A behind-the-scenes video, obtained by News Channel 8, sheds some light on the questionable sales tactics of a Utah-based security company.
The video, taken on a cell phone by a former employee of Vision Security, shows a training manager instructing sales people to misrepresent who they work for and what they’re selling.
8 On Your Side has been investigating Vision Security for weeks. Tampa Bay homeowners say Vision sales people canvass their neighborhood and tell lies to get inside their homes. Customers say they’re told the salesman either works for their current company and needs to upgrade their equipment or that their security company has gone out of business.
In the end, the customers say they’re left with two sales contracts they can’t get out of.
ADT, the largest home security company in the U.S., contacted 8 On Your Side to share the video. ADT has sued Vision twice in federal court. The first case, over misrepresentation, was settled in August. ADT Chief Legal Officer David Bleisch said after Vision settled for $2.2 million, they discovered this video was taken.
So ADT sued again, this time over the training video. The video shows the trainer telling employees to lie and say they represent GE and that GE manufactured their equipment. The trainer also instructs sales people to say: “We’re doing this because police, fire and medical departments nationwide want you to have two-way voice on the keypad.”
Vision Security is based in Utah and has hundreds of complaints and an F rating with the Better Business Bureau. Plus, the attorneys general in Ohio and Utah have gone after the company for misrepresentation. The Florida Attorney General is investigating a recent rash of complaints in Florida.
But Sean Brown, legal counsel for Vision Security, says the negative attention about the video is “sour grapes,” on the part of ADT. Brown says the first court case with ADT was settled and that the employees accused of wrong-doing were rogue employees who decided to use these tactics on their own.
The video, Brown says, was taken before the ADT settlement, but ADT just found it after the settlement. He says the employee shown in the video Brett Harris also is a rogue employee.
“ADT is trying to smear us in the court of public opinion,” Brown said. “This was a representative that had bad habits when he came to us and was working for us only for a couple of months when the video was taken. It’s not the way we do business.”
Brown said the company is investing in more training for employees. He said he’ll review complaints from Tampa Bay customers.
Meanwhile, ADT is offering a $25,000 reward for anyone who turns over a similar video that shows fraudulent practices. And Vision’s Brown says his company will give $10,000 to anyone who steps forward to prove an employee is committing fraud.
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