Pinnacle settles with Florida AG

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03/13/2012

Pinnacle Security recently settled a claim by Florida’s attorney general that reps with the Utah-based summer-sales-model company were using deceptive sales practices.

But the voluntary agreement states that it is not an admission of guilt on Pinnacle’s part, and that the company entered into it “solely for the purpose of ending the investigation,” which the AG began in 2010.

And Stuart Dean, VP of corporate communications for Pinnacle, sent me this statement by the company regarding the settlement:
 

Pinnacle Security is pleased that it has resolved the Florida Attorney General's investigation to the parties' mutual satisfaction.  Over the last several months, Pinnacle worked cooperatively with the AG's office to address issues related to customer complaints regarding certain alleged sales practices that occurred primarily before 2010.  Since 2010, Pinnacle has implemented industry-leading compliance initiatives to help ensure the professional delivery of its sales and services.  As part of its agreement with the AG’s office, Pinnacle will continue to ensure that all of its customers receive superior customer care and service.  Pinnacle looks forward to continuing its relationship with the State and to protecting the security of Florida's citizens.  As part of the agreement, Pinnacle is also pleased to donate $25,000 to Seniors vs. Crime, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and protecting Florida's senior citizens.

Pinnacle, which sells nationwide and in Canada, has previously said the company had some issues in past years with “rogue” door-knocking sales staff. But in 2010, Pinnacle announced it had made a company cultural shift to emphasize a code of ethics for employees and the implementation of new ways to monitor their behavior and enforce the code.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi put out a news release March 8, describing the settlement. It said:

Pinnacle Security, a Utah-based home-alarm company, will reform its business practices and compensate Florida consumers, many of whom are seniors, for high-pressure sales tactics. Under the agreement, Pinnacle will offer refunds to customers who were misled about Pinnacle's relationship with other security companies or the cost of its services. Additionally, customers who could not get defective Pinnacle equipment repaired promptly or were overcharged when they cancelled their Pinnacle contracts will be offered compensation. Pinnacle will also make a charitable contribution of $25,000 to Seniors vs. Crime, a project set up by the Attorney General in which elderly Floridians help each other and the authorities fight criminal activity.

The Attorney General's Office opened an investigation after receiving complaints about the company's door-to-door salesmen. Among other complaints, homeowners said salesmen induced them to sign up with Pinnacle by claiming it had taken over or had some other special arrangement with their existing home-security companies.

Under the agreement, Pinnacle will improve its disclosures to consumers about its services, charges and repairs. Additionally, the company will make it easier for consumers to cancel their contracts if they so desire, and will ask new customers for detailed information about their interactions with salesmen to ensure compliance with the company’s required business reforms.

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