CARY, N.C. — Alarm systems help many people feel secure, which is why many people are willing to pay for equipment and monitoring fees.
That was the case for Kerri Marsh. Dead-bolted doors and locked windows offer only so much protection, so she wanted a monitored alarm system.
"It's nice to have an invisible person looking out for you," she said.
Marsh paid Protect America $267.90 for equipment and two months of monitoring. When the installer came in January, he could not get the monitoring to work with Marsh's phone.
"He would set the alarm off and it would try to call their company, but it wasn't working," she said.
Since Marsh considered the monitoring the most important part of the security system, she decided on a refund.
Marsh followed the written cancellation policy and sent back the equipment. A couple of weeks later, she called Protect America to check on her refund.
Marsh was told the company had not received what she sent, so she faxed proof that she did.
Protect America found the equipment the next day, but then claimed a window sensor was missing and that it would cost Marsh $60.
"I told them that I found that unacceptable because we know that the sensor was in there," she said.
Marsh eventually agreed to pay the $60 so that she could get the rest of her refund back.
"She said, 'Well, you know, we still have to look into the matter. I will call you back tomorrow.' That's when the phone calls stopped," Marsh said.
Marsh continued to call repeatedly, but got nowhere.
"We felt we followed through completely on our end of the bargain and we felt that they were not holding up their end at all," Marsh said.
Protect America agreed to send a full refund after a call from Five On Your Side. Within a week, Marsh had her check.
"We were so happy that it was just finally over," she said. "It's not a lot of money, but it was really the principle of the matter."
The Protect America representative who handled Marsh's case could not tell Five On Your Side what held up the refund. Five On Your Side tried repeatedly to get in touch with someone who could, but calls were not returned.