I recently set up my very first VIGI surveillance system 2 months ago and it works with some minor issues (I might start a new thread about them later, but they are not crucial and have more or less practical workarounds).
My problem is the following (long description, for short summary see below): I live in the EU and for some reasons here it is quite common for customers to return products they don't like to the retailer. I assume it happens in other parts of the world as well. I wanted to expand my VIGI system and bought a new C400HP camera from a TP-Link partner (distributor). As I opened the delivered box, I noticed, that the TP-Link camera's box has already been opened, because the transparent plastic foil was missing. The shop sold this camera with a comment, that the box has been opened, but the camera is fully functional, so this was what I expected. I thought the box was opened by the shop to put the camera on display, to show it to customers or for any similar reasons. It turned out, that the camera was returned by another customer. The customer just opened the box, put back the camera and all the parts and returned it to the shop and received a refund. The problem is the following: This customer also set up a password and used his own email. The shop paid back the price to him, because the box contained all the screws and documents and the camera was not damaged. As I contacted them, they told me, they have no way to fix it, they try to contact the old customer and beg for cooperation, but then I had to send back the camera and I also received a refund from the shop. As I've said above, I wanted to expand my surveillance system, so I ordered a larger set of VIGI cameras, namely 6 pieces, all of them are C300HP cameras. This happened in another EU country and I bought these in a different shop. All the 6 boxes were opened and all the cameras were locked with a password. Note: I am not using ebay or any other similar sites, these are normal b2b and b2c retailers/TP link official partners. It seems that they are not aware of this problem and now I paid for 6 cameras and I'm locked out again. Note: I also own 6 C300HP cameras that were new with the transparent plastic foil around the box and they work as intended, they have no password/email setup, I was asked to set one after they were added to the VIGI Security Manager on my PC. I contacted the shop, they told me, that TP-Link can fix this and I should tell them. The first shop said TP-Link support can't fix this and I assume they were right. So I contacted the local support as I was told by the shop's support team (TP-Link German support: email@example.com) and after 2 phone calls and 1 week response time I received a useless answer from TP-Link Romania team, it seems they are also not really aware of this VIGI camera specific issue. 4 days ago I contacted TP-Link via the VIGI feedback email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and until today I received no answer. Now I have 6 cameras, I paid for all of them and I can't really use them. I guess the retailers also don't have the technical VIGI-specific knowledge to know what to do once they accepted cameras returned by customers. They obviously don't check for passwords and don't ask for old passwords... Assumed the old customers don't want to cooperate and don't answer the shop's calls (my first case) or if the shop does not want to contact them directly (my second case), then what can we do? What can I do as a customer and what can the retailers do? My idea was to contact the old buyer and ask for cooperation, but they can't really enforce that and it creates enormous extra costs and time for both the shop and me as a customer.
Short summary: In the last weeks I bought 7 TP-Link VIGI cameras in the EU that were sold by 2 completely different TP-Link partner retailers in 2 different EU countries (well-established, popular shops). All the 7 were opened, because they were returned to the retailers by the old customer (it is quite common, many people return products bought online, may they be clothes, shoes, electronic devices...). Now I bought these cameras, nothing was missing from the box, but I am completely locked out of them, because I can't access the old buyer's e-mail and I don't know the password.
I guess I am not the only one, who has this problem and it's not really solved by the FAQ.
Question: What can I do to be able to use the TP-Link cameras I own, but I am not the one, who set up the password and the e-mail address is also not mine. I have found no information for this case, I guess it would be great to post it here, it may help others in similar situations.
Note: I understand this password system from the security point of view, it makes sense, VIGI is a security/surveillance system, but probably the software architect, who designed the TP-Link system simply forgot to think about how many products are returned to the retailers...
I am stuck since 2 weeks with these cameras, if I receive an answer from the TP-Link VIGI support, I'll try to post it here to help everyone else, but until now I got no response from the VIGI team, a fairly useless response referring to the FAQ from the generic TP-Link German (Romania) support team and an e-mail from the shop, that I should try to clear this issue with TP-Link first. I guess as the VIGI product line gets more and more popular, this issue will probably explode sooner or later as more and more returned products will be sold again to customers, some of them may be unfamiliar with the VIGI product line and won't really understand, why the newly bought product is not working...
The hardware/firmware version is probably irrelevant in this case, I've noticed this problem with C300HP and C400HP cameras too, I guess there is no real change between hardware/firmware revisions.