• Report: #1128975

Complaint Review: Monitronics

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  • Submitted: Fri, March 07, 2014
  • Updated: Thu, July 03, 2014

  • Reported By: Scott — Richardson Texas
Monitronics
12801 Stemmons Frwy. Dallas, Texas USA

Monitronics Do NOT Use - rude customer service & misleading about cancellation Dallas Texas

*Author of original report: Update on contract

*General Comment: contracts revisited

*General Comment: Thank you for your complaint

*UPDATE Employee: Monitronics Cares

*Author of original report: missing the point

*General Comment: contracts

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 After over 13 years as a customer of Monitronics (mostly due to inertia), I decided to look at other options, and ultimately decided to cancel.  So, on February 27, I called customer service to find out what I needed to do, since their was no information on cancelling on the company website (even the "terms and conditions" were not available - sort of a red flag).  On that call, "AB" told me that I needed to send a letter, and that I would be cancelled, and that since my contract was prepaid thru the end of February, I would get a refund for one day of service.  I immediately faxed in my cancellation letter.

I then received a call to my home, with a recording telling me to check my bank statement, since Monitronics was concerned that I would be getting billed for two separate alarm company services.  I got concerned that they were not in fact cancelling my service immediately, as I had been told, so I called to confirm my cancellation.

This time, the customer service rep told me that my service was pre-paid through March (which I had verified was the case), and that it would take them 30 days to do their processes to cancel the service, so I would be monitored by them thru March 30, and would get a refund for my last day of service.  I told her that I wanted to have them stop monitoring my system immediately, and that I was told my cancellation was immediate and I would get a refund from February 28 on.  The rep started to get rude and kept interrupting me, and then finally told me she was transferring me to her supervisor, but not to expect any different answer.

She was right.  Almost immediately, the supervisor told me that they would not consider cancelling my service immediately since my contract gave them the right to extend the service for 30 days from notice.  I told him I did not know about that since I didn't have the contract and couldn't access it on the website, but that regardless, that was contrary to the information from the customer service rep when I had initially called to cancel.  The supervisor then became rude and condescending, and simply refused to accept or acknowledge my position that the earlier rep had been either poorly trained or purposefully deceitful, and ultimately hung up on me when I told him that the only thing I wanted him to do was to refund my last month's charges.

Monitronics may have the legal right to conduct business this way, although I don't have the contract to verify this, but they certainly do not deserve my business, and I would hope that my story would convince others not to give them their business either.  Rude and unprofessional customer service, and poor treatment of long time customers, should not be tolerated.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/07/2014 09:46 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Monitronics/Dallas-Texas-75234/Monitronics-Do-NOT-Use-rude-customer-service-misleading-about-cancellation-Dallas-Tex-1128975. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
2Author 4Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Update on contract

AUTHOR: Scott - ()

As I said in my original post, I did not have the contract to verify whether Monitronics had the right to conduct business the way they did.  Since my original post, I have received my contract from Monitronics (which was actually with an entity called Advantage Detection Services, although the contract was later assigned or transferred to Monitronics), and I wanted to provide this update.  I have reviewed the contract thoroughly, and there is simply no term or condition that allowed them to continue service after I cancelled.  Instead, the contract was for an original term of 1 year, with a 1 year renewal at the end of the initial term.  After that one time auto-renewal, the contract is silent on extensions, and there is nothing about notice of cancellation.  This is in direct contravention to the statement of the supervisor who claimed to be reading to me the terms of the contract I had signed, which he claimed required some sort of 30-day notice period (sorry Tyg, I don’t remember the exact language used as it has been a while since the call).

So, I would change one point in my initial complaint – Monitronics did not have the legal right to conduct business the way they did.  I stand by the rest of my complaint.

Finally, in response to the Monitronics Cares post, I can confirm that I did receive several calls from Mr. Kyser.  I did not speak with him as I felt that I had said all I needed to both on the phone call to the supervisor (which I was told was recorded) and in my complaint.  If Monitronics wants to send me my money back, I will take it, but my main hope is that others will see my complaint and be able to make an informed decision when choosing an alarm monitoring company.

 

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#2 General Comment

contracts revisited

AUTHOR: Catfish - ()

This is in response to Tyg - ()'s comments. Despite what you state, every single term and condition in a contract does not need to be excersized/completed to fulfilll the contract. The company does not "have to do what they are legally obligated to by those terms" if it is in the best interests of both parties to modify those terms. Of course Monitronics chooses to enforce the terms to the letter and uses the fact that the customer has no way of documenting things discussed over the phone (unless they also record the conversation) to continue the service for as long as they can.

Granted the first customer rep should not have stated a cancellation period of less than 30 days if she was not authorized to do so, but knowing what she is authorized or not authorized to say or do should be one of the basics, no matter how poor the training. I know from personal experience as the same thing is happening to me although in my case none of the three letters mailed were ever received by Monitronics. It was only after faxing a copy and therefore creating physical evidence of a successful transmission, that they acknowledged receipt.  

I don't believe for a second that the complaintant is acting like a spoiled child. Once Monitronics receives notice of termination, the 30-day clock should begin and any pre-paid money for services beyond that 30 days not performed should be refunded. Monitronics is probably arguing that the 30 days begins at the end of the current billing cycle, but to suggest that they really need the full 30 days to close an account is absurd. The rudeness from customer "service" represenatives that I have experienced as they continue to bill for more than two months of service is similar to the complaintant's experience.

In this age of social media where every customer experience either good or bad, can be communicated nearly instantaeously to hundreds if not thousands of peopole, it is appalling that Monitronics treats its soon to be former customers in such a manner over trivial (to them) amounts of money and is not indicative that Monitronics truly "cares" for us.

 

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#3 General Comment

Thank you for your complaint

AUTHOR: Nodaybut2day - ()

I am glad I read this complaint because I just cancelled my service and paid them up for the next 5 months of my contract.  The rep said it would be cancelled in 24 to 48 hours and they would be sending a confirmation in the mail but after reading your complaint, I have composed a letter to the letter of the contract because they seem very unreasonable and I have no interest in having any more contact with this company.  I just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience to help people like me who would have taken the word of the rep!

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#4 UPDATE Employee

Monitronics Cares

AUTHOR: Monitronics Cares - ()

Hi Scott,

I’m very sorry to hear of the current situation and I really do want to help. I have located your account information and have attempted to reach you with no success. I fully understand your concerns and I feel we can come to an amicable solution. We appreciate your loyalty to Monitronics and unfortunately mistakes do happen. As a business we look at your feedback and take it to heart so that we may better our approach. I can assure that we do review phone calls especially when a customer states they have received poor service. I will continue to research this matter and attempt to reach you so that I can personally take care of this. Please call me at your earliest convenience at 1-888-758-5900.

John Kyser
Executive Response Team 

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#5 Author of original report

missing the point

AUTHOR: Scott - ()

Thank you for the attempt at a contracts lesson.  Unfortunately, that is not the point.  First, my complaint is based on two items - the misleading statement from the rep and the unprofessional response from customer service, including hanging up on a customer.  I believe that other consumers should know what sort of company they will be dealing with, which was the point of my post.

Next, you question whether I read what I signed.  But, as my post stated, I do not have a copy of the contract, nor can anyone pull up the current contract on their website, so I am at the mercy of the customer service rep accurately telling me the terms of the agreement.  Indeed, that is why I wrote that the company may be within their legal rights - I just don't know.  However, I am also fully aware that the right to act under a contract does not mean that the right must be enforced, and since I expressly raised the question with the first rep about the cancellation term, the company could have (and, in my estimation, should have) agreed to refund the final month of the prepaid amount.  I recognize that you disagree with my view of how they should do business, and I'll have to try to be ok with that.

Then you question my failure to lay out problems during the 13 year term of the contract, as if the fact that a company could perform for a period of time somehow excuses them to provide poor customer service at the end of a relationship.  The truth is that I have had a few issues off and on with Monitronics over the years, but nothing that approached the level of this latest issue, and nothing that I felt was relevant to my comments on this forum.  As a result, I limited my comments to the latest set of facts.

As for your "blackmail" comment, I am afraid that you have no idea what you are talking about.  I have no intention of having a further discussion with Monitronics - I just wanted others who search the Internet to have my personal perspective on their (in my view) poor service.  My last month's payment of around $20 is not going to make or break me, nor will it make or break the company.  But, in my view, their poor treatment of a customer, albeit one who is leaving them, is not a good way to do business, and should be available as a part of the mix for a consumer when deciding who they should use as their alarm monitoring service.

You, of course, are free to choose to do business with companies who act this way.  I, likewise, am free to choose not to.  And I am providing my story so that others can make their own fully-informed choices, too. 

No need to respond - I know what you are thinking.

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#6 General Comment

contracts

AUTHOR: Tyg - ()

 It doesnt matter what was TOLD to you. Poorly trained or not, the ONLY thing they can do is follow the terms of the contract they have on file. YOU may not like it, but they have to do what they are legally obligated to by those terms. You seek to assign a machivelian motive when all they are doing is following the contract to the letter. Why is it that people like you think that YOU are immune from what you have obligated yourself to?? Did you just not READ what you signed??

You had them for 13 years and from your own post you show no incidents in that 13 year time frame. But when they wont just let you out of your contract, then for some miraculous reason they are NOW evil and mean and crooks. How exactly does that work?? How can you be with them for 13 years and then when you just dont get your way, you feel its perfectly alright to make a negative post about them for them doing their job? Self entitled much??

Maybe in the future you WILL read any contract you are going to sign. Because THEM following the terms and conditions YOU agreed to is not illegal nor is it immoral. Its called business. It is NOT a ripoff and it is NOT a scam. They just did not give you your way and that makes you mad. As such because you are mad, you feel its ok to lash out at them. See what I mean by self entitled. Youre acting like a child, more like a SPOILED child. You did not get your way and youre going to punish them for not giving you your way. Sorry to say this, but those that volenteer here are going to see EXACTLY what I have seen in your post. You are whining and crying and stomping your feet. You seek to use social media in order to get your way, you are attempting to blackmail them online in a effort to get them to let you out of your contract early. They are smarter then that and one would hope YOU would be that smart as well. Just because they are doing what they are supposed to do per the contract you signed doesnt invalidate the 13 years of good/great service they gave you.

It doesnt invalidate WHAT they do. In fact Im MORE impressed with them as a company BECAUSE they are following the terms of the contract to the letter. I would be a bit more leary of them as a company if they folded to every childish demand.

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