In 1995, my wife and I bought a home in San California which came equipped with a burglar alarm system. We opened an account with Alert Alarm Company for a 3 year contract. We continued the service long after the 3 year term expired with this company, which became Protection Service Industries, then Integrated Alarm Systems Group, both part of Protection One. In 2004, we moved to Washington State and rented out our CA home. We continued to pay for the alarm service for our tenants. We paid all of our bi-monthly bills promptly via online billing regularly through August 2007.
In September 2007, our tenants told us they didn't need the alarm service. My wife called Protection One and spoke with a female account representative, settled the remaining balance and cancelled service over the phone. At no point during this conversation did the account representative tell my wife that they could not cancel our service without written notification from us, or that we should consult our original contract, or that anything more was required on our part to cancel service.
In Dec. 2008, I received an alert from a credit report monitoring service that a collection agency called Asset Resources, Inc. had reported an unpaid balance of $400 to Equifax. Having never received any letters or phone calls prior to this alert, I immediately called Asset Resources to inquire about the matter. I was told it was regarding my account with Protection One.
I called Protection One, whose representative told me they sent several notices to our Washington address in 2008 and had made several phone calls to our former California phone number (which had been discontinued since 2004). I explained to her that we never received any such notice by mail or phone, and would not expect anything from them as we had paid our bills online.
Anything they may have sent would likely not have been recognized or been considered junk mail and unopened as the company name and logo has changed so many times. They also said there was no record of us ever cancelling our account and the contract requires written notice of cancellation, and would otherwise continually automatically renew for a full year term – forever, presumably.
I explained the situation to the collection agency, Asset Resources, and was treated with belligerence by a manager who insisted he will continue to report this account to the credit bureaus as unpaid unless we pay him $400 immediately. He also claimed to have called (the same discontinued phone number) and sent us notices via mail, which we have never received. I explained I have every intention of disputing the matter. He said he would begin the dispute process. A month has passed and we still have received nothing from them.
I asked Protection One for and received a copy of our original 1995 contract with Alert Alarm Company, which I will send to our attorney for review. I have discovered there are scores of customers who have had similar complaints against Protection One. I am appalled that Protection One would treat its loyal customers this way: They accepted our cancellation of service by phone, then waited a year to demand compensation for a service they did not provide and used a 13 year-old contract with a company that no longer exists to use as justification. Shame on Protection One. Stay away from them.
I signed up for Protection One over 10 months ago. When I talked to the salesperson on the phone, I clearly stated that I would only be in the home for 10 more months. I relocate for my job pretty frequently. However, I was broken into and didn't feel safe not having an alarm system. He told me not a problem.
So, installation person arrives, sets everything up. He was 2 hours late so he didn't arrive to my home until almost 6. He ran into issues when installing the system and wasn't finished until 9. He proceeded to tell me he had been up since 6 and really wanted to get home. He then brought out the 5-6 page contract in 7 point type for me to sign. In all honesty, I didn't read the contract in its entirety. He was telling me had to to get home, he hadn't eaten since noon, and I just was tired myself so I signed it without reading everything through.
I didn't realize until a month ago when I tried to cancel that the contract on paper was completely different than what the salesperson sold me on the phone. I called the customer service and asked them to pull up the recorded conversation. Conveniently, the every call is recorded option didn't work in my case. The phone call was not recorded. If it had been, they would have found that the salesperson very blatantly lied to me.
I cannot renew the contract in my new place because I am not allowed to install a security system per HOA rules. Most contracts offer you an out if you are unable to fulfill the requirements of the contract. Now I have to keep paying the monthly charge for something I can't use or pay $750 to cancel. Even cell phone contracts are only $250, plus they prorate the $250 over the 2 months!!!
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- Homeowners Beware! DO NOT use Protection One. Let's just start with the fact that it took them over a month to completely install our alarm. The technicians were unprepared when they came, had to order parts multiple times and replace faulty parts. It was a mess. Annoying, but they fixed it.
The real problem ONE OF THEIR TECHNICIANS STOLE OUR PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION!!! This happened six months ago and I finally got a call back from their regional manager today who assured me that they did an internal investigation and their technicians were blameless. Really? Our Oxycodone and hydrocodone walked off by themselves from the master closet where the technicians were working that nobody else had access too? I asked the manager what steps were taken in their internal investigation and was told that he could not provide that information. Lovely. I would never ever ever recommend them to any homeowner. Stay far, far away from them.
All was fine in regards to service. The problem I had was with the billing dept. I completed my contract and canceled. Two months later they sent me a bill for the following year saying my contract auto renewed, yet I canceled on the last day of my contract. I called and the very nice attendant explained that there is nothing they could do, except take my money of course. I'm sure they have enough fine print to justify their actions, they always seem to have the legal edge. But they are crooks just the same.
WICHITA, KS, KANSAS -- I notified Protection One of an installation problem during the first 90 days while the system was under warranty. Due to scheduling difficulties, I was not able to schedule a service tech to look at the problem for two months. I was later charged a service call charge even though the problem was clearly an installation issue and was reported within the warranty period.
When I explained to the CSR supervisor that it would not be beneficial for either parter for me to cancel, she transferred me to the cancellation department anyway. After this first three year contract I will probably not renew the service. Hmmm, their loss...
BEWARE OF THIS COMPANY. Protection ONE PO Box 492392 Wichita, KS 67201. www.protectionone.com. In 2002 I entered into a contract at ** for monitoring service. I was told by the salesman in front of witnesses in that my contract was transferable if I moved and at the completion of the timeframe there was no further obligation. I was paying upfront for the equipment and I would pay so much a month for monitoring.
I moved in 2004 to ** and transferred the service, no problem, I again paid for new equipment, I got a move credit, the salesperson told me that I was on the original contract and that the timeframe expired, however he had me sign a new contract "because this is how we transfer." I relocated to ** in 2005, the services were again transferred, I got a move credit, paid for new equipment and again I was told that I was "out of contract" but I had to execute paperwork "because this is how we transfer."
In August 2006 I called and cancelled the service because we were again moving, I was told over the phone, "Not a problem and call us when you get a new house and we will give you a move credit towards your new service." I was sent a letter in October telling me that I had to write in to cancel, a phone call was not sufficient. I continued to be billed thru out this timeframe. I wrote a letter in October to the company again cancelling the service and explaining the situation.
I received a letter back advising that I may be billed through the end of the agreement (although my original agreement had long since been met) and/or be required to pay an early cancellation fee. My bill was over $750.00. I wrote Richard Ginsburg, President and CEO at Corporate Headquarters complaining and explaining that all of the employees told me the same things and that this was deceptive business practice. I received a call from some person named **, she was rude, advised that I had to pay, that I had signed a contract, that I couldn't pay it over time and that I would be billed the full amount of the contract, which I was.
This company is totally deceptive, they are charging for a service that they are not delivering, their own representatives all advised that I was "out of contract" after Alameda yet the company has escalated the billing and is chasing me to pay for something that they are not providing. How can all the employees of the company from Florida to Indiana to Corporate HQ all tell me the same wrong information, unless this is how they train their employees?
This has to be THE WORST COMPANY EVER. The Tech Staff who came into our company, 10 alarm panels, were the most unprofessional individuals I have ever met. Hats on sideways, 2 of them were hung over, foul language in front of my employees, you name it. Are we suppose it “trust” this company for our security needs? So far, the service as a whole, installation to dispatching is a complete failure. We are addressing legal matters as well as exchanging services at this time. They may be sufficient for residential but not for commercial applications.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Protection One we were burglarized within a month our system was installed. The system improperly; the window sensors were installed so that the alarm did not go off when the top of the double hung window was opened. Our insurance adjuster wondered about that coincidence...
We canceled in accordance to the contract; written notice within the time period specified and Protection One stopped taking automatic payments. About a year later we were contacted by a collection company for not paying our bill. About a year after that we found a false report on our credit report about this that lowered our credit rating. Beware, do not do business with this company.