April 20, 2012
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster announced today he has reached a $76,000 settlement with Pinnacle Security, LLC, a home alarm system company based in Utah.
Under the settlement, Pinnacle will provide $46,000 in refunds to customers in Missouri who were misled about Pinnacle’s relationship with other security companies, the cost of its services, or its cancelation policy. Pinnacle will also pay $12,500 to the Missouri Merchandising Practices Revolving Fund and $17,500 in civil penalties to the state.
Additionally, Pinnacle must reform its sales practices to ensure consumers understand the important terms of the contract before purchasing, including the company with which they are contracting, the monthly price for the service, the total duration of the contract, and any restrictions on cancelation. The settlement, embodied in a consent judgment filed today in St. Louis County Circuit Court, also obligates Pinnacle to monitor its sales representatives who conduct door-to-door sales more closely.
“A fundamental principle of Missouri law is that sellers cannot mislead consumers,” Attorney General Chris Koster stated. “My office has not tolerated and will not tolerate companies that deceive consumers.”
The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in May 2011, in which the Attorney General’s Office alleged that Pinnacle induced consumers to purchase by misrepresenting that they were associated with the consumer’s current alarm company and that the consumer would receive free services when the services were not free. The suit also alleged that consumers were told they could cancel at any time when in fact consumers had to pay for the entire 39-month contract if they did not cancel within three days.
In addition to the $46,000 in restitution, Pinnacle will also pay refunds to any consumer who files a new complaint within the next four months and provides documentation showing they were induced to enter a contract with the defendant using unfair or deceptive practices. If you have paid money to Pinnacle Security since May 3, 2007 and believe you qualify under the Consent Judgment, please contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-392-8222 or online at ago.mo.gov to file a consumer complaint.