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 what I suffered as a result of saying "yes" to ADT.
It's not often I go online 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 two 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.
"Of Course We Won't Run Your Credit!"
On April 5, 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 that it was 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.
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 smartphone 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 of 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.
Twenty 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.
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're 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 Received an Apology
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.
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
Question: 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?
Answer: 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?
Question: 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?
Answer: 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/
Dave Monk on July 24, 2020:
Without going into a long drawn out story I can tell you this... ADT is a scam. After I was roped into a three year contract because my home was being broken into, adt basically refused to cancel my service unless I provided them with a PIN number they assigned me.. I had kept the service well over the three year period. I told their reps over and over I did not know the PIN number but clearly they knew who I was because they called me and they had other information to confirm my identity. Finally, after talking (arguing) with 3 different reps I told them I was canceling the service and would not pay them for service after that day. I cancelled my bank account because I knew they’d try to snatch more money if they could. Three moths later they sent me a bill for $170 +-....I am currently filing a complaint with the attorney general’s office regarding ADT s unscrupulous business practices.
Don johnsan on April 23, 2020:
I need to report and to inform people that ADT will steal your money from your account. I signed with ADT and paid for two years on a 3 yr contract then hurricane Michael destroyed our home I had to relocate. I requested ADT to move my equipment to the new. They told me to cancel the contract and started me a new one at the new home. They continue to charge me for two accounts and lied every time i called to fix this issue. They will tell me they closed the first account and will refund the money. They never did and started taking 4 payments out each month. Now am forces to close my bank account. ADT sent my account to a delinquent credit agency and slandered my credit score that was over 800. ADT are pure criminals I don't have enough space to explain how I was ripped off on the equipment for anyone reading this I implore you do not use this company do it yourself for a fraction of the cost and save yourself a headache and money and keep your credit score good. ADT is purely criminals
L J on March 22, 2020:
ADT has the worst customers service as far as billing. They will lie and tell you that your service is one thing and will give you something totally different to jack up your bill.
Moo Yousef on March 02, 2020:
ADT is nothing but a big billing scam company that gets your banking or credit cards information then they go after your funds They will lie regarding the contract and your ability to cancel they will make it so impossible for you to cancel the auto pay because the core of their business is based on billing scams They will increase your Monthly charges without even discussing with you. I am dealing with them now after they stoke over 900.00 from my bank account Yes they did that without my permission so they did steal the money and this is one company that will never admit a wrong doing.
Avoid this company at all cost Don’t ever give them your banking or credit card information I am filing a complaint against them with the Attorney General Office and the FTC in addition to filing a claim with my bank for the stolen funds .
Avoid them at all cost read all fine print in their contract Their contract is a trap to rip you off
Felicia on January 23, 2020:
ADT lied to me with the same $99 down, $27.99 a month. When the technician came to the house to install the equipment, he informed me that my monthly bill would now be $5299 in order to get the equipment that I need it. And that although I was getting $850 in free equipment, I would still owe around $2000 to own the equipment. Frustrated, I told him I couldn't afford that, so he advised that I break it up into four payments which I still couldn't afford. Needless to say, I declined the offer a installation. Before he left I asked about the $99 that I paid to secure appointment. He assured me that the money would be refunded. Ive called twice and I get the run around or get told that it will take another 7-10 business days. Im so frustrated because I trusted ADT and they took advantage of me. $99 may not be alot to some people, but it is for my family. ADT are thefts!
Marie H. on January 06, 2020:
I made the mistake of using my debit card to pay the initial start up fee to ADT for a friend who did not have the funds in her checking account to pay with her debit card (she did give me the cash). I expressed concern to the rep on the phone (recorded line) that I was concerned that I would continue to be charged and he assured me that it was a one time use of my account and that going forward I would not be charged. Well...three months later I started getting calls to make payments on the account. For some reason they have my name as the account holder and her address on their billing statements. She has not paid because when the installer came out, he tried selling her $3,000 in equipment that she did not need and was strong arming her to upgrade. She told him she was not interested and to leave her home. Well she left to go to an appointment and the installer came back and talked her daughter into a 3 month contract. Her daughter actually signed her mother's name to the contract! What a mess!! I have been back and forth on the phone with one CSR after another and was finally told that once a name is on the account it can't be removed. Bull@#$%!! Now I will have to get legal representation to save my credit. I would tell anyone not to deal with ADT at all!
Nata on December 05, 2019:
I'm in the middle of buying a house and I received a called from a rep from Porch.com asking if I wanted to have my security system with ADT. The Porch rep mentioned the exact same "benefits" stated this blog, I was curious to hear. At the end of the call, the rep asked for my card info to pay the $99 to reserve my appointment with the ADT tech but I refused to pay since I did not feel comfortable. The rep wanted to speak with a supervisor who was very pushy about how I should go ahead and give them my card info so I would not lose their huge discounts. I refused and ended the call. A few minutes later, I received an alert that my credit had been pulled by "Defender Security". When I googled that name I found out it was ADT. I never agreed to anything with them and they still pulled my credit.
Wilson on October 23, 2019:
I Called to ask about rates, and ADT sent someone to my home assess the installations costs. This was just a quote.
They pulled my Equifax credit report same day as the call into their call centre.
This should not be done unless we are agreeing to proceed with the services. If you call ADT the first question will be "What prompted the call" This is to see if you have recently been robbed no doubt, and will help them price your services.
Gerri on June 11, 2019:
I signed up for ADT and they sent a tech out from Defenders he put n the alarm system but it does not work so i cancelled within the timeframe. I called 20 times for them to pickup the equipment a manager finally agreeded to give me a refund and a free remote. She send the tech back out and he could not fix the alarm so i asked them to honor their cancellation policy. They refused and will not pickup their equipment stating i should have never let the tech come back even though they could not fix the alarm. They are now saying i must let another tech come out to fix it because they will not cancel my service. This company will not honor their cancellation policy so please don't be fooled by the free equipment.
Xavier Thomas on June 07, 2019:
ADT debited $1757 from my account and I'm still waiting now to have my money's return it was done without my authorization.Thiscompany needs to be stopped and closed down it is a fraud and it's shameful to good security companies that's out to do the right still waiting on my $1, 757 to be returned to me.
Chris on April 19, 2019:
I feel very validated reading these concerns. I made the mistake of calling defenders/ADT to install my security system...Somehow I ended up agreeing to a lot of equipment that I didn’t need. Perhaps it could be the more than four hours the tech spent in my house not really doing anything... anyway three business days later I called to cancel because I just had a bad feeling about it...I was told by a very rude customer service rep that “Saturday was a business day” so my call was actually on day four and I couldn’t cancel. I then requested that the tech come and remove all the extra equipment… Which he did. I am now awaiting for $1000 to be reimbursed to my credit card, and I’m nervous that it won’t be. I still want to cancel but I’m not sure how to without ruining my credit if they send me to collections… The whole thing is infuriating when are you want to do is feel safe. Has anyone actually been reimbursed by this company?
Gustavo Cabarcas on March 28, 2019:
I had the same problem with them. They did a hard inquiry on my credit without my authorization. The agent mentioned that they needed a credit check and I asked if it was a hard inquiry. He didn’t respond that but he perfectly knew it was a hard inquiry. I bet he didn’t answer because people would walk away when they do a hard inquiry. They should stop tho terrible business practice.
Nk on February 25, 2019:
Th same issue happened to me. they said it would just be a "soft inquiry". Regardless, I SPECIFICALLY said DO NOT run my credit score. Despite my clarity in saying so, the rep said "ok, we can just do it (qualify you) with your DOB", which I gave. Later that day I got a notification about a HARD INQUIRY despite me given them authorization. I am beyond livid. This misrepresentation speaks volume to the way they conduct business and the veracity of their intent. currently, I am going back and forth trying to rectify this before my closing. AVOID ADT AT ALL COST.
Kyle on February 17, 2019:
I find this very interesting. I too had an issue where they lied about it being a hard inquiry since we were in the process of buying a house, and it cost us $1600 at closing. They said i gave consent to run my credit. Yes i did give consent because i was told it wouldn't affect it. I tried for weeks to get this issue fixed and was basically told that since i gave consent they couldn't do anything. This was Defender one of the authorized dealers. They need a lesson in consent. Consent is given for exactly what you ask. If i give you consent to run a soft pull that doesn't constitute consent for a hard pull. They don't seem to understand that.
praneeth vallem on February 09, 2019:
They did exactly the same thing to me. They charged 1278$ for 11 sensors, one motion detection sensor, 2 key pads, 2 fobs and 4 smoke detecting sensors. When they advertised they said we are running promotion for 850$ worth free equipment. When i found out this is lot to pay for this equipment and asked them to cancel... the asked me to pay 1869$ for cancellation.
David Crooks on February 07, 2019:
Had a friend sign up for ADT at his shop, said it was $1200 and he was paying over 3 years for it, so I told him to send him my way...........the guy shows up the same day, says "People don't want to have monthly payments anymore, they want to buy their equipment and be done with it, this new ADT system you pay for it and you own it" I was like ok so what is the warranty, 3 years on all equipment, OK so i own it right? I said, he said yes, He knew i had no internet at my shop, he stated if I wanted to sign up for internet surveillance later that i could, the next day after my install i get billed $75 from my account, so I call and ask what is this for, the lady says OH its the final payment, Im like UHHH no I paid for it all up front $1278, she says oh that was for installation.......I'm like no, then she transfers me to another lady who claims the payment was for WARRANTY............LOL I said no he told me it all comes with 3 years full warranty from the manufacturer, then she changes her mind and says SIR you signed up for a contract that requires 3 years internet surveillance where we keep an eye on your place.........at this point I'm like uhhhhh how do you do this when I have no internet? She claims OHHH sir we have our ways..........So I called the attorney generals office here in IOwa and he says yes they do this all the time and that he would back me and told me to send a registerd letter to cancel within 3 days, I do this and they call first thing Monday morning, I tell them I want to cancel because the salesman lies to me and that this system was going to cost me over $4000 (4 cameras and hard drive) he never stated it was mandatory that i sign up for internet, in fact I told him maybe in a year or two when I get the business up and running where I have an office there I may get internet..........the salesman called me and says SIR DID YOU REALLY THINK YOU WERE GOING TO GET A 1080P SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM FOR $1280, I was like UHHHHH I can buy the same system, the same exact company from ebay for $900 and install it myself in a day, which was my plan to begin with..............They said they would like to come pick up the equipment and I told them to bring a certified check that I can call my bank to check over the phone, he say "Sir we cant do this" I say I can from my bank, then he says we have to put it back the way we took it.........which was electronically.........I'm at this point ....do you think after your salesman lied to me and then called me a liar on the phone that I trust your company? I told them they were welcome to come and get the equipment, in fact I asked them to and that I could save money and buy the same equipment from ebay for $900............for 3 months I have not heard a word from them and now I am getting calls from ADT out of state saying I have an overdue account for $280 for internet monitoring services.......Im like LOL look at my account, do you see that I am connected to you? She says no..........So I explain how I was lied to and asked them to pick up the equipment.................I'm assuming next they will try to ruin my credit............ADT is a scam PERIOD, My friend realized now that he is paying over $4000 for his system and if one camera goes bad, or if you do an upgrade on a piece of equipment the 3 years starts all over.......................DON'T DO IT PEOPLE......................
Carlos Giron on December 11, 2018:
They did the same to me , I dont let then to install the basic service for $58.99 they offer me $1200 credit in additional equipment besides the $850 for total $2050 in free equipment, nope never happens Scott More (manager)from ADT headquarters in Indianapolis lied to me he run my credit now i have a hard pull in my credit report will stay for 2 years because of the asshole lied to me , my phone records every single phone calls i made so i have proof of what we setup, and how we setup the terms but when the installer arrives at my house was wayyyyy different, they dont install thermostat, no outdoors cameras , no ringbell with cam for 1 indoor cam to monitoring will be $58.99 a month i told the installer that is not what i setup , they charge my cc for 105.98 but i acted quick so i get my money back after 2 days , but my credit teport still shows the hard inquiries im not happy about it so i plan to go to the next step if they contact the 3 credit bureaus to removed it or i going to lawsuits ADT ...
Linda Hunsicker on October 19, 2018:
They lied to my 80 year old mother and I was there. The sales guy kept trying to push her into more than the $27 per month. I told him forcefully no. Don’t do anything ,ore than the $27. Never was a contract mentioned. When she called the bank about a $52 charge, it was ADT. She called ADT and was informed that was what signed up for for 3 years. She’s on a fixed income and ADT is a predator taking advantage of elderly people. I am planning a lawsuit and am willing to pay more than the cost of the contract. I’m that mad. They’re going to wish they’d never come to her house. I might lose but I’ll be writing editorials and calling every action line I can find.
Luisa on October 05, 2018:
They lied to me and told me I would have a contract of 6 months. Well they lie to me and sign me into a 3yrs. Now I tried to cancel it out and they told me that they will do it. They did. But they chantged my account for 1040 USD. I initiated a dispute with the bank and they return the money and now transfer me to a collection agency. I am really disappointed of them and for sure wont use their services anymore.
Andrew on April 30, 2017:
Was this an adt authorized dealer? Because it doesn't sound like a corporate tech, all these examples sound like an authorized dealer, there's is a difference between corp and authorized dealers and I am wondering if the tech acted was one.
Simone on October 24, 2016:
This was a HUGE mistake signing with ADT. These criminals illegally took $71.64 out of my account. The day they took it out, I spoke with a representative Alexus and was told it would be fixed and put back in my account. The next business day I noticed they never gave me my money back. I called and spoke to Ashley who said there was nothing in the system that I called and spoke to anyone. At this time I am FURIOUS!!!!!! She also said it will take 7-10 business days to get a refund!!!!! They stole money from me and I am DONE!! I asked for a cancellation and now going through that crooked process. I will warn everyone on my Twitter and Facebook not to EVER get with this CROOKED, THIEF of a company!!
Deb Hirt on June 12, 2016:
I used ADT years ago, but never had the problems that you had. I had a few different ones, but nothing as atrocious when I was living in DE through their NJ Division. Perhaps you should file with the state to get their license rescinded from operating a business in your state through the Attorney General's office.
Tara Mapes (author) from Cincinnati on June 05, 2016:
Say Yes To Life, I'm glad it helped!
Say Yes To Life on June 03, 2016:
Thank you SO MUCH for the warning! I voted no in your poll because I've never tried to use ADT. Thanks to your article, I never will! I'm glad you at least got the gift card!
Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on June 03, 2016:
Well, Larry, if they want in bad enough, they'll get in. A few years back some men actually used a glass cutter to cut a hole in the glass of a 1950s picture window in our city and crawled through it to burglarize the home.
Tara Mapes (author) from Cincinnati on June 03, 2016:
Thanks for reading Larry!
Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on June 02, 2016:
The truth is this sort of thing happens often. I just stick with good old door locks.
Tara Mapes (author) from Cincinnati on June 02, 2016:
MizBejabbers, I was surprised they permitted it to be published as well only because I didn't know what to expect with this type of topic.
I'm glad it's been helpful. I've received the same reports from others on social media so at least my poor experience may help others.
I cannot believe your experience! The company didn't cover it? I would have fought that tooth and nail. How sad!
A lot of good providers are self install nowadays. So it's much easier....
Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on June 02, 2016:
Thank you Tara for being courageous enough to write this warning for everyone to see. I'm surprised that HP allowed you to print it because, Heaven Forbid, we should bring out the truth about a big corporation. I certainly will not do business with them after reading about your experience.
I don't trust alarm companies anyway. We had blind tenants move into a piece of our rental properties who asked if we would allow them to install, at their expense, an alarm system. To make a long story short, the tenants kept complaining that their bedroom was hot, then the ceiling fell. We discovered that the alarm installer had disconnected the duct work from the boot to give himself a little room, and then not reconnected it. Of course the alarm company disavowed any responsibility for the damage and accused the tenants of causing it. As if my blind tenants could crawl up into the attic and disconnect duct work, and it cost us a new ceiling.
Tara Mapes (author) from Cincinnati on June 02, 2016:
Peter, it's definitely a fuel, but I have preferred in the past to keep it private, maybe submit a review. But this situation was so unbelievable...so violating. Can you believe it? Not just their actions but the nonchalant attitude!?
I felt compelled to help others. Especially after reading ADT customer reviews who shared similar experiences with their credit. I put my vigilante hat on and pulled my keyboard close:)
Thank you for reading !
Peter Alexander from Pittsburgh on June 02, 2016:
also- when I first started writing on here, I used my angst with certain situations to write about. Keep up the good work!
Peter Grujic on June 02, 2016:
Good article- nothing wrong with using this format about negative dealings with businesses. First, it allows you to vent which is important and you are helping other people who might be thinking of utilizing this business. I certainly will keep this article in mind should I ever need a system such as yours- thanks!