FTC vs. Home Alarm System Company & Lead Brokers

I have had a lead broker and a few of his customers “tell” me such on the message board, that there are no telemarketing waivers being slipped into home inspection agreements … but this is what the lead broker requires inspectors receiving his kickbacks in exchange for private customer data to publish in their inspection agreements…

This, in case you do not recognize it, is a waiver to a “Do Not Call” list.

Actually, it is an “attempted” waiver in that one state attorney general who read it said that it is “legally invalid” and that he will prosecute with or without this clause when anyone in his state on a “Do Not Call” list is contacted … but it still says what it says, “legally invalid” or not.

Harassing telemarketing calls from alarm systems salesmen are hitting consumers all over the country. Reading the comments from consumers in this article, I couldn’t help but recall Thornberry’s claim that he is using telemarketers from all over the country making 30,000 telephone calls per month.

Here is the FTC, in a court action against an alarms systems company, describing in their petition how the lead brokers work.

And here is my personal favorite that I think you will find familiar …

How “ethical” is it to allow a lead broker to use your home inspection agreement for this nonsense?

Nick and Chris are of the opinion that no one is called until they agree to be called by email.

Nick and Chris assume that everyone who buys a new home has an email address and that all of their unsolicited emails are read by them.

Now … if you believe what Nick and Chris believe … that only those who agree, by email, are contacted by Thornberry … what do you think happens to those who do NOT respond to the email and do not agree to be called?

Could they be resold as described by the FTC … ?

Remember … the “TPSP” in the signed agreement is still unidentified. Thornberry, for unstated reasons, insists upon it.

It’s also important to note that, just as the attorney general wrote to me, the FTC has also found these telemarketing waivers to be “legally invalid” and are prosecuting telemarketing violators. What individual inspector wants his clients to be victimized in this manner through his contract?

NACHI won’t punish you for doing it … but that does not make it “ethical”, IMO.

LMAO…go read the links he sent…

TOOO Damn funny! How is trying to tie this together with what Nathan does! Not even close. My God he will stop at nothing to try and make thing that don’t connect, to connect!

  1. Using these leads to induce the purchase of VMS’s goods or services, VMS has
    initiated hundreds of thousands of outbound telephone calls consumers who have previously
    informed VMS that they do not wish to receive calls by or on behalf of VMS. Between
    November 2011 and July 2012, VMS placed at least one-hundred thousand outbound telephone
    calls to phone numbers of consumers who had previously asked VMS not to contact them.
  2. During its telemarketing calls, VMS tells consumers that they have been selected
    to receive a free home security system so long as the consumer agrees to purchase a multi-year
    home security monitoring plan.
  3. VMS claims that it buys most of its sales leads from lead generators which
    purport that they have obtained consumers’ express consent to receive telemarketing calls about
    a home security system or that the consumer has requested additional information about having a
    home security system installed in their home.
    Case 1:14-cv-10612-PBS Document 1 Filed 03/10/14 Page 5 of 106
  4. For example, VMS bought leads for more than four years from a lead generation
    company that called consumers purportedly to conduct a “safety survey.”
  5. The “safety survey” calls were placed to consumers whose telephone numbers
    were listed on the National Do Not Call Registry and to consumers who had not given the lead
    generator or VMS permission or consent to call them.
  6. The “safety survey” included generic questions such as, “Do you have at least 2
    smoke detectors in your home?”, “Do you have fire extinguishers in your home?”, and “[W]hen
    it comes to protecting the home and family, would your main concern [sic] for fires, burglaries or
    medical emergencies?”.
  7. The “safety survey” would then ask consumers to provide their name and indicate
    whether they owned their homes.
  8. The “safety survey” would then close with the following: “For participating in
    our survey, there is a chance you could be selected to receive a new G.E. Life Safety System. If
    you are selected, when would be the best time to reach you?”
  9. If a consumer provided a time to call and indicated that he or she was a
    homeowner, the lead generator sold the consumer’s name and telephone number as a home
    security lead.
  10. VMS purchased thousands of these “safety survey” home security leads. At its
    peak, VMS bought 20,000 “safety survey” home security leads every month.
  11. At no time during these “safety survey” lead generation calls did the lead
    generator indicate to consumers that they would be receiving a follow-up call from VMS.
    Case 1:14-cv-10612-PBS Document 1 Filed 03/10/14 Page 6 of 107
  12. The “safety survey” was not a bona fide survey. Rather, the lead generator used
    “safety survey” as a pretext to identify consumers who might be interested in purchasing a home
    security system or home security monitoring services and receive calls regarding such interest.
  13. VMS also has purchased leads from lead generators who, since September 1,
    2009, have used outbound telephone calls that deliver prerecorded messages. These types of
    calls are commonly referred to as “robocalls.”
  14. For example, VMS bought leads from lead generators that use robocalls often
    featuring a male voice claiming to be “Tom from Home Protection.” These robocalls typically
    cite FBI burglary statistics and ask consumers to press “1” to hear about the installation of a free
    home security system, often if the consumer is willing to place a small sign in his or her yard.
    Consumers who press “1” on their telephones in response to the robocall message then hear a
    message telling them that a representative will call them back shortly about the free home
    security system.
  15. If a consumer presses “1” on their telephone in response to the robocall to indicate
    interest in a free home security system, these lead generators sell the consumer’s telephone
    number as a home security lead.
  16. VMS purchased thousands of these robocall-generated home security leads.
  17. At its peak, VMS bought 20,000 robocall-generated home security leads from one
    such lead generator every week.
  18. These home security lead generation robocalls were sent to consumers whose
    telephone numbers were listed on the National Do Not Call Registry and to consumers who had
    not given the lead generators their express written consent to receive robocalls from the lead
    generators or VMS.
    Case 1:14-cv-10612-PBS Document 1 Filed 03/10/14 Page 7 of 108
  19. The home security lead generation robocalls did not inform consumers that VMS
    would be contacting them about the installation of a free home security system.
  20. VMS has received numerous complaints about both the “safety survey” and
    robocall lead generation calls.
  21. When VMS called the leads it purchased from the “safety survey” and robocall
    lead generators, many consumers complained to VMS that they had received a robocall and/or
    that they had been called despite the fact that their phone numbers were on the National Registry.

The lawsuit filed by the FTC is nevertheless very interesting to me. I’m all ears.

LMAO…Nick are you really falling for this?

The lawsuit http://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/cases/140312vmscmpt.pdf is very interesting to me. Here is my immediate reaction:

The plaintiff if the FTC (United States of America)… not just joe blow.
The defendant deals in security alarm leads.
It appears those leads are purchased from somewhere. Where?

I’d like to know for sure that the consumer leads didn’t originate from the inspection industry.

I agree with the FTC…if Nathan is crack calling people telling them he is with the FBI, then FRY him!

If Nathan is being asked not to call and he keeps calling…FRY HIM!

If Nathan is using a bogus safety survey to get his clients…then FRY HIM…

Is Nathan using Robo calls? Not that I know of, it is ACTUAL people calling.

#40 EXPRESSED Written consent…when they sign my contract they are giving EXPRESSED written consent!

#41, we tell them they will be getting a call about the alarm system!

He took ONE instance and trying to make it fit Nathans business model…

Come on!

Huh?..It TELLS you where they were from…a safety survey #26

You keep bringing up a particular vendor Russell, not me.

I just want to know for sure that none of the consumer leads originated from the inspection industry.

Not necessarily. Read #20 of http://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/cases/140312vmscmpt.pdf

Note the word “companies” is plural. The FTC didn’t reveal these lead generation companies by name. I’d just like to know for certain that the consumer leads weren’t extracted from home inspectors, even indirectly.

Also read #25.

No where does it state that in ANY of the lawsuit Your right I am bringing up Nathan…because we all know where this is leading to.

Read it, it has nothing to do with the inspection industry or any ties to it.

This particular defendant (there may be more, now or in the future) uses more than one source, according to the petition. I don’t see how you can discount any source without knowing all of them.

How many other sources ot there require contract language that waives a client’s rights under a “Do Not Call” list? That might help narrow it down.

All of my clients, at least the ones I know about have been called by RWS and no one else and if they buy that’s great, if not, I have never had a complaint that they were in any way harassed. So what does this have to do with anything here?

Jim, you have my attention. If you’re eventually able to connect the dots back to the home inspection industry… my opinion will immediately evolve.


Nick here is a new piece about Public adjust fraud…can we just wrap up all public adjusters into this category?

Some home inspectors, to qualify for kickbacks, are putting language in their inspection agreements that purport to “waive” a client’s right to protection under a “Do Not Call” list.

At least one attorney general and the FTC do not recognize this waiver as legally valid.

The FTC is taking legal action against alarm systems companies who violate “Do Not Call” lists.

Perhaps Nick is recognizing the implications that this could have on the home inspection industry as a player in this scam. I think his questions are valid and should be applied to this and any future case.

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Nathan, if you had a gun to your head, could you describe a weak, indirect connection between you and VMS?

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Thanks Nathan. Who is Monitronics International and is there any possibility (even so slight) that they could connect (even indirectly) consumer data captured from our members to VMS? Is there anything here at all that I or the inspection industry should be the least concerned about? Anything?