In hindsight I agree I should have contacted CameraLends right away. While being on a week long every-day-a-different-city shoot my mind was pre-occupied enough with the shoot's responsibilities, but as stated before in emails between you and me, I mainly wanted to give the renter the benefit of the doubt and not ruin his reputation prematurely… that was until he took advantage of my trust and patience and further delayed the return of my gear once I was back in town.
Prior to this incident, Adam (founder of CameraLends) contacted me asking how my experience with CameraLends had been so far and we had a few short emails back and forth. After the incident I shared the whole stolen rental story with him, but he never cared to respond which in itself is disappointing.
I'm sure many rental transactions do go smoothly, but my bad experience goes to show you just never know who you are renting your gear to even if the renter has positive reviews because you don't know if the renter let's the gear be handled by other people who are not on the rental agreement. (Maybe that's something CameraLends could address to make its service safer?)
Please see my post further up, unfortunately I had a rather bad experience with CameraLends.
I signed up for this two weeks ago and rented out my DSLR for a 2 day rental. Then a co-worker of the renter stole the camera and switched it with her old one. Of course I figured it out right away when I got the body back due to it being banged up and the serial number being different.
CameraLends is a great idea, but at the end of the day there are so many flaky and unreliable people out there, do you really want strangers handling your precious gear just for a few extra bucks? Or on the opposite end, is it worth it paying a bit less for a rental at the expense of gear potentially not working properly?
I did get my camera back in the end and was compensated with a few extra rental days, but the renter was almost not able to pay for it since he said he barely has any money. More importantly, by a hair it jeopardized a week-long out of state video shoot for which I had to use my DSLR. I ended up using the banged up DSLR body I received for the time being, but it was a very stressful situation nonetheless.
I had to learn the hard way that CameraLends is not for me, definitely not for renting out my own gear. As soon as I'll receive the money for the initial 2-day rental, I'll be deleting my account ASAP.