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News 6 gets results for homeowner with faulty security system

After phone call from News 6, company refunds customer

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – Mary Murphy believes the neighborhood where she and her husband have lived for more than 30 years is relatively safe.  But after the theft of her daughter’s car down the street and reports of nearby burglaries, they decided it was time to invest in a security system.

As the couple was shopping around for home security cameras, they demanded a few particular features:  motion detection capability, night vision, and the ability to monitor the cameras remotely from their mobile devices.

But more than four months after paying a local company $3,575 for a monitored home security system that included the installation of six wired cameras, the couple said their sense of security had been replaced by growing frustration.

“It’s just so aggravating,” said Murphy.  “You just get tired of trying and trying and nothing’s working.”

Shortly after the security system was installed, Murphy noticed the cameras’ motion sensors were constantly detecting movement, even when everything outside was perfectly still.

“You see nothing is moving,” said Murphy as she pointed to a computer display showing the camera’s view of her yard.  “So why is it recording?”

Although some security camera owners want their devices to record around the clock, Murphy said she specifically purchased a system that would only record video when there was activity outside.

“I have to sit here for hours looking (at the recorded video) to see if something happened, or if someone was here, or if a car pulled in my driveway,” she said.  “It just defeats the whole purpose of the system.”

According to Murphy, technicians from the security company made numerous service calls to her home attempting to fine-tune the cameras’ motion sensors but were unsuccessful.

Yet despite the security system recording hours of video, Murphy claims the cameras occasionally failed to record when there was movement outside her house.

One afternoon, the cameras captured a small child walking away from the couple’s garage door.   However, none of the cameras were recording when the child presumably walked up to the house or cut through their backyard.

“Sometimes people will appear out of nowhere,” said Murphy.  “I don’t know where they came from.”

Another time, when the couple was out of town, a neighbor noticed the lights inside their car turn on, possibly due to someone trying to open the vehicle doors, according to Murphy.

But when she later reviewed footage from a camera located just feet away from her car, Murphy discovered nothing was captured.

“It was like a six-minute blank where it wasn’t recording,” she said.

During that out-of-town trip, Murphy attempted to review the camera footage using the system’s mobile app.  However, she said her phone was never able to connect to the camera system back home.

When Murphy is at home, she complains that the camera software on her desktop computer freezes and malfunctions.  For example, when she attempts to view surveillance video from her front yard, the camera positioned above her swimming pool appears instead.

One day, the night vision feature on one of Murphy’s backyard cameras stopped working, making it impossible to see anything after dark unless a car’s headlights pass by.  The company offered to replace the broken camera under warranty, she said.

“If they can't fix it, remove it,” said Murphy.  “Right now I don't even want the system.  I'd be happy if they came and took it out.”

Murphy contacted the company that sold and installed her camera system, APS Security & Fire, but was told they would not refund her money, she said.

“I don't know what to do.  That's why I called News 6,” she said.

When a News 6 reporter contacted APS Security to inquire about Murphy’s camera problems, company president Robert Harrison acknowledged that the customer had an unusually high number of service calls to address issues with the system.

Harrison said that the problems Murphy was experiencing with the security system’s mobile and desktop apps were likely due to it being incompatible with the customer’s internet provider, AT&T U-Verse.

Murphy claims she was never told prior to purchase that her internet provider might not be supported.

Harrison explained to News 6 that APS Security & Fire does not typically provide refunds to customers due to the labor costs involved with wiring cameras and other electronic equipment in homes and businesses.

However, immediately following News 6’s inquiry, Harrison voluntarily offered to remove Murphy’s security system and refund her money.

“Channel 6 really helped us,” said Murphy, who is also grateful APS Security & Fire reconsidered her request for a refund.

“They are a great company to work with, but things just didn’t work out for us,” she said.