I am writing to express my concern over how Monitronics and Platinum Protection are handling the recent concerns I have had with my alarm system. This is a system that was sold to me by a door-to-door salesperson who insisted I get the new system and have it installed immediately. To begin with I was a little skeptical about a new company and the sales tactics felt a little pressuring but against my better judgement, I went along with the sales pitch and signed on. My first time in dealing with
Platinum wasn't really until a year later when I was needing to look something up in the owner's manual and realized that I never got one. So I called Platinum to inquire about getting a manual for my alarm system. I also noticed that I never got a list of the zones in my house which I need when setting it to bypass a zone number. Platinum told me to go online and print a manual and to contact Monitronics or my zone information. Later on when I tried to do this, I found two types of them on the site, neither one was the alarm
system that I have. I had to call again to get the name of the alarm that I have and ask to have a manual sent to me by Monitronics who is the monitoring company.
Then on 8/24/08 I had a problem with one of the sensors falling off the garage door. Fortunately, the alarm wasn't armed at the time and it only caused the key pad to start beeping that there was a problem. I found the larger piece on the floor which contains the battery. The small piece (the magnet) had completed fallen off and was nowhere to be found. I called Platinum who told me that I would have to pay for a service call to the residence to fix and/or replace the sensor. I told them that I felt it was Platinum's responsibility to take care of it without the cost to me. This is because the installer originally put that sensor up with two-sided tape. This didn't make sense to me as this is an area that is subject to high heat and humidity. I told Platinum that I would install it myself if they would send me the sensor so that I could save on paying a service fee. The small magnet piece came in the mail a few days later and I replaced it myself and expected my alarm to work properly; however, it was NOT so I called Monitronics (the monitoring company) who informed that of course it will not work properly without being programmed into the keypad (Platinum failed to tell me this). Monitronics said they can assist me over the phone with that. A request was placed on my account for them to dial in and download the code into my keypad. Several days later it was still not working so I called monitronics back to see what the problem was. They told me that it was not taken care of, apologized that it wasn't completed yet and assured me that it would be taken care of in the next day or two. Two days later I contacted them again to see why my alarm system was still not working properly. This time they told me they are not able to dial into my system because it is cell primary. Apparently they cannot dial into the keypad when you have a system that is cell primary (I had no idea about these things). So this is a couple of weeks later and my system is still not working properly and Monitronics failed to tell me the first time that I called that they cannot dial in. So of course I was led to believe that it was a simple fix and it would be taken care of.
What was so aggravating to me was that no one bothered to call me and tell me that they were sorry but there was a mistake and they cannot dial in to fix the problem. I had to call back the second time to find out what was going on! So you can imagine that by this time I am very frustrated. So now Monitronics apologized again and told me they would have to have a technician come to my house to program the keypad so it works properly and that I would have to pay for a service call. I told them I didn't believe I should have to pay for that seeing as it was their fault in the first place that it came off the door (due to poor workmanship) and now I am 3 weeks into this and still have not gotten my system working like it should be and I am unable to set my alarm.
So Monitronics told me they would allow me one complimentary service visit and they would be calling me to set up an appointment. Four days later, I had a technician from Shields Alarm systems come to my house and re-install that sensor and reset the system so the alarm works properly. He agreed with me that the way it was originally installed was not done correctly and that is why it fell off the door. When he was testing the system he noticed that the audible alarm was disconnected so if my alarm had ever gone off, it would not sound. He asked if I would like it connected and of course I did. The installing technician did not hook that up properly either. Now I understand why I didn't hear the alarm sound a few months ago when I accidentally set the alarm off but the keypad went crazy with beeping. Also, I wondered why no one called me from the monitoring service to ask if I needed police and what the status was. It leads me to believe that they aren't monitoring the system like they should be 24/7.
As of today 9-16-08, my system is finally working properly and I am able to set it. I have been without any working alarm system for nearly 4 weeks. I do believe that Monitronics should credit me the month's service since I was not able to use it during that time. Obviously no one was able to monitor my alarm system because it was not working for the entire time. If nothing else, at least for the aggravation and frustration I have had!
On another note, I was never given an operator's manual or a listing of the zones at the time of installation and when I called today to try to obtain the zone list, I was given the brush off from the monitoring company and incorrect zone information. The person I spoke with was very rushed and didn't seem to want to take the time to look into this for me. I asked him several times why he could not tell me the zone listing, that someone
must have it! He finally placed me on hold to get some assistance and amazingly came back with the zone information. He rattled it off quickly and asked me if that was all I needed as if to get me off the phone. I told him to please slow down and take the time with me and let me get the zone written down for myself. He seemed very frustrated that he had to keep answering my questions and kept asking if that was all I needed so that he could conclude the phone call. It was not a good experience and I am very dissatisfied with the poor customer service I have experience from these two companies.
I'm trying to terminate my contract and find another monitoring company. From what I can tell, I am bound for another two years. I just don't trust that I'm getting my money's worth or the security of knowing my future alarm calls will be followed up on. I pay $45/mo for monitoring service that I'm NOT sure is very reliable and when I do need customer service, based on my past experience, I cannot get things resolved in a timely and effective manner. At this point, I really don't expect anything to be done about my complaint but I want them to know that I am not satisfied with their service and if I cannot get out of my contract, as soon as it expires, I will look elsewhere for alarm monitoring service.
Also note that the Platinum website is not very well put together and has said coming soon on many of the options for months now. I could not find an address or phone number for Platinum listed on the site. But yet there is a link that says contact us but no info available. I will try to find an address on some of my original paperwork.
Winter Haven, Florida
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