November 21, 2011
Reported ADT Cold Calls Can Frighten Homeowners
If you can’t trust your alarm company, who can you trust? And if you can’t trust an alarm company to operate with transparency and integrity from the outset, then you should think twice about whether that’s the right alarm company for you – no matter how well-known that company may be. A recent article printed in The Consumerist, an on-line publication affiliated with Consumer Reports, describes how this lack of transparency can actually scare people. In addition to possibly being taken for a potential burglar, that pushy person on the phone is not helping build their company’s reputation.
An ADT salesman had devised (or was at least using) a brilliant tactic: cold-call people and ask them how their ADT systems were working. If they said, "I don't have ADT," try to sell them one. What a great idea! How could it possibly go wrong? I mean, other than making people believe that they've just been cold-called by a burglar looking for alarm-less homes.
The Wrong Way to Sell an Alarm System
The other evening my mother received a phone call on her landline phone from "Bob" at ADT, asking how the security system was working. My mom began to reply "We don't have a sec-" before she realized what she was saying. "Who is this?!" "Bob, from ADT. You know, the guys with the little blue signs." My mom told him that the security system was working fine and hung up. She was extremely frightened by this, because she had just told a stranger over the phone that she didn't have a security system. She called to tell me about this second suspicious phone call, and both of us were extremely worried for the personal safety of her and my two younger siblings.
Tracing the Caller
My mom noticed that the call had come from a number (it wasn't blocked), so she looked it up online, and it was a wireless number not associated with ADT. I told her to call the police, which she did. An officer came out, listened to the stories about the phony calls, took down the number, and promised to investigate further to figure out who had called her. He said that they would do additional patrols around the house that night, so that if anyone was "watching the place", they would know that the police were "on it." I was nervous that if someone was watching, they would simply wait until the police drove by, and then break into my mom's house while my family was sleeping.
It Was ADT, After All
The officer called the number, and the man who answered claimed to be working for ADT, doing cold-call sales over the phone, using his own personal cell phone. If a potential customer replied that they didn't have a security system, as my mom almost did, he then told them about the great deal ADT has to offer. The officer ran a background check on him, called his manager, and it turned out that everything was legitimate. He advised them that this probably wasn't a smart sales method, and that they should expect to receive more calls like this if they continued.
A Strong Recommendation
I feel like I can't complain to ADT, but I think more people need to hear this story - so they know to tell any strangers asking over the phone that they do have a security system - and so that ADT will reconsider allowing their employees to call potential customers from their personal cell phones late at night asking about their home security. Asking customers "Would you be interested in purchasing ADT home security?" is more straightforward and less threatening than "How is your security system working?"
As we’ve said before, FrontPoint has never cold-called, telemarketed, or sold door-to-door – and we're 100% transparent in what we charge (and don’t charge for!). The best home security customers are the people who are looking for peace of mind in the first place: with home security expanding to including to include remote video, interactive features, and even control of light, locks, and thermostats, it’s no wonder that demand is increasing. Our systems are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. That’s what makes FrontPoint the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US. And it also explains why we have the highest customer retention in the business. We won’t call you, unless you ask us to.