Sound the alarm! Security company accused of misleading customers to switch to their system

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Many homeowners with security systems have signs on their yard indicating they're protected. But the Better Business Bureau says those signs can be a beacon for unscrupulous salesmen.

According to the Utah Better Business Bureau, Salt Lake City based Alder home protection has over 200 complaints nationwide, many of them for deceptive home security sales. To find out how some Alder salesmen operate, INSIDE EDITION producer Charlie McLravy attended an Alder sales training meeting undercover in Lexington, KY.

At the meeting, Alder Regional Sales Manager Bobby Shane instructed the troops all about "takeovers." What are takeovers? They occur when Alder salesmen targets homes that have existing alarm monitoring services with companies like ADT, and try to take over their accounts by offering free upgrades.

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Alder home protection hit with serious accusations
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Alder home protection hit with serious accusations

According to the Utah Better Business Bureau, Salt Lake City based Alder home protection has over 200 complaints nationwide, many of them for deceptive home security sales.

(Photo credit: INSIDE EDITION)

According to the Utah Better Business Bureau, Salt Lake City based Alder home protection has over 200 complaints nationwide, many of them for deceptive home security sales.

(Photo credit: INSIDE EDITION)

According to the Utah Better Business Bureau, Salt Lake City based Alder home protection has over 200 complaints nationwide, many of them for deceptive home security sales.

(Photo credit: INSIDE EDITION)

According to the Utah Better Business Bureau, Salt Lake City based Alder home protection has over 200 complaints nationwide, many of them for deceptive home security sales.

(Photo credit: INSIDE EDITION)

According to the Utah Better Business Bureau, Salt Lake City based Alder home protection has over 200 complaints nationwide, many of them for deceptive home security sales.

(Photo credit: INSIDE EDITION)

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Shane asked the Kentucky recruits, "What's the biggest concern that people have about us?"

"Legitimacy," one person answered.

"Legitimacy, yeah," Shane replied, "They think we're a scam. Are we a scam? Heck no."

But Gray Finney, the senior vice president of ADT, told Inside Edition: "It is absolutely an outright scam. What they do is they walk through neighborhoods looking [for] and targeting ADT signs."

Jane Driggs, president of the Utah Better Business Bureau, agrees, telling Inside Edition: "They're essentially swapping out whatever system you had with theirs. They are telling the consumer they are there to upgrade the system when in reality they want the customer to buy Alder's system."

Driggs added: "Alder is misleading consumers when they tell them they're there to upgrade their system and not being upfront that they are Alder."

Inside Edition witnessed some of these so-called 'takeovers' first hand, when McLravy was invited to shadow Alder salesman Walter Voisard as he canvassed neighborhoods in Louisville, Ky. looking for ADT signs in front yards and knocking on doors.

"I've actually come by about your old ADT signs out front here," Voisard told one homeowner. "My job is to put the new signs up here okay."

The homeowner clearly believed he was speaking to an ADT salesman. "He's with ADT alarms," the homeowner told his wife.

Once inside the home Voisard tried to convince homeowners to switch their ADT contract to a new Alder contract by offering a free upgrade. But what Voisard fails to mention at the front door is the fact that the price for the new upgraded Alder equipment and monitoring services is actually $49.99 a month for 60 months, or about $3,000.00.

During that earlier sales meeting, Shane was heard telling the Alder salesmen: "There's a reason why we don't knock on the door and say look I'm doing sixty month contracts at $49.99."

Some homeowners who switch from ADT to Alder have gotten stuck paying two bills. Others fail to realize they're monitoring equipment has been switched from ADT to Alder until they get a bill.
ADT isn't the only well-known corporate name that Voisard dropped to get him past the front door.

In several instances, Voisard told homeowners he was with GE, claiming they manufacture the alarm equipment.

"I work with GE," Voisard directly told one homeowner through their front door.

"That's an outright lie. Alder security has no association with GE security," said Finney

Driggs also cautioned homeowners to be wary of any scare tactics door-to-door salesmen may use. But one homeowner we spoke to said she agreed to let Alder take over her ADT contract after she said

Voisard showed her pictures of a burglar he claimed was snipping the wires of old ADT equipment.

The homeowner later told Inside Edition they felt "manipulated," adding, "it made me nervous and it upset my mom pretty bad as well."

Inside Edition's Chief Investigative Correspondent, Lisa Guerrero, caught up with Voisard while he was walking down the sidewalk.

"I'd just like to ask you if you're using deceptive and misleading business practices when you try to sell your alarm systems?"

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"I'd just like to ask you if you're using deceptive and misleading business practices when you try to sell your alarm systems?"

"I have no comment on this right now," said Voisard. "I'm absolutely honest and we have a training manual that we stick strictly to, but I do really appreciate your time and you have a great day."

Guerrero then asked Voisard, "Do you ever tell people you're with GE?"

"Ma'am no, I just told you honestly I don't want to speak about this," Voisard said as he walked away.

"It can't be one rogue employee," the BBB's Driggs says. "The number of complaints that we receive are very concerning – they're from all over the U.S."

ADT is currently suing Alder for deceptive and misleading sales practices. Alder denies all the allegations and says they ensure their customers are satisfied and provide them with best in-class products and services.

Watch: Elderly Couple Facing Eviction After Grandson Allegedly Scams Them Out of Their Home

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