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Electronic Security Association

Idaho AG: Door-knocking company must reform sales tactics

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I’ve written before about how ADT filed not just one, but two lawsuits against Orem, Utah-based Vision Security, accusing the door-knocking company of scamming customers. And I’ve also written about how Vision Security contends it is being unfairly targeted.

Now, a new settlement Vision has reached with the Idaho Office of the Attorney General paints a picture of Vision sales reps engaging in unfair sales practices in that state.

I reached out earlier this week to Vision attorney Sean Brown for that company’s comments on the settlement but I haven’t yet gotten a response.

However, according to the office of Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Vision reached a settlement with that state after being accused of violating Idaho's Consumer Protection Act.

The settlement requires Vision “to implement significant changes to the way its sales representatives interact with Idaho consumers,” according to a July 18 news release from the AG’s office. Also, consumers who paid extra fees because they were scammed may be entitled to a refund from Vision if they submit a complaint form to the AG’s office by Sept. 8, the release said.

Here’s more of what the AG had to say in the release:

"The purchase of a home-security system is a significant investment and consumers should feel safe knowing that the people selling them are providing truthful and honest information, without hidden fees or misrepresentation," Attorney General Wasden said.

Consumers reported to the Attorney General that Vision Security's door-to-door sales representatives misrepresented the terms the company's security system contracts, and that representatives failed to fulfill their promises to "buy-out" consumers' current security system contracts.

Consumers often ended up paying monthly monitoring fees to two companies or paid large termination fees to cancel one of their monitoring agreements. Additionally, Vision Security's door-to-door sales contracts failed to provide consumers with accurate information about the time allowed to cancel contracts.

The settlement requires Vision Security to make several changes to how it does business in Idaho. For example, the company's sales representatives:

*Must wear identification that includes the sales person's name and affiliation with Vision Security.
*Must inform the consumer of his or her three-day right to cancel the agreement.*Must not tell consumers that their current alarm monitoring company went out of business or is affiliated with Vision Security.
*Must not misrepresent the number of security systems Vision Security has installed in the consumer's neighborhood or misrepresent that a consumer's home is located in a high-crime area
 *Must not misrepresent the condition or operability of the consumer's current security system.
 *Must not promise to "buy-out" a consumer's current monitoring agreement.
 

Hmmm…this list reads a lot like some new revisions the Electronic Security Association made to its code of ethics this summer in response to some new sales scams that ADT and other companies have complained door-knocking companies are using.

 

 

New door-knocking scams prompt ethics code revisions

ESA revises its code of standards to specifically prohibit posing as a ‘preferred monitoring company’ for alarm manufacturer
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06/25/2014

NASHVILLE—ADT says unscrupulous door-to-door sales reps have some new scams and the Electronic Security Association has updated its code of ethics to specifically ban them.

Honeywell renews platinum level partnership with ESA

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03/27/2014

IRVING, Texas—The Electronic Security Association announced March 26 that Honeywell Security has returned as the exclusive Platinum-level Executive Strategic Partner for 2014.

Weinstock Award winner named

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01/23/2014

IRVING, Texas—Charles “Dom” D’Ascoli has received the 2013 Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year Award, the Electronic Security Association announced Jan. 21.

ESA honors industry leaders

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01/23/2014

IRVING, Texas—During the seventh annual ESA Leadership Summit, the Electronic Security Association (ESA) honored individual members and chapters for dedication to the electronic security industry, the organization announced Jan. 20.

Vivint gives $10k to ESA scholarship program

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01/03/2014

IRVING, Texas—Vivint has contributed $10,000 to the Electronic Security Association’s 2014 Youth Scholarship Program, the organization announced Jan. 2.

ESA honors New Jersey

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02/26/2013

TRENTON, N.J.—The New Jersey Electronic Security Association was honored as Chapter of the Year by the ESA, according to a company statement.

Maria Malice: Respect, decision by decision

For the fourth consecutive year, SSN is profiling women who are making their mark in the traditionally male-dominated world of security. Malice, Arizona Alarm Association president and a VP at COPS Monitoring, is one of six women featured.
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11/19/2012

Home for the holidays? Think like an intruder

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We’re getting into the time of the year when opportunistic thieves make the most of others’ holiday cheer and generosity. Packages left at the doorway or a pile of presents that can be easily seen from outside a home send a signal to the unscrupulous: Come and get it.

Alarm systems are an obvious deterrent, with the signs and decals accompanying them often enough to make thieves think twice. But for true peace of mind, there’s no substitute for an actual system. The problem is that many alarm users don’t know how to properly use their systems, or if they do, they neglect to do so.

The Security Industry Alarm Association estimates that 77 percent of all false alarms are due to end-user error. Many of those end users could just as easily forget to arm their systems amid the bustle of the holidays, essentially leaving the door open to property crime. It’s safe to say most alarm companies could tell a tale or two along those lines.

There are other ways to reinforce security at home, though, measures that might seem obvious but somehow are frequently overlooked. With that in mind, the Electronic Security Association has rolled out a tip sheet to help homeowners think like an intruder. Alarm companies can also use the tips to remind their customers to think deterrence, especially during the holidays.

Here’s an excerpt of what the ESA had to say:

Most home intrusions can be classified as random opportunistic acts—not planned events. Homeowners can protect against a home intrusion by looking at the weaknesses of their home from an intruder’s point of view. Here are a few questions an intruder might ask when deciding on a house to target.

 

Is anyone home?
The first thing many intruders do is check to see if anyone is home. Sometimes the intruder will simply knock on the front door. If someone answers, the intruder may make up an excuse for the disturbance, such as being lost and needing directions. If no one answers, the intruder may do further research to ensure the home is vacant. He or she may look into windows and listen for the sound of someone watching television. Other times, if the knock at the door goes unanswered, the intruder may try his or her luck at an unlocked door. Three out of 10 times, he or she will hit the jackpot and walk right in.
 Homeowners should try to make their homes appear occupied at all times. Timers for inside lights and televisions serve as easy solutions. Another effective and cost-efficient measure to consider is motion sensor lights. Placing these lights in dark areas outside of the home may scare away potential intruders lurking in the shadows.

Is the home equipped with an alarm system?
A 2009 study by the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice found that an installed burglar alarm makes a dwelling less attractive to would-be and active intruders and protects the home without displacing burglaries to nearby homes. Additionally, the Cromwell-Olson-Avary study, conducted to better understand offenders’ perception of the risks and rewards involved in criminal activity, found that nearly all convicted intruders (90 percent) admitted that they would avoid homes that are equipped with alarm systems. Additionally, the study revealed that if a potential intruder sees a yard sign or window decal from a credible security company outside of a home, around 75 percent would think twice about going through with an attack. But signs and decals aren’t enough to deter an intruder; alarm systems are the best protection against home intrusion.

What is the easiest way to break in?
On average, intruders will spend no more than 60 seconds breaking into a home, since a longer attempt may result in detection by a neighbor or passer-by. First, they will seek out unlocked or open doors and windows—even on the second or third floor—that can be accessed by a ladder. And sometimes, a standard locked door or window won’t always be enough to stop them. Homeowners should consider upgrading to deadbolts and reinforcing the frame of their front door to make a break-in more strenuous for the intruder.

Will anyone notice?
Intruders tend to target homes that they can get away from easily. For an intruder, an ideal home would be located in a dark, lifeless neighborhood with good hiding places and escape paths, such as overgrown bushes or trees in the yard. Hiding areas can be eliminated by keeping the landscaping neatly trimmed and using outdoor lights so the home is well lit at night. Homeowners are encouraged to start or join a neighborhood watch group. These groups can help reduce the risk of home intrusion for everyone in the community. By enhancing the home’s security features with electronic timers, motion sensor lighting and a professionally installed security system, homeowners can protect their property and keep their family safe from crime.

ESA of Florida to hold inaugural event

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Friday, September 14, 2012

I wrote this spring about the Irving, Texas-based Electronic Security Association launching a state-chartered chapter in Florida. Now ESA of Florida is about hold an inaugural event.

ESA created the new state chapter because Florida is home to so many security companies.

The Sept. 20 inaugural event, which will be a legislative dinner featuring the chairman of the Electrical Contractors' Licensing Board, Ken Hoffman, who will discuss licensing requirements in Florida and the function of the board, according to an ESA news release. Also, updates on ESA of Florida and the upcoming ESA Leadership Summit in Orlando (slated for this Feb. 18-21, 2013) will be shared.

Steve Paley, president of Rapid Security Solutions LLC and chairman of the ESA of Florida steering committee, said a prepared statement: “We're excited to kick off the activities of ESA of Florida with this legislative dinner. We're encouraging everyone interested in helping to grow the security integration and monitoring industry in Florida to attend.”

Hoffman also said in the news release: “The security industry in Florida is primed for growth, and I'm happy to be able to address companies looking to improve their businesses and serve their customers even better.”

The dinner will be held at 6 p.m. at
Ruth's Chris Steak House at 2525 North Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale.

The event — which is sponsored by Interlogix, Honeywell, Telguard and Tri-Ed/Northern Video Distribution — is open to both ESA members and non-members. Registration for ESA members is free; non-member registration is $35.

For more information or to register, visit www.esaweb.org/event/ESAofFLDinner or call ESA's Member Service Center at (888) 447-1689.

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