12 OYS: Woman duped into 3 security systems for 1 home

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / July 29, 2014

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW) -- Shirley and Elmer Hickey invested in a home security system for piece of mind. While satisfied with Vector Security, they were not happy with being stuck in a contract.

"Here comes SHS knocking on the door," said Hickey. In June 2013, Hickey said a salesman from Safe Home Security (SHS) promised to get her out of the Vector contract, if she switched to SHS.

"The representative was talking to somebody on the phone. I assumed what he told me is what he was doing. He was talking to Vector," said Hickey. In less than an hour, Hickey said SHS had its alarm system installed in her home. "They were real fast too," said Hickey.

But instead of getting 1 bill, she received 2. One from SHS and the other from Vector, which told her the service was never canceled. Hickey said just weeks later, she received a another house call. This time, from Point Smart Home Security. This time, Hickey said she was ready.

"I'm going to tell you just like I told the other one. I can't do nothing now because I'm already stuck with these other two now. He said, oh that is not a problem. I don't even think they are licensed in this area," said Hickey. She said the representative told her the alarm was installed improperly, and tossed her a sales pitch she
could not resist.

"I'll tell you what I will do. I will just pay them off," said Hickey. The very next month, she received bills from Point, SHS and Vector. None of her contracts were ever canceled. Now she is getting collection notices from Vector and SHS. Hickey said she feels taken advantage of. "These people are very good at what they do, and they have no heart," said Hickey.

We contacted all three security companies, and their representatives told us they do make door-to-door sales, but do not use high pressure sales tactics.

Meanwhile the Federal Trade Commission said if you advertise with decals or a yard sign that you have an alarm system you may keep burglars away, but it is a magnet for competing companies.