Watch out for this company!!! Learn from my expensive mistake. [Archive] - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum

: Watch out for this company!!! Learn from my expensive mistake.


Moose512
03-05-2009, 02:37 PM
Wanted to post this so everyone can learn from my mistake.

Beware of Certified Alarm Technicians (C.A.T.) in Boynton Beach, Florida. They are an alarm company that services South Florida.

When we bought our townhouse in Lake Worth (new construction back in 2005) the builder told us that C.A.T. had done all of the security system install and after we moved in we called them about getting alarm service.

My wife met the tech at our house to complete the install and programming of the control panel. With a 6-month-old baby in one hand and a pen in the other she signed the papers on the tech’s clipboard as he was leaving. See where this is going?

About a year later, we moved to Miami due to my work. When I sent notice to C.A.T. to stop the alarm service they informed me that we had a 5-year contract and if we wanted to cancel the service we would have to buy-out our contract (over a thousand dollars). When I asked about the 5-year contract and why I was never told about that in the numerous phone calls before the install they informed me that it was part of the contract we signed (my wife signed). When I reviewed the paperwork from the day of the install, there it was in tiny little font. They offered us a discount settlement of $700 but we opted to make the monthly payments while the house was on the market. We are honest people, my wife did sign the paperwork, and we continued to pay for alarm even though there was no phone connection and there was nothing for them to monitor.

After two years on the market we finally sold the house in July of 2008. We contacted C.A.T. and told them the house had been sold. They politely informed us that we still were under contract until 2010 and would have to buy-out the remainder of the contract. I informed them that they already were paid for two years of service that they did not/ could not provide and I was not going to pay for alarm service on a home we did not own.

On Monday night we received a summons for a court date yesterday at 9am from the plaintiff, C.A.T. We could have postponed the court date but decided to get it over with.

At the courthouse we met with the judge, a mitigator and counsel for C.A.T. We discussed the fact that for two years they were paid for service they did not provide, that at no point did any employee of C.A.T. including the tech on the day of the install ever mention that C.A.T. has a mandatory 5 year contract that is pre-printed on the company stationary. Too make a long story short…the mitigator asked the attorney to leave the room and “off the record” told us we were screwed. The judge, the mitgator all stated that alarm companies are known in the legal community as crooks but there is nothing that has been done to correct it. Because my wife signed the papers, the letter of the law is against us. We still had the option to fight it in court but it is a black and white issue and my wife did sign the “contract.” Alarm companies know this and take advantage of the customer.

The icing on the cake was when the court’s mitigator and C.A.T’s attorney called the manager at C.A.T. to see if he would lower the amount if we settled right then and there. His own attorney (sympathizing with us) explained that I had proof that they, C.A.T., were paid for two years of no service possible and the house had been sold. His remark was not to give us a dime and he would rather take it to court and drive up the legal fees. His generosity was that he would allow us to pay the amount being sued for plus legal and court fees in 4 payments if we needed to. Then he had the audacity to have the attorney tell us that if we wanted to use C.A.T. in the future that it would be allowed.

I think it is safe to say we would never use C.A.T. in the future and I hope my experience and story help some of you. All I can do at this point is file a complaint with BBB and try to inform as many people as possible about C.A.T’s questionable business practices.

Something else I discovered in their contract was that if the customer does not notify C.A.T. by certified mail 60 days prior to the end of the 5 year contract that they wish to cancel service that they will automatically renew your contract for another 5 years.

My wife and I have learned an expensive lesson.

Jester
03-05-2009, 05:24 PM
That sucks but thats cool that your takling the time to warn others.:beer:

Mr.RonGilbert
03-05-2009, 05:32 PM
Wow dude, thanks for the post. Many of us would have been in the same boat.

bfj aka tambil
03-05-2009, 06:59 PM
If anyone ever needs alarm service in central Florida, just send me a pm. The company I use is a very down to earth, cool company. I have used them in the last 4 business over the last five years with never an issue.

Muzak sounds about the same as the above mentioned alarm company... I say tell everyone you know. Only spend your money with good HONEST business..

Broncojohn
03-05-2009, 09:32 PM
ADT has the same scam. I was caught up having to pay for the year that remained on my contract, and I couldn't move it to my new home. I still use them but you have to twist their arm up front. You can modify the contract so when you move it's cancelled or moves with you.

kerryp
03-06-2009, 05:26 AM
Really sucks that happened to you, report them to the BBB like you said and move on.

For everyone else,

You have to be very carefuil dealing with home alarm companies, even the big companies like ADT, Brinks, etc.

They do not make their money off of the equiopment or the install, it is made off the service/monitoring contract, so most everyone of them have clauses in their contract that are not good for the consumer (i.e. their contract is written to protect them and to make them money, not written to benefit you),

so always read the contract and never be afraid to make changes and have the rep initial the changes, If they say you can't make changes, send them on their way, their trying to screw you.

dcj090
03-06-2009, 06:22 AM
It is cheaper to just let the crackheads break in and they catch me at home, there will less crackheads in the world. :thefinger:

karnuvore
03-06-2009, 07:23 AM
My alarm system weighs about 120 lbs and drools when he walks away from the water bowl.

Sucks about your experience. Live n learn eh?

FL JEEPN
03-06-2009, 08:34 AM
My alarm system weighs about 120 lbs and drools when he walks away from the water bowl.

Sucks about your experience. Live n learn eh?

More like 5 pounds if it's the one you bring on trail rides...:bounce:

My boxer however....go ahead...step inside :thefinger:

karnuvore
03-06-2009, 08:39 AM
More like 5 pounds if it's the one you bring on trail rides...:bounce:

My boxer however....go ahead...step inside :thefinger:

no...that's his little sister (cassie the chihuahua). Oso the rottie quite another story. He's a gentle baby if he knows you...but god help you if you walk through that door w/ out me and he doesnt know you.

HITMONEY
03-06-2009, 11:04 AM
That sucks big Moose.. I am stoopid.. I would have spent 10k fighting not to have to give them 3k. I got to stop doing that.

Grant211
03-06-2009, 11:30 AM
Thanks for the FYI!



i got a 12 gauge, beagle, Glock, and a alarm for home protection.

The dog is the best alarm system to let me know about a intruder.:beer: bar none!

The Glock will allow me to shoot the intruder and not my dog as he will be barking and jumping on the intruder as he thinks the intruder wants to play with him.:shaking:

The alarm system is a "wife" thing and a "while i'm not home" thing.:innocent:

The Shotgun just boosts my ego and allows me to scare the intruder :mr-t:

idrivejeep
03-06-2009, 11:41 AM
Watch out also for Protection One (formerly Bellsouth Alarm). I learned about that clause about a year ago.

Tried to switch out of their service and even though my initial 3 year term was over 1 1/2 years ago, the contract self renews unless I contact them in writing 30 days prior to my renewal date.

When I looked around at other companies, found out they're all the same garbage.

bfj aka tambil
03-08-2009, 08:06 PM
Really sucks that happened to you, report them to the BBB like you said and move on.

For everyone else,

You have to be very carefuil dealing with home alarm companies, even the big companies like ADT, Brinks, etc.

They do not make their money off of the equiopment or the install, it is made off the service/monitoring contract, so most everyone of them have clauses in their contract that are not good for the consumer (i.e. their contract is written to protect them and to make them money, not written to benefit you),

so always read the contract and never be afraid to make changes and have the rep initial the changes, If they say you can't make changes, send them on their way, their trying to screw you.

There you go.

The company I deal with, is individually owned. Uses a very good monitoring company, and I pay for the equipment install. But for what I pay, and my monthly, let alone the excellent service, I am way ahead of free equipment and a high monthly fee. Monitoring is only 200 a year for each of my business.