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Alarm company warning ~
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momof4
Mueller Community

Posts: 727
Joined on August 30th, 2007
Alarm company warning ~
by momof4 on July 17th, 2010

If you are looking for an alarm company -- DO NOT sign with GUARD/CSGNATIONW Central Security Group. We signed with them back in Jan 08. We signed a one year contract and were told that after the contract ended we would be put on a month to month contract. So, they would still debit our account monthly until we canceled it. As long as we gave them 30 days notice, they would then stop pulling money from our account. Well, we never used the alarm. After paying them the full year and the next year even of monthly fees -- so through the end of 09 -- we finally realized that this was money we did not need to be spending each month. When I called to cancel, they informed me that we were not put on a monthly auto-renew, but a YEARLY auto renew. They informed me that this is their company policy (must be nice to just be able to automatically pull money from someone for an entire year without their opt-in) and that the sales rep "mis-spoke" when he told us of the monthly renewal. Naturally, he is no longer with the company. We argued until we were blue in the face and finally got a supervisor to agree to let us out of the unethical contract and cancel as of May. Now, I see that our account has indeed been debited the monthly fee even since then. When I just called today, I was told that the supervisor I spoke with left notes that we were not to be let out of the contract and still owed them the monthly fee until the end of the year. She is also surprisingly not with the company anymore. So, she told us we were done and didn't close it out on her end and is now gone. I thought it was strange at the time that I didn't receive the confirmation of contract termination email that I requested, but got busy with life and moved on. Now, they are refusing to stand by either of their ex-employees' word so we are left with trying to fight this through our bank. Grrr...

Anyway, I would hate for any of my neighbors and friends to ever have to go through this so I thought I'd warn you of this practice.

Felicia

PS- if you plan on criticizing me for my part in this at all (should have read the fine print of contract, should have made sure I got confirmation of contract termination, etc.) please know that I am going on not a lot of sleep and I am highly irritated right now. I won't take criticism well... not trying for sympathy, just a warning. :)
 
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GP
Mueller Community

Posts: 282
Joined on September 17th, 2007
Alarm company warning ~
by GP on July 17th, 2010

Felica,

I recommend that you contact the DPS Private Security Bureau (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/psb/). They track and monitor alarm companies within Texas.

I have used them to check if companies are licensed, and have been really impressed with their response.

Thanks,
Grant
 
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Larry Plutko
Mueller Community

Posts: 55
Joined on June 28th, 2009
Alarm company warning ~
by Larry Plutko on July 17th, 2010

Felicia,

Sorry to hear about this but these tactics are far too often followed in the home alarm industry. Over and above Grant's fine advice, I highly suggest you contact the Consumer Complaint Division within the Office of the Texas Attorney General. Here is the link: http://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/complain.shtml

Larry
 
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momof4
Mueller Community

Posts: 727
Joined on August 30th, 2007
Alarm company warning ~
by momof4 on July 17th, 2010

Grant and Larry ~
Thanks y'all are the best! Both excellent suggestions! I'll make those calls first thing on Monday morning.

Felicia
 
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icemonkeyharvest
Mueller Community

Posts: 334
Joined on August 19th, 2007
Alarm company warning ~
by icemonkeyharvest on July 17th, 2010

Wow! Robbed by the very people who are suppose to protect you.
 
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Kevin McGillicuddy
Mueller Community

Posts: 164
Joined on April 27th, 2010
Alarm company warning ~
by Kevin McGillicuddy on July 18th, 2010

Have you thought about closing the bank account that they're drafting from and reopening a different account?
 
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Leila
Mueller Community

Posts: 107
Joined on January 5th, 2009
Alarm company warning ~
by Leila on July 18th, 2010

I would also suggest writing a complaint (like your original post with more specific dollar figures, for example) to the Better Business Bureau. I had a problem once with an electric company that I thought had charged me unfairly and it was pointless talking to the company reps, but the BBB worked on my behalf based on my letter and got me a full refund.
 
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mbe19
Mueller Community

Posts: 95
Joined on December 10th, 2007
Alarm company warning ~
by mbe19 on July 18th, 2010

I have been very happy with Sandy at Elite Security. They are very reasonable, and I called her to get my alarm instructions again (did not use alarm while I had my dog) and she kindly came out to the house to give me another lesson with no charge. Plus I like supporting a small woman-owned business.
 
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momof4
Mueller Community

Posts: 727
Joined on August 30th, 2007
Alarm company warning ~
by momof4 on July 19th, 2010

yeah, Kevin I was actually in the process of closing the very account they were drafting from. So, we had just a tiny bit of $ still in there. It was due to the Overdrawn fee notices I started getting that I first learned they were still drafting from that account. That has led to many bank fees... it's a snowball of a problem :( The bank (so far) has been helpful and will help me put pressure on the alarm company to refund the money... we shall see.

@Leila, good idea on the BBB. I'll go that route also.

Thanks, y'all for the help!
Felicia
 
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