An alarm security company lied to get a senior to switch, and then refused to cancel the plan
PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Pearl City resident Gayle Harimoto said a door-to-door salesperson claiming to be with ADT Security Services outright lied to her 89-year-old father in order to get him to sign up for services.
"He said that Monitronics was in trouble, that was the service we had, and that ADT would be taking over the Monitronics accounts," she said. "I didn't think anything about it because he was working off a list so I thought it was legitimate."
The salesman was actually from another company, Safe Home Control, an authorized ADT dealer.
The Harimoto family didn't realize anything was wrong until they received two bills: One was from their old provider Monitronics and the other was from their new provider ADT.
"I got a Monitronics bill and I'm thinking to myself, why am I getting a Monitronics bill if ADT took over the accounts?" said Harimoto.
She said a Monitronics representative told her it was a scam. But when she tried to cancel with ADT, she said the company told her it would cost $1,700 to cancel the new contract.
She instead filed a police report, contacted the city's Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, and filed complaints with the state's Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau.
"A lot of times this happens between competitive companies that are looking for more market share," said BBB Director of Marketing and Communications Jason Kama.
The BBB said door-to-door sales scams are a common problem year-round but often pick up during the summer months.
While Harimoto argued with ADT, the company sent her bills to a collection agency.
Finally, she said ADT told her they will cancel the account free of charge.
Still, she wanted to tell the story so others don't get duped.
"Now I know why it's so easy to scam, especially seniors. The letters that they send you are scary," she said.
"Seniors are gonna get scared, they're gonna pay."
Hawaii News Now contacted ADT for comment and the company deferred comment to Safe Home Control.
Safe Home Control didn't respond to Hawaii News Now's request for an interview.
The BBB said there are several steps consumers should take certain to protect themselves against door-to-door sales. Click here for tips.
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