Protect America Home Security

In the process of evaluating many home security companies, I found Protect America.  They assert themselves as the, “largest authorized installer of GE Home Security”, and on the phone I was told that they were the, “third largest home security company in the US”.

My initial phone call was pretty good.  The woman, Michelle Scully, was to the point, if a little pushy, but seemed very knowledgable about their products and the industry in general.

She explained that no other company offers a fully wireless system like they did, and she was very proud that they used the GE Simon 3 system.  Their prices were reasonable, although their monthly was one of the highest I found at $34.95.  She boasted how, “98% of their customers could install it themselves”, and trumpeted its ease of use and numerous features.

After telling Michelle I wanted to look around some more, she seemed a little upset and even said to me, “If I may ask, why do you need to talk to your wife?” and “We have the best product and prices, so why do you want to look around?”.  I explained to her my reasons, and this handled her.

She then went out of her way to tell me that if I found any better deal out there, to call her back to let her know so that she could, “better know her competitor’s” and not “tell her customers they have the best deal if in fact they do not”.  These are not word-by-word quotes, but pretty close.

I had called her on the car ride into work, so when I got to my desk, I went looking for other companies to call.  Somehow, I stumbled on some websites that sold the Simon 3 directly to consumers.

Reading specs for the Simon 3 seemed to confirm everything she was telling me about the system.  And the fact that I could buy it for $210 and install it myself blew my mind as to why I would need to buy it through Protect America.  Looking further, I found that I could set it up without monitoring, where it would just call our cell phones for free, or add monitoring for as little as $9 per month.  This was so cheap!

I was very shocked on how easy it was to find such a better deal 10 minutes after talking to Michelle who assured me that $35 a month was THE BEST out there, period, full stop.

The next day I called her back to tell her what I found.

Her first question to me, cutting me off from telling her of my discoveries, was “What warranty are they offering?”.  I replied that I didn’t know since I found no less than 3 sites offering it and hadn’t bothered to read through each site.  She said, “We offer a lifetime guarentee” and that the site I was looking probably only offered a one year. 

When I told her that I found monitoring for $9 a month (I actually rounded it to $10 when I said it), she told me, “Are you O.K with calling outside the country?  Because there are document cases where police officers can’t understand through their thick accent.”

This reeked of lies.  For one, although I didn’t know it at the time, the $9 a month service I had seen was for Criticom, which Metro Guardian also uses and charges you $33 a month for and are based in the US.  Secondly, I didn’t believe that a company would hire people who had to say VERY FEW sentences, but could not speak english understandably.  Rather than argue, I just let it go.

She then went on and told me, “We offer the NEW Simon 3 system.  You can only buy the old version of the Simon 3 on the internet.  It is the difference between Windows 95 and Vista.”  Yes, that is an exact quote.

This is where I stopped her.

I told her I was a Windows programmer, and that Windows 95 and Vista were two COMPLETELY different products, while she was referring to two Simon 3 systems.  I told her that something didn’t sound truthful here.  As soon as the word “truthful” left my lips, she became angry.

“Are you calling me a liar?  It sounds like you just called me a liar.”

“No, I am not calling you a liar, just something doesn’t sound right, because Windows…”

“Sounds like you are calling me a liar, so if you want to insult me..”

“I am not calling you a liar, it is just what you are saying…”

This went on several more times.  I finally got her to calm down and she amended her statement saying, “Fine, Windows 95 to Windows 98”.  I still had a problem with this, but once again, just let it go.

I asked what specifically was different between the two different Simon 3’s and finally got her to concede, “There have been many bug fixes.  And if you buy the one online, you will have to spend more money later upgrading to the newer system.”

I then told her that I was upset that I had been mislead by these websites and wanted to find out what her model number was so I could compare it with the model number offered online, but she was unable to tell me.  She told me I would have to get in touch with the parts department.  She did tell me her model was the “Interlogic Peacekeeper” and she thought the operating system version was up to “version 6” but she wasn’t sure.

After she had been insisting this long that her model was newer than the online stores, yet could not produce a model number, I was pretty sure I was being lied to.  And after telling her that I didn’t want to “trust her” and that this was just “lip service”, she had enough of me and told me how i “have insulted her too many times”.  I hung up on her before she had a chance to.

I then called Safemart.com, one of the sellers of the Simon 3.  The guy even knew that Protect America sold the system.  He also recommended the Simon 3 over any other wireless system and was very pleasant to talk to.

When I asked him if their model was different than the one Protect America offers, he said, “uhhhhh, If anything, I think theirs is older”.  I told him that theirs was the Interlogic Peacekeeper, to which he said, “yeaaah, I am pretty sure that is the older model.”

After being lied to like this, I googled about Protect America and found a LONG list of complaints on the company.  Most of them revolve around deceptive practices when someone tries to cancel their service:

“I called Protect America to cancel a 2 yr commitment. I called 4 business days after the contract end date of April 22, 2007. After a long wait I was told I could not cancel until April 2008 because they had renewed my contract for another year because I did not send them a written cancellation letter 60 days prior to the expiration date…”

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/protect_america.html

Even the BBB notes them having an “unsatisfactory record” due to a pattern of complaints going unhandled.

Conclusion:

So it turns out, I was lucky that my research allowed me to see the true colors of the company before I signed a very costly contract.  And hopefully, this information will help others to better evaluate Protect America for themselves, since there are scant reviews about them online.

You would have just have to be OUT OF YOUR MIND to go with Protect America.

Protect America: 

  1. 2 year contract
  2. $35 a month – Required
  3. Hard to reach technical support during install (based on complaints)
  4. Difficult to leave contract (based on complaints)
  5. Hundreds of BBB complaints

Safemart.com

  1. No contract
  2. $189 base system
  3. Free and happy technical support during install
  4. $9 per month monitoring if you want it
  5. Numerious success stories from their happy customers

 

 

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35 thoughts on “Protect America Home Security”

  1. We have been with Protect America and it has not been a very good experience. The 60 day notice before the expiration date of our contract was something we got caught on also. They don’t tell you that whenever you call, but when it comes time to cancel, they get you for another year with the 60 day rule. All in all, we believe that Protect America is not offering good business practices and when companies have to resort to what I call “negative profit,” then how long will they be in business? What I mean by negative profit is that if they receive more income with unhappy customers, that’s not what I call good profit.

  2. Consumeraffairs.com – Consumer Complaint Form

    I made consumeraffairs.com aware of the fact that a $928,000,000.00 Class Action Lawsuit is being filed against Protect America, Inc. for their many misrepresentations and violations of many states and U.S. Federal Laws.

    We welcome any and all attorneys to contact us with regards to our complaints. We also encourage that the 50,000+ dissatisfied customers in the several southern states that Protect America, Inc. has set up business to please follow the news and make their voices heard by participating in this multi-million US Dollar Class Action Lawsuit against the worst alarm monitoring company in the US: Protect America, Inc. All those that have had a Protect America, Inc. alarm system from 1992 until 2009 are eligible to participate in this Class Action Lawsuit

    Protect America responds to nobody but themselves. All complaints by their customers to them are totally ignored or receive a twisted answer from Protect America, Inc., where the customer is always wrong.

  3. I am very interested in participating in this class action lawsuit as a ripped off consumer. Who do I contact for information?

    Thanks,
    Nicole Carter
    Taylorsville, KY

  4. Do not go with Protect america – they will not help you with your unit if you do not have a contract with them. So don’t let your contract run out and then at a later date try to get any help. It wont happen. VERY POOR

  5. Maybe I have been one of the lucky ones but I’ve had only one negative experience with Protect America and that was because they were a little slow to replace the siren that didn’t initially work on my system. They very quickly shipped a new unit over night and to make up for it, they gave me some free sensors as well.

    They always respond quickly when I accidentally set off the alarm and I can get through to customer service within 30-45 seconds after I dial.

    Personally, I like to read my entire contract thoroughly before signing it. I understood that I had to cancel 60 days before the expiration and what I was getting myself into. Many people are “blind sided” by this when in reality, it’s in the contract that they should have read. I have no sympathy for those people.

    I enjoy the peace of mind they have given me and will continue to do business with them.

  6. I am very interested in participating in this class action lawsuit as a ripped off consumer. Who do I contact or where can i go for more info?

  7. I would like to join the class action against protect America. My system has never even been hooked up. The on phone install never worked. They reused to cancel a service we never received. We are continueing to be charged. What can we do?
    Tom & Kathleen

  8. I’m new to this game with Protect America Home Security being a newish customer with newish problems. I am interested in staying in touch and am interested in this class action lawsuit if I continue to be an unsatisfied customer.

    What can I do from this point on?

  9. How can I get in on the class action?

    When I first tried to cancel PA I knew that I had a 3 year contract but I thought that I would call and see what kind of a leve erly charge they had, I was almost half way through when some scary neighbors moved away and we were no longer using it.
    Anyhow… the gir said it was almost full price so I stayed. We called and told them we were quitting and sent a letter 3 monthsberore our contract expired and were told that it was too soon to quit and sent us my contract copy… which was totally unreadable. I have not seen such a bad photocopy in 20 years! I called back 2 months prior and was told that I missed the date by a couple of days and would have to stay on another year.
    Thats were I am now, I am NOT payinhg anything, and I would fly across the country to testify against them.

    If you are reading this and you are thinking about buying a protecton system, good for you— You did your homework and know you know the truth about them.

  10. I too would like to know who i need to contact about the class acton lawsuit against this rip off company!

  11. After 4 years of good service with protect America, we decided to upgrade with another company for more services. Protect America “Alecia” representative informed me that my service had just “automaticly renewed” for another 2 year contract and to get out I would have to pay 75% of the remainder of 1 year. One would think that after the initial contract period a notification of renewal would be sent, but NO…they expect you to know the 30 day window every 2 years in which you can cancel “with a certified letter” only.

    It is worth every cent to get away from this “hostage” situation.

  12. I am presently fighting with Protect America over thier automatic renewal of my services without my knowledge. I was unaware of the automatic renewal policy when I signed up with them back in 2007, January. I sent a written notice of cancellation in March 2010, and paid for the month of March. I was later told that because I did’nt cancel within the 60 day period I am automatically renewed for the following year, and thier pretty much nothing I can do about it, except pay it. I am at present, according to them, being billed each although the service has been canceled for months.

  13. We have been with Protect America for a year now. We have no complaints except the high prices they charge for different accessories. They charge $70 for an extra siren, picked the same one up off ebay for $20. A remote is like $40, I picked 2 up off ebay from the same guy the siren came from for $40. If I can get around their prices, I’m happy with them. Our alarm was set off by accident and even though it was my wife to answer the call and was not able to give the code in a timely manner, 6 police cars was still sent out, which I think was great.I was able to pick up the system along with 15 sensors and a motion detector for $219. A different acc. can be programmed to work. And really the time you waste waiting on a lawsuit, in the end it really isn’t worth it considering all your lost time trying to figure out how you’re gonna get a couple of dollars back by time it is spread to all the complaints. Unlike ADT wanted $875 to install a system with 2 entry door sensors and 4 window sensors.

  14. I want to join the lawsuit against protect america!! They are horrible people that enjoy making us suffer. We need to all unite and stop them! How do I do this??

  15. I signed up in July 08 for a 2-year contract. I initially had some billing problems (we were supposed to have the first 2 months free but they charged us anyway) but PA was immediately responsive in fixing this. The issue came, as does everyone’s issue, when it was time to cancel the contract with Protect America. I called a month in advance to cancel with PA, and the representative referred me to the contract which specified that they needed to send in writing my intent to cancel the contract at least 60 days before the renewal, or I would be locked into an additional year of service, or an exorbinant cancellation fee.

    HOWEVER – after months of annoyances dealing with this company I found the magic formula to deal with them. There is a piece of legislature in Texas law called HB 1702 passed in September 2007. This law requires companies like PA to send IN WRITING a notice at least 15 days before your cancellation letter is due, detailing what will happen and the methods you need to go about in order to cancel your account properly. PA never sent us a letter and I’m betting they generally don’t send those letters. This Texas law considers this as engaging in a Deceptive Business Practice and the consequence is, basically, that your contract is void, and you are owed money from the minute you called them and gave them your intent to not renew the contract. They are required within a “reasonable time” to amend the error and refund your money.

    After dealing with them for 5 months and being charged the whole time, I submitted my issue to the BBB and mentioned this law. Within 2 days PA contacted me, and on the 3rd day they agreed to refund me the money they had taken and to close my account. I hope it works as nicely for everyone as it finally did for me, but if not I would suggest calling around for a lawyer who may be interested in pursuing a Class Action lawsuit against PA because this company obviously uses this renewal tactic intentionally, which is legally considered a Deceptive Business Practice.

  16. My contract with Protect America just ended. Three years with them was a nightmare. Anyone considering: DON’T DO IT! Run as far away as you can.

  17. I am sooooo glad i stopped to read this article, i was literally about to call them to set up service at my new home. Thank you. and i wish all the best to you all who are having problems with these guys.

  18. I did not see any of these negatives reviews when comparing Protect America with other security vendors. I just installed it last night and I had to call because the installation guy did not call at our appointment time. It seemed like he was reading out of a handbook the entire time and he did not seem knowledgeable about the system at all. Then he made an appointment for the quality control department to call me in the morning. Needless to say I never received a call. I called them and they ensured me that this never happens and they were very apologetic. The representative assured me that he would hand me off to a knowledgeable and experienced quality control representative. The quality control representative made an appointment to call me later that evening when I was home… Again I waited for the call and it never came. I finally called to cancel service and waited on hold for 7 minutes before I got a representative. The representative said that I would have to pay a $79 restocking fee even though I have only had the product for 2 days (something the sales representative failed to tell me in the terms and conditions). I am so glad I am cancelling them before I get locked into a 3-year contract of terrible service.

  19. I just called to get information about their products and the lady that answered was not of help at all. Very poor customer service! I am SO glad i found your review, although with that service I was already decided that I wouldn’t get anything from them. I will try your second option.

  20. The huge problem with many companies, including Safe Mart, is that they do not have two way communication from them to the unit in the house. When an alarm goes off it’s all well and good to call you but how do they or you know if it’s a real break in or not if you’re not there? With a company that offers two way communication they can listen in and if someone is moving around, they can ask for the password, no password and they can call in a confirmed breakin and the police MUST respond immediately, not just when they get around to it.

    There are a ton of companies out there. The company I have now has two way communication. I won’t recommend them because they’ve been a pain in the rear end on other matters.

    When you get a company you THINK you like, BEFORE you sign a contract, read all the fine print. Most contracts are for three years. Tell the rep you want two years or you won’t sign. Then strike ANY language that allows them to asign the contract or monitoring to another company. If they won’t go along, don’t sign and tell them to take a hike.

    Finally, what ever they offer is NOT their final offer. If they offer three sensors tell them you want 6 and two key fobs or…..you get the idea. You’re in the driver’s seat. Be ready to walk.

    After 2 years, when it’s time to renew, tell them you want a second panel AND a lower monthly monitoring rate or no renewal. Enjoy the squirming! 🙂

  21. Protect America installed a faulty system in our home, then refused to fix it and continued to charge us for the “monitoring”. I refuse to pay for the length of the contract since they refused to make it work properly and now they are ruining my credit. How can these people sleep at night? I have excellent credit otherwise! Do NOT use this company! They are not honest and trustworthy, which is definitely what you’re looking for when looking for a SECURITY company!

  22. I have not purchased a system yet and I am overwhelmed by the crap from these companies.

    1. Pinnacle Security solicited me twice at my house and were arrested both times because the person could not produce paperwork. He refused to show me ID. I am not letting you in my house without proof! Yes, you can call the police! In my area these companies are REQUIRED to notify the police what areas they will be in.
    2. ADT refused any quote without coming to my house and their monitoring fee is outrageous. The rep was also rude and felt they were the best company out there!
    3. I received a mailer with Protect America advertised. The deal looked great. I decided to research them and came across this review. This review alone, convinced me not to call Protect America.

    I called Safemart this morning and got a quote from Jason. It was everything this reviewer said it was. Jason knew his stuff! He was not pushy. He did not force the sale. He answered my questions and helped me withe my concerns. The interactive monitoring is $29.95 a month on a 1yr contract. That price is more than 50% lower than ADT.

    I will be going back to SafeMart!!!

    Thank You Scott Elkin!!

  23. While I agree with most of the complaints expressed here about them being pushy I was able to cancel my contract within the 60 day no cancellation window. Still, my contract has only just ended a few days ago so we shall see. I do have an email confirming my cancellation date and the monthly bills have stopped so I assume all is well on that score. I went through a bankruptcy a year ago which of course meant the credit card they were billing went away. Once the phone calls started coming from their collections people (despite the fact I had resumed making extra payments) I found it quite therapeutic to be able to abuse the caller each time, calling him a stupid dickhead etc. I used to quite look forward to my monthly “therapy session” with them.

  24. I almost got roped in too. I called them and had a good chat. After getting off the phone my wife looked them up with the BBB… their grade is a B- and not accredited. Then we did a google search and the reviews were horrific. STORY DOES NOT END HERE.

    I gave them my landline number on their website to get the quote. They tried calling me back the next day… SEVEN times. Never left a voicemail. I called them back on my cell to ask they stop calling me. They said they would. Instead, they harvested my cell number and started calling both numbers repeatedly.

    It’s now 4 days later and I finally lost it on the phone with them. I mentioned legal and I think that made an impact.

    In my opinion anyone working for this company has some serious ethical questions to ask themselves. Not a single person said they were sorry. NOT ONE.

  25. equipment does not work properly and when you want to cancel the account, they want you to buy your account out, in other words, they want you to pay until the end of your contract upfront. they do not take responsibility for false alarms due to faulty equipment and then you are stuck paying not only the city fees for false alarms but their monthly charges as well. the only thing this company is smart about, is making sure they get paid by setting up automatic withdraws from your bank account. if anyone knows of a class action law suit, please let me know or if anyone is interested in starting one, please contact me.

  26. I just got protect america and I have actually had a good experience with them. I did not know about their automatic contract renewal so i am glad i found this site.

  27. Protect America sensors are faulty. After 4 false alarms due to bad sensors, the police responded every time, I received a fine from my city of $250.00. I had another false alarm today and told them to cancel police. PA will send you replacement sensors, but they will likely fail as well. I don’t trust their wireless sensors at all. I can’t wait to cancel. I also wrote a letter to PA requesting to get reimbursed for for the fine. PA never responded.

  28. 8-2-2012
    “Pandering America”
    I wished with all that is in me that I would’ve found these blog posts and consumer reports BEFORE I purchased this alarm system…aka consumer scam. I purchased Protect America in December 2008 when I bought my first home. It was being offered as a special through my employer as a “ Company Perk “ in which employees could receive special discounts on various products and services from reputable vendors. I want to state that after speaking with my Human Resources and Benefits coordinator, I do believe that the Government Contracting company had no idea at the time that Protect America was not a reputable company. I think they have removed them from their “Company Perks” offerings and I advise other large Government contracting organizations and corporations to do the same thing. This company is taking advantage of government contractors and hardworking Americans as a whole. It is completely inconceivable and unacceptable that during these challenging economic times for our Country, that a seedy company can call itself “Protect America” be marketing to the men and women supporting our troops. They are not protecting America, they are pandering America. I just had a lengthy conversation with Protect America today around 10:45am regarding the recurring charge that I received for $34.95 this morning. My alarm system contract ended in December 2010!!! I had a 2 year contract,but Protect America claims it was a 3 year contract. After speaking with 2 representatives, I was informed that the contract ended on December 2011 and that the billing goes through February 2012. In any event, I asked why am I getting charged for a contract that is OVER. I was told that I should have sent a “cancellation letter”….. I have never heard of such nonsense, even credit card companies aren’t this corrupt. What’s the point of a 2 year contract when they will bill you for the rest of your life!? The only consolation that was offered for the 6-8 months of fraudulent over billing was a “3” month reimbursement in order to quote :“meet me halfway” on this issue. Meeting me “halfway” would’ve been to respectfully honor my request as a consumer to cancel the service 3 years ago I have attempted to cancel and return this product 30 days after I received it ( it couldn’t work properly) and several times thereafter over the past 2 -3 years. I was told that I had to exercise the period of performance terms of the agreement and I was told that I could not pay a cancellation fee as Protect America does NOT have one! As a professional, a government contractor, a taxpayer and a Consumer who also aims to “Buy American” I ask: How in the world is a company based in the United States allowed to rip off Americans under the guise of a “home monitoring” service called “Protect America”….a true misnomer. I advise all to follow my lead and write your Congressman and your State Representatives in your respective States http://www.house.gov/representatives/find AND send a letter to the Consumer Protection Agency for Texas ( “Austin Regional Office P.O Box 12548 Austin, TX 78711-2548 cac@oag.state.tx.us )as Protect America is located in Texas (3800 Quick Hill Road Austin, TX 78728) and its’ contracts are governed under the laws for the State of Texas. Send a complaint to the Better Business Bureau in BOTH your State of residence –AND- the State of Texas. You can also send your concerns and copies of the letters to : The United States Department of Justice – Consumer Protection Branch – Civil Division Washington, DC 20530 ….let’s stop this unethical business practice together !! It’s time to stop Protect America, Inc from playing “Texas Hold ‘Em” with your money and consumer confidence. After 3 years and roughly $1200 later I am definitely interested in participating in the Class Action Suit posted several comment strings above mine. Please post information/details.

  29. I’ve had ADT and Protect America home security.

    I signed up with ADT in 2006. 2 years later they raised my monitoring rate. I asked why and they said because of the my contract. Looks like they can raise your monitoring rate at any point and time. The other issue with ADT is that they wanted to charge me for a technician every time I had a problem even if it wasn’t something so drastic to fix. ADT was just way too expensive.

    After my contract was over, I cancelled with them. I followed their procedure according to the contract. I’ve seen a lot of “horror” stories and issues with cancelling contracts, and paying for systems that “don’t work”. I honestly want to feel sorry for people, BUT I DON’T!

    As a consumer it is important to read your contracts and know what you are responsible for on your end when it comes to your home security. If you research any home security company you will find the same stories of people who are having trouble cancelling or having issues.

    After plenty research, a few months later I decided to give Protect America a try. The only reason I went with them although still being at the middle with their price, is that they offer a full warranty on all their products. That’s a 100% warranty on all products by Protect America. 3 years later I am still a happy customer and have moved 2 times. I have been able to take my system with me to new residents being that Protect America provides home security monitoring nation wide.

    To me this is a very biased “review”. Like I said. If you research, every home security company has plenty of horror stories. As a consumer, do your research, know your contracts, and you will be happy. Goodluck.

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