Updated 06/17/2012 02:30 PM
BBB issues warning about home security
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ALBEMARLE-- Teresa Brackett has lived in her Albemarle home for more than two decades. But after an attempted break-in, the woman changed the way she secured the place she calls home.
"They didn't get all the way in because of my deadbolt locks but they had broken the glass," said Brackett.
In addition to friendly neighbors on the lookout, Brackett also has a high tech security system. She says she's been with CPI Security for more than 10 years, so when a technician came to her home claiming to give her an upgrade, she says she signed on the dotted line. She later learned that the man was from a different company.
"I felt like I was tricked and I was hoodwinked by them," said Brackett.
Brackett says she signed a 36 month contract with Utah based company Vivint. To date, the security company has had its fair share of complaints.
"They've got over 1,400 complaint filed against them at the BBB in Utah, three states have filed actions against them," said Tom Bartholemy, BBB President of Charlotte.
BBB representatives say Vivint is a real company with real customers but some of their business practices are questionable.
"Complainants say they are feeling like they were mislead or deceived into doing business with them thinking it was there existing security company," said Bartholemy.
Several households throughout the state say they unknowingly switched to Vivint and while some were able to get their money back, others end up trapped paying for not one but two security systems.
In a statement to News 14 Carolina, Vivint stated: ""Vivint does not condone aggressive or misleading sales tactics and works fast to resolve any and all complaints. As the largest North American home automation services company, we require all of our sales representatives to wear clearly distinguished company shirts and I.D badges. To ensure the highest level of customer service and understanding, Vivint conducts a recorded telephonic survey with every new customer where he/she is asked to confirm their understanding of the terms of their agreement and their understanding that Vivint is not affiliated with any other company."
The BBB says most security companies will not visit your home without sending a notice or scheduling an appointment. They also say you should always ask for ID from the technician.