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Burglar Alarm Monitoring Service / Charges after cancellation

1 United States

This complaint explains how to avoid paying alarm monitoring fees after moving. The complaint is against the policy of ACA Security Systems/ACA Alarm Center, but may apply to other burglar alarm monitoring companies.

If you have the following clause in your alarm monitoring contract, You need to take action: "This agreement shall automatically, without action by either party, extend and renew itself upon its original or any renewed expiration date." ACA, and probably others, interpret this to mean that the contract is extended annually FOR A WHOLE YEAR. In my case I "cancelled" my service by letter, and moved in early December. ACA notified me that the contract would continue until the following September 2010 (10 additional months), and have been billing me accordingly.

Here's what you have to do: Cancel your contract by mail now, and request month to month extensions. If there is a manditory minimum period because they provided equipment, they won't cancel until the time has expired, but then must terminate the contract as requested. If they refuse to extend on a month to month basis, let the contract expire. Request them to remove the reporting chip from your equipment. Seek service elsewhere.

I am trying to purchase a cellular telephone reporting system and have it installed so that it reports to my cell phone number. My alarms should get to me at least 5 minutes faster, and there is no monitoring fee. I can take the unit with me when I move. Reliability should be higher because there is no long distance monitoring. I just need to remember to get an Alarm system license if local ordinance requires it and test the system so I can recognize the alarm call. And have an action plan.

In fairness to ACA, they offered to extend service at my new location or to release me if the new occupant contracted for ACA service. Because I have a short term apartmentlease, the equipment installation with the subsequent mandatory contract period is simply not justifiable. Because I plan to be overseas for a period of time.

It is cheaper to continue to pay a fee for 10 months of NO SERVICE, than it is establish a new contract to continue to do business under these terms.

My contract was originally written by Automatic Alarm of Fort Worth on Sept 12, 2003. The mandatory life of the contract was 3 years. Automatic alarm's business failed after the mandatory time had expired, and the contract was on annual renewal. After the company failed, the contract was purchased by ACA Security Systems. ACA provided monitoring service until I moved, December 5, 2009, 6+ years after the original contract initiation and well past the mandatory contract period.

All monitoring companies should end the contract at any time requested, after the required contract time. Any extra months charged should be refunded.


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