Man surprised by alarm company's automatic renewal policy

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PHOENIX -- If you have a home alarm system or you're thinking of getting one, you're going to want to pay attention.

Nearly every alarm company requires you to sign a contract, but you really have to read that agreement closely because it is very, very common in the industry to put an automatic renewal policy in the contract -- a policy not many people know about until it's too late.

When Steve Pogue and his wife moved into their South Phoenix home in 2006, one of the first things they bought was an alarm system.

"We thought it was a good idea because when you're at work and, you know, you want your house protected," Pogue said.

And Pogue says finding an alarm company was pretty easy.

"I looked around the neighborhood and I think I saw a couple Protect America [signs] so I decided to go with them," he said.

He signed a two-year contract with Protect America, a contract he thought ended seven months ago and was under the impression that he was now under a month-to-month agreement.

That is until he called Protect America recently.

"We wanted to put a camera system in the back and the front just for more protection and I called Protect America and they didn't offer that service," he said.

Not only did Protect America not offer camera surveillance, but they told him he couldn't get out of his contract and leave because he was on the hook for another two years.

"I said that I didn't understand that," Pogue said. "I never signed a statement or permission for them to re-new it."

But, apparently he did. Right there in the paperwork it states that unless he cancels in writing within 60 days of the end of the contract, he'll automatically be renewed for an additional two years.

"It's very underhanded," Pogue said. "It's very sneaky."

Now, Protect America told me they would waive Pogue's remaining balance and time on the contract "if" and "only if" 3 On Your Side would not air this report.

That was not an option and Pogue agrees.

I should also mention that Protect America has a C rating with the Better Business Bureau because it has more than 1,000 customers who have lodged complaints against them.