DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — At least a dozen customers of an alarm company were targeted by a local scammer in the Dallas area.
By all accounts, Vicky Vandygriff was a happy customer of Vector. She signed up for the company after a saleswoman knocked on her door in Wilmer.
But last fall, Vandygriff said the same sales representative returned to her home. She told Vandygriff that Vector had been sold to another company, Safe Home Security.
So Vandygriff signed a new contract for Safe Home Security, then allowed a technician to rewire her house for the new system.
The sales representative promised the Vector agreement would be voided, Vandygriff said. But her next bank statement said otherwise.
“I’m being double billed, I can’t afford this,” Vandygriff said.
Vandygriff ended up paying two alarm bills. In total, she was paying $100 per month, which is an amount Vandygriff said she cannot afford on a fixed income.
“I felt used, I felt abused,” Vandygriff said.
A spokesman confirmed Vector had not been sold. That means the salesperson, who had started working for Safe Home Security, had lied.
“There are unscrupulous Dealers out there that use these types of tactics to steal customers from other security companies,” said Art Miller, the vice president of marketing for Vector. “It appears this happened to Ms. Vandygriff. Some companies will claim that their current supplier has ‘gone out of business’ or ‘was sold’ in order to have them sign a new agreement. When this happens, the customer does indeed have two agreements then.”
“I just feel like, was she playing me all along? Was this all a big lie?” Vandygriff said.
A spokesman told the Ones for Justice at least 12 customers in the Dallas area fell for the same scam.
The number for the sales representative is now out of service.
Now, Vandygriff is back with the company she wants. Vector sent another technician last week to rewire her home yet again.
“You’re not the first person, but you’re hopefully the last,” the technician told Vandygriff.
But after this ordeal, Vandygriff said she trusts no one.
“The world’s not like it used to be, and that’s a sad thing,” Vandygriff said.
Jevaun Phillips, the director of customer service at Safe Home Security issued the following statement: “Safe Home Security in no shape, way or form condones actions of unethical practices or deceitful practices to the public or those that we serve.”
After the Ones for Justice contacted Safe Home Security, Phillips agreed to cancel Vandygriff’s contract. Phillips said the company will also refund all payments Vandygriff made to the company.
Phillips stated the sales representative who tricked Vandygriff will be terminated.
To avoid this kind of scam, never rush into a contract, especially when contacted by a door-to-door solicitor.
Take the time to call the company to verify what a salesperson is telling you about your account.
Several attorneys general offices across the country have received complaints about Safe Home Security over issues unrelated to this incident.
In Connecticut, where Safe Home Security is based, the Attorney General’s office has received more than 2000 complaints, according to spokeswoman Elizabeth Benton.
In December, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed a lawsuit and obtained a preliminary injunction against Safe Home Security over “allegations the company repeatedly broke the law by harassing consumers and charging for services it never provided,” said spokeswoman Margaret Quackenbush, who noted the office has received more than 100 complaints.
The complaint claims that Safe Home Security automatically renewed contracts customers had tried to cancel.
The Texas Attorney General Office’s has received 13 complaints about the company, according to spokeswoman Kayleigh Date.
In response to the number of complaints faced by the company, Phillips declined to comment.