About Ring Doorbell

Type the phrase “home security system” into any search engine, and you’ll come up with hundreds of different choices. But here’s the thing: most of the options only monitor the inside of your home, while leaving the exterior largely unprotected.

Enter Ring Doorbell. This easy-to-install video doorbell device features a 180-degree HD camera (with night vision!), along with configurable motion sensors and a built-in microphone for two-way audio. Once Ring is activated, it works seamlessly over your wireless internet and instantly sends mobile alerts to your smartphones and tablets.

This means you’ll be able to see and speak with whoever’s at your front door—even when you’re not home—and with Ring’s Cloud recording, you’ll be able to easily access, rewind, and share the video it records. In a very real way, all these features mean that Ring can provide you with convenience, monitoring, and security, and ensure you’re “always home.”

There’s not doubt Ring’s features are pretty cool. But do you even need a “smart” doorbell in the first place? And even if you do, is Ring necessarily your best option? Are customers happy? There are a lot of factors that go into any buying decision, and we’ll be sure to discuss Ring Doorbell’s most important aspects in this review.

First, we’ll take a look a Ring’s technical details.

Ring Doorbell’s Tech Specs

Each Ring Doorbell is about 5” long, 2.5” high, and 1” thick, and is constructed of an ABS plastic housing that’s outdoor approved for heat, rain, sleet, or snow (operating temperatures for Ring Doorbell are -5 - 120°F).

According to the company, the installation process is as simple as attaching the mounting bracket to a flat surface using the included hardware (for wood, brick, concrete, and stucco surfaces), and placing the device on the bracket. Then, to help prevent theft, you’ll secure it in place with a proprietary security screw.

Inside the Ring Doorbell, you’ll find a 720p HD camera that can detect motion up to 30 feet away, along with a built-in microphone with “perfectly tuned echo cancellation.”

Wondering how you’ll power your Ring? You can either use its rechargeable battery or hardwire it to your existing doorbell. If using Ring’s battery, the manufacturer claims it’ll last about a year, and it will send you an email alert when it’s running low and needs to be recharged (depending on the amperage of your charger, this can take anywhere between 4 and 10 hours).

At the core of Ring’s operation is the free app, which is available for iPhones and iPads, Android phones and tablets, and any Windows 10 computer or tablet, which connect to ring over your wireless internet connection. You can have more than one Ring device in your home (each Doorbell will have its own unique name), and you’ll be able to pair as many smartphones and tablets as you would like to any Ring Doorbell.

In the event of an alert, all users will automatically be notified. However, you can customize your settings, so that (for example) you’d be notified for all alerts, while other household members only receive alerts when the doorbell button is pressed.

Another thing you can customize through the app is Ring’s motion detection sensors, where you’ll be able exclude areas like busy nearby sidewalks and roads, so that you “only get notified when it matters.”

Chime Turns Ring Into a Standard Doorbell

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “What if I don’t have my phone nearby when someone actives my Ring device?” Well, the company makes a complementary device call Chime, which plugs into any standard power outlet and provides an audible tone (much like a traditional doorbell) when someone’s at your door.

Like Ring, Chime connects to your Wi-Fi network, so you can set up as many devices as you want. Need a little peace and quiet? You can disable each Chime and customize volume settings through the Ring app.

Ring’s Stick Up Cam

If you’re looking for all the video features and none of the Doorbell, Ring also makes the standalone Stick Up Cam, which features much of the same motion detection, 2-way audio, night vision, weather resistance, and optional cloud video recording (more about this in a second) as Ring.

Stick Up Cam is wire-free and can be mounted just about anywhere, while the easily adjustable mounting bracket allows you to see, hear, and speak with anyone at the perfect angle.

Ring+ Technology

Do you also own a smart lock from Wink, Kevo, Lockstate, Kisi? If so, the company’s Ring+ technology allows you to connect your Doorbell to these products, adding even more convenience, monitoring, and security (you’ll be able to lock and unlock your door while monitoring activity outside your home!). The process works over 3 steps:

  1. Download one of Ring’s partner apps for iOS or Android.
  2. Locate the integration menu within the live event screen in the Ring App.
  3. Select a partner’s app icon to then open the app and perform an action.

Cloud Video Recording

All of the video recorded by Ring Doorbell or Stick Up Cam can be sent to an optional Ring Cloud Video Recording account, where you’ll be able to “view and download up to six months of previous events, share clips with friends, neighbors and local law enforcement, and delete events that aren't important pr keep ones that are.” We’ll come back around to this in the final section.

Whew! That’s a big list of features! But will it cost you an arm and a leg?

Will Ring’s Price Resonate?

Ring Doorbell is priced at $199, with faceplates available in Satin Nickel, Antique Brass, Polished Brass, or Venetian Bronze. All Ring Doorbell purchases come with 30 days of free Cloud Video Recording. After that, you’ll pay $3 per month or $30 per year.

The Stick Up Cam will also cost you $199, and Chime is priced at $29.95.

Shipping is free for Ring Doorbell, but Chime (without also purchasing a Ring) comes with a $4.95 S&H fee

All Ring Doorbells come with a 30-day return policy, less S&H charges, as well as a 1-year limited warranty against defective parts or workmanship. Ring’s Lifetime Purchase Protection will even replace your Ring Doorbell if it’s stolen (you’ll have to file a police report, and this is only good one time).

In order to request a refund, process a warranty claim, or anything else, Ring’s customer service department can be reached at (800) 656-1918.

Given Ring Doorbell’s relatively reasonable price, along with its strong warranty and refund policy, are customers pleased with its performance?

Is Ring Doorbell a Hit With Customers?

As you might imagine, with such cool technology at an achievable price point, the Ring Doorbell has received a ton of attention from industry giants and customers alike.

Tech Hive and PC Mag both gave Ring Doorbell 3.5-star ratings, both claiming that it was easy to install and that the app was easy to navigate.

Tech Hive also called Ring a “clever, well-designed gadget,” but noted that it “didn’t always deliver on its promises.” Specifically, lag was often long between the time the device’s button was pressed and when the notification was received on a phone (several times, it didn’t work at all), although they felt this was due to their Wi-Fi connection more than anything else (more about this in a moment). Also, the author noted that going through all the steps to access the video chat screen inside Ring’s app can be a “long, frustrating experience.” Ultimately, they concluded that if Ring was “hardwired to my home network, and not at the mercy of Wi-Fi and smartphone connections,” many of these core problems would be addressed.

PC Mag also discussed many of these same things, but added that their battery only lasted 2.5 months (although it was during February), and mentioned that the audio quality is “hit or miss.”

From a customer perspective, Ring Doorbell had an average rating of 4.1 stars based on a whopping 6,700+ reviews on Amazon. There, most compliments seemed to reference ease of installation and solid performance.

On the other hand, most complaints seemed plagued with software issues—specifically, that the device doesn’t automatically reconnect to your network (if the power goes down, for example), and that the camera only recorded as people were walking away.

What about the company behind Ring Doorbell? The device is manufactured by Bot Home Automation, Inc. based out of Santa Monica, CA. This is the same company who produced DoorBot (aka Ring version 1.0), which didn’t seem to get very good reviews from HighYa readers, with a 1.1-star average ratings based on complaints about failure to work and difficulty getting help from customer service. However, based on customer feedback, it seems that these issues were largely addressed with Ring.

Let’s go ahead and bring everything together.

Should You Splurge On Ring Doorbell?

So, who might Ring Doorbell work best for? In our opinion, the device’s target market is consumers who want to add some front door security, without all the hassle of setting up higher-end home automation cameras. Simply install it in a few minutes, download the app, link the device to your Wi-Fi signal, and you’re good to go.

But here’s the catch: This ease of use also creates two of Ring Doorbell’s biggest drawbacks (at least according to customer feedback): 1) Overall functionality is based on the strength of your Wi-Fi signal, and 2) you won’t be able to store any of the video Ring records on your own equipment.

This first concern could be addressed by maximizing signal strength at your front door, either by relocating your router or purchasing a wireless signal repeater. In fact, Ring’s manufacturer specifically recommends this option. Obviously, this means you’ll have to increase your budget to accommodate the extra hardware.

Speaking of which, by requiring you to store all your video on Ring’s Cloud (which costs $30 per year), you’ll have some long-term costs to factor into your budget.

Admittedly, both of these concerns could probably be addressed by allowing their customers to use Ring Doorbell within their own network. Will the company listen and change the device accordingly? Only time will tell.

In the mean time, unless you’re a hardcore home automation enthusiast who’s only interested in customization, Ring Doorbell might work for just about everyone else.

What’d you experience with Ring? Tell us about it by writing a review below!

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15 Consumer Reviews for Ring Doorbell

Average Consumer Rating: 1.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 1 4 star: 0 3 star: 2 2 star: 0 1 star:  12
Bottom Line: 7% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 15
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  • Deceptive packaging, issues with app

    • Carson City, NV,
    • May 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I got this for Christmas, and let me count the ways this is crap.

    First, nowhere on the packaging does it say that after 30 days, you need to pay a subscription to continue using the features you're told ON THE PACKAGING you received (this called bait and switch by the way).

    Second, the motion sensor settings are a joke. Set it at 5 feet and it goes off when cars go by 50 feet down the road, or the wind blows the branches of the bush that's 40 feet away.

    Third, the lag for the notification is so bad that the person ringing the doorbell is gone by the time I was getting the notification (and yes, my internet and cell provider speeds are just fine).

    Fourth, the app updated itself to a version that no longer works on my phone. I couldn't go back to the previous version of the app and was told by tech support "Oh, you'll need to buy a new cell phone!" Oh great, so now in order to use the new app that worked before, I have to go spend $600-$800 on a new phone?

    So now I have to go find a hacked older version just to get this damn thing to work again and be of any use. I think it's time to rip it off the side of the house, sell it on Craigslist to some other unsuspecting chump and find something that actually works and isn't going to lie on their packaging about costs.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • May 24, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Todd, sorry to hear about your frustrations with Ring. However, we are more than happy to help. I would love to speak with you to learn more about the app concern you mentioned, as well as the notification delay. Furthermore, we do notify our customers about the cloud plan on our website (https://shop.ring.com/pages/protect-plans), in your Ring app during the first free 30-day trial of our cloud plan, as well as in your email about this service. I apologize for any miscommunication but we will work on providing even more transparency to our customers as we can in the future. Will you please email me at jennifer@ring.com so we can touch base on the above? I look forward to hearing from you!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • Absolutely useless

    • May 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was given Ring as a Christmas present. I have not had time to attend to it until this morning. Unpacking it WAS a huge mistake.

    None of the instructions work, and neither does the Ring App. Perhaps it's for the young techno-nerd not for the likes of me, who is NOT a young techno-nerd.

    The good thing is that I did not pay to buy it. The bad thing is that Ring has got my email and home address, which seems to be the very first thing any transaction online needs.

    I will definitely NOT recommend this useless piece of technology.

    What's wrong with the ordinary transformer doorbell or a wireless type which you just plug in? I have both already, and they serve me well.

    Goodbye and good riddance Ring.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • May 17, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hey Naz,

      We are sorry to hear that your Ring experience has been anything less than stellar. However, we are more than happy to help. We would love to get in touch with you and personally help you set up your Video Doorbell. Would you please email me at jennifer@ring.com, so we can get started on that? I look forward to hearing from you!

      Best,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • Do not buy this product if you live somewhere cold!

    • Wisconsin,
    • Apr 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It works ok in the summer months, but in the winter, it is awful. I was on the phone with the tech people every other week. I needed to uninstall it in below 0 weather and bring it in the house to recharge the battery multiple times this last winter. It also does not reconnect after a power outage and again drains the battery. LOTS of work for a doorbell. They replaced it with a new unit once as well, and we had the same issues. We are a very techy family and were very disappointed in the performance. The tech people are very nice but never solved the problems we were having.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • May 13, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Chris,

      As the batteries are lithium-ion batteries, such as those used in Ring devices, you may need to bring it inside and charge it periodically. Here is an article with more detail, https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005939463-Cold-Weather-and-Battery-Powered-Ring-Devices. Please keep in mind battery life is contingent on the number of alerts you receive as well. Let's touch base and go over this in a little more detail, plus take any necessary steps to turn your Ring experience around. Please email me at jennifer@ring.com at your earliest convenience. I look forward to hearing from you!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • My mistake...

    • Phoenix, AZ,
    • Mar 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It was my mistake to waste money on this gadget. The zone settings are for a distance of 5 feet, and yet it picks up cars on the street 50+ feet away. Our cell phones are constantly ding, ding, dinging, and for no good reason. My tech-savvy son cannot get it to adjust better. So annoying!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Mar 19, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi R D Lamon,

      I'm sorry to hear about your concerns with your motion detection. I would be more than happy to help find the best zones for you and your home. Would you please email me at jennifer@ring.com at your earliest convenience? In the meantime, please take a look at this article which explains how the motion detection works: http://bit.ly/2tBnm5j. I look forward to hearing from you!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • Could be much better

    First off, when you get an alert on your mobile device, you have open the Ring app to view the image. By the time it opens most people have already left the area. Many times it won't connect to the doorbell at all, even though I have the latest technology router on the market.

    Secondly, and this should be most concerning is that nowhere on their website can you write a review. As if they know all the negative reviews would bring sales to a halt.

    The doorbell is okay but could be so much better if they addressed the issues and didn't hide from them.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Deceptive packaging!

    The product does have a lag time of a couple of seconds, which I can live with. What I find deceptive is the packaging. They say the plans are posted on their website but who goes there when they are in the store buying the product? I did not know after 30 days they were going to charge me to view MY video. Nowhere on or in the packaging does it say you have to subscribe for a monthly fee. Shame on them. Now it's just an expensive doorbell.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Entirely useless!

    • Lynnwood, WA,
    • Feb 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Entirely useless! Falsely advertised! Entirely useless!

    I have the Ring Doorbell, two cameras, and two solar panel chargers. The system is entirely useless due to the lag involved in recording anything. There is at least a 5 to 10-second lag any time you get a notification of movement. Further, you rarely can pull up a live version of the moment, unlike the commercial, so you are left viewing the recorded videos which have a lag that is so bad that you never capture anything.

    What a foul piece of crap! Don't buy this company's baloney. The positive reviews on Best Buy and Amazon are fraud and from users that don't have any experience. I have three of their devices and have done six months of fine-tuning, and they are still entirely useless.

    Update: A person responded to my negative posting and asked that I contact her. I did just that and gave her even more information about the extremely poor performance, testing done, and results. She then handed me off to a "help person," and I scheduled a call (again). He then sends me an email to prepare asking that I do a variety of resets that I had already communicated I had ALREADY DONE MULTIPLE TIMES! When I explained this, he informed me that HE NEVER EVEN RECEIVED THE INFORMATION THAT I HAD PROVIDED! You have to be kidding me! I have wasted dozens of hours doing all of the things they just keep repeating. PATHETIC!

    These devices are only slightly useful as a recording device, (if you can keep them powered) and there are so many other superior solutions at this price point. Even worse, all of their advertising is simply FALSE! You CANNOT consistently count on RING products to operate as advertised, period!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Feb 23, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      This certainly doesn't seem right, but I am more than happy to see what went wrong here. I do apologize for any miscommunication and would like to make this right. Would you please email me at jennifer@ring.com so we can get this sorted out for you?

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

    • May 11, 2018

      Naz

      It was a Christmas present from a family member. I am at the unpacking stage and none of the instructions work! I have downloaded the app but THAT is useless too! Forget it, what an unnecessary intrusion into my life. My view would be, don't throw your money away.

    • May 13, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Naz,

      More than happy to help! Give us a call at 800-656-1918 (we are available 24/7) or send me an email at jennifer@ring.com. We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have, and ensure that we get your device set up and running to its full potential!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Disappointed!

    • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Feb 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am using Ring Doorbell pro for over a year now. I originally also bought their camera. I sold the camera on Craigslist; good idea but far from working properly.

    Doorbell, most of the time, responds too late, and the visitor is long gone to talk to them.

    The company also issues a lot of app updates, almost every week, but nothing really happens to improve the reliability of this very questionable product. I was really looking forward to having nice security doorbell, but am very disappointed. I would NOT recommend!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Feb 13, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Mike,

      I'm sorry to hear about your recent Ring experience. Notification delay is normally attributed to WiFi/Bandwidth connection. Have you tested your upload/download speed next to where your device is located? I would be more than happy to personally connect with you and further assist with getting your doorbell up and running to its full potential. Would you please email me at jennifer@ring.com so we can take a further look into this for you? I look forward to hearing from you!

      Thanks,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • 0 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Ring after about a year

    Initially, I installed the Ring Doorbell and it had survived direct summer sunshine on the unit through summer without overheating. The video is clear and with a very wide view. Since then I have purchases three floodlight cameras, and they are working.

    Product support is available 24/7, and they have never failed me yet. The new cameras have been up for about 4 months now are working well. If a camera is down, Ring will send a replacement which helps tremendously.

    Ring continues to upgrade the cameras automatically via WiFi with new features. I can’t wait for the in-home unit that is soon to be announced. The app is awesome, making me available to answer my front door from anywhere as it works on cellular data as well.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Ring Doorbell

    I am feeling totally deceived by this product! I received the Ring Doorbell as a gift this past Christmas from my son, and it’s been installed for a month now. We noticed that we had some activity at our front door, so we went to check the app to look at the video and noticed we couldn’t access any of the videos anymore. The app is telling us that we can look at our video if we go to their website and activate the service. Service? What the heck, the box it came in didn’t mention that if I wanted to enjoy this product to its fullest I would have to subscribe to their services. Well, NO THANK YOU!

    If that was disclosed on the box at the time the gift was bought for me, I’m sure my son wouldn’t have purchased it. Shame on them for selling an incomplete product and not disclosing this information on the box. So buyer beware, as there are hidden charges for their services. Even if I wanted to pay for access to my videos, because of their deception, they will not get any further patronage from me.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Feb 21, 2018

      Tom McLaughlin

      I agree with this post. I was made aware that I had to purchase a plan after the application displayed a note saying that I lost access to my videos. So, my Ring Doorbell Pro is just slightly better than the simple button that it replaced unless I pay a yearly service fee. This should be clearly stated on the packaging but then customers won’t fall for the scam.

    • Feb 22, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Sharon,

      I'm sorry to hear about your recent Ring experience. Our optional Protect Plans allow you to download, access and share any past videos. Without this service, you will still receive real-time alerts sent straight to your smartphone.

      Also, we do notify our customers about the cloud plan on our website (ring.com/cloud-recording), in your Ring app during the first free 30-day trial of our cloud plan, as well as in your email about this service. I apologize for any miscommunication but we will work on providing even more transparency to our customers as we can in the future. Would you please contact me at jennifer@ring.com so we can discuss this in more detail, Sharon?

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

    • Feb 22, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Tom,

      As mentioned to Sharon, I would like to apologize for your Ring experience. I apologize for any miscommunication regarding our Protect Plan. Please note, although you may not be signed up for the plan, you will still receive real-time alerts sent straight to your smartphone. Our optional Protect Plans start at $3/month or $30/year. Would you please email me at jennifer@ring.com so we can discuss this in more detail?

      Thanks,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Complete junk. Misleading commercials.

    • Texas,
    • Jan 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The Ring products are lemons, literally junk. Myself and two co-workers purchased Ring products. I purchased the Ring video doorbell pro, two cameras AND the ring chime pros (which are supposed to boost signal). NONE, and I mean NONE of the products work as advertised. From the first few days after setting everything up and until now (five weeks later and I’m planning to return all of the Ring products), I have had the following issues (as have BOTH of my co-workers):

    1) Poor battery life on all devices.

    2) No video feed when you are alerted of a Ring doorbell chime or motion at the cameras. The app just opens up to a loading circle or a message that says “activating device.”

    3) When accessing the app to see the live feed from the doorbell or any camera, the same issue happens 75% of the time (no video feed loads or device says “activating”).

    4) Event history videos are black (no feed) most of the time. Basically, since these products were not working as expected, I just resorted to using them for the purposes of watching videos (when it actually records, which is seldom) after the actual motion is detected (since the live feed never loads either).

    The way they advertise this working on the commercials is COMPLETELY FALSE and MISLEADING. The doorbell, in particular, DOES NOT work with automatic feed when someone rings the doorbell. That is a complete lie. It takes so long for the feed to load that the person ringing the doorbell is long gone by the time you actually get the video live feed to work or activate.

    I have also already done troubleshooting THREE times with Ring customer service. I have very fast internet speeds and good signal quality (and two chime pros for boosting signal). It is not the signal, it is the very flawed Ring product that is the problem. Every time I call, the Ring rep is very apologetic but is basically a waste of time because no solution comes from the call, nothing is fixed, and the product continues to work in a very mediocre, almost pointless manner.

    Then, annoyingly, I receive these ridiculous survey and rating requests via email after each call. How about rather than spamming me with survey requests, Ring actually fixes the errors and flaws with their product. I will be returning my entire bundle and searching for a product that actually works.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Jan 29, 2018

      Jennifer Finefrock, Community Manager

      Hi Emm,

      I do apologize as I was under the impression that I wrote to you right when you first posted. I am sorry to hear about your Ring experience but would love nothing more than to speak with you and make this right. Battery life is contingent on the number of alerts you receive, however, we can make adjustments that fit you and your home.

      Also, as the Ring Pro is hardwired, charging the battery should not be necessary as the battery should receive a constant charge being hardwired. I would be more than happy to take a look at the support you received and dive a bit deeper, in order to get the best resolution for you and your home. When you get a moment, would you please email me at jennifer@ring.com? I look forward to hearing from you!

      Thank you,

      Jennifer F., Community Manager

      Jennifer@ring.com

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