Security system scam leaves couple out almost $2000

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PHOENIX - It's a scam happening nationwide, a salesperson offers you a free home security system in exchange for displaying a company sign in your yard, but there's much more to this deal than you think.

Swayed by the prospect of free protection at home people sign long-term contracts and end up stuck with shoddy installation, poor equipment and substandard service.

Dawn and Richard Stapley have raised seven children and 22 grandchildren in their Glendale home, so it's no wonder they'd want to protect it.

In the past several years, their house has been burglarized three times.

"They took our pillow sheets and just stuffed them full of jewelry and electronics stuff that we had in the house," the Stapley's said.

That's why the Stapley's agreed when a company called PCA Security offered to install a home security system at no charge.

"The equipment is free, the installation is free if we can just put a sign in your yard," Stapley said.

The system would cost $40 per month for monitoring, but a salesperson for the Washington-based company said it would be cheaper if the Stapley's paid for five years of monitoring up front.

The total cost came to $1900 dollars, but after the system was installed the couple could never get the system to work.

Dawn called PCA Security to have someone repair the system, but she didn't get far.

"A young girl would answer and say security, would you please hold and I would hold and hold and hold and nobody ever came to the phone," she said.

Dawn said after a month of getting the runaround, she called 3 On Your Side for help.

After several failed attempts at getting in touch with someone at PCA Security 3 On Your Side asked a consumer investigator at our Portland Belo affiliate, KGW, to pay them a visit.

After our visit, someone with PCA Security did call the Stapleys, but said he'd have to talk to the company's owner about a refund.

But since then, the Stapley's told 3 On Your Side, no one has called them back.

"I think it's just the comfort and peace of mind that we would like to have in our house," she said.

After hearing the Stapley's story a company called Desert Defense stepped in to repair the alarm for free. The system is now being monitored by Central Security Group.

By the way, it is a crime in Arizona to install security systems without a license.

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