How ADT Victimized Me
ADT Victimized Me
I never imagined signing up for home security would leave me a victim. Property stolen from my home, money stolen from my bank, and federal law violations are all what I suffered as a result of saying "yes" to ADT.
It's not often I turn to my blog to share negative experiences with businesses. I believe most issues can be resolved by speaking directly with its representatives.
In this case, I was wrong.
After nearly 2 months, countless calls, and an unresolved BBB complaint, I decided sharing my experience may not right the wrongs of ADT, but it may save others from the same experience I had.
Summary of ADT's Actions
*ADT stole property from my home.
*ADT stole money from my bank account.
*ADT pulled my credit without authorization.
No, Of Course We Won't Run Your Credit . . .
On April 5th, I called ADT to switch from my current provider to a new one. I felt I could get a better monthly price by switching . . . so I called around.
The ADT reps explained their discounts, and how I "qualified" for over $1,000 in "free" equipment.
After discussing the plan I would be getting for $27.99 a month, the rep asked for my personal information including my social security number.
I asked why ADT needed that and she stated to "secure the special offer."
I asked if ADT would be running my credit which would result in a hard inquiry and I was told by the representative "No, it's a soft inquiry."
I asked why that is even necessary considering I wasn't applying for a line of credit with them. She explained utility companies and cable companies do it often to validate information and it would not appear as a hard inquiry.
I reiterated four times (per their audio recording) that I did not want my credit affected. I have worked terribly hard to get my score up to near perfect and hard inquiries affect it.
She promised they would not. So I provided the information, paid $99 plus tax, and set up an appointment.
You must give express consent to a company for it to make a hard inquiry on your credit (FCRA).
Remember That $27.99 a Month? Well . . .
When the technician came out to install the system, he brought a folder with him.
In it he showed how the $27.99 a month we discussed would not give me wireless coverage or smart phone access. (Insert eye roll here. It was the very reason I went with them because the price was lower. and the wireless and smart access was "supposed" to be part of the system.)
I wasn't surprised by the tactics and had to agree to a $52.99 a month rate for those features. It would also be another $138.07 in equipment. OK. I paid.
The tech installed the system, made a pile of my old system's gadgets that I had previously had in my home, and was on his way.
ADT's Sensor Failed Within a Few Hours
A couple hours later, a sensor fell off my window. I attempted to put it back on, but the sticky tape was not sticky so I called them.
20 minutes later, I was still on hold.
This was their first impression. Their sensors failed, and I was placed on hold for more than 20 minutes . . . not very reassuring.
Frustrated by the long hold and faulty sensor along with the misrepresentations made by the representatives about price and service, I decided to rescind the contract within the three days we are all permitted.
They told me I had to fax the request to cancel. I did.
I waited four days and heard nothing. So I called them.
If You Want Your Money Back, You'll Need to Wait a Month or Two
I spoke with billing, customer service, and corporate to determine when they would be coming to get their malfunctioning system and refund my money. I was told it could take up to 30–45 days to refund.
I asked why so long and was told it was "their process."
When I Realized ADT Stole From My Home
I set up an appointment for an ADT rep to come take their equipment while I called my former company to come reinstall the items and start back service with them.
While I went through my inventory with them over the phone, I realized all my 2GIG sensors were gone. The ADT rep stole them.
If you don't know what 2GIG is, basically you can buy your own sensors online that are 2GIG and use them with most security companies and avoid their higher costs for the sensors. ADT does not use 2GIG devices, but they are desirable because of their compatibility.
So I called ADT back and was transferred to corporate to report the theft of MY property that I paid for.
She never returned my call.
A firm must obtain authorization to access your financial account ONCE, and additional authorization to make "recurring withdrawals" from your account (EFTA).
I Got More Notices . . . From My Bank and My Credit Report
During the same time I realized I was a victim of theft, I received an alert that my credit report had a new hard inquiry . . . from ADT.
Additionally, I received notice that ADT had taken an additional $92.51 from my account. (I had already paid the $99 and the $138.07, and I was supposed to be getting a deal for "free" equipment.)
So I immediately called them to report the additional issues and informed them they violated the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) by debiting my account without authorization.
I also informed them they violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by pulling my credit without authorization.
The representatives were not knowledgeable or helpful. I then turned to the BBB and filed a complaint, called my bank and disputed all three charges, and contacted my credit bureaus and submitted disputes for the inquiries.
This took a considerable amount of time.
BBB's Response: You're Right, We Were Wrong
I received a call from corporate and they listened to the recorded messages and agreed I had asked numerous times about a hard inquiry and the rep "misinformed me" that it would not appear. They agreed to remove it. (To date, this has NOT been removed).
They also stated they saw the disputes on the funds and would be returning them. (They did not voluntarily return them, my bank had to take it back).
They also said they needed to investigate the theft.
An ADT Rep Came to Take Their Equipment, But I Wouldn't Let Them Until They Returned Mine
A different rep came out to take back the equipment. I explained I would not be returning their equipment until their rep returned mine.
He literally stole my property from MY home without my permission. This equipment is not cheap and I paid for it.
The rep called corporate and they asked if they left the same equipment that he stole if that would suffice. I responded ONLY if it is 2GIG compatible, otherwise it will not work with my system.
The rep stated it was 2GIG, so I agreed based on that information.
My New Company: "ADT Lied . . . These Are Useless"
When my security company came out, they stated not only did the rep lie and state the devices were 2GIG compatible, the ADT rep also ruined the former control box and they needed to add additional equipment to make the system work.
I replied to the BBB complaint and let them know that nothing, so far, was resolved.
- The funds were not voluntarily returned.
- My credit was still showing the inquiry.
- They still had my 2GIG compatible devices and left ones that were useless.
The BBB responded that the company closed the complaint.
It was not resolved. I was not really surprised at this point.
I called and was told to call back and speak with legal in "two minutes" when they opened. She wouldn't even put me on hold.
I called back, they sent me to another department, then another, then another. Six reps later, I gave up.
I called back over the course of several weeks.
I needed my devices back or the money to replace them. I needed my credit report updated. I needed these violations addressed.
I finally reached a rep in customer service.
She was completely disinterested. She stated she would send a gift card for the cost of the items.
That was it. Hey, how about a sorry we stole from you? Screwed up your credit? Lied? Nope. They were shameless.
I Never Knew What It Felt Like to Be a Victim Until I Let ADT Into My Home
I am not restored.
Although I received the gift card to re-purchase my sensors, it took me two months of fighting.
My credit still shows a hard inquiry that will remain for two years.
I spent hours and hours on the phone.
I suffered the violation of being a victim of theft and received no apology for it. None.
ADT let me know what it would feel like to have an intruder in my home.
ADT let me know what it felt like to be a victim of theft.
It's a terrible feeling. That's why I cancelled with them.
I feel much safer now, though. I hope if you're considering contracting with ADT, this helps in your decision. Do research on your own, too. Google other customers' experiences.
Do you have experience with ADT (good or bad)? Share your experience in the comments below.
Has ADT victimized you?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
I just hung up the phone with ADT to find out what options I have with them and they did a hard inquiry on my credit report. What kind of company is this who does hard inquiry on a credit report which lasts for 2 years just to find out how much it costs me to install a security system? Is there any way this can be stopped? Can Government or BBB take any action on them?
Exactly!! They did the same to me and I got it removed. If you didn't authorize it, you can report it to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to have it removed. File the complaint here https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/Helpful 5
A hard credit hit only lasts for one year. Did you see the technician take down your equipment? Why did you not ask for the equipment from the tech when it was removed?
Inquiries last two years. Please see FCRA https://www.ftc.gov/ Yes, he said he was leaving them all in our metal lock box. He pointed to it as he put them there. At some point when we were not present, he took them without authorization. Why in the world would I check the metal box to ensure the security guy didn't steal the equipment? If I ever have to do that, I'm not doing business with the right company, am I?Helpful 4