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10.4.22 – NBC12 – RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT)

A Richmond homeowner calls 12 On Your Side after spending years paying for a security system she says doesn’t work.

Thelma Binford Johnson says she has been trying to get help with no luck. She called, even wrote letters, but the bills kept coming.

“I’ve been having a problem with my alarm system. I can’t get anybody to come by here to fix because (there is) nobody in my area to fix it. That’s what they told me,” she said. “I get up 2 and 3 (in the morning) to go through the system. After I call them it will be working – then it goes back off again.”

Thelma Binford Johnson says she has been trying to get help with an alarm system with no luck. She called, even wrote letters, but the bills kept coming.(NBC 12)

In 2019, Binford Johnson says representatives with Edge Home Security showed up at her front door. She ended up electronically signing a five-year contract for a system that was installed the same day. A paper contract later showed up in the mail.

Binford Johnson agreed to pay $45 a month and said yes to the service, because a former contract with an alarm company was ending.

From the start, Binford Johnson says she didn’t have a good feeling.

Thelma Johnson's alarm system first installed by Edge Home Security in 2019
Thelma Johnson’s alarm system first installed by Edge Home Security in 2019(NBC 12)

“I was just a little leery about it. The next day, 3 in the morning, I went to the bank to see my money on my account. That’s how nervous I was,” she explained.

Binford Johnson says the problems with the alarm started just three months into having the system installed. After she could not get out of the contract in 2019, she continued to pay, as it continued to go off at odd times.

Binford Johnson says she was eventually taught over the phone how to take a chip out of the back of the system to stop the noise.

In 2020, the monitoring, customer service and technical support for Edge Home Security, changed to Alder Alarm, but Edge Home Security was still the account holder. Binford Johnson learned Alder doesn’t take the monthly payments. That’s done by another company called TimePayment.

In June 2022, fed up with the issues, she was able to get her bank to stop payment, but that did not stop the bills from coming from TimePayment. She was eventually sent an email from Alder saying her account was canceled on Alder’s end, but she still had to cancel with TimePayment.

“I don’t have a system. And they are after me and messing up my credit and I need my credit – I am the sole survivor of this house,” she said. “I would like to get out of the system because I don’t think I was treated fairly. I’m paying money. I can’t get the service.”

The 12 On Your Side Investigators reached out to both Alder and TimePayment. Binford Johnson soon had good news after TimePayment replied with the following:

TimePayment appreciates and understands Ms. Binford’s frustration with her security equipment. As a third party tasked only with billing and paying for the monitoring, TimePayment is not responsible for the equipment or its servicing. However, given Ms. Binford’s concerns, TimePayment has closed her account with us for payments received.

Alder also sent a statement about Binford Johnson’s account:

Alder is pleased that TimePayment has resolved their customer’s concern to her satisfaction.

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