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 Advice - APX Alarm

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Pantsface
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:32 am Reply with quoteBack to top

To make a long story short, my wife and I got duped by an APX alarm door to door salesman last year. Free equipment, 45 dollars a month for service. We told him, "we are moving within a year, can we break the contract or move the service?" He said "Yes of course."

Well, we moved and tried to break the contract, but we are stuck with them for 5 years, and they wont give us new equipment at our new location for free, we have to pay $3,000 for the new equipment. They wont cancel our account and keep billing us.

I googled them and found tons of complaints on them. Any advice on what to do? They automatically deduct from our bank account each month.

Bastards!

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Tsnerd
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The lawyers should chime in, but what does your contract say?

If there are that many complaints about unethical practices, you should be able to approach a consumer advocate group or, in the case of illegal practices, your D.A's office, most of which (in my experience) have fraud departments.

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DrWho
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I would tell the bank to stop paying on it. If they wouldn't close the account and move to a new bank. Let the company find you.

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sheboppe
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I suggest talking to your bank also. Sometimes they will advise to close that particular account and open a new one to keep unauthorized withdrawals from happening. They might have other options to stop that company from dipping into your account.

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Eight
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have no expertise in US law. In the same situation here, I would write to the company and tell them you agreed a specific break/move term with their agent/employee (and tell them exactly what you and the agent said to each other), and unless they honour that, you will consider them in breach of contract and will stop payments. If they then refuse, stop paying and see if you can get advice from a local consumer organisation about how strong an argument that really is. I'd wait for them to sue you, but I'd also put aside the payments or save them up somewhere in case the worst happens and you have to pay them after all. Good luck. Smile

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:40 am Reply with quoteBack to top

First thing you must do is stop the regular payment. That immediately shifts the burden over to them.

Second, try and contact some of the other complainants, share stories, and if the b*stards come after you, throw some of what you've learnt back in their faces. Let them know if they try to sue you, you will bring all this sh*t up.

Very often, companies like this won't pursue you if you stand up to them -- they know that a goodly proportion of people will simply get scared and pay up. Evil or Very Mad

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GomerPyle
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I am unfamiliar with US law though I imagne that the basic priciples are very similar to our UK law. The same situation arose in the UK with banks misselling investments (which got me into the whole business of scams and the like). The salesman tells you one thing (anything to make the sale) when the small prnts says something different.

As regards stopping the payments, if the US banking system is anything like ours (and I know there are some major differences, you either initiate payment so you cancel that authority, or there is what in the UK is called a Direct Debit, which you can again cancel with your Bank. In the latter situation you should advise the beneficiary what you are doing and why.

The nub of the matter is that the salesman has basicaly lied to you over the contract you have signed. The difficulty is to prove that. If the salesman has lied then the contract is void. In your case, you may have the ability to show that the salesman must have lied to make the sale if you have some documentary evidence that you were intending to move house at the time of the sale. If you can't do that then you are probably stuck.

I'd certainly take advice from a consumer organisation and base your argument on the fact that you would obviously not have entered into such a deal unless the salesman had lied to you. I wouldn't do anything until you have taken that advice and been given some idea of how strong your argument is. Just cancelling the payment is easy but you could just end up with endless legal hassle.

Best of luck - and find that evidence - then you have a chance of winning and sticking it to them.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:22 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Unless you have it in writing from the agent at the time you purchased the alarm, that you could break or move the contract/service, I would say you are up a creek without a paddle, as the compamy will say, read the small print in the contract.

Do you know if the same agent still works for them? Could you get him to come out you a friends house, get them to ask him the same question, and either record him saying it was ok, then tell the company you have proof he said it, and that he is still doing it now?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Contact a few radio and TV consumer programs.

In the UK we have one where company directors get dragged in to explain their dodgy practices. The bad publicity is usually enough to get them to cancel or refund any outstanding monies.

If you take the advise above and it goes to court, you would hope any reasonable judge would agree it's unreasonable to pay for a service as inflexible as that.

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harrya
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:54 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Sorry to hear about that.
It kills me when I hear about this sort of stuff. I have an alarm business in Australia.
We had a similar kind of company sell thousands of over priced crappy systems some years back. Finally they where shut down and spent jail time. It was other dealings mobile phones etc that got them. Still it was a good result.

This is ball park figures however if you want an alarm system. As opposed to a salesman pushing you into one. $1000-$1200 au/us (about the same these days) fully installed no contracts, for a 3 bedroom house.
Forget about back to base monitoring unless it's a commercial premises.
No security guard will ever get to your house before a perp has fled.
Any decent alarm installed properly can be programmed to call your mobile or a land line. Saving you $45 a month. They are only interested in the monitoring fees. In twelve months they will sell off all the clients and dissapear.

As mentioned I'd have the direct debits cancelled.

What is wrong with moving the the current equipment ?

For $3000 I'd be glad to come and move it for you Smile

Just for laughs tell them that.
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Pantsface
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks guys.

I think Ill look into it more, and complain some more, probably the Better Business Bureau as well. I dont want to stop payments outright as it can reflect really poorly on my credit and I really dont want any sort of legal action taken against me.

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Stepan Fetchit
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This is very common!

You overpaid by month...and you should never sign a contract for alarm service.



http://www.clarkhoward.com is a consumer advocate guy and frequently talks about the alarm rip off.
He should have some info on his site

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The Man
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Assuming that you can prove the salesman said there was no penalty for early termination if you moved you have something called "Fraud in the inducement" to sign the contract. I.E. they lied to you to get you to sign it (we lawyers just have to use fancy words). Of course how do you prove it? I am sure if you read the contract it says the exact opposite and in fact says something along the lines of "This contract is the entire agreement between the parties, any prior statements, oral or written, between the parties are expressly rescinded" or some such (commonly called an "integration clause").

Now on the other hand, you can choose to terminate the withdrawal from your account or close the account and open another. The net result is the company will sue you and trash your credit while this gets resolved.

PM me if you need further, I work in the collections industry Wink

The advice about getting this on the news and getting bad press is a good one. BBB is likely not going to help. They will side with the fact that there is a contract. Report them anyway so that others might have a chance not to fall for this.

EDIT: This might be of help.... http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/238/RipOff0238269.htm

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Pantsface
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^

Thanks. Ill dig out my contract again and see what I can find, and take it from there.

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DrWho
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:33 am Reply with quoteBack to top

One thing, that maybe you found out by now, the BBB doesn't handle investigations or become an intermediary. They only are essentially a clearing house for complaints. Then a place to go to investigate a business. They have no real power.

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Connie L. Gus
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I would parallel process. File a complaint with the state. File a complaint with the county. File with the BBB. Write to your local papers and CC APX. They have lots of email addresses. Write to your local TV stations.

This is from the BBB on APX. If seems you may have a chance. The question is will APX make an effort to defend themselves for their $45 a month? The BBB does seem to know about moving and the length of contract issues. They suggest getting the statements in writing.

Quote:

Contract Issues
BBB Definition:

Contract Issues - Claim of alleged failure to honor contract or agreement, work performed without authorization, or invalid contract.

Resolved
BBB Definition:

Resolved - The company resolved the complaint issues.

59 - Company resolved
BBB Definition:

resolved - The company resolved the complaint issues.
the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to the BBB.
169 - Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB.
1 - Company offered a partial (less than 100%) settlement which the consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB.



Sales Practice Issues
BBB Definition:

Sales Practice Issues - Claims of alleged sales presentations made in person or by telephone that contain misrepresentations of the product or service, high pressure sales practices, failure to disclose key conditions of the offer, and verbal representations not consistent with written contractual terms or agreements.

Resolved
BBB Definition:

Resolved - The company resolved the complaint issues.

75 - Company resolved
BBB Definition:

resolved - The company resolved the complaint issues.
the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to the BBB.
145 - Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB.
4 - Company offered a partial (less than 100%) settlement which the consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB.
Administratively Closed
BBB Definition:

Administratively Closed - The BBB determined that the complaint could not be satisfactorily settled using standard methods of voluntary dispute resolution

2 - BBB determined the company made a reasonable offer to resolve the issues, but the consumer did not accept the offer.

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