BY ADAM FLOYD | Posted Yesterday

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VALDOSTA — City police have again kicked a Utah-based home security company out of town for “numerous” complaints of aggressive and misleading solicitation practices.

Sales representatives from Vivint, a home-security system company out of Provo, Utah, have reportedly been canvassing neighborhoods in Valdosta and Lowndes County, encouraging people to purchase their services.

As of Thursday, they are no longer allowed to do so, according to the Valdosta police chief.

“I revoked (their solicitation licenses), and they are no longer allowed to do business in the city. Period,” said Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress.

City and county officials received numerous complaints from residents complaining of high-pressure sales tactics and misleading statements, according to VPD. Officials received similar complaints earlier this year.

“Back in March, we received a lot of complaints. People were saying they weren’t taking no for an answer,” said Childress. “I called the manager at the time and said, ‘You’re done. No more.’”

County officials also received complaints in March that Vivint representatives were claiming the company had purchased a local home-security company and customers needed to switch to Vivint, which was not true, according to Paige Dukes, Lowndes County clerk.

“Lowndes County doesn’t have a solicitation license process. What we do is when people request to go door-to-door, the county coordinates that with law enforcement and code enforcement to make sure of the credibility of the business is established and that there is no safety issue,” said Dukes. “(Vivint) has not gone through that process with the county.”

The city gave the company a second chance in August, issuing solicitation licenses to approximately 13 of the company’s salespeople, said Childress. The salespeople have now been directed to turn in those licenses.

“If you see these folks showing up in the city, you need to call 911,” said Childress. “I made it very clear that if they continue to do it after I told them not to they will be cited for soliciting without a permit and they will go to court.”

Lowndes County residents who feel a door-to-door salesperson is being overly aggressive or is making them uncomfortable can call 911 to report it, said a county spokesperson.

Vivint has a history of complaints with the Better Business Bureau.

In 2013, Ohio’s attorney general entered into a settlement with the company after it was accused of offering “free” security systems without informing customers of fees associated with the product, according to the Better Business Bureau, which has received 3,502 complaints about the company.

Adam Floyd is a crime reporter at the Valdosta Daily Times.