January 12, 2015 Update
After the incident, I called Ascanio (the nice guy who sold the alarm system) and after hearing the story, he emailed Mirella and suggested that I should contact her directly. I decided to hold up my complaint to the BBB until I had a chance to discuss with Mirella.
She been kind to follow up with me very quickly on the issues of the staff’s tone and threaths and the communication/control unit bypass.
Mirella assured me that the unprofessional tone was an isolated occurrence; she referred the matter of the control unit by-pass to another staff who is working on it.
Mirella graciously offered me 2 months free monitoring services (thank you) and a two year prepaid contract calculated at $9.99 per month (thank you also). I accepted the offer and renewed with TMC.
I visited TMC's website and explored every single link and I have yet to find where the increase to $12.99 is mentioned. I tried calculating the savings (the big green button on about every pages) and could not reconcile the savings. Maybe the website is in need of an update!
Speaking of update, I am revising my rating as a result of TMC’s goodwill to 8.
I had a monitoring system installed in 2009 after a break-in. All went well except for the communication unit that broke a couple of time. It was blamed on the Bell wiring! That second time the system failed, the technician indicated that he will temporarily bypass some features of the communication unit to allow the system to call the centre if the alarm is set off. The draw back was that an incoming call could not be disconnected if the system was attempting to reach the centre. I was told to have Bell check all its wiring and TMC would replace the IC in the communication unit. I'm still waiting for it! Last year and maybe the year before, the monthly rate was increased to 12.99 without warning or explanations whatsoever. This Saturday, someone called me to ask for a credit card number given that my card was renewed since the last automatic charge a year ago. I told the lady that I was planning onchanging monitoring because TMC increased the monthly rate without prior notice. This is when the lady waved a "contract" argument (this is a poor business approach to keep clients btw) that after 3 years there is a rate increase. The salesperson -- a nice guy -- certainly did not highlight that contract clause when selling the services, and who keeps reading a contract that was done 5 years ago!!!! Even TMC website leads you to believe that the monthly rate is 9.99 all the time. On its "Buyer Beware" page, TMC writes in bold red letters: With TMC your alarm monitoring cost is ONLY $9.99 per month!! So much for buyer beware.
I hung up on the lady after her contract argument and her indication that I only had 9 days to inform in writing TMC of my cancellation (a verbal contract is a contract... this being said I can expect a number of legalese arguments that TMC could include in its reply... if it does! I'm well "trained" by mychildhood friend who is a contract lawyer!). Anyhow, the lady called back and left a message about sending my file to a credit bureau and a collection agency if I did not cancel by December 15. So much for trying to keep the business!
I don't take threats and I'm not making any! But I'm certainly filing a complaint with the BBB about TMC's representations on its website that leads one to believe that the monthly rate will remain unchanged!
Mind you, I'm not dissatisfied with the monitoring service itself. I'm with the unprofessional business tone,representations or promises! A good friend of mine recommended this company at the time! It's now my turn to make a recommendation to him at this time.
- Approximate cost of services:
- Company Response
First I would like to thank you for your patronage and also thank you for commenting that you were satisfied with the monitoring service. We do apologize that you experienced any difficulties at all as a customer should never be made to feel like they need to publicly complain. Our 4th year increase to $12.99 (unless you are a senior) is standard and is displayed on our website. The payment 2 years in advance in order to remain at the $9.99 rate is an offer we make to all of our existing customers in order to retain their business. We do appreciate your business and I am hoping you can take a moment to contact me directly in order to find a resolution for you. Mirella, Sales Manager, 1-866-247-4999 or firstname.lastname@example.org