I have an enormous problem with AlertUSA. Forfeiture of my deposit without cause, fraudulent use of my credit card, misrepresentation by several customer representatives and almost 2 years of letters ignored. I have filed FTC, NYS Attorney General and BBB complaints and the responses received never addressed any issue I complained about.
In my case they denied me the contract provision of 45 days to return their paperwork. After receiving an invoice for an Administrative Late Fee I was made aware that they send the paperwork with the equipment to the Subscriber who in my case is 1500 miles away from me; person who was financially responsible for payments to the contract. After speaking with their representative I was told I would get a copy of the forms, 45 days to return them and the fee was waived. Instead, once getting my signed authorization to charge my credit card they proceeded to charge the fee they invoiced. When I saw it on my credit card I called to inquire and was told the company has no obligation to comply with anything said by any representative and the fee stands no matter what. I reversed the charge with my credit card company and since have received invoices for a $50 charge reversal fee, new contract charges and late fees. All totaled over $500 to date.
I maintained one advantage over them however;
Since the issue arouse very early in the contract period I informed them no less than 6 times over a 3 month period that unless they honor their statements and reverse all fees, I WILL RETAIN THEIR EQUIPMENT at the end of the contract to secure a return of my deposit, and I have. After almost 1-1/2 years of writing I get a phone call from a Ms. Barbara Miller asking that I pay the bill and return their equipment. I asked her what the status of my deposit is and guess what, in a bit of HONESTY she stated that my deposit is forfeit no matter what action is taken. I told her that my notices included a revocation of the ability to charge my credit card and any attempt will be consider fraud. They have made no attempts to charge my card, but I have now received twenty-five invoices. For each invoice they have received a reply explaining that as my equipment deposit is forfeit, so is their equipment. I have begun billing them for storage of their equipment retroactive to the end of the contract and to date they owe me $617 including late fees and interest. They receive an invoice each month along with a letter and their invoice returned as not owed.
I recommend that anyone who uses their services will at least insure the intent of AlertUSA to return any deposit they hold IN WRITING prior to ending a contract and returning the equipment.
Remember; the deposit is not placed with them to secure a fee recovery in the event of a charge to your account which you may not dispute according to their practices, it is placed with them to show good faith that you will return the equipment to them. If you do so you are entitled to your equipment deposit back or they are not entitled to recover their equipment. Make them be the party to first state the deposit is forfeit. After they do so any charge attempts can easily be reversed and the charges contested. If they do not respond, and since your deposit is already lost, just hold the equipment as collateral against the debt and notify them of such.
If enough customers stand up for their rights and insist that any charges in dispute have nothing to do with the equipment deposit and then hold the equipment as collateral against the deposit taken they will be out of business in probably one year. HOWEVER; BECAUSE OF THEIR BUSINESS CLIENTELE THEY INTENTIONALLY DENY THE CUSTOMER DUE PROCESS AND COURTESY OF REPLIES AND WILL NEVER REFUND ANY DEPOSIT YOU GIVE THEM.
The age over their clientele basically sets their business model. They refuse to speak to you, say anythging when you do get a represenative, never live up to promises or statements but will make every attempt to throw a contract in your face. Their represenatives are rude, judgemental and speak as if their customers are idiots. Sadly I guess we are for doing business with this company.
I personally cant wait for them to start their collection actions after almost 2 years of back and forth. Maybe I will finally have a day in court where I can expose the business practices of this legally and morally corrupt company.