Nobody Wins When You Play ETF Chicken With ADT

UPDATE: Matthew won. When Matthew signed up for home alarm system service from ADT, he was promised that he would have no problem moving his service to a new home when he moved. So he signed a two-year contract. No problem! Until at his new home, he had to deal with a new salesman. One who insisted that he would need all new equipment (of course) at the new place even though what he had at his old place is almost new. Months later, he’s playing chicken with ADT. If he stops paying his bill, he’ll be hit with an early termination fee and have to pay for the equipment. If ADT lets him install his existing equipment and actually use the service he’s paying for, the salesman will look weak or something. Nobody can win this game.

You would think it is just as easy as 1-2-3…but now 6 months later ADT has “dropped the ball”. I am a small business owner that works from home, and love some all american home monitoring peace of mind. As a Consumer Reports junkie, I sure did my shopping around and never really liked the 2 year contracts that seem to come standard with most systems. But there it was dangling right in my mailbox, a flyer that had the answers to all my problems, a moving rebate. I would have never signed on the dotted line if it weren’t for reassurance from the salesman that the moving rebate was my answer to my planned relocation.

One month before the move, I make the call and met a new salesman at my new residence in the same area some 4 miles away. You would think we would be pow-wowing about where to put the still shiny equipment in the new place, but I am bombarded with upsells and new two year contracts (I needed a new 2 year contract so that he could beg his managers to keep me for another two years and force me to buy new equipment for I would be violating my contract by moving and claiming the moving rebate as written in my contract).

I insisted that even though my new place was larger, I wanted to just keep the same equipment and just add on sensors as needed. The salesman began giving me financial advice, telling me that if I didn’t give ADT my social security number I could most likely cancel my credit card and jump ship with my now useless pile of $600 security equipment. I may be rounding up, but that is still a big financial win for ADT.

I remain persistent/resistant/give-me-my-rebate. The salesman tells me he will have to check with his manager whether or not he could redeem the rebate in my contract. Since then the salesman can never seem to get a hold of his manager, or figure out what to do with me. Each time I called, he said his manager was sick, out of town (I begin to wonder if he is working for Waldo). The day before I hand my keys in to my old residence I call again to see what they are going to do with my equipment, the salesman tells me to take it down myself. Really? What is the point of having a rebate if I never get to use it?

So I take it down…three months go by and I call only to play phone tag with the regional, then local office trying to reach someone who can help me. Everyone person I talk to knows about the rebate, wants to hand me money over the phone, but the salesman that I got lampooned by keeps drawing blanks (keep in mind I got the wireless system that is so easy to set up, most of it is just hot glue gunned to the walls and door frames). And I don’t want money as much as the system installed at this point.

After I call in to complain they have the same guy call me back! I can’t believe it! The first words out of his mouth are, “Hey Matt, I guess I dropped the ball here we need to go back to square one…” I hang up. No way did they just have the guy who has cost me now $150 in monthly fees (which he can’t seem to figure out how to refund), and $600 in equipment chilling in storage! So far only upsells, no rebate. He calls again the next day…I say,”Look salesman, there is no ball, there is no square one, I am done…I have had enough.” I then go on to tell him that the next person I talk to should be his manager, *click*. Three more months go by.

Now we are just playing chicken…by the contract if I fail to pay, they can void my contract and make me pay up in god knows how many fees. But I don’t fit into any of their reasons for dropping, not even, “it is too expensive to keep your equipment up” because my stuff is brand new and wasn’t faulty. Here I am, charged through the wazoo, making payments, getting no service and ironic letters in the mail telling me my equipment isn’t sending a signal. So I call in and demand to speak to a manager, and I get his voice mail…I name names, and let him know I
am not happy.

So here I am, 6 months later with $300 in service charges, $600 dollars of equipment in storage, and a “Moving Rebate” that I can’t seem to claim. Sad day for a very unhappy ADT customer:/

Avoid dealing with the salesman as much as possible. Since this involves a contract and the company completely ignoring that contract, Matt should consider contacting his state attorney general’s consumer division. Or, as some commenters suggested, filing in small claims court for the rebate.