Protect America refunds alarm fees in St. Louis

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Monday, December 1, 2003

ROUND ROCK, Texas - Protect America Inc., which ran afoul of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department earlier this year, is issuing refunds to its customers in St. Louis because police refused to respond to their alarms.

In January, the police department adopted a non-response policy for commercial and residential alarms that were not properly registered. City officials said they needed these permits to track and bill alarm system owners who accumulated too many false alarms.

According to a statement issued by Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon’s office, Protect America was notified by police in February that they would not respond to the company’s alarms because the systems were installed without required permits and licenses.

Protect America had purchased the contracts of its approximately 160 customers in St. Louis from Interactive Security, which had installed the systems.

Under the agreement, Protect America will issue a full refund to its St. Louis customers for the entire time police were not responding to alarms, which was approximately nine months. According to the company’s web site, customers pay $29.95 per month for monitoring services. Based on its estimate of 160 customers who will be reimbursed for their service for approximately nine months, Protect America stands to refund more than $43,000.

As part of the settlement, the company will also pay $3,170 to the city’s police department for false alarm fines and $3,000 to the state of Missouri for consumer education and protection. Failure to comply with the terms of this agreement could result in a $10,000 fine.