home, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Wyoming couple who said they learned about the PC Rental Agent "device and/or software" inside the computer they rented last year when an Aaron's Inc. store manager in Casper came to their home on Dec. 22.

The manager tried to repossess the computer because he mistakenly believed the couple hadn't finished paying for it, the couple said. Brian Byrd, 26, said the manager showed him a picture of Byrd using the computer — taken by the computer's webcam. The image was shot with the help of spying software, which the lawsuit contends is made by North East, Pa.-based Designerware LLC and is installed on all Aaron's rental computers.
news.yahoo.com...




posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:10 PM
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reply to post by toolstarr
 


Thats just not right but then again, why in Gods name would you pay 1200.00 for a crappy laptop? Lol, idiots.



posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:10 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised to see the government file a lawsuit against Aaron's also since they apparently stole the government's design....



posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by Helious
reply to post by toolstarr
 


Thats just not right but then again, why in Gods name would you pay 1200.00 for a crappy laptop? Lol, idiots.


I don't know too much about Aaron's but I believe even if you have terrible credit, you can purchase whatever you want from them with a catch. You pay 100X what you would pay in a regular store, but since you can't buy it anywhere else since they have terrible credit, you can rent to buy it from them for a ton more.



posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:12 PM
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It's probably so they could see what people have in their homes and then rent them more expensive stuff. Aarons is basically a scam, like pay day advance: instead of buying an 80 dollar patio set, you buy it on credit and pay hundreds or dollars for it after interest and what not. People with bad credit fall for it.



posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:15 PM
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Aaron's is a $h!t store. They sold my mother-in-law a used computer for $1,000.00 when it was $500.00 computer retail for a new one. She's since learned to come to me in advance before making any purchases like that, but the fact that they so openly scam their customers is infuriating. I'm not surprised at all that they spy on their customers.



posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:17 PM
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Kind of makes you wonder who else does this.



posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:20 PM
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Originally posted by Chrisfishenstein

Originally posted by Helious
reply to post by toolstarr
 


Thats just not right but then again, why in Gods name would you pay 1200.00 for a crappy laptop? Lol, idiots.


I don't know too much about Aaron's but I believe even if you have terrible credit, you can purchase whatever you want from them with a catch. You pay 100X what you would pay in a regular store, but since you can't buy it anywhere else since they have terrible credit, you can rent to buy it from them for a ton more.


Yeah, thats my point though, article said they made 2 payments of 150.00 before deciding it made sense to just pay it off for an additional 900.00 in cash.

One thing I know about Aaron's from there flyers is that there stuff is WAY overpriced even to just buy it outright in cash but also they only carry middle of the road stuff, very little in the way of anything considered high end in the laptop world.

Since you can get a maxed out gaming laptop with all the bells and whistles for about 800.00 why did they get a crappy dell or gateway for 400.00 more haha, if they had 900.00 in cash they should of went to best buy lol.



posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:22 PM
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Easy remedy, black tape, cover camera and never use OEM software preinstalled.

That is until they embed camera's inbetween the pixels as per Apple's patent demonstrates.


edit on 3-5-2011 by moogins because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 3 2011 @ 12:33 PM
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Nope, absolutely not true. I worked for an Aaron's store for almost 2 years as an account manager, and I have experience using the PC Rental Agent software. It can track the customer, sort of like a low-jack, but cannot take pics though the webcam. It can shut the pc down so the customer can't use it also.

The picture was probably inadvertently taken by the customer, and when the store got the merchandise back, found the picture. This lawsuit won't be going anywhere, I'm afraid.

However, I will admit that Aaron's is a crap company, and I wouldn't put it past the store to have harassed the customer to the point that they believed they were being spied on.

Edit: Unless they completely changed the way the software works within the last 6 months, it is not soldered onto the motherboard, it is just software that works at the OS kernel level, as far as I remember. It's installed at the store from a disc or USB stick, after opening the PC from its' original packaging.
edit on 3-5-2011 by nwdogg1982 because: edit



posted on May, 3 2011 @ 09:45 PM
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Apparently it's de rigueur for Aaron's in Casper where the couple resides.

Lawsuit: Rental firm spies on users


PC Rental Agent includes components soldered into the computer's motherboard or otherwise physically attached to the PC's electronics, the lawsuit said. It therefore cannot be uninstalled and can only be deactivated using a wand, the suit said.

The couple's attorney, John Robinson, of Casper, said Aaron's officials have told police they install the device on all their rental computers.






posted on May, 3 2011 @ 11:05 PM
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Someone should also sue them for their obnoxious commercials!

I actually despise Aaron's and their cohorts. I will refurbish an Apple IIe to get to ATS than rent a glowing smart box from them



posted on May, 4 2011 @ 01:00 AM
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I had a short job working for HP (moronic company stuck in 1980) and I have to say.. dealing with dealers like Aarons, Rent-a-center and believe it or not .. Staples .. makes me never want to buy a PC ever again. I'll build them my self from now on. Every single time I delt with an issue regarding Aarons I was amazed by the level of fraud and stupidity. My favorite was selling "new out of the box pc's" with the previous owners files still on it. I'd be asked why we would sell a computer with 6+ gigs of personal photo's and videos, sometimes very "revealing" .... that's Aarons for you. And Staples. 3 stores I'll never shop at.. not that I'd ever fall for the "rent to own" garbage anyways.



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 02:16 PM
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To add to this you can download live cam apps
for your ipad or iphone to view any camera in the world
via an IP address.You can even control some of the cameras.
I downloaded one of these apps and was totally surprised!!
It had daycares on there! How creepy is that.
So if you or anyone you know views a camera via an internet connection,
like your home,beware.

appadvice.com...



posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 02:51 PM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
I had a short job working for HP (moronic company stuck in 1980) and I have to say.. dealing with dealers like Aarons, Rent-a-center and believe it or not .. Staples .. makes me never want to buy a PC ever again. I'll build them my self from now on. Every single time I delt with an issue regarding Aarons I was amazed by the level of fraud and stupidity. My favorite was selling "new out of the box pc's" with the previous owners files still on it. I'd be asked why we would sell a computer with 6+ gigs of personal photo's and videos, sometimes very "revealing" .... that's Aarons for you. And Staples. 3 stores I'll never shop at.. not that I'd ever fall for the "rent to own" garbage anyways.



My husband manages a rent to own store, not Aaron's. And first of all, Aaron's, as with all of these types of companies, are supposed to wipe out the used computers before re-renting them. Basically, this is how the rent to own process works... The company orders the laptops and pay a little under wholesale, then they rent them out to the public. Each company is different, but they have what they call "turns". If they sell/rent it at 3 turns, for example, that would mean they are charging 3 times the amount they paid for it. Aaron's usually sells/rents a new laptop at 3 turns, a used for 2 or 2.5. Yes, this does mean, if you make all the payments, you will be paying an outrageous cost for the laptop. However, the better companies offer a 90 or 120 days same as cash option. You pay the payments for that amount of time and they go towards the same as cash price, then you pay of the balance. If you use this option, the stores usually only come out of it with 1.5 turns at the most. So you'd still be paying a bit more than regular store price, but if you finance something, after interest and fees, it comes out to the same, and this is an option that people with bad credit can benefit from, as they can't get financing. So if you're going to go through a rent to own store, always ask what the 90 days same as cash price is. (some of them are 120 days) Also, those stores can and will negotiate the price, so stand your ground. The price on the tag is not what that store is required to charge. Look up wholesale price of whatever you want to buy, and then go from there. They are more intereted in getting their cutomer number up than making 3 turns on the product. (thats what they get bonuses for-customer growth) Now, as far as that pc rental agent software on the laptops... My husbands company also uses this software. However, they use it correctly. It's not to be used when someone's late on their payment. It's there because the rent to own business get ripped of constantly. People make the first couple of payments and disappear. And more than half the time, in the case of laptops, anyway, they sell the laptop to some unsuspecting person. The software allows them to do two things. First, if the customer is late on a payment, they can lock it down so it can't be used until they make a payment. This is the only way it is supposed to be used in a late payment case. Now second, if the customer completely disappears, or they give the story that they give so often- "someone stole out of my house so I'm not paying for it now" (when usually they sold it) the company can then activate the software which allows someone to use the computer a limkited number of times. When they use the computer, the software tracks the location it's being used each time, and then it takes a quick snapshot with the webcam and logs it into the system. That way, if has been stolen, the company can then pass on the location(s) as well as the photo(s) of the person using the stolen laptop onto the police and eventually press charges. This software has been a huge benefit to these companies, and it's not just places like Aaron's that are now using it. Almost all pc rental companies are now using the software as well. And I have to say, if I was the owner of a business that has a high occurence of theft, I would pretty happy to have such software available to me, and I'm sure if any of you think about, you'd feel the same. Unfortunately, this Aaron's store used it to bully their customer and that's not the purpose it was meant for. Sorry about the long post, just wanted to explain the whole process as there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation out there. Just remeber everybody, 90/120 days same as cash and always negotiate! If you do this, it is possible to get a good deal for low payments out of these companies, especially if you have bad credit and not many other options. That is, most of these companies... Some of them are just crap! ;-)




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