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Vivint active on legal turf

Vivint active on legal turf Vivint’s Few says lawsuits filed because company is looking out for its customers

PROVO, Utah—Several new lawsuits involving Vivint are pending in federal court in Utah, two of them initiated by the company and one in which it's a defendant.

Vivint—a leading home automation/home security company based here that recently worked out a deal to be acquired by the Blackstone Group for more than $2 billion—recently filed two lawsuits accusing others of deceptive sales practices.

Vivint also is a defendant in a class action lawsuit filed Sept. 17 contending the company made “robocalls” to cellphones without the owners' permission. It's the second such legal complaint about prerecorded calls made against the company in the past two months.

In the two cases that Vivint initiated, one, filed Sept. 27, is against a rival Utah-based door-knocking security company, Silverline Security, alleging it used unfair sales practices to target Vivint customers. The company's lawyers could not be reached for comment by Security Systems News' deadline.

It's the second lawsuit of that nature Vivint has filed this year. The company in June sued Elite Security Systems of Orem, Utah, accusing it of using false and misleading statements to steal Vivint customers, a charge that company denies.

Vivint also filed a lawsuit recently charging a former salesman for APX Alarm Security Solutions—that was Vivint's name before the company rebranded in 2011—alleging he broke non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements and used false statements about Vivint to sell security systems.

In that lawsuit, filed in state court this summer but transferred to federal court Sept. 7, Vivint says that after leaving APX, the man worked for AMP Alarm. However, Vivint names Pittsburgh-based Vector Security as a defendant in the lawsuit because Vivint says the salesman's outgoing voicemail message said he worked for Vector.

But Vector Security in court documents asks that case against it be dismissed because it says a voicemail message is not evidence the salesman worked for the company.

The latest robocall lawsuit, filed by two Florida men, claims they received multiple prerecorded calls to their cell phones earlier this year that marketed Vivint's products and services. Neither had given permission for such calls—in fact, the men's phone numbers were on a National Do-Not-Call List—and the calls invaded their privacy, the lawsuit contends.

An Illinois man in August filed a similar class action lawsuit against Vivint over robocalls.

Vivint has previously told SSN that it does not comment on pending litigation.

SSN asked Tom Few, an industry relations consultant for Vivint, if Vivint's recent legal activity is tied to the pending sale to Blackstone. Few said the lawsuits and sale are unrelated.

He said Vivint simply wants to protect its customers and that's true whoever owns it. “We've got to prevent people from targeting our customers because there is such a significant number of them out there,” Few said.

Few also added, “Vivint is not doing robocalls.” He said the company contracts with third-party lead generation companies that have to comply with the law regarding robocalls. Then Vivint follows up only with potential customers who have expressed some interest, he said.


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