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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that he obtained consent judgments against two separate Utah-based alarm service companies -- Vivint, Inc. (formerly known as “APX, Alarm Security Solutions, Inc.”) and Pinnacle Security, LLC. Both companies will reform their business practices and compensate Wisconsin consumers damaged by misleading and deceptive sales tactics. The settlements resolve two enforcement actions filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
The consent judgment against Vivint requires the company to pay refunds of up to $148,000 to consumers who were misled about their ability to cancel their alarm service contracts, as well as consumers who were misled about false alarm charges. Vivint also will remove affected consumers from collections, cancelling nearly $450,000 in consumer debt owed to the company. In addition, the company will pay forfeitures and attorneys fees to the State totaling $65,000 as well as greatly improve their disclosures to consumers about their services and charges, making it easier for consumers to cancel their contracts if they so desire.
To resolve a similar but separate lawsuit, Pinnacle must offer to pay more than $23,500 in refunds to consumers who were misled about their ability to cancel their alarm service contracts. In accordance with its consent judgment, Pinnacle will cancel more than $1 million in consumer debt owed to the company and pay forfeitures and attorneys fees to the State totaling $40,000. Pinnacle also will improve its disclosures to consumers about its services and charges and make it easier for consumers to cancel their contracts if they so desire.
The investigations of both companies were initiated by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) after receiving complaints about each company's door-to-door sales practices. Among other complaints, homeowners said salespeople induced them to sign up with Pinnacle by claiming it had taken over for their existing home-security companies that had gone bankrupt. Vivint customers complained they were induced to sign up with Vivint based on misrepresentations during the sale presentations, such as an offer for free installation of alarm equipment was a limited time offer that needed to be taken advantage of immediately.
The cases were referred to the Department of Justice by both DATCP and the Department of Financial Institutions. The cases were prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Lara Sutherlin.
Please find copies of the Complaint, Stipulation for Consent Judgment, and the Consent Judgment for each case at the following links: