Blog Comments Raise Eyebrows as ADT Employee Expresses Concern

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Consumers rely more than ever on customer reviews and social media when making buying decisions – especially when they are shopping for important services like wireless home security and home automation. And since more of that shopping is taking place online, checking out a company’s reputation on the web is a logical step while comparing products and services.

I’ve posted on the growth and importance of alarm company review sites before – and wrote recently on an alarm company warning issued by the granddaddy of review sites – the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Today you can check online reviews for just about any company – even the ones who knock on your door, offering a deal you cannot refuse: just remember: you really want to do your homework before you sign up.

Specific Sites to Visit

Some of the popular sites (like Yelp.com and epinions.com) have starred rating systems, and users can apply a 1-5 score along with a detailed description of their experience. Angie’s List is a membership review site, where their subscribers can share detailed notes about a wide range of service providers. FrontPoint has great reviews on all of them – with over 1,000 on Angie’s List alone.

It’s even more telling when you can read what employees have to say about their companies. For instance, FrontPoint has earned the prestigious “Best Place to Work” in Virginia for two years running – and this award is based purely on employee input. That tells you a lot, and frankly mirrors what you can read about FrontPoint in a ton of customer comments: we’re proud to have garnered such high praise for service that is above and beyond expectations, and that we have so few negative ratings. But it’s no accident… we work extremely hard to earn every rave review.

ADT Employee Speaks Out

So, when an ADT employee posted a comment on one of FrontPoint’s blog posts a couple of weeks ago, that got our attention. The topic of that blog happened to be complaints about ADT by former customers of Brink’s Home Security – negative reviews were piling up after Brink’s was absorbed by ADT. For those who never knew Brink’s, they were a remarkable service company. Sadly, they fell way behind in terms of alarm technology, but when it came to making customers happy, few in this industry could match them – and it showed in their relatively low customer cancellation rates. ADT is another story…

What the Employee Said

Hey, just some general commentary on the relative levels of ADT customer service from a current employee in sales:

  • Relative install quality can vary greatly from district to district and even installer to installer. Some installers and districts within ADT are very good and some are horrible. Very inconsistent.
  • My experience with ADT 800 numbers is that they are built to confound and confuse customers. Always try to reach local district offices if possible, not brokers mind you, but company district offices.
  • Since going public, ADT has done nothing but increase rates, fees, and drive up subscription costs on existing customers to try to protect profit. They are doing so at the expense of never-to-be-regained market share/customer loss.

I’ve been at this company working for close to two years now, and I’d never consider their alarm systems for my house. In my experience once the systems are installed, they work pretty well, but the costs far outweigh the benefits of a cheaper, just as effective solution from a local vendor.

Wow – now there is a strong indictment of ADT from someone working at the company. And perhaps it helps explain why ADT is growing so slowly, and has annual customer cancellation rates near 14%… above the industry average. As big as they are, ADT should be better than the industry. While we don’t solicit comments like this, we are happy when readers share their insights and experience on our blog. And since the FrontPoint blog is the most widely read in the alarm industry, we get lots of comments.

You may have found your own great review sites – if so, please let me know, and I’ll spread the word. The good news is that these sites are objective, credible, and not subject to abuse, which makes them all the more useful. And I should mention that when you search for “FrontPoint reviews” you’ll find the same great news. As the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US, FrontPoint is committed to your safety and security – and that means honest sales and advertising, no hidden fees, the best technology at the best price, and world-class service. Now that is peace of mind.

Comments (10)

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  1. fred

    It’s a shame that my son went to work for ADT – 4 months after leaving, they still owe him money and nobody returns calls. Will need to file a complaint with the Maryland Department of Labor. Anybody else finds that the stiff their former employees for commissions and business expenses?

  2. barry wallace

    I want to share my experience with ADT small business sales. I hope others may read this and form their own opinion. As with any other sales oriented position, there are some that excel and do well. A person can make a great deal of money with ADT. The opportunity is there. I wish to divulge the hurdles the company places on the reps that hinder the sales reps in the sales process.

    First week after hire, you should have completed your drug screening and MVR and background report. Credit reports are not used in the hiring process.

    You are given a week of computer based learning of products, ethics and safety. In addition you are given your hire pack with salary and sales commission percentages, products and services to learn, and sales pitches and other sales related information. There was no managerial guidance during this process, the manager pushed for “getting it done quickly so I can get you out in the field”. After a week of this the second week is going out cold calling to businesses and getting used to the basic ADT pitch and usually it is with another ADT agent. This entitles to one afternoon with an agent. The manager in his/her duties is required to go on two sales calls with the new agent.

    We were to show up every morning at 8:30 for our morning sales call. This lasted until 9 or 9:30pm. The company gets leads from its 1800 number and depending on who is selling most of the leads are given to the producing employees. They are hot leads. distribution fairly and evenly per company policy is not adhered to here. I understand why if I were a manager trying to make quota, but when youre in the fold and need to make a living it leaves a bad taste in ones mouth.

    From 9:30 until. UNTIL. we are given new business leads, other lead sources and must make 200 calls a week. That’s 200 calls minimum with 10 touches a day and 3 appts minimum, 20 business contacts from cold call or spiderwebbing, and also follow up on paperwork, coordinate installation, return phone calls, check email for the daily bombardment of company emails and CE courses….if one is truly lucky, and one doesn’t mind bending the truth and can produce the sales numbers at the end of the week then the above need not apply. But they track your calls so you cant game the system. And you will not get leads if you gase the system. So after all is a done an agent can predict to leave the office by 12 or 1 pm. This leaves 5 hours to do the sales call appointment which can turn into a two or three hour appointment on a commercial sale. Thus the other appts fall to the wayside. Installation is set up through the company and a date is set. Mind you, the installers get paid for upselling other products when they arrive. So its best and good business to always be at your customers install if you can. So go ahead and chalk off an afternoon of no business generation. An installer depending on who it is can go out an just do an awesome job or confuse the customer by telling them a complete different needs analysis and will and can blow a deal. It happens a lot. Training pay is very good for a new rep, 450 a week for first month, 300 a month for second month, 200 a week for third month and then based on production can continue on out. Benefits are excellent. I was gravely disappointed in ADT as this is a company that could be and should be a great company to work for. The sales force is treated as a churn and burn; once in a while a star will show up and they will be around for a while. Most of the agents I worked with got frustrated, choked out, or found other sales positions.

  3. Sean

    Most of the sales and installer commentary on the various job sites are not flattering for ADT. As a 2+ year veteran of the company, I can tell you first hand I’m looking to get out. For a while it was a bearable place to be if you could keep the top down negative management style mentally in check and not let it ruin your day(s). Now its gotten to the point where I would welcome the pink slip if it came.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Sean – Thanks for weighing in here. I am sorry to hear that working at “that other company” has not worked out as well for you as you hoped. But what you say rings a bell… I have also heard that the job sites covering ADT are not exactly flattering. That is a shame: since ADT is the “big guy” in this industry, one could argue that they should be a shining example of employee satisfaction, as well as the poster child for peace of mind and happy customers. And we know that is not that case, or they would not have above-average customer cancellation stats.

      Good luck to you in your future endeavors. Please don’t give up on the alarm industry: there are plenty of good security companies that reward good work and provide a positive work environment.

  4. Sean

    Most of the sales and installer commentary on the various job sites are not flattering for ADT. As a 2+ year veteran of the company, I can tell you first hand I’m looking to get out. For a while it was a bearable place to be if you could keep the top down negative management style mentally in check and not let it ruin your day(s). Now its gotten to the point where I would welcome the pink slip if it came.

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Sean – Thanks for weighing in here. I am sorry to hear that working at “that other company” has not worked out as well for you as you hoped. But what you say rings a bell… I have also heard that the job sites covering ADT are not exactly flattering. That is a shame: since ADT is the “big guy” in this industry, one could argue that they should be a shining example of employee satisfaction, as well as the poster child for peace of mind and happy customers. And we know that is not that case, or they would not have above-average customer cancellation stats.

      Good luck to you in your future endeavors. Please don’t give up on the alarm industry: there are plenty of good security companies that reward good work and provide a positive work environment.

  5. Alan

    Interesting… Great feedback, and it definitely sounds reasonable and legit, which makes it even better — it does not just sound like someone with an axe to grind.

    And, as always, kudos and thanks for being/staying awesome!

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, Alan. ADT has proven themselves entirely capable of creating interesting reviews and comments from customers and employees alike. This is just one more excellent example!

  6. Alan

    Interesting… Great feedback, and it definitely sounds reasonable and legit, which makes it even better — it does not just sound like someone with an axe to grind.

    And, as always, kudos and thanks for being/staying awesome!

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, Alan. ADT has proven themselves entirely capable of creating interesting reviews and comments from customers and employees alike. This is just one more excellent example!

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