Morris Hicks recently put his home security sign back up after he said he was misled into signing on with another security company.
“We went through all the paperwork and all the free stuff they were gonna give me,” he said.
Hicks said salesmen told him they were there to upgrade his current system with CPI.
“Very fast-talking, and you can't think of anything,” he said.
Hicks said employees of Utah-based Vivint Home Security disconnected the CPI system he'd had for years and installed their own. What he didn’t know was that he would now have to pay both companies every month.
CPI said it's a victim, too, of the Vivint sales force.
“They'll say things such as, ‘Hey, we're working in conjunction with CPI. We sell equipment for CPI. We're here to do upgrades,’” said John Shocknesse with CPI Security.
In fact, they are not connected to CPI at all.
At the Better Business Bureau, Tom Bartholomy said Vivint has had more than 600 consumer complaints this year alone.
“Consumers feel they were misled by -- ‘Well, I thought it was my existing alarm company that was just upgrading my system, and boom -- I sign a contract and find I'm with a different company,’” Bartholomy said.
As for the Hicks, they want to warn others about the sales tactics they said they encountered.
“I think it is; I think it's really dishonest,” Hicks said.
CPI said it's sending out an alert by email to all 45,000 customers it has in the Charlotte area, warning them about other companies offering to upgrade their systems.
The BBB is also urging a healthy dose of skepticism, saying if someone knocks on your door, call your security company before you sign anything.
Vivint issued a statement Wednesday evening, saying, "Vivint does not condone aggressive or misleading sales tactics. To ensure the highest level of customer service, Vivint conducts a recorded telephonic survey where the customer is asked to confirm their understanding of the terms of their agreement and that Vivint is not affiliated with any other company."