‘They worked for their money’: Woman reminds others to look after elderly loved ones after security company issue
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – A Florida woman contacted 12 On Your Side on behalf of her father and late mother who lived in Richmond. Charmaine Lowe was concerned about more than $4,000 in charges to her parents’ account from a security company called AMP Smart.
Uncovering the charges began with Lowe looking into her parents’ finances.
“As my parents got older, I started managing my mom’s account first, she was the one paying the bills,” said Lowe, who is a proxy for her parents. “When I looked at this I kept saying what is AMP Smart? The first thing I did was contact the bank.
The account showed fees of $55.99 per month dating back to 2015, the fees rose to $57.99 in October 2021. Lowe began contacting the Utah-based company, but says she didn’t couldn’t get a response.
“We have a security system, we have had one for years, not through them. I said to the bank, stop the payment, I guarantee you they contacted me and they did it,” she explained. “The first rep I spoke to confirmed that they tried to reach my parents in October 2015 to get the equipment installed and they were never able to do it. My question is: Why have you been charging for equipment since 2015 that has never been installed?The telephone has become silent.
Eventually, Lowe received a contract with his mother’s signature, showing that his mother had agreed to work with AMP Smart in August 2015.
“Which means they had to be in her presence, she wouldn’t do it on the phone. She gave up her checking account information, she signed a contract,” Lowe said.
His biggest concern is that the contract shows that a Lynx 5200 system was to be installed, but the panel that still hangs on the wall of his parents’ house in Richmond is not the same. Lowe says there is no Lynx 5200 panel in the house. Lowe filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau as well as Consumer Protection through the Virginia Attorney General’s Office.
“I’m not trying to go get the jugular – I’m asking you to do the right thing and return the money,” she said. “If we live long enough, maybe we’ll become old people, think about how you want people to treat you. Think of your parents or grandparents. They worked for their money, all these years they worked.
Moments after you first spoke to Lowe, investigators on your side called AMP Smart. After receiving an email address to contact, a few weeks later, the following was sent in a statement to NBC 12 News:
AMP Smart has received your email correspondence regarding the subject mentioned above. Prior to the story you broadcast, AMP believes that context and clarification are necessary to ensure that both sides are adequately and fairly represented to the public. AMP requests that you please include the following information from us regarding Ms. *****’s case.
Ms ***** accepted a security contract with AMP and the installation of an alarm system on August 18, 2015.
At that time, Mrs. ***** signed a contract with AMP and completed a recorded QA telephone survey before and after installation. The recorded QA calls asked Ms. ***** many questions about her newly installed alarm system, including the following question: “Have you had a chance to practice using your alarm system? alarm at least once with the technician? Ms. ***** answered “Yes”. The alarm system was installed and monitored at that time.
If Mrs ***** daughter Charmaine Lowe, is adamant that there is no equipment in the house, then it has been removed by someone unaffiliated with AMP and without her knowledge. ‘amp.
As soon as AMP became aware of Ms. Lowe’s concerns last week, AMP repeatedly tried to help her with the matter.
In order to resolve this matter amicably, AMP voluntarily chose to reimburse Ms Lowe for all the money paid to AMP by her parents.
AMP prides itself on its customer service and is keen to highlight its 4.4 out of 5 star Google rating from over 2,000 customer reviews and its 4.5 out of 5 star Facebook rating from over 2,000 customer reviews.
Sincerely, AMP Smart
Lower says that to date the company has not provided him with a tracking report for the duration of the contract.
As we continue to live in an age of subscriptions and automatic payments for just about every type of service, experts say it’s important to look at what services loved ones may have signed up for.
Take the time to ensure they are still in use and make sure they are not being charged for something that has never been used. Also, make sure they’re not locked into a contract that hasn’t been fully explained. Find out if someone has already called and canceled a service.
Lowe confirms that a check for $4,400 was sent to her father’s home in Richmond, and she hopes her family’s story will remind her to stand up for our elderly loved ones.
“Be careful, check the mail, check their accounts. You’re going to have to do this regularly — so you can identify if something hits that account that’s different,” she said. “You’re going to have to set aside time to check their checking account, their credit card, their bills — and the parents your kids are trying to help you, let them.”
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