A Utah-based alarm security company reached an agreement with the Oregon Attorney General to pay $60,000 to settle complaints company salespeople misled and pressured elderly consumers.
More than a dozen Oregon consumers complained APX Alarm Security Solutions, Inc., of Provo, Utah used high-pressure sales tactics, including offering customers "free" security systems if the consumer displayed an APX sign in the yard, and writing five-year contracts locking customers into $39.99 monthly payments.
Complaints showed APX sales representatives told customers their neighbors were burglarized or robbed; claimed the company had ties or partnerships with local fire or police departments; and refused to leave customers' homes for hours.
"One 96-year-old woman complained a salesman grabbed a checkbook from her hand and started to fill in the dollar amount," Tony Green, director of communications and policy for the Oregon Department of Justice, told Consumer Ally. "...A large number of people who complained were elderly people, and that causes additional concern as well."
The Better Business Bureau processed 1,656 complaints about the company in the past 3 years. The company resolved 436 last year.
Green wouldn't say who else might be investigating APX, but did say other states are sharing information. In the past year, three states have taken action against the company: in Louisiana, for a range of issues including similar complaints about sales tactics; in California, for employing people without proper registration; and in Maryland, for selling security systems without proper licensing.
"Our hope is having agreed to obey the law in Oregon and pay $60,000 that the [company's] conduct would be similarly lawful in other states as well," Green said.
APX spokesman Stuart Dean told Consumer Ally in an e-mail:
"APX Alarm worked in good faith with the AG's office to satisfy the customer complaints going back to 2008 and are happy we were able to come to agreement. We were not found in violation of any Oregon laws and will continue to conduct business in a way that exceeds the provisions of the agreement."
APX is an 11-year-old company and among the five largest in home security.
APX Alarm Security fined for misleading, pressuring seniors