Insecurity at home? Woodstock Flower Farmer frustrated with faulty home security system – NBC Chicago
A new Woodstock horticulturist contacted NBC5 Responds after experiencing issues with his home security system, and he says for two years the issues went unresolved.
Jack Blanton and his wife Stacey decided to trade city living for country living in 2020, after selling his municipal plumbing business and moving to a quaint 14-acre farm 60 miles northwest from Chicago.
“We decided we were going to find a farm and build a flower farm,” Jack Blanton proudly told NBC5. “The Blanton Flowers… This is our next chapter in life. It’s been a long journey.
Along with their new piece of paradise, the old townspeople also sought security and decided to register with Vivint Home Security in August 2020 for the works: cameras, door sensors and a main console to connect everything.
“Being here in the country like this, I thought safety was going to be really important,” Blanton said.
Blanton said he thought his money was well spent, until the technicians left his new home.
“They put the whole system in place. They did everything they were supposed to do,” Blanton recalled. “That’s when it all started to go wrong.”
Bad, Blanton said, as in door sensors that indicated clearly closed doors were open, and his main console beeping day and night, for no apparent reason.
Blanton said his calls and visits from Vivint technicians yielded no results, but numerous charges.
“The second guy came out and he told me everything the first guy did was wrong and he was going to fix it,” Blanton said. “The third guy came out and said everything the second guy did was wrong.”
Despite visits from technicians, Blanton said the system was still having issues.
During a visit, Blanton recalled that a technician even attempted to upgrade his system for an additional $1,470.
Since the basics weren’t working yet, Blanton said he declined. But a few days later, he said he was charged anyway.
“Two days later, my wife said to me, ‘What did you buy from Vivint?’ And I said, “I didn’t buy anything,” Blanton recalled. “She was like, ‘Well, they deducted $1,470 from the account.'”
Blanton said it was a headache for customer service, and he’s not the only one to say so.
Vivint Smart Home has a “D” rating from the Better Business Bureau, prompted by 5,209 consumer complaints since 2019, according to the consumer organization.
Many of these complaints cite home security systems that have not worked for long periods of time, as well as unauthorized upgrades.
NBC5 Responds shared this information with Vivint Smart Home, but they did not comment on the BBB rating or consumer complaints.
Reading reviews didn’t help Blanton’s misery, he said
“You gave me a system that doesn’t work and you don’t care,” Blanton said. “I think you should just give me my money back and I’ll find someone else to take care of it.”
After two years, the frustrated flower grower said he felt his calls and emails to Vivint were going nowhere. That’s when he reached out to NBC5 Responds for help.
Vivint Smart Home responded immediately.
“The next day after you called them, the next day someone from, I think she said she was [in the] escalation service, called, apologized to me, immediately said they were going to refund me the $1,470,” Blanton said.
Blanton was reimbursed for this unwanted upgrade, along with all the money he’s paid Vivint so far in his contract, totaling over $4,000 reimbursed.
The company also told him he could keep all his gear.
A Vivint spokesperson told NBC5, “When this situation was brought to our attention, Vivint Smart Home worked closely with the customer to address their concerns. We are committed to providing exceptional service to all Vivint Smart Home customers and the company has fully refunded the amount paid to date.
For Jack and Stacey Blanton, they’ve learned that even with their quiet new country comforts, sometimes you have to make some noise.
“I learned that apparently the squeaky wheel is oiled up,” Blanton said. “I think it’s very sad that it had to be like this. But at some point, what do you do?