September 25, 2013
ADT Sales Rep Seemingly Discloses Confidential Customer Information in Houston, Texas
What happened in this story started with an honest mistake. However, as is often the case, there is perhaps more to be learned from the response to an incident than from the incident itself. And what transpired here was pretty well documented by a local news station. But let’s start at the beginning, with a news report describing a box of paperwork falling off a truck. It’s what in the paperwork that matters – and yes, this does involve ADT.
A box of eight different Houston resident's contracts fell off the back of an ADT truck, as the sales man was leaving the area. If you order a security system from ADT, it is very likely the salesman will have you fill out a contract. The contract will likely ask you for your credit card number, bank account number and maybe your social security number.
Ouch… With all the reports of identity theft and other nefarious deeds regarding bank accounts and credit cards happening across the US, it’s more important than ever to keep all our personal information as protected as possible.
Details of What Happened
The man who saw the incident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he saw the black case fall off the roof of the salesman's car as he was leaving the area. The man said he called ADT immediately to report what happened. “I thought they would at least say to me they'd come pick it up right away, or have me mail it back to them,” he said. According to the onlooker, the person on the other line did nothing.
Customer Speaks Out
David Reid, 77, was one of the ADT customers whose bank account numbers, credit card numbers and social security card numbers was left behind. “That was my whole life, my personal life and anybody can take that and find out everything and ruin me,” Reid said.
News Station Steps in, Does the Right Thing
Local 2 is returning all the financial documents to the people whose documents were compromised in this case. ADT released a statement regarding the incident: “We have well established policies and procedures guiding how we treat our customers’ information, and we respond quickly to reported incidents. If we suspect any concerns regarding the security of a customer's information, we notify them and take appropriate action. We can confirm this is not an ADT employee.” ADT says they have opened an investigation and are still looking into this entire matter.
As I said at the outset, this might have happened to any company: however, one does expect an alarm company, tasked with protecting lives and property, to be more careful. I really don’t mean to pick on ADT. But I do expect more of ADT, as the largest security services provider in the US and Canada – with roughly 6.5 million customers. And what’s more, I expect a far more engaged response when an incident such as what appears to have occurred here is brought to their attention. That’s how you build trust – by admitting you can make mistakes, and by owning up to them when you do.
Of course, it is possible that this was not an ADT company employee, but one of their Authorized Dealers (here’s something that will help you understand the difference). If the driver of the vehicle was not an actual ADT employee, that could add a dimension to the story – but remember that ADT is ultimately responsible for anyone operating under their name (even their sub-contractors). After all, it’s your peace of mind they are supposed to be protecting.
FrontPoint is not a perfect alarm company. We mess up from time to time, but when we do, we bend over backwards to resolve the issue, and then take concrete steps to make sure our customers are never inconvenienced in that way again. That’s because the first of our three Core Values is Build Trust. The other two, by the way, are Dream Big and Be Awesome. If those three resonate with you and tell you that we have a great culture, then congratulations: you totally get it!
Reviews Say It All
But don’t take my word for it. Just search the Internet for “FrontPoint reviews” and you’ll find consistently great reports, much of them having to do with the quality of our people, and the high levels of helpfulness, integrity, and transparency. As the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US, FrontPoint is committed to your safety and security – and that means honest sales and advertising, no hidden fees, the best technology at the best price, and world-class service. Now that is peace of mind. And by the way – your personal data is 100% safe with FrontPoint!