A costly lesson in double checking

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07/30/2008
Here's an article that emphasizes how important it is for security and monitoring companies to have good data entry people as well as systems designed to double check information. A woman who had been a loyal ADT customer for four years received a message on her answering machine that her alarm had been activated and police had been dispatched. The only problem? Police never showed up. ADT had the wrong physical address for this woman. But, as the article points out: The company may not have known where to send first responders, but it did know where to send the bills. "I received all my bills here. I had all my contracts that stated 307 [her correct address]. As far as I'm concerned, they had the right contract," she said. I can see her point. If she was receiving bills at the correct address why would she even question that the company had the wrong address listed in their system? I wouldn't. I know managing all this customer information is a major undertaking and ADT is obviously a huge company with hundreds of thousands of customers, but doesn't that mean they would have software or something in place to double check information in their system? Don't most central stations have some sort of means of verifying information like periodic calls, form letters or something? Perhaps I'm being too lofty with my assumptions. I think this article points out how important it is for monitoring companies, big or small, not to lose sight of the business they're in. Because ADT wasn't really protecting this woman's home, they refunded her four years worth of monitoring costs. That's $1,400 of lost revenue and may be pennies for ADT, but could be big bucks for you.