COMMENTS ON ADT ADVERTISING AND OTHER CRAFTY ADS FROM JANUARY 27, 2016 ARTICLE
I'm not understanding the concern with any Marketing from any companies for the most part it's a struggle to survive for most businesses, but there are bad people and bad companies so I understand why we need regulations. Let's take a pause for a second, that ad you received was probably not even from Adt, but from a small dealer that sinks it's last dollars in hopes you may call and they gain a customer, very expensive acquisition. Unlike the Diy deals that cost over $400 for a basic system you install yourself and pay a low monitoring fee, they really give you a lot of equipment sometimes exceeding $850 and the monthly is still less than your cable bill by half? It's not deceptive at all most of the time a rep comes out or a person sells over the phone unlike most subscriptions where they send you a contract to review first etc. Yes you still have a 3 day notice if you are not satisfied, that can still apply after an install happens, as a matter of fact in most cases you have a six month money back guarantee if the install does not get completed. I don't even see the benefit in the $850 worth of equipment nobody understands the value of the system they just think free, I do not see Adt as anything but a role model here and a good competitor to have if you're not in the program. Currently you have competition that has the alarm as an option or part of a bundle package of some sort, and folks not trained on products and industry Intel, we will suffer from bad service and customers reluctant to get security, at least with Adt you get what you pay for and it's a fair deal.
I wonder if they got 1 call, whats next a free key fob?
Cynthia from Oregon here. As a former corporate ADT employee, (I left 9 years ago) I have several comments about ADT's FREE $99 ALARM SYSTEM advertising; and their dealers' advertising. They need to stop using the word FREE and the fine print needs to be much bigger. Consumers are turned off once they find out there will (most likely) be an electrical permit fee added to the $99 'free' installation charge.
I've heard of permits being as much as $65 but ADT's residential installation department (in Lane County Oregon) gets the permits for $12. Maybe they are more now, but they used to charge $35 for what is called a MINOR LABEL. The $12 minor label permits are purchased in quantities of 10. An installer would affix a small label to the panel and record the address on a form. After 10 installs, the list of addresses are submitted to the local inspector. Minor labels are only issued to high volume residential installers. The inspector would inspect 1 out of 10 locations to ensure consistency. I told my customer's that if they ever got a phone call for an electrical inspection and it was inconvenient timing for them, to just tell the inspector to choose another residence to inspect, and they would.
Another fine print that needs to be much bigger is language regards alarm user permits, if there is any language at all. Depending on where the consumer lives, they may be required to register their alarm and pay a fee for an alarm users permit. There are too many different city and county alarm ordinances out there that only an alarm salesperson could keep up, and should! Unfortunately, not all consumers are advised by their alarm salesperson (if an ordnance exists) because for #1, they are not informed themselves, and #2 they won't advise for fear of loosing the sale! It was my experience that most all salespeople did not give a rip (about alarm users permit ordinance's) and refused to disclose the need, nor even mention it during a presentation. Why? Because they just told the consumer they needed to collect the electrical permit fee, on top of the $99 free installation charge, on top of the charges for the additional equipment, etc. and they fear one more 'fee' might spoil the deal.
Another excuse for not mentioning it, is, "It's the consumer's responsibility to take care of it, right?" Well, what if the consumer didn't even know about the alarm ordinance? Most non-alarm users don't because it never concerned them before. Believe me, after their first false alarm fine, the consumer becomes educated real fast and they are told... "Didn't your alarm company tell you about the alarm ordinance?" Guess who they are going to call next? YOU, and they are going to be blistering mad that you failed to inform them and will want you to pay their fine!
It's better to educate them up front. Better yet, an exemplary salesperson would provide the current form and ordinance for them at the time of the consult. I've done this and told the consumer (that) it's their responsibility to obtain the alarm user permit no matter which company they go with. Responsible consumers will get the permit and you will probably get their business. Why? Because the other alarm salespeople that they've talked to, did not disclosed this vitally important information, and you did.
Hopefully some alarm salespeople out there are taking note. It's not that hard to find out about various alarm ordinances. Use the internet. Make some calls. Get the forms and ordinance(s) eMailed to you. Read them. Make copies. Keep on file. Use when needed. Make and keep lots of happy customers, knowing you are not ever going to get that angry call.
Ken, I just wanted to share information about ADT's (past?) practices and share a few sales pointers so that others can learn and be the best sales person they can be.
Retired Security Consultant
Regarding 1-27-2016 'ADT ads / watch out for crafty marketing,' I observe in the cell phone and triple play (cable TV/telephone/Internet) marketing wars that certain big companies are now offering to buy out your commitment with another carrier in order to entice you to switch to their service.
Aside from being contrary to Biblical principles (Exodus 20:17), doesn't this advertising practice open the door to claims of interference with contractual obligations? Isn't it also frightening that it obviously opens doors to various other industries like alarms? Aside from hoping the practice will backfire, what can we do to make them behave themselves?
I don't know that I care to do business with a company that literally steals from its competitors. On the other hand, it seems like such a growing marketing practice that it may become impossible to find a suitable vendor who doesn't do it.
As always, thank you for your excellent forum.