Family Claims AlarmForce’s Negligence Led to Home Burglary
AlarmForce operators received 10 alarms from three different sensors before calling police, a Canadian family claims.
EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada – A family is not pleased with AlarmForce, claiming that security company waited more than an hour to contact police after an alarm went off inside their home, which allowed intruders to steal money, prized possessions and personal documents.
Homeowner Kelley Palace said when AlarmForce workers called about the alarm going off, an operator told her that a security guard had already inspected the house and found everything secure. She decided not to contact police after receiving assurance that there were no signs of a break-in at the home, CBC News reports.
Twenty-five minutes later, the company called Palace back, alerting here that more alarms were going off. She says an operator asked if she wanted police called, and Palace said yes.
It took an hour and 10 minutes between the first alarm and authorities being called, the Palace family claims.
Security industry protocol is to call police after two different alarm sensors are triggered. The family claims AlarmForce received 10 alarms from three different sensors before officers were called to their home.
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The intruders went through every room in the home, and were able to leave with jewelry, cash, credit cards, electronics, passports and other personal documents. The family estimates they lost about $20,000 beyond what insurance covered. Additionally, the Palaces say the thieves have broken into their online banking accounts, reset their passwords, issued themselves debit cards and changed user IDs for online accounts.
The family says that AlarmForce’s television commercial prompted them to hire the security company. In the ad, the company promotes its “live two-way protection” which “can voice threaten the burglar out.”
If an alarm goes off, it triggers a live connection between the house and AlarmForce’s control center. Commercials show AlarmForce staff demanding whoever is in the house to identify themselves and announcing “the police have been dispatched.”
The couple, who had a three-year contract with AlarmForce, says they were shocked to learn that a clause in their contract states “the subscriber is not relying on any advice or advertisement of AlarmForce”.
Additionally, the agreement states “dispatch, whether by police authority or private response services, is not guaranteed nor is the response time.”
Another clause in the contract states contracts cannot be cancelled.
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An AlarmForce spokesperson maintains that when the Palaces signed their contract, they had the option of police or guard services, and the family chose guard services.
Additionally, the spokesperson says that the AlarmForce system worked effectively and that central station operators performed their duties diligently, stating that workers immediately called police after they were requested to do so.
The security firm eventually agreed to terminate the Palaces’ contract without further penalties or fees after receiving calls from CBC Go Public.
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