You Can Ring My Bell: Video Doorbell System Installation Fun and Follies

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Shouting, “Hey, Sexy!” into the phone, to test out the newly installed video doorbell system is a risky move—even if the man on the other side of the door is your husband. Apparently, the intercom system is really loud and, at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning, neighbors might post to the neighborhood Facebook page comments such as the following:

“Is anyone else hearing crass comments coming through what sounds like an intercom system? It’s really loud and annoying.”

“Yeah, I hear it too. It’s coming from the ___ house on____drive.”

“Oh, is that the one where the woman who lives there sometimes Prancercises? I’ve passed by there once or twice when the windows were open and, wow!”

So, after installing the Ring Video Doorbell system, there is no need to shout. Normal, indoor voices work perfectly fine and installation is pretty straightforward. Here’s what we did:

1) We bought the $99 Ring Video Doorbell (basic model) at Best Buy because I work from home and, when the doorbell rings, I don’t necessarily open the door, especially if I’m not expecting anyone. This technique has served me well for many years and may have even saved my life at one time, when I came home from college during the summer when my brother and sister were in the eighth grade. Mom and Dad went on a vacation together and I volunteered to help drive my brother and sister to their activities and stay in the house, since my parents lived on several acres in the country. (This setting, especially at night, could be very spooky.) Long after my parents left for their flight, my brother and sister and I got up to have breakfast and the doorbell rang. We didn’t recognize who was on the other side, so we didn’t open the door. The man who rang the bell continued to bang on the door and shout something that sounded like, “Call the police.” So, I called 911. An hour or two later, he was still banging on our door. The police finally came and said he wasn’t asking for the police. He was saying, “Water please!” Apparently, he was quite thirsty because he had escaped from a mental institution the night before and had wandered around the woods in humid, hot August weather. The sheriff’s deputy said I was smart to not open the door because he had done, “some bad things. Some very, very, very bad things. Bad, bad things.” Lesson learned. Don’t open the door. And I haven’t for over 20 years. However, Nate and I just attended a neighborhood watch where the sheriff’s deputy running the meeting said that people should open their doors because if they don’t, criminals will think no one is home, enter the building, and then kill whoever is inside if they become startled or “surprised.” So, now, I’m cautiously opening the door again and I’m annoyed when I have to hear a sales pitch. I don’t mind helping children retrieve a wayward soccer ball from the yard, but I don’t want to buy anything. Eventually, I’ll get around to making a scary “No Soliciting” sign, but for now, I just want the video doorbell. Baby steps.

2) The device has to be charged first. It probably wouldn’t have taken much longer than a half hour/hour to charge, but we decided to attend the nearby high school Hunchback of Notre Dame musical first—just in case. It was an excellent production and we enjoyed ourselves, but when we got home at 10 p.m., we didn’t feel like installing the video doorbell system, so we went to bed and started fresh at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

3) The “Ring” app had to be installed next on my phone. The app walked me through several steps and then Nate and I could begin the actual installation of the doorbell.

4) First, we removed the original doorbell from the side of our house, which was not too difficult. There are only two wires that wrap around the heads of two screws inside the doorbell plastic case. These wires are red and black and for some reason, they look like they could cause a major explosion if Nate and I snipped or connected the wrong wire. This fear probably stems from watching too many movies where actors scream, “I can’t remember! Help me remember! Is it red or black?”

5) We used the drill again to put holes into the side of our house, but I had difficulty with the drill this time. It was nothing like drilling into the drywall for the chin-up bar. Nate taught me a “trick” for leaning into the drill with your entire body, in order to hold it steady. This trick works perfectly fine for a 6-foot male, but if you’re a five-foot three female, your boobs will get crushed and the drill will slip anyway.

6) Fortunately, the kit came with all of the devices and screws we’d need for installation and we could connect the red and black wires to whichever screw on the device we wanted, so we did. Thankfully, no explosions followed.

The only thing I regret about my purchase is having unintentionally made a somewhat embarrassing video featuring my husband and me at our front door. It’s probably out there somewhere on the internet, even though I’ve deleted it and so has Nate. Someone that Ring has hired saves these videos somewhere and, if we want them to continue to save our videos for more than 30 days, we can pay a monthly charge. ( We do not want this.) The somewhat embarrassing video would have been hilarious to post to this blog, so I’m kind of feeling like I should have saved it, but fortunately, I do have the script. Enjoy:

(Exterior: Nate is on the front porch of the house, ringing the doorbell.)

Cecilia: (Answering the phone—her voice can be heard on the intercom outside): HEY, SEXY!

Nate: Shhh. You’re loud. Everyone can hear you.

(Cecilia laughs uncontrollably and loudly for about a minute.)

Nate: Shh . . . the . . shhh. . . Neighbors . . .

Cecilia: WHAT? YOU’RE FADING IN AND OUT!

Nate: You can’t see me?

Cecilia: No, I can see you just fine. YOU HAVE TO SPEAK CLEARLY. YOUR VOICE IS FADING IN AND OUT.

Nate: I’m talking this way because the entire neighborhood can hear us. Can you see me now? (Nate sticks his face into the camera.)

Cecilia: Ugh! Now I can see up your nose. Stop it.

Nate:  Okay, just . . . just . . . please just hang up now.

(Scene abruptly ends.)

Your Turn: How do you deal with solicitors who come to your front door?

 

35 thoughts on “You Can Ring My Bell: Video Doorbell System Installation Fun and Follies

  1. We keep the chain on and open the door a peep as we live in Florida where so many things happen. If I am home alone, sometimes I play music loudly and don’t answer the door. Our dog barks up a storm. I don’t like solicitors or Jehovah’s Witnesses who come to the door.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow, sounds like a close call when you were younger!

    I am shocked it took the police that long to respond!! A couple of hours and he was still banging on the door, and they hadn’t yet gotten there? Seriously, WTF?

    Must have been that voice of self preservation that had you hearing “call the police” instead of “water please”,

    I used to live in New Orleans as a single woman. Yeah, I never opened the door. Ever.

    I’ve never heard that burglers will then try to break in.

    I’ve had people pound on the door and yell that they know I’m inside, but I still won’t answer it. They are not owed my time.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, that seems to be a new thing these days–at least where I live now. People check to see if you’re home first. Then, if you’re not, they break in and sometimes, if they find out you’re there, you risk harm. In any case, I feel pretty good about where I live now–it’s a fairly large neighborhood with lots of people who are home–men and women–working different shifts or from home, so I’m never really alone around here, which is nice. I joke about our “nosy neighborhood Facebook page,” but I’m really glad it exists! And I’m glad neighbors are constantly looking out their windows at all hours of the day and night to see who is Prancercising or not:)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I do not answer my gate. My front door is behind a locked gate. When someone rings my doorbell, sometimes, I open my door and shout, “Hello?” Then I proceed to yell at them from my door. Most of the time I just end up saying, “No, thank you.” And shutting the door. If I didn’t invite you over and/or I do not know you, I do not have to open my door/gate for you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s a good rule to follow. I don’t have family members who pop over, but the soliciting is out of control. Just because I’m home, doesn’t mean I’m available–especially if I’m in the middle of reviewing a paper for my tutoring job. I won’t get up and leave during the middle of it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We were given one of these for Christmas. We scared the heck out of our postman when we answered via the doorbell. Once over his shock, he was quite impressed and so were we. We were miles away in the nearby city and able to chat to him via the phone app. Cold callers stand no chance now 😀

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Hilarious! My front door and security door are glass so I can see who is there. And then I don’t answer unless it’s to tell scammers to go away. 🙂 I don’t answer my phone either unless it’s someone I know.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This made me chuckle! I’m not sure a video doorbell would appeal to me, and I’d certainly feel very self-conscious being the one ringing it. But they’re certainly becoming more popular so I can see the appeal in some ways. xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Glad you had a chuckle:) Eventually, the video will stop recording people at the door. I didn’t know that service was on there when we bought the device, whether we wanted it or not for 30 days. That service ends here soon, thank goodness. However, I do like seeing who the person is from my phone and being allowed to at least ask what they want. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve been debating getting a doorbell like that. I normally ignore the doorbell when it rings but being able to query them without opening the door would be handy.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Great post! Very funny, but also how scary with that fellow from the mental institution when you were a kid! I can see why this video doorbell would be a fabulous thing to have.

    As for me, I like to avoid solicitors at the door. One time I answered the door to someone campaigning on behalf of a charity and when I politely turned down the offer to fund them, they pulled the oldest trick in the book by asking for a drink of water. Maroon that I was, I offered it to them – and spend the next half hour trying to get them to stop talking and leave. Maybe I’ll get one of these doorbells too…

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Loved this post after finding your blog when you found mine. When we moved to our new home in Parksville BC, one of the “deals” I made with my wife, Brenda, was that we could get a security system and incorporate it into our new smart home. After spending an insane amount of US dollars which were then converted into an even more insane amount of lower value Canadian dollars, I began the arduous task of installing the new smart components. A couple of weeks, several hundred phone calls to the customer service/IT department (well, maybe 10 calls, but I reserve my right to embellish), and several hundred twists of the screwdriver handle (true), I had our new system in place and and we are happy with the end result. Intially, our neighbors had to put up with our outside lights turning on at all times of the day and night while I figured out why the motion sensors kept triggering them to come on. After I figured out that a spider had decided to spin a web in one of the trigger zones, adjusted the trigger zone and then explained that to the neighbors, they were fine with it. Now I can deal with the solicitors on my terms. Anyway, thanks for finding me which led me to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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