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ADT sues and recovers from competitors for deceptive trade practices- what happens when you poke the bear August 7, 2017

KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE
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ADT sues and recovers from competitors for deceptive trade practices- what happens when you poke the bear
August 7, 2017
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ADT sues and recovers from competitors for deceptive trade practices- what happens when you poke the bear
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    Take enough accounts from any alarm company and you risk reprisal.  Annoy the largest alarm company on the planet and find out its hammer is, as expected, bigger than the next guys.  I get calls often enough asking what can be done to competitors who engage in unfair competition.  The problem is that those lawsuits are expensive and very hard to win.  A few accounts won't justify the expense.  From the size of the reported settlements [see below] this dispute apparently involved more than a few accounts.  
    Legitimate competition is, of course, not actionable.  But masquerading as another company's employee, gaining access to the alarm system and switching it over to your company is not legitimate competition.  The press release doesn't go into much detail [probably doesn't want to give you any ideas] but it gives enough information to glean what offensive conduct was engaged in.  
    Keep in mind that this dispute ended in a settlement, not judgment after trial.  Sometimes the winner of a lawsuit is the one who is willing [and capable] of investing the money and resources necessary to get to the finish line.  Plenty of lawsuits are settled because one side just doesn't have the will or ability to keep fighting.  Of course, high probability that you're going to win or lose is good incentive to keep going or quit.
    Here's the ADT press release:
"Media Relations
Bob Tucker
tel: +1 561.988.3619
btucker@adt.com
     ADT Settles with Three Security Companies in Deceptive Sales Lawsuits for $5.5 Million 
     BOCA RATON, Fla., July 28, 2017 – ADT, a leading provider of security and automation solutions for homes and businesses, today announced settlements with Alder, its owner, Adam Schanz, and two Monitronics dealers; Alliance Security and Capital Connect, as part of lawsuits against those three companies and Schanz alleging the use of deceptive sales practices to mislead ADT customers.
     The agreements call for ADT to receive $3 million from Alder, $1.5 million from Alliance Security and $1 million from Capital Connect, for a total of $5.5 million and court orders prohibiting each company from further deceptive sales practices. 
     “We hope these settlements once again show that ADT greatly believes in protecting its customers from deceptive sales practices,” said P. Gray Finney, ADT Chief Legal Officer. “ADT will continue to pursue companies and their sales representatives who misrepresent themselves to deceive its customers.”
     The settlements stem from two lawsuits in which ADT claimed sales representatives from Alder, Alliance Security and Capital Connect misled ADT customers into believing their companies were affiliated with ADT, or their alarm systems required upgrading. The lawsuits were filed after hundreds of ADT customers complained about the deceptive sales practices of these three companies. 
     Since 2013, ADT has filed numerous lawsuits against companies who have made false or misleading statements to ADT customers when attempting to solicit their business and obtained court orders prohibiting those companies from further deceptive sales practices, along with monetary relief. 
     ADT encourages anyone with questions about sales scams in the security industry, or to report being a victim, to click here.
    About ADT
    ADT is a leading provider of security and automation solutions for homes and businesses in the United States and Canada. ADT's broad and pioneering set of products and services, including ADT Pulse® interactive home and business solutions, and health services, meet a range of customer needs for today’s active and increasingly mobile lifestyles. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida."
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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301
ken@kirschenbaumesq.com
516 747 6700
www.KirschenbaumEsq.com