People stuck paying bills for two security systems - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

People stuck paying bills for two security systems

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by Danielle Wagner

WATERLOO (KWWL) Fred Levy feels safer having a home security system. Levy got a system three years ago through APX, which he said is now called Castle Rock.

But during the summer a salesperson for another company, Pinnacle, came to his door offering an upgrade that included security for his garage at no extra cost.

Levy agreed with the impression his contract with Castle Rock would be canceled

"Pinnacle told me they were going to cancel it for me. Said I didn't have to do anything," said Fred Levy.

But that didn't happen.

"I got two bills. Castle Rock didn't get canceled," he said.

His story sounds too familiar for Edrick Roberts who got a system after finding someone in her home.

She too had APX or Castle Rock until Pinnacle representatives came to her house offering an upgrade.

"Pinnacle was supposed to notify Castle Rock I was canceling out from them, which I thought they did. You had so many days to do this," said Roberts.

Because the 30-day window to cancel the account with Castle Rock was missed, Roberts and Levy are stuck with two bills. Both Castle Rock and Pinnacle are based in Utah.

"I'm getting two statements. I can't pay both of these," said Edrick Roberts.

Roberts and Levy were told ending their Castle Rock contract now would cost more than $500.

"I don't feel we have to pay these two security systems. Pinnacle told me they were gonna notify Castle Rock. I took them at their word. If anybody's paying it should be Pinnacle," she said.

Both Roberts and Levy have stopped payment on the security systems for the time being. They hope the Iowa Attorney General's Office and Iowa Legal Aid can help resolve the payment issues.

 Calls to Pinnacle were not returned.

Bob Brammer with the Iowa Attorney General's Office said there's been a spike in complaints this summer surrounding security systems.

He said the AG's office is looking into the issue, including any affiliation between Castle Rock and Pinnacle. He said as of right now they appear to be separate companies.

KWWL confirmed with the city clerk's office in Waterloo that the police department pulled the door-to-door selling permit for Pinnacle back on July 17 after receiving complaints. The city clerk also said the permit for APX has expired.

So legally, no one with APX or Pinnacle should still be going door to door in Waterloo.

We also spoke with the Director of the Consumer Protection Division of Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging. She said people need to be aware scams happen all the time.

"Before you sign a contract, read it very carefully. Very honestly, some door to door solicitations are legitimate, but my advice is to deal locally if you can. If you can possibly find in this case a security system locally, chances are you know face to face who you're dealing with. Your opportunity and chances of being scammed are far less," said Shirley Merner.

If you think you're a victim of a scam, be sure to report it. You can call the police and call the Iowa Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 888-777-4590.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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