Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Peace of mind" or piece of crap? STAY AWAY FROM ADT!

It seems as if ADT purchased most of the good competition in SoCal and that they are now as arrogant as a near-monopoly can get.

Yesterday, a backup battery for my ADT alarm system began sending out signals that it "needs to be replaced soon" to ADT. ADT took the signal from the battery as if it were an alarm and immediately sent officers to my door who promptly began to interrogate the suspect: my housekeeper of 13 years who is from Honduras and doesn't speak English. After treating her like a criminal and forcing her to prove her identity, they finally left, leaving my housekeeper traumatized.

When I got home hours later, I tried to call ADT, only to find that the alarm system had seized my landline and I couldn't make an outgoing call, not even to 911 in case of a REAL emergency! When I called ADT from my cell phone, they said "Oh yeah! We've been getting alarms from your house all day! You need to get that battery replaced!"

I told them that my landline was seized and that I couldn't make or receive calls and asked "is there a code I could enter to stop this process?" "No," I was told, "you need to find the junction box and open it to disconnect the telephone jack from the system." I asked, "Where is the junction box?" I was told, "Upstairs." "Upstairs?" I said. "My house is four stories. Upstairs is a big place!" She responded simply, "That's what it says here. Upstairs."

By now it was past midnight and I finally found the junction box which was on the second lowest floor in my house ("upstairs") and, long agnozing story short, when I opened the box, it was full of exposed wires and blinking lights and no apparent way to simply shut anything off. I said, "I am in way over my head here. What do I do now?" And the ADT woman said to me, "Do you have a screwdriver?"

I have had this system for eight years and have had countless false alarms, usually at inopportune moments when I am not at home. On windy days. On rainy days. For no particular or apparent reason. Once, I was in Juneau, Alaska in 2002 defending myself in a lawsuit and, during a break in my testimony, I got a breathless call from ADT telling me that there was an intruder in my home. Turned out there wasn't, but we didn't know that until I had to frantically call anyone I knew back in LA to go to my house and check on things there. I took their service plan hoping to eliminate maintenance issues. It didn't help.

Now, I have told ADT to bring the wire cutters when they come to my home next week for a service call. I want them out of my life for good.

Don't be fooled by this company's big ad budget and slick commercials promising "peace of mind." I have had nothing but problems with ADT. Does what I described sound like "peace of mind" to YOU?

These days when no one is listening to you, the best way to respond is with a blog that goes viral. Please spread this link to anyone you know who might think of installing a home security system. Maybe THIS will get their attention.

Any good security companies left in SoCal that ADT hasn't already bought up? Let me know here or at