In 2006, we had an alarm system installed at our residence and signed a three-year contract for monitoring service. Within the three-year period, Security Networks, LLC took over the contracted monitoring service.
In August, 2008, we sold the property and included the security equipment in the transaction. The buyers paid us for the remaining months of monitoring service through the end of our contract with Security Networks, LLC. We had the option of moving the equipment to our current property; however, we didn't do so, because of the additional cost.
We failed to realize that we would not receive a renewal letter from Security Networks, because of the automatic renewal clause in the contract. We also didn't understand that the contract is attached to us, not to the property where the equipment is located.
Our contract was automatically renewed, because we missed their 60-day deadline for notifying them that we wanted to terminate our contract.
We're paying a$479.88 for an additional year of monitoring for security equipment at a property that we no longer own and for service that the buyers aren't using, because they don't have a traditional, land-line telephone, which is required for monitoring by Security Networks.
We called customer service at Security Networks and were rudely treated. We wrote a letter to the president and CEO of the company, asking to be released from the contract. We didn't get a response from him, but got as telephone call from a man who identified himself as "Security Networks." I had to ask for his name and he provided only his first name.
Mr. First Name offered us several options and we told him that we wanted a few days to decide. Two days later, when we called the number he'd given us, the call wouldn't go through, so we tried another number. A woman said, "He'll call you back." Again, I had to press for a name. I asked, "Who is he? We want to know who to expect a call from." She hesitated, but did provide his first name and surname.
When he returned our call, we told him that we decided not to accept any of the options that he offered, because of the cost to install equipment at our current property and what it would cost over time. We didn't want to be locked into another three- or five-year contract with them.
He told us to mail a written request for them to terminate our contract upon expiration next year and to mail the request to their headquarters in West Palm Beach, FL, which we did. We sent the letter to his attention, by certified mail.
Subsequent to our telephone conversation, we received a letter from him that detailed the different options. One option, a "Buy-out, " required full payment, within five days of the date of his letter, of the amount remaining under the current contract. The payment was to be mailed to their branch office in Broomall, PA. Even if we'd sent the payment by overnight mail, they wouldn't have received it in time, because we received his letter on the fifth day!
When we received his letter, we realized that he works in their Broomall, PA office, not their Florida headequarters. We sent a second letter to him at the Broomall PA address and in accordance with their written instructions, we sent the second letter by registered mail, which he hadn't verbally instructed us to do. In the letter, we also asked for written confirmation that the contract will not be renewed. According to the U.S. Postal Service, the registered mail was delivered; however, to date, we haven't received the requested confirmation from Security Networks, LLC.
Although not illegal, their business practices are insensitive and lack good ethics. Their customer service personnel are rude, and not providing names is evasive and shady behavior. Their personnel may be told not to provide names, because they know that savvy consumers will record names and dates, when transacting business by telephone.
The web site of the Better Business Bureau of Southeastern Florida and the Caribbean shows 155 complaints against Security Networks, LLC in the past 36 months. Six complaints have been added within the past 30 days or so. Despite the number of complaints, the BBB gives this company an A+ rating!
We'd welcome legislation, on State and Federal levels, to disallow automatic contract renewal. We are retired and living on a fixed income, but we've chosen to pay the price for not reading the fine print in the contract. We're paying the ransom, in order to be released from their captivity in May, 2010!