My husband and I purchased our first home in September 2005. Almost days after we moved in, there were already 3 different salesmen knocking on our door trying to sell us their unit and service. We took excellent notes and compared all the companies before choosing Security One w/Monitronics service.
One of the most important reasons we chose it was because they offered the cellular back-up. We did not have a landline at the house, nor did we plan on getting one. We both had cell phones and had no use for a land line. We were still not sure after an hour with this salesman if we wanted to make the decision right then and there.
The salesman then explained that is was only a 1 year contract and that if there were any problems w/the unit or service that there was a 24 hour customer service line. It sounded good to us, so we signed the contract.
A technician had come out shortly after to install the alarm. I had left work early to meet him at the house. He explained that it should take an hour maybe a little more. 4 hours later this gentleman is still in my house, and the alarm is not working. He is explaining to me that the systems are down so he cant set it up. He packed up his tools and was getting ready to leave when his phone rang and someone on the other line told him to try it again. Finally, the service was working and the service tech left.
That same month I had accidentally triggered the alarm and ran for my phone, preparing for the phone call to confirm my password and say everything is okay. I stared at my phone for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, a half hour then I called Monitronics. I asked why I wasnt contacted and the customer service rep claimed that We are receiving a trouble signal from your unit, thats why we didnt receive the message that the alarm was triggered. I was then told that a service tech was going to be contacting me to come out and fix the unit.
A week passed and that never happened. I called back and told them the service tech never came out and they told me again someone would be contacting me. After 5 days, a service tech called me and came out. He took a look around the house and then explained that whoever installed this system and the cellular back-up unit did not know what they were doing. He then moved the equipment into different areas and said everything should be working fine now.
About a month after that I set my alarm on away before going to bed (which turns on the motion detectors.) I ran down in the middle of the night to get a drink of water and forgot the alarm was on. I flipped on the lights and walked right past the motion sensor, completely oblivious to the fact that it should be going off. On my way back upstairs I saw the panel set to AWAY and realizes that nothing happened when I walked right by it. The sensor is placed right above my front door which covers the living room, hallway and stairs. I then started jumping up and down and waving my hand in front of it nothing.
I called Monitronics and explained the situation to them and they again said they need to send a service tech out and that it would cost me $30. I demanded to speak with a service tech to troubleshoot the problem. I sat on hold for 44 minutes waiting to speak with him. He then told me to get a screw driver and take the cover off the motion sensor and tighten something. We turned the alarm on again and it seemed to work now. How long was this not working before I realized it?
The next 3 months were terrible. The alarm would make these beeping noises every 2 or 3 minutes and displayed FC on the panel. I kept calling to make the beeping stop and that said a tech would come out. Again, I waited a week and no technician called or came out. I cant even begin to explain how nearly impossible it was to fall asleep to these constant beeps. Every beep the dog has to jump up and bark, then by the time she settles down another beep goes off.
After almost 3 months of this I demanded to speak to a supervisor who said she could credit me for the last three months since it was clear that I had a failed signal and was receiving no service. The FC finally stopped on its own shortly after that.
I called to cancel the entire service at this point. We knew we were tied to the contract for a whole year, but my husband agreed to pay the amount in full to be done with them, (which at the time was roughly $225.) I called to cancel the service and the customer service rep told me it was a three year contract. I assured her it was only 1 year and that I had the notes to prove it from the salesmans visit. She then explained to me that all contacts are 3 years and that if I read the terms and conditions at the bottom of the contract I had signed that I would see it. I told her I would call her back and dug up the contract, which did say at the bottom that it was 3 years.
I called the customer service rep back and told her that this gentleman needed to be disciplined for lying to customers like myself and she said He doesnt work for our company. Hes just a salesman who is hired to sell systems. He has nothing to do with us. Their business strategy all became clear to me. They just hire people who have no interest in the company to go out and say whatever they need to say to sell the system. This was very disappointing. I am now stuck in a 3 year contract for a service that is not even being provided to me. I calculated the remaining balance to drop their service and it was well over $900. (Which I cant afford to pay.)
Against our better judgment we continued the direct debits of close to $40 a month from Monitronics and just stopped using the system. The beeping and FC continues for days and then stops. Then comes back a couple weeks later. I am about to going crazy with this beeping, but I say nothing. Hoping 2 years will be here in no time.
On June 1st, a police officer shows up at my house claiming the alarm is going off. We explain we are the owners and that the alarm hasnt been touch in several months. He leaves and the phone rings about 8-10 minutes later. Its Monitronics asking me to confirm the password and ask if everything is fine. I tell them the alarm hasnt even been enabled and I dont know why they are calling me. They transfer me to service and I hold on the phone for about 12 minutes before my call waiting starts beeping. Its Monitronics on my other line also. I click over and they say they are receiving another signal and need me to verify account information. I tell them that there is something wrong with the alarm and that I am trying to resolve it with technical support on the other line.
When I click back to technical support they explain that a technician will be contacting me to come out and fix it. About an hour and a half later the phone rings and it is Monitronics again! They said they can put a hold on my account so that the phone calls stop since there is obviously something wrong with the system. They have been calling 3-5 times a day since then. I think its almost comical that I used to set off the alarm accidentally and I wouldnt receive a single phone call, but now that I havent touched it in over 3 months they are calling me claiming its going off. I am getting to the point now where its going to be time to take some legal action. This service has not worked since the day it has been installed and I have already paid hundreds of dollars for a service that I never received.
If thats not enough, I then receive a letter from Monitronics claiming that due to FCC regulations all the systems have to be upgraded because of the analog towers coming down and the digitals going up. Im no stranger to technology, I understand they might need to upgrade their systems, but the letter states that I can do one of the following two options:
Extend my service agreement for 12 months
Extend my service agreement for 6 months
I dont want to extend my agreement at all! I dont even want it for the remainder of what I have left. Why would I pay anything at all? I didnt ask for this upgraded system and I dont believe its my problem that service has to come out and replace the system. As far as I am concerned it doesnt work anyway so leave it alone.
When I called to explain that there was absolutely no chance that I would extend my agreement with them, they explained to me that I could pay for the service call and the unit (full price) and then I wouldnt have to extend the agreement. I cant afford that! Talk about consumer fraud.
This place is such a joke.
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