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After 88-year-old Adeline Cervone discussed how she felt pressured into a long-term contract to install a security device in her home by Platinum Protection, other residents have begun stepping forward with similar claims.
Representatives from the Provo, Utah-based security company have reportedly visited various neighborhoods, including Waterbury-LaSalle, Country Club, and Throggs Neck, making aggressive sales pitches to elderly and frail seniors about the quality of life in their community, in an effort to sell the security devices under a five-year contract that charges customers $50 a month for the protection.
Residents are then only given a few days to try out the device, but if they choose to opt out after the allotted time, they must pay for 80% of the months the service will no longer be used, likely totaling over $2,000.
One senior, 89-year-old Thomas Alessandro, says he succumbed to a sales pitch from Platinum Protection while already under contract with another security provider who he says provided superior service.
Now he and his wife are stuck with two security systems in their home, and a higher bill for protection.
“He was rushing me through the contract,” he recalled of a salesman he identified as ‘Austin.’ “Normally you get some time to review the contract, but I didn’t have any.”
Now Alessandro feels trapped in a contract for a company he feels doesn’t even live up to its name. “They should outlaw these people,” he said. “Someone at my other security company was nice enough to tell me ‘I think you are being scammed.’”
Alessandro was with his wife at their Lawton Avenue home when a representative of Platinum came knocking on their door. Alessandro was told he could save a lot of money by switching to Platinum’s security system.
In less than a day, Platinum Protection installed a General Electric Simon alarm system.
Highlighting the infectiveness of the security device’s connection to local authorities and to Platinum, the Alessandro’s purposely set off the alarm and waited in vain as Platinum did not call to check on the matter.
When the Alessandros called Platinum Protection, the customer service representative said that the notification of the police and fire departments was the responsibility of another company called “Monotronics.”
“Our other security company would call us immediately, but Platinum did not call us at all,” Alessandro noted.
Platinum Protection responded, saying that they would be in touch with the Alessandros to address any concerns the elderly couple may have.
“It sounds like we have a problem, and we are going to have to take a look a Mr. Alessandro’s alarm system,” noted Jake Nielson of Platinum Protection. “The bottom line is we want out customers to be satisfied with their security system, and have peace in their own home.”
Nielson explained that Platinum Protection is always happy to work with senior citizens.
“Seniors are one of our most important customer bases,” Nielson stated. “We want to make sure that Thomas [Alessandro] is taken care of.”
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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