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Arrogant Companies - ADT (Read 47,122 times)
okonski
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Arrogant Companies - ADT
Apr 6th, 2005 at 2:34pm
 
I have a monitored burglar alarm system monitored by the above company. After a recent (and routine) service visit by their engineer, we discovered that my system was no longer calling the central monitoring station.

Further investigation revealed that the engineer had been instructed to substitute the number dialled by the alarm panel from the standard Manchester number of 0161 to one commencing 09xxxx.  As my telephone line attached to the alarm has Premium Rate Call Barring, the call did not connect and the engineer had to seek advice.  He returned with the news that ADT had provided a different number, and all was well. That number now turns out to be an 0870 one, still connecting to the same Manchester centre!

In the scale of things, the alarm activation call is seldom longer than 20 seconds, but anyone with an ADT alarm system may find it has been set to dial a genuine PREMIUM rated number without their authority.

You have been warned!
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- Raymond
 
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mikeinnc
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Re: Arrogant Companies - ADT
Reply #1 - Apr 6th, 2005 at 3:34pm
 
So it now appears that ADT is the latest to join the gravy train, and rip off its customers. So even as your home is being broken into, it's nice to know that you will be paying a premium to let your alarm company know. 

What an absolute disgrace! 

There are a number of websites that post the instruction manuals for ADT alarm systems (Because they really do not want you reprogramming "their" system .... you didn't actually think it was yours, did you?   ) so you might be able to reprogram in the original geographic number instead.

Meanwhile, it is another company that should be informed of the scam (although I suggest they know only too well exactly what they are doing), and (b) pilloried as publicly as possible if they won't change.
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DaveM
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Re: Arrogant Companies - ADT
Reply #2 - Apr 6th, 2005 at 5:00pm
 
More info obtained from the Security company ADT.

The 0906 number is only used on Business premises and NOT Residential - they should have 0870.

If your alarm box calls (on alarm activation or setting ON):-

a Geo number (20 second call) - 5p (BT minimum charge) [Peak - Off Peak 5.5p]

an 0870 number (20 second call) - 5p (BT minimum charge) [Peak & Off Peak]

- there's no cost difference during Daytime hours (0600-1800), but Off Peak it's cheaper using the 0870.

If however your Business premises uses the 0906 number, the upto 20 seconds activation call will cost you 10p (@30p/min they advise). Any details on which 0906 is used would be helpful in confirming the charge as they range from 10p upto 1.49 per minute (see BT Pricing for details). Grin
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« Last Edit: Apr 7th, 2005 at 5:33pm by DaveM »  
 
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okonski
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Re: Arrogant Companies - ADT
Reply #3 - Apr 6th, 2005 at 5:10pm
 
I'd challenge ADT if they say that the 0906 code is only used for 'business' customers, not residential.  Their engineers have an online system that allows disconnection from monitoring for testing and requires various installation details, Contract No etc before confirming the correct system is being switched off, by confirming the premises postcode.

Once this is done and the system 'off monitoring', ADT's computer knows I'm a residential user. The remote alarms checklist it reads back to the engineer includes the selection 'Confirm 09 number change'. I would assume they'd say this is a programming error - but the fact you are already paying them quite well to monitor your system on an annual basis, to swap to 0906 is a scandal. I might even be tempted to be charitible and let them away with this, providing I don;t hace to pay the 150pa monitoring fee.

I also gather that many 'business' systems are set up to report each Set/Unset system which would be twice daily, and to a Premium Rate number too.....

I accept for a Residential purposes, the 0870 25 second call is not a real issue, however with broadband being the norm, I wonder what they'll dowhen customers demand IP address reporting rather than the old-tech phone route....
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- Raymond
 
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DaveM
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Re: Arrogant Companies - ADT
Reply #4 - Apr 6th, 2005 at 5:24pm
 
The information I got was from a supervisor at Blackfriars House
01923 823600
. He was insistant that 0906 was ONLY for Business, and that it only sent a call when Setting ON, not OFF.

BTW, what was the 0906 number it uses (in full) ??
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okonski
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Re: Arrogant Companies - ADT
Reply #5 - Apr 6th, 2005 at 5:34pm
 
Sadly, I don't have the full number as it was never successfully dialled from my line (due to the Premium Rate block).  Considering the grief caused by Premium Rate numbers, until OFTEL make it that you have to OPT IN to make such calls, everyone should call and make sure they opt-out!
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- Raymond
 
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Kiwi_g
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Re: Arrogant Companies - ADT
Reply #6 - Apr 7th, 2005 at 1:49pm
 
I've done a company search today and found that a company called ADT has the same registered office as Modern Security Systems (known as Modern Alarms Ltd up to 19 May 1992).

I had business dealings with Modern Alarms in the '80's and gained a negative feeling for the company.  This even carried on when a few years later, the company who installed my system was acquired by Modern Alarms.

As a result of the take-over, I did not go with Modern Alarms but found a different company to maintain my system.

Because of this, I'm not surprised of ADT's actions.
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okonski
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Re: Arrogant Companies - ADT
Reply #7 - Apr 7th, 2005 at 2:07pm
 
Not only did ADT take over Modern Alarms (who originally had developed the distinctive six-sided bell box), but MA had in fact over-stretched themselves having already taken over British Telecom's ill-fated foray into home security systems with 'Telecom Security'. Shortly after the sale to Modern Alarms and a 100% hike in fees, they were taken over by ADT (owned by Tyco) and all the engineers were either subsumed into the enlarged operation or left.

Tyco, being an americancompany is not slow in finding ways to charge you high fees for its services, so the policy of swapping customers (unasked) to 0906 was a major con.  Their excuse that it was a more efficient system,belied the fact that BT (who provided to lookup tables to where the call SHOULD be delivered) on activation had gone down, so the call went unanswered.  It might save them the bother of reprogramming all their systems and EPROMS come a number change, but I think this is the lesser of two evils, and came at a time Londonors were having yet another number change foisted on them.
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'Phantom' calls raise the alarm
Reply #8 - Apr 14th, 2007 at 3:33pm
 
http://money.guardian.co.uk/consumernews/story/0,,2056639,00.html

<<
Ben Whitney's father just could not work out why his phone bill was so high. He's retired and recovering from a stroke, so he asked his son to take a look at it. The thing puzzling him most was a 20p or 23p call every day, sometimes twice a day, to an 0906 number at 1.17am each morning. The calls had started months ago, and if they carried on were likely to add 100 a year to his bill.

The calls lasted only a few seconds, but the high cost alerted Mr Whitney to the fact that they must be premiumrate lines. Had some rogue dialler or trojan software hijacked his father's phone? He contacted industry regulator Icstis for help - and was astonished to discover that the premium rate calls were being auto-dialled from the family home's ADT burglar alarm as it made a daily registration contact with the ADT monitoring centre.
Mr Whitney and his father were flabbergasted. The alarm had cost more than 1,000 to install, plus monthly service charges . The last thing his father had expected was another 100 or so a year in premium rate phone calls. "I traced the number via the Icstis website to ADT alarms," says Mr Whitney. " I made some enquiries and was told that this type of ADT alarm has to 'check in' every day by calling in to their system. The units come with an expensive revenue-generating number as default but I was told they can be modified to call a cheaper 0870 number by an ADT engineer."

[...]

ADT's website says: "ADT reserve the right to programme the alarm panel to signal using a premium rate telephone number. An alarm signal takes approximately eight seconds to transmit, therefore the cost of a call is typically a few." Unfortunately, the message stops there. It can be assumed that the missing word is "pence".

There is no indication to customers that the number can be changed to an 0870 number, which would cost 7p a day rather than 23p.

Fortunately for Mr Whitney, an ADT technician popped round to his Sussex home soon after Guardian Money intervened, and his alarm will now call the 0870 number every day.
>>
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As from November 21, 2013, I no longer participate in the forum and am unable to receive private messages.
 
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rapidremap
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ADT Monitored Alarm
Reply #9 - Jun 2nd, 2009 at 9:01am
 
We have an monitored ADT alarm system and have done so for possibly 6 years now. We pay a monthly fee for their services which initially included the cost of the alarm and installation. after the first 3 years the rental didnt change (even though we had effectively paid for the alarm itself)

Yesterday our cat set the alarm off so we had to call them for a reset code - guess what an 0870 then when we called that it was an 0844 (I did check here but unfortunately of the two 0161 numbers listed - 1 was for engineers only and the other had been discontinued.

When I was forced to call the 0844 I was on hold for nearly ten minutes before I gave up and had to try again this morning.

I object to being forced to call NGN but it is made much worse, when you are put on what seems like a never ending hold cycle.

If I wasn't paying a monthly rental for the service it wouldn't be so bad paying for NGN as I understand they have to make money, but given that I pay a rental each month for their services I don't think I should also have to pay to call them.

Rant Over Roll Eyes
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« Last Edit: Jun 2nd, 2009 at 9:04am by rapidremap »  
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: ADT Monitored Alarm
Reply #10 - Jun 2nd, 2009 at 9:58am
 
Any commercial operator is entitled to charge what it likes for its services, so long as this is agreed by those who enter into a contract with it.

Is the charge for a 10 minute wait on a call part of the agreed terms?

Although not formally regulated as a "premium rate service", that is what this is.
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rapidremap
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Re: ADT Monitored Alarm
Reply #11 - Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:05am
 
It is a few years ago and certainly a lot of paperwork since, but I am confident that they were using geographical numbers when I signed the contract.

Like you say they are entitled to charge what they like if it is in the contract - what I am more concerned about is the fact that they do use NGN and then put callers on hold. (I have no idea how long I would have ended up holding for)

This is in effect a stealth tax by companies that already charge you for their services once and then force you to pay when you try to contact them to resolve and issue that has been caused by them in the first place (this doesn't apply to ADT in this instance, as our cat set the alarm off)



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Re: ADT Monitored Alarm
Reply #12 - Jun 2nd, 2009 at 11:49am
 
But surely if it was in your contract to dial a geographical number and they have not amended the contract to that effect, they must be in breach of your agreement. However I would guess that they did indeed send some blurb and perhaps you did not read it or the print was too small to be able to read it!!!!

I bet if you complained they would say that hey did let you know.
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rapidremap
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Re: ADT Monitored Alarm
Reply #13 - Jun 2nd, 2009 at 5:48pm
 
I think like most people I often do not have the time to read the small print of amendments that come through from time to time (from all sources)

There was one time I complained about something (can't remember what it was now) but the woman on the phone quickly pointed out that it was in T's & C's - the trouble is even if we had the time to read such things (I don't) you have to then understand them and then have to dispute them.

the stock answer is sorry sir those are the terms I can't do anything about it - so you have hobson choice either agree to the terms that are so obviously in their favour or take your business elsewhere (although I suspect most T's & C's are written by the same legal eagles) so not much choice really is there  Angry
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Re: ADT Monitored Alarm
Reply #14 - Jun 2nd, 2009 at 6:00pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 2nd, 2009 at 9:58am:
Any commercial operator is entitled to charge what it likes for its services, so long as this is agreed by those who enter into a contract with it.


You seemed to ignore all the points made by the OP that he is already paying a monthly service charge (as my mother does) to ADT for the alarm monitoring service.  It is therefore immoral and reprehensible that ADT tries to earn further hidden revenue that is not up front and not part of people's conscious choice when they opt for the alarm contract with ADT for things like phone calls to customers services and for alarm activations (in the case of my mother's alarm an 0871 number is used if the alarm is set off as it was taken over by ADT from another smaller alarm company.

Your return to your original position when you first appeared on this website that commercial companies can make whatever hidden charges they like via phone calls renders you, as I have always thought you to be from the outset, an unfit person to attempt to lead this campaign (even though that is blatantly what you are now trying to do).  Everyone else in this campaign (and in particular Dave who moderates the forum and spends so much of his free time finding the geographic alternative numbers and maintaining them) is just as opposed to the commercial ripoff lines because all of them involve consumers not realising they are paying an extra charge when they make a phone call.  Your continued suspect views on this point are extremely disappointing.  Perhaps you are in fact a Fifth Column for the opposition within our campaign?
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