3 On Your Side

'Old tech' gadget causes 'new tech' problems

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Allen Harrison's phone is too old for Cox's HomeLife Security. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Allen Harrison's phone is too old for Cox's HomeLife Security. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A Scottsdale man is learning the importance of keeping up with technology.

Smartphones have software and it gets to the point where the phone gets so old, they can't download the updated software and that’s causing big problems for this guy.

Allen Harrison says he feels secure knowing that he has an alarm system at his Scottsdale home.

"Go to the security part, I can bypass different zones," Harrison said.

A burglary prompted Harrison to actually get an alarm system, and after looking around, he decided to go with Cox Homelife security.

"I was really happy with the features because I could arm it and disarm it from my phone and be able to see the camera from my phone and that was a selling point of the system," Harrison said.

Harrison agreed to a 3-year commitment with Cox Homelife Security and claims a big selling point was that he could use his iPhone 4S to access the system remotely.

However, just a year into his agreement, his remote access stopped working.

"I could type my password, type my user name but when I went to hit 'sign in' I wasn't able to do that," Harrison said.

As it turns out, Harrison's older iPhone 4S is causing the problem.

That's because less than three percent of all iOS devices similar to Harrison's phone is used in the U.S and supports the upgraded iOS 10.

In other words, Harrison can't remotely activate his security alarm because his phone is considered outdated.

"I'm not too happy about it," Harrison said.

Happy with his current phone and not wanting to purchase a new one, Harrison says he asked Cox to release him from the two years left on his contract with them.

"They told me they wouldn't release me from the security portion and I was bundled or married, whatever, with the internet portion and I couldn't do one without the other," Harrison said.

And to compound his frustration, Harrison wasn't happy with Cox's response.

"It would be smarter of you to upgrade your phone. That will save you a lot of trouble and it will save you the high cost of your early termination fee," said a Cox representative.

But Harrison says he's not in a financial position to spring for a newer, more expensive phone. And, quite frankly, he says he shouldn't be forced to so.

"New iPhone is about $800, iPhone 7," Harrison said.

3 On Your Side got a hold of Cox Homelife Security but it wasn't interested in releasing Harrison from his agreement.

In an email, they say, "...We attempt to support as many devices/OSs as possible but need to continue to keep up with the available technologies to provide the best services and support possible."

According to Harrison, Cox did agree to unbundle his services but if he wants to get rid of his Home Security altogether because his phone is too old he can, for a $516 early termination fee.

Harrison says he's stunned.

"I asked to be released from that portion of the contract so I could remain what I would have thought one of their valuable customers but I guess I'm not so valued," Harrison said.

We were really hoping Cox would cancel his security without penalizing him with that termination fee but, again, this seems to be one of the problems when it comes to keeping up with technology.

You can read below Cox's contract termination policy below or by clicking/tapping here.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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