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Old 05-03-2011, 02:47 PM
 
1,508 posts, read 962,305 times
Reputation: 766
Default Aaron Rental accused of spying on customers

It almost seems like every electronic product manufactured recently has some sort of tracking or spying device. Makes you start looking at your computer, television and laptop in a whole different light...



Aaron Rental accused of spying on customers


Pa. suit: Furniture rental co. spies on PC users *| ajc.com (http://www.ajc.com/business/ap-pa-lawsuit-rental-933410.html - broken link)
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:56 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
1,197 posts, read 891,027 times
Reputation: 941
Wow, what an invasion of privacy! I can kind of see the purpose of the kill switch if people stop paying their bills, but to be able to snap pictures of people in the privacy of their homes, that is just wrong.

Hope Aaron's ends up paying through the nose for this one.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:11 PM
 
Location: New York, New York
1,614 posts, read 1,489,695 times
Reputation: 1316
Quote:
Aaron's, which bills itself as the nation's leader in the sales and lease ownership of residential furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances, said the lawsuit was meritless. It said it respects its customers' privacy and hasn't authorized any of its corporate stores to install the software described in the lawsuit.
Really? Then how did the employee get the picture in the first place?

Also, anytime I buy a computer from a manufacturer, the first thing I do is format the hard drive, then reinstall my own copy of the OS in order to get rid off all the bloatware crap that comes pre-shipped on PCs nowadays. That'd get rid of any remote "killswitch" that may be installed.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:12 PM
 
13,803 posts, read 8,170,869 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnHarris View Post
Aaron Rental accused of spying on customers


Pa. suit: Furniture rental co. spies on PC users *| ajc.com (http://www.ajc.com/business/ap-pa-lawsuit-rental-933410.html - broken link)
Man, that would make me so mad if I found out I was being spied on that way. If this is true, I'd say everybody who rented those computers should get together in some kind of class action.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:52 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,112 posts, read 20,433,548 times
Reputation: 4643
The couple will probably win. This is similar to the school system that was using spyware/camware on the Apple laptops the students were taking home and snapping pics of them (and their parents) using the computers, etc. If I'm not mistaken, the school system lost that one.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:04 AM
JPD
 
7,448 posts, read 7,388,059 times
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As if I needed another reason to hate Aaron's and their consumer rental industry ilk. Despicable.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,123 posts, read 3,533,573 times
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My condolences to whomever is spying on me!
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:00 AM
 
986 posts, read 1,059,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPD View Post
As if I needed another reason to hate Aaron's and their consumer rental industry ilk. Despicable.
In an era of internet information gathering, millions of Best Buy flyers in every paper nationwide, globally available pricing information, and a basic calculator function built into every cell phone, you have to wonder who still goes to these places w/ any expectation other than a complete fleecing. I mean Walmart sells millions of computers to people w/o any computer knowledge at some of the lowest prices around. If you can't wait a month and put together $300-400 to buy a computer, go to the library.

I read somewhere they were paying ~$150/mon for a Dell Inspiron laptop and then decided to pay off the $900 balance when they finally realized they screwed up. Dell will happily sell it to you for $20/mon if you have acceptable credit and that's at 20% interest (horrible deal but far better than Aaron's). If you don't...Craigslist offers last year's model for ~$300 or 3 yrs ago model for $150. The only consumers that shop at Aaron's are ones that no other store wants so you're talking serious deadbeats. They aren't cost/service competitive on any front other than the financially desperate and the stupid so I would expect them to need loss prevention tactics. Monitoring people and snapping photos of them aren't the best ways to retrieve a computer. They should have contacted them first and then shut the system down if they were correct in the repossession.

Not sure if this is a factor, but the store could have been a franchise. If corporate can prove they don't install the software and don't condone it as policy, they can probably throw the franchisee under the bus. Strong arming customers is never a good tactic and I hope they pay but it's pretty clear that Aaron's customers are fairly bottom of the barrel.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,652 posts, read 9,283,139 times
Reputation: 3168
Aaron's should disclose if they are recording or otherwise tapping data, but I have to wonder why anyone would rent a computer. Today, you can buy a middle of the road desktop or laptop for just a few hundred dollars.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Dallas by way of ATL
711 posts, read 632,694 times
Reputation: 997
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishap View Post

Not sure if this is a factor, but the store could have been a franchise. If corporate can prove they don't install the software and don't condone it as policy, they can probably throw the franchisee under the bus. Strong arming customers is never a good tactic and I hope they pay but it's pretty clear that Aaron's customers are fairly bottom of the barrel.
Even if they are bottom of the barrel, in my opinion, this still does not excuse the invasion of privacy.
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