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