A door-to-door home security sales company out of Provo, Utah received a warning last week from the Better Business Bureau for misappropriating itself as Kenco Security of Montana while conducting sales in Billings.
Vivint Inc. was accused by Kenco Security of Montana of telling prospective customers that they were with Kenco and were there to upgrade their system. Q2 in Billings first reported the situation Wednesday night, resulting in calls to the Sheridan Media newsroom about Vivint because the Provo company has been selling door-to-door in Sheridan as well this summer.
The Sheridan Police Department has not had any reports of problems or complaints with Vivint-installed security systems, according to Lt. Chris Dahmke.
During a phone call Friday with Vivint Community Affairs Director, Ann Marie Gunner, and Director of Public Relations for Vivint, Megan Herrick, Herrick said that they take customer complaints seriously, that they are always available for customers who want to follow up on their service, and make sure that any reps not following their sales training are reprimanded.
She added that their salespeople should always make customers aware of who they are selling for and wear an orange shirt with the Vivint logo.
Sheridan falls under the jurisdiction of the BBB of Northern Colorado and Wyoming, and Media Relations Manager for BBB NCWY Luanne Kadlub, said that Vivint acquired a general class low-voltage license from the Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety on June 21, 2011 required for all sales reps who install security systems in Wyoming.
In regard to the issue in Billings, Herrick said since the complaint was filed by a competitor to the Better Business Bureau of Spokane, Wash., they are looking into it with the Spokane office. Also, she added that Q2 did not seek comment from her about the situation.
Kenco has filed complaints about Vivint before; they filed a complaint about the Provo company's sales tactics when they visited Billings last summer. Vivint was then named APX security.
The BBB of Utah, where Vivint's central office is in Provo, gave the company a grade of "C-" citing numerous complaints and government action against the business. According to the BBB Utah website review of Vivint, the 1,392 complaints are comprised of 427 advertising and sales issues, 212 billing and collection issues, and 725 problems with the product/service. Vivint is not accredited by the BBB though companies are under no obligation to do so.
Kenco, also not accredited by the BBB, has an "A+" rating from the BBB of Spokane and has had no complaints filed since 2007. In a company comparison, the two are different sizes, sell their product differently and offer some different types of security systems. For example, Vivint travels door-to-door during the summer providing systems across the country from an office in Provo, while Kenco uses a more localized approach dealing with customers from a more-localized store location.
Regardless of accusations and competition among businesses, Director of Training and Development for Kenco, Mike Nys, in Billings says that there are several things people should be aware of when purchasing a home security system.
Herrick said that they are always a phone call away for any customers who need help with their systems.
Dahmke said that what he tells people who have questions when dealing with door-to-door salespeople, is not to let the salesperson into your house and speak to them while they stand outside the door. He added that it is smart to never buy anything on their first visit, but to take their information and do some research online or with the Better Business Bureau.
Questions regarding home security systems or any type of company information can always be found by going online to a company's website, or by calling the regional BBB - in Vivint's case, the BBB of Utah or Kenco's the BBB of Spokane.
Tips on Home Security Purchasing From the BBB:
-Find out what your city/town laws are regarding door-to-door solicitors.
-Don’t be pressured into buying something you don’t want or need. A reputable company will let you check out the offer and compare bids from several installers.
-Check out the company with the BBB bbb.org.
-Who will monitor your system? If it’s not the same company you’re signing a contract with, obtain the name, address and phone number of the company and check them out with the BBB as well.
-Make sure all promises made by the salesperson are included in the contract.
-Read the contract thoroughly, paying attention to installation price, monthly price, length of contract (most are for at least two years), that any free or discount offers have been added, and that cancellation time frame to cancel the contract. The Federal Trade Commission requires that at least three days be provided.
-If you have problems with the alarm, document dates, times, who you talked with, who came to your home and what was fixed.