‘It’s been a nightmare’: Consumer complaints mount against home alarm company

GENEVA, Fla. — A local woman claims a home alarm company failed to keep her family safe for two years and spent $1,500 for alarm protection that didn’t exist.

“It’s been a nightmare,” Ericka Coppola said.

Coppola said she felt betrayed and ignored by the national alarm company she paid every month to keep her home safe.

“They’re promoting safety, they’re promoting peace of mind, and they’re not providing it,” Coppola said.

She had signed a new contract with Safe Home Security to move her house alarm to her new home in Geneva.

According to Coppola, the company’s tech installed the system with door and window monitors. Nearly two years later, she returned home and found the front door was open, but she had not received any alerts.

“We realized the door was wide open for who knows how long, and we never got notified by them,” Coppola said.

She says that’s when she discovered the system was never connected to central monitoring so that police or medical crews can be dispatched if alarms were triggered.

Her husband has serious health issues from diabetes.

“God forbid we ever needed that to the point where 911 needs to be called and an ambulance is not sent to help,” Coppola said.

She says Safe Home Security never resolved her complaints about the company’s failure to monitor her home for two years. She was paying $65 a month for a disconnected home alarm.

“They hang up on you. I have not been able to get any resolution from them,” Coppola said.

Safe Home is based in Connecticut, and the state’s attorney general just ordered the company to pay a $5,000,000 penalty over its extensive complaint history.

The state investigation found over several years, consumers were locked into bad contracts and were left with broken and poorly installed equipment.

The AG’s judgement ordered Safe Home to pay $1,000,000 this year and it would waive the other $4,000,000 if business practices changed.

In general, consumer experts warn against signing long-term alarm contracts without doing your research first.

“Before signing a contract, do your research. Contact at least three companies. That way you know the details of the contract: what they’re offering, what services they’re providing and what the fees are,” said Erika Urdaneta with the Better Business Bureau.

Action 9′s Todd Ulrich contacted Safe Home Security about Coppola’s complaint, and managers said her account will be reviewed.

Coppola hopes to get the issue resolved.

“They never have an answer,” Coppola said.

If you’re alarmed by a lack of safety and the manager’s response, send a complaint to Florida’s Division of Consumer Services, the agency that regulates security companies.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.