COLUMBUS, OH – June 7, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit today against Platinum Protection, a home-security company. The lawsuit follows dozens of consumer complaints filed with the Attorney General’s Office against the company for alleged misrepresentation of the cost of system installation, the cost of monthly monitoring, and the duration of the monitoring contract, among other complaints. Consumer losses range from $40 to $2,200.
“This company claimed to be providing homeowners with a sense of security, but left many consumers with quite the opposite feeling,” said Attorney General DeWine. “This lawsuit is the latest reminder that Ohio is not the place to deceive consumers.”
Platinum Protection is a Utah-based company selling security hardware, system servicing, and remote monitoring through a website and door-to-door sales, primarily in the spring and summer months. Purchasers included homeowners and renters who obtained permission from their landlords for the installations.
Platinum representatives made several representations to consumers according to the lawsuit, including being told that: installation and activation fees were waived; contract cancellations could be made within 30 days of signing a contract; and monthly bills would be invoiced, not debited from checking and credit card accounts.
Consumers said that installation and activation fees were charged when the salesperson told them the fees would be waived, they were charged higher monthly monitoring fees than what they had been told, the charges were debited from their checking and credit card accounts, cancellations were not honored, and installations were made the same day as contracts were signed, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit seeks, among other provisions, reimbursement to all consumers found to have been damaged by the company’s actions and the termination of all contracts the company entered into with consumers through unfair or deceptive means.
DeWine offers consumers the following tips for door-to-door home security sales:
- Be wary of high pressure sales. A good deal today is a good deal tomorrow.
- If a salesperson makes verbal promises, make sure those promises are written into the contract or sales agreement. Find out exactly how much you are expected to pay for the equipment, any installation fees and monthly monitoring, as well as the term of the contract. Be sure to get it in writing.
- Know your rights. Under Ohio’s Home Solicitation Sales Act, consumers have a three-day right to cancel most door-to-door sales. Sellers must give consumers written notice of their right to cancel, and they cannot start the services until after the cancellation period has ended.
- Determine what would happen if you cancel after the equipment has been installed. Would the business remove the equipment? Would it repair any holes or damage to your home? Get it in writing.
- Don’t pay upfront. Don’t trust salespeople that say you must pay immediately. Take your time to read the contract before you make a payment, sign an agreement, or provide any personal or financial information. Read all the fine print.
Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly in a door-to-door sale or any other consumer transaction should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or by calling 800-282-0515.
Copy of lawsuit:
Dan Tierney — 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti — 614-466-3840