Woman upset after purchasing security system from door-to-door salesperson

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An East Bay woman says a team of sales people selling home security systems descended on her neighborhood and she agreed to buy in, despite the risks 7 On Your Side has already uncovered. (KGO-TV)

An East Bay woman says a team of sales people selling home security systems descended on her neighborhood and she agreed to buy in, despite the risks 7 On Your Side has already uncovered.

This is a reminder to take your time and examine what you're getting into. In this case, she says a salesman made lots of promises that never materialized. State investigators are now looking at her case.

Norene Graham recalls the night when a salesman knocked on her door at dinner time.

"He was very enthusiastic," said Graham an El Sobrante resident.

Graham says the man told her he'd come with a busload of sales people from Texas and could replace her current home alarm system with a better deal.

"It will cost you less than what you have now, it has all these wonderful features," Graham said.

Norene says she told him she was still locked in a contract with her current alarm company.

"He says, 'Oh, just pay them off, we'll give you the money back,'" Graham said.

So Graham and her husband went for it, signing this contract with Elite Home of Utah, and Monitronics of Texas. As promised, Graham then canceled her old alarm service and paid the early termination fee of $764. She then asked for reimbursement.

"I tried to get the money back from Monitronics and this didn't work," she said.

Graham admits she never got an agreement in writing that she would be reimbursed. She says she kept telling Monitronics and Elite that their salesman promised it. Eventually Elite offered a compromise.

"We're willing to pay you half of that. I said, 'No, no, no,'" Graham said.

She was also upset because she says her monthly alarm bill was now $4 more, not less. She contacted 7 On Your Side.

Russ Heimerich of the state's Bureau of Security and Investigative Services spoke with 7 On Your Side. The agency issues licenses required by the state for all home alarm companies and their door to door sales people.

"Some alarm companies will bus in college students and they won't go to the trouble of getting those door to door sales people licensed," Heimerich said.

We could not find any alarm employee license issued to the salesman named on Graham's contract.

"The company can be held responsible and that's something the bureau is looking into," Heimerish added.

The bureau is now investigating Graham's case.

We contacted Elite Home Security and Monitronics. Elite responded for both, but a spokesperson would not answer repeated inquiries about whether they sent unlicensed salespeople to the Bay Area.

Elite did refund Graham's $764. However, Graham has canceled her five year contract out of frustration. Now Elite says she must repay that $764.

The spokesperson said the refund "had been with the initial understanding that the customer would remain under her agreement with the company."

Graham says she's already switched to a new service and doesn't think she owes anything back.

The state is now investigating Graham's case. If a sales person comes selling home alarms, don't sign up right away, if at all. And make sure the salesperson has a license.

Related Topics:
business7 On Your Sideconsumerconsumer concernshomesafetysecurityEl Sobrante
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