Alarm Monitoring contract terms / 'eternal', unfair, one-sided contract
We do not live full time in FL so although we signed up with SecureOne in Aug 2003, on the recommendation of the person who installed our pre-wiring we did not personally have any contact with anyone at the company – except the technician who came to hook us up and produced a form for me to sign.
Between August 2003 and September 2008 the one or two instances when SecureOne services were needed this was ordered on our behalf by a friend who was helping us keep an eye on the house while we were in Asia.
In Aug 08 we needed to have the backup battery changed and in looking up the numbers to call did we fully realize that BOTH the numbers for the office and for the monitoring station are 1-800 type numbers and picked up out of Florida.
Being concerned that we were no longer dealing with a local company, I wrote to SecureOne (8/2/08) to cancel our alarm monitoring services; although I wrote to both the local address and the address to which payments are made (NOT in FL) I did not receive a response.
I the called the local number on Sept 15, [protected]) and was told to call [protected]; the operator there informed me that my letter had been received and that someone would call in 2-3 days.
(Today is Sept 19th and no one has yet called.)
When I was on the line, I responded to the operator that being unable to reach anyone from SecureOne was one reason why I had to cancel our account. She said they (whoever that might be) had our account since 2003 and that I ALWAYS had to
call the 800 number! This is untrue as they informed us of a change in numbers to call only in 2005.
The operator went on to remonstrate that I am locked into an AUTO renewal every 3 years and that she would send me a copy of the contract – which I have not received as of today’s date (Sept 19th, 2008).
Since then I checked our files and found the clause on the reverse side of a form I signed when the technician came to connect us up in August 2003.
I am not versed in American law and how it deals with one-sided, unfair contracts that penalize the customer.
However I can imagine that comparing their complicated termination terms (customer must give notice 60 days before the contract comes up to its 3rd year of AUTO renewal) and the terms under which they can terminate their services, no court or jury will be happy.
To complicate matters the operator claims her company holds our contracts and that company’s address is in the state of PA; however the contract states that the laws of Duval county apply to all disputes.
this is so, I will auto renew in Aug 2009 AND I must give 60 days
notice BEFORE the renewal date. I wonder how fair this is as not
many people would be aware of such tricky terms. Usually contracts
Also, after being berated by the operator I am fully convinced this operation which
is not even customer civil.
I have informed my credit card company that I am not going to pay the company in future.
Surely, I have the right to terminate my service since it has been misrepresented and the contract terms are unfair.
I also believe that this practice has come into use among service providers of this industry and that it should be publicized and stopped before more customers are misled.
I have complained to the BBB of north Florida and will also bring this matter up in various forums and consumer sites.
( Mind you, I do not know whether it is SecureOne or ALARM CAPITAL ALLIANCE
3RD FLOOR WEST WING
1400 N PROVIDENCE RD
MEDIA PA [protected] that I am supposed to be dealing with!!!)