Wednesday, January 25, 2012

ADT Home Security Systems

March 21, 2011

Mr. John B. Koch, President
ADT Security Services, Inc.
1 Town Center Rd.
Boca Raton, FL 33486

Re: Account # gggggggggg

Dear Mr. Koch:

Yesterday, I received a telephone call from someone, who it turns out, is one of your employees. I found this call quite disturbing and was so upset by the call and the subsequent call that I made to ADT that I felt the only way to address my outrage was to contact you directly and explain to you what happened and why I feel the way I do.

As background information, I have been a customer of ADT (previously Broadview (and prior to that Brinks)) for a number of years and I pay my bills in a timely fashion. I live in YYYYYYYY. On March 19, 2011, the area experienced a very strong storm with accompanying high winds. We lost our power that evening at about 10 PM. On March 20, the next day, at about 6 PM our power was restored. Needless to say, the security system, which had been on battery backup, did not have its batteries charged for nearly a day.

Shortly after the power was restored I received a phone call from someone who identified themselves as being from ADT Security. They proceeded to tell me that there was a problem with my system (they gave no indication what that problem was) and then asked me to provide my secret password. I told them that there was no way that I was going to give out my password to someone who calls me out of the blue just because they say that they are from ADT. For all I knew this was a con artist trying to get access to my private information so that they could perpetrate some nefarious scheme upon me. They then told me that if I did not provide the information they wanted that they could not tell me what was wrong with my system.

After the first call, I called ADT Security. I spoke to someone who confirmed that I was, in fact, called by someone from ADT Security and that the problem was that my backup battery was low. I indicated to the person that the problem I was having was with the fact that ADT called me and I had no way of ascertaining if it was really ADT and that in my wildest imagination I could not believe that a “security” company would be so inept and naive as to operate in such an inappropriate and unprofessional manner.

The person I spoke with tried everything in their power to get the focus of the discussion off the point I was making and onto other matters. I could not get them to acknowledge that there was a problem in the way that ADT was operating. I pointed out to him that it would be as if I called him out of the blue at home and told him I was with the police and asked him to give me his social security number and other personal information. He still would not acknowledge the problem I was pointing out.

At the very least, I would expect that in situations like this that your personnel would direct the customer they are calling to call ADT and then proceed with the revelation of the password. At least that way the customer could be assured that they are speaking with the real ADT.

I expect more out of my security company than what I got.

If you feel that your procedures in circumstances similar to this are appropriate and leave them unchanged, then I could simply wait for the next power outage in this area and call people who have ADT signs outside their homes and when they told me their secret passwords I would tell them their batteries were low. I am sure that I could collect many of them. Good thing I am not a criminal.

I hope that I have made my point clear. If not, I would be happy to explain it to you or one of your representatives.



Note on ADP. I was doing some work around the house and had to call ADP to disable a portion of the home security system. First problem, I was on hold for over 15 minutes before I spoke to the first human. Next, I found this person unable to listen to what I had to say and kept interrupting me with what I should do before I could explain the situation. We finally got to the point where she got the information and then proceeded to correct her previous instructions in light of the information I had just provided. Unfortunately, the information she gave me was incorrect for this system.

I called back and waited over 10 minutes to speak to a human. This person understood what was required and indicated that there was no way to shut down that part of the alarm system. They were helpful in that they suggested that I put in a disregard notice for the next 12 hours to accommodate the situation, which I did.
I called back again today to remove the disregard and to find out what events were recorded. Unfortunately, they did not have any events triggered. Since I had personally triggered the system, I guess they did not receive the signal to disregard. Not much value in this system. Time to find a better alarm company.

Charter Communications wins honor in hall of shame for customer service

April 22, 2011

Charter Communications
941 Charter Commons Dr.
Town & Country, MO 63017

Re: Account # gggggggggggggggg


I cancelled my service recently. I will spare you the details of the crappy service and treatment that I have received, and the rapacious pricing policies that have all brought me to that decision. The matter at hand, simply stated, is finalizing the last payment to you people to get you guys off my back forever.

I must say that the parting, while somewhat gratifying to me, has been a rather harrowing experience. First, let me state, that I still do not have a correct final bill. My intention is to pay my final bill when it is corrected to reflect the true amount that I owe.

In the meantime, I have been dunned and harassed by your agents, more specifically: Equipment Recovery Service and Credit Management LP for sums that I do not owe.

As a matter of record, I note:

Upon termination of the service, as requested by Charter, we attempted to deliver the cable box to your retail outlet in YYYYYYYYY during normal business hours on a non holiday business day, but found the establishment closed, with other customers as baffled as us waiting outside the store.

We then arranged for Charter to send the prepaid return kit for the cable box, which eeeeventually arrived. We returned the cable box via FedEx, only to have to pay an additional charge for the opportunity to do so. (Do we get reimbursed for that?)

In the meantime, Charter would not acknowledge receipt of the cable box nor agree to remove the charge for the cable box. It was only when we produced the receipt for the shipment that the clowns that you call employees would acknowledge anything. Great way to handle this type of situation. Zing ‘em if they don’t keep the receipt.

Also, in the meantime, Equipment Recover Service’s constant droning phone calls were enough to wake the dead. They do not seem to understand English. Now that ERS has stopped haranguing us, the drum is now being pounded by Credit Management LP. Besides wanting the wrong amount, they are incapable of hearing anything.

Hey guys, the delays in getting the equipment back to you and the crediting of our account for the return of that equipment have been YOUR problems, not ours. In the meantime, your zealots have not allowed even one minute for your ever so slow back office to keep up with them.

Get your act together and get this matter taken care of.



April 27, 2011

Charter Communications
941 Charter Commons Dr.
Town & Country, MO 63017

Re: Former Account # gggggggggggggggggg


Once again, the comedy rolls on. While I am still being robo-called by Credit Management LLP, I have now received a call from a human from your Charter Communications corporate office with regard to my previous letter of April 21. As I understand the caller, she was going to give me a verbal explanation as to why the bill I would be receiving would not be for the correct amount. She further explained that your company is incapable of providing me with either a final bill for the correct amount with the detail of the components of the charges, or a signed original letter stating what the final amount is and the breakdown of how that amount was arrived at.

Here is the score, I am leaving the country for an indefinite period of time on May 11. If this matter is not resolved before I leave, then it will have to just wait until I come back someday. I have given you ample opportunity to resolve the matter. I am ready, able, and willing to pay a legitimate bill for the correct amount, so long as it has an adequate explanation as to how the charges were arrived at, to end these farcical theatrics that your company puts out as “doing business”.

P.S. It still doesn’t make any sense to me that I have to write and post letters to you via snail mail in this modern era. I thought that you guys were a technology company. My email address is right there in the heading along with my regular address. I dare you to use it. Perhaps you could post to me an explanation of exactly why you can’t perform the most basic of business functions and that I should just trust that you will do right by me. You have such a stellar reputation for being trustworthy.

July 29, 2011

Charter Communications
941 Charter Commons Dr.
Town & Country, MO 63017

Re: Former Account # gggggggggggggggg


This letter is following up on my letters of April 21, 2011 and April 27, 2011. The address above is the only address that I have that you can send written communication to. I have now returned to the United States and to date have not received any response to my letter of April 27, or a final bill from either Charter Communications or Credit Management LLP.

I am still being robo-called by Credit Management LLP. I am ready, able, and willing to pay a legitimate bill for the correct amount, so long as it is presented to me in a tangable form and has an adequate explanation as to how the charges were arrived at.

Please have Credit Mangement LLP stop dunning me. If you want to pursue this matter without sending me a bill you will have to do it in a court of law.


Complaint to FCC filed against Charter Communications.
I terminated services with Charter Communications. I received a bill that was incorrect. I spoke to a representative that said the amount was incorrect and gave me an aledgedly corrected amount verbally on the phone without any supporting detail. I requested a final corrected bill. She indicated she could not do that. I have written to the company three times on this matter with no response. I have however received dunning telephone calls from their debt collection company. I have asked them to stop telephoning me, but rather to communicate in an appropriate manner via the mail and I will pay the appropriate bill when received. I was reciving calls from the debt collection company less than 30 days after I received the final incorrect bill.

Confirmation of FCC Complaint filed against Charter Communications.
FCC Submission Confirmation: XXXXXX
Acknowledgement of Submission from (name withheld) on 03/07/2012, reference number xxxxxxxxxxxx.
Thank you for your information. The FCC will contact you if additional information is required. Please keep this information for future reference.
ATTENTION: When submitting additional information using this FCC Submission Confirmation sheet, please attach only one unsolicited fax advertisement (or multiple advertisements from the same sender) that matches your complaint number and carrier company named in this complaint. DO NOT include multiple unsolicited faxes from different senders with this unique case number. Your complaint is subject to be rejected, if more than one unsolicited fax advertisement from different senders accompanies this FCC Submission Confirmation sheet.
Please use this page as a Fax Cover Sheet when faxing additional details to the FCC at (866) 418-0232.
email to Ms Francis Ali, Charter Communications

Ms. Ali,

Thank you for responding to me on behalf of Charter Communications as a result of my complaint to the FCC. I enclose herewith the three letters I sent to Charter Communications over the last year concerning any outstanding bill. (see above).
Additionally, after thinking about our conversation, when I review the final corrected bill that you are going to send me via email, I am going to request that you also send that final corrected bill, once I approve the amount, to the bill pay address that you have alway had on file for my account. Additionally, I want a letter from Charter Communications, stating that any credit blemishes resulting from the inability of Charter to resolve the issues in a timely fashion were theirs alone and should not reflect in any way on my ability to pay bills in a prompt and timely fashion.

3/16/12 8:32 AM

Good Morning, Mr. XXXXX
Here are the last 3 statements from your account you had with us. It’s not going to show an actual figure of your balance of $114.23 but after some math, it does come out to that amount. The first bill was printed on 2/4/11 and you came off seasonal as of 2/6/11 so it’s still showing seasonal rates for a month in advance. Which is why the second bill (amounting in $251.17) has prorated charges from 2/6-3/13 on top of the regular monthly rate for the cycle of 3/14-4/13. But then the final bill (amounting $313.23) has credits owed to you for service charges from 3/11-4/13 because you’re billing stop date was for 3/11/11. Because you did end up returning the equipment, you take the final amount of $313.23 and subtract the equipment charges of $199 and it gives you the remaining balance of $114.23. The $114.23 is billing you for charges up until you disconnected.
I hope all of that made sense to you. If you need further explanation or still do not agree with the final billed amount, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Thank you,

3/16/12 8:58 AM
Ms. Ail,
Thank you for the email with the billing. I will review it later today. Did you receive the email I sent you yesterday with the correspondence I had sent to Charter during the last year?

PS I am still receiving dunning telephone calls from Credit Management. Please have this stopped.
3/16/12 9:03 AM

I did receive the email in regard to the letters you sent to us in 2011. Let me know your thoughts in the final billing amount I just sent you.
Unfortunately, there is currently not a way to stop the collection calls until the actual debt is cleared. I apologize for the inconvenience this is causing you.
Thank you,
Francis Ali | Executive Escalation Lead II | (864.297.2284 | :864.297.2236
-2 Digital Place | Simpsonville, SC 29681 |
The contents of this e-mail message and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee(s) and may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient of this message or if this message has been addressed to you in error, please immediately alert the sender by reply e-mail and then delete this message and any attachments. If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use, dissemination, distribution, copying, or storage of this message or any attachment is strictly prohibited.

3/16/12 9:08AM
Ms. Ali,
As I had indicated earlier, I will be reviewing the material you sent me later today. I have retrieved the latest billing that I had received from both Charter and CMI [redacted]

You will note that the bill from Charter dated March 23, 2011 was for $313.23
The dunning from CMI dated April 12, 2011 was for $269.23.

You will note that both are different from the claims you made in your email earlier today and were, therefore, incorrect.
Further you will note that the above Charter Communications bill indicated that the due date was 4/17/11and that I was being dunned before even the due date.

Shame on Charter for these kind of practices.

In your responses you gave me no indication as to your position on the other point I raised about a letter from Charter concerning any credit blemishes that may have resulted from Charter's fiasco here.


3/16/12 10:19 AM
Thank you for your email. In an earlier conversation, I explained that the actual bill is not reflecting the actual amount owed, and also how the amount owed of $114.23 charges were derived from.

As far as the amount CMI is claiming they are needing, you will need to contact them. Charter, unfortunately, does not have access to their billing system to be able to see where their charges are deriving from.

In regard to the letters you forwarded to me that you sent to Charter in 2011, with it being some time ago, I'm not sure what clearly did happen as to the reason you did not get a response. That is something that will have to be researched through upper management.

Thank you,
3/16/12 10:35 AM
Ms Ali,
Thanks for your quick response. I have still not had a chance to actually sit down with everything in front of me to review the material. I take it from your comment that the bills you sent me are not reflecting the amount actually owed. This is going to be interesting how you are going to convince me that I should just trust a company that that has made such a mess out of a relatively simple matter in the past year.

Also, I have no interest in communicating with CMI. Based upon your comment I will now require you to indemnify me from any obligations to CMI with respect to this matter once I pay the amount that we agree to.

I don't really care what you do with the letters I sent to Charter over the last year that I emailed to you earlier.

Please note that this will be the third time I am asking you to comment on the letter I am requesting from Charter with regard to any credit blemishes that may result from this problem you seem to have in your organization.

3/16/12 11:07 AM
Ms Ali,
I have now printed out the material you sent me earlier and I have reviewed it.
What you have sent me I ALREADY HAD IN MY FILE. I have those three bills. None of them represent anything new or the amount that is actually due.
I need a final bill that reflects the credits that bring down the charges from the most recent bill you sent, and which I also sent to you earlier from my files.
What I am saying, again, is that from the March 23, 2011 bill of $313.23 there should be a credit of $199.00. You are saying the same thing.
NOW, send me the official notification of credit of $199.00 and showing that the total now due is now $114.23 along with the letter I requested indicating that I am not responsible for any credit delinquencies with respect to this matter and also indemnifying me from any obligation to pay CMI anything with regard to this matter and I will pay the bill.

IF YOUR ORGANIZATION IS INCAPABLE OF GENERATING SUCH A FINAL STATEMENT please send a signed letter summarizing this understanding and I will pay the amount that is due.

3/16/12 12:04 PM

As a courtesy, I have contacted CMI and verified that they, too, have a balance of $114.23 owed. The statements I have sent you is to show how your current balanced owed was derived. Since the account closed prior to equipment returned, it will not produce a bill showing $114.23 owed. Nor am I able to produce a letter indicating this amount. But what can happen is I will write FCC a formal letter in response to your complaint and it will indicate the final amount owed.

If you choose to make a payment of $114.23 with me, I will notify CMI of the payment so it will close the debt with them, as well. As far as any credit blemishes or indemnifying any owed money to CMI, that will have to taken up with CMI since they are the one that reports collections owed to credit bureaus.

Thank you,

3/16/12 12:14 PM
Ms Ali, I appreciate your offer under the circumstances since your organization is incapable of producing a bill that reflects the amount due that you would write to the FCC that the total balance due is $114.23. I am presuming here that at some point that letter will be made available to me. That type of documentation is satisfactory for me to finally get concurrence with you about the amount to dispose of this matter once and for all.
Now, with regard to CMI, I am not going to deal with CMI. I will leave it to Charter Communications to deal with CMI.
So, the only outstanding issue that will be left after you send the FCC the proposed letter is to, in some way, satisfy me that my credit history will not be blemished though this ordeal and that if it was that I have a document that will satisfy the credit reporting agencies that this problem was not mine.

I do not have control of this. Only Charter can resolve this.
When you have the solution worked out please let me know.


3/16/12 12:34 PM

I will go ahead and send FCC the formal letter today so you will have documentation of the amount owed.

Unfortunately, any inquiries on credit blemishes need to be addressed with CMI.

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend,
3/16/12 3:14 PM
Ms Ali,

Thank you for your most recent email. As I understand your comments, you will NOT be sending me the letter, or even a copy of the letter you are sending to the FCC. I have attempted to find out how I might get a copy of such a letter when it is received by the FCC. I have not been successful in that regard.
I would strongly suggest, to expedite this matter, that you also send me a copy of that letter to my billing address so that I may use the letter as the basis for the payment.

Also, you do realize that if I were to contact CMI about any blemishes on my credit report, since they are not privy to the information that I have sent to Charter Communications, there would be no basis for them to want to correct the matter. The only way this is going to work is if Charter Communications were to intercede on my behalf on the matter.

Until I have some reasonable assurance that I am going to come out of this unscathed I am afraid that we are going to be at a stand-off.

I hope you have a great weekend too.


Good afternoon, Mr. XXXXX,

Thank you for your email. I already sent FCC a formal letter in response to your complaint. From there, FCC should send you a copy of the letter.

Thank you,

Francis Ali | Executive Escalation Lead II | 864.297.2284 | 864.297.2236
82 Digital Place | Simpsonville, SC 29681 |
The contents of this e-mail message and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee(s) and may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient of this message or if this message has been addressed to you in error, please immediately alert the sender by reply e-mail and then delete this message and any attachments. If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use, dissemination, distribution, copying, or storage of this message or any attachment is strictly prohibited.


March 18, 2012
Notes of conversation with the FCC on my complaint about Charter communications.

I spoke with a representative of the FCC on this matter. They said that to date they have not received any correspondence from Charter, but that if and when they do receive any communications from them they would forward it to me.

March 19 2012
Offices of Credit Management, LP
Mr. xxxxx
Creditor Charter Communications
tDear Mr. xxxxx
The above client has informed Credit management LP of your outstanding balance of $114.23. Please send payment in full to the address below.
if you have any questions or need further assistance, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-377-7723

Credit management, Lp Collections Department, a member of ACA International

notes of conversation with CMI

I initiated a call to CMI as a result of the letter I received on 3/22/2012 that was dated March 19, 2012 above. I explained to the person that I had just received the letter and that this was the first letter from them that might have the correct amount due in it, but still contains no detail specifying how this number was arrived at (no detail). They indicated that they had just received this revised amount from Charter a few days ago.
CMI indicated in this call that they have not blemished my credit report yet, but that if I did not pay this bill immediately that they would do so. I indicated the history of the account, pointing out that only after my complaint to the fcc did charter respond to me in spite of all my attempts to contact them directly. I informed the CMI representative that Charter refused to provide me with a detail breakdown of my final bill and was sending the material (as of 3/17/12) to the FCC for the FCC to forward to me. I spoke with the FCC yesterday and they have not received any such letter yet, but they did indicate that if they were to receive such a letter they would forward it to me. I informed CMI that my intention since March of last year was to pay the bill in a timely fashion as soon as a final and accurate bill was presented to me, which has not been done to date.
CMI expressed that they would not delay any negative credit reporting until the letter is received because I had a year to resolve the matter and it wasn't resolved.

************************************************************************************************************************************ 3/28/2012 

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer Complaints
445 12th St
Washington, DC 20554

re: Compainant Mr. XXXXXXXXXXX
Complaint Number YYYYYYYYYYY
Date served from FCC 3/21/2012
Charter communications ("charter") received notice from the federal communications commission of the above-referenced notice of informal complaint (the "notice"). This correspondence is charter's response to the Notice.
Charter's representative contacted mr. XXXXXXXXXX on March 15, 2012 to discuss his concern.  Mr. XXXXXXXXX was made aware that charter's records indicate that the amount of $114,23 from his previous charter account is a valid debt.  The Charter representative provided contact information for Credit management , Inc. and made XXXXXXXXXXX aware of all available options to disclose this debt.  Charter's contact information was provided as well in the event that Mr. XXXXXXXX had any questions or concerns.


David Oldani
Regulatory Specialist
Supplementary information provided to the fcc on complaint of March 7, 2012

Follow up information consumer would like added to complaint:
Consumer said account dispute was beCause they did not send him a bill and they did not address his complaint.  They never sent him a breakdown of the charges.  there is no written documentation noted after they have changed the position on the bill several times.  he needs a correct final bill. he needs a copy of the correct bill, which he has been asking for.  Three hundred calls have come in to him, because of him just wanting a correct bill.


I received a voicemail from Charter wanting to discuss the matter.
I have returned the call but did not leave a message. I will call again on monday 6/11/12.


Dear Ms Ali:

I am in receipt of a voicemail from you with regard to my amended complaint to the FCC.
To put it very clearly and succinctly to you here is where the situation is.
Back in March you and I communicated about the problem I am having with Charter that caused me to file my complaint to the FCC.
In those emails you indicated to me that while you could not send me a copy of the detailed final bill, that you would communicate that information in a letter to the FCC which would be forwarded to me.
I have now received a copy of the letter that was sent and it does not address my needs.
Further, the letter states that a copy was sent to me, which it wasn't.

Simply put: I need a final bill from Charter with the customary detail that is on all your bills showing how the charges were arrived at with any credits, etc.
When I receive the bill I will pay it, if it is correct this time. All previous bills have been incorrect and the number has changed.

I look forward to your response. I would prefer that our communications be via email at this time.



Good afternoon, Mr. XXXXXXXXX,

Thank you for your email.  Back in March, I stated to you I would communicate in a formal letter to FCC indicating the final amount due to Charter, which I have done.  Unfortunately, there will not be a final bill indicating the exact amount owed of $114.23.  The reason for this is that you turned in your Charter equipment after the account closed.  Therefore, the final bill is charging you for equipment that had not been returned at that time. I emailed you a detailed explanation of how the $114.23 was derived.

At this time, due to your frustration and time consumed, I have applied a good will credit of $114.23 to your account to clear your current balance.  I will report the credit to the collection agency, Credit Management, Inc. They will send you a letter of deletion to inform you that the debt has been removed. 

If there are any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you,

Charter Communications.


Ms. Ali,

I must say that I am pleasantly surprised that Charter is stepping up to the plate and finally realizing the level of frustration that their billing practices have caused. Thank you.
I do note, however, that it does appear that Charter's new agent for collection is not Credit Managment Inc., but rather Enhanced Recovery Company, LLC. I have just received a dunning letter from them.




Postscript.  I guess you just have to keep saying the same thing over and over again until it finally sinks into their pea sized brains.

I found another anecdote today that carries on the theme. See