When Your Home Security Company Becomes the Greatest Security Risk

Most of us Canadians are naturally trust worthy people, giving those we don’t know the “benefit of the doubt”. It is then no surprise that many of us have had strangers come into our home to either “fix something” or “install a new service”. However, have any of us really given thought into who this person really is? What is their background? Are they certified? Do they have a criminal record?!? If your like most – you probably haven’t.

At Security ONE we go above and beyond our industry regulation to ensure all technicians are CANASA trained and every employee of our company has a full-background check and a current police clearance.

It is shocking that our industry does not regulate or mandate police clearances; consequently, many other home security companies don’t perform background checks and use 3rd party sub-contractors who operate under their own wild-wild-west rules.

Edward Siedle, writer for Forbes, recently wrote an article of his experience with ADT and their common use of Sub-Contractors.

Here’s a personal example of what can happen.

“In 2007, I contracted with ADT to install a home security system and monthly burglary and fire monitoring. The total installation charge alone was not cheap—several thousand dollars.

On the installation date, a single technician arrived surprisingly early—at 8 a.m.—as opposed to the 10 a.m.-noon window that had been agreed upon. Also unsettling was the fact that he had no ADT logo on his shirt and did not speak a word of English. I called ADT immediately and the company acknowledged it had made an error. A supervisor would return later with another installation subcontractor who would be better able to communicate, I was told. The supervisor arrived at 10:30 with two other men who spoke little English. In response to my concerns, I was assured that these subcontractors, while not ADT employees, had recently been subjected to thorough background checks. When the men left after six hours, the installation work still had not been completed. Following further complaints, two weeks later a new technician was sent who indicated there would be substantial additional charges to complete the installation.

Thus far, this probably sounds similar to gripes you’ve had with companies who failed to deliver products and services as promised.

But the story gets worse.

The supervisor had damaged a valuable artifact when he was in my home which (fortunately) was immediately brought to his attention. After protracted negotiations, ADT agreed to compensate for the damage. Fair enough.

Most disturbing, our family passports disappeared at the time the ADT technicians were in the house and had to be reported as stolen. When I informed ADT about the missing passports, I was told I would have to pursue it with the subcontractors—ADT was not responsible. So much for chain of command and accountability.

In my last letter to ADT, in February 2008, I asked the company to please advise me whether ADT had determined that the passports had been stolen by ADT subcontractors. Four years later, I have yet to receive a response to my letter.

The moral of this story is that the next time you allow someone into your home for security purposes, scrutinize who they are and consider the formidable risks they pose. The people you allow into your home may be able to inventory your belongings and will forever know the details of your security system. They may share their knowledge of your home with unsavory friends. If they are not trustworthy, trust me (based upon my personal experience), you’ll pay the price.”

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