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Monitronics Complaints & Reviews - Failure to stop billing

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Monitronics

Posted:    Anne O'DAy

Failure to stop billing

Complaint Rating:  98 % with 53 votes
This is old stuff, but I was cleaning out some old paperwork from my desk, and decided to Google Monitronics and Fraud, and sure enough it sounds like they are still up to their old tricks. So here's my story for all you other frustrated Monitronics customers out there.

In December of 1999 I signed a contract with Monitronics International to monitor my home security system. That contract included an automatic annual renewal, with a 90-day written cancellation policy. From January of 1999 until Spring of 2002, I only received a couple of letters stating that my rates would be raised, but I never received any notifications of contract renewal, or anything other than the automated debiting of $30-$32 per month from my checking account.

In the Spring of 2002, my system started doing weird things. After several phone calls, I finally convinced Monitronics to send out a technician. He said it was so old he wasn’t even familiar with it. He recommended replacement, but he couldn’t quote for me, saying I would have to call Monitronics to get a price. When I called them, they said they would have to send someone out to give me a quote.

In August of 2002, the equipment failed completely. It went into siren mode while I was showering, and wouldn’t stop unless unplugged and de-batteried. When I called for service, the response was that it was not a problem because they weren’t any phone calls from the system. I had to kill the equipment and I faxed in a request to have monitoring cease immediately. I believe I was offered a choice of buying a new system and signing up with Monitronics for three more years, but I do not recall the details of that offer, because I was so disappointed with the so-called “service”, that I wanted to cancel. Another company installed an alarm system at my house a week later. I called to cancel Monitronics. I was told that since my contract had automatically renewed until December, that I would have to keep paying the monthly fee until then, and also that the only way to cancel was in writing.

September 11, 2002, I sent a letter of cancellation, to the address indicated at the top of this letter. In it, I specifically requested written confirmation of the cancellation of my account. November 12, 2002, I had not yet received any confirmation of the cancellation. I called their Customer Service department, and spoke with a representative who identified herself as Denise. She confirmed that my contract would be canceled as of December and I would receive no more charges after my contract expired in December, 2002. She led me to believe that she was actually looking at the physical letter I had sent.
February, 2003, I realized that my checking account was still be automatically debited for a monthly fee for a service I had not received for over six months. I wrote a second letter to complain. After several calls I found that there is no procedure company for dealing with (ex-) customer complaints such as mine. There was refusal to allow me to speak to anyone of any authority, there was denial that a letter was received in September, and I was even told that since I had not sent the letter via certified mail, I was out of luck. That is not a practice I find that I normally have to follow. March, 2003: I held the line until I was able to speak with someone who was apparently a supervisor for the customer service department. She insisted that there was no record of ever having received a letter, there was no record of my having called in November, that there was never a Denise working for her department, and finally that in January of 2002 I had agreed to renew my contract for 9 months, not the standard 12, and therefore any cancellation should have been received in July. At that point, I felt like the story was going to keep changing in order to keep me bound to a contract forever.

March, 2003: In another call, I was assured that the automatic debit process from my checking account would be lifted. It was not. I had to have the account barred from any more debits by Monitronics (at a cost of $25 by my bank to stop payments).

April 21, 2003: I sent a letter of explanation via certified mail. April 22, 2003: I received two letters dated 4/17 warning me that “service may be interrupted” due to lack of payment, after I had stopped the automated debits of February and March. I both called the number indicated, as well as spoke with individuals who called me. I always insisted that my account had been canceled as of December, and they always insisted it hadn’t. We were at an impasse.

May 2003: I received a letter dated 5/1 that thanked me for my inquiry about cancellation, and offered a special lower rate!

May 7, 2003: I spoke with a Terry Stone, followed by Samuel in the Account Resolutions department. He indicated that I was still under contract, and he was puzzled as to why someone had changed my contract from January 2003 to October 2003 instead of January 2003 – January 2004 (caught in their own lies!). Yet he still insisted I was to be billed until October 2003, even though no monitoring was occurring, and that the account would be turned over to a collections agency. Samuel promised to send me a letter confirming that my account would be canceled as of October 2003, which I never received.
June 2003: I received a statement dated 6/3/03, indicating that the charges were up to $208.85.

June 5, 2003: I submitted my report to /link removed/

June 30, 2003: A rebuttal was posted to /link removed/ which basically said they are reputable, blah blah blah.

July, 2003: I received a statement dated 7/3/03 indicating an “Adjustment” of $208.85 to the account, dropping the old balance to zero, but adding another $31.75, due 7/24/03.

August, 2003: I received a statement dated early August with a past due amount and a new monthly charge.

August, 2003 I received a letter from a Customer Service representative which apologizes for her mistake in how she canceled my account in June, and that all debts and obligations are now dropped.

August, 2003: I received four phone calls from Monitronics to discuss my past due account, after receiving the previously mentioned letter.

After August 2003, I believe everything finally dropped. But I suppose I should go check my credit report...
Comments United States Security Services
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Sort by: Date | Rating
 19th of May, 2007 by   Ken Jones 0 Votes
Thank you so much... I was planning to signup, but not now!
 1st of Aug, 2007 by   L T 0 Votes
I totally agree with you. Monitronics is not a good choice to protect your family.
My system was down for couple months and they never known about this. So how can they protect my family in emergency case ?
 13th of Aug, 2007 by   David Stoltenberg 0 Votes
I will never return to Monitronics and recommend that anyone considering Monitronics flee with haste. I have a similar story. I have moved and sold the house. I sent written notification to terminate the monitoring service and close the account 11 months before the contract ended, and paid them for the final 11 months of the contract. Three subsequent phone calls over 6 months, and my account has not been closed, and I continue to receive statements. They appear to have a deliberate practice of not closing accounts.
 9th of Oct, 2007 by   arthur cederberg 0 Votes
I had the same experience. I was with Monitronics for over 3 years and when I tried to cancel the service and close the account but they just continued to bill me. I sent them 3 cancellation notes in writing and now they have me in collection trying to extort $255 from me. This went on for months my monthly bill was $24.
 20th of Dec, 2007 by   Steve Mace 0 Votes
Have also had similar trouble with this outfit and wonder how the state of Texas allows them to conduct business there. My process is well into year 3 with no resolution. I have contacted the Atty. General of both Georgia and Texas and awaiting a call back.
 14th of Jan, 2008 by   suzette ferguson 0 Votes
I will NEVER deal with Monitronics again. I was out of service for over 2 months and a service technician came out to fix the service. He deactivated my remote controls and did not reprogram them. When I found this out the next day, I called for another service call. I was billed $75.00 for a technician to come and correct his mistake. I have changed to another company and now Monitronics is trying to collect their $75.00. No way! 01/14/2008.
 28th of Feb, 2008 by   Istvan Siposs 0 Votes
My case was very similar to yours. My equipment wasn't broken, but we sold our house and moved out of state. Since I had a 30-day cancellation contract, I called well before our moving date. They said instead of canceling flat out, I can put the account on hold for 6 months, and in case I still need it in our new home, they would just restart the service at no charge. Or, if within the 6 months I cancel in writing, then that would be it. So that's what I did. We moved into a condo so there was no need for home security, therefore I wrote 5 months out to cancel. Two months later I received a new monthly bill (after not receiving it for half a year). Thinking this must have been a mistake on their part, I called them and reminded them that a) I no longer owned the property on which there was no Monitronics service for 6 months b) I already called to cancel but they talked me into a hold instead, and c) as required I requested the cancellation in writing a month before the 6 month extension was off. To my surprise I was informed that this was all true, they didn't even dispute having received my cancellation, however, the 30-day cancellation policy means that they would cancel 30 days after having received my cancellation request letter! So what this meant was, that I owed them another month for no service. This of course started a long process of going back and forth, me refusing to pay for service never received and they insisting that it was due. It ended with them sending me to collection over $35, and the $35 unpaid charge ending on my credit report! So yeah, you should check your credit report...
 7th of Mar, 2008 by   Billie 0 Votes
These are all lies, Monitronics is only a alarm monitoring company. Not a Alarm installation company. Most of the people on here pretend that they have done their research but havent. Your alarm system is only as good as the equipment in your home. For instance, if you call Monitronics to have your existing equipment monitored then how are they responsible for your busted equipment. And when you want to cancel your contract for monitoring it is the easiest on the market. Every other monitoring companys contracts renew for a year after the initial term and Monitronics renews month to month. Every other person on here just has to have a reason to wine because they tried to cancel their service while they were still in contract. Monitronics has the best alarm monitoring on the market so if you are looking to get your alarm monitored then definately call Monitronics. If you dont have an alarm then they will hook you up with one of their local Alarm dealers.
Adn to all of you winers. "SHUT UP AND PAY YOUR BILLS"...
 13th of Jun, 2008 by   James Johnson 0 Votes
My wife and I signed a contract to have our home safeguarded by your security system. To date the system has never been fully operational and your customer service has been horrible. We request the immediate removal of your hardware, our contract voided based on non-compliance and our money refunded.

Sequence of Events:


April 29, 2008 – Sales staff present the advantages of your system. We decide to select The First Defense System and sign a contract.

April 30th – The system is installed


May 1st – We notice our land line is not operational


May 2nd – Technicians come out to trouble shoot the system and determine the system was not installed properly affecting the functional operation of our home phone. Repairs were made.


May 5th – Melanie Johnson inadvertently trips the alarm. Monitronics calls home phone to state the police are being dispatched. The two way intercom was not used to confirm the authenticity of the alarm. Homeowner called Monitronics to instruct not to dispatch police. Monitronics states they have no record of Melanie Johnson being a registered customer; further stating that the system takes 48 hours to fully operational.


May 6th - First Defense System calls and states technicians need to come to home and replace the system due to a manufacturers recall. They replace the system and declare, “it works now.”


May 7th – Homeowner James Johnson trips the alarm because the technicians who replaced the system the prior day did not instruct homeowners to input their personal security code versus the default system code. The alarm sounds for 30 minutes. There was no two way contact via the two way intercom and no phone call from Monitronics. I called Wayne Jordan via his cell phone who instructed me to put in a default code. He stated that the technicians should have instructed my wife and me to change the default code.


May 8th - Wayne Jordan and another technician come out to our home to check the system. I informed Wayne that my wife and I did not sign up to have a non-functional system installed. He promised the system should be fully functional in the future.

Your staff has been in our home multiple times to install a system to protect our home. Thus far we feel totally unprotected. Our experience with your company has been froth with your errors and poor service.

My wife and I agreed to switch over to your system from our previous system based on its added features and benefits. An inoperative system is no system. For two weeks our home has been totally unprotected.

By your receipt of this letter, due to your staff negligence, poor service and less than professional service, culminating with my discussion with you today in which you expressed anger with our assessment of your service, my wife and I are voiding the contract and ask that you call as soon as possible to make arrangements to remove your system from our home. I called Wayne Jordan today and he was obviously upset that my wife and I provided your survey staff with negative feedback based on our experience. Mr. Jordan offered me a veil threat by saying to me, “You know you and your wife signed a three year contract.” Mr. Jordan’s comment is yet another demonstration of the company's inept customer service and business decorum.
 24th of Aug, 2008 by   Joe 0 Votes
Every security company, ADT, Brinks, and Monitronics all have the same contract. You sign up for 36 months, that’s 3 years. If you don’t pay it they will call you to find out why you didn’t pay. Just like any other company that provides a service. If I lent you $10 and you said you we’re going to pay it back to me tomorrow and didn’t. I would call you to find out why you didn’t. As for them renewing it automatically after 36 months, it’s in the contract. Would you rather them just cancel your account and stop monitoring your home? Could you imaging the lawsuits they ADT. Brinks or Monitronics would have if they did that. Get off you’re a$$’s and pay your bills. If you can’t afford don’t buy it.
 20th of Oct, 2008 by   karen 0 Votes
I have the same problem and matter of fact am still fighting them to cancel my account and they won't. I wrote a letter 9 months ago to the po box they provided and they never received it. They tell me they do not take cancellations by any other way than the po box. Fraustrating that my good credit rating might be affected by the fact that I refuse to pay for a service that I have tried to cancel about 20 times and I am not even in contract with them.
 1st of Dec, 2008 by   Kim 0 Votes
I just cancelled with Monitronics back in August and have been receiving bills in the mail for monitoring services they could not possibly have given, because the equipment was not even connected!! Now I'm receiving calls from a collection agency with threats against my credit report. I called the collection agency after writing to them explaining the events and they offered me a deal, $30 lower. I told them "No way". It's ridiculous that this kind of behavior goes on today. The money they are spending with the collection agency is probably the same as what they say I owe them - go figure.
 13th of Feb, 2009 by   jmclellan 0 Votes
I signed a two year contract with Monitronics International for a home security system. From Spring of 2003 until in the spring of 2005. In 2006 we had to move out of the area and called to cancel the account. We had fullfilled our original 2 year contract and so i didn't think it would be a problem.

The representative told me i had to write a letter of cancellation.

I wrote and sent a letter - and didn't think much more about it- figured it was cancelled. we were busy moving and starting new jobs.

My husband has always payed our bills- and he wasn't sure what this monthly charge was for (it is only 17.00) and finally remembered to mention it to me the other day-

It is three years later and they are still taking deductions out of our checking account.

I called their customer service and they claimed they never got the cancellation letter and there was no record of my call to cancel the service.

They said they would cancel it immediately- i will believe it when i see it!

I would not recommend Monitronics to anyone, their business practices are very questionable.
 21st of Oct, 2009 by   richc333 0 Votes
Whoever it is that is in love with or employed by Monitronics and keeps making stupid comments about people whining and go pay your bills, etc. reflects the attitude of the entire company. This is basically how they treat and speak to customers. Are they hurting fo money so badly that they will not let people cancel and even those on month to month contracts(after being loyal customers for years). This whole company operates on fraud and deception. What a way to make a buck! Most everyone I have heard complain here are people who have decided to cancel for legitimate reasons and have already been with this company for a long time. Extortion, deliberately ruining credit and falsely charging for sevice not rendered is a demonstration of very poor business practice and should have been investigated and dealt with a long time ago by D.A. offices or the powers which regulate practice such as this. SHAME ON MONITRONICS! I am in the same boat as the rest of you. Fortunately I am filing bankruptcy and happily adding this company to those un secured creditors who will get nothing!
 14th of Aug, 2010 by   workingmom344 0 Votes
I will never sign up with Monitronics again. We had to take the Unit apart because of it not working properly. CS is a joke and does not help. All they care about is that they locked you in a contract and there is no way for you to get out without ruining your credit. They just want your money. My home is not safe and the equipment does not work. i would advise everyone to go through someone else, if you really care about your family safety.
 4th of May, 2011 by   Prankster from not around here.. 0 Votes
OK so I just got a call on my cell phone from these people, at first they could not speak English well but I went on with the story to talk to a manager, they put me on speaker phone, all in the background were laughing, Let me tell you why! I gave a fake name told them I lived in a RV, yes they were still willing to take my money, I told them a line about my neighbor broke into my RV and ate all my tuna, I scrap and sell metal for a living and when my ol' man gets on the paps blue ribbon he beats me so will the system call 911 to save me from my ol' man and my tuna eating neighbor named Ray Charles...yes still willing to take my money< So why don't we turn the tables on these scammers, I use a fake probably unbelievable ignorant accent mispronounce words and yet they still want their money, It gave me a good laugh and I guess them too. Shame on these people! Call me again and I will prank you once again!!!
 17th of May, 2011 by   Dillow 0 Votes
I just tried to cancel my account because of moving out of the country and they said I owed a balance of over 700.00.. PLEASE, DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID BY USING THIS COMPANY!! WARNING... They actually use other companies to sell their product but read the fine print. It will be monitored by Monotronics!!
 28th of Feb, 2012 by   rkindorf 0 Votes
I worked for them. I am sorry, I have begged God for forgivenerss

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