ADT Authorized Dealer Scam in Kansas City – Sounds just like One of Those Pushy Door Knockers

Posted by , , at 4:56 pm

I am reading more complaints and warnings on door to door alarm salespeople – it’s rare that a day passes where I don’t see a “Google Alert” on pushy tactics or fraudulent behavior. Most of these negative consumer experiences involve one of the Utah-based companies specializing in door knocking, but there are variations. One trend is for burglars to pretend to be alarm sales door knockers to case your house (watch for a future post on that trend!), and the other is today’s topic: even ADT’s authorized dealers can go “over the top” in how they try to sign up new customers. In this report from KMBC in Kansas City, Missouri, it’s clear that one company didn’t just push the envelope of ethical sales – they tore it in half!

Some residents in the Waldo area said they have been intimidated by someone selling alarm systems for ADT. Residents told KMBC’s Cliff Judy that ADT salesmen even claimed they were working hand in hand with Kansas City police.

The Bogus Pitch

Homeowner Toni Zaner said a man in an ADT polo shirt offered to reactivate her security system. “He said it was a $1,200 activation fee and that Kansas City police would be covering the cost of that to help out the area,” Zaner said. “The first thing he said is he was working with the Kansas City Police Department. Of course, I knew that wasn’t true.”

Along with claims of working for the homeowner’s alarm company to gain entrance, of referencing non-existent crime statistics, this is a common ploy of door knockers – but not of ADT dealers. ADT is normally more disciplined, and comes down hard on dealers who cross the line and risk giving ADT a bad name.

“Just ‘Cause It’s Legal, Don’t Make it Right”

Police said they are not partnered with ADT, and the company has hired a third party to sell alarm systems in Kansas City. KMBC’s Judy reported that ADT has a license to sell and install the systems, and there is nothing legally wrong. But Zaner and her neighbors said they did not like the sales tactics that they saw.

Zaner said that at one point the salesman asked for her birthday, made one phone call and had her Social Security number. “I snatched it from him, and I asked him to leave,” Zaner said. “Just don’t believe it. Even if they’re dressed in uniform and it looks like they have official documentation, just don’t fall for it.”

Advice from the Victim

“This is beyond aggressive marketing. This is intrusive,” one homeowner said. ADT told Judy that it is the largest alarm system company in the United States, and every summer the company receives complaints of copycat companies trying to sign up customers. ADT confirmed that the salesman was an authorized dealer, but said the sales tactics were not acceptable. The company said it is considering severing ties with that dealer.

This was no copycat – it was a bona fide ADT Authorized Dealer. While I can be somewhat sympathetic to ADT for the times when copycats are at work, I certainly hope in this case they fire the dealer. ADT’s reputation should be much more important than the new accounts created by one rogue dealer.

FrontPoint is happily removed from the dealer scene, as a truly “next-generation” service provider. ADT is primarily “old school,” focusing on traditional, less reliable security. In fact, ADT has not considered safer cellular monitoring a priority, and interactive monitoring like that already offered by FrontPoint (including video, home automation, and mobile apps) is only now being offered by ADT. While FrontPoint has been providing these smarter alarm features for over three years, ADT only recently announced its new Pulse product offering, and the jury is still out on how well they will support it (here is an update on pricing and other aspects of Pulse, since you can’t find anything on ADT’s web site!).

Stay tuned here more news from the alarm industry – and please let us know if there are topics you want to cover. We aim to be topical, timely, and informative. Part of being ranked as the #1 ranked alarm company in the US comes from knowing the competition – and staying several steps ahead.

Comments (8)

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  1. James

    I was shopping around for a new alarm company after being with one for over 20 years. Just looking for a better deal. The current company has just become horrible in service and products. That’s a separate issue. I called both Front Point and ADT to shop around. Front Point salesman was informative and professional. He answered all my questions and left his information because I told him I still needed to cancel my current service. I then called ADT, the salesman was professional but long winded and kept repeating himself, which is fine but after 30 mins on the phone and him running my credit, I was beginning to get fed up, he then puts me on hold, for about 5 mins which I then hung up. After about 5 mins, he calls me back with his supervisor on the line. After about another 10 minutes of the same thing, I told him I need to call him back because I was not yet ready to proceed, he then kept going on and on even after I told him how pushy he was being. He kept pushing, what a jerk. I just hung up on him. His name is Cody from Utah. Thanks for pushing customers away. I will never use your company’s service because of you. I will also tell everyone that asks me about alarm companies not to use ADT. Front point all the way!

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, James. People love FrontPoint for our consultative approach to sales. We like to inform and educate, and we train our folks not to be pushy. That one more reason why you can so many good reviews about FrontPoint – that and the fact that we offer the best technology and the best value, combined. I think I even know who the company is that you are talking about: it’s not actually ADT, but a company that sells for ADT. The experience you describe sounds familiar for one of these third-party sales centers. Thanks for sharing!

  2. James

    I was shopping around for a new alarm company after being with one for over 20 years. Just looking for a better deal. The current company has just become horrible in service and products. That’s a separate issue. I called both Front Point and ADT to shop around. Front Point salesman was informative and professional. He answered all my questions and left his information because I told him I still needed to cancel my current service. I then called ADT, the salesman was professional but long winded and kept repeating himself, which is fine but after 30 mins on the phone and him running my credit, I was beginning to get fed up, he then puts me on hold, for about 5 mins which I then hung up. After about 5 mins, he calls me back with his supervisor on the line. After about another 10 minutes of the same thing, I told him I need to call him back because I was not yet ready to proceed, he then kept going on and on even after I told him how pushy he was being. He kept pushing, what a jerk. I just hung up on him. His name is Cody from Utah. Thanks for pushing customers away. I will never use your company’s service because of you. I will also tell everyone that asks me about alarm companies not to use ADT. Front point all the way!

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, James. People love FrontPoint for our consultative approach to sales. We like to inform and educate, and we train our folks not to be pushy. That one more reason why you can so many good reviews about FrontPoint – that and the fact that we offer the best technology and the best value, combined. I think I even know who the company is that you are talking about: it’s not actually ADT, but a company that sells for ADT. The experience you describe sounds familiar for one of these third-party sales centers. Thanks for sharing!

  3. robert

    I work for ADT corporate and if what you make your customers install themselves is the Simon XT junk were not worried about any competition.Enjoy your #1 position. Protect America has the same set up and it is taken over by us on a regular basis

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Robert – good for you. Congrats, as ADT can be a challenging place to work. I used to work for Tyco, and purchased a number of companies on behalf of Tyco that were folded into ADT – with some interesting results. I noticed in the latest Tyco earnings report that ADT is reporting attrition at flat or slightly up, at 13.2% per year. This means that every year roughly one in seven ADT customers leaves you, presumably for another alarm company (like FrontPoint). I agree on Protect America, as their cancellation performance is reported to be just as bad as yours, and for the same apparent reasons: either pushy sales, or poor service – or both! And we are nothing like Protect America, believe me.

      At the end of the day, customer satisfaction is what matters most, and that is where FrontPoint beats both of you hands down – just read the reviews, look at the number and type of complaints on BBB, etc.

  4. robert

    I work for ADT corporate and if what you make your customers install themselves is the Simon XT junk were not worried about any competition.Enjoy your #1 position. Protect America has the same set up and it is taken over by us on a regular basis

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Robert – good for you. Congrats, as ADT can be a challenging place to work. I used to work for Tyco, and purchased a number of companies on behalf of Tyco that were folded into ADT – with some interesting results. I noticed in the latest Tyco earnings report that ADT is reporting attrition at flat or slightly up, at 13.2% per year. This means that every year roughly one in seven ADT customers leaves you, presumably for another alarm company (like FrontPoint). I agree on Protect America, as their cancellation performance is reported to be just as bad as yours, and for the same apparent reasons: either pushy sales, or poor service – or both! And we are nothing like Protect America, believe me.

      At the end of the day, customer satisfaction is what matters most, and that is where FrontPoint beats both of you hands down – just read the reviews, look at the number and type of complaints on BBB, etc.

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