Local News

Raleigh Customer Alarmed That Security System Was Not Monitored

Posted April 4, 2002 8:10 a.m. EST

— We all want to feel safe in our homes. That is why many people invest in home security systems. When a Wake County man had a problem with his system, he called Five on Your Side's Monica Laliberte for help.

Fire, burglary, and carbon monoxide all put our families in danger. Security systems are supposed to alert homeowners and the authorities about these hazards.

The alarm systems are supposed to make you feel safe, but what if no one is listening? As Bill Shipp found out, it pays to check the systems out.

"Without monitoring, it's basically useless. All it is is a lot of noise," he said.

Shipp pays ADT Security Services $228 a year to monitor his alarm system. When he called to check the service in January, he could not reach anyone at the monitoring station, so he called ADT.

"They were caught way off guard and you could hear it in their voice, the nervousness that we've got a major problem here," he said.

ADT told Shipp that the company it subcontracted to monitor his system was out of business.

"Here's somebody I've been paying good money to thinking I had good coverage. Everything was going very nicely and I didn't have it," Shipp said.

ADT adjusted Shipp's alarm system and is now monitoring it. The company blames the problem on a "computer glitch." After a call from Five On Your Side, ADT offered Shipp a year's monitoring for free.

Spokeswoman Ann Listrom would not tell Five On Your Side how long the subcontractor had been out of business, nor how many people this may affect. She would only say "customers need to regularly check their systems for monitoring."

Shipp suggests that customers do that soon, so when the alarm sounds, they will know someone is listening.

"Go check your system," he said. "I don't know who you are and how many of you are out there, but you need to go check your system and find out, because if you don't know it and you're in my boat and you have a problem, it's going to be too late."

ADT could not tell Five On Your Side how many customers might have experienced the same problem. That is why customers need to check out their systems.