VIVINT of UT Draws Red Flags with KENCO of MT Customers in Billings, MT
On July 25, 2011, BBB received a call from the owner of Kenco Security and Technology of Montana, a security alarm system company, reporting that Vivint, Inc. of Provo, Utah was misusing their good name by door-to-door reps operating in the Billings area.
Specifically, that Kenco customers are reporting questionable pitches being made by Vivint reps about their current Kenco security system, including the statement that “Kenco is working with them, and they are there to "upgrade" your system. This statement is not true.
BBB urges customers to confirm or verify random statements made by reps about your current security system with the proper sources prior to saying yes or signing to change anything. If you have further questions about your Kenco contract, contact Kenco directly. If you have an unresolved issue concerning a newly installed system, file a formal complaint for resolve at: www.bbb.org You can also file dually with your state Attorney General's office.
According to BBB of Utah, Vivint's "D" rating can be attributed to the company's government actions and 1,416 complaints with BBB. The majority of BBB complaints deal with product and service issues.
BBB serving Eastern WA, North ID and MT issued a warning on APX Alarm Security Solutions in 2010 (tip #5): http://spokane.bbb.org/article/bbb-twice-a-month-tips-you-can-trust-for-the-week-may-17-2010-19579
And more recently, on June 15th, 2011, issued this warning to Montanans:
First and foremost, BBB urges customers to confirm or verify random statements made by reps about your current security system with the proper sources prior to saying yes or signing to change anything. If you have further questions about your Kenco contract, contact Kenco directly.
Time is on your side. Don't rush important decisions. Businesses truly interested in making a sale should allow consumers time to consider and compare.
Ask questions. Don't hesitate to ask for additional details, contact information and references. Make sure to get the solicitor's credentials—especially when security issues are at stake.
Cool off. The Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling-Off Rule gives customers three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business.
Before making any in-home purchase, visit bbb.org for updated BBB Business Reviews with complete background information and complaint history.
If you have an unresolved issue concerning the company after having spoken directly with them (via company contact info in BBB review), be pro-active and file a complaint with BBB for resolve at: www.bbb.org as well as your state Attorney General’s Office.
BBB Industry Tips
1. Some companies will offer a "free" alarm system. While the equipment and installation may be free (make sure this is in writing), there is a monthly monitoring fee. When you compare costs, make sure you compare all the costs.
2. Find out about local building codes and regulations regarding burglar alarms (including costs for false alarms).
3. Check out the company that will be monitoring your system. Ask if it is the same company you are signing a contract with. If not, make sure you obtain the name, address and phone number of this company.
4. Consider advantages and disadvantages of each system and decide which will be best for your particular situation.
a. Does the company call you first before notifying the police?
b. Does the company call the police first?
c. Does the company have a security patrol car that will check out the alarm and if necessary call the police?
d. How soon after the alarm sounds will you be notified?
e. What happens if the alarm company is unable to reach you when the alarm is sounding? Is the alarm reset? Are the police called? Are alternate numbers called?
f. Ask for procedures in writing, so you are aware of the steps and can anticipate how you can best handle the situation.
5. Deal only with reputable firms and check out the company at the Better Business Bureau's website, www.bbb.org.
6. Don't be pressured into buying something you don't want or need. A reputable company will let you check out the offer and compare bids from several installers.
7. Make sure it includes all promises made by the sales person. If the promises are not in the contract do not sign the contract.
8. Study the contract carefully. Confirm information such as:
a. Installation price
b. Monthly price
c. Length of the contract (most contracts are for at least two years)
d. That any free or discount offers have been added
e. Cancellation time frame to cancel the contract. The Federal Trade Commission requires that at least three days be provided (www.ftc.gov, three day cooling off rule).
9. If you are planning on moving ask what happens with your contract, and get that information in writing from the sales person.
10. After your purchase, make sure you check the system routinely to be sure it is in working order.
11. If you are having problems with your alarm, make sure you document dates, times, who you talked with, who came out and what was fixed.