Colorado couple claims alarm company renewed their contract without their knowledge

DENVER — A Colorado couple is questioning fees charged to them after they switched alarm companies.

Deanna Auman and her husband Jene contacted Denver7 after running into problems with NorthStar Alarm Services.

The couple claims their contract with NorthStar was automatically renewed without their permission after sending the company a cancelation letter.

A spokesperson for the Utah-based company said they have verified through their records that Deanna electronically signed for a contract extension.

But the Deanna says they never signed any documents electronically, and no one has ever come to their door.

Jared Parrish, the general counsel for Northstar, provided the following statement in regards to this story:

I have reviewed Ms. Auman’s account history. Her version of the events differs from our account records. Ms. Auman’s account was purchased by NorthStar from a third-party security monitoring company in 2015. When her account became eligible for upgraded security and home automation equipment, NorthStar sent a representative to her home to present options for upgraded equipment. At the time, NorthStar was offering existing customers the opportunity to receive free upgraded equipment and to lock in their previous monitoring rate in exchange for signing up for an additional monitoring term. This type of offer is common in the security monitoring industry, as well as the mobile phone industry where customer renew their wireless plans in exchange for upgraded equipment they receive for free or at a reduced price. 

 

Ms. Auman agreed to such an offer. While I cannot send a copy of the contract extension to you due to consumer privacy laws, I can confirm that Ms. Auman indeed signed the document electronically. This extension was completed using the DocuSign platform, which is an electronic contract signature software utilized by many companies across myriad industries. DocuSign is fully compliant with the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN). I have verified that the contract extension was signed by Ms. Auman through the DocuSign platform using her personal credentials on November 5, 2015 at 12:39:28 PM PST. Her assertion that she did not sign a contract extension is simply contradicted by our records. NorthStar maintains very strict internal compliance protocols for our customer agreements and contract extensions, and we maintain a zero-tolerance policy for variances from those compliance protocols. In this instance, our internal investigation has confirmed NorthStar’s representative followed our internal protocols for contract extensions. We have found no evidence to the contrary.

 

It appears this situation arose when a competing security monitoring company took over Ms. Auman’s monitoring services during her monitoring contract term with NorthStar. When that occurs, reputable security companies assist their new customers in either (1) paying the early termination penalty to the previous alarm company on behalf of the customer, or (2) restoring monitoring services with the previous company if the new company is unwilling to pay the early termination penalty. It appears the competitor did neither in this case, which is an unethical business practice. 

 

Having investigated this matter, I have found no evidence that NorthStar failed to follow its compliance procedures, no evidence that NorthStar failed in its contractual obligations to Ms. Auman, or evidence supporting Ms. Auman’s assertion that she did not sign the contract extension.

Watch the video above for more on their story.

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