Stealth Alarms suspended for 45 days

Alarm company loses appeal with city, faces additional charges with provincial government
Monday, November 1, 2004

CALGARY, Alberta- Stealth Alarms’ quest to appeal a suspension of its business license by the city of Calgary ended in failure in September and the company will now have to cease operations for a 45-day period.
The suspension, which begins Oct. 30, was implemented on 50 complaints received from consumers regarding the company’s business practices since 1999. Consumers had complained to the city about service and billing problems.

After the appeal was rejected, Brad Morrison, the president of the company, said he was not surprised by the result.

“We felt confident that the decision had already been made,” he said.

Even so, Morrison was confused over the exact reason for the suspension.

“I could understand the suspension if we had 200 to 300 complaints,” he said.

Now Morrison must face the inevitable- that the company cannot sell, install or monitor any security accounts for 45 days. But anticipating the city’s move, the company has made sure its subscribers are not left without monitoring service.

Wholesale monitoring company Secureacom, which according to its web site has been in business since March 2000, started shadowing Stealths’ accounts six weeks ago in preparation for the suspension. Despite having a website, Secureacom could not reached for comment for this story.

“The majority of our accounts are with them at this point,” Morrison said, “and all of them will be under them by Oct. 30.”

Morrison said he has worked out an agreement with Secureacom that will allow Stealth to bring its reported 60,000 accounts back into the company’s fold after the suspension has run its course.

“We have every intention of continuing operations after the 45 days,” he said.

Stealth is facing additional problems outside of the suspension. It has a scheduled hearing with the provincial government regarding a licensing issue. The company allowed its direct seller’s license to expire earlier this year and according to Gwen Vanderdeen-Paschke, a spokesperson with Alberta Government Services, the company faces up to $100,000 in fines and an official from the company could receive a maximum of two years in prison. But there is nothing that has been determined at this juncture.

“It’s a court appearance at this point,” she said.

Morrison has staunchly defended the lack of license, stating that the license for the monitoring arm, Stargate, should have sufficed in covering the installation side of the business.

Even with the company’s barrage of recent problems, Morrison said Stealth has received a large amount of support from subscribers, employees and the community. He said the day news of the suspension broke, the company received roughly 80 “mostly good” phone calls.

“Morale is good, believe it or not,” he said. “People have been calling and supporting us.”