Monday, February 16, 2009

Get me a plane to Idaho

I wanna go whack the kneecaps of a guy who is the real-life Roman Grant.


"Roman" is a large-scale investor and business-type whom owns a home alarm security company based in Idaho. 4 years ago, in a moment of stupidity, my wife and I signed a 3 year contract with this company in return for a free installation. After a long drawn out process, we thought we had finally terminated the contract and gotten them out of our hair for good. Roman's company was notorious for not answering their phones for tech support or billing issues, as well as never following up on providing documentation for charges.

Today we got a collection notice for $450 because we closed the bank account they were still continuing to steal $43 from a month direct withdrawal. They had not only continued to bill us, but they had also taken the lump sum we negotiated to buy out the contract and essentially never gave us the buy out. We filed a BBB complaint, which was never acknowledged or resolved, and later closed for inactivity by the company.

So I've been on a phone & computer for most of the morning trying to get a live human or other contact information. I'm considering small claims, but it's pretty intimidating. I'm waiting for the lawyer to call back, which if I'm lucky we'll be able to break even on if he can settle this nonsense.


Anjha said...

Damn Id, I am sorry. What a pain in the rear.

Can you go to the media?

Normally, what I have found to be true, is that no one responds better than they do when they are trying to get rid of bad press.

We have a guy on our local news who goes out and handles consumer issues/complaints. They do a little piece on the scam or problem and then they have the consumer interviewed and the resolution. There is almost always a positive resolution for the consumer.

The segment is called Get Jesse and I was pleased to see that it is on NWCN as well - which is WA, OR and ID...this means that he might be able to help you!

I would also call the ID State Attorney General since they are charged with consumer issues. An Atty General complaint is usually responded to a whole lot more than BBB because Atty General is legal and BBB is just a referral agency.

Good luck to you and I am sorry that you have had to have such a shitty day chasing assholes.

Anjha said...

PS the link I provided has contact info for Jesse.

Seven of Six said...

I found out 15 years ago that someone else having direct access to your bank account was a losing situation.

I had a fitness membership that was automatically withdrawn from my account. When the contract was signed they told me that if the first month was not started this month it would start the following month. What they didn't tell me was that they would withdraw 2 payments the 1st month they started withdrawing money! I had my account down to the penny and of course I was always broke so I didn't have the extra $35.00 for an extra months withdrawel! Major bounced check fees and I had to borrow the money to pay it off... I think I even pawned some shit to cover it.

Ever since then I do not let anyone have access to my account.

My sister-in-law just went through that on an old mortgage payment... the house was sold and they still withdrew that months mortgage out. I advised her to close the account then deal with it later.

You just can't have someone withdrawing money from your account anytime they want. A closed account sends a strong message to them. I know it's a hassle but it gives you time to prepare letters to all credit agencies that it's a disputed matter.

Good luck Id!

idiosynchronic said...

Thanks for the ideas, gang. We're going to try the Iowa Sect'y of State first. Home turf and all.

Ahistoricality said...

This is precisely why I don't allow direct withdrawals from my bank accounts in this country.

In Japan, though, it's routine: pretty much all your utility bills are paid that way and nobody thinks twice.

Judith said...

Idio, AOL is also known for continuing to take money out of your banking account long after you have cancelled their service. In fact, they lost a class action suit against them, and still coninue to screw people.

You might also try contacting the Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

I have never understood why people just can't run a honest business. Go get 'em Idio.

Judith said...

Anjha, we have the same consumer complaints/issues reporter here in St. Louis. Without fail, once it hits the 5:00 news, the problem is resolved.

Judith said...

Another thought, but it takes time and determination. I went to the presidents of two companies, Regions Bank and a major clothing store. In both cases I not only got the problems resolved, but I can assure you that someone lost their job at Regions Bank.

phidipides said...

No need for a plane, etc.

I believe that what I'm seeing in your statements is a form of PTSD. When a person, such as yourself, is confronted with these situations there is often a feeling of being overwhelmed by the events. You've acted in good faith, yet having done so there has been no relief. Indeed, your attempts at resolution have led to negative outcomes. You acted in good faith, yet you are rebuffed. I don't need to spell out what can happen to a person when confronted with these kinds of events.

I'm certain there will be long-term psychological consequences from the failure of the alarm company to act in an appropriate manner. We are facing a long road to recovery and wellness for you. Please post their address and I can begin billing them for my services. I'm thinking we can expect, oh, about $35,000.00 to get you healthy again. Or, if they prefer an hourly rate, we can negotiate. Although I bill an hour for a phone call whether it lasts 50 minutes or 1 minute. So don't call me 20 times in 1 day...or please do. They are the aggrieving party. They better be willing to pay because I will collect. They will owe me an assload of money. And I'm a bastard about collecting debts owed to me.