I find it interesting that you have ADT and Stealing Accounts next to each other in today's blog. I have lost several accounts over the last two years to ADT.  When I inquired with the ex-customer if they were unhappy with my service, none said that they were.  Every one of them stated that they received a call from an ADT dealer who started the conversation by saying no matter what I was charging my customers, they could save them money.  I find this distressing on several levels.  When a potential customer calls me and asks about switching to my company for monitoring and service, the very first question that I ask is "when does your contract with ADT expire?"  I know they won't let the customer out of a contract even one month early.  What bothers me too, is the fact that they seem to know that the customer already has an alarm system, so wouldn't it be only fair to ask if they are in the middle of a contract period?  You know and I know that they will go after anyone who would try and snatch their accounts.  The difference is, they have the deep pockets and they don't care if they have to spend triple on what the loss would be just on attorney fees.  I'm sure that their attorneys are on retainer, but it is all on principle.  They have the name recognition, and don't care if a handful (even a large handful) of ex-customers goes around bad mouthing them.  Smaller companies don't have that luxury.  It's normal to lose a few customers a year for various reasons, but losing even one to some unscrupulous ADT franchisee sucks.  If only people would read the fine print.  I'm sure that they do save them some money in the first year of the contract, but by the time they get to the end, they are paying substantially more than what I charge.
     So when I read in the trade journals about ADT being sued in class action suites and other multimillion dollars being awarded to someone who was injured by a criminal and their ADT system didn't respond as it should, etc. I can't say that I shed a tear or ever will.  I look at it as Karma.  I have learned from some of their costly mistakes though.  I won't install a system in a home with sliding glass doors without a glass break detector.  If the customer doesn't want it, I tell them to call ADT.
John from NJ
     I read with much interest the letter from Leo Weiss of Chico, CA.  When he became aware of a dishonest, unlicensed out of town alarm company, he did the right thing and got involved immediately.  He tracked them down, gathered much information, and then took it to the proper authority within the State of CA.  It took time, but it got desired results.      Doing that homework and gathering that pertinent information is how and why the State got involved and took his complaint seriously.  
     Imagine all the alarm company complaints your state receives. Many are very serious but they can only act on ones with viable information, such as what Leo provided for them.  KUDO's to Leo! Others should follow his lead, get involved, provide necessary documentation, and stop whining about it.  
     Offending alarm company's sprout up like grass grows, so BE READY.  Advise your customers to BE AWARE and to contact you immediately when they knock on their door and/or call!  Send a news letter. Bring up the subject when making a personal call to them. It's essential to stay in touch with your customers, so 1) they stay loyal to you and 2) they won't fall prey!  
     Do what Leo did.  Do homework on the offending company.  Gather pertinent information (to be used as evidence) and THEN advise your State authority. Build your own case. When you provide hard evidence and KNOW YOUR LOCAL LAWS, your state (or City) can then take it and run with it.
     They need a solid basis to start with, so the better the case you present to them (your investigation) the faster they can get started.  I love it that CA sent an undercover 'employee'. Enough said!   
     I speak passionately about this issue because I ran upon a very unusual conflict of interest years ago when I discovered I had lost a job to an unlicensed alarm technician, working for a new start up alarm company in my town.  I also discovered they had not obtained the proper construction permits either and that didn't sit well with me.
     When I called the (Oregon) State Construction Contractor's Board to make a complaint, I was referred to their 'local Field Investigator'.  I didnt know it then, but Oregon contracts with various private parties to conduct their field investigations for them.  In my area, the contracted party was a local private investigation firm.  They investigated construction related complaints and issued tickets resulting in fines for violators, etc.    
     Problem was, this private investigation firm owned the start up alarm company that I was complaining about!  Talk about asking a fox to guard a hen house!  This was unbeknownst to the State, until I brought it to their attention.  However, their immediate supervisor (a State employee) said they did a good job and generated a lot of revenue for them (via fines the wrote) and refused to take action!  
     Absolutely outraged, I wasn't about to let up. I then sought the assistance of someone I personally knew, who just happened to sit on their Board of Directors!  (And the only woman on the Board I might add.)  Believe me, s--t happened when this board member got involved and confronted their supervisor during a board meeting!  
     The PI firm immediately ceased & diseased their alarm business in order to keep their contract.  I've always wondered if they had to 'fine' themselves?  
     In closing, if you smell a rat, stop whining about it and DO SOMETHING!  You have the power and the smarts to do your own investigation and gather your own evidence. Nowadays a lot of it can be done easily on the internet and on the phone.  Not all that hard.    
     Again, great job Leo.  You're a hero in my eyes because you took immediate action and actually did something about it!
Cynthia Hart
Retired Security Consultant
    Thanks for all the good advice over the years.  Some time ago, I thought I remembered you mentioning a company that makes IP addresses forwardable like 800 numbers so we can leave a CS and add value to our accounts.  I have searched my archives and can’t seem to find the name.  Would you let know know the name/website for this company. Also, are they still earning your endorsement?
New Orleans, LA 
    There is company listed on The Alarm Exchange under Technology and Services that increase or preserve your RMR.  It's link is https://keepyourip.com/
I don't have any experience with them, but owning your own IP address is as important as owning your own phone line into the central station.