Home alarm co. agrees to pay over sales tactics

Bryan Cohen Mar. 9, 2012, 1:32pm


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has announced an agreement with a Utah-based home alarm company to resolve allegations of questionable business practices and high-pressure sales tactics.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pinnacle will offer customers refunds to customers who were allegedly misled about Pinnacle's relationship with other security companies or the cost of its services. In addition, customers who allegedly could not get defective equipment from Pinnacle promptly repaired or were overcharged upon canceling their contracts will receive compensation.

"Pinnacle sales representatives deceptively represented that they worked for other security companies with which the consumers already had contracts, or that the other companies had authorized Pinnacle to take over their business," Bondi said Thursday. "Many consumers did not realize that the Pinnacle sales representatives came from a company other than their existing security companies until after the consumers' existing security equipment was removed, Pinnacle's equipment was installed and the consumers began to receive bills from both Pinnacle and their existing companies."

Pinnacle will also give a charitable contribution of $25,000 to Seniors vs. Crime, a project set up by Bondi in which elderly Floridians help authorities and each other to fight criminal activities.

Bondi's office began looking into Pinnacle's business practices after receiving complaints about the company's door-to-door salesmen. Homeowners complained that salesmen allegedly induced them to sign up with Pinnacle after claiming that it had taken over or had a special arrangement with the consumers' existing home-security companies.

Pinnacle must improve its disclosures to consumers about its charges, services and repairs. The company will also make it easier for consumers to cancel contracts if they desire and will ask new customers for detailed information about their interactions with salesmen to ensure that the company is compliant with the compulsory business reforms.

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