Protection One Complaint - Protection One Punishes Loyal Customers
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.