ADT Offers a $25,000 Reward for Evidence of Competitor Training to Steal ADT Customers

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We are accustomed to seeing warnings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and various state and local jurisdictions on the proliferation of alarm scams, many perpetrated by “door knockers.”

It’s not just high pressure sales tactics: the issue increasingly centers on poaching accounts from other alarm companies, also referred to as “slamming.” ADT has gone on the offensive, as with this news article from West Palm Beach, FL:

ADT says the fraud starts at your front door when people show up pretending to be from the company, but they’re not. ADT says people from other companies are showing up at their customers’ doors, claiming to be from ADT and saying they need to upgrade their security equipment. ADT says the alleged scammers often target the elderly, and end up installing a security system from their own company instead.

Slamming Details

One person on the Treasure Coast told us he was suspicious when two men came to his house wearing ADT clothes, asked for his personal information and scheduled an appointment. The man called ADT to verify, but they had no record of it, and told him ADT doesn’t go door to door. The victim canceled that appointment before it was too late. ADT has filed lawsuits against companies caught in these scams. Last year, they won more than four million as a result of lawsuits.

The irony is that ADT does indeed sell door-to-door. In fact, the company bought one of their largest Authorized Dealers, Absolute Security, which specialized in just that approach.

If you are ADT, what additional steps could you take to put the brakes on door knockers slamming your accounts? Put some money on the table!

ADT is offering as much as $25,000 to anyone willing to blow the whistle on security companies that train their door-to-door sales teams to use deceptive sales techniques, the home security giant announced this week. David Bleisch, ADT general counsel, said ADT believes some sales reps working for unethical door-knocking companies want to speak out anyway, so this offer is designed to encourage them to do that.

Focus on Summer Sales

“We want to also provide additional incentive and recognition for people that are brave enough to stand up and be whistle-blowers,” he told Security Systems News. The offer, which is good until Aug. 31, specifies that any evidence whistleblowers provide must result in a successful civil judgment against the offending company before any reward is paid. The whistle-blowers will receive either $25,000 or 25 percent of the award ADT wins, whichever is less.

Slamming Getting Worse

Bleisch said ADT, which is based here, believes it’s the first in the industry to offer a reward to combat unethical behaviors by door-to-door security sales reps. It’s the company’s latest attempt in a years-long effort to fight such scams, which Bleisch said are on the increase. “Based on the number of complaints we’ve received this year, we think this is going to be a record year,” he said. He said the company doesn’t have absolute numbers because not all scamming instances get reported. However, he estimated that the number of scams per year is “probably well into the tens of thousands.”

Preying on the Elderly

Unethical door knockers often target the elderly. Their misrepresentations include telling customers that they have an affiliation with a customer’s current service provider, such as ADT, and then making such false claims as saying that provider is going out of business in order to dupe the customer into signing a contract with a new company.

Video Evidence

ADT says it has video evidence of a sales training session by Utah-based door-knocking company Vision Security, in which it says sales reps were being taught to lie to customers. ADT is suing Vision, which denies wrongdoing, in federal court. Vision is among door-knocking companies that have said that any deceptive sales techniques were used by “rogue” sales reps. In 2013, it ADT says it won more than $4 million from such companies as a result of lawsuits.

We thought last summer saw slamming reach a new level, but this summer sounds even worse. And it’s hardly surprising that ADT would take such an aggressive stance in protecting its subscriber base. As the largest alarm company in the U.S. and Canada, it is the biggest target – with the most to lose.

FrontPoint is not immune from slamming – but it happens rarely. For one thing, our customers need, want, and understand what they are getting from us. Plus, they never see a salesperson or technician to begin with: they purchased their system online, they set it up their system themselves, and they know it works because they use the interactive services every day. But we’ll keep our eyes peeled for slamming – and our sympathy goes out to our colleagues at ADT.

Comments (8)

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  1. Melanie

    I have valuable information about a company training their call center employees to take over ADT customers as well as using old ADT customer call list because the company used to be an ADT dealer. Now they are calling those same customers with a long story of why ADT must be switched to monotronics. I have proof.

  2. Jake Thomas

    There are scamming company out there in all city . I think why adt spend so much money to stop this because there really hiding that there roping people off in the alarm business and then they say that people target the elderly well I have a grand mother that was paying adt for an alarm system that she has for 15 years over 47 dollars and medical system that she pays 35 dollars for so her total bill is over 80 dollars and we had a door knocker come in upgrade the system and lower the bill in half adt wanted over 350 to upgrade the system so who really attacking the elderly so with this said ask question ask for state listened ,where your company based , or you Angie list credit , it simple there bad sales people with all company including adt

  3. tanya

    Central Alarm Group is a bunch of young crooks. Do not sign with them because yes, it happened to me and im calling the BBB. This company has several complaints about unethical sales practices.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Tanya – Wow, sorry to hear that. Good luck getting your situation resolved, and thanks for the additional warning.

    • keith

      This company walks in my house with Honeywell shirts on , so I thought they worked for Honeywell unplugs my current system from my provider and offers to pay off the remainder of my contract? Is this even legal? I was still under a contract with my old company. They said my previous company would be contacting me? It turns out I owed over $400. Very Shady, sale Reps, and its as though they have been trained to do this like a routine. Do Not sign with this company.

  4. John

    Central Alarm Group with there green sign, is going door to door having people sign new 3 yr. contracts , stating they bought out Monitronics . Recently a few of our neighbors switched over and now our upset, stating Misrepresentation by Central Alarm Group. My question is did Central Alarm Group purchase Monitronics or is this some kind of scam?

    • Peter M. Rogers

      John – Thanks for the news. Sadly, this tactic is an increasingly common one among the door knockers who hit the streets across the US every summer. The best way to describe this unethical behavior with the term “slamming” – or “poaching” – meaning trying to steal an existing alarm subscriber away from another company. What is especially troubling is that these door knockers use fraudulent and deceptive sales practices to make the sale, and these unsuspecting homeowners can end up with two monthly bills to pay for alarm services. ADT recently announced a $25,000 reward for information that can be tracked back to a door knocking company training its reps to do this – since in some cases that is exactly what has happened. Sad, but true.

      Here is the short answer: Central Alarm Group did not purchase Monitronics. This is a scam.