7 on Your Side helps woman with home security alarm company contract

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Technology is definitely a blessing, but it can also be a curse. When a San Francisco woman said she could not get help from a company over the phone, she called 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney for help.

When you get something new, it can be difficult to learn all the bells and whistles. This local woman says she found getting tech support difficult.

Jenny Shao lives in a subsidized studio apartment run by Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco. On a fixed income, she watches every penny, and makes maximum use of everything she buys.

"You know I'm a stickler. Anything over a dollar or more is worth questioning and contending for me," Shao said.

She purchased a simple home alarm system from ADT, which recently merged with Protection 1.

At $45 every month, she was excited to get what she felt was an affordable system. Yet, she had questions about what she thought were fees on her bill and how the system worked.

Protection 1 worked with Shao, and made adjustments to her bill. But she found the experience frustrating and was not happy with customer service.

"No one either could answer my questions, or they refused to. They just wanted to pass the buck," she said.

Shao called tech support to try to figure out her equipment. She felt the answers were unsatisfactory

"They were really incoherent and didn't seem to know how to guide, no less operate, their own equipment."

After four months of what she said were almost daily calls, Shao asked that she be let out of her five year contract. However, she was unwilling to pay the termination fee.

"I felt that I shouldn't have to pay their $700 plus severance fee, when I've been a responsible customer doing everything I can."

She contacted 7 on Your Side, and we reached out to ADT.

The company did not respond to our repeated request for comment, but agreed to let Shao out of her contract and waived any penalties.

"Well short of jumping out of my seat and singing "Hallelujah" because I am a rather quiet person, I don't want to disrupt the environment. I was absolutely ecstatic."

Both ADT and Protection 1 have A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau.

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