Insecure security system

July 7, 2008 6:54:48 PM PDT
A Triangle woman's alarm system has been giving her a false sense of security.Peggy Phipps paid for a security system as well as a monitoring service for her friend, Linda Wright, who wears a medical alert necklace.

Both the security and medical monitoring systems worked fine for Peggy and Linda until Peggy upgraded to a new digital phone service.

Peggy tells Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, "If I push it now we don't have telephone service and I can't even dial 911 because it takes away the telephone service."

Peggy called her alarm company, Piedmont Protective Services, who says they told her both systems were not compatible with her phone because the systems were analog while the phone was digital.

If the alarm does go off or if there's a medical emergency, Peggy says it disables her digital phone and the help signal doesn't go out to the monitoring service.

Peggy adds, "Nothing happens. We cannot communicate with them until I've reset the key pad several times to get the phone dial tone back."

Diane Wilson contacted Time Warner Cable, who immediately looked into the situation. A representative tells her, their engineers determined the equipment in the monitoring center used by Peggy's security company was not compliant with telephone industry standards.

When Troubleshooter Diane Wilson called Piedmont Protective Services, the representative abruptly told her they're working with TWC and can't discuss the case because it's against the law.

It took several months for Piedmont Protective Services to take action, but they eventually installed a system in Peggy's house that was compliant with telephone industry standards.

Piedmont charged Peggy $260 dollars to make the switch. Peggy says she thinks this charge is unreasonable and was hard for her to pay. Time Warner Cable came to Peggy's rescue and voluntarily paid the fee. Peggy says the TWC rep told her, "I wanted you to be a happy customer and we want to keep you as a happy customer." Peggy says she is really pleased with TWC and thankful they helped her out and stayed on top of the issue until it got resolved.

On a sad note, Linda did pass away while this was working itself out. Today would have been her 60th birthday. Peggy now wears Linda's medical alert.

Before you get digital phone or a security system, make sure both are compatible, as TWC says their digital phone works with every security or monitoring system that is complaint with industry standards.


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