GILBERT, Ariz -- A Gilbert woman says she and her husband were talked into a home alarm when they already had a home security system. 3 On Your Side has talked about this problem before and just recently, the Arizona alarm association issued a warning, telling consumers to use caution when a salesperson knocks on your door.
"I’m thinking his life was cut just way too short." Janice Sederholm has a heavy heart. "He just died two weeks ago."
She's talking about her husband Jim, to whom she was married for 24 years. But as Janice struggles with her husband's death she's also struggling with another issue. "The bill I recently got from them the other day was $4,400," she says.
Janice says that bill is from a collection agency, an agency that claims she owes all that money to a home security company called Vision Security. Why? Well, she says it all stems back to a salesperson who knocked on their door back in October. Janice says she remembers asking her husband about the sales pitch.
"I asked him when this person came to the door, did they say what company they were representing or anything? He said no. He just looked at me and said they could upgrade our security system for free," she recalls.
Janice says her husband was led to believe that the salesperson was from their current security provider, and was there to simply upgrade the equipment. But instead, the salesperson was with a competing company called Vision Security. And according to Janice, he tricked them into a five-year contract, even though they were still contractually obligated to their current security company.
As a result Janice says; "We have a contract with two companies."
Janice says she now has to pay $43.00 to their original security company and $53 a month to Vision Security. If it sounds familiar, you're right. 3 On Your Side has profiled other homeowners in the past who complained that Vision Security sales people convinced them into thinking they were with their current company. However, a lawyer with Vision Security sent 3On Your Side an audio recording between Mrs. Sederholm's husband and Vision Security, that seems to indicate that he knew exactly what he was getting into.
Vision Security: "Do you understand that we are a competitor to Vivint?
Jim Sederholm: “Uh Ah.”
Vision Security: “And do you understand that in order to avoid paying two bills each month you
will need to cancel services with Vivint?”
Jim Sederholm: “Yes."
Vision Security says the audio recording clearly illustrates Janice’s husband wasn't tricked at all. Still, Vision Security has a rocky record with homeowners. The Better Business Bureau gives the company an "F" rating, after logging nearly 500 complaints.
It gets worse. The Ohio Attorney General's Office sued Vision Security for misrepresenting itself to consumers, and the State of Utah reprimanded Vision Security and ordered the company to pay a $30,000 fine.
Janice says Vision Security's record speaks volumes, and she's frustrated she's on the hook for two contracts. "You, as being a person that lives and works hard all your life and doesn’t expect to have people try and take advantage of you, that's what I really feel like. Puts a lot of mistrust in people."
We asked Vision Security if they were willing to waive the $4,400 they're trying to get from Janice. But we haven't received a definitive answer yet