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Employee Comments Set ADT Apart, But Not in a Good Way

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March 12, 2014
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Employee Comments Set ADT Apart, But Not in a Good Way

Less than a year ago we had a very interesting comment posted on the FrontPoint blog – and the person identified themselves as an ADT employee. The comment seemed credible to us at the time, based on what we knew about ADT, and what we had heard – especially from former customers who had left ADT and signed up with FrontPoint.Here’s the post that describes the comment we received, and here is the gist of what the poster had to say.

Hey, just some general commentary on the relative levels of ADT customer service from a current employee in sales:

  • Relative install quality can vary greatly from district to district, and even installer to installer. Some installers and districts within ADT are very good, and some are horrible. Very inconsistent.
  • My experience with ADT 800 numbers is that they are built to confound and confuse customers. Always try to reach local district offices if possible, not brokers mind you, but company district offices.
  • Since going public, ADT has done nothing but increase rates, fees, and drive up subscription costs on existing customers to try to protect profit. They are doing so at the expense of never-to-be-regained market share/customer loss.

I’ve been at this company working for close to two years now, and I’d never consider their alarm systems for my house. In my experience once the systems are installed, they work pretty well, but the costs far outweigh the benefits of a cheaper, just as effective solution from a local vendor.

But There’s More…

As I said last year: wow! But now we have some additional insight into ADT as a company - and as an employer. The source for this information is 24/7 Wall St., an online news service. Here is a description of 24/7 Wall St. from The Atlantic: the publication sounds credible to me, based on who republishes their stories.

Douglas A. McIntyre and Michael B. Sauter are editors of 24/7 Wall St., a Delaware-based financial news and opinion operation that produces content for sites including MarketWatch, DailyFinance, Yahoo! Finance, and

The Nine Worst US Companies to Work For

Last year 24/7 Wall St. published an article on “America’s Worst Companies to Work For,” and ADT made the list. Here’s the article, with some relevant excerpts below.

In order to identify America’s worst companies to work for, 24/7 Wall St. examined employee reviews at jobs and career community site Glassdoor. To be considered, companies had to have a minimum of 300 reviews. Based on the reviews, Glassdoor scores companies on a scale of one to five, with an average score of 3.2 for the over 250,000 companies measured. Of the more than 300 companies with more than 300 comments 24/7 Wall St. identified the nine publicly traded companies that received scores of 2.5 or lower.

More than 300 employee reviews? That certainly sounds “statistically significant” (i.e. a credible sample size).

What ADT Employees Said

Employees at ADT regularly complained about weak, disorganized management that treated them poorly and micromanaged. Several reviewers complained about the quality of the sales training, noting that the company appeared to expect new employees to figure things out on their own.

Based on the reviews, ADT appears to focus on getting new clients at the expense of both employees and existing customers, with one representative noting that the decision makers “could care less about customers after sale.”

Explanation for High Cancellation Rates?

For years, one consistent perception of ADT is that they are essentially a sales and marketing organization, and that they are just not sufficiently focused on achieving high levels of customer serviceor customer satisfaction. And perhaps that helps explain why ADT is growing so slowly, and has annual customer cancellation rates near 14%... well above the industry average. That means they lose one in seven customers every year!

Bigger Should Mean Better

As big as they are, ADT should be better than the industry. While we don’t mean to pick on ADT, we do wish they did a better job taking care of their customers, as that improvement alone would probably give our industry a better reputation. But ADT is not the only large company with service problems: just look at the cable operators like Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner. Some of those home service providers are among the most hated brands in the country! And now they want to offer home security, too…

No Company is Perfect

We recognize that no alarm company – or any company, for that matter – is perfect. We all make mistakes, and we all have much to learn from our customers. And, it appears, there are also companies who have a lot to learn from their employees. But the best companies are the ones who are committed to soliciting and listening to constructive criticism, and then acting on it. And you test the level of that commitment – and the results - in how a company is reviewed, both internally and externally.

It’s no secret that companies with happy employees almost always provide better customer service, meaning happy customers. FrontPoint is dedicated to making our company a great place to work. So it should be no surprise that when you search online for “FrontPoint reviews” you’ll find plenty of great news. 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.

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March 21, 2014 at 2:56 AM
Awesome article, Peter. Spot on. A company this lousy should be called out. All the more meaningful coming from you guys, a company at the far end of the other end of the customer service spectrum. And I have always liked that you guys value your employees and treat them well. It not only feels good to support such employers, but as you note, you can't have really happy customers with miserable employees who feel no support or morale. You guys totally get it on pretty much every level! (Every level I have ever seen discussed by you). Keep up the awesome job!
Peter M. Rogers
April 1, 2014 at 2:18 AM
Thanks, Alan - as always. Not sure if you saw it, but Chris Villar (you remember our Chris from your interactions years ago, I bet) was just announced as one of the top CEO's in the US by Glassdoor. That is one heck of an accomplishment, but knowing Chris, as you do, it should not be surprising. We offer a striking alternative to ADT in so many ways - and this is just one more reason why we think we are the right choice for home security and peace of mind. Thanks again!
Patrick Greenburger
February 7, 2015 at 8:01 PM
I've had Frontpoint at two of my homes for most two years now and have nothing less than absolutely terrific service. If only all companies were as customer service orriented as Front point. Patrick
Daryl Williams
February 26, 2015 at 4:23 AM
ADT is the worse company to work for! I saw first hand they do not care about their existing customers or the employees. That company took on way more than it could chew buying out Brinks/Broadview. Current employees talk to former employees about "getting out" or it being "their time to finally leave" like it's a prison!
Dottie Darswell
September 21, 2015 at 3:41 PM
About a year ago I was notified by ADT that they needed to put in upgrade of some type. After the installer finished, he told me I had to sign a paper he put in front of me. I stupidly signed it assuming it was a verification that he installed the equipment. Very soon after, my monthly rate went up. When I called to cancel with ADT they told me I had signed a 3 year contract. I then asked to talk to a supervisor. The rude supervisor told me I had signed a 3 year contract when the installer put the paper in front of me. She then offered to lower my rate by $10 which they did which brought me back down to the rate Frontpoint is charging. So I will be paying ADT's fee for the next 18 months. I am keeping Frontpoint as my security provider and looking forward to cancelling with ADT. I am telling all I know about ADT and how they "do business",
jessica smith
October 7, 2015 at 4:13 PM
Adt is the most degrading company to work for. They not only treat customers with no respect they do the same to it's employees. Working for Adt is like working on a slave camp. They only believe in numbers. They have no value for human life. How can u protect a family if You do not value humans. The rep's are burned out. If you get off the phone for 1/2 second someone is looking for you or calling your phone wondering why you had to make an important call or use the bathroom. It is crazy. Not worth any ones health. Not one day I worked there did I not hear an employee saying this job is for a robot or slave. And the managers do not care will fire you if you sneeze. Adt is awful. You can not expect to have good customer service when you treat your employees like garbage.
Mike Rolm
November 10, 2015 at 1:19 AM
As a past employee, do not work at this company. In IT, they are locked in the 90s. No updated cents, good ol boy syndrome,nothing is every passed to the top with regards to improvements or issues. They can railroad you out of there so fast, it's not even funny. Stay away
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