8.18.20 – SSI – BOCA RATON, Fla.
ADT claims Vivint misled consumers by targeting ADT customers and deceived them into believing that Vivint is affiliated with the company.
ADT has filed an unfair competition suit in Florida federal court alleging Vivint salespeople go to ADT customers’ homes, get them to sign Vivint contracts and install the company’s alarm systems in their homes under false pretenses.
ADT says Vivint has an “engrained culture of deceptive sales practices” and trains agents to seek out houses with ADT yard signs or intentionally target older customers.
This isn’t the first time ADT has gone after Vivint for tricking customers. The company filed a lawsuit against the company on April 4, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida after receiving complaints from nearly a thousand ADT customers who stated Vivint made false or misleading statements to switch their security service from ADT to Vivint.
Vivint ended up paying $10 million to ADT to resolve the claims.Related:ADT Announces Smart Home Security Partnership With Google
“The settlement was supposed to end Vivint’s practice of false and deceptive sales conduct once and for all,” ADT says in its latest suit. “It did not. In the years since, Vivint’s conduct has continued unabated, and in some ways its behavior has grown even more reprehensible.”
ADT claims that since the December 2017 settlement, it has received over 250 reports of deceptive sales conduct by the offender’s agents as recently as Aug. 12.
The company says deceptive tactics have continued despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, with some Vivint agents even allegedly showing up without taking appropriate health precautions.
As a result of these deceptive practices, Vivint continues to lure in ADT customers under false pretenses and binds them with costly, multiyear contracts, according to the company. The affiliation misrepresentations, ADT says, allow Vivint to take a free ride on ADT’s goodwill and damages its good name.
These actions violate the Lanham Act and common law unfair competition, ADT says, as well as Florida’s Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practices Act. ADT also accuses Vivint of trade slander, commercial disparagement and tortious interference with advantageous business relationships.Related:Home Alarm Sales Account for Major Source of Consumer Complaints, Says CFA
ADT also alleges that Vivint’s buyout program is illegal, as it interferes with ADT’s existing contacts with its customers, and seeks compensatory damages and an award of punitive damages “in an amount that will make it financially unprofitable for Vivint to continue this conduct.”
The Utah-based company is no stranger to finding itself in hot water for its aggressive door-to-door sales practices. Most recently, the company had its solicitation permit revoked in a North Carolina town last summer after breaking local door-knocking rules. Earlier in the year, the company agreed to pay a total of $1.4 million to settle a case in which the smart home giant was accused of violating California’s Alarm Company Act
ADT has found itself to be a victim of scammers frequently enough that it created a resource for consumers with questions about sales scams in the security industry, or anyone who has been a victim of a sales scam, which can be found here.