Monitored Alarm System - Auto Enrollment in 12 month contract

Discussion in 'Consumer Issues and Rights' started by Finian Gardner, Jul 17, 2017 at 2:07 PM.

  1. Finian Gardner

    Finian Gardner New Member

    Posts:
    2
    Hi,

    Decided to change alarm systems recently. Company I was with told me I would have to pay up for the remainder of the 12 month contract. When I said I didn't remember ever signing a contract I was told that they sent me a letter in December and if I didn't cancel then I was automatically signed up for 12 more months.

    Points to Note:
    • I never got letter
    • I requested a copy and it did indeed say what they claim, on the back of an invoice in small print.........why would anyone be reading it in that much detail even if they got it!
    • I was fully paid to date
    • I was offered incentives to stay but refused
    • Amount O/S is small approx €240 (but I am very annoyed about it)
    I have since been sent a solicitors demand letter. Now I am pretty sure that further action will probably not be taken due to the small amount involved however I am really annoyed by it. I pay my bills and do not take lightly my name being dragged through the mud.

    I do not know what the law is in this regard but I feel like I have been tricked into a 12 month contract. I was under the impression this was not allowed.

    the fact that I never received the letter probably means I am ok (even if I did it is wrong IMO).

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    8,179
    I think we can all guess what alarm company that is.

    Ask them to provide you with proof that the original contract you signed-up for allowed for this automatic renewal.
     
  3. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster

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    1,115
    Hello,

    Good to see you are resisting this company as I do not think that they should be permitted to conduct their business in this manner.

    Have you been in contact with the consumers association on the matter and if so, what have they said about the company's attempt to charge you for the remainder of this 12 month period ?

    Is this possibly a company with the word "watch" in it's name by the way (because if so, then I am also a customer) ?
     
  4. Finian Gardner

    Finian Gardner New Member

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    2
    It is possible!

    Worst case I'll have my day in court.

    I even rang them in advance to see the date my DD had covered me for as I wanted to cancel the service whilst I was still paid up i.e. did not want to leave a bill behind me even if it was just a few days.
     
    MrEarl likes this.
  5. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    8,179
    Let us know how you get on. There is some history of them backing down if you stand your ground and perhaps even threaten to create some negative publicity. If they're on Twitter, a post there often helps companies take notice.
     
  6. SMAEL17

    SMAEL17 New Member

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    2
    I had been paying monthly direct debits to this company for almost 10 years with several price increases (especially in the past few years since they were taken over).

    But the final straw was an e-mail I received on 10th April with the subject line 'Service & Maintenance - More cover, More benefits'.
    The first part of the mail was some info about how great they are. Then came:-

    'Your monthly monitoring and maintenance service will be 34.57 a month. You’ll see this on your next invoice which you’ll receive in the coming days. We really hope you decide to renew your PhoneWatch service. Once you do you will be protected for a further 12 months. Your new contract start date will be 25 Apr 2017 and this contract will expire on 24/04/2018 .

    If you have any questions, we’ll be happy to go through your invoice with you. Just give us a call on 1850 753 753.'

    This was approx. €5 p/m increase on my previous payments (a 33% increase in 2 years), but the most annoying part was the way the price increase and new 12 month contract was 'hidden' in what looked like a generic marketing e-mail - I could have easily not opened this mail.

    I called and cancelled and now have monitoring with another company for €19.50 per month - €180 saving per year.
     
  7. pinkie123

    pinkie123 Frequent Poster

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    246
    I got this email last week - after getting caught out by the auto renewal last year I rang them today as my monitoring was going up by €7.50 a month.

    I'm curious as to which company you went with SMAEL17 - I thought from reading other threads in this forum that no other company can monitor PW alarms?
     
  8. SMAEL17

    SMAEL17 New Member

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    2
    I switched to Clare Alarms. No issue with taking over the monitoring - Has same certifications etc. for insurance.
     
  9. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    8,179
    It depends which panel you have, it's the newer systems that are locked down. Given the significantly cheaper annual charges out there for the same level of service, even if you have one of those, you'd still be better off in the long run replacing the panel and going with the competition.
     
  10. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster

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    1,115
    Is that with the same equipment, or did you also have to purchase a new alarm system ?

    That makes sense and from memory, I actually think we touched on this once before, but I'm sorry to say I can't find it from a quick search.

    Any chance of a quick run through whats needed, costs etc. based on your own experience please ?