1. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    Sometime in the last few days, Ring removed the WM app from the store and deactivated the installed apps. The customers were given no notice despite the app's ability to display notices.

    Update: Ring claims the app is gone because they couldn't publish an update to the Microsoft Store. I related someone's speculation for why they couldn't publish an update app in post 17. Subsequently, the editor at All About Windows Phone informed me that speculation was wrong.


    It's incredible that a company who makes security devices would secretly disable those devices leaving their customers worse off than if they never bought the product. If a customer knew they would not be notified if their security device was triggered, they could take steps to mitigate the failure.

    I get it that a company may decide its not worth catering to customers with Windows Phones, or red hair, or who speak with an accent. But its not acceptable to then disable said product at least for the length of the warranty when the availability of the app was an essential part of the product.

    I've demanded a refund from Ring. And if none is forthcoming, damn it, I am taking them to court. You don't want Windows Phone users as customers? Fine, but you can't sell a product based on the ability to use it with Windows Phones and immediately take that away once you have their money.

    My email to Jamie Siminoff, of Ring:

    I purchased a Ring Doorbell based on the fact that Ring had a Windows Mobile app. I installed the app on my phone a few days ago before opening the box. And as you know, you can’t even activate your device without a smartphone app. So, I activated the bell and confirmed the app worked on my phone, notifying me of rings and letting me have a conversation with the ringer.

    I planned to physically install the Ring Doorbell today. Before doing that I tried to install your app on my Wife’s phone and found that Ring has removed it from the app store. In addition, the app already installed on my phone has stopped working with no notification.

    I can see absolutely no benefit to the device if it doesn’t notify and let us remotely interact with whoever rings the bell.

    Pulling the rug out from under your customers like this is an unbelievable display of arrogance and disrespect. Or do you expect customers to abandon their Windows Phones and switch platforms just to use your doorbell (and do that again when you kill that app)? Of course, even if someone was willing to do that, they wouldn’t even know they needed to since Ring never informed them the devices had been secretly deactivated.

    It is unbelievable that a company selling security devices secretly deactivates them and lets their customers go along blissfully thinking they would be notified of visitors, vandals or intruders. At least have the decency to send a notice to the phones of people using those apps saying something like:

    “Your property is now at the mercy of, well just about anyone because we will no longer notify you when the door bells, security cameras, etc. you bought and installed are triggered. We realize you would have liked even an hour’s advanced notice, but hey, we didn’t have to tell you at all. Sure, you may return from your vacation to find your home ransacked but someday you’ll look back at it and laugh; I know we will”

    Please advise where I should ship the now useless doorbell and confirm that you will be issuing a refund. I can’t return it to the retailer in this state.

    It was unconscionable to remove and disable a working app, even if you had notified customers. Doing it without notice is deplorable. You’ve actually made your customers less safe than they were before buying your products because they can’t take alternative steps since they don’t even know you disabled the devices.
    Last edited by HoosierDaddy; 02-21-2018 at 07:54 AM.
    mtf1380 and RumoredNow like this.
    02-18-2018 10:48 AM
  2. Elky64's Avatar
    Not good indeed and sorry you had to find out in such a fashion. Can't say it's all that surprising though since I've had similar happen albeit we were prepared since iOS/Android devices were at our disposal to take up the slack. Just another pitfall of the platforms decline I'm afraid. Think the most you can hope for now is a refund so the best of luck with that.
    aximtreo and HoosierDaddy like this.
    02-18-2018 12:17 PM
  3. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    Not good indeed and sorry you had to find out in such a fashion. Can't say it's all that surprising though since I've had similar happen albeit we were prepared since iOS/Android devices were at our disposal to take up the slack. Just another pitfall of the platforms decline I'm afraid. Think the most you can hope for now is a refund so the best of luck with that.
    I don't want anything but a refund. But any Windows Mobile using customer is entitled to not just a refund on the device but for costs associated with installing said device and even losses caused by it being secretly deactivated.

    But I believe this is very different than a bank or coffee shop, or just about any other app disappearing.

    If a bank pulls an app, you can still get your money out. If a coffee shop pulls their app, you can still buy coffee.

    But a remote security device doesn't have ANY other means to be used except its app. Not issuing a refund or requiring you to buy an iPhone would be the same as a bank saying you can't get your money out at or have to buy an iPhone to get it.

    Products have an implied warranty of merchantability regardless of the manufacturer's policies. That means it must perform in a manner a reasonable customer would expect. It is 100% reasonable to expect a security device to do something other than just lay there for at least the length of the manufacturer's stated warranty. Yet these devices were deactivated by willful actions made by the manufacturer. By law they can not do that without compensation or reactivating the app.

    Conversely, it is NOT reasonable for a manufacturer of any product to take your money and then at a later date require you to buy another product such as an iPhone in order to continue using the product you own.

    And it is not reasonable for a customer to read your website FAQs every day to find out your product will be or has been deactivated any more than it was reasonable for Earth inhabitants to visit another planet to see the notice that Earth will be destroyed to build a galactic bypass [/hitchhiker's guide]. But that could be the only way a customer would find out other than becoming a victim of a criminal. The company had an obligation to send a notice thru the app to phones it was installed on or otherwise notify the customer. These are security products. Not telling the customer of this is about the same as not telling a lock customer that their locks just appear to work but do nothing.

    Since they did not do that, technically they could be responsible to pay a customer millions of dollars if someone's rich aunt took them out of her will because they didn't answer the door while she repeatedly pressed the ringer and she could hear them inside laughing and talking. ;)
    libra89 and mtf1380 like this.
    02-18-2018 01:06 PM
  4. Elky64's Avatar
    I don't want anything but a refund. But any Windows Mobile using customer is entitled to not just a refund on the device but for costs associated with installing said device and even losses caused by it being secretly deactivated.

    But I believe this is very different than a bank or coffee shop, or just about any other app disappearing.

    If a bank pulls an app, you can still get your money out. If a coffee shop pulls their app, you can still buy coffee.

    But a remote security device doesn't have ANY other means to be used except its app. Not issuing a refund or requiring you to buy an iPhone would be the same as a bank saying you can't get your money out at or have to buy an iPhone to get it.

    Products have an implied warranty of merchantability regardless of the manufacturer's policies. That means it must perform in a manner a reasonable customer would expect. It is 100% reasonable to expect a security device to do something other than just lay there for at least the length of the manufacturer's stated warranty. Yet these devices were deactivated by willful actions made by the manufacturer. By law they can not do that without compensation or reactivating the app.

    Conversely, it is NOT reasonable for a manufacturer of any product to take your money and then at a later date require you to buy another product such as an iPhone in order to continue using the product you own.

    And it is not reasonable for a customer to read your website FAQs every day to find out your product will be or has been deactivated any more than it was reasonable for Earth inhabitants to visit another planet to see the notice that Earth will be destroyed to build a galactic bypass [/hitchhiker's guide]. But that could be the only way a customer would find out other than becoming a victim of a criminal. The company had an obligation to send a notice thru the app to phones it was installed on or otherwise notify the customer. These are security products. Not telling the customer of this is about the same as not telling a lock customer that their locks just appear to work but do nothing.

    Since they did not do that, technically they could be responsible to pay a customer millions of dollars if someone's rich aunt took them out of her will because they didn't answer the door while she repeatedly pressed the ringer and she could hear them inside laughing and talking. ;)
    Oh I hear you as had my security cams app disappear very similarly about a year ago but like I said, we were were prepared. The fact is, the platforms decline is neither new nor are apps vanishing and/or becoming inoperative, it's just another aspect of its demise.

    Not wanting to sound unsympathetic but IMO those who stick with the platform should be expecting the unexpected especially where apps are concerned. In other words, you are taking a big gamble sticking with Windows Phone in that, what you have available today may not be there for you tomorrow. No it's not necessarily right but your case isn't the first nor will it be the last.
    Last edited by Elky64; 02-18-2018 at 02:21 PM.
    02-18-2018 02:08 PM
  5. Guytronic's Avatar
    Here and gone...
    Old story with Windows evidently.
    A big reason I bought an Android phone a couple of years ago was for home automation and security apps that worked with my devices.
    I'm not real happy with our Ring Pro frankly.
    For a $200.00 dollar doorbell it should make me smile. I should have sent it back right away instead of spending more money trying to get it working right.

    Sorry about your situation Hoosier
    libra89 and aximtreo like this.
    02-18-2018 03:57 PM
  6. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    Here and gone...
    Old story with Windows evidently.
    A big reason I bought an Android phone a couple of years ago was for home automation and security apps that worked with my devices.
    I'm not real happy with our Ring Pro frankly.
    For a $200.00 dollar doorbell it should make me smile. I should have sent it back right away instead of spending more money trying to get it working right.

    Sorry about your situation Hoosier
    Ring has already promised to reimburse me what I paid and told me how to return the device to them.

    There is every reason to believe they would do the same for you or any other Windows phone user, unless the defect warranty has already expired.

    As I said, there is a merchantability warranty that can not be for less time than the regular warranty. If the app was available when you purchased the device and they had not previously disclosed it would be withdrawn during the regular warranty period, they are legally obligated to either make the device work with your Windows Phone or refund what you paid.

    I am just very very very surprised their legal department did not warn them about the downsides of secretly disabling security devices. If just one customer had their home broken in because they had deactivated the device, their losses could far exceed the cost of maintaining a WM app for years. This is a litigious society, not to mention the impact on future sales from social media exposure about the victims.

    This is far worse for a business than someone being harmed by a random product defect; this was a willful act to disable the product and it was done without notifying the customer.

    McDonald s was originally slapped with an $8m award for accidentally burning a customer. Imagine if it had been shown they intentionally made the coffee hot enough to possibly kill someone. When a security camera fails, it is potentially life threatening.
    RumoredNow, mtf1380 and Guytronic like this.
    02-18-2018 04:53 PM
  7. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    My email to Jamie (Ring Founder) after his team agreed to refund what I paid for the device they bricked:

    Thanks, Jamie. Your team is taking care of me, but please read at least the next few sentences.

    Ring “bricked” all their devices sold to Windows phone users with no advanced warning.

    Considering how litigious this society is and how “bad press” can go viral so easily in social media, I’m surprised your legal team let this happen.

    I understand that the number of Windows Phone users are declining, and it may not be worth pursuing them going forward BUT products you have already sold have a warranty of merchantability that you have a legal obligation for. That means your product has to perform as a reasonable person would expect.

    When Ring killed their WM app, the Ring Devices owned by Windows Phone users became bricks. They no longer performed any functions. No reasonable person would expect a security device to behave that way.

    For a lot of services or products, an app is a nice to have. If your bank kills its app, you can still withdraw and deposit money. If a coffee shop kills its app, you can still buy coffee.

    But what Ring did was the equivalent of a bank telling customers they could no longer withdraw their money at all (or they suddenly need an iPhone to withdraw). The bank could certainly tell new customers they needed an iPhone to open an account, but once they opened an account, they could not impose that requirement later.

    Your products are security devices. Think about the exposure if a customer came home from vacation to find their home ransacked (or worse) because your product stopped working due to a willful action by the manufacturer. And to compound it, the manufacturer never even warned the customer they were going to “brick” the product they had purchased and were counting on.

    I recommend you mitigate your exposure from not informing customers by sending a notice thru the Ring app on those customer’s phones to tell them their Ring Devices will no longer notify them when the devices are triggered. At this moment they probably have no idea.

    And you might want to re-examine the cost/benefit of killing the app. I’m sure a proper analysis was done on loss of future sales, but it appears other factors might have been misjudged.

    For one, the legal obligation of the warranty of merchantability could require Ring to refund the purchase price for every Ring Device ever sold to a Windows Phone user. Your team has already agreed to refund me. There are millions of Windows Phone users. I don’t know how many others bought your products, but you might want to figure that out and prepare for refunds to them.

    That could change the tipping point for keeping the app. Reinstating it might cost less than the exposure removing it created PLUS result in good will as opposed to the anger that “bricking” their devices caused.

    Food for thought.
    aximtreo, mtf1380 and Guytronic like this.
    02-18-2018 07:27 PM
  8. anthonyng's Avatar
    Sorry to hear this story, can't wait for companies to get sick of the app model... I have trouble buying anything dependent on an app. Guess I rather skip home automation than be dependent on an app
    02-18-2018 09:34 PM
  9. aximtreo's Avatar
    Not sure if this is correct or that it would matter in this case but isn't Ring a google company. Sorry, just couldn't put the g in google in capitals.
    Guytronic likes this.
    02-19-2018 07:43 AM
  10. RumoredNow's Avatar
    02-19-2018 08:38 AM
  11. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    Sorry to hear this story, can't wait for companies to get sick of the app model... I have trouble buying anything dependent on an app. Guess I rather skip home automation than be dependent on an app
    Needing an app is a bad thing for sure, but I don't see a practical alternative for setting up devices that use WiFi. The way devices like this (not just ones from Ring) access the internet is thru the customer's internet facing WiFi. But these devices have no keyboards, display screens, user interface, etc for a customer to enter their WiFi credentials. So the devices include their own very limited range, unsecured, crude WiFi that an app on the customer's phone connects to for no other purpose but to obtain and relay the credentials for the Customer's WiFi. Then the devices' WiFi used by the app is disabled. So without an app to establish internet access for the device, the cost of the devices would skyrocket due to the need to include a keybord, display, etc for setting up the WiFi. I had to borrow an Android phone to set up my WiFi enabled landscape irrigation controller. That was marginally acceptable since the app wasn't needed after establishing WiFi. I suppose manufacturers could add WPS capability to the devices, but not all routers support that and many that do default to off for security reasons. A lot of customers would be clueless about how to activate WPS on their router.

    And devices such as all of Ring's products, also need to instantly notify owners thru their smart-phones when the devices are triggered and provide real-time video and two way voice communications between the phone and device. I'm not sure that could even be done without an app. I mean its not baked into the OS and even if it could be done thru a web page, how does the device load the web page when triggered.

    But for a product that does NOTHING without an app on the customer's phone, the manufacturer can NOT disable said app any more than they could send the device a command to self destruct. Any business model that does not factor in the expense of maintaining the required app for the expected life of the device was invalid from the start.

    I find it stunning the cost of maintaining the app as required by laws concerning merchantability, was not factored in. I mean, is there the equivalent of a GED for an MBA? And why would Ring put someone with one in charge.
    Last edited by HoosierDaddy; 02-19-2018 at 09:33 AM.
    Troy Tiscareno likes this.
    02-19-2018 09:07 AM
  12. tgp's Avatar
    Good for them for offering you a refund! I don't think though that you would have a leg to stand for legal action. You could still use Ring the same way 99.9% of their customers do.
    theefman likes this.
    02-19-2018 12:11 PM
  13. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    I was on the phone for a half hour with one of Jamie's assistants.

    Some interesting twists to the story:

    She claims that Ring had every intention of maintaining an app for Windows phone users. But when their last update was submitted to the Microsoft Store, it was rejected and Microsoft will not tell them a reason.

    I know that could be a made up excuse but an important part of my professional life was to gauge the veracity of people's words. Her statements rang (no pun intended) true.

    She did not know why notifications were not sent to installed apps. I told her that would limit their exposure a great deal. If someone got burglarized (or worse), they could be on the hook for real damages but punitive damages for not notifying customers thru the app could dwarf those. She said she would pass that on to people who could take action.

    If Microsoft really did refuse to accept an app update/replacement, I would say any company would be idiots to make a windows app a critical part of their product/service. You can't run a business when a 3rd party like Microsoft can capriciously harm your customers and leave you as the prime target for litigation. Anyone who's home was burglarized isn't going to sue MS, they are going to sue Ring.

    Windows phone users who have purchased Ring devices should request a refund as I have. Don't be a victim of a decision by MS or Ring that bricks your device.

    So you will know what to expect: Ring asked me to return the actual device and nothing else or the packaging. I had to provide a copy of the receipt (mine was an online purchase thru Best Buy) and tell them the MAC address which is on the device. I was concerned about having to change my WiFi key since it was in the memory of the device I am returning, but the device I have has a button on the back that if held for over 20 seconds clears memory. Lastly, without me prodding for anything beyond a refund, they applied a non-expiring $100 credit to my Ring account that can be used toward a future purchase of any of their products.

    If Windows Central lives up to their stated purposes, they will investigate whether MS is really making it impossible or unjustifiably difficult for companies such as Ring to update their apps. Considering what I have been reading about independent developers having accounts closed with no explanation and revenues seized by MS, Ring's allegations seem very credible.
    RumoredNow likes this.
    02-19-2018 12:30 PM
  14. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    Good for them for offering you a refund! I don't think though that you would have a leg to stand for legal action. You could still use Ring the same way 99.9% of their customers do.
    I have no beef with them at all since I am getting a refund. And I was never at risk but only because I found out, in ways other customers would not, that the device was bricked BEFORE I physically installed it.

    I can assure you that if anyone had installed a Ring security camera that did not inform them of a break-in due to an action the manufacturer took without informing the customer, they would lose a lawsuit 90% of the time (you can't rule out the odd OJ jury). A jury wouldn't be able to stop laughing when Ring testifies they did inform the customer via adding a FAQ to their website but not thru the apps installed on the customer's phone.
    02-19-2018 12:48 PM
  15. tgp's Avatar
    I can assure you that if anyone had installed a Ring security camera that did not inform them of a break-in due to an action the manufacturer took without informing the customer, they would lose a lawsuit 90% of the time (you can't rule out the odd OJ jury). A jury wouldn't be able to stop laughing when Ring testifies they did inform the customer via adding a FAQ to their website but not thru the apps installed on the customer's phone.
    Have you checked the fine print? I wouldn't be surprised if there is something in the fine print that Ring is not responsible for break ins or burglaries or whatever. And are you absolutely certain there was no notice whatsoever about dropping WM support? Their website currently says that you need an iOS or Android device.

    Why do users keep being surprised and upset when a company drops support for their WP/W10M? Microsoft itself is the first, and worst, offender.
    theefman, aximtreo and Elky64 like this.
    02-19-2018 06:45 PM
  16. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    Have you checked the fine print? I wouldn't be surprised if there is something in the fine print that Ring is not responsible for break ins or burglaries or whatever. And are you absolutely certain there was no notice whatsoever about dropping WM support? Their website currently says that you need an iOS or Android device.
    I mentioned several times in this thread that they say that on their web site. But, as I also said, that would be laughed at if they told a court that was how they notified previous customers vacationing in Italy. And fine print does not supersede the warranty of merchantability which basically says goods must reasonably conform to an ordinary buyer's expectations. The sole purpose of the devices are to notify owners of events the device detects. If you sell a product with a 1 year warranty you are obligated to keep it working for at least a year or to compensate them if it doesn't. They chose to compensate owners.

    I'm not sure some realize that the WM app is an essential component of these products for the WM customers they sold the devices to. This app wasn't something optional, like for a bank or a coffee-shop. Dropping the app is the equivalent of a car maker disabling the engines of cars they previously sold. Both render the product useless for what a reasonable buyer expects of it.

    And in this case, the company is saying they did not want to drop the WM app, but MS stopped them from publishing a needed update.

    That story is my only remaining interest.

    If Ring is giving customers their money back, why would they bother to make up a story about MS not letting them publish an updated app?
    Guytronic likes this.
    02-19-2018 10:23 PM
  17. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    And in this case, the company is saying they did not want to drop the WM app, but MS stopped them from publishing a needed update.

    That story is my only remaining interest.
    Found below in a discussion on MSPU. Sounds like what Ring may mean when they say MS stopped them from updating the app.


    The app was written for the universal platform. But MS recently yanked mobile definition from the SDK. Any future UWP apps that use the new SDK won't run on mobiles.

    they really removed mobile definition from the SDK ?

    Yes, they did. the developers cannot 'see' or test mobile while building apps. If you can somehow get the appxbundle, you may be able to sideload it to mobile, but there is no guarantee that it will work well.

    This information is so staggering. A complete holy **** moment.
    fin11 and RumoredNow like this.
    02-20-2018 07:44 AM
  18. Old_Mil's Avatar
    An Important lesson on why we should always take personal responsibility for our own security and not outsource it to the cloud, corporations, or the government.

    I would recommend going back to a traditional doorbell and any number of security cameras available. A side benefit of this is that you aren't giving a notice of your comings and goings to a corporation who could lose or misuse that information.
    02-20-2018 10:26 AM
  19. breaker119's Avatar
    Somehow I guess I missed part of this - does the app no longer work on the PC either?
    02-22-2018 06:52 PM
  20. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    Somehow I guess I missed part of this - does the app no longer work on the PC either?
    I don't know if it works, but its still in the store.
    02-22-2018 07:06 PM
  21. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    I forgot to post when I cashed the check from Ring. It cleared.

    Thought it was weird they sent it via FedEx instead of regular mail.

    It was a hand written check, so I guess not enough Windows customers are asking for refunds to warrant automating it.
    RumoredNow likes this.
    03-20-2018 11:10 AM

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